Supervisors Honor Longtime Employees

Board Presents Certificates of Recognition for Years of County of Service

            County supervisors honored five employees Tuesday for their service to the county. Combined, the five have put in more than 100 years of service for San Benito County. Each employee was presented with a Certificate of Recognition at the ceremony, held at the Board of Supervisors chambers during their weekly meeting.

         "I know few employees who have dedicated as much time and effort as you have," Supervisor Jamie De La Cruz said to Margio Riopel, Management Analyst of Internal Services for the county for the past 26 years. "Thank you."

          The employees honored were: Steven Distance, Accountant II in Health & Human Services for 13 years, Lupe Eclarin, Office Services Supervisor in Public Health for 35 years, Margie Riopel, Management Analyst III in Internal Services for 26 years, Catherine Shaw, Management Analyst III in Administration for three years and Laura Schipper, Employment & Training Services Counselor in Health & Human Services for 27 years. Several of the employees s acknowledged co-workers and fellow county staff, who work hard to improve the lives of local residents, and thanked their families for support over the years.

          "It's been an honor to work for this county," Riopel said, holding back tears. "We have incredible people on board at every level. It has certainly been my pleasure to work here."

           Laura Schipper noted that when she started working for the county she knew no one except her new husband and that everyone was welcoming and helpful.

          "It's time to take some time off and get to that bucket list," she said.


Julie Finigan Morris

Julie Finigan Morris is a journalist and business owner. She has worked as staff writer for several news organizations, including Thomson Newspapers in Washington D.C., McClatchy Newspapers and Scripps News Service. She is also the Co-Founder and Owner of Morris Grassfed and has lived in San Benito County for more than 25 years. Morris has also worked in corporate communications, marketing, and the non-profit sector. She is a founding board member of BenitoLink and currently serves on its Editorial Committee. She recently published her first novel, Exit Strategy. Visit her online at