- The 2017 Civil Servant of the Year, Kerry-Ann Alicia Spaulding, does not take the honour lightly.
- “I’m very happy. I feel very honoured to have been selected from the group that was nominated. I believe that I represent many hard-working civil servants who give tirelessly every day to accomplish national goals and objectives. So I am very humbled by it and I am very happy, and I’ll try to do my best for the year to come and beyond,” Mrs. Spaulding says.
- Mrs. Spaulding says she believed she was nominated because “I work hard. I give of my best. I try to motivate others. I believe in what I do, and I’m really driven. I believe also in Jamaica, and I think others might have seen that in me. I’ve always got positive performance evaluation results, and that’s perhaps why I was selected,” she adds.
The 2017 Civil Servant of the Year, Kerry-Ann Alicia Spaulding, does not take the honour lightly.
Mrs. Spaulding, who has spent the 22 years of her working life at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, sees the award as recognition of her years of hard work and dedicated service to the Government and people of Jamaica, and pledges to continue to do exemplary work.
“I’m very happy. I feel very honoured to have been selected from the group that was nominated. I believe that I represent many hard-working civil servants who give tirelessly every day to accomplish national goals and objectives. So I am very humbled by it and I am very happy, and I’ll try to do my best for the year to come and beyond,” Mrs. Spaulding says.
She was speaking to JIS News moments after she was announced as the winner of the coveted award during the Launch of Civil Service Week at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Friday, November 17. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
The other nominees were Dale Miller and Lillith Needham from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development; Kelvin Thomas from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Human Resource Branch; and Michael Millwood and Carol Jones from the Ministry of Tourism.
Mrs. Spaulding says she was speechless when master of ceremonies, Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Chief Executive Officer, Donna-Marie Rowe, called her name as the Civil Servant of the Year.
Mrs. Spaulding tells JIS News that she was equally surprised when she found out that she was nominated for the award, as no one gave a hint that they were putting her name forward.
“I got a call from a representative of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and the individual advised me that I was nominated. I was very happy and they gave me a lot of details as to what should follow in terms of attending an interview and subsequent proceedings,” she informs.
Mrs. Spaulding says she believed she was nominated because “I work hard. I give of my best. I try to motivate others. I believe in what I do, and I’m really driven. I believe also in Jamaica, and I think others might have seen that in me. I’ve always got positive performance evaluation results, and that’s perhaps why I was selected,” she adds.
She says she has enjoyed her time at the Foreign Ministry, where she was employed shortly after graduating from Oberlin High School and spending a year at Camperdown.
Her first job was as a receptionist. While at the Ministry, she was able to complete a Diploma in Business Administration at the University of Technology; a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and is currently doing the Commonwealth Executive Master’s programme at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC).
“I’ve only worked at one place. When I was nominated (for Civil Servant of the Year) I was Acting Principal Finance Officer. Since (November 13), I have been Acting Director, Corporate Services, which is fairly new, and I’m responsible for three departments – Documentation, Information and Access Services; Information, Communication and Technology; and Administration,” she tells JIS News.
Mrs. Spaulding says she loves her job, and, while there are challenges, she views them as opportunities to learn and improve.
“Every day I go, I try to have new energy, new focus and I try to see how best I can do something better. I try to improve each day, and I try to get others around me to improve and do better each day. I love serving, so it is not ever difficult for me to apply myself to my job and get tasks completed in a timely and efficient manner,” she tells JIS News.
As a wife and a mother, she also tries her best to balance work and family life.
“I try to give my best at both ends. When I am at home, I give of myself. I make sure I do things with the family, spend quality time with the children, help with their homework and do chores as necessary. When I’m at work, I’m able to focus at work without distraction. I organise myself; for example, I take my children to the pediatrician on a Saturday, so that I don’t have to take time off during the week to do things like that. So I make sure I organise my time,” she tells JIS News.
As Civil Servant of the Year, Mrs. Spaulding says she is working on plans to execute a project over the next 12 months, which, she hopes, will make a difference in the society.
“I plan to get different groups together in an interactive way. During the interview I advised that I would try to form informal working groups, and these would function as problem-solving groups.
There are times when things are common, problems are common, (and) persons may have expertise in different areas, so they can share with colleagues. I will discuss with other colleagues to see if we can set up a platform where persons can go and share ideas and share information,” she says.
November 19 to 25 has been designated as Civil Service Week. The observance aims to highlight the work of teachers, firefighters, office administrators, garbage collectors and other workers in the public sector who continue to give excellent service to the country.
Friday’s launch was followed by a church service on November 19.