Volunteer of the Year 2018

Volunteer of the Year 2018 ~ Natalie Belfiglio

Natalie Belfiglio December Volunteer of the Year!

Natalie is the two time volunteer of the month for Unselfish and Congeniality. Natalie joined our family one year ago as a Public Relation intern and is an integral part of our Marketing team. Natalie’s enthusiasm makes our day brighter. She selflessly gave up her summer break after graduating, and jumped at the opportunity to extend her internship into the summer to help out in the Marketing Department. Natalie played an important role in sharing the story of Victoria the penguin, getting pictures of her in the “spa bath” behind the scenes, as well as pictures of Dan and Jolene taking care of her. Those pictures, and Victoria’s story, made front page news in the newspaper. Natalie is the embodiment of Congeniality. Natalie is positive and always smiling. We’re lucky to have her – our own Miss Congeniality! Congratulations Natalie!

2018 Volunteer of the Month

November – Natalie Belfiglio – Congeniality

Natalie is the embodiment of Congeniality. She is warm, friendly and approachable. I can’t tell you how many times she’s gone back to the Vet Lab or behind the scenes to track down a biologist to ask them questions while putting together a social media post or a blog post. Natalie is positive and always smiling. A recent example of her energy and spirit is when she came in (on a day she wasn’t normally scheduled) for the Scuba Santa Passholder Preview, and helped greet guests at the door. Natalie created her own elf costume to be part of the festive night. She hung out in the theater and talked to Scuba Santa. By coming in on her day off, she made our day better, and really helped out when we were short staffed! Natalie is kindhearted and is always looking for a way to help us out in the Marketing Department – whether it’s stuffing envelopes, creating media kits, or greeting everyone who walks down the hall or past our door, she really does make our day better. We’re lucky to have her – our own Miss Congeniality!

October – Erin Holtman – Innovative

Erin Holtman has volunteered with WAVE for about a year now and her commitment has never wavered. She continues to seek new programs and skills to improve her own abilities as a volunteer. Erin not only learns quickly on programming, but she offers suggestions and ideas to improve the programming she is passionate about. She has taken on many of our conservation messages and brought them to the restaurant where she works in order to make that organization more environmentally friendly. She began a recycling program, made straws available by request only, and now provides water bottles for staff use instead of single-use plastic cups! Thank you Erin for continuing to be an agent of change for conservation.

September – Rob Bechtel – Team Player

Rob joined our family in the spring of 2017 as a diver, and has donated over 450 hours of his time. If the dive team needs extra help Rob is always the first one to contact us to help out. There have been several dozen times (literally) that Rob has really helped out the dive team- especially during Mermaid and Scuba Santa Seasons. He is always willing to go above and beyond- “anything to help out the team”. He definitely makes our day being here. Robs actions are a true example of what a team player should be!

August – Joyce Frede – Dedicated

Joyce joined our family in 2015. She is amazing! She self-schedules based on the season and the number of requests we receive. She will schedule extra during peak season to make sure all requests are fulfilled in a timely manner. I never have to worry about it getting done, because Joyce is on top of it. Joyce fulfills about 200 requests each month and has fulfilled over 6,500 requests since she started in November, 2015. Joyce now has a new grand baby that she will watch during the day while her daughter works. Joyce is so dedicated to the donation program, that she is willing to taking late afternoon or weekend shifts to make sure everything is completed. Thank you Joyce for all of your dedication!

July – Kathy Dye – Truthful

Kathy Dye joined our Aquarium family in 2001 as a volunteer diver and has served several years on our Board of Directors. Kathy has volunteered over 2,000 hours. She is always truthful when working with WAVE staff, Newport Aquarium employees and other volunteers and interns. Through her truthfulness she gives us all perspective and makes us better. Being truthful can be difficult at times but Kathy always delivers news good or bad in a palatable, constructive and meaningful way! This is Kathy’s third time as Volunteer of the Month. Thank you Kathy for all you do!

