Staff Member of the Month

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!

 

JANUARY 2018

posted Jan 29, 2018, 11:21 AM by Swan, Vivian

Velvet Lisa has been the Food Services Manager at Southern Tier Meadows for over two years.  She has done an excellent job of managing the kitchen: ordering and preparing meals in accordance with regulations, while still managing to make the meals tasty and appealing to our 24 residents. Velvet takes the needs of our residents into consideration when preparing meals. Velvet has to measure ingredients and servings and prepare meals to specifications in order to adhere to the health needs of our residents. Velvet prepares three meals a day  at STM while keeping a good attitude and attending to the needs of our residents. Velvet is often the first person the residents have contact with each morning, setting the mood for the rest of their day. Velvet makes sure she prepares meals ahead so that the person coming in later in the day does not have a huge meal to cook. For birthdays and holidays, Velvet takes time to prepare special meals for the residents and takes pride in her work. She is a great asset to STM.  Congratulations!!

 

DECEMBER 2017

posted Dec 21, 2017, 12:30 PM by Swan, Vivian

The staff member of the month is Rachael Weaver, Residential Manager at the North Main CR. The staff at the residence nominated their fearless leader by stating Rachael is a wonderful manager who combines getting the job done with an award winning personality. Rachael goes out of her way to make both residents and staff feel valued and appreciated. She constantly finds the good in people and has a unique talent to bring out the best in everyone.  During Rachael’s tenure as manager, she has encouraged residents to meet their full potential and has helped give them the tools and confidence to move forward.  Rachael goes above and beyond and is a dedicated and committed member of the STEL family.  Rachael has the biggest heart and is the most compassionate person you would ever meet.  She is more than deserving of the honor of staff of the month!  Congratulations Rachael!

 

NOVEMBER 2017

posted Nov 20, 2017, 8:12 AM by Swan, Vivian

Lenny Truby, IT Specialist, is staff member of the month.  Tammy Querns wrote that Lenny is THE unsung hero of this agency. Lenny calmly talks people through whatever is needed...from Awards questions, to viruses, to switching the office around and forgetting what goes where, Lenny is the person to turn to if needed. He can fix a computer remotely through an "eye-ball" or fix what seems to be an insurmountable problem with a smile and a nod. Lenny addresses things very promptly and never makes people feel "less than" because we have questions. (Although it freaks me out when my curser moves around freely.) Lenny patiently addresses all questions from everyone in this company and with out him, think how frustrating Awards would be!! 

Lenny was also instrumental in getting the training center at Perkins Hall up and running with the audio/visual and phone system, as well as the installation of a new phone system at Administration.  Not only does he do IT, he also does a great job processing the payroll for the agency as well.  Congratulations Lenny!

 

October 2017

posted Oct 26, 2017, 9:54 AM by Swan, Vivian

Congratulations to Gina Ward, Supported Housing Manager, for being selected as the staff member of the month.   The Supported Housing staff nominated their manager Gina Ward as employee of the month. Gina is very committed to her staff and the Supported Housing program. She is always looking for ways to improve the program. Her staff would like her to know how much they appreciate all her hard work.

Scott tells all the work Gina puts in as Supported Housing manager. She manages 125 beds and 10 staff over 3 counties. She has also taken on new HCBS program currently approaching 20 clients and adding Allegany County to area served, growing waaaay faster than anybody thought it would. She is highly involved with Continuum of Care for Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Co. - the continuums are responsible for application, oversight and execution of HUD grants. She is involved with the Chautauqua County Homeless Coalition and Cattaraugus County Homeless Coalition.  She is co-chair of the Supported Housing sub-group of regional ACL meetings, and a board member of the Cattaraugus County Community Action.

I have been working with Gina and the Supported Housing Staff for 4 years. In those years, I have seen Gina’s exceptional leadership skills. If a staff member is in need, she is always there to lend her support. She listens nonjudgmentally and often asks for staff’s feedback.  I appreciate how she will ask me if I am willing or comfortable in doing certain task and not just assume I will do it.   She always gives staff recognition for a job well done. She always takes a negative situation and turns it into a positive one. The quality I love most is her compassion and understanding. She realizes staff members have lives outside of work and helps to accommodate them when she can. It is a pleasure to be part of the Supported Housing team. Janet Stowell

In the short time that I've been here I've come to understand that I can come to Gina about things that have been uncomfortable and trust that she will not only support but unconditionally understands and at no moment have I felt judged. Natalie

