Lori McDermott Honored For Commitment To Improvement

Congratulations to Lori McDermott, an Administrative Assistant on the tax billing team at NERIC, for receiving the March 2023 Commitment Award for Improvement.

Marlene MacFee to the left and Lori McDermott on the right, hugging as Lori holds an award.Lori was nominated by Marlene Macfee, who shared the following:

“Lori McDermott is a highly responsible employee who is consistently ahead of schedule, takes pride in her work, and always delivers high quality results.

Lori taught herself Smartsheet and Adobe Acrobat to improve internal processes and procedures to collect and report information. She did this so there are less mistakes and to create a place for the team to show and see progress as well as jump in where help is needed. She also took it upon herself to create a special Smartsheet to generate completed forms for print jobs sent to the print shop and the corresponding job manifest for our mail vendor with minimal data entry. A few other Smartsheets created by Lori were designed to reference each other to capture our inventory of the different school tax bill forms and envelopes, generate quotes to districts, and provide totals for the RFB and ultimately our purchase. Her goal was to streamline the process and improve turnaround to release precious time back to the team for supporting our districts.

With the high stress of the required rapid turnaround of payments in an extremely short period of time, there are portions of the year where it is easy to get distracted, miss something, and get frustrated. Lori regularly revisits ways to keep herself focused and calm. She reads books on the topic, meditates, and takes a moment to just breathe.

Lori has gone the extra mile by taking it upon herself to learn aspects of all team members’ responsibilities so she can assist or jump in completely at a moment’s notice. She would like to see staff fatigue and mistakes limited and hopes a process change will help productivity and turnaround of payments during our busiest weeks. She is currently picking apart our snail mailed payment batching process, applying a new approach which more closely resembles an assembly line process. Lori has been heard saying things like, ‘Which is why tightening up what we do and making the service better than what someone else can offer is so important’ and ‘I would like to join you (at the training session). At the very least it might be helpful for you to have the notes I take.’”

Congratulations, Lori and thank you for all that you do to support your colleagues!

The Commitment Awards were established to recognize employees who embody each commitment to a significant degree, and is one part of a three-tiered recognition program to build a culture of gratitude through acknowledgment and appreciation. Our Commitments — SERVICE, VALUE, EXCELLENCE, IMPROVEMENT, LEADERSHIP — embody what we do and who we are.