I thought that it would be a good time ro post the information for those who did not see the article in the Frederick News Post.
Read about the award directly from the newspaper by clicking here.
Award winner excels while battling illness
Originally published October 04, 2005
By Gina Gallucci
CLARKSBURG -- Christine DeWitt had attended the Maryland Credit Union League's annual conference every year since she began working for the company 22 years ago.
This year, Ms. DeWitt, who is the vice president of operations for COMSTAR Federal Credit Union in Clarksburg, had decided not to attend. She had been diagnosed in September 2004 with breast cancer and was not sure if she wanted to make the trip to Ocean City for the conference in late June.
Her CEO, Lisa Whitaker, encouraged her to attend because she had nominated her for an award.
"She said, 'I think you need to go because you have won an award'," said Ms. DeWitt, who was honored with the 2005 Judith A. Burgin Memorial Credit Union Professional of the Year Award.
"It was very emotional and very gratifying," said Ms. DeWitt. It was an honor to be nominated by the CEO and given the award in front of colleagues.
The contenders were judged on their ability to achieve effective and efficient results in the areas of management and supervision; ability to motivate staff and volunteers and instill in credit union personnel a spirit of teamwork and cooperation; participation in credit union activities at the local, chapter, league and national levels; and professional training and educational achievements.
The award was created to honor, Judith A. Burgin, who was responsible for directing and managing the operations of all Tower Federal Credit Union branches. Ms. Burgin began her career at Tower in 1969 and worked until her death in 1983.
Ms. DeWitt was able to do her job while going through a 12-week round of chemotherapy.
"A lot has to do with technology," said Ms. DeWitt. "Fortunately, the credit union set up a computer at (her) home so I could check my e-mail. I also checked my voice mail. A number of the managers are independent and got the job done and kept everything running. ...I have not missed much work. I come into work as much as I can. Keeping a normal schedule has helped."
To boost her spirits during chemotherapy, co-workers took up a collection and hired a cleaning person to tidy up her house once a week and a chef to prepare meals for her and her family.
"It was a huge help," said Ms. DeWitt. "I did not have many side effects (due to treatment), but there were a lot of things I couldn't do."
Currently, Ms. DeWitt is undergoing radiation treatments and going in for regular check-ups.
"Its an ongoing process," said Ms. DeWitt. "I play it by ear. One test to another."
Ms. DeWitt lives in Frederick with her husband Charles and three children.