Staff Member of the Month

February 2021

posted Mar 1, 2021, 12:32 PM by Swan, Vivian

Steven Bennett became a full time counselor over a year ago at the Prendergast CR. His dedication to our consumers shows how grateful we are to have him as an employee. During these tough times during the pandemic, Steve worked as many hours as the CR needed him too. The loyalty Steve has for our consumers is unbelievable. He is always trying to empower our consumers and always looking out for their best interest. Steve works long hours to make sure these consumers have what they need. Steve  is the true definition of a hard dedicated worker, and Kassandra Miranda is happy to have him a part of the Prendergast team. On behalf of the Prendergast staff and consumers Steve deserves this award. Let's not forget to mention that he also deserves a perfect attendance award as well as Steve is always here on time for his shift on a regular basis!  Congratulations!


January 2021

posted Jan 29, 2021, 7:21 AM by Swan, Vivian

Kim Pierce, RC at Perkins Hall is the Staff Member of the Month.. She has been extremely helpful during the staff changes lately at Perkins Hall and works very hard to do everything she can to help both staff and clients. Kim handles the natural stresses of the job with ease and helps to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Kim treats the clients like they are her family and she cares for each person that walks through our doors. Kim takes on additional responsibilities and tasks to do what she can to contribute and is always a team player. Kim is a true asset to Perkins Hall and to STEL. I can’t thank her enough for the time and work she puts in every single day. Congratulations!


December 2020

posted Dec 22, 2020, 12:44 PM by Swan, Vivian

Tina Capito is the Staff Member of the Month for December 2020. Tina manages our Olean Treatment Apartment Program as well as the Olean SRO.  She has developed close working relationships with area providers and is well respected for her knowledge and practical approaches with clients.  Her positive rapport with the local Mental Health and substance abuse providers has aided in getting needed services for our clients. Tina does exceptional work with clients, especially in the area of addictions. Her understanding of the disease and compassion for those struggling with addictions has helped many clients reach their recovery goals. Tina appreciates and values her team at OTAP and recognizes that together they make a great program. Her compassion, knowledge and sense of humor has been appreciated over the years and STEL is fortunate to have her!  Congratulations!!


November 2020

posted Nov 30, 2020, 1:08 PM by Swan, Vivian

Jodie Slaugenhaupt, RC at OTAP is the staff member of the month.  Tina Capito states that she is an incredibly hard worker who goes to great lengths to ensure her clients are safe and that their needs are met.  Jodie is very proactive with treatment and has amazing insight into our dually diagnosed residents.  On 10/24, one of the Affordable Housing tenants passed away.  Jodie spent three hours with his distraught partner, comforting her and making sure she was safe until her family arrived to help her.  Jodie facilitated the tenant's interaction with police and EMT's, and also spoke to her family to provide needed information and make sure they brought food and other needed items for the tenant, she could not yet enter her apartment.  Jodie was not required to do any of these things for someone who is not a STEL client.  It is a testament to her empathy, and what a kind person she is, that Jodie took the time to comfort this individual and work with first responders to make sure that the deceased tenant was cared for.  Jodie also facilitated informing OTAP residents of the tenant's death as all in the program knew him.  I want to personally thank Jodie for handling this difficult situation with confidence and grace, and for all of her hard work at OTAP.


October 2020

posted Oct 29, 2020, 7:07 AM by Swan, Vivian

Jamie Hilliker is the staff member of the month.  She has been employed at STEL since 2017.  Jamie began her position as a Rehabilitation Counselor at the Gowanda CR where she demonstrated commitment to the program, staff and especially the clients.  Her personality is an attribute that makes it very easy to communicate with her.  Jamie demonstrates understanding to both clients and staff.  Jamie has a very strong work ethic which is very valuable and difficult to find in staff.  Jamie is currently the Assistant Manager, and she continues to grow and show strength in this position.  Recently the program manager was out for a substantial amount of time and Jamie assumed the responsibilities of the position and carried them out with professionalism.  Jamie is a role model for staff in that she demonstrates the skill set an exceptional employee who daily goes above and beyond the expectations of the program.  Congratulations Jamie from all of the staff and clients at the program.


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!

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