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Fonthill restaurant one of five to host “Loyalicious” meals

A Fonthill restaurant is one of five chosen to recognize long term employees of Niagara Health. Employees who have been with the health system for 25 years or longer have been recognized in the past with a gala and dinner at a Niagara Falls casino, but with such a gathering for more than 400 people off the table this year, a new way to recognize long term employees has been developed. Each employee along with last year’s retirees will receive a voucher for themselves and a guest to enjoy a specially prepared meal at one of five Niagara restaurants… eat in or take out. The program has been dubbed “Loyalicious.”

According to Michelle Ross, Organizational Development Consultant with Niagara Health, the new recognition program was designed both to honour employees who have contributed over more than two decades, and to support local restaurants, some of which have supported the health system with donations of meals to front-line health workers. Ross suggests that this type of recognition could become a trend even after the pandemic as people rethink large gatherings and look for ways to promote businesses and organizations within their communities.

The five restaurants were chosen partially to provide geographic diversity so anyone in the Niagara Region can find a dining spot close to home, and partially from a poll of Niagara Health employees and partners to find recommended restaurants for an enjoyable dining experience. Along with Fonthill’s Root and Bone, the employees will be able to choose from Incoho, in St. Catharines, 355 on the Ridge, in Ridgeway, The Old Winery, in Niagara-on- the- Lake, and Johnny Rocco’s, in St. Catharines.

Flo Paladino is the Executive Vice President of People and Organizational Development at Niagara Health, and she says of the recognition program that, “One of the favourite parts of my job is recognizing the wonderful people who work for our organization. We have a remarkable team whose unswerving dedication during the pandemic has made a tremendous difference.”

We have a remarkable team whose unswerving dedication during the pandemic has made a tremendous difference

Niagara Health provides recognition to its employees at five-year intervals starting at five years, and is this year honouring a 45-year veteran with the system. Due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, pins marking the years have been re-introduced in place of gatherings, while social media and the health system website will publicly thank the employees for their loyalty. Paladino adds that a video is being produced featuring some of the longest serving employees reflecting on their time with Niagara Health and offering tips and encouragement to newer employees. “When our employees love what they do they can truly make a difference. I am so proud of our people and thrilled to meaningfully recognize our long-serving employees.”

The Loyalicious program starts October 1 and runs through November.