HCJFS Names Second Quarter ROCK STARS

Four employees have been named winners of the agency’s ROCK STAR employee appreciation awards in the second quarter of 2017.

The four winners, chosen from a list of 11 nominees, are:

Tim Dingler, a Workforce Development program manager, in the Creative, Innovative Ideas category

Angel Larkins-Dunn, an eligibility technician in Family and Adult Assistance, in the Remarkable Single Acts category

Ellen Diersing, a Children’s Services manager, in the Sustained Excellence category

Kelley Sullivan, a printer in Information Systems, in the Outstanding Ongoing Acts of Sacrifice

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!


Dingler was recognized for his work on a program that enrolls food assistance recipients in truck driving school. Dingler has led the new program – which re cently recei ved national recognition, since its inception. “Tim Dingler helped conceive of, and lead, the implementation of our Trucking Partnership, which was chosen by the National Association of Counties as one of the nation’s 100 most innovative government programs. The partnership helps train food assistance recipients to become truck drivers. This program started with 12 participants and 7 are currently working jobs where they earn an average of $47,000 annually This is not only a great program that helps people, but it has drawn the attention of a national organization that has named it as one of 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work. Tim has done the major grunt work on this project and deserves recognition as a ROCK STAR.”

Larkins-Dunn was called out for “I think being a “rock star” encapsulates a lot of different things—confidence, hard work, dedication, and of course the ability to literally rock the world! I (Customer Service officer) contacted her late yesterday because we had been dealing with a difficult consumer. Angel, from my first inquiry into the case, was totally justifiable in her actions regarding the case. I asked her if she could look at it tomorrow (today). She said she would; I assured her there was not pressure because she has time left to process. I stayed at work almost an extra hour and a half dealing with this customer. Needless to say, as soon as I logged in, I had messages from the consumer, as well as our communications officer, Brian. I looked at the case again and it was authorized, which meant Angel did it YESTERDAY, when I got off the phone with her, even though it was time for her to leave when I called. I thought that was an exceptional show of customer service and compassion. She put the customer’s and the agency’s needs first. Not only am very appreciative of her initiative, professionalism, and diligence but I’m also proud to call her a coworker. YOU ROCK!”


Diersing was actually nominated by four different JFS employees. Here is what one had to say: “I came to Intake with two other workers and Ellen Diersing to form a new unit in Children’s Services. Although she had many years of experience in Children’s Services Ongoing, Ellen was also new to Intake. It took no time at all for her newly developed unit to feel comfortable and secure with her at the helm. We quickly found Ellen to be intelligent, kind-hearted, honest, truthful, dependable and compassionate. She is a confident manager and comfortable in her position. Over my 30 years in this field, I have had many supervisors. Ellen stands out as one of the most effective and pragmatic leaders I have worked with, both in and out of the Children’s Services’ system. Her common-sense approach, along with her clinical expertise, creates skills that are not only remarkable but are certainly characteristic of an up and coming leader.”


Sullivan was nominated twice. Once, after an outside county employee wrote a letter to her manager commending her for always going above and beyond when assisting with printing jobs from other county agencies, and another by one of her JFS coworkers. “Kelley Sullivan has on numerous occasions gone above and beyond in her job duties while assisting when copies are needed. On numerous occasions she has assisted with providing copies at the last minute when needed for trainings, speaking engagements and other activities for the agency. Without dedicated workers like Ms. Sullivan, the agency staff would not be able to complete their tasks effectively. She is a prime example of Sustained Excellence.”

Other nominees included:

— Roslyn Fields, Children’s Services’ worker

— Robert Vandenburg, manager in Performance Improvement

— William Stonecipher, FAA eligibility technician

— Laura Clifton, FAA eligibility technician

— Shonna Barnes, Customer Service Officer

— Abria Drummonds, Customer Service Officer

— Ajana Thomas, Children’s Services Manager

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.

Nominations for the third quarter of 2017 are now being accepted. To nominate a fellow employee, look for the ROCK STAR page under Tools on the intranet home page (http://intranet.hcjfs.org/rock-stars/)

You’ll find the guidelines and categories and a link to the nomination form. Nominators must pick a category and know the name of the nominee’s section chief, who will approve the nomination.

The next round of winners will be chosen in October. Please get your nominations in now and remember, you can nominate someone again if they did not win this time.

by Ashley Woods

Filed Under: News

Tagged: hamilton county department of job and family services, hamilton county job and family services, hamiltonc ounty job and family services, welfare, Workforce Development