First-time winners of Outstanding Manager Award celebrate

Patrick O’Donnell Director of Information and Technology (left), Cerritos College President  Dr. Jose Fierro (center) and Sue Parsons Director of Educational Partnerships and Programs (right) posing in front of the cake for the Outstanding Manager of the year award celebration. For both O’Donnell and Parsons it was their first time getting the award and they shared the moment with their mothers, other family and friends. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Patrick O’Donnell Director of Information and Technology (left), Cerritos College President Dr. Jose Fierro (center) and Sue Parsons Director of Educational Partnerships and Programs (right) posing in front of the cake for the Outstanding Manager of the year award celebration. For both O’Donnell and Parsons it was their first time getting the award and they shared the moment with their mothers, other family and friends. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Exemplary and outstanding service are just two of the requirements for the Outstanding Manager of the Year Award.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Director of Information and Technology Patrick O’Donnell and Director of Educational Partnerships and Programs Sue Parsons were acknowledged among family, friends and coworkers; as they gathered outside the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room to celebrate the award and enjoy iced tea and cake.

From a pool of over 40 managers, only two were chosen to receive the prestigious honor.

For both honorees it was the first time winning the award.

O’Donnell and his family have a long history at Cerritos College.

He has worked at Cerritos College for 12 years after graduating in 1996.

He said he returned because, “This has always felt like it was my home, my mother worked here as well. She retired from here as secretary for faculty senate for many years. It just always felt like home, I was happy to come back.”

Parsons has a long history with Cerritos in her own right, after being with the school for 31 years.

She began as a Math professor and created the Teacher Track program in 1999.

Only to be hired as the first Director of Educational Partnerships and Programs and has been in that position for the last two years.

“I was very surprised [for getting the award] I do a lot of work with people on campus and I thought when Rennee [De Long] called I thought it was about something else we have been working on. Yes, I was surprised very honored, touched and humbled,” Parsons said.

For AnnaBelle Parsons it was no surprise her daughter won the award.

She said, “She’s been doing that since she was a little kid, she’s humble[ …] she’s done a lot. She started when she was real young doing a lot, like in eighth grade, [receiving] girl of the year and all kind of wonderful things.”

According to Dean of Counseling Services Renee De Long, this was the first time the Outstanding Manager of the Year Award was celebrated with a cake celebration.

De Long who is also the President of the Association Of Cerritos College Management Employees (ACCME) explained that winners are selected after being nominated by someone on campus.

She said, “What happens is the president from ACCME,which is me this year, but it wasn’t me this last time because I just became the president, they send out an email telling anyone on campus we’re looking for nominations for Manager of the Year Award if you would like to nominate someone go to this link and tell us who they are and what impact have they made on you.”

After the nominations are made an ACCME subcommittee decides who the two winners are.

The two winners will embark on a very different path for the next year.

O’Donnell said, “There are so many things, we’re working on a couple of new buildings coming online, expanding more wifi on campus, [and] the new blue cones were putting more of those in place there are so many projects.”

As for Parsons she is retiring at the “end of September.”

Her plans are to “do some traveling, do some volunteer work, get back into shape, and eventually do some other work down the line.

“I have a lot of students that were in the Teacher Track program I’d like to see some of their classrooms and do some volunteer work that’s the plan,” she added.