Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Employers endanger lives, their companies’ reputations and risk court actionevery time they send employees on trips overseas and fail to take the correctmeasures to safeguard their welfare. Dave Abbott assesses the risksGlobalisation means health and safety overseas has become a serious issue,with HR management held accountable for designing and implementing effectivestrategies to mitigate risks. The Health and Safety Executive stipulates that companies are legallyrequired to demonstrate a “general duty of care” to staff on foreignassignments. This does not just apply to companies with overseas offices orproduction facilities, but any organisation whose staff participates ininternational sales trips, vendor assessments or other assignments that couldpotentially place them in harm’s way. Recent incidents highlight the risks of non-compliance, and in anincreasingly litigious society, the legal jeopardy companies risk by not takingthe correct measures to safeguard employees. The kidnap, torture and murder of three expatriate engineers of the Britishcompany, Granger Telecom in Chechnya in 1998 was headline news and led to legalproceedings against the company, claiming it was negligent in “the propercare of its employees”. In “traditional” global businesses, such as oil, gas and minerals,engineering and so on, ensuring the safety of employees in distant lands isconsidered a core HR management competence. However, even these experiencedcompanies have been exposed to damage when their employees become targets. Forexample when four executives of Union Texas Petroleum were murdered in Pakistanin 1997, the company was sued by the victims’ families for negligence. But threats do not just encompass “dread” risks like abduction,assault and robbery or terrorism. The greatest actual risks overseas, which notonly apply to countries that are perceived as dangerous, may be from”mundane” dangers like road accidents, fires in buildings, or simplyfalling ill without proper medical resources. One of the areas all too oftenoverlooked are the inoculations and the precautions required against the everincreasing threat of malaria. Reducing the risks So what should HR teams be doing to safeguard employees, whether expatriateor locally hired? As with all health and safety issues, the first principle is to conduct athorough risk assessment. Audit the deployment of staff overseas – who isactually where? For each assignment or post the potential risks should beidentified, then evaluated. Evaluation means that a risk is appraised firstlyin terms of the likelihood of an incident, and secondly on its potentialconsequence. For example, a 30-year-old, physically fit expatriate employeemight reasonably be considered unlikely to suffer a serious acute medicalcondition. However, if something does happen then the outcome may depend ontheir access to local medical resources. Some organisations, such as international aid agencies, are taking the riskmanagement process one stage further and applying exacting minimum standardswhen recruiting for posts likely to involve overseas assignments. Although anorganisation must be very careful not to act in a discriminatory manner, it canensure that the individuals it sends to difficult or dangerous environments arephysically and psychologically suited to the sort of risks they may encounter,both in the normal line of work and if things go wrong. Variations of risks within a country, a region or a city must always beconsidered, for example, some cities such as Johannesburg have very highviolent crime statistics but can be safe places to be if you choose home andworkplace locations carefully. On the other hand, some crimes aregeographically diverse, for example, cross-border kidnapping is becomingprevalent in some parts of Latin America. Remain aware of the day to daychanges going on every region you have a company presence, how they may affectyour personnel and that your security measures are consistent with any changes.Try and stay one step ahead. Government bodies offer sources of information on security risks overseas.Large multinationals with in-house security departments will probably subscribeto one or more of the proprietary country risk information services, butinformation is also available from reports by the US Department of State (www.travel.state.gov) and the BritishForeign & Commonwealth Office (www.fco.gov.uk/travel).It’s worth remembering however, that both have been criticised for phrasingrisk assessments carefully to preserve diplomatic sensitivities. Pre-deployment briefings These services, however, fail to address the more common, everyday dangersinvolving road travel and safety of buildings. Pre-deployment briefings should be given both verbally and in written formand must include a security assessment of the intended location and advice onpersonal security measures. Some measures can be mandatory, othersprecautionary. Wherever possible employees’ dependants should be included inthese briefings. If your chief executive enjoys the assignment of a closeprotection operative for an overseas