Tidewater Occupational Center celebrates with veteran employee
Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2003
Tidewater Occupational Center recently threw a surprise party for one of its own, 30-year veteran Barbara McClenny.
McClenny, celebrating both her birthday and anniversary with TOC last Friday, said she hopes to spend another three decades working at the sheltered workshop.
Email newsletter signup
&uot;I love the client-employee population that we serve,&uot; said McClenny. &uot;They are very special people; …they are loving and want to please. They try hard to do their best and they never complain.&uot;
McClenny thinks of her 140 coworkers as extended family.
Dale J. Feltes, TOC’s executive director, credited McClenny with having a calming influence among the facility’s 140 employees and 34 staff members.
&uot;Personnel problems, nasty phone calls, any problems… they come to Barbara,&uot; said Feltes. &uot;She handles payroll, the buses and getting clients home.
&uot;She’s got all this and she handles it all. She is remarkable!&uot; he said. &uot;Her 30 years here testify to that fact.&uot;
Brenda Swarn, plant manager, works with McClenny on a daily basis and says she is a job to be around.
&uot;She’s a loving person … like a mother or big sister,&uot; said Swarn. &uot;Anything goes wrong, …she’s the special person who fixes it all. I truly enjoy working with her.&uot;
School Superintendent Dr. Milton R. Liverman, a member of the TOC Board of Directors, said McClenny’s dedication to the center is obvious.
&uot;She exudes a quiet confidence that is calming to situations,&uot; said Liverman. &uot;She’s been here just two years less than the center. In her own quiet way, she’s helped shape the center into the successful place it is today.&uot;
McClenny said she was grateful and surprised by the party. But, she said, she couldn’t take credit for her successful years at TOC.
&uot;It’s the result of the teamwork between the staff and the employees,&uot; she said. &uot;They are very special.&uot;
McClenny, a deacon at Gilfield Baptist Church in Ivor, has been married to Robert B. McClenny for 40 years. The couple has four children – Robert Jr., Bonita, Bermina, and Bianca.
Feltes said modesty and grace precluded McClenny from mentioning her children’s accomplishments.
&uot;She has a daughter with a doctorate and she’s a lieutenant commander in the Navy,&uot; said Feltes. &uot;She has another who is dean of students for Norfolk Public Schools, and one who works for the government that just earned her master’s degree.&uot;