Since 1965, Youth & Family Services (YFS) has provided high-quality programming and services to children and families in western South Dakota, due in large part to employees who are committed to professional excellence. This past Friday, September 30, YFS recognized Judy Burgess as she retired from the agency after more than 30 years of service.
Judy Burgess started her career as Executive Administrative Assistant at Youth & Family Services in February of 1986. For three decades, Judy has worked hand-in-hand with YFS’ Chief Executive Officer, its Senior Administration, the agency’s board members, and other staff to help improve the lives of children and families in her community.
While Judy has been instrumental in the development of several signature YFS events, she is most notably famous for providing her melt-in-your-mouth cookie recipe to YFS and helping the agency start its Valentine Cookie Project in 1998. The idea for the cookie project came as a way to provide YFS’ major contributors with a homemade, heartfelt thank you. Now every February, YFS uses Judy’s original sugar cookie recipe to bake, frost, and deliver more than 800 dozen cookies to its major donors. Judy still personally oversees the frosting and packaging of the cookies with her ever watchful eye.
Susan Fedell, YFS’ Chief Executive Officer, says it has always been a joy to be around Judy and work with her. “Judy is a special woman who has committed more than 30 years to providing children, especially girls, with opportunities that help them reach their full potential and inspire them to dream beyond what they thought possible. We thank Judy for her dedication, enthusiasm, and giving spirit, and congratulate her as she enters the next phase of her life.”
Although Judy will be retiring from her position at YFS on September 30, 2016, she will still play an important role within the agency as our goodwill ambassador, pastry chef, and volunteer. “We cherish Judy and look forward to working with her as she continues to support the YFS mission through her work on special event committees and other volunteer efforts,” Fedell stated.