The 2019-2020 City of Burbank Employee of the Year Award has been presented to Erin Barrows, Recreation Services Manager of the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department.
Barrows, a Burbank resident of 22 years, was honored with the award by Mayor Sharon Springer recently, during a virtual Burbank City Council Meeting.
Barrows has served the City of Burbank for 19 years and makes extensive contributions throughout the community in her role as Recreation Services Manager. These include overseeing facilities and programming in Senior Services, the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center, and Starlight Bowl.
One of Barrows’ most significant additions during the 2019-2020 timeline has been her leadership in adjusting to increased demands for the elderly nutrition program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Barrows oversaw a drive-through system that delivered thousands of meals to residents every week and assisted elderly locals.
“Under Erin’s leadership, the Project Hope Program played a critical role in assisting seniors with running errands, grocery shopping and providing companionship,” said Burbank Parks and Recreation Director Marisa Garcia. “She created a positive and supportive environment for her team of 30 staff and demonstrated compassion to participants, volunteers, and residents by listening and offering assistance.”
Barrows says she feels grateful to be recognized with the award and cites her colleagues’ support as a key element to the department’s success.
“I was completely honored to be recognized in this way,” Barrows said. “I feel privileged to work alongside all the hard working and dedicated city employees each and every day. My Parks and Rec family has helped to push me and make me the person I am today and I share this with each of them.”
The greatest joy in Barrows’ work has emerged from being able to interact with a diverse group of people throughout the City of Burbank, which she appreciates as both an employee and parent.
“I love working with the members of our community,” Barrows said. “During my 19 years with the city and Parks and Recreation I have had the opportunity to work in various sections. This has allowed me to meet and work with individuals of all ages. I am also able to experience our amazing programs as a parent since both of my daughters have participated in our programs for years.”
“I am…proud of the job each of us has done to continue to provide assistance and programs to the members of our community during this time,” Barrows said. “More than ever our mission statement, ‘Together we strive to be the heart of the community by providing enriching opportunities through dedicated people, beautiful parks and inspiring programs’ has rung true.”
Barrows also expressed pride in how the Burbank Parks and Rec team has together risen to the occasion in the midst of a global pandemic as their services are more pertinent than ever.
Garcia emphasized Barrows’ selfless nature and dedicated work ethic as pivotal qualities that make her a great choice for Employee of the Year.
“[Barrows] unselfishly dedicates her time and energy to serving the Burbank community,” Garcia said. “Day in and day out she demonstrates excellent leadership and decision-making skills but what truly makes [her] stand out is that leads with her heart… She is humble and has the best can-do attitude. She is never afraid to roll up her sleeves and work hard alongside her team.”
Although COVID-19 restrictions remain as case numbers in L.A. County surge, Barrows’ outlook for the future of Burbank reflects the optimism that assisted in earning her Employee of the Year.
“I hope that we are able to continue to pull together as a community and get through these trying times and come out stronger on the other side,” Barrows said.