Administrative Support Award
The Outstanding Staff awards are chosen by nominations received by the Awards Committee from all faculty, staff, and students at VIMS. They are awarded in the categories of Facilities/Safety/Trades, Technical Support, and Administrative Support.
The winner of the 2021 Outstanding Employee for Administrative Support is Sally Wood.
Sally has served the Commonwealth and VIMS for more than a decade as the Business & Financial Officer for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, a title that understates her wide-reaching responsibilities—indeed, a more appropriate title would be “Chief of Staff.” She is the first face you see when you walk into Wilson House, and aptly so, as she has her finger on the pulse of the entire CBNERR-VA team.
Sally manages a diverse set of responsibilities that includes managing grant budgets, serving as the point of contact for other VIMS units, maintaining a large equipment inventory, coordinating staff meetings, and assisting in outreach events. She does all this without complaint and everything always gets done.
In 2021, CBNERR-VA underwent its periodic external review by NOAA and also submitted its new Reserve Management Plan for public review. Both these took an enormous amount of planning for successful outcomes. Sally was central to both efforts and met all challenges with a positive attitude and ability to ensure things got to the finish line. She also worked with HR to initiate several Conservation Intern Positions that allow undergraduates to gain valuable experience.Sally operates by the motto ‘Never be Idle.’ Her work ethic, attention to detail, technical skills, and can-do attitude has enriched CBNERR-VA tremendously. Her good character builds trust, motivates others, and provides empathy for those in need. Sally is the first to bring a meal to someone who is sick or has lost a loved one, and initiated an annual Appreciation Breakfast for our Facilities staff—her egg and sausage casserole is a must!
Sally is an exceptional administrative professional who is knowledgeable, efficient, and patient. As one co-worker wrote, “She is the engine that keeps the Virginia Reserve machine running smoothly."