Staff Excellence Award
 
“I came to Capital Planning in 1986 and decided I would stay until I got bored. I never got bored.”
 
Vickie Chalmers, director of finance and administration for Capital Planning and Development (CPD) at WSU has had opportunities to leave CPD, but the work and the people continue to keep her at it.
 
“There’s a difference in the energy here,” said the 2007 President’s Employee Excellence Award recipient. “Everyone here moves at warp speed, but we still have a good sense of teamwork.”
 
Chalmers began her career at WSU as a secretary IV in the College of Ag, moving to CPD in 1986. But through 25 years of service to the university, she has worked her way to where she’s considered the “go-to” person for accurate, real-time information on all financial aspects of major CPD projects on each campus.
 
“Whenever I walk around and see buildings this department helped get built, I feel a sense of pride,” said Chalmers. “I know just how much time and effort goes into each building and, while I may never occupy them, I feel proud just the same.”
 
“Vickie embodies the ideal of hard work and commitment,” said Keith Bloom, director of construction services at CPD.
 
“She has a kind word to say about most everyone. And for the rest, she follows the “Thumper” rule: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
 
In addition to her professional work, Chalmers loves the arts. She even tried her hand briefly as a songwriter with a visit or two to Nashville. But, despite hearing her songs on the radio, she realized she wasn’t aggressive enough for the music business.
 
These days she exercises her creative side with a slightly sweeter hobby: cake decorating. She has taught classes for Michaels, the Moscow Food Co-op and local 4-H groups.
 
But much of her cake decorating is devoted to wedding and birthday cakes for family and friends, like a dueling dragon cake for two grandsons’ birthdays.
 
“WSU has been so good to me, I’ve never been sorry that I work here,” she said. “I feel I get to make a contribution, which is worth a ton to me.” 
 
About the awards
 
Employee Excellence Awards recognize outstanding staff contributions toward productivity, good work relations, community service and problem-solving.