Congratulations to Toni Chase for being named Santa Rosa Junior College’s (SRJC) Employee of the Month for August 2014. Toni has provided more than 16 years of service to the college, joining us in 1993 as a student worker and hired on to the permanent staff in 1998. As an Administrative Assistant II in the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department, Toni is responsible for office management, tracking and setting up safety trainings for employees, conducting ergonomic assessments, researching ergonomic solutions, and participating in building safety inspections. Being involved with the District Safety and Health Committee (DSHC), Toni is also responsible for attending meetings, recording minutes, posting agendas and minutes on the committee’s website, and assisting employees with the online van training program.
A native of Sonoma County, the Piner High School alum received her Associate’s degree from SRJC, along with several certificates from SRJC’s Business Office Technology Department: Receptionist, Clerk Typist, Data Entry, Microcomputer Systems Specialist and Microcomputer Systems User. Toni has worked in several departments at SRJC including Business Administration, Curriculum and now in Environmental Health and Safety.
Doug Kuula, Manager of EHS, says “In all her capacities, she has been committed to student, employee and institutional success. Toni exemplifies what it means to be an excellent employee. She is extremely pleasant to work with, willing to work hard, willing to learn and take on new challenges. She is committed to the success of this institution.”
Toni’s willingness to learn, particularly in the field of ergonomics, is a trait that has served her throughout her career and has yielded remarkable results. Toni’s work has helped the EHS Department to reduce response time and improve follow-up. “Toni has created an ergonomic case tracking database that allows her to track each employee’s case, so that none languish. She has been so helpful in promptly addressing an employee’s ergonomic concern, whether they are to recover from an injury, or for injury prevention,” said Doug.
Toni works collaboratively will all departments, and has worked with the Warehouse and Custodial Department to repurpose surplus chairs, desks, keyboard trays, and other ergonomic items, saving the District lots of money over previous practices.
Asked why she has been so successful, Toni responded, “Being a former student worker at SRJC, I know what students are going through. There are many challenges students face and I will go above and beyond to assist students so they feel they have someone who cares. I also feel I am successful here because I work with so many warm and caring employees with a strong work ethic and great sense of humor. I especially enjoy working with the Facilities Operations staff – they are the best!”
Aside from work, Toni enjoys reading, watching movies, playing computer games and spending time with her family. Toni’s son, David, lives in Arizona, and her daughter, Ashley, is an SRJC student in the Veterinary Technician program. Toni is also a proud grandmother of two.
When told of her nomination, Toni was “teary-eyed.” Toni shares, “I am honored to be chosen Employee of the Month. I could never dream of working anywhere else. I’d like to thank Anita Rich, Cheryl Redmon, and Peg Saragina for hiring me as a student worker in the Business Office Technology Department – without their mentorship, I would not be where I am today. I would like to also thank Douglas Kuula, Jason Escher, Alex Belousov and John Schroder for being the most delightful co-workers and making our office a wonderful place to work. I would also like to thank Maria Gaitan who mentored and trained me in the Office of the Dean of Instruction/Curriculum Development. I am so proud to work for SRJC!”