Annual VIA: Debbie Daggett
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” — Fred Rogers
When devastating wildfires displaced more than 80 Asante employees in 2020, one of those helpers was Debbie Daggett. Her regular job is as a development officer for Asante Foundation, but in the days following the fires, she worked closely with Human Resources to become one of the leading organizers of emergency employee assistance. She also oversaw the Foundation’s Wildfire Compassion Fund, which provided financial help to those affected by the fire or by COVID-19.
It was this service that earned her the 2021 Annual Values in Action award, Asante’s highest achievement.
“Debbie accepted the responsibility to be the contact person for [the Compassion Fund],” says Sharon Young, who nominated Daggett for the annual VIA. “She was the perfect person to do so, even though it meant extra duties out of her day.”
The program distributed nearly $240,000 to 337 employees. The administrative work took time and sometimes fortitude. As the fund’s primary contact, Daggett got to share the good news that an employee’s request was granted or, in tougher cases, denied.
“Debbie has listened with a compassionate, tender heart as employees have shared some of the most difficult moments of their lives, and then ask for help. This is a difficult and humbling experience all by itself,” Young says. “Debbie has been the epitome of kindness even as she has cried with many of these co-workers.”
Daggett celebrates her 30th year with Asante in February. Before joining the Foundation to secure grants, she has worked with Asante’s marketing and education departments, and organized the annual Kids Health Fair in Grants Pass.
She jokes that she was the first person Scott Kelly hired, remembers when Robert Begg was “a regular HR guy” before rising to become vice president, and when ATRMC CEO Win Howard was “an imaging guy.”
She was honored at a virtual celebration on Nov. 2, which was attended by her manager, Andrea Reeder, and son and daughter-in-law Evan and Jess Daggett. Asante awarded Daggett with a charcuterie box, flowers, badge backer, gift card and crystal award.
“I really feel like we’ve gotten to where we wanted to go and I’m proud to be a part of it,” she said. “It’s very humbling.”
Current role: Development officer, Asante Foundation
Location: Grants Pass
With Asante: 29 years
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