At it's annual Summer Retreat July 30 - August 1, 2002, Kevin Short, President of Opaa! Food Management announced Sheila Middleton, Opaa!'s Director of Operations as the recipient of the first annual "Whatever It Takes Award". In making the announcement, Mr. Short stated, "This award was created to recognize the extraordinary efforts of an individual who embodies the "vision" of Opaa! It is given to a person who takes ownership of their position and who goes the extra mile for their clients, co-workers, vendors and the public in general. The person chosen for this award truly finds self-fulfillment in creatively carrying out the duties of their job. They see and act upon opportunities to benefit the company, themselves and everyone around them."
Sheila was selected by company officials as the inaugural recipient from over 800 Opaa! employees across the state of Missouri. Sheila has been an Opaa! Food Management employee since 1991 and has served as a Director of Nutrition Services and a Regional Director of Operations prior to being named Director of Operations. In nominating Sheila for this award, one of her co-workers stated "Sheila puts so much of herself into everything she does for all of us and for the company. Her eye for detail and perfection is something we all try to emulate and she is a great example to us all." Another nomination spoke of her tireless dedication to Opaa: "Sheila spends countless hours in trying her best to make Opaa all that it can be. It's not uncommon to see her e-mails being generated in the late hours of the evening or on weekends or holidays." Her husband has commented, "her mind never shuts down on things related to Opaa".
Sheila lives in Vandalia, Missouri, with her husband Dean and their son Sam who was born last January. Sheila is a graduate of William Woods University and holds a degree in business administration. She is a member of the National Alumni Board of William Woods and has served as secretary and second vice president of that organization. Last spring, Sheila was presented the Green Owl Award that honors those alumni who have give meritorious service to the William Woods alumni association and the university. Sheila is active in the G.F.W.C. Dianthus Club and is their upcoming president. She is also a member of P.E.O. and the First Baptist Church in Vandalia.
For several years, Opaa! was privileged to have the opportunity to work with a motivational speaker and coach, Carol Rogers-Sealy. "Whatever It Takes" was the philosophy of life that Carol Rogers-Sealy lived by and because of her impact on Opaa! Food Management, it was felt that is was an appropriate name for this award. Opaa! Food Management, Inc., is based in Ellisville, Missouri, and is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Opaa! currently operates the nutrition programs for 42 Missouri school districts.
President Kevin Short shared his new vision for Opaa! Food Management at a spring retreat, Gone Fishin', last month at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Speaking to a group of Opaa! directors, executive staff, and home office staff, Kevin spoke of his desire to take Opaa! to the next level-a level of greater empowerment and excellence. He invited everyone to work together in developing a new culture for the future of Opaa!
The new culture includes creating a positive atmosphere at work where people can express their abilities, find fulfillment, and help each other to achieve success. He gave us all a license to play and to have fun on the job, while maximizing creativity and productivity.
The day was spent learning about Opaa!'s new vision and discussing ways to implement that vision personally and at the local school district level.
"Real satisfaction in our lives and in our jobs comes from helping each other to succeed in our own unique way. Just think of what we can achieve if each of us really shares our abilities and ideas, if each of us goes beyond our job descriptions, beyond those artificial barriers and opens up to all the possibilities in fulfilling our roles with Opaa!
Our job as leaders in this organization is to help people believe in themselves and to let our co-workers know how much we value them and their ideas.
We all have the choice to be positive, to find self-fulfillment. What I want to do is to provide an environment that allows everyone to make their own choices within the parameters of their jobs. My expectation is that every Opaa! employee will find greater personal fulfillment and benefit from this new vision. And together we will take Opaa! and each other to the next level.
- Kevin Short
Opaa! Food Management has announced that Excelsior Springs food service employee Barbara Butler has been selected as the recipient of its Employee of the Year Award for the 2001-02 school year. Butler was presented the award during an in-service training session on May 16, 2002, by Opaa President Kevin Short, Executive Vice President Robert Sanders, Director of Operations Sheila Middleton and Regional Director of Operations Dan Goetz.
