A wrong turn leads Richardson to a new career and deserved recognition.
Sharon Richardson never anticipated that a wrong turn she made more than 10 years ago set the stage for being named Charleston County Government's 2012 Employee of the Year - the highest award given annually to the person who best represents the county's more than 2,000 employees.
A self-professed bookworm, Richardson was unfamiliar with the St. Andrew's Regional Library until she stumbled upon it while running errands one spring day in 2002. She started as a Library Assistant I in the Circulation Department in May 2002. While there, her positive attitude, commitment and professionalism was evident based on how she interacted with customers and fellow co-workers. In addition to her regular duties, Richardson created and maintained a Coupon Corner at the branch, which helps patrons and staff save money by sharing unused coupons with others.
Library Director Doug Henderson and County Administrator Kurt Taylor presented the honor to Richardson during the county's annual Employee Recognition reception.
"This is the first time a Library employee received this countywide honor, which makes it extremely special. Library staff are committed to providing excellent customer service, and this award demonstrates that commitment," Henderson said.
Taylor congratulated Richardson, adding that she exemplifies the highest standards of excellent customer service. He commended her for her passion to help area residents, both at work and as a community volunteer.
As part of her nomination, St. Andrew's Regional Manager Cynthia Hurd and her Supervisor RosemaryFludd called Richardson "a role model of professionalism" and a "valued veteran and ambassador of the branch."
"She is diminutive in size, but she has a huge heart," Hurd said, adding that Richardson "treats patrons and co-workers with intelligence, humor, respect, honesty and compassion. She is a hard worker, always willing to assist and pitch in to help."
Recently promoted to Library Assistant II and moved to the Otranto Road Regional Library, Richardson continues to work in Circulation. Although she's moved, she still contributes to the Coupon Corner at St. Andrew's Regional and hopes to bring the program to Otranto Road Regional soon.
She serves as an example of an employee who provides exceptional customer service, pays attention to detail and demonstrates the initiative of a veteran library ambassador - all traits that earned her the countywide Employee of the Year award. Richardson said her favorite things about working for the Charleston County Public Library are the opportunities it provides to help customer and work with great colleagues.
When she's not working at the library, Richardson is active in the community and recently was featured in the weekly newspaper West Of. In addition to her full-time CCPL job, she serves as a hospice volunteer at Heartland Health Care, volunteers at the Crisis Ministries soup kitchen and runs her own baked goods business, Sharon's Baked Goods.
For more information, contact Jamie Thomas at 843-805-6817 or 843-364-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.