Ginger Smith, a Customer Service Representative at Midwest Energy’s office in Phillipsburg, was named one of three Exemplary Older Workers in Kansas by the Department of Commerce at a ceremony in Topeka on Thursday, Apr. 24.
Michael Copeland, Kansas Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary of Workforce Services, presented the award to Smith at the 17th annual Older Worker Awards ceremony at the Topeka Public Library. After receiving the award, Smith thanked her co-workers and family, noting she never would have worked this long if she didn’t truly enjoy her job and co-workers.
Smith began her career with Midwest Energy right after graduating high school in August 1964, working as a keypunch machine operator in the company’s IBM Department. She held several titles in the intervening 50 years, including secretary for the regional director, customer service assistant and gas service scheduler, before assuming her current duties as a customer service representative in 1998.
Company managers nominated Smith due to her dedication to her customers, her willingness to embrace technological advances, her drive for fair and pragmatic solutions, and above all, her willingness to speak truth to power.
“Ginger is highly organized, but doesn't have a rigid way of doing things,” said Michael Sadeghi, Midwest Energy’s Director of Customer Service. “She has proven over and over she's open to change, and convincing those around her that adapting to new applications and methods is positive."