Vanessa Diaz edged out two of her co-workers to earn the "Shining Star of the Year" award from Rosewood Services Inc. for 2011. Also awarded as honorable-mention selections were employees Erika Julian and Mallory Osuwah.
Diaz applied first aid to victims after a car accident in front of Rosewood’s "NextDoor" building. She evaluated and treated an injured person while waiting for EMTs to arrive. Beyond utilizing her medical training to help people, Diaz also volunteers for Rosewood events, including the annual Rosewood Rodeo. For being named "Shining Star of the Year," Diaz received a trophy and a $200 gift card.
"Vanessa does an amazing job in the medical department and we are very fortunate to have her as an employee," said Rosewood Services Executive Director Tammy Hammond. "We thank her for doing all she does and for shining bright all year round."
Julian finished second place this year. She earned a $100 gift card and a trophy. Last year, Julian cooked a lavish Christmas meal for Rosewood clients and she handled cold-weather maintenance problems last winter with determined enthusiasm..
"Erika goes above and beyond year-round and her dedication to the agency and the residential department are truly appreciated," said Amanda Hammond-Fellers, director of Residential Services.
Osuwah earned third place for the year by going above and beyond in the Residential Department. She organized a bake sale for a staff person who had lost her home in a fire. She also assisted in finding a new home for that staff person and arranged for furniture to be donated. Additionally, she volunteered her time to take clients to exercise.
"Mallory’s pride in improving the lives of others is demonstrated consistently through her work and actions," said her supervisor, Hammond-Fellers. "She cares not only for the folks we serve, but also about the staff that she supervises."
The finalists were chosen from the ongoing employee recognition program.
"At Rosewood, we recognize that our employees are among our greatest resources and advocates in our constant quest to effectively serve those with developmental disabilities," said Tammy Hammond. "We do not take their role or their importance lightly and that’s why we look upon the Shining Stars Award as a significant honor for them."