trip, the operative’s first insistenceshould be to “buckle up” in the car. For executives travellingwithout this level of specialist support, training is essential on how tominimise travel risks. Many precautions are simple, like taking a hotel roombetween the second and tenth floors (accessible to fire ladders). In order toremain inconspicuous, executives could check into a hotel using their own, notthe company name. And because an executive of a Fortune 500 company is anattractive target for crime, “dressing down” may be a good idea, butavoid corporate clothing which may be akin to a badge saying “mugme”. Staff who did their share of student backpacking, and the air milesaccumulators who regard themselves as “able to look afterthemselves”, may not see a need for such briefings and training – but thecorporation has a duty to ensure that they get it anyway. If accommodation is being arranged for a longer stay, the employee and theirfamily must be given security advice both in the selection of a suitableproperty and in safe behaviour while living there. A good knowledge andacceptance of local customs and habits may help to avoid offending the localpopulation and may alleviate any potential security situations. Use a reputablesecurity firm with a local presence that can advise and provide a 24-houron-call service. Typically, an apartment in a serviced block will be moresecure than a detached house, but the “micro-environment” must beassessed properly. Notwithstanding incidents such as the assassination of theBritish diplomat Stephen Saunders in Greece in June last year, travel by privatecar is generally the safest mode of transport. In many countries it isadvisable to use local and trusted drivers who have a better knowledge of thearea and the risks. Other precautions A pre-travel necessity that is all too often overlooked is ensuring thatemployees receive any required inoculations or anti-malarial precautions intime. To be effective these must be planned in advance to give the jabs ortablets time to become active. Risk management strategies should always encompass contingency plans thatare clear, comprehensive and properly communicated. This should include anevacuation plan covering both medical and security emergencies (confirmedin-country with the relevant embassy or consulate). Cynics may say that acontingency plan cannot cover all eventualities, but ArmorGroup’s experienceshows that, in an emergency, a “plan from which to deviate” isinfinitely preferable to having none at all. Finally, the HR group must ensure a proper link up with the appropriateinsurance providers. Special risks cover may be required and this increasinglyincludes a kidnap and ransom (K&R) policy. It is a fact of life that aransom often changes hands in resolving kidnappings in many countries. Morecrucially, K&R insurers can also arrange specialist crisis managementsupport, which has been shown statistically to improve survivor ratesconsiderably. The vast majority of overseas assignments are safe and enriching foremployees and their organisations. But the consequences of not applying bestpractice to health and safety in international environments can lead topersonal tragedies, organisational jeopardy and legal proceedings. Dave Abbot is director of ArmorGroup Safe and soundOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today
View post tag: USS USS Peleliu Recognized with Battle E Award View post tag: Recognized Peleliu competed with other ships within its Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and was selected for its exemplary performance in an operational environment as well as its distinguished achievement during certifications and qualifications conducted throughout the year.Peleliu Command Master Chief TyRon Flynn said: “Obtaining the Battle E is a cumulative process over a number of different warfare areas in terms of sustainment and readiness, and we broke out amongst the other ships in the ARG.”The Battle E is awarded to the ship within a command that demonstrates the highest level of sustained superior performance and battle readiness.“It’s a significant accomplishment and not something that comes easy, especially for those on their first or second tour. Be thankful that you received one, remember what you did to earn it, and do it again,” Flynn added.In addition to the Battle E, Peleliu also won the Red ‘E’ for Engineering/Survivability Excellence and the Blue ‘E’ for Logistics Management Excellence. This marks the 11th consecutive year Peleliu’s Supply department has taken home the award for logistics excellence.“We try to manage our storerooms the best that we can and we’re going to continue to do just that,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Jimmy Vo, leading petty officer of the ship’s supply department’s stock control division. “We have good Sailors and junior Sailors and everything that went into this award came from them.”The Peleliu ARG is comprised of Peleliu, the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47).Peleliu is currently conducting sea trials after a seven-month maintenance availability period in preparation for a future deployment.[mappress]Press Release, March 27, 2014, Image: Wikimedia View post tag: Peleliu View post tag: Naval View post tag: Defense View post tag: award View post tag: Defence March 27, 2014 Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Peleliu Recognized with Battle E Award USS PELELIU IN SOUTH CHINA SEAThe amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) was named the recipient of the 2013 Battle Effectiveness (Battle E) Award for Commander, Amphibious Squadron Three, March 20, marking the second consecutive year Peleliu has earned the prestigious award. View post tag: News by topic Share this article Industry news View post tag: Navy View post tag: € View post tag: Battle
