Staff Spotlight: Annette Lehew-Cole

Meet Annette Lehew-Cole

Annette Cole began working for the Commission in September 1999 as the Assistant Director at Bowie Community Center. She later became the Facility Director of Bowie Community Center in May 2004. She was then promoted as the Health and Wellness Coordinator in November 2008. In November 2014, Annette transitioned to the Administrative Services Division, now known as the Management Services Division, where she currently remains in a hybrid position that oversees two units – the Park Permits Office and Property Management.

In Annette’s current role, she manages the office that schedules and processes permits for the park rental buildings and picnic shelters, garden plots and the bandwagon stage. As the Prince George’s County Property Manager, she also oversees park house rental properties, vacant properties and demolition projects. In both roles, Annette works closely with area maintenance.

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IPI Program Description

The Keyless Entry Project is that of installing a new system of access to the 20 park rental buildings across the County. The new system would eliminate the need for keys to be used by renters, which would reduce the recurring problems of key access; allow for a more secure and safe environment; and offer more convenience for the customer. The new access system will allow electronic entry through PIN codes with time restrictions, an audit trail, and remote lock/unlock capability. This project targets the rental customers of the park buildings. In FY’17 alone, there were over 2,300 park buildings reservations. The project is a collaboration with, and is heavily supported by, Park Police Security Systems and Maintenance and Development staff.

The inspiration for the Keyless Entry Project came from a visit to the Montgomery County Park Permits Office. In an effort to generate new solutions to common problems and adopt best practices, Annette and her staff met with the Montgomery County Permits staff. Many things were taken away from that visit, however, the one that seemed to impress upon Annette the most was learning that some of the Montgomery County rental buildings were using a keyless entry system. Due to its success, they were in the process of transitioning all their buildings to this type of system. Annette and her staff had dealt with so many problems on a continuing basis because of manual key entry into rental buildings, Annette was determined to propose an access system that was more efficient and beneficial for all those involved.

Full implementation of the keyless entry system will provide staff the opportunity to control access to the rental buildings. It will reduce the instances of unauthorized entry and be able to track users during unauthorized times. This will also provide for increased safety, knowing when doors are unlocked, and eliminating the factor of intruders with a copied key. The keyless entry system will also provide a cost savings that is sustainable. It will decrease the staff hours of Park Police having to open or unlock doors, work hours of maintenance staff and supplies in changing locks or replacing lost keys.

The new system would also provide convenience for our customers, which speaks to better customer service. Customers would no longer need to make roundtrips to the Park Permits Office for key pick-up and key return. This also helps reduce the Commission’s carbon footprint, and strengthen our conservation mission. A minimum of 7,000 trips to the Permits Office in Riverdale would be saved per year.