2015 - 2016 Harold Barnes Leader of the Year
At the end of the September 2016 SHINE Leadership Meeting, the Department of Elder Affairs was able to celebrate the contributions of more than 546 statewide volunteers. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs' SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program announced Louisa Belen Tejeiro, Miami-Dade county volunteer, as the award winner for the Harold Barnes Leader of the Year award.
Belen serves as a SHINE volunteer counselor and Area Coordinator for Miami-Dade county. She often does additional SHINE duties at the Alliance for Aging, Inc. Over the last seven years with SHINE Belen has implemented several new efficiencies within the local program. SHe has initiated procedures to streamline SHINE processes and trained her fellow counselors. She has created a sense of "team work" by hosting local meetings with fun activities and encouraged after-hours social events each month to build cohesiveness. By 2014 she had found and organized 2 new counseling sites, and finally, when asked to compile a local Volunteer Operations Manual, she was happy to do so. As one of her fellow volunteers stated, “This person is the best example for all of us, charisma, hard work, dedication, the way they bring us together and more. The positive attitude this individual exudes made such an impression on a volunteer who was not even in the same area, speaks volumes. Creating a team that is going in the same direction takes real focus that is only found in a leader." Another volunteer stated "that she wanted to be just like Belen when she grows up, which included the attributes of tenacity, professionalism, and a beautiful spirit."
This award is named for long-time SHINE volunteer, Harold Barnes, and recognizes members of volunteers leadership for their dedication to fellow volunteers and the program. Nominations can be submitted from anyone associated with the SHINE program.
The qualities of Harold Barnes, considered for the award named in his honor, include:
Consideration of time spent as a SHINE Volunteer Leader;
Demonstration of the ability to go above and beyond, and dedication to growing the SHINE Program locally; and
Demonstrated history of compassion for the clients and communities SHINE serves.
Luisa Belen Tejeiro, we thank you for your motivation, devotion, reliability and kindness.