Raina Marti received three nominations for the Outstanding FMS Customer Service Representative award:
1. Raina has many years of experience working with families using self-directed programs. She has a great reputation with families, individuals who receive services, county personnel, and the state administrators. When we were expanding our services at Accra/Consumer Choice, she was the first person I thought of approaching to join our team. And I am so glad she did. Raina is a strong advocate for self-directed services, and especially the employer/fiscal agent model. She is able to explain, what can be somewhat complicated, in a way that is understandable. She has done this for families as well as for counties who did not understand the service. I witnessed her in action at a meeting with a county, and after she gave her presentation, a county case manager stated, "I have been working with self-directed services for years, and this was the first time it was explained in a way that I can now understand." Raina is not only a great advocate for the service, she is a tireless advocate for the individuals that use the service. She will travel across the state to meet with people when it is convenient for them, work diligently to make sure services and the employees are set up as soon as possible, and challenge any systems or policies and practices that do not make sense for the person. She helps our agency look at policies and practices and make changes that result in a better customer experience.
2. Raina has been devoted to the FMS model for many years. Raina has an uncanny ability to explain the program in a positive no matter what level on knowledge the audience has. This ability greatly aids in the coordination of services between the county and the participant. Too often the FMS model gets bogged down with rules and regulations. Raina, despite her expertise and knowledge of the rules and regulations, never loses the sight of the importance of the service and the difference it makes in people's lives. She truly is an outstanding ambassador for the FMS service.
3. Raina is an extremely dedicated and knowledgeable service coordinator who goes out of her way to provide excellent customer service to Accra clients. Many describe her as "a real gem." Admirably, she is a keen listener and creative problem-solver who helps participants get their needs met or, try things a different way. Raina is open-minded and intuitive, helping clients understand the opportunities under Minnesota's Consumer Directed Community Supports option. Likewise, Raina is hard working and passionate about providing quality services. She gives the extra effort whenever it is needed. This includes: serving clients, consulting with prospective clients, mentoring staff, or working on program policies and procedures. When working with local partners, who might be resistant or unfamiliar with the model, Raina patiently answers questions, addresses concerns, and offers simple and practical explanations to broaden awareness and understanding. As a valuable role model, she is a "go-to" person within and outside the organization for various program and operational issues. While outstanding in her position, she is perhaps most admired for her strong relationships with clients and the steadfast trust they have in her. She is a long-term, devoted advocate of quality, self-directed services and is more than deserving of this award.