He manages a 24-hour operation, his facility is more than 26,000-square-feet, and his 68 employees prepare food for more than 30,000 students every single day.
And he’s still smiling.
Anthony Purcell serves as the assistant director for the Southgate Food Processing Center. In his role, he oversees the team that supplies the raw ingredients for Virginia Tech’s award-winning dining centers. He’s also a key collaborator of the Dining Services Farm at Kentland. Prior to this role, Anthony served with Personal Touch Catering for nearly 15 years.
We’ll let his nomination speak for itself:
“The true depth of a person’s civility is gauged by his words and actions, not during times of tranquility but during moments of difficulty. Civility is the commitment to respect and compassion despite interpersonal differences when addressing a challenge.
“For Anthony Purcell, however, civility is not merely a tool of social influence, but an expression of his character and an outpouring of his values. Having been a colleague of his for two years, I believe Anthony’s exceptional dedication to civility is a cornerstone of his success as a leader in Dining Services.
“Anthony’s many pivotal responsibilities confront him with daily communication challenges with staff, managers, chefs, and administrators. From my personal interactions with Anthony and observations of his rapport with others, I have witnessed the impact of Anthony’s civility as such: through his kindness and compassion, people feel the respect that empowers them to speak openly and contribute as an equal member of the team.
“As a leader, Anthony takes responsibility for insuring that proactive steps are taken to avoid misunderstanding and ensure communication is courteous and respectful. When I present Anthony with a suggestion or concern that impacts others on his team, he makes certain that affected individuals from all levels are invited to participate in the decision-making process. Anthony assumes the role of facilitator rather than authoritarian, encouraging the contribution of each person and setting a positive tone for reaching consensus. When problems emerge due to miscommunication, he applies those same tenets of civility to resolve them.
“Anthony prioritizes finding a solution over assigning blame, honoring everyone’s capacity to learn from his or her mistakes and grow. Always generous with his time, Anthony will not hesitate to make a personal phone call to assure me that he understands my concerns, is actively working to find a solution, and appreciates my dedication to the job.
“Anthony’s devotion toward the well-being of his staff has inspired a culture of civility within the Southgate Center. By his example, the staff members seek understanding first when resolving a challenge, taking as much time as necessary to understand each person’s point of view. Anthony frequently and openly expresses his respect and gratitude for their hard work and initiative.
“And, he is the first to capitalize on an opportunity to add some light-hearted humor to a situation, yet he always maintains an appropriate level of professionalism. Anthony recognizes the important roles and unique skills of each of his staff members and never derides or disregards them. I have heard directly from several individuals that his personable and approachable nature makes them comfortable expressing their concerns or seeking his input.”
This nomination says it all. Anthony, you are respected by your staff for such obvious reasons. You lead with humility and kindness, and you embody this Aspiration. It is my absolute honor to present the Aspire! Award for CIVILITY to Anthony Purcell.
(By the way, if you find yourself in the bake shop at just the right time, Anthony’s known to sneak you a freshly-baked cookie. Talk about civility….)
2017-2018 Aspirations Breakfasts*
December 1, 2017
Owens Banquet Room, 8-10 a.m.
*Registration is required to attend the Breakfast.
April 21, 2017 Recipients
Bobby Hollingsworth - Curiosity
Annemarie Bresson - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Christopher Bardo - Civility
Nala Chehade - Courageous Leadership
Elizabeth Galbreath - Ut Prosim
Hillary Kovacs – Ut Prosim
Robert and Kara Julius – Ut Prosim
Jerry Colyer [posthumous award] – Ut Prosim
March 17, 2017 Recipients
Lt. Tony Haga – Courageous Leadership
February 17, 2017 Recipients
Danielle Jeffers - Curiosity
Colleen McGovern - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Min Kyung “Julie” Sim - Civility
Lamont “Gucci” Livingston - Courageous Leadership
Jacob Long - Ut Prosim
Alece Alderson – Civility
November 4, 2016 Recipients
Rhiannon Hasenauer - Ut Prosim
Zack Sever - Civility
David Gardner - Courageous Leadership
Zachary Hoopes - Curiosity
Bridger Johnson - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jon Fritsch – Self-Understanding and Integrity
October 7, 2016 Recipients
Zachariah Ewen - Ut Prosim
Jordan Evans - Civility
Megan Lee Myklegard - Courageous Leadership
Alex Hamilton - Curiosity
Bryan Faulkner - Self-Understanding and Integrity
Catherine Cotrupi – Curiosity
April 22, 2016 Recipients
Samantha Hall - Ut Prosim
Charelle Berry - Civility
Audrey Semel - Courageous
Jess King - Curiosity
Mike Schoka - Self-Understanding
Frances Keene – Ut Prosim
John Graham – Ut Prosim
Susan Anderson – Courageous
February 19, 2016 Recipients
Javier González-Rocha – Self-Understanding and Integrity
Obaid Rehman – Civility
Claire Kelling – Courageous
Meghan McLoughlin – Ut Prosim
Erica Nagotko – Curiosity
Anthony Purcell – Civility
Gladys Sartin– Self-Understanding
October 2, 2015 Recipients
Walter Gonsiewski – Self-Understanding
Seyi Olusina – Civility
Skyler Mueller – Courageous
Anastasia Matusiewicz – Ut Prosim
Natasha Laramie – Curiosity
Vera Kidd – Curiosity
Residence Life Resource Officer John Tarter – Ut Prosim
Robby Moser – Ut Prosim
March, 2015 Recipients
Juan de la Rosa Diaz – Courageous
Jamaica Sykes – Curiosity
Luke Birch –
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Jake Voorhees – Ut Prosim
Turki Saad Al-Zahrani – Civility
Captain Jim Snyder – Courageous Leadership
February, 2015 Recipients
Catherine Goggins – Courageous
Allison Laclede – Curiosity
Samuel Aguilar Chavez –
Self-Understanding and Integrity
Larissa Perara – Ut Prosim
Lauren Cashman – Civility
Jay Read – Civility
Scott Busiel – Self–understanding and Integrity
Robin Boucher – Curiosity
Tricia Smith – Ut Prosim