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals withDisabilities.Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided byOFCCP here .The contractor will not discharge or in any other mannerdiscriminate against employees or applicants because they haveinquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay ofanother employee or applicant. However, employees who have accessto the compensation information of other employees or applicants asa part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay ofother employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwisehave access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is(a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtheranceof an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including aninvestigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with thecontractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR60-1.35(c) West Virginia University School of Medicine and the WVU Heart& Vascular Institute seek a Non-Invasive Cardiologist(ranks available: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, orProfessor). The successful candidate will be expected topractice in Morgantown, WV at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital andUniontown Hospital in Uniontown, PA.Depending on operational needs, a successful candidate may also beassigned to provide services at additional worksites in WestVirginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. In suchinstances, travel would be anticipated and expected to fulfill saidduties at these additional sites.Duties: The successful candidate will practice in the areas ofNon-Invasive Cardiology. In addition to providing excellent patientcare, the successful candidate will also be actively involved inteaching medical students, residents, and fellows .Qualifications: Candidate must have an MD or DO degree or foreignequivalent and be eligible for state medical license. Successfulcandidate must have completed an internal residency program, aswell as cardiovascular fellowship program. Successful candidatesmust be board certified / eligible in cardiovascular disease withadditional certification or intent to certify in one or moreimaging modalities such as echocardiography, nuclear cardiology,cardiac CT and/or MRI. Candidates who are not board certified /board eligible who possess extraordinary ability and demonstratedtrack record may be considered at the discretion of the ChiefMedical Officer. All qualifications must be met by the time ofappointment.At the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, you’ll join arenowned team of surgeons, medical and interventionalcardiologists, radiologists, vascular specialists, and othersmaking an extraordinary difference in the lives of patients notonly locally, but across our entire state. Ours is a collaborativeatmosphere that allows you to practice advanced medicine in ahighly satisfying academic environment.WVU Medicine is West Virginia University’s affiliated healthsystem, West Virginia’s largest private employer, and a nationalleader in patient safety and quality. The WVU Health System iscomprised of eleven member hospitals and five hospitals undermanagement agreements, anchored by its flagship hospital, J.W RubyMemorial Hospital in Morgantown, a 700+ bed academic medical centerthat offers tertiary and quaternary care. WVU Medicine has morethan 1,000 active medical staff members and 18,000 employees whoserve hundreds of thousands of people each year from across thestate of West Virginia and the nation.Morgantown, West Virginia is located just over an hour south ofPittsburgh, PA and three hours from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore,MD. Morgantown is consistently rated as one of the best smallmetropolitan areas in the country for both lifestyle and businessclimate. The area offers the cultural diversity and amenities of alarge city in a safe, family-friendly environment. There is also anexcellent school system and an abundance of beautiful homes andrecreational activities.To learn more about the Department visit https://wvumedicine.org/heart/and submit your CV directly to Kelli Piccirillo – PhysicianRecruitment at [email protected] Virginia University & University Health Associates are anAA/EO employer – Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – and WVU isthe recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity.
