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Veterans worker named Orleans County’s ‘employee of the year’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 November 2016 at 12:38 pm
Provided photo: Mary Jo Syck is pictured with David Callard, chairman of the Orleans County Legislature, after she was named the county’s employee of the year during a luncheon last Thursday at Tillman’s Village Inn.

Provided photo: Mary Jo Syck is pictured with David Callard, chairman of the Orleans County Legislature, after she was named the county’s employee of the year during a luncheon last Thursday at Tillman’s Village Inn.

ALBION –Mary Jo Syck is one of those “extraordinary” people who go above and beyond her job in serving Orleans County veterans and their families, said Earl M. Schmidt director of Veterans Service Agency.

Syck is assistant administrative veterans secretary for the county. She does far more than typical secretarial work, Schmidt said.

“The biggest thing is she goes over and beyond – she goes that extra step,” Schmidt said about Syck, who last Thursday was named the county’s employee of the year. “In today’s workforce you have the people who go to work and do their job, but she does more. People like that are extraordinary.”

She was instrumental in the plan for recent renovations of the Veterans Service Agency, making the site more user-friendly for the public and more secure for employees and volunteers.

Syck has worked for the county for 26 years, serving roles in the Personnel Office, Social Services, the County Highway Department, the County Clerk’s Office and the Veterans Services Agency.

“Whether it is making contact with a town clerk to make sure the right veteran exemption for taxes is correct or to assist the funeral director to get the death certificate in a timely manner to assist a widow or a family member with burial benefits, she makes every effort to assist the mission of the Veterans’ Office every day,” said Jack Welch, the county’s personnel director. “She also ensures that the five volunteer vans are schedule for maintenance to ensure that they are safe and ready to serve our veterans.”

Syck assists volunteers that run the van service, where veterans are transported for medical appointments.

She will often write letters to the families of deceased veterans, urging them to check to see if the family is entitled to veteran’s benefits.

“This employee is able to perform her duties and is willing to take on additional service to the veterans and their families, always cheerfully with a can-do attitude,” Welch said.

Syck was recognized during the county’s annual employee luncheon. Each month, one employee is recognized. A committee then reviews the nominations for the employees of the month and picks the employee of the year.

Other employees of the month recognized include:

Michelle Sargent (Office for the Aging), October 2015; Elizabeth Milazzo, (Social Services), December 2015; Diana Kephart, (Social Services), January 2016); Mary Jo Syck, (Veterans Services Agency) February 2016; Ryan McPherson, (Social Services) March 2016; Ryan Stork (Buildings and Grounds), April 2016; Mary Grouse (Social Services), May 2016; Linda Karp (Mental Health), June 2016; Cathy Miller (Public Health), July 2016; and Nola Goodrich-Kresse (Public Health), September 2016.

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