University of Connecticut dining services hosted an employee workshop on Jan. 18 to honor employees for longevity and excellence in dining units and vendors on campus, said Human Resources manager Nancy Tanner.
The workshop, which is held yearly over the university’s winter break, is focused on educating employees on their duties in the dining units as well as showing appreciation for employees who have devoted much of their time to the success of the units on campus, Tanner said.
This year, Lucinda Simms of Gelfenbien Commons won the award for dining services employee of the year.
“Lucy always enjoys what she does whether she is at the pasta bar or driving the food truck in the summer,” Gelfenbien Commons dining unit manager Jim Kupchunos wrote. “Her laugh is infectious and you always know that she will have a joke to tell someone or a customer to brighten their day.”
The employees who received nominations are Stacy Radkovitch (Gelfenbien), Susan Palmes (Buckley), Jennifer Edwards (Catering), Kyle Davis (Bistro on Union Street), Lizbeth Robles (Cafes), Tuesday Howlett (Commissary), Lucinda Simms (Gelfenbien), Maria Trinidad (McMahon), Sonia Lam (North), Lisa Charbonneau (Northwest), Greg DeRoy (Putnam), Charlie String (South), Barbara Cote (Union Street) and Alma Oliver (Whitney).
“Units nominate someone to be their employee of the year,” Tanner said. “We take those nominees and have each unit manager write a paragraph about why that employee deserves the honor.”
Tanner said the nominees are all compiled and employees pick a single person to win the grand prize.
“We create a ballot,” Tanner said. “All the units vote on the dining-wide employee of the year and we give that out as a surprise.”
Tanner said the employee who wins the dining-wide competition receives a personal plaque and their name is placed on a board in the main dining services office with winners from previous years.
Employees also received longevity awards in recognition of their longtime commitment and service to the university.
Dorothy Hammerstrom and Michelle Perez received 20-year awards, Lori Howlett-Bill and Lorraine Kjellquist received 30-year awards, Linda Racicot received a 35-year award and Franklin Cameron received a 40-year award, according to an email from Tanner.
Although UConn dining services employs students in most of its dining units on campus, the workshop is mainly held for full-time adult workers who have been with the university for multiple years, Tanner said.
“This is mainly for full time kitchen staff,” Tanner said. “Plus, it is held over winter break.”
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.