Under the current plans, all landlords will have to apply for a license costing approximately £600 over five years, and will also be liable for further miscellaneous costs, costs that could be passed on to renters. Subject to government approval and a public consultation in the summer, the Council aims to expand its current licensing scheme to incorporate all 20,000 rented homes in Oxford in order to maintain a minimum standard. If all goes to plan, the Council hope that the scheme will be enacted by the end of the year or the start of 2021. Last week, the council received £71,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to fund the implementation of the plans. The money will go towards the development of an algorithm that will be used to identify unlicensed properties, as well as a solicitor who will work for 3 months on a guide for enforcement officers to successfully retrieve money from fine-dodging landlords. Deputy Council Leader Linda Smith said that the Council “have found countless examples across Oxford of homes where even the most basic of standards have not been met and vulnerable tenants have been left in illegal and dangerous conditions.” Of the 243 inspections undertaken in 2018/19, 32 per cent were given notices warning of unsafe condition. However, there are fears that the proposals could in fact have a negative impact on Oxford tenants living in the city’s most precarious situations. Gavin Dick, a local authority policy officer for the National Landlords Association, warned: “The reality is Oxford will become more expensive and push the most vulnerable out again as we’ve seen before.” The proposal comes after inspections carried out by the Council uncovered rogue landlords renting out garden sheds as rooms and placing toilets in showers, among a broad range of clear infringements of safety standards. Oxford City Council is planning “the largest change to rules around private rented accommodation in Oxford for a decade,” as it seeks to improve safety standards across the sector. Landlords will have to provide proof that their properties have the legally-required gas, electrical and fire safety certificates. The license will also seek to establish that every landlord is a “fit and proper” person, namely that they have not committed any housing-related offences or crimes involving fraud, violence, drugs and certain sexual offences.
Mayor Jay Gillian Dear Friends,Yesterday, I asked you all to join me in mourning the loss and celebrating the legacy of Bill Hughes, a long-time Ocean City resident and friend who earned universal respect during his tenure as a congressman and ambassador. He and his wife, Nancy, did so much for our community.Visitation will be 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Ocean City Tabernacle (550 Wesley Avenue) and again 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 4 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (30th Street and Bay Avenue). The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Trinity. The bridges along the Route 52 causeway will be lit red, white and blue in Bill’s honor.Because of the threat of severe weather, we postponed our recommended trick-or-treating hours from Halloween night. I want to remind all residents that trick-or-treaters will be out from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight (Friday, Nov. 1). Please use caution on the streets, as many young children will be out after the sun sets. Families and individuals trick-or-treating should obey all pedestrian safety laws, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.I also want to remind everybody that the lanes of traffic inbound to Ocean City on the Route 52 causeway will be closed tomorrow morning (Saturday, Nov. 2) from about 7:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. for the Trail of Two Cities 5K Run (see more info). Please seek an alternate route if you’re coming into town at that time. And don’t forget to set your clocks back by one hour on Saturday night as Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday.Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. I encourage all registered voters to get out and vote. The ballot in Ocean City will include candidates for the state Senate and General Assembly, the county Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Ocean City Board of Education, along with a public question on veterans’ benefits. More information on polling places and sample ballots is available here. Voters in Ward 3, District 1 will be asked to use the back entrance to the polling place at The Shores (the former Wesley Manor) because the front entrance is under construction.Warm regards,Mayor Jay A. Gillian
By MADDY VITALEA giant excavator sitting atop a barge is using its claw to scoop out black muck from lagoons and channels in Ocean City’s Snug Harbor.Dredging of Ocean City’s channels and lagoons has remained a top priority for the city administration. The city has been spending millions of dollars in the past few years for a program to clear out the channels and lagoons.And the latest project is underway to remove muddy sediment clogging the channels and lagoons to make boat travel easier and provide cleaner waterways.Year-round Snug Harbor resident Sean Barnes said in an interview Tuesday that he is pleased that the city has begun dredging in his area.Barnes, who has two boat slips, one for his sailboat and the other for his powerboat, said that dredging is much-needed in his area, and despite the city’s efforts, the lagoon off Bay Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets continually clogs with muck.Sean Barnes, with his dog, Harbor, during a brisk walk in April, says that he is pleased with the dredging progress in Snug Harbor.Barnes pointed out that dredging in Snug Harbor over the years has dramatically improved navigation for boaters and created clean waters for people to raft in.