Employee Spotlight

Welcome to our employee spotlight page. At CL&A we realize that our success comes from the people that have joined our CL&A family. Without our hardworking and dedicated teams, we would not be where we are today. In an effort to recognize our employees for the exemplary work that they do, we’d like to take a moment and highlight one member, who we believe to be doing an outstanding job. The people who are featured here represent the best of us. They are an example to everyone around them of the excellence that can be achieved.

Employee Spotlight: Cheryl Kraweitz
Congratulations to Cheryl Kraweitz on being a valued CL&A employee. You are an outstanding member of our team, and we couldn’t do it without you! We are honored to highlight you in this month’s employee spotlight.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m from Charco, Texas, (pop. 50). It’s a little tiny ghost town in Goliad county. I’ve upgraded to Choate (pron. Showt), Texas since then. I live on a cattle ranch with my wonderful husband of 25 years, Laddie, who is literally the man of my dreams. Seriously, I had a dream about him before I met him. We’ve been together ever since then. I’ve got 2 children and 3 grandchildren. I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a minor in water policy. I couldn’t find a job in that field. I actually got lost on the way to my first job interview in Austin and just decided to take the first job they offered me, which was CPS (Child Protective Services). It was there that I discovered what I really wanted to do which was counseling. I tried to be a teacher and 2 months after I started teaching, I hit a deer and couldn’t go back to work. In hindsight it was a blessing that I wasn’t able to continue on that path because I was able to find true calling. I went back to school and got my masters in community counseling and now I have my LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor).

What is your role at CL&A?
Right now I’m a senior QA specialist working with Teams 1 and 3 (which are awesome teams). I also am a counselor in Beeville where I counsel individuals, couples and families. I also provide anger management counseling to those who need it. Occasionally I will do home studies, which is when I go to visit the home of a family that is trying to adopt a child. I sit down and talk to them for a bit and then turn in my evaluation about the suitability of the home.

What would people never guess you do in your role?
Well, outside of the Hudvash program, I work with people on probation who are taking anger management or parenting courses. As far as the company goes, I create the invoice for Harbor and make sure everything is correct on it before it gets sent to the VA for approval. It used to be 10 16 hour days to get the invoice ready. Now, with the teams it goes a lot faster and it can get done in about 3-4 days.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I honestly enjoy doing the invoice. I’m a numbers person so I like going through and making sure that everything matches up with what is supposed to be there. I like going through the invoice and seeing if I can find a way to give our CMs credit for something that might cause a deduction. I like to be able to help them out after all the hard work they do. I like helping our employees. When I go through that list and am able to mark everything as ‘full’, it’s the most exciting feeling to me. I love seeing that no one is getting penalized for missing anything. I love the feeling of knowing that everything was done the way it needed to be done. I hope my teams know that if they need help with anything, they can absolutely call me and I will bend over backwards to help them out. That’s the other thing I really like doing here. I love knowing that the people that work with us are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

How did you first learn about CL&A?
It’s funny because I didn’t start out looking for a job. I had to do an interview with currently licensed LPC about their likes and dislikes about the job and everything they have to go through. I did a Google search about counselors in Beeville. I called 3 people and told them what I was needing to do and they all hung up on me after saying that they didn’t have time to mess around with something like that. So I called Carlos and explained my situation. “I’m a student working on their masters in Community Counseling and need to interview a currently licensed counselor.” Carlos’ response was “Sure, come on over.” I started interviewing him and in the middle of all my questions he turned things around and started asking ME questions. I thought, uh oh, I have totally lost control of this interview. Lol. I answered every question he had and I went back to class to share my story of meeting this really cool counselor.
Later on in school I had to do a practicum and Carlos was the first person I thought of when I was told that I had to work with a currently licensed counselor. So I called him up and said “Hey, I’ve got this practicum that I need to do. I will work for you, free of charge, if I can do this practicum in your office.” He said sure and let me complete 2 internships with his office. When I was about to graduate he offered me a permanent position with his office, but since it was contract work he wasn’t sure when he was going to be able to pay me. I was so excited about it that I told him I didn’t care if he could pay me or not, I’d take the job. That was in 2011 and I’ve been here ever since.

What do you like most about CL&A?
My supervisors, Carlos and Debbie, are awesome. I can go to them with insights and ideas and they listen like they care about it. They’re understanding. I have a tendency to stick my foot in my mouth sometimes and they never make me feel bad about it. They create this atmosphere of openness where we know that if we need to, we can go to them with any problems we’re having and discuss things with them. If we’re having a problem, we can go to them and they’ll sit down with us and help us work through it and then go back to work. They never make it feel like we’re bothering them. They are so supportive and generous with their time that it makes you feel very valued. It’s like we truly are a family and not just employees.

Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I had a newspaper route but that wasn’t unusual, it was just…terrible. I guess the most interesting job would have to be the cakes that I used to make. I wasn’t doing it to make money but I really wanted to make sure that people would have a really special day. I put a lot of care into those cakes but because of the accident I can’t really do it anymore. The most challenging cake I ever made was the Stargate cake I made for Patricia’s friend. All those little symbols were so detailed. Someone told me just to make random squiggles on it and I said, “No, this is a special cake for someone’s birthday and I want to get it right.”
If people couldn’t afford to pay full price for the cake, I would tell people to go get all the supplies from the store and I would help them make it.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
My new hobby is painting. Just made one recently of Han Solo and Leia for my son Tyler’s wedding. My husband and I raise Zebu cattle, which are miniature cattle. I like taking stuff that would normally get thrown away and make something new out of them. Laddie and I will work on carpentry projects together.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
God. I can’t imagine life without him in it. He’s everything to me.

What is your hidden talent?
I like to sing and dance but I can’t do either one well. Lol. I do it to get other people dancing and then I back off. I also wrote a book awhile back called, Twisted Fates. Most people wouldn’t guess that I’m a writer.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Rudeness, people being ugly for no reason. And little men in big trucks. I don’t mean height wise but those really young guys in company trucks. There was a lot of oilfield activity in our area and you would always see those little guys in big trucks, but they weren’t being responsible drivers. They caused a lot of accidents because they weren’t paying attention to what was going on around them. There are some that are fine, but a lot of them are just causing problems. I keep my eye on them.

What is your favorite movie and book?
My favorite movie is A Fish Called Wanda. I could watch that movie on repeat for weeks. As far as books go, I loved Lonesome Dove. I picked the biggest book that I could find in my teacher’s room. The teacher said I was lazy because I didn’t want to read what they were assigning us to read. I got angry because I was a big reader, I just didn’t want to read what he wanted us to. So I picked the biggest book I could find and just dove into it. I wound up absolutely loving the story.