Gina Ward is the manager of The Supported Housing program in Jamestown. She has been a solid rock to her staff as well our consumers.  Gina is well known for great leadership, work ethic, positive attitude, and diligence.  Just recently on a Saturday morning while Gina had off, she learned one of our consumer’s apartment building had a fire overnight.  This consumer was evacuated from her apartment until further notice by the fire dept.  This client had nowhere else to go so she went to Tim Horton’s at 4 am to rest.  After learning this, without a drop of a dime, Gina went to this consumer’s aid immediately and returned with the consumer to her apartment building to gather information from the Fire Dept.  Gina was informed the fire was small but the electric is going to be down a few days. Gina assisted this consumer gathering her personal belongings then brought her to the Supported Housing office for shelter.  In the consumer’s own words ‘’ I can’t thank Gina enough ‘’this consumer is grateful and happy to have a family who cares even when they are off the clock.  Throughout the time I’ve known Gina, she has shown me time and again that she is a positive, motivated leader with amazing potential. We all work 40 hours a week, but what Gina does for her staff and the consumers is way above her job title and then some.  Please Join Supported Housing staff congratulating Gina on being nominated Employee of the month. Ina Wright

Thank you Gina for your on-going support and preparation for my annual audit with Erie County. Audits are never fun, but having Gina's support throughout the process is extremely helpful.  Willie Tell

Gina goes beyond being just a supervisor with her aiding her staff with problems that come up in daily routine of Supported Housing. Whether the crisis is personal or client related she always has the time day or night. She listens to staff input to problems and is good in giving advice on how to correct a situation. This is why she deserves to be staff person of the month. Bill Kaiser

I can honestly say that Gina can turn a "sticky situation" into a manageable one. Gina uses her sense of humor as well as her management skills to make her staff experience "got your back" syndrome, in a way that is reassuring, yet correcting. Thank you Gina for being there for all of us. 

 

SEPTEMBER 2017

posted Sep 26, 2017, 6:22 AM by Swan, Vivian

Debbie Welka has been the Housekeeper for over two years at STM.  As the Housekeeper, she do a great job of keeping 24 rooms neat, clean, laundry completed, etc.  Debbie also informs the Administrator whenever there are special needs in the house or maintenance problems that need to be called in that she cannot address herself.  Not only does she clean, but Debbie manages to take residents to appointments, advocates for their care when there are special circumstances, and makes sure that any needs are addressed with the Administrator. Debbie recently made sure that two clients, who were having problems, were taken to their doctor appointments.  She worked with their providers to ensure they had the assistance and interventions they needed. Debbie will come to the Administrator on a regular basis and indicate any concerns she has for the clients.  Debbie is quick to respond when there is an unplanned outing or a doctor’s appointment that Carts cannot transport.  She always does so with no problem, and is willing to help. Debbie is a great team player and a good advocate for our residents.   Congratulations!

 

AUGUST 2017

posted Aug 30, 2017, 8:37 AM by Swan, Vivian

Ashley Switzer, Project Manager, is the staff member of the month for all the hard work and time she has put in for the Affordable Housing Department.  STEL was approved funding from the Department of Housing and Community Renewal for the Dunkirk Renovation & Ownership project (DRO). She has also been actively helping the tenants in the DRO project  get alternative housing so the closing and construction can begin on that project.  Ashley also worked very hard to find emergency housing for two families that were displaced due to a fire at one of the buildings STEL is going to use in the DRO project.  Ashley has been very busy this summer submitting applications.  She  was instrumental in getting out three Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative applications for STEL DRO, Gateway Lofts, and the Salamanca Supportive Apartments. She also worked on the NEXTGENERATION application to the NY City Housing Authority to build Twin Parks North by Northeast.  Ashley has gone above and beyond in working with all the projects, dealing with the tenants, landlords, architects, and contractors.  Congratulations!

 

July 2017

posted Aug 9, 2017, 5:44 AM by Swan, Vivian

Emily Garey is staff member of the month in recognition of the remarkable job she has done since being selected to manage  the Aldrich Street Community Residence and the Gowanda Treatment Apartment program.  Emily's ability to recognize and cultivate the  unique  interests and skills of the residents and staff  has effectuated a renewed sense of hope at the program.  Her interactions with residents are always honest and direct, but  allows for flexibility when it serves the individual needs of the person.  Her exemplary work ethic and genuine dedication is evidenced in her willingness to work long shifts, weekends, overnights, and to field any and all calls after work hours. Under Emily's brief leadership, the Aldrich Street program has grown into a stable and active community residence, where personalized care and support is offered every day. I am pleased to recognize Emily as someone who demonstrates outstanding service to our consumers and employees. Nominated by Bob Roth.

 

JUNE 2017

posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:09 PM by Swan, Vivian

Amber Hubbard White, Accountant, recently completed a very lengthy and detailed report that Southern Tier Meadows needed for a recertification. This took hours of Amber's time and it was very involved. It required going over several times. Amber was able to finish this report in the time necessary to file it. Not only did Amber achieve this, but also in day-to-day operations, Amber is always patient and understanding when staff call with a problem or need a copy of a ledger or payout. No matter what time of day or the week, Amber is hard at work to complete any paperwork needed, and she does it right away. You know when you ask her for something that it will be ready as soon as possible. I think Amber should be nominated for her hard work and dedication.  Congratulations Amber for a job well done! Also, congratulations on your marriage to Jeff White on June 17, 2017.

 

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