Four employees recognized for making HCJFS better

Four employees have been named winners of the agency’s ROCK STAR employee appreciation awards in the third quarter of 2018.

The four winners, chosen from a list of 20 nominees, are:

  • Jessica Mills, an eligibility technician in Workforce Development, in the Remarkable Single Acts category
  • Carol Langwald, a document managers in Information Systems, in the Sustained Excellence category
  • Robert Smith, an eligibility technician in Workforce Development, in the Outstanding Ongoing Acts of Sacrifice category 
  • Ashley Pelfrey, a Children’s Services manager, in the Creative, Innovative Ideas category 

Winners were nominated by their coworkers and chosen by the agency’s Employee Appreciation/Retention Committee. Employees recognized are Reliable, Outstanding, Creative and Knowledgeable employees who excel in Satisfaction, Teamwork, Attendance and Representing the agency in a positive light. They are ROCK STARs!

Mills was recognized after she received a complimentary e-mail from a consumer she assisted.  It read: “Hello Jessica, I was just in your office and I wanted to send you a quick email. I just want you to know that you are a very friendly, caring and sweet person (and I know that isn’t easy with your job). You have inspired me to go after my goals even harder and to bring myself out of the funk I have been in. I appreciate that you can relate to the fact that it isn’t easy after going through all that college and then not being experienced enough to get the job one wants right away. I thank you for your advice and the extra mile you went to help me find websites to get employment regarding my college education. I hope your dreams come true and maybe we will meet again on the professional side one day! Keep up the good work.”

Langwald was actually nominated by two of her colleagues. One wrote: “Carol is just an incredible manager that exhibits professionalism and excellence in every facet of her job duties. I have had the privilege of working with her quite a bit over the past few years while leading the Morale Committee in FAA3. Even if given short notice for print materials, Carol not only ensures deadlines are met, but often takes extra time to visually enhance documents. Over the past few months, Carol has assisted me greatly in creating new agency forms and training materials for Workforce Development. I just cannot say enough about the quality of her work, professionalism, and dedication in completing her job duties.” 

The other wrote: “I really could have written this nomination for any of the Rock Star Categories, but Sustained Excellence is certainly appropriate. Carol Langwald is in a critical role here at the agency, a role she continues to define by adapting and responding to the ever-increasing needs of her customers with the obvious objective of helping us be more effective. She is not merely responsive to requests, she considers each request and how she can best provide what is needed, usually by providing more than we ask, and doing so with exceptional efficiency. She helps set us up for success, because her own standards are so high. Many of us who have the pleasure of working with her never realize how much she is doing simultaneously for other internal customers, we just count on her effort being first rate in every interaction because she consistently delivers that at every interaction. I know when I or one of my colleagues ask for her help, we will get so much more. She has such expert and valuable skills that she makes everything she produces look much easier that it is and she makes everything we produce with her assistance – so much better. Carol personifies the characteristics this program is designed to recognize, she is the rock so many of us lean on, and her performance is a shining example. Most recently we concluded a significant project and turned to her throughout the process, but especially in the final stretch, when our team was exhausted and short tempered and frustrated with last minute obstacles. When we asked for Carol’s help with an incredibly tight deadline, she delivered, again so much more than what we asked. If we needed something formatted, she did so and suggested a clearer layout of the information, if we needed something posted through DocuShare to the web, she offered suggestions about how to link and structure the links more efficiently. Her work ethic is inspirational, and she demonstrates the grace of public service, that really elevates what we all do. I am so proud to work with her and enthusiastically offer this nomination.”

Smith was called out for the special care he shows his homeless consumers: “Mr. Smith has a very special nature when it comes to our homeless. Within this department, there are many homeless participants. I have observed the empathy and compassion that Mr. Smith has when greeting populations that some would not be comfortable in greeting up close. Once it is acknowledge that they are homeless or out of prison, Mr. Smith comes from behind the desk to greet them close and personable. He never complains about their appearance, he greets with a hand shake and gives instruction until they understand what is required of them. They return and request him by name with their check list of required documentation. Again, his greeting is … “How are you, Sir?” “How are you Ma-am?” I know he does this agency proud with respect, empathy and compassion that every human being deserves when seeking out their basic needs for survival. I am honored to work with him and learn from him. He gives out information for community resources to the homeless — where they can go and receive a hot bath , hot meals, free clothing, for the men and women. Mr. Smith, sets a standard of excellence in outstanding customer service for the working, homeless, youth, ex-offenders, and seasoned participants…Mr. Smith executes his job with respect. It is my honor and privilege to nominate Mr. Robert Smith for the Rock Star Award.”

Pelfrey was recognized for creating a library of resources for her team. “Ashley was recently promoted to Assessment Supervisor and she has hit the ground running with implementing creative ideas in order to help her team of new workers grow through the training process. Not only does she put her daily focus and energy on making sure her workers have all the tools and guidance they need to succeed at the agency, but she has started a journey in creating something that all CPS workers can enjoy and benefit from. Ashley has started a library on the shelves that sit next to her desk, containing books that are encouraging and relevant to the dynamic population the agency serves. She compiled a wish list of books that are relevant for adults, as well as a list for children who have experienced different types of trauma. She has sent letters to authors and publishers to ask for donations of their books, and has donated books of her own. She has reached out to the community through social media, asking for books that relate to the traumatic situations faced by our clients and workers alike on a daily basis. She has received an overwhelming response from the community with recommendations, donations, and has already gotten word back from a publishing company stating that they are happy to donate the book she requested, and a copy of the author’s newest book as well. Ashley’s mission to encourage her staff and the agency as a whole is evident through her contagious positive attitude and through her actions led by compassionate goals that shine through her role as a manager. Ashley embodies the qualities of a great leader because not only does she seek to effectively manage her team, but to teach them and impart a comprehensive set of principles and standards for which they can use in the field to better serve families.”  

Other nominees included:

  • Heather Andrews, a worker in Children’s Services
  • Audrey Burgest, an order modification technician in Child Support
  • Tawnya Carpenter, an employment services technician at the OhioMeansJobs Center
  • Jamie Ireland, an employment services technician at the OhioMeansJobs Center
  • Precious Jasper, an eligibility technician in Family and Adult Assistance
  • Dionne Johnson, an eligibility technician in Family and Adult Assistance
  • Angie Jordan, a manager in Utilization Management
  • Anna Marchiony, a worker in Children’s Services
  • Allison Marker, a worker in Children’s Services
  • Debra Nies, a manager in Utilization Management
  • Heather Rammel, a worker in Children’s Services
  • Kacie Rolfes, a manager in Children’s Services
  • Melissa Stokley, a manager in Workforce Development
  • Raven Terry, a worker in Children’s Services
  • Adrienne Troxell a worker in Children’s Services
  • Stephanie Wells, a worker in Children’s Services

The ROCK STAR program is designed to recognize employees who go above and beyond and really stand out for the service they provide their fellow employees and agency customers.

The premise behind the ROCK STAR program is that this agency is the rock this community leans on during hard times, and employees are the rocks the agency leans on. And, when an employee does outstanding work, they are a shining star for their co-workers.

Nominees can win for any single act of exemplary service, ongoing acts of sacrifice, creative and innovative ideas or simply sustained excellence at doing their job. Any winner must also have good attendance and consistently solid performance and behavior


by Ashley Woods

Filed Under: News

Tagged: department of hamilton county job and family services, food assistance, foster youth, hamilton county department of job and family services, moira weir, public assistance