Photo courtesy of: Classified SenateRusty Thomas (center holding certificate) poses with Classified Senate members during the September Employee of the Month presentation
Compass features a Q&A with the non-bargaining Classified Employee of the Month. Each month, Classified Senate selects an employee to acknowledge and recognize as someone who is setting high standards for excellence and innovation. The monthly feature, titled "Great Job," provides a glimpse into the honoree's life on and off campus.
How surprised were you to win the Employee of the Month award?
I totally was not expecting this award – no clue! I enjoy being on the other side and surprising people and seeing their reaction, so this was very humbling. I appreciate being selected.
What is your job title and how long have you worked it?
I am a senior buyer in the Purchasing Department. I’ve had numerous roles and responsibilities in the nearly 27 years I’ve been in the department.
What are the most enjoyable things about your job?
I have enjoyed my job and the opportunity to work with a great team! I love being able to help those on campus make purchases and it has always been my goal to provide a service of knowledge to my fellow employees. Often times, when someone reaches out to me there is a problem or issue, so I take that opportunity to make their day a little better by getting resolution when possible. I like living by the golden rule.
What is your hometown and where do you live now?
I was born, raised and will die in Albany, Ohio. Small town USA is just right for me.
What are your long-term goals?
Long term includes my retirement. My wife Sherry and I think we are the Chip and Joanna Gaines of Albany. We have flipped a few houses, so will probably continue that. Our greatest goal will involve our grandchildren. God has blessed us in this season of life and we want to play our part in seeing them grow in Christ and succeed in life.
What was the last good book you read?
I often joke, but it’s true, if it’s not in the Bible or Sports Illustrated, I probably haven’t read it. I’m terrible at taking the time to sit down and read, just not wired for it. Having said that, “The Magnolia Story,” by Chip and Joanna Gaines would be the last one I read. I like their story.
If you weren’t in your present job, you would be working as a ______?
Probably would be a business manager or operating a store. I would still be doing some remodeling work on the side. I enjoy the business side of work and try to provide good customer service and treat people right.
What things in life are most important to you?
My relationship with God, my family, and as I mentioned the grandchildren.
Where is your favorite vacation destination?
This is easy … Myrtle Beach! We own a condo there and try to go down as often as we can.
What are your hobbies?
Golf for sure and building/remodeling projects. Can grandkids be a hobby? Sports in general, but I have always loved basketball. Love me some Ohio Bobcats and North Carolina Tar Heels!
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
Those close to me know this, but most people don’t know that I am adopted. I appreciate being given the opportunity of life. Many children are denied this privilege.
What are your favorite TV shows?
“Seinfeld,” “The Voice” and “Fixer Upper” until college basketball season comes around.
Who are your favorite musicians?
Big Daddy Weave, MercyMe, Lauren Daigle, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns and NEEDTOBREATHE. I’m a contemporary Christian music fan.
What is the next big event you can't wait for?
The birth of our sixth grandchild in February. There’s nothing like being a grandpa.
Who are your favorite celebrities?
I’ll roll with Chip and Joanna Gaines for now. They are pretty down to earth and fun.
Who are the most annoying celebrities and why?
If I’m annoyed by someone I don’t watch, read or care about what they are doing, so I won’t name names.
What is your dream car/truck/SUV?
I’m not much of a car guy, so I’ll say my 2003 Ford F150 without the rust.
What is your favorite saying or quote?
“Treat others the way you want to be treated”