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Todd Jackson wins 2023 Barbara Leszczynski Customer Service Award


Todd Jackson Customer Service Award

Todd Jackson, a longtime aquatics professional with Milwaukee Recreation, has been named the 2023 Barbara Leszczynski Customer Service Award winner!

This award, now in its 14th year, is named after Barbara Leszczynski, a former Milwaukee Recreation clerical team member known for her empathy and customer service.

Past winners of the award include: David Hojnacki (2010), Diane Winter (2011), Alonzo Watkins (2012), Marta Santos (2013), Anna Torres (2014), Rick Knack (2015), Shannon Galindo (2016), James Kocinski (2017), Steve Slaughter (2018), Datherine Young-Garrett (2019), Maria Montoya (2020), Priscilla Struck (2021), and Sharon Scull (2022).

Todd is a dedicated member of the department, and served Milwaukee’s aquatics community on pool decks well before he joined Milwaukee Recreation as a certified swim instructor in 2005. Todd generously spends his time, spirit, and charm with each of the valued members of Milwaukee Recreation swim programs, especially the adult Masters swimmers and older adult aqua exercisers. James Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also profiled Todd this month.

“The energy Todd brings to any space he occupies lightens the room,” Milwaukee Recreation manager Nicole E. Jacobson said. “He is always a team player, and his work ethic knows no boundaries.”

During the pandemic, with Milwaukee Recreation’s aquatics programming temporarily shut down while city officials determined the safest course of action in our pools, Todd asked, “What can I do? How can I pivot my role to ‘keep the ship afloat?’" Todd instantly agreed to become Milwaukee Recreation’s COVID-19 Safety Supply Resource, a temporary deviation from his typical pool-only tasks. Todd worked with our warehouse supply team to ensure the department maintained high safety standards by constantly transferring all needed supplies, including personal protective equipment, sanitizer, and signage, to any active Milwaukee Recreation program. His warm, welcoming personality was the perfect fit for making new acquaintances, even in unconventional times.

In 2013, Todd fell ill with stage four throat cancer. Swimmers from across the region rallied together to provide a space of healing energy for Todd, and miraculously, Todd beat his cancer. Doctors were able to repair half of one vocal cord allowing him to speak with a gentle rasp. All who know and work with him are more than happy to give him a careful ear.

“His relationships with patrons, part-time novice coaches, tenured coaches, and full-time engineer team members exceed all measures of customer service. Mr. Jackson is more than polite; his nature is to elevate everyone in his presence,” Jacobson said.

Todd’s humble, mild-mannered personality makes him a natural fit for this award, as his heart of servitude matches the gentle disposition of the award’s namesake, Leszczynski.

Congratulations, Todd, on receiving the 2023 Barbara Leszczynski Customer Service Award!


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
(414) 475-8675
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