Families take part in the Zumba workout provided by Salt River Fitness instructors Rachel Seepie and Michelle Long.

Community Honors Administrative Professionals

By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

A full week of events recognizing the contributions of the administrative professionals working for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community tribal government concluded on Friday, April 26, with a special luncheon at the Salt River Community Building to celebrate Administrative Professionals Week. Staff members from offices and departments throughout the Community attended the luncheon.

Steve Haydukovich, assistant human resources director, asked the audience if anyone had ever worked for an organization that celebrates Administrative Professionals Day for a whole week, and it was evident that not many had. “We appreciate all of the hard work that you do every day to make this government run smoothly, and I thank you for that,” said Haydukovich.

Assistant Community Manager Carla Banuelos spoke about her career path on the way to her current position with the Community.

“I started as a clerk at the Salt River Court. We all start from somewhere, [so] always have hope,” said Banuelos.

The luncheon’s theme was Hollywood and celebrities. One of the activities was a game show for employees to play along and win prizes such as iPads, camping gear and gift cards. The luncheon menu included steak, which was prepared by SRPMIC Assistant Community Manager Kent Andrews and other employees.

Judges reviewed five nominations for this year’s Administrative Employee of the Year award: Floreena Holmes, secretary for the Salt River Fire Department; Debbie Gates, clerk for the LARC Program; Catherine McGinty, accounting clerk II, per capita; Carmella Ramos, secretary for the Health and Human Services Department; and Stella Romero, executive secretary for the Community Regulatory Agency.

The 2013 SRPMIC Administrative Professional of the Year: Stella Romero. In a word, Romero said she was “shocked” when her name was announced. “I began to contemplate what an honor it is as an executive secretary working for the SRPMIC for 13 years,” Romero said. “I have attended many of these award luncheons over the years and was always in awe of the winners. So I have a tremendous respect and appreciation for this award and am deeply moved to have been named the winner this year.”

The 2013 Administrative Professional of the Year award “is a huge honor in and of itself, and so humbling,” added Romero, “but to be handed a Visa card for $1,200, a beautiful engraved plaque and a dozen gorgeous red roses is just so much [icing on the cake].”

Romero said that she is thankful to God for the privilege to work for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

“I have always believed that the SRPMIC is a professional organization full of devoted folks working together and doing their best to further its interests,” she said. Romero recently commented to her boss how she felt it was a joy to come to work every day in such a positive environment.

“Led by our strong and dynamic leader, Sam Nixon, I am surrounded by caring and dedicated people at the Community Regulatory Agency who take pride in their respective jobs in order to make the Community a better place,” said Romero. “All this makes my job so much easier and gratifying.

“Lastly, I would like to thank the Community organizers for putting on such wonderful Administrative Professionals [Day] events throughout last week. We were all impressed by the amount of hard work it must have taken to put all of it together in such an outstanding manner.”

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