Thanks to an employee engagement program affectionately known as the Pineapple Awards, six employees from TelNet Worldwide and Superior Contact won a total of $5,000 in prizes this month. Over the fourth quarter of 2021, employees earned points for participating, engaging and showing initiative across a variety of tasks. Read on to learn more about the program and the 2021 winners!
The Pineapple Awards
Debuted in 2021, the Pineapple Awards encourage employees to earn points for a variety of activities like completing training programs, referring new hires, receiving kudos from coworkers and contributing to the organization’s key initiatives. With the exception of senior management, all staff members were invited to participate.
“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace,” said President and Founder, Mark Iannuzzi. “From the beginning, TelNet and Superior have made people their priority, creating programs, environments and activities that acknowledge that our team is our treasure.”
At the end of the quarter, all points were tallied and the top five point earners from two main categories — agents and corporate staff — received one raffle ticket for every 10 points earned. On Friday, January 21, 2022 all employees were invited to a virtual reveal party, where the tickets were plucked from a tumbler to reveal the winners.
The first place winners receive $1,500 and three extra days of PTO toward a trip or activity of their choice. Second and third place winners each receive $500 toward a trip or activity.
TelNet Worldwide and Superior Contact Corporate Winners
Across all departments, the top five point holders were Sandi Slavko with 100 points, Paige Vincent with 109 points, Sam Price with 129 points, Ashley Justman with 140 points and John McCarthy with 185 points.
Streaming live from Team TelNet headquarters, Director of HR Deanna Dragan was aided by Customer Account Manager Will Luchin as they took turns drawing names from the tumbler.
First Place: Paige Vincent
The first name pulled from the tumbler was none other than Superior Contact Supervisor, Paige Vincent. You may remember that she also won the Bucket List Trip Competition from 2019!
“I am over the moon excited and shocked!” exclaimed Vincent. “I am forever grateful for this company and the endless opportunities it provides, especially with giving back to their employees!”
While Vincent is unsure of where she plans to go this time around, she’s getting $1,500 toward a trip of her choice, along with three additional days of PTO. According to her manager, Client Services Manager Heather Peace, this is a much-deserved win and a perfect example of how the right combination of talent and exceptional work ethic will lead to success.
“Paige is an outstanding leader for the Constellation Team and has proven her commitment to Superior Contact and our client time and time again,” said Peace. “She is driven, enthusiastic and dedicated to her team’s success. Paige’s solution-based mindset and willingness to help where needed is inspiring!”
Second Place: John McCarthy
Coming in second place with a $500 award was Visual Designer John McCarthy. After grieving a second cancelled cruise thanks to the pandemic, McCarthy and his wife Rebecca are looking forward to a trip to Seattle this year to celebrate their anniversary.
“We’re looking forward to hiking Olympia or Mount Rainier,” said McCarthy. “I hear Seattle has good coffee and the tide pools are supposed to be mind melting. We’re grateful that TelNet gave us this opportunity and gave back to some of the employees who made a real impact for the company this past year.”
As McCarthy’s manager, I can tell you that he is a talented designer and valuable team player. He takes on more than his fair share, is meticulous in his work and is dedicated to perfecting his craft. Most importantly, he’s committed to seeing his efforts translate into wins for the entire organization and spent much of last year working on interdepartmental projects that would significantly improve our customer experience. I was thrilled to hear his name during the raffle; he deserves both the recognition and the reward!
Third Place: Sam Price
Wrapping up the corporate winner podium was Product Manager Sam Price. He and his wife Ali will be traveling to central California this March to visit family, and plan to spend his winnings on a national park tour.
“We’ll be exploring the Sierra National Forest, King’s Canyon, Sequoia National Park and, of course, Yosemite,” said Price. “I’m so grateful to TelNet for this opportunity. It’s amazing to be recognized by the organization for all the hard work that was put in last year.”
Like McCarthy, Price was also a key contributor to many cross-functional projects, most importantly the launch of our fully updated Customer Portal. For his manager, Chief Technology Officer Mark Wajer, this recognition was a long time coming.
“Great rewards come to good people — especially ones with a German Shorthaired Pointer!” said Wajer. “Sam is an amazing asset to our team who is always looking for ways to improve TelNet and its product lines. It was no surprise that his efforts got him into the top five and I was thrilled to see him bring home a win!”
Superior Contact Agent Winners
This group included all contact center and customer support agents. The top five point earners were Sandy Davis with 83 points, Britney Abbott with 87 points, Lenny Rogers with 88 points, Max Moreno-Gaft with 90 points and Tania Richards with 102 points.
Streaming live from Marquette, MI, Superior Contact Director Jackie Barry and HR Manager Heather Haupt rolled the tumbler and carefully picked the winners.
First Place: Britney Abbott
The first name called in this category was Britney Abbott, who’s six months pregnant with her first little boy. She watched the drawing live with her 9-year-old daughter EmmaLee who was doing online school at home.
“She was a little disappointed when she found out I can’t go on roller coasters and I have no desire to get into a bathing suit,” said Abbott. “But we will definitely come up with something great for a vacation! I am so grateful to have this opportunity.”
According to her manager (and corporate first-place winner) Paige Vincent, Abbott is an amazing agent who always goes the extra mile for her team and customers to make sure everyone feels welcomed and heard.
“Britney always looks on the brighter side of things and constantly sends little pick-me-ups to our team to help everyone get through the day,” said Vincent. “This win was very well-deserved and I’m so happy for her.”
Second Place: Sandy Davis
Contact center agent Sandy Davis was the second name called for the Agent Group. This was an impressive win for the mother of four, who joined the team in late 2020.
“I’m so excited to have won,” said Davis. “I’m looking forward to taking my kids somewhere fun.”
Davis is considering taking the family to Wisconsin Dells, since they all love to swim.
Third Place: Tania Richards
Wrapping up the agent winner podium was Tania Richards. This waterfall enthusiast plans on making a trip to the border with her husband Jeff this year.
“My husband and I have always wanted to go to Niagara Falls, and we’re thinking we can make the trip for our anniversary. It will be our 13-year anniversary this August,” said Richards. “And this wouldn’t be possible without working for this amazing company! Thank you, Superior Contact!”
Team Supervisor Karol Cardoni — who leads both Davis and Richards — was excited to hear of their wins.
“These friendly agents both come to work and make adherence each month, and if they call in, they make up the time,” said Cardoni. “They are lucky agents and congrats to them!”
Let the Games Continue
The Pineapple Awards Program will continue in 2022, with a few revisions. Just like last year, team members can earn points for participating, engaging and showing initiative. There will also be two raffles and six winners — one raffle (with a gold, silver and bronze winner) for Superior Contact agents and one raffle (with a gold, silver and bronze winner) for all TelNet and Superior full-time employees.
This biggest difference will be in the raffle itself. While only the top five point earner’s tickets were submitted into the tumbler for 2021, 2022 will include all point earners. Whether an employee earns one ticket or ten, they’ll have a shot at the grand prize.
So here’s to another year of competition… And congrats again to the 2021 winners!