Our 2023 SuburbanCares® Award Winner and Finalists
One of the fundamental values held by Suburban Propane is our dedication to providing exceptional service to our customers, commitment to our employees, and supporting our local communities throughout our 42-state footprint. In upholding this pledge, Suburban Propane employees consistently go the extra distance to provide top-notch service to our customers and generously contribute their time and resources to assist their local communities.
The SuburbanCares® Award honors and celebrates our employees who surpass expectations to serve our constituencies. Annually, we recognize five exceptional individuals for their outstanding contributions to their communities. Congratulations to these outstanding individuals, we’re honored they are a part of Suburban Propane and its 95-year legacy!
Here’s an overview of our 2023 SuburbanCares® Award winner and four finalists.
Winner: Anna Soholt
On May 12, 2023, an 81-year-old gentleman with Alzheimer’s, unintentionally took the car keys and drove away from his home. His wife – terrified and uncertain of his location, alerted law enforcement. She recalled having left her cell in the car, she called her husband to determine his whereabouts. The gentleman answered her call while stopped at a red light. Officers advised her to keep her husband on the line and guide him to a parking lot, which happened to be Suburban Propane’s Tacoma, Washington CSC. Law enforcement and his wife worked quickly to contact the CSC alerting the employees of the situation.
Suburban Propane’s Customer Service Representative, Anna Soholt, understood the urgency when speaking with his wife. She coaxed the gentleman from the car, offering him water in the office, while the Sheriff waited outside for his wife.
When his wife reached the CSC, she thanked the Sheriff who credited Anna for keeping him comfortable and explained how she stayed beyond her shift, refusing to leave till the gentleman’s wife arrived. As the couple began to journey home, he told his wife, “Anna gave me ice water, let me use the restroom, and was so kind. What a beautiful young woman.”
What began as a terrifying afternoon, thankfully concluded with a peaceful ending. If not for Anna’s kindness, the search for this gentleman could have been longer. Suburban Propane is honored to present Anna Soholt with the 2023 SuburbanCares® Award for her exceptional kindness, compassion, altruistic efforts, and going above and beyond.
Finalist: Matt Holcomb & Eric Fordyce
On the morning of March 17th, 2023, technicians Matt Holcomb and Eric Fordyce were on a new furnace installation job when they discovered a fire in an existing customer’s home likely caused by a malfunctioning electrical appliance. Matt and Eric acted swiftly, using company provided a fire extinguisher to contain the blaze, ensuring the safety of the elderly homeowner, whom Matt guided outside. They promptly called 9-1-1, leading to the arrival of the local fire department, who praised their heroic efforts in preventing a potential disaster. Both Matt and Eric, longstanding employees of Suburban Propane, exemplify the company’s values through their meticulous work, strong work ethic, and caring attitude.
Finalist: Kelly Gallagher
Kelly Gallagher’s deep connection to the Girl Scouts goes back to her childhood involvement, and she hoped to co-lead a troop when her daughter joined, but the pandemic derailed those plans. This past year, Kelly finally became a Brownie Leader, guiding young girls toward leadership development while sustaining the organization’s values. As a leader, Kelly emphasizes the importance of fun, experiential learning, friendship, self-improvement, and community engagement, while engaging the troop in diverse and unique actives. Kelly’s outstanding service extends beyond her role as a leader, making her an invaluable member of Suburban Propane.
Finalist: Blaine Wagoner
Blaine Wagoner, a retired Winston-Salem firefighter with over 27 years of service, joined Suburban Propane in December 2021, bringing a daily dose of positivity to the office. Beyond his professional life, Blaine has been an instrumental volunteer in the Appalachian Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program for the last five years, mentoring and teaching children aged 7 to 18 in traditional mountain music. He offers lessons in various stringed instruments, ensuring access for those in need, and even provides repairs. The JAM Program fosters connections through music, as it empowers kids to connect with their community and strengthen their future, and Blaine’s commitment as a volunteer allows the students to flourish.
Finalist: Michelle Karpilovsky
Michelle Karpilovsky, Brand & Communications Manager, is an experienced yoga practitioner of over ten years and a certified instructor. Challenges following the pandemic forced her neighborhood studio in Jersey City Heights to close its doors in Spring 2021, just before the much-anticipated season of Yoga in the Park. Michelle, along with another instructor took over the program which offers free outdoor yoga classes for the community from May through November. Partnering with local non-profits for practice space, she welcomes donations that benefit these organizations, ensuring that Jersey City Heights, a diverse community, has access to yoga, regardless of financial circumstances
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