UNSUNG SUPERSTARS nominees

 

Libby Vandergriendt
Records Coordinator
Ministry of Health, Victoria

They say you can tell a lot about people by the state of their office desk.

“Mine’s clean”, said Libby with a giggle. Not surprising then she would gravitate to administrative services.

Coordination, neatness and an eye for detail count for a lot in Libby’s line of work.  Her job is to ensure vital government documents are properly catalogued, stored and can be located in a hurry when FOI (freedom of information) requests come in from the public.

“Last year, there were more than 100,” she said.

There’s a lot of challenge and variety in the work, which Libby enjoys. 

“I like to be organized and accomplish a good end result for the clients. I work hard and go above and beyond to make sure questions are answered,” Libby said.

Easy to see why Libby has won the respect and trust of those she works with.

There is one area of ‘fuzziness’ with Libby’s otherwise sharp memory — her years of service in the B.C. government.

“I think I’m close to 35. I’ve kind of lost track,” she laughed. But, who’s counting? Libby certainly isn’t.

“Libby has worked in our division for years. She advises and trains administrative workers to properly classify, store, off-site and recall documents. In the past, she was assigned to my program area — the medical beneficiary branch — to help get our files in order.  She is a pleasure to be around and worked tirelessly to get the job done. We were sorry to see her go. But, she continues to support the entire division, so our records are in top shape.”  — Ron Jetko, nominator


Geri Black
Administrative Officer 
Maximus - Health Insurance BC, Victoria

“I’m humbled by this,” said Geri Black. Precisely the reaction we’d expect from an UNSUNG SUPERSTAR!

Hardworking, dedicated and quietly making a positive difference in the workplace. The ‘dream’ co-worker who makes going to work every day a bit more enjoyable.

“I love my co-workers and I love the team spirit here. I think we all want to help each other and see each other do a good job,” she said. “I look forward to coming to work - I really do. I’m so lucky.”

Geri has been working in a variety of jobs in administrative services at Maximus since 2009. Maximus provides management and administrative services for PharmaCare and the provincial Medical Services Plan.

Her key ingredient to achieve job satisfaction: find a job that suits your personality.

“I love helping people. Helping people is my nature. I like to see the clients happy and satisfied with the information they get,” Geri said.

“Geri has always been a compassionate caring co-worker, that goes beyond her role to assist her co-workers in every department with a smile on her face and a dedication that is warming to everyone she deals with.” — Liam Smith, nominator


Denise Garzon
Paralegal, Regional Crown Counsel Office
Vancouver

Juggling isn’t part of a paralegal’s training. Still, Denise Garzon has mastered it in her job helping lawyers assemble court cases at the regional crown counsel office in downtown Vancouver.

Just how much of her job involves juggling? “About 90 percent,” Denise said. “But, I like challenges.”

Keeping a lot of balls in the air requires skill and concentration — which Denise has an abundance of. Not surprisingly, she’s very organized.

“I like it when I can make things go smoothly for people I’m working with and cases I’m working on. Things are so complicated and they have such far reaching effects on so many lives,” she said.

For Denise, no two days are alike. “It’s something different all the time. Some days, I work on five or six different files. Other days, I’m working on one big project and it consumes me for a month or so at a time,” Denise said.

Like all the UNSUNG SUPERSTAR nominees we’ve met, Denise is modest about her contributions in the workplace.

“This is all a team effort. No matter how much one person does, you can’t do it without other people. It really does take everyone in the office to put a case together and make it work,” she said.

It (Latin) legal terms, you might say Denise is condicio sine qua non, which translates into an indispensable and essential ingredient.

We rest our case.

"I am nominating Denise for her unceasing cheerfulness and readiness to help out her colleagues at the drop of a hat despite her own extremely heavy workload.” — Jason Singh, nominator.


Jennine Gates
Senior Resolution Support Clerk
Ministry of Justice, Civil Resolution Tribunal
Victoria

How’s this for a quick response to an email? Two minutes.

That’s how long it took for Jennine Gates to respond to our email informing her of this nomination.

“I am humbled and honoured,” she wrote.

Jennine is a firecracker. She’s at the top of her game at the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), which the B.C. government launched in July 2016. Doing a job she loves.

“I was skimming through the job postings and I saw it and I said, THAT’S MY JOB,” she laughs.

The hiring panel agreed. 

“I enjoy the opportunity to develop people, especially people new to the government. To show them what their potential is. That’s what I want to do every day,” Jennine said who oversees the work of six resolutions clerks.

This is Jennine’s first supervisory role in her nine years in the B.C. public service. But, she developed her leadership chops as a reservist for a dozen years in the Canadian military.

Her most ‘exotic’ posting? One month on King William Island, a part of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Living in a tent. In February. Enjoying the experience of learning from the locals about igloo building, hunting and fishing for arctic char.

Jennine is game for just about anything.

“That’s one of the awesome things about the CRT. Because it’s brand new, we’re doing things completely differently. I think it’s really important that the people we have here are flexible and adaptable. My whole team is exactly that,” said Jennine.

“It’s my privilege to supervise my team. They’re the most amazing team that I’ve ever been part of.”

The CRT is a new tribunal for the Province of B.C. This is Jennine's first position as a supervisor and she has been involved in the implementation of the tribunal as well as the hiring of all support staff. She has had to create and staff an office from the ground up as well as learn everything that has to do with a new mandatory program within the Ministry of Justice with constant changes and improvements. As only one staff member was a former government employee, she also had to train the new staff regarding becoming new government employees. She has been instrumental in supporting all staff regarding self-improvement and advancement opportunities. She is supportive, approachable, energetic and innovative. She also volunteers and holds down a second job in her "spare" time. She has been the best supervisor I've had in 26 years working with the provincial government — Angela Ray, nominator


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