Recognizing a Job Well Done
Every day of the year, county employees on Molokai work to make sure programs run smoothly, residents stay safe and community needs are met. In recognition and gratitude for their service, employees from the county’s five departments on the island were honored at a luncheon last week.
The 20th annual County of Maui Employee Recognition Luncheon held at the Mitchell Pauole Center recognized those with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service, county retirees, those with perfect attendance and employee of the year nominees from each department.
“Usually the higher ranking individuals get credited, but [the employees] are the ones who make us look good,” said County Council Chair Danny Mateo. “Everybody is always so busy that sometimes you need to take a step back and get out there and say ‘we really appreciate what you do.’”
Employee of the year nominees were Beverly Kalilikane of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Jamie Winfrey of the Police Dept., Lokahi Herrod of the Dept. of Fire and Safety, Rachelle Ing-Kupau of the Dept. of Housing and Human Concerns, and David Nanod of the Dept. of Public Works.
Ing-Kupau won the award, based on points awarded by a panel of local judges and tallied by the Dept. of Personnel Services, said Liz Lum of the Dept. of Parks and Rec, which hosted this year’s luncheon.
Ing-Kupau, an information and outreach aid, has been working with the Dept. of Housing and Human Concerns’ Office on Aging for five years, according to the department’s Deputy Director, Janice Shishido.
“We are very proud of Rachelle’s accomplishments and her advocacy for our Molokai senior citizens,” said Shishido.
Ing-Kupau has been instrumental in implementing a new program called the Community Living Program, which is designed to help seniors and individuals with disabilities to obtain services, according to a statement from the Dept. of Housing and Human Concerns. Shishido said across the state, there are 30 slots currently open for Community Living families, and thanks to Ing-Kupau’s work, 25 of those slots are filled by Molokai clients.
“Rachelle has demonstrated an incredible attitude and dedication as a county employee in the implementation of this program,” read the statement. “She is truly a champion for Molokai!”
Retirees honored were Eugene Santiago, 30 years, Susan McPherson, 25 years, Walter Mendes, 22 years, and Jeffery Pidot, 22 years.
“It’s to recognize the small guys — they’re the ones that make Molokai the way it is,” said Lum.