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‘What Two Qualities Do You Value in Employees?’

Interviews by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“Hard work. I have a lot of hard workers, that’s for sure. They have worked especially hard during COVID with all the changes that have taken place.”

Janice Scott
Director of housekeeping services, St. Luke Health Services, Oswego

“What I value is honesty and dedication. Those are two very important values that a good employee should have and something I certainly look for in employees.”

Jonathan Shaver
Founder and board member, Children’s Museum of Oswego, Oswego.

“All my workers are commissioned, independent people. You have to have discipline to work that way. Without it you’d sit at home in your pajamas all day long. They have to be honest and go-getters. It is difficult anymore to find people who want to work. I have a headhunter who works for me and she works for Fortune 500 companies in Cleveland. She said even for those big companies, it’s impossible to find people who want to go to work right now. I’m in sales for plumbing and heating equipment. It’s a continuous battle. Organization skills are important to stay on top of everything. You have to be disciplined to go make calls and handle rejection. People say no more than yes. I do sell something people need, like sinks, pipes and plumbing. You have to keep after it to sell them though.”

John Zanewych
Owner, Big John Sales, Inc., Oswego.

“One of our top qualities is the ability to be flexible. They should also be punctual, work with a team, honest and trustworthy, as they’re working with children. Someone who wants to make a difference in the lives of others is also good.”

Natalie Scavone
Executive director, BASCOL, Liverpool

“Patience and loyalty because of the pandemic. Knowledge is huge to stay up to date with all the changes in our industry. Things are changing so much right now. You must have employees that keep up with all the new travel protocols. I have been very fortunate for the loyalty of employees coming back and trying to stick it out. They are doing the best that they can. This pandemic has been hurting us. We just got back to work and we are only part-time right now. People are calling now that they are getting their vaccines and they are starting to travel. We value how employees engage with old and new clients. That they go the extra mile right now with keeping them informed with the travel safety protocols.”

Sandy Shue
Manager, Canalview Travel Service, Inc., Fulton.

“Integrity, honesty and dependability. Those are important no matter what you do. Without that, you have no foundation on which to build anything in business or life.”

Tim Buckingham
Owner Buckingham Market, Constantia

“Having the ability to accept and adapt to change. Having the ability to ask the hard questions. This applies to editorial, advertising, circulation and in the press and mail rooms.”

Jeff Weigand
Publisher and chief revenue officer, The Palladium Times and The Valley News, Oswego.

“I value their dedication and hard work, honestly, reliability and professionalism.”

Janet Yuckel
Owner, Done Right Cleaning, West Monroe

“A strong work ethic and drive is important. And honesty.”

Anthony Pauldine
Owner, Pauldine’s Contractors, Inc., Oswego.

“That they have integrity. I want them to show up on time when they say they will. I’ve had employees arrested for stealing in the past two years, so honesty is important to me. They need to be substance-free and want to work.”

Bob Morrow
Owner, Wholesale Homes, Central Square

“Commitment to Oswego County Opportunity’s mission and desire to have a positive impact on changing people’s lives; being an effective team player.”

Diane Cooper-Currier
Eexecutive director, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., Fulton.

“I value an employee’s loyalty to the company and an employee’s willingness to learn.”

William Galloway
Broker and owner, Century 21 Galloway Realty, Oswego.

“Reliability and loyalty. You show up on time every day with a ‘can-do’ attitude.”

John M. Henry
Owner, Speedway Press, Mitchell Printing &  Mailing Inc. and The Phoenix Press, Oswego.

“Integrity: if you make a mistake, own it and fix it! And dedication.”

Brenda Weissenberg
Owner, Affordable Business Solutions, Central Square.

“The two qualities are being timely, honest.”

Susan Ryan
Owner, Tavern on the Lock, Fulton.

“I chose honesty and integrity as being the two most important qualities for licensed real estate salespersons and associate brokers who work as independent contractors for a real estate brokerage. Honesty is of utmost importance as our licensed real estate salespersons are dealing with the purchase or sale of a client or customer’s home. This is likely the largest monetary transaction most people will make in their lives. It is important that clients and customers have the comfort of dealing with licensed real estate salespersons or associate brokers whom they know will be honest in all their dealings. Integrity is the next most important quality. It is vitally important that licensed real estate salespersons and associate brokers exhibit an adherence to moral and ethical principles as well as a soundness of moral character. Clients and customers can have the comfort of dealing with people who can represent their interests first, above all else. These same two qualities, honesty and integrity, are also of extreme importance when independent contractors interact with the brokerage with whom they are affiliated and with other licensed real estate salespersons and associate brokers during the course of their daily activities.”

Leah Haggerty
Licensed real estate broker and owner, Century 21 Leah’s Signature, Fulton and Liverpool.

“Innovation and creativity.”

Christopher J. Todd,
District superintendent, CiTi BOCES, Mexico.

“Conscientious and poised.”

Laurie Obrien
Owner, Port City Café and The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co., Oswego.

“The two most important qualities in an employee are being a team player and being able to see the bigger ‘team’ goals and wins and being teachable and coachable.”

Michele R. King
Licensed and board-credentialed occupational therapist and owner, Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers of Oswego.

“A positive attitude and ownership of one’s work.”

John Trimble
President and CEO, C&S Companies, Syracuse.

“We want good communication skills, and in our role, it’s critical to have ‘front of room presence.’ When you are leading a class and talking with an executive management team, you need to command the room. Someone could be the most technically competent person but might not be able to communicate well and have that commanding presence. That is one thing we really look for. We are also looking for honest, ethical people of integrity who of course have the technical competencies. Many times, we end up being trusted advisers. You have to maintain that open relationship with these clients through good character.”

James D’Agostino
CEO and MEP Center director, Train Develop Optimize (TDO), Liverpool.

“I believe integrity and work ethic are the two most important factors I consider in an employee.”

Tom Pirro Sr.
Owner, Winter Harbor Marina, Central Square.

“Two qualities that I value in employees are having a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. Having a positive attitude creates pleasant interactions with our clients as well as our fellow employee-owners. It motivates others within the office to strive for their best and fosters a more enjoyable work environment. A positive attitude tends to develop stronger relationships with our clients. An employee that is willing to learn is also valuable to the team. The insurance industry is ever-changing and there is always a need to learn more. Being eager to broaden his/her horizons, recognizing the importance of knowledge and staying up to date on topics are all crucial.”

Stacy Hurlbut
Commercial lines manager, Eastern Shore Associates.

“Integrity. Dependable.”

James A. Dowd
Chief operating officer, Pathfinder Bank, Oswego.

“Career-driven and enthusiasm to learn in a changing environment.”

Pamela Quesnell
Vice president, branch manager, KeyBank Oswego Branch, Oswego.