Vinton Treasurer and Finance Director Anne Cantrell has been named the 2018 Vinton Employee of the Year. The announcement was made by Vinton Mayor Brad Grose at the annual Employee Holiday Luncheon at the Vinton War Memorial on December 11.
The Town of Vinton established the Employee of the Year Award in 2016 to honor employees who have served the town and its citizens in an exceptional manner by exemplifying outstanding service, while exhibiting a positive and supportive attitude. The recipient is nominated by co-workers and selected by a committee.
Lydia Verdillo from the Finance Department was the first to receive the honor in November 2016, followed by Police Chief Tom Foster in 2017.
This year 11 employees were nominated by their co-workers to receive the Employee of the Year award. Several of them were nominated more than once.
Nominees for 2018 were: Jill Acker (Public Works), Chasity Barbour (Vinton War Memorial), Anne Cantrell (Finance), Kevin Craighead (Public Works), Valerie Cummings (Police Department), Fabricio Drumond (Police Department), Corey Gee (Fire and EMS), Anita McMillan (Planning and Zoning), Kevin Orange (Public Works), Pete Peters (Administration), and Fred Sink (Public Works).
Some of the outstanding traits displayed by Anne Cantrell mentioned on the nomination forms submitted anonymously were that she:
• Goes above and beyond to serve both citizens and town employees
• Radiates positivity that is felt throughout the department
• Is a team player everyday
• Is dedicated to the town, the citizens, employees, and the department
• Is greatly respected among staff, peers, and other town employees
• Leads by example
• Invites irate citizens into the office to sit down and discuss grievances
• Is a great listener to everyone: citizens, staff, town employees, and peers
• Has a comforting personality that diffuses all situations, is diplomatic
• As stressful as her job is, it never shows
• She presses forward with great enthusiasm
• A true professional in every sense of the word
• Incredibly honest
• True to staff, citizens, and her faith
• Is the embodiment of integrity
• Has always proven to be a steady hand for the team, creating cohesiveness among the staff and inspiring them to be more productive and efficient
• Maintains the highest standards morally and ethically
• Sets the standard for the office and fosters a culture that promotes growth of individuals personally and professionally
• Makes the town a positive place of employment through her attitude and dedication to her position
• Has instituted numerous policies that improved efficiency in the department and saved the town time and money
• Is very attentive to details and fiscally responsible of Vinton funds
• Has added a lot to the Town of Vinton to make it an up and coming town
One colleague said in nominating Cantrell that she “reminds me of this quote ‘Leadership is not about a title or designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results; influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work; you have to inspire teammates and customers.’”
Cantrell said she was especially honored to follow Lydia Verdillo and Chief Foster in receiving the Employee of the Year Award.
“We have a great team in Vinton; we work well together,” Cantrell said. “It’s not me, it’s the whole team and the department behind me.”
She thanked Town Manager Barry Thompson and Town Council for their leadership.
In his remarks to open the program, Thompson said to the 80-some employees who attended that “we have lots to be proud of as a team in Vinton; it’s been a tremendous year” and “we appreciate the hard work you do every day.”
Mayor Grose told the town employees that “Vinton is a great place to live and work because of you.”
Nominee Jill Acker was commended on nomination forms for always having a good attitude, being a great role model, possessing great customer service skills, always going above her job requirements, for her professional demeanor, always being a team player, and always being willing to help others.
Chasity Barbour has a “Can-Do” attitude and always has a smile on her face. “If there is a mountain in her way, she is going to figure out a way to move it.” She “thinks outside the box to see a task through.” She “gives a great face to the War Memorial.” “With her help the Town of Vinton will have a better tomorrow than the day before.” “Chasity has a unique gift in that she can interact with anyone at any time.” “She has a unique combination of being able to operate with a practical awareness of her clients’ needs, while balancing the financial management of her facility, and also being technically proficient with the building’s mechanical systems and service contracts.”
Kevin Craighead was commended for “his commitment to getting the job done in the best way possible,” for going the extra mile, fairness, his positive attitude, working well with the team, his sense of humor that “keeps everyone laughing in a tough job”— he “always puts someone in a better mood.” He is an excellent crew leader and is thoughtful of the handicapped he encounters in his job.
Valerie Cummings was nominated for “wearing many hats,” having a positive “vibe” and attitude, exemplifying interpersonal skills necessary in her supervisory position, and her hard work in helping the police department to once again earn re-accreditation.
Fabricio Drumond was nominated for showing dedication to all of his employees and “taking their requests seriously and really looking into options to come to a good conclusion.” “He is constantly working extra hard on projects for the betterment of the department.” “He is on a very personal level with all employees of the department and shows genuine concern to everyone he works with.” “Everyone enjoys working with Captain Drumond on every level.”
Corey Gee was praised for constantly seeking training opportunities to sharpen his skills as an EMS provider. “His attention to detail and bedside manner is second to none. He treats patients as if they were his family.” “He is one to be counted on for support,” and as for his appearance, “you can shave in his boots due to the shine.”
Anita McMillan was nominated for “knowing her job forwards and backwards and sharing that knowledge with others.” She is “a great decision maker, even when it is a difficult one, a great problem solver, and negotiator when issues arise.” “She gives 110 percent on all the projects she works on.” “Anita is a wonderful, dedicated, caring town employee.” “Her administration of grants has revolutionized the entire streetscape and economic development of Vinton.”
Kevin Orange was nominated “for going above and beyond to get any job done,” and being a positive role model for his co-workers. “He has a small-town common courtesy.” “He’s a good co-worker, but a better friend.” “He has a good relationship with citizens of Vinton as well as his co-workers.”
Pete Peters was nominated for his “positive, confident attitude.” “He excels in establishing relationships within the business community; he is committed to making Vinton the place “to live, shop, work, eat, and play.” He is a “hands-on administrator” who never hesitates to pitch-in to get the job done. “He is an exceptional communicator with the ability to work with governmental officials and business developers as well as town employees at all levels.” “He is never dismissive to the ideas of other town employees or community stakeholders.” “One has only to look at the incredible progress our town has made since his appointment as Director of Economic Development including projects at the Roland E. Cook Lofts, the William Byrd Apartments, Twin Creeks, Colonial Downs, Vinton Motors, Macado’s, and the Lancerlot. He has literally changed the face of Vinton.” “No job is beneath him. On any given day he can be found working with multi-million-dollar developers, only later to be found putting trash containers out for a concert of festival.” “He instills confidence in others.” “Business leaders have stated how ‘easy it is to work with Vinton’ due in large part to the incredible skill and work ethic of Pete Peters.”
Fred Sink was nominated for his positive attitude, hard work, listening to the requests of others, being timely, and being excellent at his job.
Several employees were recognized for their years of service to the Town of Vinton. Chris Weikel, Cory Kitzmiller, Michael Caldwell, and Bonnie Stevens were acknowledged for five years of service; Scott Hurt, William Crumpacker, and Jason Davison for 10 years; Fred Sink and Barry Custer for 15 years.
Vinton Special Programs Director Mary Beth Layman, who is retiring at the end of the month, was thanked for her 39 years of service to the town. She thanked town employees for “making it special to work here.”
The luncheon was organized by the Employee Recognition Committee made up of Donna Collins, GinaMarie Overstreet, Chasity Barbour, Susan Johnson, Mary Beth Layman, Jessica Parker, and Bonnie Stevens. Jerry’s Restaurant catered the event.