Staff Member of the Month

September 2020

posted Sep 21, 2020, 10:06 AM by Swan, Vivian

Scott Edwards, Supportive Housing Manager, is staff member of the month.  He’s being recognized by his staff for his impeccable leadership skills, supportive nature, and the motivation he gives his staff during the most challenging and stressful times.   Ina wroteScott embodies the most important skill a Manager should have.  Scott’s strong leadership and guidance along with the support and dedication he show’s his team, has earned him much deserved respect and admiration. Scott is more than a Manager, he’s a leader and a true inspiration.  Scott takes the time to listen and provide us with immediate feedback. Scott also has an amazing ability to bring out the best in you especially when we’re facing the toughest situations. Scott makes tough decisions for staff and for the clients of our program, but he always puts the well-being of his staff first to ensure we are all safe.   As a team of Supportive Housing, we just want to show everyone how grateful we are to have such a wonderful boss like you!  Shannon: Starting a new job during a global pandemic should be difficult, but with the support from Scott, it made the transition easier. Scott has helped me learn and understand my position as a counselor. Scott shows strong leadership qualities, especially during this pandemic. Scott supports the Supportive Housing staff and goes above and beyond to make sure that his staff is safe and appreciated. Scott has been in many positions where he needs to make a difficult decision, and every decision is made with compassion.  I am excited to be part of the Supportive Housing family, but I am more excited to work under an exceptional boss. Thank you for all that you do Scott!!  Amanda:  Scott has gone above and beyond to provide support to us during these difficult times. Scott has worked with each of us to ensure that we feel comfortable meeting with clients since the COVID-19 outbreak. Scott has navigated this situation with our best interest in mind, leaving us feeling safe and secure in our role as Supportive Housing Counselor. Scott has done a tremendous job keeping us informed and up-to-date on all important information and changes as and when they arose. Not only has he been a support professionally, but he has been a support to us personally, checking in to ensure that we are doing well. His hard work and dedication to the Supportive Housing Program consumers and staff has been greatly appreciated by all.   Jen: Scott has always been a great leader. He is always there to help you work through stressful situations. He has shown great leadership, especially throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Scott has been a great mentor to me, and I am so glad to be working next to him as his assistant manager.   Willie: Working during this pandemic has been stressful, and having Scott there for me as a support has been amazing. Scott has shown concern for not only me, but my entire family. Scott's leadership should be commended. Scott sets the tone for our team, and our team is solid.   Congratulations Scott!


August 2020

posted Aug 26, 2020, 7:40 AM by Swan, Vivian

Stacey Thomas of JTAP was promoted to Interim Residential Manager  while Lori Karalus  is on temporary leave.  Lynn Calpin stated Stacey has shown her strength and commitment to the program, staff, and clients through her continued hard work and determination to fulfill her duties as an Interim Residential Manager while continuing her duties as a Rehabilitation Counselor.  Her compassion for the JTAP clients is  evident in her daily efforts to ensure their happiness and health.  Stacey worked diligently to assist in a challenging situation that required hours of her time each day, all to ensure the safety and services of one of her clients.  She truly went above and beyond to find services and shelter for this individual and sought out numerous resources in the community to assist in securing his and the community's safety.  The entire JTAP team has rallied and worked cooperatively together to ensure the operations of the program are uninterrupted.  Congratulations Stacey!


July 2020

posted Jul 30, 2020, 5:45 AM by Swan, Vivian

Janine Tomczak is Staff Member of the Month as a way of recognizing her years of dedication to STEL and to Perkins Hall in particular. Lynn Calpin, AED, states that Janine managed Perkins Hall Community Residence for 24 years.  Throughout her tenure as Residential Manager, she saw that program through many changes and progressed through the changes with energy, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Janine has a love for Perkins Hall like no other. She sees the beauty and the history in the building and the people that reside within it.  Janine took a leap of faith leaving her beloved Perkins Hall to join the Administrative team as STEL's SH Client Caseworker.  She has brought laughter, excitement, and loud music with her in her new role.  Congratulations Janine on your years of taking care of our residents at Perkins Hall and dedicating your time to the program, the staff, and the residents. 


