DG's Employee of the Year
Ms Venice Tatum, an Administrative Secretary at the Cayman Brac Police Station, walked away with the coveted Deputy Governor's Award for Employee of the Year.
The second annual award ceremony was held on Wednesday, 15 October 2014, and was hosted by Her Excellency the Governor, Helen Kilpatrick at Government House.
Deputy Governor, Hon. Franz Manderson, presented the award to Ms Tatum to the loud cheers of her fellow nominees, elected officials including Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, senior civil servants and nominees' family members.
Announcing the 12 finalists, Chief Officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service, Mrs. Gloria McField-Nixon shared details of the many accomplishments of the nominees who were also selected as Employees of the Month during the year.
The nominees were: Ms Tracey Gale (July 2013); Ms Julia King (August 2013), Ms Doris Morris-Herrera (September 2013), Ms Tatum (October 2013), Ms Ingrid Spence (November 2013), Mr. Herbert Tomlinson (December 2013), Mr. Lloyd McField (January 2014), Mr. Harry Forbes (February 2014), Ms Jenine Stewart (March 2014), Mr. Jeremy O'Sullivan (April 2014), Ms Karen Christian (May 2014) and Mr. Thoywell Facey (June 2014).
Ms McField-Nixon introduced Ms Tatum as one who exemplifies efficiency and professionalism and goes beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. She noted that Ms Tatum ably meets customer demands at all levels without compromising her official role in any way. "Her unblemished service reputation has earned her the love, admiration and respect of the Sister Islands community and beyond. Her loyalty, diligence, and commitment are incomparable," the Chief Officer added.
Commending each one of them on a job well done, the Governor noted the awards programme recognises outstanding civil servants for their hard work and dedication to the service over the financial year. She emphasised that the Deputy Governor developed the programme to recognise and promote excellence as well as to endorse the many positive contributions being made each day within the civil service. "It seems clear these examples abound," she commented.
The Governor said the Employee of the Year would serve almost as an ambassador for the civil service for the next 12 months and added, "This is a very important position at a very important time. The civil service is at a cross-roads and your colleagues will be looking around for positive role models."
The Deputy Governor shared how difficult his decision was when it came to selecting the overall winner from among the best in the civil service during the year. In the final analysis, there was only a very small degree of separation between the nominees who each had compelling nominations and achieved outstanding annual appraisals, he revealed.
Quoting the Premier, he said that despite the relentless negativity, by and large, the public service comprises hardworking, dedicated and able people who strive every day to serve the country well, for which they receive little appreciation.
He added he was seriously proud to be the head of a service comprised of such high calibre representatives. He advised them to influence other civil servants with their brand of excellence.
He quoted Mahatma Gandhi to say: "A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so." He told the nominees: "You understand very clearly what is expected of you when serving our customers."
Finally, Mr. Manderson quoted Starbucks Coffee CEO Howard Schultz to say, "Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can't expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don't exceed the employees' expectations of management." He added, "We as managers also have the duty to exceed expectations."
In addition to the finalists, he mentioned two other civil servants who performed exceptionally well during the year. The first was Mr. Fisher Porter in the Facilities Management Department who is known for his never-failing amiability in carrying out his duties, for his pride in his work and his outstanding work ethic. The second was government veterinarian Dr. Samantha Dorman who spent Christmas eve and day in a barn tending to a very sick animal. He also thanked the civil service's first Employee of the Year, Mr. Nicolas McLean for his exceptional representation during the year.
Responding to the award, Ms Tatum said she was extremely pleased to win the award, which was a tremendous honour. Noting she strives her best to provide the highest customer service possible to both customers and colleagues, Ms Tatum commented, "Winning this award is unbelievable and I am just over the moon!"
Acknowledging there were many other hardworking and dedicated civil servants in the Sister Islands, she called for more nominations from there.
For further information contact: Bina Mani