Columbia College honors employees with gala lunchAnd it's good, too
The employee appreciation lunch, held in early April, had so many attendees it had to be held in the Courts at the Southwell Complex. The lunch was timed to include directors from the nationwide campuses, here for their annual conference and five-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year service award recipients (right).
The lunch proceeded nicely thanks to the camaraderie and top-notch AmeriServe fare, including Caesar salad, sliced beef, diced chicken, manicotti (for vegetarians) and a groaning sideboard of desserts.
President Brouder opened the lunch by urging the directors to stand up to acknowledge applause. He then thanked each and every staffer for their commitment, hard work and dedication to the college's founding principles. Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for academic affairs, announced five-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year service awards and Dr. Brouder presented each employee with an award, a gift voucher and a handshake.
Five-year service award winner Cindy Fotti, assistant director of athletics, ran to the stage. "You can tell she works for Athletics!" quipped Smith. Stephan Stephany, Lake County director, received prolonged applause for his five years; Sharon Abernathy, director of Financial Aid and a 10-year award winner, received dozens of whoops.
Bob Hutton then presented the Harold E. Nichols Plant and Facilities Employee of the Year award. The award is given annually to the maintenance employee who best demonstrates the work ethic, team-player mentality and good humor of Harold Nichols, a 15-year maintenance veteran, who died unexpectedly three years ago. The winner was Bob Fry (left), who, Hutton said, was always in a good mood and obviously enjoyed being part of the CC family.
Brouder honored bookstore manager Sarah Steeno for the Barnes & Noble Campus Outreach Award for her outstanding service to students.
But the biggest applause of the event went to AmeriServe Director Steve Bay (right), who received a golden chef's hat made by Bonnie Brouder, no less, and a standing ovation.
Everyone laughed and cheered for the very funny employee slideshow put together by public relations graphic designer and photographer Mandy Hagedorn. Finally, Director of Human Resources Patty Fischer announced that one chair at every table had a sticker underneath, entitling the person sitting on said chair a prize – the blooming plant centerpiece.
Good job to all the hard-working folks at events & protocol, public relations, human resources, mail & print services, maintenance, AmeriServe and technology services for a thoroughly enjoyable lunch!