Zoo Adventures with Teammates

The United Methodist Communications Team gathers for a group photo at the Nashville Zoo. (Photo by Aaron Crisler.)
The United Methodist Communications Team gathers for a group photo at the Nashville Zoo. (Photo by Aaron Crisler.)
UMCOM staff enjoyed a delicious buffet at the Nashville Zoo. Renee McNeill could hardly wait to dive in while  Andrew Schleicher, Josh Mullenix, Greg Petree, Ashley Gish, Gary Henderson and David Jamieson filled their plates. Selections included Cuban slow roasted pork, Jamaican jerk chicken, Polynesian pineapple pork, mango slaw, coconut-cumin rice, fried plantains, rolls, rum cake and sorbet.   (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
UMCOM staff enjoyed a delicious buffet at the Nashville Zoo. Renee McNeill could hardly wait to dive in while Andrew Schleicher, Josh Mullenix, Greg Petree, Ashley Gish, Gary Henderson and David Jamieson filled their plates. Selections included Cuban slow roasted pork, Jamaican jerk chicken, Polynesian pineapple pork, mango slaw, coconut-cumin rice, fried plantains, rolls, rum cake and sorbet. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
UMCom staff enjoyed fellowship before exploring the Nashville Zoo. Pictured: Creative Services Team members Laura Buchanan, Sara Schork, Bridget Sloane and Troy Dossett. Production staff Dan O'Connell and Katie Sluder shown offering their talents to the event.  Dan Krause and Helen Allen served as co-hosts.(Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
UMCom staff enjoyed fellowship before exploring the Nashville Zoo. Pictured: Creative Services Team members Laura Buchanan, Sara Schork, Bridget Sloane and Troy Dossett. Production staff Dan O'Connell and Katie Sluder shown offering their talents to the event. Dan Krause and Helen Allen served as co-hosts.(Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Food, fun and fellowship and a spirit of Thanksgiving were enjoyed by staff attending the celebration. Pictured:  Gathered around the table - Andrew Schleicher, Aileen Jimenez, Sara Perez, Michelle Maldonado, Ryan Dunn, Chilima Karima and Ashley Gish with Shelia Mayfield, Wanda Jackson and Cheoneui Oh getting in line for goodies. Royya James, Diane Maloney and Pam Buck reconnecting in-person. The Local Church Services Team gathered - Sara Perez, Melanie Mays, Steven Adair, Craig Catlett, Renee McNeill and Pam Buck. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Food, fun and fellowship and a spirit of Thanksgiving were enjoyed by staff attending the celebration. Pictured: Gathered around the table - Andrew Schleicher, Aileen Jimenez, Sara Perez, Michelle Maldonado, Ryan Dunn, Chilima Karima and Ashley Gish with Shelia Mayfield, Wanda Jackson and Cheoneui Oh getting in line for goodies. Royya James, Diane Maloney and Pam Buck reconnecting in-person. The Local Church Services Team gathered - Sara Perez, Melanie Mays, Steven Adair, Craig Catlett, Renee McNeill and Pam Buck. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Three staff members were presented with Extra Mile honors and a gift card during the festivities. L-R: Danny Mai with recipient Matt Crum, Gary Henderson with honoree Royya James and Greg Petree with extra miler Josh Mullenix. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Three staff members were presented with Extra Mile honors and a gift card during the festivities. L-R: Danny Mai with recipient Matt Crum, Gary Henderson with honoree Royya James and Greg Petree with extra miler Josh Mullenix. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Service Award honorees received a special pen to commemorate their mile marker. Dan Krause captured this moment with (L-R): Vicki Wallace,  Julie Dwyer, Troy Dossett and Tyrus Sturgis. Honoree MaryAnna Erlandsson not pictured. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Service Award honorees received a special pen to commemorate their mile marker. Dan Krause captured this moment with (L-R): Vicki Wallace, Julie Dwyer, Troy Dossett and Tyrus Sturgis. Honoree MaryAnna Erlandsson not pictured. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Four staff members were recognized as Super Star Award honorees and were presented with a star shaped trophy. Pictured L-R: Kathryn Price with Stacey Hagewood, Diane Degnan with Brenda Smotherman, Tim Tanton with Julie Dwyer, and Danny Mai with Shelia Mayfield. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Four staff members were recognized as Super Star Award honorees and were presented with a star shaped trophy. Pictured L-R: Kathryn Price with Stacey Hagewood, Diane Degnan with Brenda Smotherman, Tim Tanton with Julie Dwyer, and Danny Mai with Shelia Mayfield. (Photos by Aaron Crisler.)
Honoring our retirees. L-R:  Jennifer Rodia celebrated Sheila Harrison who has retired after 13 years with the agency. Tim Tanton praised Vicki Wallace who retired in tandem with hitting her 25 year mark. (Photo by Aaron Crisler.)
Honoring our retirees. L-R: Jennifer Rodia celebrated Sheila Harrison who has retired after 13 years with the agency. Tim Tanton praised Vicki Wallace who retired in tandem with hitting her 25 year mark. (Photo by Aaron Crisler.)
The Soaring Eagle zip line brought on laughter for some teammates. Shown L-R: Patty DelliBovi and Linda Bruner (Photo by Greg Petree.), Chilima Karima and Renee McNeill (Photo by Helen Allen.)
The Soaring Eagle zip line brought on laughter for some teammates. Shown L-R: Patty DelliBovi and Linda Bruner (Photo by Greg Petree.), Chilima Karima and Renee McNeill (Photo by Helen Allen.)
The Soaring Eagle zip line was a popular attraction that brought about reactions that were perfect for picture taking. Pictured L-R: Christy Losee with Lilla Marigza, Greg Petree with David Jamieson (Photos by Helen Allen.)
The Soaring Eagle zip line was a popular attraction that brought about reactions that were perfect for picture taking. Pictured L-R: Christy Losee with Lilla Marigza, Greg Petree with David Jamieson (Photos by Helen Allen.)
Brenda Smotherman discovered that when you're in a party of three you get to ride the Soaring Eagle zip line twice. Pictured on ride one with Diane Degnan and ride two with Teresa Faust. (Photos by Diane Degnan and Teresa Faust.)
Brenda Smotherman discovered that when you're in a party of three you get to ride the Soaring Eagle zip line twice. Pictured on ride one with Diane Degnan and ride two with Teresa Faust. (Photos by Diane Degnan and Teresa Faust.)
UMCom staff enjoyed the wide variety of exotic animals at the Nashville Zoo. (Photos provided by Brenda Smotherman and Diane Maloney.)
UMCom staff enjoyed the wide variety of exotic animals at the Nashville Zoo. (Photos provided by Brenda Smotherman and Diane Maloney.)
Dan O'Connell captured Katie Sluder documenting her own memories of her peacock encounter. (Animal photos by Brenda Smotherman.)
Dan O'Connell captured Katie Sluder documenting her own memories of her peacock encounter. (Animal photos by Brenda Smotherman.)

