During an all-staff event that took place on Dec. 12, 2016 at the Buena Vista Conference Center in New Castle, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs paid tribute to its staff and volunteers who helped make 2016 a successful year for the agency.
Division Director Tim Slavin began the program by welcoming the following individuals who have joined the division since September 2016: Christian Rieth of the Preservation-Maintenance Team; Daquan Wilson of the Cultural Asset Management Program (CAMP)/Planning Team; Michael Sutherland, a contract employee who is adding historic-property information to the Cultural and Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS); and Valerie Kauffman, a historic-site interpreter at the division’s downtown Dover museums. This was followed by the announcement of the retirement of three long-term employees: Dianna Harris of the Business Services Team; Sharyn Murray, historic-site interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum; and Jack Wisniewski of the Horticulture Team.
In recognition of their services to the division, Slavin presented a Perfect Attendance Award to Dan Davis; honored Carolyn Apple as a recipient of a 2016 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award; and presented a certificate of appreciation to Gloria Henry and Marian Carpenter who were part of the division’s American Association of Museums Accreditation Team that was nominated for a Governor’s team Excellence Award.
Slavin then passed the baton to Volunteer Services Coordinator Bridget Wallace who presented volunteer-service certificates to Carolyn Apple for 255 volunteer-hours contributed during 2016; Kent Slavin (241.5 hours); Chris Collins (193.2 hours); Valerie Kauffman (124.5 hours); Jim Schilling (110 hours); Bitsy Mahon (69 hours); M.L. Christmas (56.5 hours); and Carla Griffith (36.25 hours) who also accepted certificates for her daughters Zaria Griffith (49.5 hours) and Maya Griffith (35.25 hours).
Division staff members then came to the podium to honor their colleagues by presenting a Biggest Impact Award to Cindy Snyder for her many years of service as site supervisor of the New Castle Court House Museum; a Newcomer Award to Valerie Kauffman; and Lifetime Achievement awards to Sharyn Murray and Dianna Harris.
In addition to recognizing the achievements of the division’s staff and volunteers, the meeting included remarks by Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock; a historical-theater presentation, “Who Done It: A Historic Murder Mystery”; and a presentation on the William D. Willis World War II Photographic Collection.
Team-building exercises included “Believe It or Not,” a series of scenarios in which staff members were asked to identify the one fictitious story out of three extraordinary work-related occurrences; and the Mannequin Challenge, the division’s take on the viral Internet-video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them. Go to the following to view the division’s Mannequin Challenge video.