Employee of the Year Winners: (seated, L to R) Donnie McDonald, Laurel; Teresa Sullivan, Soso; Alicia Nelson, Ellisville; and Tracy Bridges, Ellisville. Congratulating the winners are: (center row, L to R) Robert Landrum, Mississippi Board of Mental Health; Renée Brett, Director of the Bureau of Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities, MS Dept. of Mental Health; Representative Omeria Scott; Diana Mikula, Executive Director, MS Dept. of Mental Health; (back row, L to R) Dr. Kenneth O’Neal, ESS Assistant Director; Rinsey McSwain, Director of Ellisville State School; Cindy Cooley, Director of Units; Candy Maxey, ESS Assistant Director; and John Wilson, Nursing Home Administrator.
Sullivan began her employment at ESS in 2002 when she was hired as a housekeeper. She began working as a direct care professional in 2006 and joined the Community Programs staff in 2011. Since then Sullivan has worked at ESS community homes in Ellisville, Laurel, and Hattiesburg. She is currently employed at Clover Cove Community Home in Ellisville. Sullivan, who has worked at the home for two years, said she enjoys caring for the five women at the home.
“Of all the different places I’ve worked for 17 years, I love Clover Cove the best,” she stated. “I love my job,” continued Sullivan. “If my health remains good, I will stay here. I work with very special people.”
Those who work with Sullivan consider her special too. ESS Director Rinsey McSwain said Sullivan’s supervisors described her as an employee with “an outstanding work ethic and who is always willing to work however they are needed. We generally find these wonderful qualities in all of our unit winners and it’s so great to see that.”
McSwain went on to say that Sullivan has a great attitude that shows in her day-to-day interactions with others. “This employee is self-motivated and takes duties seriously,” McSwain said in announcing the winner. “This person believes in Ellisville State School’s motto of TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More.
Sullivan was all smiles when McSwain proclaimed: “I am very honored to announce the 2018 Employee of the Year – Ms. Teresa Sullivan from Community Programs.”
Applause filled the room as Sullivan accepted her plaque and cash prizes for receiving the special honor. State Representative Omeria Scott, guest speaker for the luncheon, commended Sullivan and the direct support professionals for their hard work and dedication. She said the direct care professionals take care of the people at ESS.
“We commend you for the unselfish service you provide,” said Scott. “We hold you in high regard. You have worked hard for a noble cause and we applaud you.”
Board of Mental Health member Robert Landrum and Department of Mental Health Executive Director Diana Mikula also lauded the honorees for their exceptional work. Additionally, the Employee of the Year winners received monetary gifts from Community Bank of Mississippi, the ESS Family and Friends Association, ESS Employee Recognition Fund, ESS Credit Union, International Fire and Safety, Elkins Wholesale, House of Blessings Community Development and Aflac Insurance Agency. They also received gift cards from Casadores Mexican Grille, and Deli Diner.