The purpose at hand today is to look back at our notes that we made during the year on the people that stood out as exemplary employees.
This year was no different then any other year in the regards that we always have some standout employees that contributed above and beyond expectations. Every year we are humbled by the nominations that we get for the Employee of the year, and it’s a challenge to single out one individual, from the list of exceptional candidates, who best represented Sho-Link’s Core Values.
This year being anything but normal has produced some excellent nominations for the recognition. The discussions about the nominations were strong and clearly spelled out the accomplishments, contributions, and overall performance of each nominee.
Although our year was cut short, which left fewer opportunities for city managers and their field crews to excel and support our culture and each other, the personal sacrifices that it was necessary everyone make were handled with grace and often with offers to sacrifice more, so others would suffer less. It would have been quite easy to award the entire Sho-Link team with the honor.
This year, we made the decision, after much discussion, that two candidates stood out significantly but equally for their contributions. So, in the vein of nothing being normal this year, we are going to award two individuals this year as Employee of the year.
This is not to be considered a shared award, but a recognition and acknowledgement of both individually of their contributions this year.
This year we are proud to announce the accomplishments of Toni Jendras and Tony LaPuma.
Our director of administration Toni Jendras adapted, without the benefit of a heads-up warning of what difficult decisions she would be faced with this year. This included reducing her staff by 80%, navigating new responsibilities, and providing human resource guidance. Not once did she backdown or waiver from the challenges. All administrative functions continued without any interruptions. As with many people this year, she also had the added pressures of being a parent of school-aged children and the upheaval that this brought into her daily equation. Toni somehow managed to keep everything on track, with nothing short of an amazing upbeat outlook.
She shares, “It is a surprise and true honor to receive this award! There are so many great people within Sho-Link that make it an amazing company. I feel such a privilege saying that I get to work with alongside many of these individuals whom I have learned so much from. I look forward to being part of helping Sho-Link adapt to the new future of I & D for many years to come.”
“We all benefit from Toni’s enthusiastic and professional approach to her responsibilities. The COVID-19 crisis has not deterred her commitment to Sho-Link and the high standards she sets for herself. Her leadership can be fully counted on, and for that I am personally grateful,” states Colleen Johnson, corporate vice president.
Diligently working behind the scenes, director of IT Tony LaPuma has consistently managed an essential operation for any company’s success. Taking initiative and going above and beyond taking charge of the intensity that was coming down the pipeline, Tony had to adjust logistics to meet the demand of the majority of our team now needing to work from home, accomplishing this without any business interruption. With all this added work, Tony had to take into account the everyday stress of keeping people updated and trained on how to adjust to the nuances of working remotely. Tony’s responsibility to manage his team, while still taking initiatives to find cost savings that were being asked of for all departments, truly was inspiring. All this while also adjusting to daily home life of a school age daughter. Oh, and not to mention finding personal time to complete some high-level courses to add to his resume.
President Scott Rudel explains, “Now, take normal out of the equation, and add in the everything abnormal that we lived this year and ask your IT team to step it up, and hope for the best. But in our case, we never had to ask, they just did it. Hoping for the best was never needed, we simply received it.”
“Last year was hard on us all, but we put our heads down and power-housed through it. I feel very honored to receive the employee of the year reward from Sho-Link, and the truth is that without the gracious support of our leaders, especially the executive and I.T. staff, this wouldn’t have been possible and we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much as we did. This year has taught me an important lesson: As a leading company in the industry, if we can get through this, then we are in a very strong position to get through anything. I, personally, am very encouraged by that and consider it a blessing to be a part of such a magnificent organization. With my head raised up high, I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish in 2021,” Tony shares.
Congratulations to both Toni and Tony.
We are looking forward to next year’s nominations.