Treasury Star Award Winner Creates TEAM Success
The Treasury Star Award recognition program is a formal process that allows employees to nominate anyone in the department based on how the nominee aligns with the 3 foundational building blocks of Treasury’s Strategic Plan: Employee Engagement, Culture of Service, and Continuous Improvement.
Roslyn Merriweather, office supervisor for Tax Administration Services Bureau, has the unusual honor of being nominated for the STAR Award by an entire team of people!
Her co-workers, Jeff Davis, Sarah Newland, Vaughn Vandecar, Stephanie Troub, LeKeisha Rembert and Supervisor Marilyn Dalman, unanimously felt that Roslyn’s focus on Continuous Improvement, commitment to an inclusive environment, and tireless dedication to the Home Heating Credit program made her a deserving STAR candidate.
“Roslyn has served on multiple interview panels over the last quarter and brings an unmatched quality in valuing diverse perspectives and cultures,” they wrote. “She makes candidates feel welcomed and makes sure the prospective employee understands what it is a department is hoping to acquire in an employee to confirm it is a good fit.
“Working largely with the Home Heating Credit processing and the back-end side of processing Heating Drafts, Roslyn has gone above and beyond over the last year to provide timely and accurate information to both internal customers and external customers. Ensuring that the Home Heating Credit program remains in compliance has been especially challenging during the time of COVID, but Roslyn stepped up to confirm each taxpayer receives what they qualify for. She always has new and fresh ideas and also encourages her staff to come up with ideas for continuous improvement.”
Born and raised in the Lansing area, Roslyn has been a Treasury employee since July 2000. Starting with Sales, Use & Withholding (SUW), she moved to Income Tax in 2002 and experienced several positions in customer service while working up to her current supervisor role.
Roslyn contributes a steady, positive energy to the workplace, which has helped keep her team together during recent challenges.
“My unit was very old school,” Roslyn relates. “We dealt with paper, both for return refunds and liabilities — we had buckets of paper everywhere in the office! When COVID hit, we had to change the majority of our processes from paper to the computer. In the very beginning some of our timeframes increased significantly; it was a learning challenge, but we’ve clawed our way back to what our timeframes were, and I am proud of that.”
Roslyn’s attributes the respect her team holds for her, to the fact she used to be one of them. “I know the full process of what my team does because I’ve done it,” she says.
“I’ve worked alongside them so when they come to me and say, ‘hey, I think this change would make a process better’ — I’m all for it.”
Roslyn’s suggestions to new supervisors coming into Treasury are based on her own successful experience. Make sure you have a full understanding of your employee’s job before you make any changes, she advises. Customers who call Treasury are seriously counting on their refunds or credits, so it’s important to sit with your employees and learn what they do. You can’t effectively change what you don’t fully know.
The Home Heating Credit program recently received additional supplemental payments for low-income customers, and phone calls have jumped from an average of 500 calls to over 1500 inquiries a day. Roslyn’s unit coordinates Michigan’s 2500 heat-providing vendors and all of the program applicants, while collaborating with Financial Services for prompt payments.
Working with Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Roslyn was able to coordinate efforts to inform more customers about related services that are free to Michigan residents, helping families make the best use of their heating credit.
Personally going the extra mile for colleagues and customers, Roslyn is still quick to say “I am not a big ‘me’ person. I’m a big ‘team’ person. My team does a great job.” Reflecting on her mentors, she names Sara Newland, Marilyn Dalman, Shirley Michtner and Karen Simmons, but speaks from the heart when she adds:
“I have the greatest staff. I know people always say that, but if we had to write it out, my pros would be much longer than anyone else’s! We work together, we bounce ideas off of each other, we help each other. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my team…I do believe that I have the best team in the world.” ~
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