FAIRFIELD, Conn. — It wasn’t hard for the Board of Selectmen to choose the winner of this year’s Fairfield Employee of the Year award: One candidate had a full 47 nominations.
And that candidate was Janet Merando, an administrative assistant for the Human Services Department for the last 16 years.
Teresa Giegengack, who started as director of Human Services two years ago, said she relies on Merando’s vast experience and credited her with helping to grow the membership and offerings at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities.
“Janet is caring and dedicated,” Giegengack told a standing-room-only crowd gathered to honor Merando at Wednesday's Board of Selectmen meeting. “She’s astute in her perception of what’s going on and what’s really going on.”
State Sen. Tony Hwang attended the meeting to congratulate Merando, saying that the senior center is a great place because of her work and attitude.
“You make it even more special,” he said, hugging Merando. “Your steadfast caring is so special.”
Selectman Christopher Tymniak, who volunteers at the center, said he’s seen Merando’s dedication up close.
“You’re very deserving of this award,” he told her.
The Selectmen presented Merando with an engraved clock and showed her where her name will be etched on a plaque listing all Employee of the Year award recipients.
Presented since 2004, the award recognizes top employees for service beyond the job description, reliability, initiative, dedication and many other positive traits.
First Selectman Michael Tetreau praised Merando’s attitude.
“The senior center has grown so much and you’ve seen all this taking place,” he said. “Janet just takes it all with aplomb.”
Merando was clearly surprised by the presentation, having thought she was called to the meeting to report on the center. Clutching a bouquet of flowers, she looked out at the many co-worked and senior citizens gathered.
“I love the seniors, the senior center and the staff,” she said. “I work with wonderful people and I see wonderful people every day.”
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