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Civil Servants Recognised

Government and civil service officials share a proud moment with this year's FACE awardees. (L-R): FACE Award recipient Cleo Ebanks; Minister of Education  the Hon Alden McLaughlin, JP; FACE Award recipient Antoinette Johnson; HE Governor Stuart Jack CVO; FACE Coordinator Ailene Holder; FACE Award recipient Cornelia Oliver; Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks; Mrs Mariko Jack; Portfolio of the Civil Service Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues; FACE Award recipient Natasha Rivers, and FACE Award recipient Mary Rankine.

Five civil servants who excelled in customer service delivery during 2008 received Five Star Awards for Excellence (FACE) from His Excellency Governor Stuart Jack, CVO last Saturday (17 January).

This was the second year that the FACE Awards Government House ceremony has taken place.

The recipients were Government Information Services Information Officer Cornelia Oliver; Department of Immigration Temporary Work Permits Manager Cleo Ebanks; Department of Environmental Health Laboratory Manager Antoinette Johnson; Licensing Department Supervisor Mary Rankine, and Immigration Department Clerical Officer Natasha Rivers.

His Excellency the Governor said that all five represent the civil service at its best

"Cayman is blessed with people who are willing to go the extra mile," Mr Jack said.

"Our winners understand that when a member of the public calls or walks into our offices they do not care about the title an officer holds; he or she wants a response that is prompt, polite and which will make a difference," Mr Jack noted.

Welcoming the awardees, Portfolio of the Civil Service Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues noted that though there were only five winners, all 64 nominees were winners by virtue of having received the highest of accolades from clients and colleagues.

Speaking on behalf of the Leader of Government Business Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon Alden McLaughlin, JP, and Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks representing Chief Secretary the Hon. George McCarthy both congratulated the public servants for their exemplary work.

"You should be proud that your efforts to provide excellent customer service have been recognised by peers and clients. It should give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction to know that the extra effort that you make has clearly made a difference," Mr McLaughlin said.

For further information and full biographies of the winners visit the Face website at

What Others Say About the Awardees

Cornelia Oliver, Information Officer, Government Information Services, Length of service: 3 years, 10 months

Going the extra mile is her trademark, likewise her professionalism and unfailing courtesy. She will put in whatever hours are needed, go where and when required, and all without complaint in order to complete a task. Courteous even in 'testing' situations, she uses her skills to track down answers no matter how tedious or frustrating the task or query. If there is a delay, she will contact the client to provide an update and an explanation, with apologies if necessary. She believes that the job isn't finished unless reports and results are delivered. She is all about feedback!

She is exceptionally helpful, intelligent, efficient and supportive. She is one of the few people who seem to really understand the true immediacy of the modern media and the need to get information ASAP! She never tells journalists to go somewhere else to get information. Nothing ever seems too much for her and she always answers her phone and returns calls and emails which should not be an amazing thing but is! She is even helpful when she is not in the office and will answer questions or source information even when she is off duty. She is truly a star!

Cleo Ebanks, Manager, Temporary Work Permits, Immigration Department, Length of service: 18 years, 4 months

She has gone beyond all reasonable measures to help others. Even when she was on sick leave for back surgery and she was called on at home on many occasions, she would assist from her sick bed by telling you who could best assist in whatever section of Immigration you needed help. She is always willing, friendly and helpful with a beautiful Caymanian welcoming smile that makes you feel at ease and comfortable. She takes much pride in the clothes she wears. She is most polite and very understanding. She is an honest, reliable and very knowledgeable person who knows her work without hesitation.

She always follows through, often within very tight deadlines, and can be depended upon at all times to provide the right advice.

Antoinette Johnson, Laboratory Manager, Department of Environmental Health, Length of service: 14 years, 8 months

She does not let her job description determine her work capabilities. She is very flexible, working diligently in various areas. She maintains a polite and considerate attitude towards her clients and co-workers alike. She gives her best, and motivates others to do likewise. People have a lasting relationship with her because she treats them like family. She never lets a situation jeopardize her professionalism. She also tries to see things from the perspective of others.

She is always approachable, willing to listen and to provide great advice when needed. She provides her clients with an estimated time of completion, and tries to ensure that deadlines are met even if she has to do all the work herself.

She does not stop until the client is satisfied! She is willing to use her own resources to get the job done. Even when she was on long-term sick leave and in no condition to be working, she was still on the job!

Mary Rankine, Supervisor, Licensing Department, Length of service: 28 years, 3 months

Throughout the years she has remained consistent in customer service and dependability. More recently, she was promoted to the post of supervisor. Rarely is she away from work and rarely does she complain. Her concern is for her customers and staff. If there is a time when she is not sure or confident, she will seek the guidance and assistance of her manager. She will listen to what customers have to say and answer only if she is 100% certain. She addresses her customers as Sir/Madam regardless of their age. She will listen and then work on finding a solution. Sometimes her answers are NOT what the customers would like to hear, but in the end they walk away being appreciative of her efforts. She is fondly spoken of by her staff and her manager. It is not uncommon for her to be conversing with a total stranger (a customer) and ending with laughter.

Natasha Rivers, Clerical Officer, Immigration Department, Length of service: 08 months

She works at the front desk in Immigration. She is very courteous, pleasant and helpful. Her helpfulness really helped me because I am sure she expedited the signing of a letter that I required. By allowing me to pick it up [she] saved me quite a bit of time. True to her word, the letter was indeed ready when she said it would be! I am very appreciative that she went out of her way to assist me.

She is evidently well liked and appreciated by the other customers who were there. One of them asked me to submit one for her too because she wholeheartedly agreed that this recipient is an exceptional employee in the Department of Immigration.

Being at the front, she has had to deal with nice and not so nice people, BUT she has done a good job. She is very respectable, punctual and timely. She has a tough job but deals with it well even though she is new! Her customers go away feeling good.

For further information contact: Prudence Barnes