June – Jane Sparling – Forgiving

Jane joined our Aquarium family as a volunteer in December of 2017. She is no stranger to WAVE Foundation and Newport Aquarium. Her children Allison and Matt Sparling were also volunteers and interns with us. Jane came on in the Education department to volunteer with our Career Exploration Initiative but communication, scheduling, and training meant that she did not start volunteering for 6 months. Jane never gave up on her commitment to the program and volunteering. She has now come in to help with multiple programs and volunteered her time at Putt for Penguins. Jane is enthusiastic and willing to help in any way she can with no complaints or hesitation. Thank you Jane for your dedication to WAVE and our Aquarium.

May – Natalie Belfiglio – Unselfish

Natalie’s enthusiasm makes our day brighter. She’s been an amazing PR intern. She selflessly gave up her summer break after graduating, and jumped at the opportunity to extend her internship into the summer to help out in the Marketing Department. As a PR intern, she takes the initiative to help share stories about the amazing work happening in this building. Natalie played an important role in sharing the story of Victoria the penguin, getting pictures of her in the “spa bath” behind the scenes, as well as pictures of Dan and Jolene taking care of her. Natalie is always willing to pitch, stay late, and do things that help the team achieve goals and deadlines. She selflessly came in on a Sunday and worked until midnight, helping out on the TV shoot for Ring of Fire. Her positivity is contagious, and a common phrase she says is “I’ll help!” We were so fortunate to have Natalie as an intern this past semester, and even more lucky that she stayed on to continue volunteering through the summer. It’s amazing to see a recent college graduate give up their summer because they want to continue to get the experience here, and help Newport Aquarium be the best we can be. Thank you, Natalie, for always sharing your smile, and coming in with a can-do attitude each and every day!

April – Sophie Albert – Trusting

Sophie has been amazing to work with this semester. I trust her implicitly as there has not been a task that I have assigned her that she has not done an excellent job with. She is thorough in the content, precise in her work and has been prompt. She has done a number of market segmentation studies for WAVE and our two largest fundraisers, Putt for Penguins and Nauti Nite. In fact, her work has already netted us a new Par sponsor for our annual golf outing. Her attention to detail is impeccable and willingness to take on new and challenging tasks has been an incredible asset to WAVE Foundation! Thank you for all of your time and dedication and most of all being trusting.

March – Sydney Pitts – Humble

Sydney Pitts has been with WAVE Foundation since 2015 when she joined our family as a Summer Naturalist. The moment you meet Sydney, you see genuineness in her that makes her special. As you get to know her you realize she is not only pleasant & easy to work with but she is very competent, dependable, and trustworthy. I have run into Sydney on days when she is working here filling in for other departments she was not originally hired for. She is always lending a hand to other volunteers as well. The title humble so perfectly suits her in her attitude, work ethic, knowledge and relationships. We are so lucky to have Sydney. Thank you for all of your time and dedication and most of all being humble.

February – Krista Sprague – Kind

Krista Sprague joined our Aquarium family in 2014. She consistently displays a good and kindhearted nature when interacting with guests. Whenever Krista is on an outreach, she engages kids on their level and makes it a point to answer any questions or help them understand an artifact further. Krista is constantly smiling no matter where or what she is doing. She smiles a lot while on outreaches and while she is helping Jen Hazeres with her husbandry work. Krista is always quick to volunteer when we are in need of help and brings her kindness with her!

We appreciate everything Krista does!

January – Jay Dearth – Patience

Jay Dearth joined the Aquarium family 10 years ago and has been a stellar strength here at WAVE. The husbandry team recently needed to have overnight behavioral observations done on the new stingray exhibit. Jay immediately answered our call for help and showed patience as created process. He offered to come in almost every night to do the observations. His good and kindhearted nature has been much appreciated by the husbandry team and everyone at the Aquarium. Jay is never demanding and is uncomplaining. He makes sure that he understands what is being asked of him and gets every detail before starting a task. He appreciates the challenges and responsibilities the husbandry team has with readiness. Jay works his hardest, and this strong work ethic helps everyone be successful. Jay also volunteers for WAVE fundraising events and is one of our volunteer divers. We cannot think of a more worthy and patient volunteer than Jay Dearth.