Every year, companies across the nation pause to appreciate the many team members who contribute to the overall success of the organizations that they work for. Celebrated this year on Friday March 4th, Employee Appreciation Day is a great opportunity for managers, leaders and human resources (HR) professionals to reinforce the value of appreciating employees.
Since it began in 1995, Employee Appreciation Day has become a respected national tradition, and for good reason. “Recognition and appreciation are top drivers of employee happiness and satisfaction and can have a positive influence on everything from recruitment to turnover,” HALO states in its Guide to Employee Appreciation Day 2022.
Extremely proud and supportive of all of its team members, DB Schenker gathered feedback from its associates who wanted to recognize a special employee this month for Employee Appreciation Day. Here are a few of the nominees and the stories behind their nominations.
He Walks the Talk
Nominated by Angela Kraft of USA Schenker, Inc., Vernon “JR” Blasi is everything he could possibly want from a supervisor. “If we could make him a manager right now, we would,” said Kraft. “JR is honest, kind, receptive, responsive and proactive. He supports other areas of the business by ensuring the people on his team are cross-trained.”
Blasi also allocates individuals to work in other areas when a department is shorthanded or when an area needs extra help. “JR completely understands the business’ values and walks the talk. He cares about his team and relentlessly supports them,” Kraft adds. “JR listens, knows his people and takes action when given feedback.”
Living the DB Schenker Values
As a Supervisor CSC, Michelle Price hold true to her, and the company’s, values. According to Brian Beal, Manager Global Supply Chains, Price clearly understands that the goal is to take care of her team and the customer. She always balances the internal vs. external needs and is trustworthy, candid, and sincere in her approach. She treats everyone with the platinum rule, “treat people like they want to be treated.” She prides herself on taking customers further with her “can-do” attitude at every interaction. There is never a no in her vocabulary. She will do everything in her power to satisfy the customer and her team.
“Michelle is a good person that deeply cares about others,” said Beal, who adds that Price, “will go out of her way to ensure that the needs of someone are met before she takes time for herself.”
One Team, One Goal
Sivashanhari Kasotharan recently proactively reached out to take on additional responsibilities following the loss of a colleague. This Accounts Payable Clerk at Schenker of Canada Ltd., has also taken over key reporting tasks, ensuring they are completed on time, accurately, and with insight.
“She embodies ‘Be one team with one goal,’” said Baburaj Neelakantan, Director-Corporate Accounting and Treasury, Schenker of Canada Ltd. Kasotharan is also an ARIBA super user for Canada and has taken on an increasingly active role in identifying issues and then working with colleagues to resolve them. “In the end, we are left with much better processes,” said Neelakantan. “She has taken our internal customers further.”
We’d be Lost Without Her
According to Jennifer Martel, USA, Pandora, CSR Supervisor in Chattanooga, CSR Stephanie Skaggs is the glue that holds things together at her location. “She treats everyone like family: remembering birthdays, big events and gives our warehouse a homelike feeling,” said Martel. “She makes our location comfortable for everyone including non-DBS employees (e.g., delivery drivers).”
“We are all proud of our location, but Stephanie takes ownership physically and systematically to improve and impress our customer (Pandora),” Martel continued. “She will give opinions, train and help anyone requesting her assistance. Personally, I would be lost without her. We all would.”
A True Role Model
Josephine Veloso, USA SCHENKER Inc., Export Manager in Charleston, S.C., is a role model for taking pride in her day-to-day work and job. She always walks the talk, said Branch Manager Lavinia Haid, and would never ask her team for something she wouldn’t do herself.
“Last month was her 28th anniversary and she can be proud to have customers walking side by side with her from the beginning,” said Haid. “She has a great sense for technology and knows some of our systems so well, she could probably program her own by now.” Veloso also passes her knowledge onto others and helps them advance their DB Schenker ocean freight careers. “She is also a great listener and cares about her Schenker family a lot,” Haid added. “Her open-door policy serves everyone that just needs an ear to listen or a minute to reflect.”
Looking for Ways to Improve
Over the last year, Orion Koller-Faloon, Training Supervisor at USA Schenker, Inc., has been
providing support and assisting in the organization and development of the training program for EDMC, DBS Transportation, and the St. Louis Plant.
“He constantly looks for improvements and implements sustainable training practices,” said Wes J. Jansson, Safety Manager USA Schenker, Inc. “His direct positive improvements and influence carries over to other sites in the CRN Network, which reach out for his trainings.” Always upbeat and a pleasure to work with, Koller-Faloon recently became an AHA CPR Instructor in order to assist in maintaining the site’s First Aid Responders.
Putting Customers First
Nominated by Walter Luizaga, Head of Procurement US and Region Americas at DB Schenker, Procurement Manager Mayra Diaz has consistently demonstrated that she puts customers first. “In our case, we see our stakeholders in the US as internal customers,” said Luizaga. “Mayra is often the go-to for answers to the many issues that come up related to procurement.”
Diaz is not only willing to dedicate her time to help, but she’s also a resilient individual who can deliver solutions even in the face of challenges and many responsibilities. “Mayra takes her job seriously and the feedback from people backs her work ethic,” said Luizaga. “She is always looking to do what’s best for the team.”
A special thanks to the many nominees who were recognized by their managers and peers this Employee Appreciation Day, and to all of the associates who nominated them. Along with the stories featured above, we also received nominations for these team members.
BiYu (Peggy) Wong
Giuliana Vassallo Alvarez
Milena Panichi Xavier
Elena (Helen) Nalpantidis-Triolo
Courtney Lanae Skay
Silvia V. Dimova
Nadjedah Jean Simon
Claudia Fé Pérez Durán
Adriana Dias Madeira