Reynolds Lake Oconee Hosts 2018 Employee Awards Banquet

PR & Awards
Written by Lauren Bassett

On Tuesday, March 26, Reynolds Lake Oconee held its annual Employee Awards Banquet at the Sandy Creek Barn. Company executives recognized several employees for their integrity, exceptional quality, and commitment to the company in 2018.

For the first time in many years, there was a tie for Employee of the Year. Shelia Bustion, Line Cook at Eighty8 Kitchen + Cocktails, and Lynn Fox, Human Resources Administrator, both took home the title, while Brian Baker, Director of Marinas, was recognized as Leader of the Year. Debbie Balicki was honored as Salesperson of the Year for Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties, LLC. Bre Pettit, Property Owners Association (POA) Property Management Coordinator, received the 2018 “Helping Hand” Award.

Shelia Bustion joined the culinary team at Reynolds in 1997, after time spent as a stay-at-home mother to her two daughters, Natalie and Brianna. As a Line Cook, Bustion prepares and cooks both breakfast and dinner at Eighty8 Kitchen + Cocktails.

Bustion recalls her favorite memory from her 22 years at Reynolds. “The annual Fourth of July events at Great Waters are my favorite. I get to see and work with all of the Chefs and other departments, making cotton candy, snow cones, and ice cream.”

Bustion’s warmth and kindness has been noticed by both Members and fellow employees. “Shelia is the sweetest person I know. Members have made the comment that they don’t feel like they’re home again until they see her and her welcoming smile,” says Dave Short, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “From her team at Eighty8, she is caring, giving, hard-working, and known for her infectious laugh.”

Previously working in Human Resources for the Macon County Board of Education in Franklin, NC, Lynn Fox relocated to Georgia and began working for Reynolds nearly four years ago. In her daily role, she interacts with newly hired employees and lends assistance to many current employees.

Fox reflects on what qualities she believes make for a great employee. “I always try to give each person I come in contact with my full attention and make them feel at ease. I think the most important thing we can do as employees is always consider how we are making the person in front of us feel.”

This commitment to personalizing the experience is reflected in her daily interactions. “Lynn is so great with our new hires and current employees,” says Christy Steverson, Director of Human Resources. “She is very detail-oriented and has a wonderful sense of humor. She truly gives each person she sees and talks to a memorable impression.”

Brian Baker worked as both a General Manager and Regional Manager for a large marina group, overseeing an area spanning from Maryland to Georgia, before joining the Reynolds family in 2016. Now as the Director of Marianas, Baker enjoys the relationships he has formed with fellow employees, Members, and guests.

“It feels great to be recognized and also very humbling,” Baker says on earning this award. “I have a lot to live up to now considering the others that were also nominated.”

Baker’s dedication to living by Reynolds’ service standards is evident by the work environment he creates. “Brian demonstrates the best in leadership qualities, he displays a positive work environment, and is always eager to assist all departments within the company,” says Bev Berardo, Director of Marketing. “He is a true asset to the Reynolds management team.”

For the second year in a row, Debbie Balicki was recognized as Salesperson of the Year for Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties, LLC for 2018. Balicki had a total of 28 transactions equaling over $16.8 million for the year, earning her the highest numbers for the company. Balicki also earned three Salesperson of the Month awards in addition to being recognized as a member of the Million Dollar Club by the Lake Country Board of Realtors last year.

“Debbie had an amazing year in 2018 and I am so proud of all her achievements,” says Lee Arberg, Vice President of Sales for Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties, LLC. “I am excited about what 2019 holds in store for Debbie and the rest of our Sales Executives.”

Bre Pettit was the recipient of the 2018 “Helping Hand” Award, which is given to a Reynolds employee every year who selflessly donates their time and support to the community. Reynolds also makes a donation to the charity of the recipient’s choice.

Bre Pettit is devoted to helping her community. One way she does so is by volunteering as the Children’s Ministry Director of DAWGS (Doing All With God’s Scripture) for Pre-K through 5th grade. The program is open to all children throughout the surrounding communities. As part of an annual effort, Pettit, along with other members of the POA team, supplies the local Circle of Love organization with a large Christmas meal. She is also involved in the children’s ministry at her church, White Plains Baptist Church, including her role as a Sunday School Teacher and the Vacation Bible School Co-Director.

“I feel so honored and blessed to receive this award. God put me on this earth to help others and it just comes naturally to me to help when and where I can,” says Pettit. “I have decided to apply the donation to the Annie Armstrong Charity to help children in the United States.”

Before the evening closed, milestone anniversaries for Reynolds Lake Oconee employees were also celebrated. These employees included 25 five-year, 3 ten-year, 9 fifteen-year, 5 twenty-year recognitions, and 2 twenty-five-year recognitions. Three employees received special mention for 30 years of service: Eddie Brown (Golf Course Maintenance), Mary Cronic (Sales), and Scott Hoersten (Sales).

“The core of Reynolds Lake Oconee is the hard-working and extraordinary employees who live out our core values and standards each day,” says Rabun Neal, President of Reynolds Lake Oconee. “This event is so special because it is our chance to recognize those people for their service.”

Shelia Bustion - Employee of the Year
Lynn Fox - Employee of the Year
Brian Baker - Leader of the Year

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