(TRINIDAD, COLORADO) Trinidad State President Carmen Simone recently announced the Trinidad State Employees of the Year. Selected by their colleagues, Mike Salbato, Web Developer, Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletic Director, was named Exempt/Professional/Administrative Employee of the Year, and Karen Harrell, Administrative Assistant for Physical Plant, was named Classified Employee of the Year.
Since graduating from Trinidad State in 1994 with an associate degree in Electronics, Salbato’s spectrum of responsibilities has included audio/visual, IT, faculty, marketing and athletics. In fulfilling the tasks of his current positions, Salbato juggles his time between maintaining the college web site, managing athletic facilities and eligibility processes, and promoting college athletics programs.
With a passion for sports and goals for a future career as an athletic director, Salbato most enjoys working with the college athletics department. “I get to work with an amazing group of hardworking coaches and a great group of young men and women athletes,” Salbato said. “Everyone works so hard and are so passionate about what they do that I feel privileged to just be part of it.”
In addition to his demanding career, Salbato attends classes at Colorado Christian University with plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and project management in May 2014. He then wants to pursue a master’s in sports management. In his limited free time, Salbato enjoys spending time with his wife, Melissa, and three kids, Mara, Myka and Mason.
“I am honored to have been selected for this award,” he said.
Harrell, Classified Employee of the Year, has worked as the Administrative Assistant for Physical Plant at Trinidad State for two years. Previously, she worked for the Colorado Community College System on the Trinidad State campus for nine years, as a system-wide scheduler, then operating the IT Help Desk line, taking calls from all over the state.
In her current position, Harrell’s main responsibility includes maintenance support, and she is the first point of contact when something goes wrong. “Sometimes I feel like a traffic cop,” she said, “Go here, go there, go here.”
On being the Classified Employee of the Year, Harrell said, “I wouldn’t have gotten it if the guys [maintenance staff] weren’t as great as they are. They all need to be a part of it.”
Prior to coming to Trinidad, Harrell lived in Los Alamos, N.M. and was employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory where she worked with various programs and once got to go to a space launch. She and her husband moved to Trinidad in 2000 with the goal of eventually retiring to their land located just south of Ludlow.
In her spare time, Harrell enjoys camping and visiting with her daughter and granddaughters in Los Alamos.
Salbato and Harrell will be honored at the Colorado Community College System Administrative-Professional/Technical and Classified Employee of the year award luncheon on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in Denver.