Does the Staff Recognition Awards ceremony just spontaneously occur? I wish that were possible, but so far the ceremony elves have failed to show up every year. So, then, how does it happen? I bet you’d be amazed by the things that go on behind the scenes – I know I am!
All summer long, the Selection Committee was hard at work reviewing all the information on the nominees and choosing the ones they found to be the best of the best. It was no easy task, and Staff Council is very grateful to Mille Alverio, Cliff Edington, Anna Fiorucci, Becky Kiely, Nina Lalka, Jeremiah Parry-Hill, Ada Rodriguez-Elliott and Dan Stafford for their amazing dedication. And weeks ago, Elizabeth Lamark and her folks at ETC photo spent a number of days taking the portraits of all 54 nominees. If you’ve ever tried to get your extended family together for a photo, you can begin to imagine the scheduling acrobatics that went into making that happen!
When the day arrived, a whole bunch of people doing a whole bunch of things really well made this year’s ceremony and reception the best yet. Early in the morning, Tech Crew had Ingle prepped and ready to go. They are the best – knowledgeable and accommodating and perhaps most importantly, adaptable! While they were busy in the auditorium, Brick City Catering was hard at work in the kitchen making the goodies for the reception – their expertise was evident (and appreciated!) in every bite. Over in the HUB, the finishing touches were put on the programs (10 pages printed, trimmed, folded, stapled and delivered right on time!). Of course, in the back-background was the FMS crew, quietly and capably setting the room up for everyone’s enjoyment – too easily taken for granted simply because they always do everything so well!
Finally, 10:00 arrived. All was ready – the flowers (Floral FX) and crystal (Lamont Awards & Apparel) were on stage, the lights were dimmed. The opening was signaled by the beautiful voice of Jonathan Ntheketha leading the Star Spangled Banner and RIT Alma Mater – a fabulous way to begin the festivities. Molly Johnson and Becky Kiely happily introduced our special guests - President Bill Destler, Trustee Judy von Bucher, Trustee Emeritus Dancy Duffus, and of course the phenomenal nominees!
After warm remarks by Ms. von Bucher, the 2011 Staff Recognition Award recipients were announced. The excitement in the air was palpable as Becky recounted stories of dedication and inspiration that recipients Laurie Ackles, Michelle Bishop-Utano, Liane Fitzgerald, Jennifer Hinton and Bill St. Jean consider “all in a day’s work.” A special moment came when the Dancy Duffus Outstanding Citizenship award was presented to Brian Haygood by Mrs. Duffus herself. Then President Destler shared some of the amazing stories of nominees taking special care of our students, noting that, “If our retention is improving, these are some of the reasons why!”
All of this activity had to be coordinated so everything happened at the right time – the Staff Council Events Committee began putting it all into motion before classes even began this fall. THANK YOU from Staff Council to the many people who made the ceremony and reception memorable events.
To see a history of the Staff Council Award Nominees & recipients please visit the Staff Council: Staff Recognition Awards page.