CPC announces Everyday Hero Award recipients

The Classified Personnel Council at CSU has announced another round of Everyday Hero Award winners.


Matt Oetken

The first, Matt Oetken, is a Structural Trades II employee for Housing and Dining Operations Management. He’s worked at CSU for 13 years, and been in his current position since 2010.

Oetken’s nomination comes from Sean Carroll of Housing and Dining Operations Management. Carroll says, “Matt has stepped up several times to assist with projects outside his area of work. His coworkers come to him for information and rely on his knowledge of maintenance and TMA. Matt is a pleasure to work with and always knows how to get make someone smile.”

Oetken likes to spend his off-duty time doing handywork and remodeling around his house. He enjoys video games and watching movies; he is a die-hard Star Wars fan. He plans to stay in Fort Collins and at CSU. Oetken said he wants to raise a family and retire. He added that he was very surprised, honored and happy to be nominated.


Maria Del Refugio Baltierra

Maria Del Refugio Baltierra is a 12-year CSU employee and has been in her current position as a Custodian I for Facilities Management for seven months.

She currently works on the custodial team in Centennial Hall. Baltierra was nominated by five different people. One nominator commented, “Maria’s wonderful and positive attitude makes her a perfect candidate for this award. She always has a smile for everyone she meets. Maria takes pride in her work and goes over and beyond to help us all in Centennial Hall. I truly feel that she is part of our department!”

Another nominator stated, “No matter what day it is or what she has to do, she is a beacon of happiness, smiles and joy. We have all been touched by Maria and we are so glad she is working in our building. I look forward to seeing her and telling her how much I appreciate all that she does for others. She is simply amazing.”

Maria’s hobbies are dancing and spending time with her family. She said she enjoys her work and is thankful for the support from her co-workers and for having great supervisors: Jenna, Janet and Bea.


Kelly Siefkes

Kelly Siefkes of Facilities Management was nominated by 10 people who work in Johnson Hall. One nominator wrote, “Kelly is an exemplary employee and great representative of CSU’s best everyday hero. Her work ethic is evident in everything she does; she doesn’t cut corners; she’s quick, efficient, always friendly; has a smile on her face even when she’s trying to cover responsibilities of absent crew members; she goes out of her way to help us, and her presence in our building certainly makes our operation run more smoothly. We appreciate Kelly and the work she does!”

Another commented, “She cares about her customers, and is a big part of creating a friendly community among the various small units in Johnson Hall. Kelly is always so pleasant and engaging. She does a great job with the actual tasks at hand, but it’s her positive attitude and sincere friendly demeanor that really makes her stand out at her job. We love having Kelly visit our office!”

Siefkes is a Custodian I and has been with CSU in Facilities Management for four years. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, four-wheeling, gardening, motorcycle rides and spending time with her grandkids and family. She wants to retire one day and plans to move to a warmer climate.

Kathy Brady and Donna Balliet

Kathy Brady and Donna Balliet both work as Accounting Tech IIIs in the personnel section for Facilities Management. Brady has worked for CSU for eight years, and in her current position for five years. Balliet has been with CSU since 1997 and in her current position for three years.

Eva Burch of Facilities Management nominated the two. She said they are Everyday Heroes because “a current situation has required Kathy and Donna to work extra hours and assume duties that they do not normally perform in Facilities Personnel. They made sure that all Facilities employees continue to receive their paychecks on time and for the correct amount. In addition to their payroll duties, they both assumed the new hire/upgrade/termination processes for all employees in Facilities. They took on the additional responsibilities without most of the department being aware of it. They continue to perform the work and put in the extra hours that are needed to keep Personnel running without complaint.”

Brady enjoys reading and conducting genealogy research. Balliet enjoys crafting in her spare time and has future travel plans to visit all the national parks.


Alfreda Whaley

Alfreda Whaley, also known as “Freda,” is a 27-year employee of CSU. She’s been employed in her current position as an Administrative Assistant II for Residential Dining in the Corbett/Parmelee Dining Center for five and half years.

Whaley was nominated for her outstanding work ethic and customer service, for always being such a hard worker and for being helpful to her co-workers. According to the nomination, she is always smiling and greets everyone; she always says, “Have a wonderful day.” Outside of work, she loves doing crafts, cross-stitching, cooking and gardening, and she stays socially involved with the community. She owns three roosters and eight hens; her favorite hen is Elizabeth. In the evening, Whaley lets Elizabeth sit on the backrest of the chair and watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. Whaley said it’s an absolute honor and pleasure to be nominated. She added that she loves to be with her co-workers and see the students every day. She plans to work for seven more years, then retire to enjoy more time with her grandson, family and doing more crafts.

Nominations for the Everyday Hero Award can be submitted online.