Employee of the Quarter: Jim Leach

From left are OCC Commissioner Dan Lowrance, OCC/WQ Cost-Share and Finance Director Jim Leach, OCC Awards and Recognition Committee Chairwoman Stacey Day and OCC Executive Director Mike Thralls as Leach is recognized for being named Employee of the Quarter.

Jim Leach, OCC/WQ cost-share and finance director, was recognized at the January 2011 Commission meeting for being named Employee of the Quarter at the December 2010 OCC Full Staff Meeting. Leach was also recognized in September 2010 for 30 years of service to OCC and the state of Oklahoma. He started with OCC in 1980 after working for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for three and a half years. He left OCC in 1983 for two years and returned in 1985. 

He began his career with  OCC as a water quality specialist, but has filled roles from data manager to project coordinator to division assistant director to his current position of financial director. In this role, in cooperation with the OCC Financial Management/Human Resources division and with the Office of the Secretary of Environment, Jim and the Oklahoma Nonpoint Source Water Quality Program have been recognized as being among the best in the nation for the rate at which they effectively utilize available funds and also for the very detailed processes used to document match for federal programs.

“Jim has faithfully served OCC and the people of Oklahoma for (30) years,” the nomination stated.”Jim is the quintessential people person, always thinking of others’ needs, volunteering to help in any situation and willing to go the extra mile. After a hail storm and subsequent 500-year (rain) storm, Jim went above and beyond in ensuring the safety of each individual in our office. As mold became an issue, Jim personally cleaned every air vent in all the offices and public areas. He assisted personnel with temporary relocation and facilitated amendments in the office infrastructure  to ensure a workable environment,” the nomination stated.

“Jim is the eternal optimist and his cheerful and caring demeanor are a constant refreshment to staff. As he nears retirement, his colleagues are eager to demonstrate respect and appreciation for the character and many contributions Jim Leach has and continues to deliver to the Water Quality Division,” the nomination concluded.