“In the summer people are floating in the lagoons and rafting. they never did that before,” he said.Barnes, who has been in Snug Harbor since 1999 and has his captain’s license, said that another concern is property values, if the lagoons are sediment-choked making it too shallow for people to take their boats out.Trident Marine Piling Co. of Longport was awarded a $1 million contract in the fall to dredge Snug Harbor, Glen Cove, Sunny Harbor and South Harbor.“Trident Marine has started work on a contract that includes maintenance dredging at the mouths of Snug Harbor, Glen Cove, Sunny Harbor and South Harbor,” City spokesman Doug Bergen said. “The work at all locations will be completed before the end of March.”Bergen explained that the work at Snug Harbor also includes removal of a defunct underwater utility cable.Once the sediment is removed it will make it easier for boat travel.Snug Harbor has had a chronic buildup of sediment over the years and as Barnes said, it has been a problematic spot because of the accumulation of sediment.Because of that, the area, requires repeated dredging by the city to make it deep enough for bayfront homeowners to enjoy their boats.ACT Engineers Inc. of Robbinsville, N.J., the city’s dredging consultant, oversees the 2020-2021 dredging program. ACT plans to develop plans for a “sediment trap” to capture muddy sediment in Snug Harbor.Barnes said he hopes that the city will be able to utilize a sediment trap.“I think that will be key,” he added.Although sediment traps have been used before at rivers, this will be the first of its kind tested in a tidal environment in New Jersey, officials have said.Bergen noted that the “sediment trap” proposed for Snug Harbor is an important part of the project. However, it will not be done in the initial phase of dredging.“The city still hopes to experiment with a sediment trap outside the mouth of Snug Harbor (which is north of the Ninth Street Bridge) to prevent rapid sedimentation, but all aspects of that project are not yet fully permitted,” Bergen added.A rendering depicts the proposed sediment trap that would be dug at the mouth of Snug Harbor north of the Ninth Street Bridge. (Courtesy of ACT Engineers) ACT Engineers serves as a key consultant for Ocean City’s flooding and dredging projects.
WILTON – Residents will gather in the parking lot of the former Western Maine Development building at 6 p.m. Monday evening to set the town budget and decide on a series of proposed ordinances.Wilton’s town meeting was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing-related restrictions. Monday’s meeting will be held outdoors, at a parking lot located at 128 Weld Road near the former Barclays building.The 59-article warrant includes a recommended municipal budget of $3.39 million from the Board of Selectpersons – representing a $62,078 increase over the previous fiscal year. Increases are due to contractual obligations, such as salaries and benefit costs, as well as an increase in the Public Fire Protection costs.The Finance Committee is recommending a similar budget, with the largest difference represented by the committee’s lack of a recommendation to fund the Wilton Free Public Library. A budget of $122,350 was initially proposed for the library, with selectpersons unanimously recommending $111,438. The committee voted on the proposed budget for the library and was evenly divided, 3 to 3. The committee then voted 4 to 2 to issue no recommendation regarding the library this year.Selectpersons are also recommending reductions in equipment and supply lines for the fire department, highway department and recreation program budgets as compared to the Finance Committee proposals, as well as $1,000 less for the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The Finance Committee is recommending the town support Seniors Plus at the requested amount of $3,000, while the board is recommending not funding the outside agency. The total difference between the recommendations – not factoring in the library recommendation – would be roughly $20,000.If approved by residents, Tax Increment Financing district funds out of the Comfort Inn TIF would be used to pay $30,000 of debt service for the wastewater treatment plant. Selectpersons are also recommending TIF funds pay the seventh of 11 payments on the town’s Quint Fire Truck; the Finance Committee is instead recommending using $20,000 out of the TIF and raising and appropriating the other $34,441 out of the local assessment. Both board and committee are recommending funding three payments out of the Undesignated Fund: $50,000 to go toward the foot of Wilson Lake’s retaining wall project; $10,000 toward future maintenance and repair of the Wilson Stream Dam and bank; and $100,000 to go toward repaying a Department of Environmental Protection/Department of Economic & Community Development grant for the demolition of Forster Mill.The warrant also includes a number of proposed ordinances, including an Energy/Transportation Conduits proposal that would regulate any aboveground conduit that runs through Wilton. The ordinance requires setbacks for towers, allow for adequate vegetated buffer zones and would prohibit permitting ETCs in the Varnum Pond Watershed Overlay district and in some residential and recreational zones.Another ordinance would make exploding targets, such as Tannerite, unlawful within town limits.Marijuana retail facilities will also be on the warrant, with Article 4 asking residents if they want to accept an ordinance that will clarify procedures for adult use and medical marijuana stores, cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and testing facilities, providing the selectpersons with the authority to issue or renew licenses.
