Employee recognition and praise is an important part of the company culture at Barron Collier Companies. Each quarter, team members can nominate one another for outstanding efforts, but during the quarantine there was more than just one employee that stood out, as a special group from Ave Maria Utility Company shined above the rest.
The nominations poured in when the newly named award “Employee of the Quarantine,” was announced. Jason Vogel, senior project manager for Ave Maria Utility Company (AMUC) shared, “At the end of March 2020, teleworking was instituted out of an abundance of caution. AMUC continued the work at hand, delivering critical water and wastewater services crucial for hand washing and prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The team was able to successfully handle the large and unanticipated spike in residential usage results from emergency stay-at-home orders. Throughout the pandemic, AMUC faced no compliance issues, no disruption of service, and kept operations running smoothly. The team’s success was rooted in their collective care and compassion for one another, their focus on the critical nature of their unglamorous work, their grounded perspective, and clearly focusing on things within their control.”
For the first time, an entire team of managers was being praised for their impressive efforts during a very stressful time. Paul Cortez, Sean Hauser, Timothy Schlief, and Tammy Smith, managers at Ave Maria Utility Company were instantly heralded for their outstanding work, resilience, and perseverance. Their jobs could not be performed remotely as they showed the town of Ave Maria how much they cared with their daily service.
In addition to their efforts on the job, AMUC managers recognized that their customers might be struggling during the pandemic. AMUC announced a temporary rate reduction to ease potential higher than normal utilities bills during the stay-at-home order. The reduction was approved by Collier County Water and Wastewater Authority and residents of Ave Maria immediately received the rate relief. It was this compassion toward their customers that also highlighted AMUC’s extraordinary efforts.
The “Employee of the Quarantine” award was given to the AMUC managers to say thank you and to show how much Barron Collier Companies appreciates and recognizes their vital work in the community.