On December 12, Grounds management hosted a day-long safety training and holiday celebration at the Equine Complex Auditorium.

The day began with breakfast for associates and opening remarks from Phillip Zellner, Regional Director of Operations-Grounds, and George Bernardon, Regional VP-Grounds Management. Phillip and George expressed their thanks to all associates for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.

During the morning, circuit training took place in the Equine Complex’s arena. Thanks to several SSC associates and some of our vendors who conducted circuit training on a variety of topics. Ricky Scher, Mechanic Supervisor, provided training on mower and buggy maintenance & inspection. Horticulture Supervisor Neil Fletcher educated associates on handheld gas equipment maintenance. The rose pruning circuit was led by John Duncan, Horticulture Supervisor. Lee Goehring of Stihl discussed safety when using equipment such as a blower, edger and weed eater. Erik Gage of WRI Outdoors led two circuits: Exmark mower safety and operation as well as Kawasaki mule/utility vehicle. John Deere mower safety and operation training was given by Russ Boomer.

After circuit training, each associate received a raffle ticket and participated in a safety refresher conducted by Grounds Safety Manager, Ronald Kleppel. Kathy Kleppel followed with a discussion on first aid.

Grounds associates enjoyed a BBQ lunch from J. Cody’s. Several special guests spoke during lunch: Richard Gentry, SSC Regional Vice President, Ralph Davila, Executive Director of TAMU Facilities & Dining Administration, Jerry Strawser, TAMU Executive VP and CFO and Jane Schneider, TAMU Associate VP for Facilities and Operations. Each of these individuals thanked our associates and spoke very highly about the work the Grounds teams have done.

Every SSC Grounds associate, including managers and office personnel, received a wrapped gift in the event’s raffle. There were over 160 items that were either donated from different vendors or bought by the Grounds Department ranging from a 40” TV, Academy gift card, WRI Outdoors gift card, Yeti cooler, Rtic jugs, John Deere duffle bag, various tools and much more!

Krista Phillips, Grounds Administrative Supervisor, worked very hard planning the event. Reflecting on the event she said, “It came together so well and everyone helped out tremendously. I think our employees really appreciated it. I wanted to give a special thanks to Gnet Acosta and Rosie Sanchez for everything they did and their hard work and hours they put into making it so special.”

Information submitted by Krista Phillips, Grounds Administrative Supervisor

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