Staff Member of the Month

November 2018

posted Nov 30, 2018, 8:54 AM by Swan, Vivian

Andrea Nopper and Melissa Tardi nominated Amber White, Accounting Manager, for November’s staff member of the month.  Amber has gone above and beyond for the Accounting Department over the last few months.   Andrea spent a lot of time out of the accounting department to assist the housing development department  on a recent funding application that required budget information.  Amber was kind enough to help Andrea complete her regular tasks for the department so it did not become overdue.  Melissa was  recently on vacation and Amber was able to fill in and complete the payables, all while continuing to do her own job.  The accounting department greatly appreciates all  her assistance to keep the department running smooth.  Thank you Amber.  You are the best!  Congratulations!


October 2018

posted Oct 30, 2018, 7:53 AM by Swan, Vivian

Jamie (Willie) Tell is employee of the month.  Supported Housing recently had an audit of our Erie County OMH program.  The results were overwhelmingly positive regarding STEL as an agency, our Erie County program and Jamie as a Supported Housing Counselor. Jamie handles an extremely varied caseload, both in terms of consumers and location, ranging from the city of Buffalo to Gowanda in Cattaraugus County.  Jamie deals with a wide range of issues and entities independently and in an efficient manner.  He utilizes area resources and collateral treatment providers in order to enrich consumer’s lives.  The Erie County auditors praised both his face-to-face interactions with consumers and his written work. The auditors described one interaction as “master’s level work” and his progress notes as “the best I have ever seen.”  Thank you Jamie for thriving in the face of these unique challenges and circumstances in Erie County.  Congratulations!


September 2018

posted Sep 25, 2018, 10:12 AM by Swan, Vivian

Kelly Kuhaneck has been with the agency since April of 2016. Kelly is currently working at the Aldrich CR as a Rehabilitation Counselor. Kelly’s skill set has grown greatly and she is always willing to learn and try new techniques and practices. Kelly is always reliable, dependable and incredibly hardworking. Kelly is a great team player and is always there to help both our residents and fellow staff in any way that she can. Kelly has also been helpful in covering numerous extra shifts at other programs in the area for a long period of time now and we can’t thank her enough for this!!! Kelly completes all of her case management work in a very timely manner and independently manages all of her responsibilities. She often takes on additional tasks and does so happily! Kelly is a valuable member of the #ATeam and is very much appreciated by all. Thank you, Kelly, for all that you do and all that you’re willing to do for our agency. Congratulations!   


August 2018

posted Aug 27, 2018, 12:13 PM by Swan, Vivian

Marissa Cussins, RM at Park Avenue is the staff member of the month. Jennifer Nagel first began working with Marissa when she was a student intern at the Park Avenue CR in 2015. She has watched her grow from a student of the social work profession to the Residential Manager of our Park Avenue CR.  What is most impressive about Marissa is that no matter the situation, she always addresses it in a positive manner with a sense of calmness. Marissa always responds to client-related problems quickly, efficiently, and independently. Marissa is a team-player, but she is also very capable of independent decision making. She is able to seek out the appropriate resources, within STEL and/or within the community, to help the client as best as she can. When participating in Utilization Management Reviews with Marissa, she always empowers clients to lead their own reviews, but is respectful to them if they choose not to. She is person-centered and always has the clients' best interests in mind. Marissa represents the field of social work so well, and Jennifer stated how happy that Marissa is part of our STEL team.  Congratulations!


July 2018

posted Jul 31, 2018, 7:39 AM by Swan, Vivian

Tammy Querns is the employee of the month.  Scott Edwards and Tina Capito agree that Tammy manages her time extremely well between both Supported Housing and OTAP programs. In addition to her workload, Tammy regularly goes above and beyond her work responsibilities.  Tammy is always one of the first to volunteer for additional activities such as the STEL camping trip and put many hours of her own time into the most recent Christmas party. Drawing on her many years of experience in the mental health field, Tammy is not only a mentor to clients but also her fellow staff.  She is extremely supportive, often stepping into assist with difficult client situations or simply lighten the load of a co-worker who has a lot on their plate.  Tammy acted as manager of OTAP for two months, during which time she handled many difficult situations and directed staff gracefully. Clients report that Tammy is calm, patient and kind or as one recently put it, “Tammy stays strong for other who need her help.”  The people that know Tammy understand that this statement holds true for both her professional and personal life.  Thank you Tammy for being an exemplary employee and for being such a great person.  Congratulations!


June 2018

posted Jun 27, 2018, 8:18 AM by Swan, Vivian

Stacey Fox, Compeer Director, is the staff member of the month.  To help fund the Compeer youth program, Stacey plans a Compeer Fore Youth Golf Tournament held in June.  She has done an excellent job in raising money for this program.  She is able to get donations and gift baskets for the auctions.  There is a lot of time and hard work involved in getting prepared for the tournament.  With the Compeer adult program, Stacey tries to get as many Compeer participants served as possible to enjoy the different events.  In the south county, she provides Crafternoon classes on a monthly basis.  She invites volunteer matches as well clients on the waiting list to participate in a craft group at the High Rise in Jamestown.  For men, she offers Guy Time on a monthly basis. They have been able to tour different sites, play games, have guest speakers, attend Jammers games, do dinner, etc.  She has a great group of guys that enjoy this monthly event and look forward to it.  To help serve individuals in the north county, Stacey added a Crafternoon for women to enjoy at the First Presbyterian Church in Fredonia. Afterwards, she hosts monthly dinners to help serve Compeer participants in the north county.  She provides entertainment such as movie night, game night, Thanksgiving Feast, Bingo, and guest speakers.  Not only does Stacey plan monthly activities, she also does parties throughout the year. She invites all the volunteers, matched friends, as well as the unmatched youth and adults. The parties include: St. Patrick’s Day, Summer Picnic, Fall Festival, and a Holiday Party.  A lot of work is involved in planning these parties and monthly events, from the food to the entertainment.  Compeer does not provide transportation to events, but she has been able to coordinate rides for some people depending on where they live.   In addition to running the programs, she is also a Compeer volunteer for two people.  Congratulations Stacey!


