Volunteer of the Year 2015

Volunteer of the Year – Barb Dock

Congratulations to our 2015 Volunteer of the Year!


Barb Dock joined our family in 2004 and is like the “Eveready Bunny”; she just keeps going & going & giving & giving. She has donated over 4200 hours & is one of those very special volunteers that have been devoted to the Aquarium &WAVE since the beginning.  Over the years she has given of herself in so many ways, VSO, special events: Nauti Nite, Putt for Penguins, WAVE on Wheels outreach, helping at the last minute for Guppy Adventures.  But yet even today, her devotion and energy doesn’t slow down.  She comes in and works on holidays & special events. Barb is always ready to jump in and assist wherever she is needed. She is volunteering to cover the VSO while Jenny’s out on medical leave. Barb is a very special asset, her unending love and devotion never tires and never ends.  Barb is a great example of those Core Values of “Being There” and “Make their Day”.  Barb is most deserving of being named Volunteer of the Month.

Thank you Barb for all you do!

2015 Volunteers of the Month

January 2015 – Marc Kuhnhein

marc-kuhnheinMarc Kuhnhein joined our Aquarium Family as a diver in May 2012. He did not let the cold weather get to him and not let him dive at the end of the year. Marc was able to put in almost 60 hours of dive volunteering in the month of December. Not only did he help Scuba Santa by keeping him safe in the shark tank, but he even came down on Christmas Eve to help out with the Scuba Santa dive show that day. He took it upon himself to leave his family on a holiday and come down to dive and help put on a show for our guests, talk about dedication to the dive program. Once the Scuba Santa season was over, Marc also helped out in removing the sleigh and bag and was a big help in and out of the water that day. Marc has done countless things to help the dive program throughout his time as a volunteer.

February 2015 – Brooke Page

brooke-pageCongratulations to Brooke Page for earning Volunteer of the Month for Febraury. Brooke does such a great job every time she’s in. She always has an upbeat attitude, and she’ll do anything that we ask. She is also passionate about educating our guests, and her guest interactions are excellent. She is very dynamic on the floor and has such an engaging disposition with our guests and other cast, as well. There is no one thing that makes her such a standout; she does everything that way!

March 2015 – Erin Schultz

erin-schultzCongratulations to Erin Schultz for earning Volunteer of the Month for March. Erin joined the Aquarium family as a volunteer in May 2013 with Dan Dunlap in Education and is also an employee in Admissions, an Overnight Supervisor and works part-time in the Husbandry Department. Erin is also an intern for Jen Hazeres in Husbandry. Erin will stay late and come in as early as needed. Shi is always on time an no job is too big or too gross for Erin to handle. Anyone who has been in Erin’s presence knows her attitude is great and a she is a pleasure to be around. Erin strives to create memories worth repeating in all that she does!

April 2015 – Barb Dock

barb-dock-sizedBarb began volunteering in 2004 and is like the “Eveready Bunny”; she just keeps going & going & giving & giving. She has donated over 4200 hours and has been devoted to the Aquarium & WAVE since the beginning.  Over the years she has given of herself in so many ways including working in the Volunteer Services Office, helping with special events including Nauti Nite and Putt for Penguins, teaching WAVE on Wheels outreach programs, and helping at the last minute for Guppy Adventures.  But yet even today, her devotion and energy doesn’t slow down.  Barb is always ready to jump in and assist wherever she is needed. Barb is a very special asset, her unending love and devotion never tires and never ends.  Barb is a great example of those Core Values of “Being There” and “Make their Day” which is why she has been named Volunteer of the Month.

May 2015 – Kayla Keyes

kayla-reyesKayla joined WAVE as a volunteer in September 2014 with Dan Dunlap in Education.  Kayla went on to volunteer for Jen Hazeres and rose to the challenge of extra cleaning and scrubbing not just inside the tanks but, outside and underneath as well. Kayla volunteered additional days to do dirty jobs that don’t get noticed but, definitely contribute to overall excellence.

June 2015 – Andrew Snyder

andrew-snyderAndrew has consistently been more than willing to jump in and help out wherever needed, including taking on the role of Day Captain on short notice. As an Exhibit Interpreter, he is here at the aquarium frequently, and he has been providing a great guest experience on the floor, both while manning the Discovery Station carts, and engaging with guests in the galleries and at the touch tanks.  There have been a number of days, especially during this summer, when Andrew has proven invaluable in aiding the Exhibit Supervisors in position, training other Exhibit Interpreters on the Discovery Stations, and also in leading and mentoring our many new Summer Naturalists even when not required to do so.  He always has a good attitude about his work here, and he’s proven to be a model volunteer for the Exhibits Department.

