The morning of October 5 held a few surprises in store for Eileen Haraminac, Health & Nutrition Extension educator. She helped to organize an all-staff meeting for everyone in the Macomb County office, and even arranged to recognize two colleagues for their promotion to senior educator status. About 30 minutes into the meeting, she was surprised by a parade of folks (including her husband) walking into the meeting room, carrying a banner that stated: “Eileen is the Greatest Supervisor!” and hauling a hefty cake that pronounced “Congratulations Eileen Haraminac – Outstanding Supervisor 2010”. Eileen was clearly surprised and graciously accepted the accolades that followed.
As it turns out, MSU’s Work Life program, a program of the Family Resource Center at MSU Human Resources, has an annual call for nominees for the Outstanding Supervisor Award to recognize supervisors who create a supportive environment for staff who face the normal set of challenges in balancing work life with family life. Eileen was nominated by a grateful team of colleagues who benefit from her leadership. The two-person staff from the Family Resource Center office, Lori Strom and Laraine Walton, made the trip to Clinton Township just to make the award presentation to Eileen. I was so pleased that MSU recognized Eileen’s caring leadership and that they made the effort to drive all the way over to Macomb County during the morning rush hour traffic. That’s tremendous support from MSU Human Resources!
Other MSUE supervisors have received this award in the past, including Mona Ellard (2004), Maynard Hogberg (2002) and Karen Plaut (2007).
I especially enjoyed hearing excerpts from the nomination letters from staff members. What was particularly striking was that two of them independently wrote “Eileen makes me want to be a better person. That kind of leadership will carry us well through the challenging times that we’re facing. And her commitment to quality, “anything but average is what we need” and her compassionate accessibility, “call me if you need me” are hallmarks that make MSUE a great place to work.
I want to thank our colleagues in the Macomb County office who took the time to compose an obviously compelling nomination (without Eileen noticing) and especially thank Eileen for being the type of leader we need. Thanks for being an outstanding supervisor!