Perfect day for pie – and more

Provost, Athletics Director among others serve up treats at ‘Sweet Tooth Social’ for State employee week

Tom DiLorenzo

UND Provost Tom DiLorenzo (center) and Athletics Director Bill Chaves were among administrators who volunteered to dish up pie and ice cream Wednesday for the Sweet Tooth Social, part of  State Employee Recognition Week at UND. Angie Holkesvig chaired the UND Staff Senate committee that planned the week-long celebration. Photo by David Dodds/UND Today.

This is Angie Holkesvig’s first year on UND’s Staff Senate, and as a new chair of the Staff Recognition Committee, it’s an opportunity to give UND employees the credit they deserve.

Angie Holkesvig

Angie Holkesvig

But Holkesvig, an accounting specialist for UND Housing, joked that when she volunteered for the job – she didn’t know what she was getting into.

“I showed up for my first Staff Senate meeting and they were looking for someone to chair the Staff Recognition Committee,” Holkesvig said. “I thought it was just coordinating the UShine Award, I had no idea it included Staff Recognition Week, too.”

Like she always does, Holkesvig embraced the challenge and took it to another level.

On Wednesday, as many as 300 UND employees made their way to Carnegie Hall, at the south end of campus quad, to enjoy assortments of cookies, bars and pies – all served up by folks such as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Tom DiLorenzo, UND Athletics Director Bill Chaves, Professor of Anthropology John Mihelich and more.

It was one of the signature events of State Employee Recognition Week, and when putting it together, Holkesvig said, she was inspired by some of the events she and her daughter helped put together as co-owners of a wedding planning business.

“I just wanted everyone to feel like they are very special and that we really appreciate them,” she said.  “I wanted it to be homey with music playing – and it certainly did look yummy!”

Have Plan B

Carnegie was completely decked out like a reception, with decorative food trays and serving stations at Wednesday event, which in past years, has had a more informal vibe.

“That kind of special touch goes a long way,” Holkesvig added. “I wanted UND employees to know that this was something that just wasn’t put together at the last minute.”

The day, however, got off to an inauspicious start. When Holkesvig went to her car to retrieve the glass serving trays and bowls for the Sweet Tooth Social, they rolled out and crashed to the ground. Instead of dwelling on the bad luck, she dashed to the nearest local thrift story and purchased replacement ware that did the trick in a pinch.

“When life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade,” she smiled, “and you should always have a plan B.”

Week-long appreciation

State Employee Recognition Week kicked off at UND with River Cinema Movie Day on Monday, when UND employees and a guest could enjoy a show and snacks at reduced prices. Tuesday brought the “Night Staff Breakfast” at Wilkerson Commons, followed by the Sweet Tooth Social on Wednesday.

And today, to cap off the week, UND leaders, such as Associate Vice President for Finance Karla Mongeon-Stewart and Director of Human Resources & Payroll Services Pat Hanson helped out at the Taco-in-a-bag Lunch and Vendor Fair over the noon hour at the Memorial Union.

Holkesvig couldn’t do it alone. She thanked Human Resources specialist Tyler Clauson, who’s headed up past staff recognition events, for all his support and advice; and UND Work Well Coordinator Andria Spaeth for her assistance; as well as all the others UND employees who signed up to volunteer.

Holkesvig also made special mention of UND Catering Manager Andrea Green and all of the Dining Services staff members, who helped make everything look so professional.

“They were just excellent,” she said.