On Tuesday, December 2, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community employee Marcus Begay, customer service administrator with the Public Works Department, received the 2014 SRPMIC Employee of the Year Award at Talking Stick Resort. Begay has gone above and beyond what is required of him and is deemed the “nucleus of the Public Works Department” by Kirk Beaty, director of Public Works.
“I didn’t even hear my name get called, I was too busy at the door-prizes table. My boss and a few others ran over and said, ‘You have to go over there—we’ll cover for you, you have to be up there.’ That’s when I realized what was going on. I got up in line and the minute President Diane Enos said ‘that Navajo guy,’ I knew I had to go up on stage,” said Begay about receiving the Employee of the Year award.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all, it was just out of the blue,” added Begay. Being a rather humble employee, it was hard for Begay to accept the award because he simply loves his job and what he does. The saying “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” applies to Begay. He said, “I love coming to work and I love working with the people, but I like staying behind the scenes, working in the background and making things happen … doing what I need to do, because I enjoy what I do.
“When I had to give my speech, I just knew I had to acknowledge my coworkers because they’re the best. They’re fun, they make it easy and they make it work. I mean there’s no point in going to work if you can’t work with your coworkers or enjoy working with them. That’s why I kept acknowledging them through the whole speech. Public Works is my second life I guess,” added Begay.
Begay’s primary duty is to staff the work-order desk at Public Works. “He is one of the first people a customer will speak to when requesting services,” said Beaty.
“Through his 15-plus years of employment, Marcus personally knows just about every Community member and many of the employees who call him. Marcus takes the caller’s information and request, and he even goes out to meet the customer personally on occasion to review their needs. He always provides a callback to customers to provide updates as needed.”
“I just like working. It sounds weird and odd, but I like to keep busy and work. I like to make Public Works look good, too. I’m a part of the team that turned Public Works around, and I’m proud of that,” said Begay.
Although Begay isn’t in a formal supervisory position, he takes on this role in his department. He goes above and beyond to get assignments done, he knows exactly whom to give specific assignments to and how this will get done. He is respected by the Community, as it showed when he received a standing ovation when accepting his award.
“Marcus is the beacon example of exemplary customer service, living up to every aspect of this job title. His service goes way beyond the Public Works Department, as he helps many people across the Community on a daily basis.
His dedication to service exemplifies the characteristics of an employee worthy of this honor,” wrote Beaty in his nomination letter. “Marcus has a strong belief in customer service and has the necessary knowledge and skills to get things done for the department and the Community. His coworkers respect him for these attributes and recognize him as a leader in the Public Works Department.”
Begay recalls being nominated “some years ago ” during Administrative Professionals Week when his job title was work-order clerk. He plans to keep working hard to make Public Works look good and because he loves his job.
“[Employees] who receive the honor of being named Employee of the Year exhibit all the characteristics in a fashion that is unmatched because they exceed expectations in everything they do. Marcus Begay is a dedicated servant to the Community. He works hard to assist everyone who contacts him and he always does it with a smile on his face,” said Beaty. “He genuinely cares for the customers that contact him, whether it is a Community member, employee or visitor. He is recognized by his coworkers and customers as a leader in the Public Works Department whom they can depend upon to get things done. When Marcus is involved in something, you know the details are taken care of. Marcus is recognized as the face of the department.”
“I appreciate the nomination and winning, but I’m the guy that likes to stay in the background and not be in the spotlight. At the same time, I’m glad I won,” said Begay.
For more information about the Employee of the Year Award, contact SRPMIC Human Resources at (480) 362-7935.