Urban Outfitters will open a store in Eddy Street Commons in September after Notre Dame students promoted the location to the popular retailer, according to Gregory Hakanen, director of Asset Management at Notre Dame. “Urban Outfitters is a fantastic retailer,” he said. “It is really terrific for college-age and student audiences so we are thrilled to have them at Eddy Street.” Kite Realty Group, based in Indianapolis, talked with Urban Outfitters for about three years before closing the deal. Former student body president Grant Schmidt and vice president Cynthia Weber made a video pitch during the 2009-10 school year for Urban Outfitters with the help of other student leaders. Kite suggested the video as a “grassroots” effort to bring the retailer to South Bend, Schmidt said. “It was not just the development that wanted [the retailer] but Notre Dame students thought Urban Outfitters would be successful too,” Schmidt said. Schmidt and Weber asked the student body for suggestions on retailers at Eddy Street Commons in an e-mail last fall. “The student involvement was just extraordinary,” Hakanen said. “I have been doing this for a while, and I have never seen anything like it.” The video began with an introduction from Schmidt. “We have been working all year with Eddy Street Commons trying to evaluate what would be successful and what would be appealing to the Notre Dame student body,” he said. “And I can honestly say that an Urban Outfitters would be a huge success.” Schmidt wore a Polo sweater in the video. “The reason I am not wearing Urban Outfitters clothing is because we don’t have one,” he said. The video showed students from around campus explaining why they would shop at Urban Outfitters in Eddy Street Commons. The retailer received overwhelming support, Schmidt said. “Once we got those votes, we thought Urban Outfitters would be extremely successful,” he said. “There were really not that many retail stores that were close to Notre Dame’s campus.” Schmidt said the store will draw shoppers from campus as well as from the local community. “It is one of those trendy stores that I think will be popular with both Notre Dame students and with South Bend,” he said. “I think we saw, as well as Urban Outfitters and Kite saw, that [Eddy Street Commons] would be a location that would attract both of those markets.” The petition and the video were sent to Urban Outfitters along with a packet of information about the local area, Schmidt said. Hakanen said Urban Outfitters should be successful in this area. “Prior to Eddy Street Commons, there was extremely limited retail close to campus,” he said. “There are a number of college-age retailers at University Park Mall but Urban Outfitters was conspicuously absent.” The next phase for the development will expand Eddy Street Commons onto the next block south, but planning has not begun for the new space, Hakanen said. Hakanen said he hoped Urban Outfitters would draw similar retailers to the development. “We have a strong restaurant line-up, and it is important to balance that,” he said. “Urban Outfitters will be a wonderful, wonderful retailer for the area.”
