Authored by: Sonja Kania, Chief Talent & Social Capital Officer
It is with great pleasure that I announce Fred Groiss (aka: Papa Bear) as our Employee Spotlight winner for the month of September. I don’t think I would be exaggerating when I say that Fred has consistently been given at least one Shout Out every month since we started the program! Fred is a natural leader and mentor (to staff and youth) on the Norris campus each and every day. We are so very grateful for the nearly 20 years he’s committed to being part of the Norris team! Please enjoy getting to know Fred a little more by reading through the questions below (I know I did).
How long have you worked at Norris? What position did you start in?
In February 2019, Fred will celebrate his 20th anniversary with Norris. Fred has consistently be in the role as a Youth Care Worker and has always enjoyed working first shift.
What is your favorite Norris memory?
Fred had a hard time picking just one “favorite” memory because there are just “too many good ones!” However, Fred did talk about how much he enjoyed working in the Group Homes because there was a little more independence for the group when it came to preparing and cooking meals and helping the boys with independent living skills. Fred spent 17 years working at the Fannie Wells Group Home on campus.
What is your favorite song of all time?
Fred’s favorite song is Moondance by Van Morrison. Fred said this song is a favorite because there is a running joke between him and his wife…Although he didn’t share that part!
What was the last gift that you gave to someone?
Flowers for his wife!
What were you like in high school?
“I was a pain to my parents!” I cannot believe that was true, Fred. All kidding aside, Fred said he was really into sports in high school and more specifically enjoyed football and swimming. Fred also grew up in New York and moved to Milwaukee in High School.
What is your favorite food to prepare (or eat)?
Fred really enjoys (food) and cooking but is trying hard to eat healthier. His favorite food to cook is pizza though!
When was the last time you traveled somewhere new?
Not really somewhere new to him because he’s been there many times, but most recently Fred traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit family.
How do you spend your free time?
Gardening, cooking, reading, especially history books.
Who would play you in a movie of your teen years?
What is the best advice that you have been given from staff when you started working here?
Never lie. Always tell the truth, especially to the youth.
What would be your best advice for new staff at Norris?
Be truthful. Be honest. Own your mistakes.
Stay tuned for more Norris Employee Spotlight features coming soon! If you are interested in joining the Norris team of rock stars, visit the “JOIN OUR TEAM” page to learn more.