"I love working at Mercy. I really do. I have had managers who have helped enhance a lot of gifts I had in me that I didn’t even know I had. I’ve learned a lot. When told I received this award, I was more overwhelmed than anything. I do things for God, not for recognition, but sometimes its nice to be on the receiving end. I am humbly grateful." —Shirley Weatherspoon, Mercy’s 2016 Star Performer of the Year
Shirley Weatherspoon was preparing made-to-order waffles and omelets at the display cooking station in Mercy Medical Center’s Cafeteria. When a hospital employee asked her about her weekend, Shirley smiled as she shared how she helped organize her church bake sale, at L.I.F.E. Ministries in Canton, the prior weekend.
“We have learned that one of the best times of year to have a bake sale is right before Valentines Day,” she says.
And she was right. Pre-ordered cheesecakes, heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies, carrot cakes and more were sold, and nearly $500 was raised for Divine Dining, a food ministry of L.I.F.E. Ministries, in which Shirley serves as coordinator. And on this Monday morning, Shirley was back at work, starting her shift as she normally does at 5:30 a.m., warmly greeting her customers. This is not unusual for Shirley, who cares deeply about her faith, family, community, and work. Mercy Medical Center has been a part of her family for 28 years.
“I’ve always said you have to care about those you are serving,” Shirley says. “That customer is the most important person at that time.”
In that spirit, it is fitting that Thomas E. Cecconi, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center, presented Shirley with the Star Performer of the Year award on January 31 at Mercy’s management staff meeting. This award is given to an employee who is a team player and demonstrates outstanding performance, service excellence, creativity and innovation.
When Mercy President & CEO Thomas E. Cecconi asked Shirley Weatherspoon to show him how to make an omelet, he was given an apron, and Weatherspoon showed him how to flip the perfect omelet.
Learn more about Mercy’s 2016 Star Performer of the Year, Shirley Weatherspoon:
When did you start working at Mercy?
In 1989, I was the manager at a local McDonald’s. I got to know Ruth McCoy, who worked in Mercy Cafeteria, from her frequent visits to McDonald’s for coffee. Ruth wanted an additional part-time job at McDonald’s, and I wanted an additional part-time job at Mercy. May 29, 1989 was my first day working as a cafeteria aide at the hospital.
What jobs have you held at Mercy?
After five years working part-time, my position went full-time. During my time here, I’ve catered hospital special events and learned how to set-up beautiful food displays for large venues. When the cafeteria was remodeled, and the display cooking station opened, I was ready and took that job where I have been ever since.
Has Canton always been your home?
I was born in Mississippi, but have lived in Canton since I was 7 years old. I am a proud graduate of McKinley High School and continue to be a football season ticket holder. I love this community, and if I can help fundraise or coordinate events to help others, I try to do that. My church is a big part of my life, and my faith has grown to be more important now than ever.
You have two brothers who played professional sports. Can you tell us more about your family?
Yes, I am the oldest of seven children, two sisters and four brothers. My brother Percy Snow played professional football, and my brother Eric Snow played professional basketball, including his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I am the proud mother of three children and nine grandbabies. My son Melvin lives in Columbus and works at Chase Bank. My daughter Keena is a stay-at-home mom with four children and lives in Florida. My youngest son Sean is a teacher with Cleveland Public Schools and an assistant basketball coach for Beachwood High School.
What has your time at Mercy meant to you?
I love Mercy. I love working here. I really do. I have had managers who have helped enhance a lot of gifts I had in me that I didn’t even know I had. I’ve learned a lot. When told I received this award, I was more overwhelmed than anything. I do things for God, not for recognition, but sometimes its nice to be on the receiving end. I am humbly grateful.