2013 Employee Excellence Awards

By Laurie Phillips

On Wednesday, September 25th,  Michelle Thevenin, executive director,  announced the winners of the MHS Employee Excellence Awards. Each year, this award is presented to recognize outstanding employees and their contributions to MHS. Any MHS staff member or volunteer is invited to nominate someone, giving their reasons as to why they feel that staff person is a candidate for the award.

The criteria for the MHS Employee Excellence Award are:

  • Must be an MHS employee for at least 90 days
  • Demonstrates excellence in their daily work and notable contribution to a department or project
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude towards co-workers, volunteers and customers
  • Excels as a team player and projects a teamwork attitude
  • Contributes to positive staff morale
  • Goes above and beyond expectations
  • Represents MHS, the mission and staff in a positive manner to customers, volunteers, donors and the public

Past winners have included Alice Sears, Beth Doyle,  Sam Mathewes and Rachel Bostrom.

This year’s winners are Michelle Maillet, Vet Technician; Debra Watson, Boarding/Daycare Technician; and Emily Kerylow, Shelter Manager.  Below are the nomination narratives received from co-workers.

Michelle Maillet has been with MHS for over 3 years and she demonstrates excellence in her daily work in the clinic. She is always helping out, making sure the instruments and linens are clean. She is reliable and always there to answer a medical question. She has a good attitude and is always friendly with the staff. Her work in the spay/neuter clinic provides a much needed service to the public. She is always willing to learn and is organized. She is friendly and knowledgeable and always has a smile on her face.

She has great compassion for every animal that walks in our doors and is also a great team player.  She pretty much organizes the entire medical department to ensure all animals are getting seen in a timely fashion and keeps open communication with the Coordinators.  She keeps a positive attitude.

Deb Watson  Deb truly embodies the MHS values and every day at work, she provides an example to all who encounter her, of those values.

Community:  Deb projects a caring and reassuring attitude to all whom she encounters; customers, “parents” and co-workers. She provides peace of mind to all the daycare and boarding parents by her demonstrations of love and affection with their pets and takes careful notes of important care and feeding instructions. You can see how much she cares about each individual animal just by her actions.

Compassion:  “Kindness, empathy and grace” are clearly evident in all Deb’s daily encounters with those pets entrusted in our care, as well as the emotions and feelings of the “pet parents” who are attached to those pets. Many “parents” are nervous or have never left their “kids” before and they always leave here feeling confident that great care will be given to their furry loved ones.

Excellence:  Deb provides a level on excellence which is unsurpassed by her co-workers. She provides a sense of quality control to Boarding and Daycare, by gently reminding us of forgotten tasks, yet inspiring me to be and do greater than I am. She is the “glue” that holds us all together. When things get crazy and rough, Deb is always there with encouragement and a smile, which helps us keep on going!

Flexibility:  Deb is always ready to help out when we are short-staffed. She will even offer to work part of a weekend day if needed. She usually voices her availability and willingness to help, even before I have a chance to ask her. Her flexibility is also demonstrated by her ability to think on her feet and creative problem solve, whether to find a place for a pet to stay while waiting for another to move out of his/her reserved room or to find a way to make someone more comfortable, ie.,  Kong, buster cube, rug on the floor, different crate, etc.

Serenity:  As already stated, Deb provides peace of mind to all “pet parents” she encounters. She also provides peace of mind to me and to our volunteers. If I leave early or have a day off, I know things will be well taken care of while I am away and all our “kids” will be as safe and as stress free as possible. I also can rest assured that all the humans whether volunteer; co-worker or customer will be treated with the utmost respect as well.

Trust:  You can trust that if Deb says she will do something, she will. If something needs to be done, whether it is her direct responsibility or not, she will do her best to be sure it gets taken care of.

In summary, Deb Watson deserves recognition for her outstanding care of customers, co-workers, volunteers and the pets that are in our care. She takes extreme pride in a job well done and has consistently applied the MHS values to her daily work and life. She is an invaluable member of Boarding and Daycare as well as MHS!

Written by Linda Thompson, Deb’s supervisor

 Emily Kerylow – Little did Emily know when she took a vet tech job at MHS eight years ago that her life was about to change forever.  What she probably thought was just a new opportunity to put her medical training and skills to work was the beginning of a new life’s passion and expanding awareness of the big picture of animal welfare.

Emily has put that passion, her love for animals, and a compassion for people into every facet of her work here.  Starting out as vet tech, her job morphed into medical manager/feline manager, and ultimately she was formally named shelter manager, though she had been taking on the responsibilities and displaying the leadership that go along with the job description long before it was made official.

Em quite simply keeps this place running.  She is our mom, our shepherd, and our air-traffic controller all in one.  She makes sure the right people are in the right places at the right time, with the right tools (physical, intellectual, and emotional) to grow in their jobs.  And she does it all with a smile, love, and patience.  She is her staff’s and colleagues’ biggest champion and fiercest defender.  She has been a valued sounding board and support for the rest of the shelter staff as well as managers in other departments.

There is seemingly nothing Em can’t handle here – whether it’s directing traffic flow when there are 40 dogs and 200 cats in the building, talking to a bereaved and angry pet owner, or helping a new shelter tech learn how to get that cat out of that cage without getting her face ripped off. Perhaps what is most impressive about all of Em’s skills and accomplishment is that she does it all without fanfare.  Her value to this organization, to its people, and to its animals has not been properly publicly appreciated.  Hopefully this award is a step toward remedying that.

Em, we truly do not know (or want to know) what we would do without you.  Thank you for being you and doing all you do!

Written by Stephanie Frommer, Emily’s supervisor and colleague