Gold Star Award winner embodies team spirit

Nancy Bogle, left, is presented the Tom Merwin Gold Star Employee Award by Shelby Weide, president/CEO of the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce. (Photo contributed)

MENDOTA – Every year, the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce surprises the recipient of the Tom Merwin Gold Star Employee Award during the Chamber’s annual dinner. Nominated by the general public, this award is given to someone who is considered an outstanding employee.

With cancellation of the Chamber’s 2020 dinner because of COVID-19, the Chamber still found a way to surprise this year’s winner, Nancy Bogle by presenting the award at her workplace, Stonecroft Village. “I was completely surprised – I thought I was doing a move-in when we went outside,” Bogle said, adding with a laugh, “If I had known, I would have done my hair!”

Bogle, who is the Community Relations Director/Marketing Director at Stonecroft, said her job includes admissions, marketing, and making the residents and their families happy. “Anything that needs to be done, that’s my job,” she said.

In presenting this year’s award on Nov. 6, Chamber president/CEO Shelby Weide read the words of Bogle’s nominator: “She truly embodies what the award represents. In a year that is continually changing, she always makes sure the residents are treated with care, compassion and respect. [She is] dedicated to the community, an outgoing, friendly person and just a joy to meet.”

Bogle has worked with the elderly throughout her career. Originally from the DeKalb area, she attended Northern Illinois University. Before coming to Mendota 15 years ago, she was an Elder Abuse Supervisor for DeKalb County. “I love my seniors – I’m an old soul. I don’t think I would do so well working with kindergarteners,” she laughed.

Her first job in Mendota was at Stonecroft, where she worked for 11 years. She then worked at Heritage Health for two years, before going back to Stonecroft this past July. For Bogle, the best part of her job is meeting the residents and their families. “They all have great stories. I love to listen to them,” she added.

Throughout her years in Mendota, Bogle has also served on the MASS board. “That organization is near and dear to my heart – I love that group. It is a wonderful service,” she said.

While working with seniors during the pandemic, Bogle said she and the other staff have had to be more creative, flexible and empathetic. “It has been very difficult especially for the frontline workers,” she noted. “Without the team we have here, this wouldn’t get done – they are amazing and so was the staff at Heritage. If you have good people around you, you can do anything.”

Usually not at a loss for words, on the day Bogle was presented with the award she did not recall saying much except thank you.

“I was actually very humbled by this because it’s not me alone – this is a team and this award goes to everybody here,” she emphasized. “Our director, Laura Glazebrook, is fantastic and a pleasure to work for. I also love the Mendota community. It’s a pleasure to be here and if there’s anything we can do for the community, we try to do it.”

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