The University of Georgia Griffin Campus recently named the 2018 Classified Employees of the Year. Pictured are award recipients (l-r) Lewayne White, Sue Thomas and Adam Gregory.

The University of Georgia Griffin Campus recently named Adam Gregory, Sue Thomas and Lewayne White as the 2018 Classified Employees of the Year. The designation was made at the 29th Annual Employee Recognition Ceremony held on Friday, March 16.

Ten employees were nominated for the Classified Employee of the Year award: Brett Byous (Entomology); Ben Fields (Field Research Services); Anthony Flint (Facilities Management Division); Malgorzata Florkowska (Horticulture); Adam Gregory (Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit); Kimberly Hayes (Finance and Administration); Lee Taylor (Office of the Assistant Provost and Campus Director); Sue Thomas (Center for Food Safety); Brian Vermeer (Plant Pathology); and Lewayne White (Crop and Soil Sciences).

The Classified Employee of the Year award is presented to classified personnel who have made the most significant impact on the programs at the UGA Griffin Campus. This is reflected through their superior job knowledge and performance, work attitude, initiative, dependability and time management. During the ceremony, Assistant Provost and Campus Director Dr. Lew Hunnicutt congratulated all the honorees on their nominations, noting they are all worthy of the award in his book.

Adam Gregory

Gregory has been a part of the UGA Griffin Campus for the past 10 years. He currently serves as an Agricultural Specialist for the Plant Genetic Resource Conservation Unit (PCGRU). He assists curators and technicians in field layouts, tilling, and planting for regeneration and research as well as soil sampling, applying pesticides, installing irrigation, performing general and preventative maintenance and harvesting crops. He also works beyond his departmental unit, helping with campus events such as the Turfgrass Field Day, Agroforestry and Wildlife Field Day, Relay for Life and the City of Griffin Christmas parade.

His unit credits Gregory with making numerous improvements over the years to increase the efficiency of the PGRCU operations and being a standout employee who is truly a team player.

Sue Thomas

Recently retired, Thomas was employed at the UGA Griffin Campus for 17 years. She began as an Accounting Assistant for the Center for Food Safety before being promoted to Accountant and Sr. Accountant. Her responsibilities included: assisting in the preparation of annual budgets, maintaining budgeting records, monthly expenditure statements, payroll, personnel database updates, and serving as the Center’s Human Resources representative. 

Dr. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, professor and director of the Center for Food Safety, stated Thomas was a key contributor to the Center’s mission and is “living proof of a very humble human being who has accomplished so much because she has always enjoyed her job.”

Lewayne White

White has been a member of the UGA Griffin Campus team for 12 years.  He serves as a Research Professional III with Crop and Soil Sciences and specifically works with the Turfgrass Breeding Program. He is responsible for the coordination and management of research programs, as well as overall management of the field plots, greenhouse operations and lab operations. In addition, he supervises technicians, graduate students and temporary laborers and maintains equipment. He also helps with many campus events such as the City of Griffin Christmas Parade, United Way Chili Cookoff and Relay for Life.

His nomination letter referred to White as “a great team player with an upbeat attitude and great sense of humor that make others want to work with and around him.”

Chuck Copeland, president and CEO of First National Bank of Griffin, served as the award ceremony’s keynote speaker. The theme for this year’s event was “A Good Attitude: The Rx for Success.” Copeland spoke about the importance of having a good relationship with your peers and a good attitude at your workplace. In closing, Copeland shared his thoughts on how others could demonstrate the event’s theme in their daily life. His views are best summed up with the chorus of the song “Show the World” by Robert Earl Keen: “Give your heart, lend a hand; Say you will, say you can; Don’t let your love ever end; Show the world you are a friend.”

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