The Craig Business and Professional Women held its annual Employee of the Year luncheon at the Craig Holiday Inn Tuesday, and a surprised Moffat County Sheriff was the proud recipient.
Buddy Grinstead was honored by the women for his leadership skills, commitment to equality and his dedication to fighting for employee rights. Grinstead has been Moffat County's Sheriff since 1999.
"I think that Buddy is an excellent representative of this award," said Rebecca McKinney, Business and Professional Women (BPW) committee member. "Coming in and doing the job that he has done in the Sheriff's Department is very admirable. It wasn't an easy position for anyone to step into, and he has just done a great job not just for women, but for all of his employees."
Grinstead was honored after receiving a letter from Sheriff's department employee, Annette Gianinetti, who stated that the equality awareness, and personal caring that Grinstead brings to the job has dramatically improved working conditions for his employees.
Of the 34 employees in the Sheriff's department, 12 are females, and three of those work in a supervisory position. Grinstead also made arrangements for a sick leave "bank," a plan in which employees can donate unused sick leave to other employees who may not have time available to take off from work.
This scenario arose in the case of Gianinetti, whose husband was facing a terminal disease and sought time off work. Grinstead went before the County Commissioners on Gianinetti's behalf to seek approval of having the policy enacted before it officially began.
"It was very important for Annette to have that time off, as it would be for anyone," he said. "The last thing that people need to think about in difficult times like that, is whether or not they are going to lose their job."
A self-proclaimed sports junkie, Grinstead can name heroes ranging from his father, who owns a trucking company, to former Cincinatti Reds catcher, Johnny Bench. Grinstead also names former, hardnosed Miami Dolphin running back, Larry Czonka, as someone he respects as a leader on the field, and a good citizen off of it.
"I've always admired the sports athletes who could actually live up to the glorified image that was put on them," Grinstead said. "There are still some athletes out there today that can be role models, but unfortunately, there are also a good number that aren't."
The Boulder native also credits his own involvement in sports with teaching him the importance of sportsmanship and working together.
"I went to junior high school in Boulder, and out of over 2,000 kids, I was awarded the Sportsmanship Award," he said. "That is something that I am still very proud of, because I think that sportsmanship is something that can be carried throughout life.
"I am really tickled about this award too, I still can't believe I won it," he said. "As a boss, it is very gratifying to be recognized in this way. I would really like to thank the BPW for recognizing not just me, but the whole Sheriff's department for the job they have done."