Employee of the Year Ceremonies Celebrate Outstanding Central Government Staff

Celebrating excellence within the government workforce, outstanding employees receive commendations for their service

  • Nelcia Charlemagne
  • May 13, 2024

A group of government employees handpicked from over 6,000 individuals employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands were celebrated in an Employee of the Year ceremony on St. Croix on Friday. Employees from the St. Thomas/St. John district were celebrated the day prior. 

Division of Personnel Director Cindy Richardson reminded the honorees that they “strengthen our workforce and [make] your agency that much better.” The selected employees provided “exemplary service, showed professionalism and contributed significantly to the areas related to your particular division and sections,” explained Ms. Richardson. Their efforts, she noted, “enhance the quality of life of the people of the territory.” 

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. made a point to rubbish the rhetoric that “government workers don't work hard” and affirmed to the selected employees that they’re “pretty special.”

“I want to say on behalf of myself [and] the administration, thank you for your commitment,” said Mr. Bryan. A recurring theme throughout the ceremony was the immense impact these employees continue to have on the community. “You are the icons, a friendly face, a smile, a considerate person…that makes other employees feel better about coming to work,” summarized the governor. 

For Senate President Novelle Francis, the honorees were the “cream of the crop, la creme de la creme.” He shone a spotlight on Alfred Donowa from the facilities management division in the Legislature’s St. Croix Offices, chosen as employee of the year. Sen. Francis explained that Mr. Donowa has established a standard “for the rest of the team to follow.” Along with the perks associated with the employee of the year title, he will receive special parking for the rest of the year. Adele Thomas, a receptionist at the Legislature’s St. Thomas offices, was selected as the employee of the year in that district.

Shanisa Emmanuel, employee of the year at the Office of Management and Budget. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Tregenza Roach celebrated Carmen Francis of the Real Property Tax Division within his St. Croix Office. Ms. Francis is “lauded by her co-workers for the type of customer service that she provides,” Mr. Roach explained. Chris George, who leads the Geographic Information Systems Division in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor on St. Thomas, also received commendations from Mr. Roach.

Pleased that several employees expressed a profound love for their jobs, the lieutenant governor thanked them for their “tremendous sacrifice.” He cautioned the GVI to “provide the best professional development” to promote staff retention and ensure that they “feel fulfilled in the work that they do.” 

Among the lengthy list of government employee honorees in St. Croix was Rachel Haverkorn of the Office of the Governor, and Marianne Navarro from the Virgin Islands Lottery. Tamara McIntosh George is the employee of the year from the Bureau of Corrections, while Sonia Navarro Joseph captured the title for the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Maxine Richards and Diana Gumbs are the employees of the year at the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs respectively.  Elroy Richards is the employee of the year at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Jerome Weeks is the new employee of the year at the Virgin Islands Fire and Emergency Services.

Belgrave Stedman is the Water and the Power Authority’s employee of the year, who was celebrated for “so many accomplishments even though people don't think that WAPA has a lot of accomplishments,” according to Ashley Bryan, the utility’s interim COO.

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