Ric Helms Named 2020 Star Performer

Ric Helms Star Performer 2020

Ric Helms, driver for Pawnee County Transit, was named as SENCA's Star Performer for 2020 at the September 4th All Staff Meeting held in Auburn.  Pictured: Vicky McNealy, SENCA ED and Ric Helms.

Ric is dedicated to making sure that all his passengers’ needs are met. During the uncertainty brought about by the Covid 19 Pandemic, Ric’s primary concern was for the Pawnee Transit passengers rather than himself.  While it is important to have staff who are dedicated and engaged in their day-to-day job duties, it is during challenging times when staff’s true commitment shines through. Devoted individuals such as this are truly meant to be a part of Community Action. 
Ric was one of four staff members who had been nominated and selected as Rising Stars throughout SENCA's 2019-2020 fiscal year.  Rising Stars are nominated by co-workers each quarter for putting forth extra effort and demonstrating a strong commitment to fulfilling SENCA's Mission of improving lives and building strong communities.  The agency Engagement Team reviews and selects the Rising Star who is presented with a $25 gift card and a personalized certificate.  The Star Performer is then selected from the four Rising Stars and presented a trophy at the annual meeting. 
Vicky McNealy, SENCA Executive Director, also recognized SENCA's two other transit drivers, Julie Phroper and Eric Schuetz from Richardson County Transit, for their work in helping ensure that riders who utilize transit throughout both Pawnee and Richardson counties have continued to have access to vital transit services throughout the pandemic. 
The other three Rising Stars for the year include Kay Wissmann, Data Coordinator; Robin Minard, Head Start Family Service Advocate and Debbie Green, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Coordinator. 
Kay Wissmann Rising Star 1st Qtr 2020 FYDianna Hunter, HR Director and Kay Wissman, Data Coordinator -1st Quarter Rising Star
Kay assumed the position of SENCA Data Coordinator on July 15, 2019. Kay shows compassion and integrity to the clients we serve and is always eager to show her support for SENCA programs and services. Kay is happy to volunteer when and where needed, whether its during normal business hours delivering Meals on Wheels, helping a co-worker who needs assistance, walking in the parade, or after hours to help ensure SENCA is represented at community events.  Kay is a great asset to the SENCA Team!
Robin Minard 3
Robin Minard, Falls City Head Start Family Service Advocate - 2nd Quarter Rising Star
Robin makes a positive contribution to her workplace success and the overall success of the agency. Effective communication, especially with Head Start parents, is one of Robin’s strengths. Robin goes above and beyond every day, not only fulfilling her duties as a Family Service Advocate but also in assuming additional responsibilities as needed. This includes filling in as classroom aide, cook, lunch aide, transporting students and helping other staff ensure the center runs as efficiently as possible. Robin is organized and works diligently until the task is completed. Robin displays courage under pressure. Whether working on deadlines or recruiting children from other communities, she does not shy away from a challenge. Robin has the passion and empathy it takes to work in a non-profit organization like SENCA Head Start. We are thankful to have Robin as a vital part of the FCHS team.

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Debbie Green, CASA Coordinator - 4th Quarter Rising Star
Debbie is passionate about the work she does as a CASA Advocate Coordinator.  In addition, she steps-up, when and where needed, to ensure SENCA programs continue to be a vital asset to the households and communities of southeast Nebraska. Debbie has been instrumental in building partnerships and expanding the Otoe County CASA program into the underserved counties of Nemaha, Richardson and Pawnee with plans to expand into Johnson County in 2020. When SENCA was in need of an in-house ROMA (Results Oriented Management & Accountability) Trainer, Debbie took on the task and is now a certified trainer. Debbie also serves on the agency Safety Committee and the Engagement Team. When Covid hit in March and Cass County was in need of an outreach worker, Debbie helped two days a week for more than three months. In her spare time, when not caring for her mom or visiting family, Debbie volunteers as a Domestic Abuse Hotline Volunteer and is an active Cass County CASA Volunteer Advocate.  
Congratulations to Ric, 2020 Star Performer, and to each of the 2019-2020 Rising Stars for helping improve lives and build strong communities in southeast Nebraska!