Lorinda Cruikshank

Lorinda Cruikshank
Ask Lorinda Cruikshank what it’s like to work at the Department of Economic Development’s Division of Tourism, and she begins by describing the Division’s mission, “Tourism is responsible for marketing Missouri, and marketing Missouri is all about telling stories. We have a great story to tell! I have been at the Division for 19 years and I am still learning new things about Missouri. My job is analysis and reporting of how effectively we are telling Missouri’s story!!

Lorinda is a Senior Marketing Research Analyst with the Division. She is responsible for collecting and analyzing tourism and travel data such as visitation reports, Google analytics, industry forecasts and trends. The reports are used by the Division and tourism industry partners throughout the state to make marketing decisions.

Research comes naturally to Lorinda because she finds learning inspirational. “Curiosity really drives me. I enjoy being exposed to new things. In my research, I have an opportunity to learn every day. When I was growing up, Mom taught me learning was important and to always do my best! So I grew up believing in the importance of learning and being a perfectionist.”

According to her supervisor Dee Ann McKinney, Lorinda’s role at the Division is essential. Dee Ann stated, “We count on Lorinda’s analytical skills, but we depend on her in so many other ways. Everything from setting up slide presentations that often include complicated graphs and charts to monitoring my email traffic, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks when I’m out of the office.” Dee Ann went on to explain, “Lorinda is always willing to lend a hand whenever her help is needed. She’s a team player.”

Lorinda’s state career began in 1993 when she applied for positions at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Tourism. DNR called first and she worked there for 8 years. A friend of Lorinda’s worked at the Division of Tourism and encouraged her to apply when a position opened up. She landed the job and went to work at the Division in 2000 in Accounts Payable, Human Resources, and Purchasing.

She began working with the research team in 2003 — incrementally at first. Lorinda’s supervisor explains that over the next 8 years Lorinda showed a lot of initiative and did more and more research. Between 2011 and 2013 Lorinda made the transition to analysis work full time. “I loved the analysis work and it motivated me to go back to school. I began working on my Masters and completed my MBA in 2014.”

When you ask Lorinda what the greatest challenge the Division faces is, she will tell you it’s the production of content for the Division’s website. “The way the Division goes about accomplishing its mission has changed dramatically in 19 years. In 2000 when I arrived, the internet was new. Today travelers count on websites like ours to provide them essential information when planning Missouri trips.”

Her career advice to others in public service is straight forward, “Get involved! Volunteer! Take the initiative to grow professionally. It’s your career!” Lorinda became involved in the Association for Governmental Accounting and later the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA). She currently serves as the treasurer for TTRA’s CenStates Chapter, which is made up of 15 states in the center of the U.S. And, last fall won the chapter’s President’s award for her efforts. “The volunteer activities take extra time but they give you a chance to learn from others. Embracing the opportunity to grow professionally is a choice – seize it.”

When Lorinda is asked what else she would like to accomplish in her career. She responds, “I will continue to look for opportunities to learn and grow.” We’re sure her mom would be pleased with the answer.

Team Photo

L to R: Eric Pahl CSM, Scott Schulte, Brad Morrow, Amy Bruemmer, Kevin Stegeman, Steven Tackett, Michael Wolfe.

“Brainstorming project opportunities that will Enhance Customer’s Experience by enhancing existing and proposing new IT solutions” – Eric Pahl

This was a very successful think-tank for Professional Registration that is resulting in a project prioritization exercise for Professional Registration’s management.

The annual Missouri State Employee Recognition Week (SERW) is scheduled for June 6 – 10, 2016, with the capstone event, State Employee Recognition Day (SERD) happening on Thursday, June 9, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the Capitol South Lawn.

Anyone who would like to participate as a vendor, sponsor or food and beverage host is encouraged to visit the following link for more information: http://oa.mo.gov/sites/default/files/SERD-vendors-2016.pdf

Mark your calendars for 2015 State Employee Recognition Week (SERW), happening June 8th through 12th.

The capstone event is State Employee Recognition Day (SERD) which will be Thursday, June 11th, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the South lawn of our beautiful State Capitol.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact your Agency Coordinator,

or visit https://oa.mo.gov/SERD/ for information, vendor and sponsor form downloads, and photos from last year’s SERD event.

