Mayo Clinic hosts second annual ‘Employee Appreciation’ day in Rochester

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(ABC 6 News) – Rochester’s biggest employer cleared out the streets on Tuesday to celebrate its important employees.

Mayo Clinic hosted its second annual employee appreciation day both outside St. Marys campus and Peace Plaza. Mayo expected over 30,000 of its employees from around the greater Rochester area to show up at both locations on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands of people in the greater Rochester area work for Mayo. For the second year in a row, they are all being honored by the company and it can be a logistical battle to honor each and every person in a single stretch of downtown.

But thanks to the help of leadership and doing this a second time, Mayo is on making sure no one is left out of this year’s celebration.

“It is impressive. The planning committee really got this organized in lickity split time. It does take a lot of organization with our community and the city,” said Mayo Clinic Chief Communications Officer Halena Gazelka, M.D.

Sarah Kester is an employee at Mayo. She did not attend last year’s inaugural employee celebration day. She was watching from the Gonda building as her mother had appointments. This year, she did get to attend and was overjoyed by what the company did to honor her and many others like her.

“It’s pretty awesome. The therapy dogs are pretty amazing. I just enjoy seeing all of my colleagues. I work from home about half the time, I’m about 50/50. So it’s nice to come on campus and interact with the other people,” said Kester.

The therapy dogs were the newest addition to this year’s celebration and every employee that could took in the snuggles from the dogs.

Even president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, Gianrico Farrugia, showed up to serve the employees and show his appreciation for them. And local businesses like Pasquale’s were happy to give back to the Mayo employees who do so much to care for those who visit and live in Rochester.

“For us it’s so important because we get to meet so many amazing people that come here to Rochester for that healing, right? What we create is something special here. We’re moving forward. Bold forward, future forward,” said Pasquale Presa.

While there is no confirmation yet on this happening again next year, Gazelka and others in Mayo leadership are hopeful they can.