January 29, 2015

Central Office

Kansas City
St. Louis

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Southwest District
Southwest District at Work
Clearing Brush  

Crack Sealing

CLEARING BRUSH – Senior Maintenance Worker Clint Erwin clears brush along the right-of-way on Route 171 north of Carthage. (Photo/David Mitchell)  

SEALING CRACKS – Mt. Vernon Senior Maintenance Workers Scott Hill (left), Jody White (center) and Maintenance Worker Justin Bishop seal cracks along Route U north of Sarcoxie. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Dave Taylor   Jacob Capeder
ROUNDABOUT INSTRUCTION – Senior Traffic Studies Specialist Dave Taylor answers a woman’s questions following a presentation about navigating dual-lane roundabouts at Fellowship Baptist Church in Joplin. Click on the image to view a brief video from that presentation. (Photo/David Mitchell)   DIVERGING DIAMOND UPDATE – Springfield Construction Inspector Jacob Capeder discusses upcoming traffic impacts at the Diverging Diamond Interchange being built at Route 65 & Battlefield Road in Springfield. Click on the image to view a video update of the project. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Reunited, and it Feels so Good!

Quilt family & Ryan West
Springfield Maintenance Supervisor, Ryan West (far right) with Lois Maddux and grandsons (left to right) Elija, Owen and Chase. (Photo/Jennifer Williams)

Springfield Maintenance Supervisor, Ryan West, was on his way home one evening and noticed something unusual on the side of Route 65 near the Kearney Street (Route 744) exit in Springfield – quilts. He stopped to investigate and found five quilts and pieces of their cedar chest along the side of the road. Knowing that the plows were likely to come through in the next few hours, Ryan collected them all and placed them in the back of his truck.

Once home, Ryan’s wife brought his attention to the importance of the quilts. She told him,

‘You know those are old, and will be very important to someone’s family.’” Ryan tells us, “So I figured I’d better bring them in and see if we could locate their owner. I thought social media might be the way to go.”

That’s when Ryan contacted the SW District’s Customer Relations team and the investigation began. The team posted a plea on social media sites asking for help. The message spread quickly across the nation, with the post being seen by almost 60,000 individuals and being shared nearly 550 times on Facebook - our most popular post ever!

Quilt Tag
The ‘tag’ quilters alerted the CR Team to look for, which lead us to Lois. (Photo/Jennifer Williams)

A quilting group suggested looking for a ‘tag,’ and after looking over each of the quilts, one was found indicating the quilt had been sewn by Lois Maddux in Buffalo, Mo. The CR Team managed to find contact details for Lois and left her a phone message and Facebook message. At the same time, the post had reached her son and niece, as well as family member and Buffalo Senior Maintenance Worker, Keith Maddux.

Only a few hours later, Lois phoned SW CR Manager, Jennifer Williams, ecstatic that we had found her quilts, which had been lost off the back of a vehicle as she moved from Ozark to Manhattan, Kan. Lois arranged to come in to the District Office to collect the quilts on New Year’s Eve with her three grandsons, Elija, Owen and Chase. It was an emotional reunion, and she thanked Ryan for going above and beyond for collecting her quilts and making sure they were returned to her.

Ryan was recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Customer Service at the SW Management Team meeting on Jan. 27.


For more info

Jennifer Williams
Customer Relations Manager
Southwest District

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