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Rick Piccioni Named Experiment Station’s Outstanding Employee for 2011

By Joe Ogrodnick

Richard Piccioni

Richard M. (Rick) Piccioni, Research Support Specialist in the Department of Horticulture was named the NYSAES outstanding employee for 2011 at the annual Station Banquet held December 9 at the Ramada Lakefront Hotel. He is the 29thStation employee to be so honored. Station Director Tom Burr made the presentation.

“Rick displays every day a quiet, mature get-it done approach that he applies to each task, whether it be pruning in winter, designing and building unique new research equipment, or showing visiting Headstart kids how to pick apples,” said Alan Lakso in nominating Piccioni. “He is one of the most reliable and dependable individuals I have ever met and is extremely well liked because of his calm demeanor, helpful attitude and sense of humor. In addition to his great technical skills, Rick is an outstanding team member who is totally focused on making the work succeed. Although we are blessed with many Station employees that deserve the Outstanding Employee Award, I cannot think of anyone who deserves it more than Rick.”

Below are excerpts from letters from colleagues supporting Rick’s nomination:

• I first met Rick in the fall of 1999, when I started my PhD program at Cornell.  The people at the Station were great in helping me familiarize myself with the new work environment. Rick went far beyond any of my expectations in that respect, demonstrating a very genuine friendliness, predisposition to teamwork, patience and technical knowledge which all helped quickly bridge the language and culture barrier and put me on the track for a successful research experience.

•I have worked with Rick numerous times over the past year. He is always very professional, motivated and one of the hardest working technicians here at the Station.

•Rick has done an excellent job over the years and is well liked by the faculty, technicians and other employees at the Station. He is well organized and handles projects with a high degree of professionalism. From my perspective he an extremely valuable employee who is always willing to help others succeed.

Piccioni began his career at the Station in 1995 working in Tony Shelton’s program and then with Mike Villani and Greg Loeb in Entomology; the following year he started work with Alan Lakso and has been with Alan’s group ever since.

Rick received $50.00 in Station Club merchandise, and a $50.00 gift certificate for Halsey’s restaurant. In addition, his name will be added to a plaque honoring awardees that is on permanent display in the Jordan Hall Foyer.

“I was honored to receive the award,” he said. “It means a lot to me coming from this great group of people, and it’s the people that make working here so enjoyable. “

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