Pictured left to right: Bruce Brady (Legacy Award winner), Roberta DeHerrera (Spirit of Service winner) and Melody Fenton (Do Gooder of the Year winner)

Blue employees honored with prestigious awards

Each year, the Blue family – all 259 of us – get together for an annual bash to celebrate a year of working hard, having fun and winning for our members. The event is something we all look forward to because it’s a chance to connect with coworkers we don’t normally see on a daily basis. The energy and laughter makes it clear to anyone why we choose to work at Blue.

After some fun and the infamous “Blue-per” awards, all our staff settled in for the awards ceremony which honored three, wonderful employees. We are very pleased to announce our employee recipients of the Legacy Award, Spirit of Service, and the Do Gooder of the Year.

Legacy Award

The Legacy Award is in fond memory of Betty Thomas, an employee who lost a hard-fought battle to leukemia in 2013. She was our assistant contact center manager at the time and worked at the credit union for over decade. Betty’s spirit truly represented what it means to be a Blue employee. She was a role model for others and left a lasting legacy that embodies our mission and values. Other recipients include our executive administrative assistant, Margo LaHiff and CEO, Stephanie Teubner.

This award is only given when a recipient is found, rather than annually. This year we gave the Legacy Award to no one more deserving than Bruce Brady, our former Chief Human Resources Officer. Bruce was with Blue for 11 years and recently retired this past December, following his career in the United States Air Force. He’s an example of someone who would give the shirt of his back, even if you didn’t ask. Some of our best memories of Bruce will be forever commemorated in this very special honor. We asked him about what kind of legacy he wanted to leave at Blue.

“It goes back to the rule of leaving something better than how you found it,” Bruce explained. “Blue is viewed as the leader in doing good, and I hope the impact I’ve left shows that we’ve always done the right thing for our staff, members and communities.”

Even though we won’t see Bruce every day, we’ll still see him volunteering in the community and at many Blue events in the future. Congratulations, Bruce. We will miss you!

Bruce is pictured at a ceremony held in Cheyenne for the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. He volunteered his time all week during the event to watch over the display.

Spirit of Service

This is an absolutely amazing award. Not just because of what it represents, but also because the finalists are nominated by their fellow colleagues. Spirit of Service was created several years ago to honor Linda Oligschlaeger, ‘Linda O’, who also lost her battle with cancer in 2000. She was a shining star and the epitome of our service promise to members. Every year, our employees nominate their teammates who stand out and display the “spirit” that Linda did. Our Spirit of Service Committee, which is made up of past recipients, evaluates each nominee on the five points of what it takes to be a “shining star;” Care, Share, Be Fair, Be There and Be Square. It is an incredibly tough decision to determine the winner.

This year’s Spirit of Service went to our Dell Range branch manager, Roberta DeHerrera. This is Roberta’s 5th nomination, so it’s not hard to see why she is so beloved by her staff and other employees.

Roberta said, “The nominees go above and beyond and I love working with them. To be nominated, and to actually win this year, had me choked up when my name was called.”

Our Spirit of Service finalists are staff well-known in our communities, and we want to make sure we recognize them. The 2018 nominees were:

  • Matt Green (Information Technology)
  • Sarah Conover (Contact Center)
  • Brian Rainwater (Contact Center)
  • Viviana Ramos (Dell Range Branch)
  • Rebecca Thoe-Heuer (Risk Management)
  • Jennifer VanOrsdale (Huron Branch)
  • Terri Barth (Member Solutions)
  • Michelle Harte (Human Resources)

Roberta is pictured here (first row, third from the left) with her branch's Halloween team costume. Roberta kept her team, and members', spirits up during the remodel construction that was recently completed.

Do Gooder of the Year

If you haven’t heard about Blue’s “do good” mantra, just ask any of our employees. Last year, the credit union introduced a new award that represented employee volunteerism at the credit union.

While this award was introduced in 2017, volunteering is not something new to Blue. In 2018 alone, our employees logged 2,782 hours of volunteer time. That’s the equivalent of 115 days of doing good for others. Last year’s first-ever recipient, Megan Mordahl, mentioned this isn’t just an accolade, but rather how she lives.

At our awards banquet, Megan passed the torch to this year’s Do Gooder of the Year, Melody Fenton. Melody is our culture coach and personally logged 107 hours of volunteer time over the past 12 months. One of her most notable community contributions is her “queen duty” at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Melody accompanies rodeo queens (think of them as western heritage royalty!) from all over the world for a full week. She ensures that they make it to appearances on time and their needs are met. She’s also been seen in other communities like Laramie, WY for the Realities For Children Forever Family Ride and feeding firefighters during a local appreciation event. Melody said her favorite volunteer activities are in her hometown community.

“I love spending time introducing others to Cheyenne because I’m proud of where I grew up,” she said. “We live in a unique region and being able to share the places and experiences I love with others makes me immensely happy.”

A huge shout out to Melody for making her community and the world a better place!

Melody (pictured third from the right) is seen with her fellow "Do Gooders" at a local firefighter appreciation lunch.