February 17th marked the end of an era at Deerfield with the retirement of Human Resources Director Shirley Burnette. She spent the day enjoying a meal with employees and the afternoon with residents.
Shirley made her mark at Deerfield as a mentor and a friend working in the Housekeeping and Dining Departments before moving to Human Resources. Director of Philanthropy Michelle Wooley said it well, “Shirley is a friend. She’s a mentor. She tells the truth (whether you like it or not). She’s feisty. She’s fun and she shows up when you need her. Above all else, she is an advocate for us.”
Shirley has worked tirelessly to help employees grow their careers, receive great benefits and ensure that their workplace is safe, happy, fair and supportive. The Deerfield Charitable Foundation, along with the senior leadership team and the Board of Directors, created a way to honor Shirley and her generous heart for many years to come with the development of The Shirley Burnette Employee Support Fund. This program will be available to employees who are in particular times of need. More details will follow, so please stay tuned.
Deerfield Chief Operating Officer Matt Sharpe paid tribute to Shirley who has supported his career at Deerfield for many years. She’s known some current employees since they were children or teenagers.
Everyone honored Queen Shirley as she spoke with employees and residents. She refused to say “Goodbye” and opted for her usual “See ya later!”