The Power of Appreciation: Recognizing Staff Service

July 03, 2024

The Power of Appreciation: Recognizing Staff Service

JF&CS is known for serving the community by caring for our clients with the utmost care- a task that can't be completed without the hard work of our staff members. That’s why, in addition to optimizing client care, JF&CS continuously makes efforts to recognize and appreciate employees in the same way.

“There are so many reasons why I like working here,” said Kim Seabolt, Special Projects Coordinator. “It’s the most professional and supportive environment that I’ve encountered. My coworkers are phenomenal, leadership is phenomenal, and it’s so rewarding working with our clients. The Human Resources (HR) team is so positive, helpful, attentive and caring and strives to make all of us employees feel appreciated.”

“Because we are a nonprofit organization, we have so many staff who are helping the community and always thinking of others,” said Loraz Mutch, Director of Human Resources. “It’s so important that we take care of our staff and make sure they, too, feel valued throughout the year.”

JF&CS Staff attend the End-of-Year Staff Meeting

End of Year Staff Meeting

The biggest of our Staff Appreciation events is the End of Year Staff Meeting. The annual event occurs toward the beginning of the summer. During the catered brunch, staff had the opportunity to come together and share their most special and meaningful moments of the past year. They were also recognized for milestones, and this year two staff members celebrated an impressive tenure of 25 and 30 years, respectively.

There was also a new recognition this year: the JF&CS Core Values Award. The award was the idea of Meredith Yehudi, a friend of the agency, in partnership with CEO Terri Bonoff and CMO Amanda La Kier. Meredith’s grandmother, Olivia Sherman, worked for JF&CS until age 92, and personally embodied JF&CS’ core values of compassion, respect, kindness, hope, integrity, improvement, collaboration, and diversity. The award honors Olivia’s impact, while celebrating our present-day team.

The inaugural Core Values Award for Hope was given to Tamara Cain, Residential Manager at one of our Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Homes. She tearfully accepted the award to a standing ovation. She will be honored once again, with all other winners, at next year’s End of Year Staff Meeting.

“I love that our people will be recognized in an ongoing way,” said Loraz. “I hope it will resonate with them to have their peers recognized in our staff meetings.”

Tamara Cain accepts the inaugural JF&CS Core Values award in memory of Olivia Sherman

It Takes a Village

“Of course, we couldn’t do Staff Appreciation without our incredible HR team: Angie Rosenthal, HR Manager, and Maggie TeGrotenhuis, HR Coordinator and staff volunteers,” said Loraz. “In addition, our leadership is so open to hearing about how they can support staff and show gratitude - if we didn’t have the leaders in place that we do, we couldn’t help this culture continue.”

What’s Next

“I feel like I’m really part of something impactful by helping the agency get and retain the right people,” said Loraz, who has herself been with the agency for 12 years. “It’s a culture I’ve never experienced before.”

Our fabulous HR Team (L-R: Maggie TeGrotenhuis, Loraz Mutch, Angie Rosenthal)

Meetings and awards aren’t the only ways JF&CS staff are acknowledged; smaller events are planned throughout the year “to bring excitement and show that we support and appreciate our staff all year long,” says Loraz. In the coming year, staff will enjoy a coffee truck, Thanksgiving potluck, a Thankful Hearts event around Valentine’s Day, a lunchtime Trivia event, and more.

Thanks to Loraz Mutch, Angie Rosenthal and Maggie TeGrotenhuis for continuing to create a culture that serves our employees just as much as our clients. Interested in joining our team? Our open jobs are listed here!