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Sakamoto named UH Hilo Administrative Affairs' Employee of Quarter

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Date: Friday, July 9, 2004
Contact: Kerwin Iwamoto, (808) 974-7449

For Immediate Release

Irene Sakamoto

Irene Sakamoto, a personnel clerk in Human Resources and Administrative Affairs, has been named the Employee of the Quarter at the University of Hawaii at Hilo . Sakamoto has been employed in the UH System since 1991. She is the second recipient of this award.

"She is always here to help us with an inviting smile," wrote one nominator. "Irene is always willing to listen to questions or hear concerns. If she doesn't know the answer, she will openly say that she is not sure but will always offer to find the answers and get back to us."

"Irene is kindly referred to as 'the nurturer,'" said another nominator. "She simply is a very pleasant, hard working person. Just as Irene always checks the office plants, cleaning, trimming, watering, Irene also gives that same care when it comes to our employees' personnel needs."

In addition, Sakamoto is described as "a saint when it comes to patience and tolerance" who "pays attention to details" and as a fast worker "who even walks fast." But the highest kudos is for Sakamoto's diplomacy.

"If there is a delay in processing of personnel documents with the UH System, she always makes the call to the UH System Office of Human Resources to find out what is going on, where our request is in the process, and if there is anything else needed from us," a nominator explained. "Not only does this give us a better understanding, but many times within a few days our request gets completed. It's not just that she makes the call, but also the diplomatic way she handles things.

"She is truly a team player and does not seek glory for herself or blame for others. She is a dedicated employee to Human Resources and Administrative Affairs. We are very fortunate to have Irene as part of the Administrative Affairs team."

"It is a real honor to be the recipient of this award," Sakamoto said at the award presentation. "In reality, this award belongs to all of you for your many contributions to the success of the University."

Full-time Administrative Affairs employees are eligible for the award, which includes $100 in cash, a $25 meal card from Sodexho, and a reserved parking stall for the calendar quarter. Employees are nominated by the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs and/or the department directors.

Nominating criteria includes sustained superior performance on the job, and excellence in service to the University community and general public.

Kirk Mikami, a cashier with the Business Office, was the recipient of the first UH Hilo Administrative Affairs' Employee of the Quarter.

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