Butler was selected for this award from among Opaa's 750 employees throughout the State of Missouri. Butler has worked in three different kitchens in the Excelsior Springs School District food service program over 16 years and has been the head cook at the middle school for the past six years. The selection process included written nominations from fellow employees that detailed outstanding job performance, demonstrated leadership and initiative, and a genuine commitment to customer service.
In making the announcement, Director of Operations Sheila Middleton told of her nomination for this award by four other staff members. Middleton spoke of Butler's kitchen always being well organized and her serving area beautifully decorated. When asked about Butler's selection, Lois Hill, Opaa's Director of Nutrition Services in Excelsior Springs, stated that "she is my backbone. She's always there for me, the other staff members, and especially the kids." In one of Butler's nominations, a fellow staff member stated that "as far as her commitment to Opaa's mission statement, 'Make Their Day', it can best be summed up by the statement Barb made to my son upon his starting 6th grade. She told him that if you forget your money or card for any reason can't eat, you come to me and we will settle up later."
A number of family members were on hand to surprise Butler including daughters Jean Renee Hoyle and Peggy Sue Butler and son Roy Noble Butler. Butler is the proud grandmother to three grandsons and one granddaughter. Also present to share in this special day were a large number of middle school staff members and school district personnel.
Opaa! Food Management, Inc., is based in Ellisville, Missouri, and currently provides nutrition services to 41 Missouri school districts. Opaa has been providing services to the Excelsior Springs School District since 1984.
At its annual Summer Retreat July 30 - August 1, 2002, Opaa! Food Management announced Lu Czerniewski, Opaa's Director of Nutrition Services for the Montgomery County R-II School District as the recipient of the New Director of the Year award. Lu was selected by company officials as New Director of the Year from among Opaa's New Directors' of Nutrition Services across the state of Missouri. The criteria for selection included top ranking in the categories of creative marketing, employee training, employee safety, fiscal performance, and student and adult participation.
Lu has been Opaa's Director of Nutrition Services for the Montgomery County R-II School District since April of 2001. Lu and her husband Greg are residents of Montgomery City and have three children, Veronica, Eric and Zac. In her spare time, Lu says that she enjoys reading and following her childrens sporting activities including trips to district and state baseball tournaments.
Lu supervises five serving sites in the Montgomery County R-II School District. Lu said that she was both "surprised and thrilled" that she won such an honor. "I want to thank everyone involved in my selection and I must give special praise to my wonderful staff. Without them, this award certainly wouldn't have been possible."
Opaa! Food Management, Inc., is based in Ellisville, Missouri, and is celebrating its 25th year of operation. Opaa currently operates the nutrition programs for 42 Missouri school districts and has been serving the nutritional requirements of the Montgomery County R-II School District at since 1985.
At its annual Summer Retreat July 30 - August 1, 2002, Opaa! Food Management announced Linda Jones, Opaa's Director of Nutrition Services for the Aurora R-VIII School District as the recipient of the Director of the Year award. Company officials selected Linda as Director of the Year from among all of Opaa's Directors' of Nutrition Services across the state of Missouri. The criteria for selection included top ranking in the categories of creative marketing, employee training, employee safety, fiscal performance, and student and adult participation.
Linda has been Opaa's Director of Nutrition Services at the Aurora R-VIII School District since 1994. Linda and her husband Larry live in Springfield and they have a son Scott who is a high school teacher in Leavenworth, Kansas. In her spare time, Linda runs a blackberry farm, "The Berry Connection" and enjoys cooking and crafting.
As Director of Nutrition Services, Linda supervised four serving sites in the Aurora R-VIII School District. As to her selection, Linda said "this award is in reality a recognition of a great food service staff in Aurora. They understand that it is their mission to take care of the children's nutritional needs everyday."
Earlier this summer, Linda was promoted to a position of Director of Development for Opaa! Food Management. In this position, she will act as a mentor to Opaa's staff of Directors of Nutrition Services across the state. Linda will also head up Opaa's marketing and promotions and menu development programs.
Opaa! Food Management, Inc., is based in Ellisville, Missouri, and is celebrating its 25th year of operation. Opaa currently operates the nutrition programs for 42 Missouri school districts and has been serving the nutritional requirements of the Aurora R-VIII School District since 1989.