Chatham County recognizes Ocampo Ruiz as 2021 employee of the year

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PITTSBORO — Cristal Ocampo Ruiz has been named Chatham County’s employee of the year for 2021.

Ocampo Ruiz is an interpreter and the immunization tracking coordinator at the county’s public health department. She’s worked with Chatham County since 2016 and is a 2020 Chatham Leadership Academy graduate.

“I am so glad to see Cristal recognized as employee of the year — she is so, very deserving,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Mike Zelek. “Cristal has been such an important part of our team for the past several years. During the pandemic, she has been critical to our efforts to reach the Latinx community. From translating information to tracking immunizations, we wouldn’t be where we are without her.”

Assistant County Manager Carolyn Miller made the presentation to Ocampo Ruiz at the commissioners’ meeting on Dec. 20. Chatham County staff were asked to submit nominations for the award, and the person who nominated Ocampo Ruiz said they could not do their job without her.

“We are so fortunate to have Cristal as an employee, and she is a great example to her colleagues,” said Miller. “Cristal embodies the true spirit of Chatham County with her hard work, commitment, and passion to serve the people of our community.”

Last year, all 533 Chatham County government employees received the designation as 2020 Employee of Year after an unprecedented year navigating two major crises — the COVID-19 pandemic and a cyber incident.


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