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Aquarium Employees Shine as Sea Stars

Employees at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher recently honored two of their own for their contributions to making the Aquarium a premier attraction.

Andrew Johnson, aquarist technician and 2016 Sea Star Award winnerAndrew Johnson, aquarist technician, won the 2016 Sea Star Award for outstanding job performance.

“He’s taken on responsibilities with initiative and creativity while always striving to learn more,” said a co-worker nominating Johnson for the award.

Johnson joined the Aquarium team as a volunteer working in the Education department in 2013. He went on to volunteer with husbandry and previously worked in Visitors Services. Johnson now works with the animal care team.

“The best thing about working at the aquarium is the people,” said Johnson. “Everyone is incredibly friendly and passionate about their work. I also enjoy getting to work up close and personal with marine life including sharks, stingrays, and corals.”

Julie Sprinkle, administrative assistant, won the 2016 Customer Service Award for her commitment to others. Sprinkle began working at the Aquarium in 2012 as an administrative secretary. Sprinkle helps co-workers navigate human resources questions, keeps reports and documentation moving and goes the extra mile with helpful answers to guest questions.     

“Julie is friendly to all, always has a joke to lighten the mood, and is super helpful whenever someone has a question,” said one co-worker. “Her ability and willingness to drop whatever she’s doing and help is simply inspiring.”

Before working at the Aquarium Sprinkle said she didn’t fully understand all the work aquariums do.

“I had no clue what goes on behind the scenes, how much hard work it takes from every department to ensure we have an amazing place to visit and work,” said Sprinkle. “The detailed care and planning for the animals, grounds and guests are just beyond what most people imagine. I am so proud to be a part of this team and do my part.”

Permanent, temporary and seasonal state employees and N.C. Aquarium Society employees are eligible for the annual Sea Star and Customer Service awards. Employees are nominated by their peers, with winners recognized at an all-staff meeting held each December.




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