We hope that you enjoyed your time at the Thanksgiving, Service Awards and Retiree Celebration at the Nashville Zoo on Nov. 18th and felt the appreciation we have for each and every one of you.

A big thanks to Hellen Allen and the Leadership Team for making this special day possible. 

It was a great time of fellowship, good food and catching up with people many of us haven't seen in quite some time.

The celebration was also bittersweet with us saying our final official work goodbyes to Sheila Harrison who has retired from the Communications Team with 13 years of service to the agency, and Ask the UMC's Vicki Wallace timing her retirement at her 25 year mark.

For those that would like to relive some of the fun, or for those that weren't able to be with us in person, we've put together a slideshow of memories for you to enjoy.  

Congratulations again to all of the service award winners*:

Years of Service

  • 5 years – Julie Dwyer, Tyrus Sturgis
  • 10 years – MaryAnna Erlandsson, Troy Dossett
  • 25 years – Vicki Wallace

Superstar Awards – Kathryn Price, Brenda Smotherman, Julie Dwyer, Shelia Mayfield,

Extra Mile Awards – Josh Mullenix, Royya James, Matt Crum

*As a reminder, the remainder of this year's service awards will be celebrated at the Christmas Party.

Thanks to everyone for lending their talents to the mission of United Methodist Communications and making it a special place to work.