Useppa Celebrates Its Employees

December 19, 2020
Useppa Celebrates Its Employees - Written by Jim Manz, Useppa Comptroller, with photos by UseppaGin - This year had presented so many challenges for the Club, it seems only fitting that we had to cancel/postpone the Employee Holiday Party due to COVID-19. In a normal year we provide a catered lunch, present the years of service tenure awards, hand out the cards from the Homeowners and Members Christmas Fund, announce the Employee of the 4th Quarter and Employee of the Year, and hold a raffle of 35-40 stockings on the Tarpon Bar Christmas tree. Stockings include an assortment of $50 bills and $25 gift cards. The party ends with a group picture celebrating another year. This year, due to unusual circumstances, things had to be reconsidered. The Employee Party was going to be held outdoors on the Collier Inn patio, where we could maintain proper adherence to the CDC guidelines. Last week we had to abruptly cancel the lunch gathering. We also had to make the announcement for the Employee of the 4th Quarter and Employee of the Year awards via an email blast to the staff. The selections were Carl Stanley in the Service Department for Employee of the 4th Quarter and Annie Pyle in the Accounting Office as Employee of the Year. In discussion with Tim Fitzsimmons and Donald Beckstead, Tim decided that the spending that would have gone towards the catered lunch would be added to the “normal” amount of stocking raffle, nearly doubling the amount to spend. Instead of limiting the raffle to about half of the staff, we were able to ensure that each employee received a random raffle prize. These were set in all cash denominations of $25, $50, and $100 that were sealed in envelopes, placed in a box, mixed up, and drawn to an employee’s name. It was then included in the Employee’s envelope with the Christmas fund card and check. The cards, raffle cash, and service tenure awards were then sorted by Department and given to their respective Department Managers to be handed out to the staff. Would we have preferred to have our annual gathering? Absolutely! But, given the cards COVID dealt, this was the best way to ensure that all Employees were able enjoy their Useppa Holiday experience.