ExtraOrdinary Award

ExtraOrdinary Award

We celebrate our people with the annual Extraordinary Award, a peer nominated award passed from one team member to another for their outstanding efforts to improve the company over the past year. We believe in our employees and celebrate extraordinary accomplishments both personally and professionally.

Carin Hays

Vice President / Director of Human Resources, Tenure with DII: 15 years Name of Recognizer: Chelle Barstad
Carin interacts with each one of us almost every day lending an ear, listening when we have issues and/or checking on us to be sure we are on the right track. She shows acts of teamwork, integrity and service with every interaction with current team mates as well as new and prospective team members. We have Internal contests and prizes are awarded to her via a name drawing and yet, she will put her name back in the hat for another person to get the prize. She always wants others to enjoy the prize. Carin shows care and concern with her team members as well as the environment and surroundings in our office space. She just recently noticed our sink drain was clogged and needed to be cleaned so she took the initiative to add chemicals to take care of the odor. Carin gives more than she gives herself credit for. She makes sure we have breakfast every first Tuesday of the month and is a GREAT singer when we sing our duet for DII anniversary celebrations. A prime example of her overwhelming kindness is that in mid- October, I left the office in a rush to get home and get my daughter to her homecoming dance. In my rush to leave, left my camera at work. As everyone knows, I love to capture the moment and love to take photos. In a panic, I called Carin to find my camera and asked her to put it In my office. She asked, without hesitation, “where is the pre-party for the homecoming?” She met me at my daughter’s date’s house with my camera, so I was able to capture the moment. I am so thankful to her for her doing that, yes my cellphone would have worked but she knew I wanted my camera and it was so thoughtful of her to take the time to bring it to me. I know Carin will be upset that I am giving her this award, she will probably tell me, “ I don’t want this OR give to someone else as I will make do.” However, today – Feb 11, I give the EXTRAordinary award to CARIN HAYS!

Chelle Barstad

Co-Controller, Tenure with DII: 37 years Name of Recognizer: Brianna Foertschbeck
Chelle is a HUGE help to every single person in this office and never hesitates to jump in where needed. Whenever I need help or have a question, I know I can go right to her desk and ask, and she will immediately stop what she is working on to help me, with no eye rolls and no attitude. Around our 11/1 hotel renewal, we have A LOT of money coming into the office from A LOT of different people and places within a short period of time, and she handles the stress of all this with so much grace and patience. Also, during the time I was dean of the college of life enrichment, with no hesitation, she offered to go out and purchase the rocks for one of our projects, as well as cut and stain every single piece of wood for our One Word project. I offered to come over and help, and she said it was no problem at all, and not to worry about it. Chelle has helped me tremendously in the 6 years that I have been here at DII, as I am sure she has for many of you, and this is why I am giving her the Extraordinary Award.

Brianna Foertschbeck

Account Manager, Tenure with DII: 6 years Name of Recognizer: Natalya Pankova
Since my childhood, I have never considered myself a crafty person. I never thought that I was creative and I can do make cool things out of nothing, like take a stone and color it or take a wood plank and make a nice piece of art. For the last couple years, I have been attending the Life Enrichment classes and I really enjoyed doing all of these craft staff. It opened me up to new things and I discovered new talents I wasn’t aware I had. I can do nice crafts too! I wanted nominate Brianna for doing such a great job putting together absolutely Extra Ordinary Life Enrichment classes!

Chandre’ L. Kelly, CLCS

Account Manager, Tenure with DII: 7 years Name of Recognizer: Stephen Licata
I wanted to present the Extra Ordinary Award to someone that reflected DII in a positive manor and is highly respected by their peers. That is why I wanted to present the Extra Ordinary Award to Chandre because of her positive attitude, her constantly giving off positive energy, and someone I can share laughs with. I normally talk to her in the morning and having her energy and positivity is a great way to start the day. Chandre in my opinion is a great person to hold this award.

Stephen Licata

Client Services Coordinator, Tenure with DII: 3 years Name of Recognizer: Nick Doccolo
I chose Stephen based on personal character traits rather than performance. I don’t really see much of the insurance side so I have no idea what goes into making a sale, getting a client, or anything like that, let alone a high performance sale. I’ve seen Stephen train new employees with patience, understanding, and he is very giving of his time. I’ve also seen him apply these same principles to helping out just about anyone who asks for help. On top of that, the other reason that I chose to give it to Stephen was that, from an IT perspective, he’s also been there trying to figure it out with me if he has a problem. He tries to understand what caused the problem and how to fix it in the future so he knows how to fix it himself. He asks me questions on why something works the way it is, how it works, and how to do it again. He’s also taken initiative for a tech related setup that we have in the Bruns’ office. We created a setup to allow Stephen to swap the monitors over to another computer when Barczak is not in there and within a week, he no longer asks for help with it. He has taken it upon himself to learn how the swap works so he can do it himself. I never asked or insinuated that I wanted him to take over from me in the role, but I believe that it showed his character as he chose to learn it so he didn’t have to ask me every morning.

