May 10, 2004

Employees honored for service and support

BLACKSTONE, Va. – In recognition of employee appreciation, the town of Blackstone together with the Virginia Department of Military Affairs hosted a cook out and awards ceremony held in the Blackstone Memorial Center.

Larry Palmore, Town Manager of Blackstone, gave a short speech thanking the Blackstone employees along with the National Guard for the outstanding work they do, especially citing the job well done after Hurricane Isabel and the quick restoration of the town of Blackstone in the aftermath.

Maj. Gen. Claude Williams presided over the ceremony and handed out the awards assisted by Brig. Gen. Bert W. Holmes. General Williams spoke on the various types of employees here at Fort Pickett. “Whether they are Security on Fort Pickett or VAPA, everybody working together gets the job done” he said. In his view the awards ceremony is a small way to show appreciation for the employees here.   He wanted to come up with “innovative ways to help employees monetarily” and   the awards ceremony was a small example.

The awards ceremony consisted of presentations for employees serving for five, 15 and 20 years with each employee receiving a plaque and a blue, gold trimmed ceramic cup. Mary S. Sunderlin was recognized for 35 years of outstanding service to the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. She received a plaque, small silver cup, a $250 check and 40 hours paid leave.

The Employee of the Year award went to Carolyn Slaw dispatcher for the Fort Pickett Police Department. Due to understaffing at the department this past year, Shaw worked double shifts and changed her days off to ensure schedule coverage, all without complaint. She received a plaque, a check for $1000 and 40 hours of paid leave.

The Team Impact Award for the group demonstrating outstanding performance was presented to the section of Department of Public Works/Roads and Grounds Branch of the Department of Military Affairs. As a result of Hurricane Isabel, Sheeps Log Dam was destroyed. This lake served as a major firebreak and provided valuable training resources for the Navy Seals. This extraordinary team pooled their resources and not only rebuilt the dam but also the boat ramp at Sheeps Log. Their efforts saved the MTC over $90,000.

Recognition awards for outstanding work performance netted employees a check for $250 while individual Impact Awards gave time off up to 40 hours for extra ordinary customer service. Between the checks and the paid days off, employees left feeling very much appreciated.


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