Four employees honored for exemplary service

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

The four winners, chosen from a list of six nominations, are:

  • Sonya Bass, a home provider specialist in Child Care, in the Creative, Innovative Ideas category
  • Mickey Frimming, a 241-KIDS hotline worker in Children’s Services, in the Remarkable Single Acts category
  • Stephanie Hunter, a Children’s Services worker, in the Sustained Excellence category
  • Dionne Johnson, an eligibility technician in Family and Adult Assistance, in the Outstanding Ongoing Acts of Sacrifice 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!

Sonya was called out for her innovative efforts to ensure team connections: “Sonya is a hard worker. She goes out of her way to make new people feel welcome and she also creates new and fun ways for everyone in the unit to get to know one another. She decorates the board outside of Judy Leonard’s office every month or season. The board always lists inspirational quotes/messages/pictures about the unit working together. She also created a game for the entire unit to get to know one another. She sent emails to every manager and employee in Adult Protective Services, Childcare and NET. She wanted everyone to get a chance to really engage and learn things about someone. She said the unit is so large that often we never see everyone, but she wanted to make sure we were ALL included. She even reaches out to each new hire and has everyone sign a welcome sign for them. I helped her with organizing a large food day/secret santa gift giveaway. It included everyone in the unit and she made sure to reach out to everyone involved, sometimes stopping by their desks to gain feedback. She greets new hires and is always trying to create new and fun ways for us to work as a team. She often sends out emails full of positivity which boost the morale of our unit. She is always trying to bring positivity into the lives of others. I have known her since middle school and she was always a caring and giving person. I believe Sonya deserves this award because she goes out of her way to do so many things for others. It will be nice to see her get something back too.”

Frimming was lauded for recognizing a fraud situation: “Mickey Frimming is a 241-KIDS intake screener in the Children’s Services Division. When Ms. Frimming was screening in an intake, she took extra steps to ensure she had all of the information she needed regarding all of the adults involved with this family. While going through the extra steps, she discovered a person was receiving benefits from HCJFS for a child who was not in their care, the child was actually in foster care. Due to Ms. Frimming’s diligence in doing her job, the information was given to the HCJFS Fraud Unit. The end result is the person was convicted of fraud and will now pay the agency back over $21,000. As a tax payer and an employee, I really appreciate the extra effort Ms. Frimming puts into her job as she is working to keep children safe and also looking out for her community.”

Hunter was called out for her professionalism and team work: “Stephanie has been with HCJFS for a little over one year now. Stephanie always demonstrates a professional and positive attitude when interacting with her team, co-workers, community members, and families. Stephanie has positive and engaging relationships with her clients. Stephanie has received multiple praises from the Prosecutor’s Office regarding her professionalism, timeliness, and ability to engage her families. Stephanie is a team player and is always willing to assist her teammates wherever needed. Stephanie often assists without being asked, and always completes tasks with a willing attitude. Stephanie should be recognized for her ongoing excellence and proficiency in her job.”

Johnson was recognized for her work on a hearing resolution team: “Dionne is consistently a TEAM PLAYER who goes above and beyond her duties in FAA3. Dionne loves seeing people win and exceed and will help you in any way she can; if you need help she is onboard. Dionne is a case worker for FAA3 and due to her extended knowledge of the section, she has been asked to be a part of the new implementation of the hearing resolution team. Dionne dived into this role with both feet, recruited others who she knew had the same drive and determination to get the job done, and together they have decreased the number of hearings by reaching out to our clients for resolution prior to the hearing dates. These calls are not always easy, and due to her quick resolutions, the number of hearings for our department have decreased drastically, allowing her other team members to focus on caseloads. This one sacrifice not only improves our client experience, but our unit as a whole can focus on other duties. Since the merge of our system, Dionne has taken the bulls by the horn and has not only made sure that she is aware of policies and procedures, but consistently sacrifices her time to help those in our unit adapt as well. Just this past Christmas, Dionne took the time to purchase her whole team gifts, without asking for anything in return. The smile and excitement on her face was enough to brighten our day. This is just another example of her Outstanding ongoing acts. There were a few categories that I considered nominating her for, however the word “sacrifice” describes the character of Dionne. On a personal note: Dionne is a dedicated mother of four who spends a lot of time with her children and the extra duties that Dionne takes on for our team are a daily sacrifice. Dionne is often here still working once everyone has left the building just to ensure that our client’s cases are corrected, and they are able to feed their own children. I’m sure a lot of people were nominated for this category, but what sets Dionne apart from anyone else is the excitement she has while doing outstanding ongoing acts. Dionne loves to help others. We work in an environment where it’s so easy to just focus on your own work and choose not to go the extra mile to help others, so it’s important that we give credit where credit is due. Dionne’s recognition is overdue. Way to go Dionne! Please don’t ever stop having the drive and determination you hold for the team. We appreciate your teamwork and daily sacrifices that you make for our team You are my ROCK STAR!

Other nominees included:

  • Jamie Ireland, an employment services technician at the OhioMeansJobs Center
  • Cynthia Frietch, an employment services technician at the OhioMeansJobs Center
  • Kelly Herbers, an employment services technician at the OhioMeansJobs Center
  • Bonita Wood, a workforce development program manager at the OhioMeansJobs Center


by Ashley Woods

Filed Under: News

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