Stephanie “Sam” McAtee, CPP, and Levi Meeske, CPP, received Special Recognition Awards for their continued exemplary service to the APA. Their awards were presented during Wednesday’s Congress Xstream Annual Awards General Session.
McAtee, Director of Payroll for the McLane Company, has been a CPP since 1996.
“I’m not really sure what I did to deserve this award, but what I do know is that I was driven to earn ribbons for my Congress badge,” she joked in accepting the award. “I really want to be like APA President Bruce Phipps, CPP, and have so many ribbons on my badge that I might have to wear platform shoes in order to keep them from dragging on the ground.”
Charlotte Hodges, CPP, wrote in the Congress Xstream chat, "Congrats, Sam--you certainly do deserve this honor."
McAtee said that when other award winners spoke of getting involved, she heard them saying to work more. Later on she realized that it was much more than that. By committing to serving she was learning more and connecting with others.
She has served on the Board of Contributing Writers for PAYTECH, the Education Grant Committee, as an APA representative to the IRS Security Summit, on the Child Support, Garnishments, and Federal Issues Subcommittees of the Government Relations Task Force (GRTF), and the Best Practices and Emerging Technologies Subcommittees of the Strategic Payroll Leadership Task Force (SPLTF).
She received a Meritorious Service Award in 2017.
“In pursuit of all these ribbons, I have learned more than I could ever describe, and I have met some amazing people along the way,” McAtee said. “When you hear me say volunteer, don’t hear me say work more, hear me say learn more and get started on your own collection of Congress ribbons.”
Beth Stillings, CPP, was inspired by McAtee's words, writing, "Thank you, Sam! That was exactly what I needed to hear!"
Meeske, Payroll Tax Consultant for Voya Financial, has been a CPP since 2007.
Well known for being the first to register for the annual Payroll Congress each year and for the sash he wears to the conferences, Meeske said he teared up when he saw the message on his phone while on a conference call.
He referenced contemporary Christian singer Matthew West’s song “Truth Be Told,” which is about people telling others they are fine even though they’re really not.
“Truth be told, for me, 2020 was not a good year,” Meeske said. “I miss the interaction of being among people, especially my payroll colleagues at Congress last year.”
He said his payroll colleagues across the country are his friends and extended family who helped him get through the last year even though he couldn’t see them in person.
Meeske said he is honored and touched to receive the award.
“I do encourage all of you to get involved, to meet people, and to make new friends who can help get you through when times are tough," he said. "You may be that special someone to help get someone else through.”
Meeske’s volunteer service includes Hotline Referral Service, CHAMPS, Chapter Recognition Committee, Board of Advisors, Certification Item Development Task Force, Social Networking Committee, Board of Contributing Writers for PAYTECH, and National Speakers Bureau.
He also served on the Best Practices and Emerging Technologies Subcommittees of the SPLTF and the Retirement Accounts Subcommittee of the GRTF.
Locally, he has served the Atlanta Chapter as Webmaster, Government Liaison Officer, President-Elect, and President and the Metro Atlanta Payroll Association as Study Group Coordinator.
"Congratulations, Levi!" wrote Jennifer DeCurtis, CPP. "You are the perfect example of getting involved. Really miss being able to say hello in person. See you in Las Vegas!"