Simmelink receives staff recognition award

Scott Simmelink, director of maintenance and operations at Northwestern College, has been named the 2007 recipient of the college’s Staff Recognition for Inspirational Service Award. The award was announced at Northwestern’s Spring Recognition Banquet on April 19.

As the recipient, Simmelink receives a $500 honorarium funded by the Alumni Association, a plaque, and a luncheon for him and his coworkers. The honor is given to recognize staff who consistently provide outstanding contributions by going above and beyond what is expected, personify a strong Christian commitment, and distinguish themselves as an inspiration to the campus community. Northwestern employees nominated candidates, and a selection committee—which included a faculty member, the three previous winners of the award and another staff member—selected Simmelink.

Simmelink joined Northwestern’s maintenance staff in 1983 after working in plumbing and carpentry. Director of the department since 1990, he oversees a staff of more than two dozen employees and many student workers involved in building maintenance, groundskeeping, housekeeping and custodial services, and the college’s motor pool.

Doug Beukelman, vice president for financial affairs, who is Simmelink’s supervisor, says this year’s award winner is known for his servant’s heart. “He’s always willing to help everybody, even if it interrupts or extends his day. He’s the kind of guy you can always count on.”

In nominating Simmelink for the award, Ward Van Peursem, grounds supervisor, said he was inspired by his boss’s work ethic. “Scott is usually the last one to leave every day. You will see his vehicle on campus on the weekends quite often, either to get caught up with work or to help at an event. When you see your boss working hard at making Northwestern a better place, it makes you want to do the same.”

Simmelink has participated in several Northwestern Spring Service Projects and takes opportunities to develop relationships with students.

 “He’s such a great example for his student workers,” says Beukelman, noting that Simmelink leads morning devotions for his summer employees. “He has a naturally caring heart and is genuinely interested in them. That rubs off on them and shapes their lives.”