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Employees of the Year: Staff members celebrated

May 3, 2015

By J. Blake Ragsdale

For more than three years, Leslie Little has tended to the daily needs of residents at Baptist Children’s Homes’ Developmental Disabilities Ministry (DDM). A direct support professional, Little served at DDM’s Asheboro Home and Mercer Home in Sanford before settling at Stegall Home in Marshville. She considers the residence’s six men her family.

Whether cooking her secret Boston butt recipe or filling in at other DDM homes when additional staff is needed, Little’s heart is focused first on serving God. Her passion for ministry, and love of the special needs adults she cares for daily, led her to be recognized as a 2015 Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) Employee of the Year.

“I want to thank God because He is the head of my life,” Little said standing before BCH trustees and staff members.

Little and the other six award recipients were honored on April 7 during combined committee meetings of the BCH Board of Trustees at Mills Home in Thomasville. Each winner addressed the audience after receiving their award from BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell and trustee chair Jerry Jordan.

Prior to being hired, Little suffered the heart-breaking loss of her son. His death left her devastated, but Little found joy and healing through ministering to DDM’s special residents.

“I was really down when I came to BCH,” Little revealed. “Working with these men and ladies really brought me out of it. (Stegall Home resident) Sedrick can come up to me and tell me that I look beautiful and it just makes my day.”

“Those residents see that you love them and they pray for you,” Blackwell told Little during the ceremony. “They mean everything to you, and it’s evident that you are always willing to do whatever you can for them.”

Little and the additional winners are the first to receive the Employee of the Year Award. The recognition was originally known as the Excellence in Direct Service Award which was awarded to staff members who worked directly with BCH’s residents and families. The new honor allows employees in supportive and other administrative jobs to be eligible for recognition.

“There are so many dedicated and talented staff members who serve at BCH,” Blackwell explained. “Regardless of their roles, every one is an integral part of serving the children and families who turn to us daily. The change in the award allows us to affirm even more individuals who are excelling within the ministry.”

2015 Honorees

Ann Hall is a teacher to children attending BCH’s Weekday Education program in Thomasville. Hall provides her class with a caring and nurturing environment. At times, she substitutes in other classrooms and is well-loved by all staff and clients. Hall has served for 15 years.

Don Ramsey serves as maintenance supervisor at Mills Home in Thomasville. Ramsey is known for his reliability and dependability. He worked tirelessly with vendors and volunteers to restore the Mills Home grounds after an ice storm struck in early 2014. He also assists with projects at other BCH locations.

Nancy Allen serves as office manager at Broyhill Home in Clyde. Her professional growth and development has been evident in her 33 years of service. During the past couple of years, Allen has taken on new professional responsibilities that came with a steep learning curve and she has risen to the challenge.

Brenda Ferguson is a 30-year employee who serves as the administrative assistant to BCH’s chief operating officer. While programs, processess and people come and go, Ferguson has been a constant both in her office and for BCH’s employees across the state. She has the heart of a servant and carries out her duties with humility.

Leslie Little is known by her passion for the Developmental Disabilities Ministry. She is a strong advocate for the men she serves at Stegall Home in Marshville. Little’s work ethic is second to none. She is willing to work fill-in shifts at Stegall and the other BCH homes and does so without complaint.

Arwen Elders is a supervisor at Camp Duncan for Girls in Aberdeen. The girls she serves at the residential wilderness program see Elders as not only a caring role model, but as a mother figure. She is a champion of BCH’s vision of sharing hope. . .changing lives and a true ambassador of Jesus.

Carol Layton is the administrative and communications manager for NCBAM. Layton ensures everything she accomplishes for the ministry to aging adults is accurate and exemplary. She connected NCBAM with the Office of State Fire Marshall resulting in thousands of smoke detectors being installed in the homes of aging adults throughout the state.

Learn more about a career with Baptist Children's Homes at www.bchfamily.org/careers.