Benshoff Named Employee Of The Month

Kara Shindle, GIS director; Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery; Sarah Benshoff, January 2023 Employee of the Month; Commissioner Dave Keller; and Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski PROVIDED PHOTO

CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners recently presented the January 2023 Employee of the Month award to Sarah Benshoff during the board’s Jan. 25 public meeting. Benshoff has been employed with Franklin County since August 2006 and currently serves as a GIS lead analyst in the county’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department.

January’s Employee of the Month recipient was determined by the Special Thanks and Recognition (STAR) Committee, which received 14 nominations for the January award, seven of which were for Benshoff. When nominating a coworker, employees are asked to cite an event or instance that elevated an individual to Employee of the Month status. A number of nominations cited the critical role Benshoff has played as the county completes a state-mandated upgrade to Next Generation 911 (NextGen) infrastructure.

“Sarah has been an essential partner in the Department of Emergency Service’s preparation to transition to the state-directed next generation 911 initiative,” said one nomination form. “As part of this project, Sarah is responsible for transforming our geographical information system addressing structure and formatting our data to meet the new standards established by the state for this project. All data and metadata have strict requirements that necessitate countless hours of investigation and modification to eliminate critical errors in the GIS addressing database that supports 911 services.”

The nomination continued, “Sarah’s actions and perseverance bring great credit upon herself, the information technology services department and the Franklin County workforce. Sarah is well deserving of this nomination.”

“Sarah is always working behind the scenes to make sure that Franklin County’s transition to NextGen 911 is a smooth one while still maintaining everything in our current system,” said another colleague. “At the beginning of the process, she had the seemingly insurmountable task of correcting nearly 450,000 errors pertaining to addresses, points, roads and boundaries, but she completed that task and got the number of errors down to zero. This was no small task, to say the least. Her efforts are essential and will help us provide accurate and quick 911 responses well into the future.”

“Sarah has spent nearly a year working to get county GIS data into the NextGen 911 format, as this will be the standard for dispatching 911 calls from their GIS location,” said another colleague. “She has worked with address points, roads, boundaries and emergency service zones to make sure all those layers are compliant. She has also coordinated and vetted her data with surrounding counties. Sarah started with over 400,000 critical errors and recently reached zero critical errors! This is an essential step as the county transitions to NextGen 911, and it was Sarah’s dedication and hard work that made this possible!”

One coworker commented, “Sarah has been dedicated and persistent in reaching the goal of being error free before our county migrates to the NextGen 911 system later this year. Sarah has spent many hours going over data and making changes to ensure that our data meets the criteria set by the state. As of last week, we are error free and our data is ready for the migration to NextGen 911. This is an amazing accomplishment as Sarah does not have the resources that other counties have to expend on this type of large task. Sarah also has a huge workload on her plate and works on many projects for different departments while trying to get our NextGen 911 data converted. We are so thankful to have Sarah’s knowledge and dedication on our team!”

Benshoff’s outstanding characteristics are attributes that have not gone unnoticed by her peers. The nomination forms describe her as dedicated, thorough, team-oriented, committed, persistent and supportive, among many other commendable characteristics.

The Franklin County Commissioners congratulated Benshoff on her recognition and thanked her for her excellent work and for exuding such a high standard of customer service, excellence and respect to the employees and residents of Franklin County.

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