Editors note:  On behalf of CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman, Neil Krauss delivered these remarks at the All Staff Council Service Excellence Awards Ceremony held at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs on Friday, April 8, 2016.

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Carol Calkins and Neil Krauss.

On behalf of CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman, it is my pleasure today to honor Carol Calkins, a recipient of this year’s Service Excellence Award for the University of Colorado.

When we think of service excellence, we think of a number of critical attributes:

  • Someone who resolves problems
  • Is responsive, and respectful
  • Demonstrates honesty and trustworthiness
  • Works efficiently and uses resources wisely
  • Produces high quality products, and
  • Delivers hoped for, much less, expected results.

Excellence is a consistent ability to demonstrate extraordinary competence to achieve the goals and objectives for the organization.

Carol exemplifies all of these attributes.

Carol is an extraordinary leader who has worked in Facilities Management at CU for more than 20 years.  For those of you who know her casually, you might think she has a tough exterior and can be a tough boss.  In fact, she’s one of the most thoughtful and caring people you’ll ever meet.

Carol has worn many hats in facilities and started off working in National Jewish for a number of years and then moving to the CU Health Sciences Center on 9th Avenue.  At Anschutz she was given the opportunity, or curse, to direct a number of areas in Facilities, including Operations, Custodial, and Parking, but because she was so successful in managing these areas, her boss, Dave Turnquist decided to pile on. Now her areas of responsibility include custodial, printing, parking & transportation, building, mail services, food services, training and certification and the bookstore.  There’s a logical connection among these, aren’t there? In fact, there is no natural fit for all of these areas into a single department and it would take a special person to manage such disparate responsibilities and personalities.  Carol does it, and does it very well.  It requires a diverse level of thought, management styles and sometimes a lot of attention.  Carol consistently show all those skills.

In fact, Carol’s skills go far beyond work. In her mature years, Carol also has found her fountain of youth. She might tell you she’s lost her mind.  I’m told she’s become fearless.  You see, Carol has gotten quite good at snowboarding.  I haven’t seen her do a McTwist in the halfpipe. Can you do that too?

Carol also is a published poet.  When something happens around her, she often feels an emotional and spiritual connection with the event, and she’ll write a poem about it. She’s had several poetry books published, and I’m told she might have written one to share with you today.

Carol also gives back to her community, supporting numerous charitable and women’s groups.  Recently, Carol went to Ethiopia with a few other women, bringing clothing and other supplies for women and children.

Carol has a PhD, and her thesis was on Title IX, an issue that has continued to grow.  Over the years, she’s been a valued resource for the department and the University in this area, too.

If you’d ask Carol, and look at the pictures in her office, she might say the loves of her life, though, are her grandchildren, her daughter Katrina and son-in-law Ray.  The panel next to her door is plastered with pictures of Alexa and Michala. The only pictures of Mike, Carol’s husband, Katrina or Ray are when they’re pictured with the grandkids.

Carol, your boss and your colleagues, agree on one thing…. You are a friend for life. Congratulations.