If South Dining Hall was ever serving Carl’s chicken as the special, John Ritschard made sure the students knew.Photo courtesy of I Am Notre Dame He’d swipe their ID cards, give them a smile and tell a joke. Then he’d suggest a meal for them to try.“He was a walking, talking menu,” his wife, Lila Ritschard, said.John died Sunday afternoon at age 86. He had been diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer, in March 2015. But that didn’t stop him from coming to work in the dining hall for months after his diagnosis.“He loved it. My husband loves young people,” Lila said. “He loves to tell jokes and riddles and tease. He enjoyed students coming in and out, getting to know them. We just loved being here.”Lila started working as a day monitor in 2007. When John was hired in 2008, the two took the night shift — 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — on Mondays through Thursdays.Over the years, they became an integral part of the Notre Dame community.“Notre Dame was the greatest support over all these years,” Lila said. “It just blows me away — the love that has been shown to us both here.”Jack of all tradesJohn was born and raised in South Bend, Lila said, but didn’t have much to do with the University until he started working in the dining hall.“He found his niche here,” she said.After high school, John worked in the Studebaker plant for a couple years. He worked at Sears in Elkhart for more than 20 years as one of the top salespeople. After stints in the real estate industry and other odd jobs, he made his way to Notre Dame.The pair — John and Lila — quickly became a staple at South Dining Hall. They almost never missed a day of work.“We just were always together. We just enjoyed each other,” Lila said. “I don’t think we were ever off up until the last three years.”John and Lila met in January 1999. She was working in a beauty shop at the time and a big blizzard had just struck the town. As she was cancelling the day’s appointment, in came John, traipsing over snow banks, to use his coupon for a free haircut.“Everybody used to call me the coupon bride,” she said. “I said, ‘Yes, he came in for a free haircut. See how much it cost him? The most expensive haircut of his life.’”John was the type of person that would do anything for anyone, Lila said.“I had to be careful what I said,” she added. “He was a jack of all trades. There was nothing he couldn’t fix, nothing he couldn’t make.”He made all the wood furniture in the couple’s house. He made all of Lila’s lamps. He made the table that stands in the middle of the dining hall entrance, with carved Notre Dame logos.And once, he even made his own plane, Lila said.“He was a pilot,” she said. “And he taught his whole family how to fly. They used to fly about everywhere they went.”All in all, John was a man who loved to help others, Lila said.“He would reach out to anything in need,” she said. “He loved to teach and he loved to learn.”A contagious smileSenior Marta Poplawski said she met John during her first weekend at Notre Dame. He stopped her as she was walking into the dining hall and asked for her name.“The next day, he remembered me,” she said. “It was the first moment someone was really welcoming here outside of hall staff.”A week later, Poplawski was going to eat dinner alone around 4:30 p.m. — then she saw John and Lila at a nearby table.“So I sat down and just ate with them,” she said. “And that started three years of friendship.”Over the years, John and Lila kept up with students and graduates. John won the Irish Clover Award last year, given to two individuals each year for outstanding service to the student body.“I felt like John and Lila were my grandparents away from home, in a sense,” Poplawski said.John’s smile was simply contagious, said senior Adam Degand. And it was always the same.“He had such a goofy smile,” he said. “He would make you stop for a second, show you that smile and ask you about whatever’s going on.”“Especially if you’re a freshman or new to the school — it makes you feel like you’re part of the community,” he added. “That’s special.”Dining hall monitor Dee Michael said John always had a joke of the day.“He loved the kids, and they loved him,” she said.Some days, the dining hall would run out of certain dishes — because John talked about them too much.“The cooks used to get so mad at him because he’d be telling them what the specials were, and people would listen to him. So we’d be running out of it,” South Dining Hall manager Ruth Pajor said.Dennis Smith, a manager at South Dining Hall, said John’s warm and welcoming presence will be missed by all.“The night is not the same when he’s not around,” he said. “He just had a glow about him.”The simplest things Sami Zuba, a 2014 Notre Dame graduate, said in her freshman year, her birthday fell during the first two weeks of school. And she wasn’t having a great day.“It was my first birthday away from home and everything,” she said. “But then I got up to the front of the line, John swiped my card and told me happy birthday. It just absolutely made my day to know that someone on campus cared.”It was small acts like this that showed John’s big heart, Zuba said.