SLOCEA Volunteers Celebrated
SLOCEA Volunteers Celebrated
By Emily Landis
On August 17th we celebrated the volunteerism and dedication of our SLOCEA volunteers at the annual Appreciation Dinner for 2018, hosted this year at the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo. In years past, the appreciation dinners have taken place during the winter, in honor of the previous year. But with the strike last fall, this year’s timeline looked a little different. For the first time in SLOCEA’s history, we had a very special group to add to the guest list: The Strike Team Captains. In recognition of their hard work, initiative and solidarity, the Board of Directors and the SLOCEA team agreed that we could not have an event honoring acts of volunteerism in 2018 without them.
This year also saw the introduction of the Award and Recognition Program. This new program and the associated committee were enacted to bring attention to the amazing members who go above and beyond in the community, in their workplaces and for our Association. As the chairwoman of the Award Review Committee, it is my honor to announce the 2018 Award recipients.
In recognition of 20+ years of SLOCEA volunteerism, Gina Pinto was recognized with the Longevity Award. She has worked for the county for over 30 years, currently working at Behavioral Health. She is a Director on the Board and serves on the Executive Committee and as a SLOCEA delegate on the County Health Plan Committee. She is an active and fierce proponent of SLOCEA. Thank you, Gina, for your dedication and many years of service!
For her extensive community service with the Boy Scouts of America, SLOGlean, Habitat for Humanity, Veterans Collaborative SLO County and many, many more, I am happy to recognize Jessica Lorance with the Outstanding Service Award for 2018. Jessica is the Homeless Services Program Review Specialist and CommUNITY Connection Event Coordinator for Department of Social Services. Congratulations Jessica, and thank you for all you do to serve our community!!
In honor of her ceaseless dedication to SLOCEA, her persistent advocacy of our members and her tireless work on the SLOCEA Members Facebook page, the recipient of the Member of the Year award for 2018 is Erin Stitch. Erin has been a county employee since 2011, currently working for the DA’s office in Victim Witness. During 2018 she served as a Steward, a Board Director, a member of the Negotiating Team and the chairperson of the Communications Committee. She also served on the Negotiation Committee, Summer Childcare Committee, Scholarship Committee, Member Benefits Committee, and the Executive Committee. Erin played a critical role during the strike, disseminating information to the membership via social media and is a strong voice of leadership for our Association. Thank you, Erin, for all the hard work and commitment you show to our members every single day.
Finally, I am pleased and honored to announce that the recipient of the 2018 Director of the Year is Jim Mallon! Jim has been a county employee for 23 years, currently working in the Assessor’s Office as a Supervising Appraiser. He has been a keystone of SLOCEA for many years, but in 2018 his leadership and advocacy reached new heights. In 2018, Jim served on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Personnel Committee, County Health Plan Committee, Negotiating Team, Negotiation Committee, and Political Action committee. He also serves as the Vice President of the Board and the chairperson of the Bylaws Committee. His involvement during the negotiations and the events leading up to the strike were both critical and inspiring. Jim’s calm and professional demeanor helped lead our Association through a turbulent but exciting time. He is a leader that can be counted on in good times and in bad. SLOCEA is blessed to have a member of his caliber on our Board of Directors and we look forward to him leading our organization as President later this year!
The success and effectiveness of SLOCEA lies heavily with our members. Each of the recipients recognized for 2018 reflect outstanding commitment and dedication to both our community and our fellow members. Our Association is only as strong as our membership and that is why we are thrilled to recognize these individuals. We are stronger together!! If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to your Steward or to our Senior Labor Representative, Theresa Schultz. Congratulations to all our 2018 Award recipients!