May 2018

posted May 29, 2018, 12:24 PM by Swan, Vivian

Kristie Kleine is the Assistant Residential Manager at the Aldrich Street Community Residence as well as the Gowanda Treatment Apartment Program. Emily Garey, RM is proud to recognize Kristie as an exemplary employee of STEL. Kristie most especially stands out this past couple of months for her unwavering dedication and commitment in two licensed programs. Alongside  management responsibilities, Kristie has been managing a caseload of seven with total ease and great enthusiasm! The amount of work asked of her is never too much. Our team is grateful for her kindness, compassion, empathy, and unmatched patience. Kristie sincerely cares about each and every one of our residents with whom she connects naturally and there is most definitely a mutual respect. Kristie truly feels and celebrates alongside our resident's achievements and also makes herself readily available to be there to lift a chin when the going gets tough. She always encourages our residents to keep one foot in front of the other, all while bringing smiles to their faces. Kristie has an insatiable quench for knowledge of our agency, policies, and practices and all of which she learns reflects on her excellent performance. Kristie, you exemplify STEL's goal of providing the highest quality of care. You are a fantastic role model. Your efforts have been truly outstanding and we appreciate you each and every day. Thank you for always being a breath of fresh, positive air in both of our programs. Keep making the daily difference!!!  Congratulations!


APRIL 2018

posted Apr 30, 2018, 12:41 PM by Swan, Vivian

The ladies here at JTAP would like to nominate Tasha Johnson as Employee of the Month.  Tasha has had some very trying last few months, with personal things that have happened medically with her son, and the death of her brother.  Through it all, Tasha manages to come to work with a smile on her face, and ready to work.  At JTAP, we pride ourselves in being a team, when one is down, the rest step up.  We also pride ourselves in being family, and it shows in the way that we care for our residents.  With all that has gone on recently, Tasha has managed to step up and help out wherever help is needed.  Tasha is always ready to tackle the day head on, even in light of the things going on in her own life.  Tasha exemplifies what an Employee of the Month should be, and deserves this recognition, as she has been a huge asset to our "family."  Tasha works very hard at all she does, and is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that our residents are getting the best care possible.  Tasha's compassion for our residents and for her job, speak volumes.  We feel blessed to have the opportunity to share our office with such an amazing woman!  Congratulations Tasha!


MARCH 2018

posted Mar 23, 2018, 7:28 AM by Swan, Vivian

Jesse Metzler has been a Rehabilitation Counselor at the Aldrich CR for just over a year now.  Since joining our team,  Jesse has grown to become a very valuable staff member. Jesse deserves to be recognized for his dedication, willingness, attention to detail, adaptability, understanding, compassion, work ethic, respect & his professionalism. Jesse is a very thoughtful and sincere staff member to have.  He is able to adjust to meet the needs of the program and residents without any hesitation or question. On the rare occasion that Jesse takes a well deserved day off, the residents are quick to inquire on his return. This says a lot about him, and he is highly admired by the Residential Manager. Jesse has also been named by our residents as the "Best Driver." Jesse always arrives to work with a smile and especially on Friday's when he is greeted with the weekly "Friday Project" the RM has started! Hard work deserves recognition and Jesse is long overdue to be recognized as the Staff Member of the Month. Thank you for all that you contribute to the Aldrich CR and to the agency. Congratulations, Jesse!


February 2018

posted Feb 27, 2018, 1:01 PM by Swan, Vivian

Drew Erlandson, SRO Manager, has been with STEL since August of 2006. He has served as Rehabilitation Counselor, Assistant Manager of Supported Housing,  and then manager of the North Main CR.  Elisha Gerholdt nominated Drew and stated she first met Drew while he was Assistant Manager of the SH Program.  At that time, I was impressed by his many positive traits and good nature.   However, it was not until 2015 when Drew became the manager of the SRO Program that I became fully aware of the incredible asset Drew is to STEL and to all that have had the privilege of working with him as coworker, employee or resident.  Drew is able to balance approach-ability and kindness as a supervisor with remaining focused on the needs of the program, which naturally inspires motivation and teamwork. In the office, he has a habit of regularly saying “good job!”- a simple phrase that reminds me that my efforts  and contributions are valued on the most discouraging of days.  Individually, Drew is devoted to the success of each SRO resident and provides encouragement when a resident is motivated to undertake any new venture.  During times of crisis, Drew is empathetic and patient and is often able to direct residents toward using supports and skills well before crisis services are needed. Drew’s attentive interest in each resident reinforces their individual strengths and creates a supportive environment that empowers, but does not foster dependence.  As a group, Drew has nurtured a SRO community of friends and allies, and a culture of creativity and fun. Residents are excited about contributing by preparing food, hosting events, and planning activities that spark their interests. Due to Drew’s enthusiastic and adventurous nature, a simple picnic is sure to become a great social event as residents look forward to spontaneous hikes, yard games like Cornhole and Kubb, and invariably lots of laughter. By hosting Monday Night Football at alternating SRO locations, Drew has brought social life to some of our most withdrawn residents. Drew is highly deserving of this recognition, in fact it’s long overdue. Thank you very much Drew for all that you do!! You’re truly doing a great job.  Congratulations!


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