June 2020

posted Jun 29, 2020, 8:37 AM by Swan, Vivian

Kassandra Miranda, RM is the staff member of the month for her exemplary work ethic and genuine dedication to the residents and staff at the Prendergast program.  Bob Roth stated, since taking over the management responsibilities in December of last year, Kassandra has ensured  that personalized care and support is provided each day. Kassandra has done an excellent job of fostering cooperation and team work, and her willingness to work extended shifts, weekends, and her on-call availability is a great example to staff and residents. Recently one of her consumers lost his life to an unintentional drug overdose despite many life-saving interventions by the medical facility.  Throughout this tragic event, Kassandra made herself available to provide support and guidance to this individual 's family, as well as the staff and consumers at Prendergast.  Kassandra is a caring, compassionate individual who demonstrates a genuine interest in the well being of others.  I am pleased to recognize Kassandra as someone who demonstrates outstanding service to our consumers and staff members.  Congratulations!


May 2020

posted May 26, 2020, 7:54 AM by Swan, Vivian

Allie Perez, ARM at the North Main CR, is the staff member of the month.  Allie has been with STEL for 2 years.  Rachael Weaver stated that during this time, I have had the pleasure of witnessing progress and positive change as a result of Allie’s persistence, support, and relationship with our residents. Allie always advocates for our residents and always knows what is going on in their lives. She takes the time to get to know each and every person individually. She knows their likes and dislikes, their family history, childhood stories, their triggers, their coping skills, their friends and families, etc. Allie is very welcoming, caring, and easy to talk to. She will always tell you the truth, even when it’s difficult to hear. She listens non-judgmentally and always offers support.  We had a situation this past fall at the CR where Allie’s quick thinking and immediate action literally saved one of our resident’s lives. Our resident had been stung by a bee and was severely allergic. She came into the office unable to speak as her tongue had swelled so much and having difficulty breathing. Allie immediately realized what had happened and was able to assist her in administering her Epi-Pen while directing staff to call 911. Allie sat with the resident and kept her calm until the Paramedics arrived. Shortly before they arrived her tongue started swelling again and the resident was panicking. Allie spoke calmly to her and helped relieve her anxiety. It is so easy to panic in a situation like that, but Allie knew exactly what to do and she did it flawlessly.   Allie is not only dedicated to her clients, but also to her co-workers. She is the perfect example of a dedicated and hard-working employee. She always puts the resident’s needs above her own and sacrifices much of her own personal time to accommodate the staffing needs at the program. Allie is very flexible, despite working a second job, and always picks up shifts that need to be filled. When staff are having a bad day or going through tough times, she goes above and beyond to try to make it a little easier and more bearable for them. She isn’t afraid to make extra phone calls, problem-solve, or help out her co-workers without being asked and she always does it with a smile on her face.  I could go on and on about all of Allie’s amazing attributes and good deeds. If I had to choose one word to best describe Allie it would be selfless.  I have never met someone more genuine, caring, or giving than Allie. She is an amazing caregiver, counselor, co-worker, employee, and friend. Allie is very deserving of the staff member of the month for her contribution of her time, talents, and her never-ending support and dedication to everyone at STEL.  Congratulations!

April 2020

posted Apr 30, 2020, 12:59 PM by Swan, Vivian

Ina Wright, Supportive Housing Counselor in Jamestown, is the Staff Member of the Month.  Scott Edwards, SH Manager, states she has handled the COVID upheaval with relative ease.  Ina has been an incredible support to her caseload and coworkers during this time.  Ina has worked more than she has been asked to and has taken great personal responsibility in assuring her caseload is not only served, but adequate documentation and record keeping standards are maintained.  It has been a joy to listen to Ina walk her clients through very difficult and stressful situations over the phone and provide exceptional supportive counseling.  Ina even worked off hours ensuring a very sick client had somebody to talk to while she battled illness and awaited her COVID test results.  Ina has continued to go out into the community to ensure her caseload can be served by local food pantries as well as other essential supplies acquired through shopping trips in the city.  Ina has placed two new consumers in housing during this time, including securing housing for a consumer and her daughter escaping homelessness as they fled a domestic violence situation.  She is always an excellent employee, but Ina's actions in this time of crisis really stand out and display what an asset she is to the agency.  Congratulations Ina!


March 2020

posted Mar 31, 2020, 11:36 AM by Swan, Vivian

Sheila Horch, RM of the Dunkirk Treatment Apartment Program is the staff member of the month.  During the Coronavirus pandemic, Sheila has been instrumental in helping the administration with keeping them informed.  In assessing how the situation was developing, she researched and ordered masks and supplies so we were able to distribute to program staff.   If not for Sheila’s pre-planning, we would not have been able to pre-order supplies.  Sheila is also on the Financial Management Work Group to help the agency with coming up with ideas and ways to help the agency be more cost-effective.  Sheila has always been helpful going on-site and training new Residential Managers with program operations.  She also is instrumental in developing and training new staff on the UCR guidelines. With the DRO project, Sheila was finding deals and purchasing the furniture for Supportive Housing’s  Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) apartments.  Sheila is very dedicated to STEL, her staff, and the consumers she serves. We appreciate everything she has done for the agency.  Congratulations Sheila!


