by Taylor Bryant
The University of West Georgia awarded Debbie Clefisch, UWG Human Resources payroll assistant and Danny Gourley, associate director for the Advising Center, with the 2014 Employee of the Year awards at the annual staff appreciation luncheon.
(L to R) Juanita Hicks, executive director of Human Resources, and Danny Gourley; Juanita Hicks and Debbie Clefisch
Danny was awarded Employee of the Year in the exempt category. His recommendation highlighted the impact he has had on his department. “This employee uses innovated, critical, and dynamic ideas to help his department move forward. He has been instrumental in the ability to process changes and effectively move toward the new identity within the division. He puts in countless hours, implemented motivational rewards, and has really helped all the staff feel valued and important.”
“Honestly, I was stunned. As Dr. Marrero read aloud the words written about me, I didn’t hear them at first because I was too focused on the fact they were not the words I wrote about the person I nominated,” shares Danny. “By the second or third line, I realized that what he was reading was about me, and I simply exclaimed, ‘Aww! That’s about me.’ It was very touching to have one or more of my coworkers think so highly of me to nominate me for this award.”
The Tennessee native says above all he values attitude. “On my desk is a written promise I made to myself. I wrote, ‘I commit to choosing a positive attitude as often as possible, and to remember it is possible even when I am grumpy—It’s always possible.’ I commit to remind my colleagues of this, too.”
Debbie was awarded Employee of the Year in the non-exempt category. Her recommendation stated “she always goes above and beyond her duties to help not only the people in her department, but she provides the same dedication and service to everyone on campus. She approaches everything with the employees’ best interests at heart and in mind.”
“I was shocked to find out I was being awarded Employee of the Year,” says Debbie, a near 7-year employee at UWG. “I simply believe in doing the best job that I can for the University of West Georgia.”