MOUNT STERLING, Ill. -- Chris Brierton of Versailles was named the 2018 Volunteer of the Year for Dot Foods Inc. on Thursday.
Brierton is an industrial retail customer development representative at Dot Foods, who volunteered nearly 75 hours to charities last year. In addition, the $1,000 prize to charity was directed by Brierton to the Mount Sterling YMCA. Dot Foods also will send Brierton on a vacation to RT's Cove, Dot Foods' private resort in Osage Beach, Mo.
The annual award program is part of the Dot Foods' Teaming with Local Charities program, and a core component of the company's culture.
"Chris has shared with me the positive impact volunteering has made in her life, and I am excited she will be reminded of the impact she continues to have on others," said Elly Passmore, TLC director at Dot Foods' Mount Sterling operations.
Brierton has worked for Dot Foods for 14 years. She volunteers with the Mount Sterling YMCA and helps with the organization's After School and Summer Camp programs, coordinating a community garden activity, and leads an annual fundraising campaign. She also volunteers at the senior center and with local schools.
"There is no shortage in the ways Chris has made an impact in our community," said Kendra Shoopman, the company's industrial sales manager and Brierton's supervisor. "We often hear people say, ‘I don't have time,' but Chris has found a way to prioritize and balance family, faith, career and community."
Overall, more than 300 Dot Foods employees from the Mount Sterling location, along with those in St. Louis and Burley, Idaho, volunteered a combined 3,800 hours last year as part of the TLC program. In addition, employees donated nearly $25,000 to local charity organizations via employee program incentives.
The Mount Sterling TLC group reaches 11 West Central Illinois counties to volunteer with 40 organizations including the Central Illinois Food Bank, YMCA, United Way, Area Agency on Aging, as well as many local schools and community leadership programs.
"Dot Foods is dedicated to helping improve the lives of people who live in the communities where we operate," Passmore said.
At the ceremony, Dot Foods recognized the other nine 2018 Volunteer of the Year finalists and awarded a $250 donation to each to be given to the charity of their choice. A panel interviewed each finalist to learn more about their motivation to volunteer, level of involvement at charitable groups, and dedication to inspiring others to give back. During the reception, Dot Foods also recognized employees who reached a 100-hour cumulative volunteer milestone.
The other nine Volunteer of the Year finalists for 2018 were: Joshua Stuckman of Golden, Toni Hillyer of Rushville, Lora Decker of Mount Sterling, Leslie Easley of Timewell, Samantha Morrow of Rushville, Nathaniel O'Bear of Macomb, Michele Behymer of Mount Sterling, Michelle Roberts of Timewell and Halie Brinkman of Coatsburg.