Government employee of the year chosen

An administrative secretary at the Cayman Brac Police Station has won the Deputy Governor’s Award for Employee of the Year.

Venice Tatum received her award at a ceremony last week at Government House hosted by Governor Helen Kilpatrick.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson presented the award to Ms. Tatum. Also in attendance was Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell.

According to a government media release on the event, there were 12 finalists, each of whom had previously been awarded the title of Employee of the Month.

The nominees were: Tracey Gale (July 2013); Julia King (August 2013), Doris Morris-Herrera (September 2013), Ms. Tatum (October 2013), Ingrid Spence (November 2013), Herbert Tomlinson (December 2013), Lloyd McField (January 2014), Harry Forbes (February 2014), enine Stewart (March 2014), Jeremy O’Sullivan (April 2014), Karen Christian (May 2014) and Thoywell Facey (June 2014).

Chief Officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service Gloria McField-Nixon introduced Ms. Tatum as one who exemplifies efficiency and professionalism, and goes beyond the call of duty on a daily basis.

“Her unblemished service reputation has earned her the love, admiration and respect of the Sister Islands community and beyond,” Ms. McField-Nixon said in the release. “Her loyalty, diligence, and commitment are incomparable.”
Commending each of the nominees, Governor Kilpatrick said the deputy governor had developed the awards program to “recognize and promote excellence,” as well as to endorse positive contributions by civil servants. “It seems clear these examples abound,” she said.

The governor said the Employee of the Year would serve almost as an ambassador for the civil service for the next 12 months, adding, “This is a very important position at a very important time. The civil service is at a cross-roads and your colleagues will be looking around for positive role models.”

Mr. Manderson acknowledged that civil servants were facing “relentless negativity,” but nonetheless the public service comprises “hardworking, dedicated and able people” who strive to serve their country, “for which they receive little appreciation.”

Quoting Starbucks Coffee CEO Howard Schultz, Mr. Manderson said, “Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.” In addition to the finalists, he mentioned two other civil servants who he said performed exceptionally well during the year – Fisher Porter in the Facilities Management Department and government veterinarian Samantha Dorman.

Ms. Tatum said she was pleased and honored to receive the award. “Winning this award is unbelievable and I am just over the moon,” she said.