President’s Award Recipient 2014
While many members have helped me in the past two years, there is one person that I thought deserves special recognition – and that’s Deanna Dodgson. A big part of the work of the President is to oversee the operation of the office, and making that job a lot easier for me, and a real pleasure, has been Deanna.
Deanna has been working part time in the office over the past two years or so, and has openly been taking on more and more of the key responsibilities and duties of the office. Some of these include learning to use a new credit card point-of-sale machine, doing e-mail blasts to the membership for announcing events, providing some computer support for uploading images to the ManitobaBirds Yahoo group, and managing our membership database. I had a brief taste of what that latter task can be like when the office upgraded one of its computers and I took on the job of loading the software program used to manage the membership database to the new computer. I became aware of the complexity of managing all that information, with all the different categories, staggered renewal dates, email addresses, who gets a printed newsletter, who gets an email notification, etc. Managing all that is not a trivial task, and the software we use doesn’t make the job all that easy, as it is really not designed for our purpose.
While Deanna might be thinking right now “why should I get an award for that, that’s just my job”, she undertakes these activities with a devotion and attitude that goes beyond just doing a job. Rather, she demonstrates an engagement to delivering the best service possible to our members. Several times, she has made herself available on very short notice so the office could be opened, as well as being flexible with scheduling so everything runs smoothly.
Deanna’s attitude is perhaps best exemplified during one of my visits to the office where I had the chance to see Deanna attend to a customer who had come in wanting to buy the book Birds of Manitoba. When talking with the customer, it became apparent the person was not an experienced birder, and so with a high degree of astuteness, Deanna diverted the conversation to better understand what need the customer was looking to fill by purchasing this book, as a novice birder would probably be quite disappointed in this purchase if what they wanted was a field identification guide. In this, as in other situations at the office, Deanna’s avian knowledge was an additional bonus.
As President, it is very comforting to know that visitors to our office, and those calling in, are receiving this high level of quality service and attention, accented on serving their true needs. And that would apply to most every visitor to our office, including hamsters. Last fall, an errant hamster in the building, perhaps having heard about the nice staff at Nature Manitoba, made its way into our office. It was getting near to the end of the day and its owner had not yet been found, therefore Deanna arranged accommodations so our guest could stay overnight till the owner could be found. Thank you Deanna, for the support and assistance you provided me over the years.