Tanya Venable, a detention counselor at CoreCivic’s Cibola County Correctional Center (CCCC) in Milan, N.M., was recently named CoreCivic’s 2023 Employee of the Year.
Venable oversees daily operations in three housing units at Cibola, where she manages everything from residents’ living spaces and dorms to food preparation in the kitchens. To say Venable deals with many moving parts each day is an understatement.
“Detention counselor Venable is an exceptional communicator, and she demonstrates superb abilities in engaging staff during day-to-day operations at the facility,” said CCCC’s warden, Mark Foreman. “She is an active participant in all facets of unit management and provides facility administration with critical information needed to assist in the management of the population in our care.”
“I just believe that you have to work hard for anything, not just in work but in life,” she said. “You have to do your very best.”
Part of Venable’s noteworthy contributions this year include improving processes and building in more structure and accountability for the residents at Cibola. When Mark Foreman became Cibola’s new warden in September 2022, he set out to improve living conditions; Venable’s work has been aimed at this bigger vision for the facility.
“I make it a point to take my time when I go into a housing pod. You have more time to really focus on each person in your unit,” she said. “You notice more, you’re able to talk about that more. I feel like you’re able to solve problems a lot faster that way.”
As the Employee of the Year, Venable and her daughter received an all-expense paid trip to Nashville to receive the award at CoreCivic’s holiday luncheon.
The mother of three joined CoreCivic in September of 2017 as a detention officer at the Cibola facility and was promoted to detention counselor in July of 2022.