Recommendations from coworkers
January 19, 2013
During the four years I had the pleasure of working with Percy Thomas at The Smithfield Times, I lost count of how many times I called on her for help. Whether it was figuring out how best to help a customer to fixing my computer that often went awry, Percy never failed to quickly figure out a solution.
On Tuesdays, when everyone was working furiously to get the newspaper to the printer, invariably a last minute problem would come up -- a computer glitch or a missing advertisement. But Percy handled every problem, big or small, with the same unruffled demeanor and dry wit that always set everyone at ease. She had a way of making you feel that your problem was her first concern and that no question was ever obtuse.
I was always in awe of her breadth of knowledge when it came to computers and digital technology. And she managed to combine that with a terrific eye for graphic design. And just as impressive was the speed with which she could tackle her work. No one ever had to wait on Percy for anything.
Everyone at The Times relied on and respected Percy and felt that she was irreplaceable.
And Percy was always there -- the first to arrive in the morning and one of the last to leave every day. I've never known anyone more dependable, more reliable or more dedicated to the job.
In my 25 years of employment in journalism and public relations, I've worked with literally hundreds of people. But Percy will always stand out among them as one of the very best.
"Priscilla's solid base of knowledge, talent and downright determination were clearly evident during my time at The Smithfield Times.
Her job title falls short from summarizing her multiple roles at the paper.
She is also the company's entire IT department and the "go-to person" for all computer and web-related issues.
I saw her regularly take on complex and seemingly insurmountable
problems with a calm, determined attitude. She once told me that
overcoming such challenges in the workplace was her favorite part of the job.
She brought the newspaper's website into the 21st century with an elegant new redesign, which she unveiled shortly after my arrival. Her commitment and enthusiasm were apparent, as I often saw her work unpaid overtime and weekends to learn new skills and hone them for the betterment of our online product.
This type of attitude and her interpersonal and communication skills make her an excellent "team player."
I was impressed, not only at her constant desire for new knowledge, but also at her ablility to effectively teach herself to proficiancy in a number of computer programs and other skills.
Her deep interest and background in aerospace technology, coupled with her versatility and adaptability would make Priscilla a valuable asset to any company in the industry."
Reporter, Chambersburg Public Opinion
Photojournalism Masters Student
March 21, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
As senior Graphic Designer I have the opportunity of working closely with our Production Manager.
Priscilla does an exceptional job of managing the workflow between the various departments and the off -site printer to be sure that deadlines are met. She is dedicated to staying current in her skill level in the Adobe Creative Suite programs that we use; and, at the same time, numerous other graphic programs she personally works on in her spare time to keep her skills at their peak. This has been shown through consistent yearly top design awards from the Virginia Press Association Advertising Awards.
In a small business environment, extremely capable employees are singled out to work multiple jobs. With her calm attitude, dedicated work ethic, and innate ability to quickly process new information, Priscilla is the chosen employee at the Smithfield Times. Along with her Production Management duties she is also responsible for building and maintaining the newspaper's website, constantly training herself after hours on software to keep the site up to date and competitive with other papers in our market.
She oversees our mailroom staff, our classified department, and is the IT person for the entire business. She recently developed a logistics plan for a major computer fleet upgrade including all software, OS integration, along with costing and training time approximation and converted this information into a flow chart for ease of understanding.
Her interest in the Space Program has brought ideas for human interest stories to our News Editor and with the proximity of Smithfield to NASA Langley local residents were able to share their involvement.
Priscilla's genuine enthusiasm and knowledge about space exploration made her the perfect candidate to conduct the interviews. This so far has generated a story about the Mars Curiosity Rover, a visit to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and an interview with the recipient of the NASA Medal for Exceptional
Service. Without her interest in the continuation of space exploration and dedication to educating the general population, these stories would not have been written.
In putting forth that extra effort, Priscilla is frequently in the position of advising the editor on staffing decisions, equipment purchasing decisions and general marketing ideas. I would give my highest recommendation for Priscilla Thomas for any position that she seeks.
Senior Graphic Designer
The Smithield Times
Recommendations from those I have done work for
March 12, 2012
To Whom It May Concern,
This correspondence serves as a letter of recommendation for Priscilla Thomas.
Priscilla first became involved with VMASC in 2009 as a volunteer on the Strategic Communications and Advocacy committee for the Modeling and Simulation Leadership Council. In 2010, she accepted the role of Chair for the committee and continued through 2011. During that time, I have come to know Priscilla as an enthusiastic and proactive team leader and member. She is dedicated to her work and demonstrates follow-through on projects she assumes responsibility for.
In two years of volunteer work with VMASC, Priscilla provided both organizational and graphic design skills that were very relevant to the Initiatives at hand. She readily volunteered many hours toward the production of a general audience video, using 3D modeling software and non-linear video editing software.
On assuming her role of Strategic Communications Committee Chair, Priscilla used her experience in media production management to outline a Communications Plan Overview identifying target audiences and strategies for reaching them. She applied logical thought processes to assess communications needs, and organize procedures towards goals.
Throughout her association with VMASC Priscilla has been consistent in her efforts, reliable in attending Leadership Council meetings, and attending related functions, such as the MODSIM World Conference for the last three years. Additionally, Priscilla showed initiative in arranging media coverage for STEM initiatives in local schools. Her efforts included doing initial interviews, gathering and translating technical information, and providing photos.
Working with Priscilla has been a positive experience and I would recommend her for a position in graphic design, media or management.
Director, Business Development & Technology Transfer
Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center
May 25, 2010
To Whom It May Concern,
This correspondence is to serve as a letter of recommendation for Priscilla (“Percy”) Thomas. I have known Percy well in her capacity as a graphic designer with the Smithfield Times Newspaper. During her tenure with the paper, Percy’s extraordinary graphic arts skills and flair were evident in every project she took on- from the high impact wall display in the “Smithfield House-Writers Room” at the 2010 Homearama (attended by more than 80,000 guests) to the sophisticated and eye-catching promotional video she prepared for Tourism’s use at important trade shows. Percy also brought a fresh approach to the Smithfield Times website and created and shepherded the PULSE community calendar program. Plus, Percy brought her artistic finesse and savvy eye to all of the weekly ads that she produced for a small but demanding customer base.
Percy worked particularly often with the Farmer’s Market and smARTS, the Smithfield Monthly Arts Stroll ads. She was an exemplary service provider who worked with enthusiasm and commitment. Her strong work ethic and ability to be a team player make her a valuable part of the newspaper staff. Percy is a quick learner and a self starter who is willing and able to take on tasks with little or no supervision and perform them in a consummate manner. She is also a very personable professional who has the ability to work with a wide variety of people and in high stress situations. Her innate intelligence, quiet confidence and adaptability to change made her a delight to work with.
I would highly recommend Priscilla (“Percy”) Thomas for employment in any avenue that she sought to engage in. Percy will bring credit and accomplishment to whomever she associates herself with. I wish her much success and achievement as she pursues her goals. It is a privilege and honor to endorse her.
J. Hare Winslow
Director Smithfield/Isle of Wight Tourism