August 2015 – Jonathan Frommeyer

jonathan-frommeyerJonathan has been an amazing volunteer and educator with the WAVE Foundation. He always there when you need him.  He goes beyond what is needed for a Jr. Camp Counselor, and is always asking if anyone needs help. He is loved by campers and all are excited when he enters the room. Jonathan is not only a Jr. Camp Counselor but Exhibit Interpreter and Discovery Station volunteer. He shows extraordinary talent in his efforts to improve WAVE’s summer camp. He is one of the hardest working volunteers that we’ve had the pleasure to work with. He treats his position with a seriousness that surpasses his age. Through his reliable hard work, dedication through the years and flexibility, he has made Camp WAVE better for all the kids that attend.

October 2015 – Madisen Hiatt

madisen-hiattAround 5:00pm on a Friday, typically the time of day where all the chaos has settled and everything starts to wind down, we received a radio call stating there was an altercation between guests at Frog Bog. Madisen was the first to respond to the incident. Unfortunately Madisen just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately for us, we had the RIGHT volunteer in the right place at the right time!! By the time supervisors made it to Frog Bog, Madisen had the 2 guests separated and was calmly speaking with one of them. After hearing the story, Madisen was thanked profusely for her help and sent back into position. Madisen went way above and beyond the call of duty for a Summer Naturalist. She was able to deescalate the situation before it became even uglier. With her calm and collective nature, she turned a potentially dangerous situation into a composed one!

November 2015 – Jay Dearth

jay-dearthCongratulations to Jay Dearth for earning Volunteer of the Month for November. Jay is a long time diver and recently donated a few incredible items to the WAVE Foundation. First, Jay donated a very large Megalodon tooth for WAVE to use for a silent auction item for Nauti Nite. This tooth was then framed and looked amazing and was an excellent addition to the silent auction. Jay also donated three other Megalodon teeth to WAVE’s education department! Now, we will be able to use these teeth with our shark cart for outreachs throughout the tri-state. The fact that we can have the general public hold and touch a real Megalodon tooth is absolutely incredible and adds the “WOW” factor to our outreach program.  Part of the shark cart outreach program is spent talking about the largest shark in the ocean, which is the whale shark. Most of the time, someone says “Megalodon” and now we are able to pull out a real Megalodon tooth for them to hold and touch! This donation will help take our shark outreach program to the next level. A huge “THANKS” to Jay for these donations.

December 2015 – Toni Hughes

toni-hughesThese past few months have been incredibly busy with outreaches and thre is no way they all could have been accomplished without Toni. She was always there and willing to lend a hand with any animal. Gators, snakes, penguins … She can do it all! Now she is ready to tackle the shark cart for us! Toni is always friendly and patient everywhere we go. She has a smile for everyone, from the very young to the very old. Her winning personality is only part of what makes her so awesome. The experience and knowledge that she brings with her is an asset everywhere we go. She provides that extra special something to every guests that asks her a question. We really enjoy seeing Toni persuade first time animal touchers to come meet one of our animal ambassadors! She definitely can be persuasive! Her stories are endless and they keep the rest of the educators entertained on long drives to new destinations. Without a doubt, Toni truly needs to be recognized for the outstanding volunteer work she contributes to the WAVE Foundation and the entire Newport Aquarium!

Nominate a Volunteer for Volunteer of the Month

The VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH Award is our symbol of achievement, recognizing special service to our guests and each other. The VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH Award Program offers every member of the team the opportunity to say “Thank You” in a visible, personal way.

The pursuit of excellence does not end with achievement. It begins there. The VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH Award Program celebrates the exceptional service that we are striving to provide every day in all our dealings with guests and each other.

You don’t have to be a volunteer or employee at Newport Aquarium in order to nominate someone for Volunteer of the Month.  If you have seen a volunteer go above and beyond the call of duty and you think they deserve recognition, click below to download the Volunteer of the Month Nomination Form, fill it out, and email to volunteer@wavefoundation.org.

Volunteer of the Month Nomination Form

To view previous Volunteers of the Year and Volunteers of the Month, click on the year below:

2016     2014     2013