NEW BRITAIN – A state college foundation from the city recognized employees last week at an appreciation breakfast and annual awards ceremony.
The Charter Oak State College Foundation honored employees at the Foundation’s Annual Employer Appreciation Breakfast Thursday at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. The foundation awarded winners of the Golden Acorn Employer of the Year Award for 2020 and 2021. The annual awards nominees are Charter Oak alumni.
The 2020 Golden Acorn Employer of the Year was Russ Arnold, director of Public Works/Town Engineer for the Town of Farmington. David Parent, 2021 COSC graduate who nominated Arnold said he handled difficult situations with the employees during the covid-19 pandemic, such as providing grief counselors, ensuring paid time off was available to a new hire, and just providing remarkable support.
“As employees we are encouraged to strive to be better, through higher education. Any individual should consider themselves lucky to have Russ Arnold as a boss and work for the Town of Farmington; I know I do,” Parent said.
The 2021 Golden Acorn Employer of the Year winners was Newington Police Chief Stephen Clark and The Goddard School of Westport employees Svitlanna Czernee, Nadia Marynovych and Kristen Bodenstein. Executive Director of the Charter Oak State College Foundation Carol Hall said it was important to have two winners for the 2021 awards.
“Many of the 2021 nominations included appreciation to individuals from many organizations that worked to maintain a sense of normalcy during the pandemic year – frontline workers. To choose just one was almost impossible, so we chose two,” Hall said.
Both alumni and students are encouraged to “bring their boss to breakfast” and to nominate them for the Golden Acorn Employer of the Year Award. Dave Calibey, COSC Foundation Board member and Big Thunk Principle, was the founder of the Employer Appreciation Breakfast.
“We recognize that it is the employer that helps our adult students earn a living and expand their career opportunities – and for that, the student and we are grateful,” Calibey said.
Employer nominees were selected by Charter Oak State College students and range from a variety of industries and services across Connecticut and other states. They are alumni in the fields of Public Safety, Early Childhood Education, Nursing and Health Care, Business, Paralegal, and Information Systems Studies. COSC President Ed Klonoski said the purpose is to celebrate companies that support students.
“Charter Oak State College is dedicated to preparing our adult students for their next job. This event is a labor of love for us,” Klonoski said.