Congratulations to the December Employee of the Month Jeff Burr! He serves as the research specialist senior and greenhouse manager in the Department of Horticulture.
His nominator noted that the “recent blooming of the corpse plant, Phil, was a huge success in terms of visitors, social media, and exposure for the college and a large part of the reason for this was Jeff Burr. Though his job title is greenhouse manager, during Phil’s blooming cycle, he served as social media manager, botany interpreter, crowd-controller, and all around great ambassador for the college.”
Burr opened a Twitter account to promote the greenhouse and Phil. The #stinkyphil campaign earned more than 1.7 million impressions and he was a big part of this success.
When he learned that Phil was going to bloom outside of his typical work schedule, Burr kept the greenhouse open late on Friday, then opened the doors on Saturday and Sunday when more than 1,000 people visited Phil.
H answered hundreds of questions about Phil and always did so with a deep well of knowledge, but just as importantly, with a great attitude and a sense of humor. Though people waited more than an hour in line to see Phil, Burr made the entire environment light and lively. His nominator also noted that he “was a tremendous ambassador for the college and Virginia Tech and was an integral part of a very successful campaign that helped spread the words ‘College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ around the globe.”
As the December employee of the month, he will receive a plaque, gifts from the college, have his photo displayed in the case in Hutcheson Hall, and will be eligible to be considered for the 2015-16 Employee of the Year award.