November 18, 2011

Receptionist Wins Older Worker of the Year Contest

Ruby Daniel, a receptionist for 55 years, has won Missouri's 2011 Older Worker of the Year Contest. Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services Director Margaret T. Donnelly presented the award to Daniel at a luncheon attended by 13 other statewide finalists at the Governor's Mansion.

Daniel, 75, started working as a receptionist for Ray County Family Support and Children's Division in Richmond, Mo., in 1954. As high school valedictorian, Ruby came highly recommended.

"Ruby started on a typewriter and has overcome her fears of modern technology," says her supervisor, Karla Polson. "She has become so good on computers that she is the information technology contact person for our Jefferson City office. And Ruby also saves the state money-she knows how to take apart a copy machine and put it back, lessening the need for service calls."

In 55 years, Daniel has only missed 12 days of work. She is never late and is always the last one to leave the office.

"Ruby also trained most of her supervisors, including me," Polson says, smiling.

Daniel also donates her vacation days to a shared leave fund for fellow employees, and bakes them her famous oatmeal-raisin cookies to mark the seasons.

The 21st annual Older Worker of the Year contest is sponsored by the Missouri Senior Employment Coordinating Committee, consisting of the AARP Foundation; Experience Works, Inc.; Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph; MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries; the Department of Economic Development/Division of Workforce Development; and the Department of Health and Senior Services/Division of Senior and Disability Services.