Congratulations to Chris Richards, senior telecommunications engineer, who has received the Employee of the Quarter award as part of KU Medical Center's C.A.R.E. employee recognition program.
Ever since his father bought their first family computer in 1986, at the wee age of 7, Chris knew he wanted to work in technology when he grew up. As an engineer in telecommunications, he is responsible for maintaining and growing the telephone system as well as the communications systems, such as Alertus, wireless, and voicemail, for KU Medical Center, The University of Kansas Hospital and The University of Kansas Physicians.
In total, Chris and his colleagues service 27 remote sites and support 14,000 phones. As you can imagine, service calls and demands extend beyond the eight-hour workday. Chris is on call 24/7, but this doesn't bother him. Even with his on-call schedule, he doesn't hesitate to stay in the office late when needed.
"Chris is one of the most efficient people I have worked with," said Kelly Morken, associate director, public safety and emergency management, and Chris' nominator. "Just recently, he stayed late at the last minute to take care of a task I needed done. This is just one of the many times he has bent over backwards to not only do his job, but to go above and beyond what's expected. He's a great collaborator, person and coworker!"
Kelly is just one of Chris' fans.
"I've received many kudos from our customers about Chris," said DeAnna Villarreal, associate director, telecommunications. "One employee said, 'I continue to be amazed by Chris' knowledge and patience when he explains new technology to those of us who are technologically challenged.'
"Chris is constantly sought after by employees and peers for advice and his broad knowledge of technical solutions makes him an asset to the medical center. He's great in his area of expertise but also kind and thoughtful in the way he approaches his work. I feel very fortunate to have him as a member of my team and appreciate his exceptional service."
Exceptional service is all in a day's work to Chris.
"I just try to do the best job I can to assist others," he said. "I want to make other people's jobs and communications easier and more reliable. I enjoy what I do. I get to meet new people and work in all areas of the campus. Every day is something different."
When asked about his selection as Employee of the Quarter, Chris accepted the recognition on behalf of his department.
"This is a big honor," he said. "It's an honor for everyone I work with because I can't do anything without help from my coworkers."
Beyond the work walls, Chris enjoys spending time with his two four-legged children, Sasha, a Doberman, and Balto, a Husky. Interesting fact about Chris — while you can't tell from his photo, he is not comfortable having his picture taken. And if he was a movie star, his genre would be action movies. He would play the quiet, good guy — the one you never suspected to be a spy.
C.A.R.E. recognition program
Be sure to nominate a colleague for the 2nd Quarter Employee of the Quarter. Deadline to submit a nomination is June 15.