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U-M Receives 2009 Arbor Award for Excellence

The VOICES of the Staff Program was honored with a 2009 Arbor Award for Excellence at a special breakfast ceremony March 12 at The Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn.

Laurita Thomas, associate vice president and chief human resource officer, and Teresa Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, accepted the award on behalf of the University.
Members of the VOICES of the Staff Program accept the 2009 Arbor Award for Excellence. (Photo by Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services)

"VOICES of the Staff is a multidimensional communications effort throughout the entire University of Michigan organization that allows staff members across the University to contribute their ideas and creativity," Thomas said as she received the award. "Those ideas and that creativity are what the excellence of the University stands for."

Joan Moore, president of the Arbor Consulting Group, presented Thomas with a Waterford crystal award plaque. Other 2009 Arbor Award recipients were R. L. Polk & Co., Comerica and NSF International. VOICES also was honored with a special certificate of tribute from Gov. Jennifer Granholm praising the dedication, leadership and personal integrity demonstrated by the program's volunteers.

The Arbor Awards for Excellence recognize best practices and innovation in human resources and are sponsored by The Arbor Consulting Group, Inc., a human resource management consulting firm, and the Eastern Michigan University Master of Science in Human Resources/Organizational Development Program.

"As Michigan employers face unprecedented challenges, the strategic leadership role of human resources professionals has never been more important," Moore said. "If we are to succeed in moving to a knowledge-based economy, we need to invest in the development of our greatest asset, our people."

VOICES of the Staff is a volunteer program that gives staff members a forum for sharing ideas and defining the campus community issues that matter most to them. In late March, VOICES will begin seeking volunteers to continue the dialog between U-M staff and leadership by serving on a VOICES Network Team focused on a topic of special interest to the staff community.

For more information about Voices of the Staff, go to

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