February 2020

posted Feb 27, 2020, 5:42 AM by Swan, Vivian

Kim Gates, RC, from the Wellsville Supervised Program is the staff member of the month. Michele Henry states that Kim has been a long time employee in Wellsville. She has the responsibility of grocery shopping, menu planning, and at times meal prepping at the CR, as well tracking our food stamp amounts.  Kim enjoys cooking and provides support to our residents in planning the weekly menu.  She remains within budget for her grocery shopping and is always looking for ways to save money or improvise if the need arises.  Kim is always willing to pitch and help where needed.  With a staff shortage in the WLSV Apt/SRO program, Kim has helped in those sites to see that our residents needs are met.   In addition to these responsibilities, Kim maintains a caseload of 4 residents at the CR.  She also is supportive and helpful to her coworkers. Kim was recently working with one of her residents at the CR, and she noticed her difficulty in breathing. Kim persuaded the resident to go to the ER and get checked out.  As it turned out, the resident had pneumonia and was able to get treatment.  This is only a glimpse of what Kim brings to our agency.  Kim is always on the move and always willing to help out where she is needed.  Congratulations!

January 2020

posted Jan 29, 2020, 1:04 PM by Swan, Vivian

 Ashley Switzer, Project Manager, is the staff member of the month for January.  Tom Whitney stated that Ashley has been instrumental in writing the Tax Credit Applications that have been funded by the NYS Home and Community Renewal (HCR), concurrently having worked on Dunkirk Rent to Own (DRO), Gateway Lofts in Jamestown, and the Village of Hempstead applications.  Ashley has also been integral to the coordination of the DRO construction, legal, financial, and rent up aspects of the project.  She is looking to learn new skills like blue print reading to make projects go more smoothly.  Ashley has a can-do attitude and is always looking for ways to improve STEL as well.  Besides working in development, she is working with the HR and Accounting Departments to process pink sheets and dental claims.  Ashley has worked with HR to make sure the files were in compliance for the OMH audit.  Lastly, she works with Affordable Housing to make sure the tenant files are in compliance for HCR/investor audits. Congratulations!


December 2019

posted Dec 26, 2019, 8:16 AM by Swan, Vivian

Susan Erlandson is the staff member of the month. Susan has been an Associate Counselor with STEL for 18 years and has never called in sick once. Rachael Weaver, RM stated that Susan is very reliable and extremely punctual; her motto is “if you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late”. Susan is willing to pick up shifts and adjust her work schedule to accommodate the needs of the residents and the program.  Susan always ensures that the residents get where they need to go. She is constantly taking residents to appointments near and far and also takes them on activities. Susan recently made accommodations in her personal time to stay late to take our residents Christmas shopping at the Erie mall per their request as we are currently short-staffed. Susan assists residents with cooking and learning daily living skills such as grocery shopping. There have been several requests for Sue’s famous meatloaf and her broccoli & cheese soup (both from residents and staff)! If Susan bakes something at home she will almost always bring in extra for the residents and she bakes Christmas cookies for the CR every year. Susan is always bringing in magazines, greeting cards and calendars for the residents as well.  Susan is a pro in assisting residents with securing financial entitlements such as funding through DSS and SSI. Susan assists with completing applications, attending appointments, and answering difficult or confusing questions during the interview and/or appeal process. Susan follows up with providers after all appointments and any time clarification is needed.  Susan’s drive and willingness to help is astounding. She follows direction well and always takes action immediately with 100% follow -through. Susan always says “You can’t just do what you’re told; you have to do what you’re told and like it!” She never complains about anything and is willing to get her hands dirty. She cleans bedrooms, does laundry, paints walls, salts the driveway, and even installs air conditioners if asked; all of which goes above and beyond her job description. Her skill set goes far beyond anything this nomination could ever reach.  Susan gives and gives and gives never asking for anything in return. Her selflessness is amazing and she is a perfect example of a positive role model. Susan is an invaluable employee, a supportive counselor, an excellent listener, an irreplaceable co-worker, a true team player and the epitome of a genuinely good person. Susan is a true asset to STEL and we are so blessed to have her on our team!   Congratulations!


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