Nick Doccolo

IT Systems Specialist, Tenure with DII: 1 year Name of Recognizer: Steve Johnson
Trying to find an extra-ordinary employee in the new office is tough. Everyone works in their zones and with the noise cancelling, while wonderful and amazing, doesn’t allow me to hear conversations more than 20 feet away. This is a beautiful thing, just not the best for searching for extra-ordinary things people do. Since I sit near Nick, I get to hear him work with many people in the office from the time we come in early until the end of the day when we leave. When presented with a problem from a panicked individual in the office, Nick’s demeanor, which is quite calm, immediately puts people in our office at ease. Being that Nick is in the nerve center of tech in the office, everything comes at him and people want answers ASAP. He calms people down and works on a solution immediately. Something of which does not occur much in life these days. I have seen him work on tech equipment in the office and it always gets taken care of quickly and efficiently. I hear him get the issue report, make phones calls or whatever it takes to get the situation resolved. Jorge did a great job in that position, but Nick’s extra effort put into tasks and people skills works well. Sorta like an Emergency room tech, calming folks down to fix the issues works well, our office needs this type of person.

Steve Johnston

Producer , Tenure with DII: 18 years Name of Recognizer: Cherie Meyer
This individual is very soft spoken, always willing to help out whether an insurance question or change a flat tire. This person can be relied upon to be there for team members and the DII customers. I don’t think that I have ever seen this person in a bad mood, or heard a cross word. This person is not one to call attention to themselves. Not only does this person come in and do a great job with the accounts assigned, but this person has also managed to find a “nitch” market that they have pursued and has been very successful in writing business. This person would be deemed a “hybrid”- part account manager and part producer. This person is a team player and just a nice person. But no matter how you look at it, he is an asset to DII and truly an Extraordinary Person.

Karen Wladkowski

Vice President, Tenure with DII: 33 years Name of Recognizer: Jorge Vazquez
I chose Karen as next in line to receive the ExtraOrdinary award for the following reasons. 1. Her dedication to DII over the last 33 years, coming in on Saturdays to help clean out files, staying late with Jack to make sure he has everything he needs for the next day and fighting with the village to make sure we have hot water in the bathrooms, etc. 2. Her servant spirit - everything she does in this office is for others. 3. Her loving heart - every time something happens to one of us or our families, Karen is there with kind words and a loving heart. She treats all of us like family, even when we don’t deserve it. 4. Her attitude - she puts you in your place when you need it most, and holds people accountable for their actions. 5. The way she treats my family - my kids love coming here and she’s the main reason. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Julee Hager

Senior Customer Service Representative, Tenure with DII: 25 years Name of Recognizer: Phyllis Jeddry
I chose Julee to receive this award because she is always willing to help anyone with anything when asked. She is incredibly busy in her unit as an Associate/Account Facilitator but she has never said no when I have asked for her help with anything and she always does it with a smile on her face. When she does offer her help, she always goes above and beyond to make sure that the job she is doing for you is done well and taken care of. Not only does she always offer her help but she is one of the most dedicated employees I know. She comes in early every day, never calls in sick and is an incredibly hard worker. I can’t think of anyone else in this office whose dedication and hard work measures up to hers. And for this, she is truly an example of what an EXTRAORDINARY person is.

Phyllis Jeddry, CPCU, AAI, AU

Vice President / Account Manager, Tenure with DII: 35 years Name of Recognizer: Barb Pycha
I chose to highlight the selfless deeds of Phyllis Jeddry during the early 2016 blizzard. As the snow piled up, one of our co-workers had posted on Facebook that she had no one to shovel her out of her home. She had attempted to hire someone in her Towson neighborhood with no success. Almost immediately, Phyllis posted that if Judy needed help she would be glad to assist her. Phyllis does not live in close proximity to Towson and the amount of snow we received would have made the trip from Bel Air extremely difficult. Even though Judy ended up not needing the help from Phyllis to dig out after the blizzard, the offer to help was genuine and heartfelt. As if this thoughtful act were not enough, when we did return to work, I found that Phyllis had brought Jennifer to work as plows had not touched the development where her family lived. When Phyllis found out that Jen was stranded, she immediately offered assistance going out of her way to bring her to and from work. If you recall, roads were not well plowed after the event making that trip from Bel Air to Nottingham to Cross Keys quite the adventure. I thought that these two small acts of kindness and generosity spoke to Phyllis’ servant’s heart in a very big way and led me to my decision to pass the ExtraOrdinary torch to her.

Barbara Pycha

Career Development Coach, Tenure with DII: 3 years Name of Recognizer: Tom Carroll
Took it upon herself to make breakfast for the office one day. Her husband is an amazing chef and baker and she made burritos for the entire office one day. It seems like an ordinary thing, but this was extra-ordinary in doing it for the office. And not only has she done this once, but on several occasions.