“It was just such a simple thing,” she said. “And I think a lot of people walk out of Notre Dame hoping they can do big things to make a difference in people’s lives. One of the best ways you can do that is just doing little things.”Editor’s note: Sami Zuba was an assistant managing editor for The Observer.Every Tuesday and Thursday, sophomore Amy Mansfield and her service dog Juniper would eat dinner in South Dining Hall before folk choir practice. And every time, John stopped them to ask how they were doing.“You don’t expect someone to have such a big impact on your life when it’s a 30-second interaction each time you see him,” she said.When people complained that the chairs the monitors sat on were too tall, John took one home each night and cut it down, until they were all shorter.“That’s just the kind of guy he was,” Smith said.John had the ability to immediately light up a room, Poplawski said.“You could not enter with a bad mood into South Dining Hall,” she added. “I would wear headphones, and he would make me take them off to talk to him.”John did much more than greet people, Mansfield said.“I don’t know if it was his goal to touch every student, but I feel like everyone who walked through their line during dinner was somehow impacted,” she said. “Their day was probably made a little bit better.A visitation for John will be held Sept. 24 at Osceola Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will be immediately followed by a service. Both are open to the public.Notre Dame Food Services is going to provide the meat and cake for the luncheon.“We’re just so blessed and humbled to be a part of this community,” Lila said. “I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”Tags: John and Lila, John Ritschard, Notre Dame Food Services, SDH, South Dining Hall, South Dining Hall monitor
An all-star cast of conservation heroes were honored last Saturday’s a the 8th Annual Wild South Green Gala. At the event, Wild South recognized the winners of the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards and special awards, as well as celebrated Wild South’s legacy of 25 years.BRO Editor in Chief Will Harlan with his Roosevelt Ashe Conservation Award for Most Outstanding Journalist.The award for most outstanding journalist was awarded to BRO’s own Editor in Chief Will Harlan. 175 people gathered at The Millroom for a seated dinner, award ceremony, music, and silent auction that benefitted Wild South. The keynote address was given by DeLene Beeland, author of The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf. Beeland’s speech addressed the history and current status of the endangered red wolf, of which there are fewer than 50 left in the wild.“We are grateful to the many contributions of our sponsors, community partners, supporters, volunteers who made this event an enormous success,” says Hannah Morgan, Wild South’s Development and Communications Coordinator. “The event was a very special moment to celebrate the many accomplishments of Wild South over the past 25 years as well as the accomplishments of many special conservation leaders.”Check out the rest of the Roosevelt-Ashe Awards below:Outstanding JournalistWill Harlan: Editor of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Asheville, North CarolinaOutstanding Small BusinessHolladog Farms: Organic Farm, Pamplico, South CarolinaOutstanding Youth Bennett David: Scout/Student-Volunteer, Boy Scout Troop 91, Asheville, North CarolinaOlivia & Carter Ries: Founders of One More Generation, Fayetteville, GeorgiaOutstanding EducatorKim Wheeler: Executive Director of The Red Wolf Coalition, Columbia, North CarolinaOutstanding ConservationistCarl Silverstein: Executive Director of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Asheville, North CarolinaAdditional special awards were given to outstanding individuals in their field:Outstanding Community Conservationist: To recognize an individual’s contribution to education and community engagement on conservation, spanning many categories of achievement. This is a special, one-year award designated by the Roosevelt-Ashe Selection Committee.Forest Hilyer: Chairman of Lumpkin Coalition, Dahlonega, GeorgiaKayah Gaydish Award: For an individual who has advanced Wild South’s mission and vision and has demonstrated the same dedication Kayah had for inspiring others to protect our wild places.Ben Prater: Southeast Program Director of Defenders of Wildlife, Asheville, North CarolinaBen Prater, the Southeast Program Director of Defenders of Wildlife, received the Kayah Gadish Award.Cultural Heritage Award: For an individual who has demonstrated commitment to preserving cultural heritage in our region.Robin Swayney: Program Manager, Qualla Boundary Library, Cherokee, NC.Public Service Award: For a dedicated public servant whose work has promoted a conservation vision and values that mirror Wild South’s and represents the type of conscientious stewardship of natural resources that promotes collaborative partnerships with organizations.Gary Kauffman: Botanist & Ecologist of U.S. Forest Service, Asheville, North CarolinaFriend of Wilderness Award: For an individual who has worked to designate and increase protection for our special wild places in the Southeast.Mike Leonard: Board Chair of The Conservation Fund and attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.Related Articles: