Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 14, 2014

Hickory Creek names Harford employee of the year

By Brent Brown Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Retro TV fans know the A-Team as Hannibal, Murdock, “Face,” and B.A. Baracus, a mercenary special forces team out to right the wrongs inflicted upon in-need individuals lucky enough to find the eponymous commando group.

But for Hickory Creek of Greensburg, the “A-Team” is something else entirely: A group of dedicated individuals who give their all each and every day.

And they love it when a (celebratory) plan comes together.

Such was the case Tuesday when a large group of Hickory Creek residents, staff, administrators and community dignitaries converged to honor the facility’s own “A-Team.” Twelve individuals were recognized as employees of the month during 2013, but it was activities director Cheryl Harford who earned the distinction of being named Hickory Creek’s employee of the year.

Harford, who has worked for Hickory Creek since 2009, was described by administrator Jo Ellen “Joey” Kring as knowledgeable, involved, creative and talented. Kring described Harford as having a “can-do attitude” and offered her personal thanks on a job well done.

Harford accepted her award with a hug from Kring and kind words from Greensburg Mayor Gary Herbert who joked that Harford’s popularity could make her a formidable future mayoral candidate in her own right. He also offered praise for the services the Hickory Creek employee of the year and all nursing home and assisted living facility staffers provide for older citizens of Decatur County, day in and day out.

“These are special people taking special care of others,” the mayor said. “We are so fortunate to have people like you who care,” Herbert said of Harford.

The award recipient told of how she enjoyed coming to work each day and complimented her team on their daily efforts to provide care for those in need. Harford saved her highest praise, however, for the residents of Hickory Creek.

“You’re why we come to work every day,” Harford told the large group.

As activities director, Harford is well acquainted with forging creative ways of involving Hickory Creek’s residents in many happy pursuits. That position has been a rewarding one for this year’s top employee.

“It’s really exciting to see people engage in activities that will help them lead a better life,” Harford said. A previous two-time winner of employee of the month, Tuesday morning marked the first time the activities director was recognized with her facility’s top prize.

Humbly, Harford attributed much of her success to members of her team.

“I’d just like to thank my team members,” Harford told the Daily News. “It’s easy to come to work every day.”

Harford said she was surprised by Tuesday’s honor saying many of her co-workers were just as deserving of the award.

The award is determined through votes placed by Hickory Creek employees, residents and the families of those who call Hickory Creek home.

Tuesday’s celebration was attended by Hickory Creek’s director of operations Jan Richey, vice president of operations Brent Waymeier and Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce executive director Jeff Emsweller in addition to residents, friends and family members of the award recipients.

A brunch was served for all guests immediately following the short ceremony, but Harford remained the toast of the day.

Kring described the activities director as possessing a necessary “zest” for her job, in addition to being perpetually enthusiastic and creative.

Harford spent much of the morning exchanging hugs and accepting congratulations from fellow Hickory Creek all-stars, friends and residents. She wiped away tears of joy at the outpouring of support.

Harford was also honored as employee of the month for April 2013. She and 11 others received pins and a gift bag as prizes for that distinction.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; brent.brown@greensburgdailynews.com