BROOKLAND – U.S. Congressman-elect Brian Babin and Texas State Senator Robert Nichols both extended their greetings to the board members, elected officials, Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) staff and their families and friends in attendance at the DETCOG Christmas Luncheon.
This year the annual meeting and awards presentation was held at Rayburn Country.
Dr. Babin spoke of his pride in representing DETCOG counties in the 36th Congressional District. He also invited everyone to attend his Washington D.C. swearing-in.
Sen. Nichols expressed his appreciation for the support the organization and his members have given him during his work in Austin. Before he could sit back down, DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles and DETCOG's president, Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter, talked Nichols into sharing one of his stories (jokes) that have become an annual tradition.
Service awards were presented to DETCOG employees with 5, 10, 15 years of service. However, this year a 25-year plaque was awarded 9-1-1 Program Director Van Bush; a 30-year plaque was presented to Area Agency on Aging Program Director Holly Anderson; Dora Wilmore from Youth Services was recognized for 35-years of service; and DETCOG Regional Housing Authority Director Ethel Bluitt received a 40-Year Plaque.
After earlier receiving her 15-year service award, Scherita McCray was named "Employee of the Year" for the DETCOG. Suiter started the presentation by saying the person receiving the recognition had started at DETCOG as a receptionist. From there she later transferred to the HUD Housing Rental Assistance Program as a case worker where she served landlords and tenants with the same warm smile and commitment to provide "the best ever customer service". Noting this past year has been full of challenges Suiter said that "where others might gripe and complain, McCray has continued to do her job, holding strong and continuing to work with a smile, dedication and confidence.
McCray expressed her thanks and appreciation for the award. She ended her comments with something her father always told her: "Quitters never win, and winners never quit!"
The next DETCOG board meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. It is scheduled to be held in San Augustine.