The website is updated regularly, so check back often!

The Center for Management and Professional Development in The Office of Administration’s Division of Personnel announces Lisa Buckles, R.N., as the State of Missouri Employee of the Month. Ms. Buckles is employed with The Department of Mental Health (DMH) in the St. Louis Regional Office.

Ms. Buckles has worked in the Quality Enhancement (QE) unit for over 15 years, typically focused on consumer health, safety and rights. However, in the summer of 2014, Buckles went above and beyond to ensure that two foster children got their wish of attending summer camp; and she even took her personal time to volunteer at the camp and make certain that those two individuals had the best experience possible.

“Lisa Buckles care and concern for these two individuals significantly represents the Department of Mental Health,” Division of Personnel Director Nancy Johnston said, “and she is a shining example of our most dedicated State employees.”

Ms. Buckles was selected from other nominees by a six-member committee comprised of Missouri State Training Advisory Council (STAC) members.

For more information on Ms. Buckles, please contact Debra Walker, Department of Mental Health at 573-751-1647 or via email: Debra.Walker@dmh.mo.gov

The Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has selected Amanda Macrelli to receive the agency’s December Workplace Wellness Champion of the Month award. Ms. Macrelli, Children’s Service Worker III, in the Children’s Division is being recognized for promoting healthy living.

Amanda Macrelli has been an inspiration to her local office and the entire community. Ms. Macrelli has set up diet challenges for her office and colleagues, inspiring others to get healthy. She encourages coworkers to take advantage of the wellness hour to walk or to go to the nearby gym. She demonstrates great will power and dedication by transforming her lifestyle into one that is a model of healthy living.

Amanda Macrelli has been with DSS since August 2004.

The Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has selected Sarah Shearrer to receive the agency’s October Employee of the Month award. Ms. Shearrer, Office Support Assistant, in the Family Support Division is being recognized for exemplary service.

Sarah Shearrer goes above and beyond every day to offer respect and a friendly attitude to everyone that she comes in contact with. Ms. Shearrer is kind and patient even with the most difficult clients. In the absence of a clerical for the Children’s Division she has also been assisting them. Her amazing personality benefits the lives of individuals every day.

During Christmas Sarah and her husband gathered gifts locally for children who were less fortunate. Several hundred families requested assistance with presents and Sarah went the extra mile to enlist the community into helping with these families. She has a big heart and is always willing to help coworkers and clients.

Sarah Shearrer has been with DSS since June 2001.

Roman Hamptiol, a Correspondence and Information Specialist I with the Family Support Division (FSD) in St. Louis County, a part of the Dept. of Social Services, submitted a suggestion to create a separate link on the SharePoint/FSD worksite with information and tutorials.

Most employees are overwhelmed by the amount of information on the screen and this training tutorial will assist on how to navigate, complete work, and correctly store information in the SharePoint site.  FSD has decided to implement this suggestion in part.

The training unit is already in the process of developing official training for the worksite. In the interim, guides available via the worksite will be made more user friendly and accessible as suggested.

The Department of Social Services appreciates Mr. Hamptiol for participating in the MoRE Suggestion Program and for continuing to improve our services for clients. He received a Certificate of Recognition and a monetary award for his MoRE suggestion.

Erica Roberts, a Child Support Specialist with the Family Support Division in St. Louis City has received a Certificate of Recognition for her suggestion to improve a form.

Currently the CS-402 form does not include a line for employers to list their address. The form will be updated to include the branch and job location address allowing the agencies to know where the client is employed which will save time. The Department of Social Services appreciates Ms. Roberts for participating in the MoRE Suggestion Program and for continuing to improve our services for clients.

The Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has selected Sarah Herrera to receive the agency’s September Workplace Wellness Champion of the Month award.  Ms. Herrera, Children’s Service Worker III, in the Children’s Division is being recognized for promoting healthy living. 

Miss Herrera made a lifestyle change by participating in more healthy activities, and committing herself to eating healthy. She is participating in daily exercises such as walking and Zumba, and has seen major improvements in her health overall. She is a great example to others in the office.

Sarah Herrera has been with DSS since October 2004.