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story.lead_photo.caption In this May 2012 file photo, Little Rock Animal Services Manager Tracy Roark points out the injuries of a rescued horse that was being kept at the Little Rock Animal Village. Roark was recognized Tuesday, May 6, 2014, as Little Rock's employee of the year.

A Little Rock animal services manager was recognized Tuesday as the city's employee of the year.

Tracy Roark received the 2014 Mahlon A. Martin Employee of the Year distinction at a luncheon held as part of the city's ongoing Employee Appreciation Week, according to a news release.

Roark was picked because of his work developing Little Rock's Animal Village into "one of the most progressive animal shelters in the region," the city said in a statement, noting adoptions from the facility have "greatly increased" during his tenure.

The city handed out the first employee-of-the-year award in 2004. The honor is named for Martin, the first black Little Rock city manager who also served as director of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

Robbie Hudson, an urban forester with the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department, and Little Rock Zoo construction worker Roy Wayne were also finalists for the 2014 award.

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