Staff Member of the Month

March 2019

posted Mar 21, 2019, 8:10 AM by Swan, Vivian

Mary King, Residential Manager of the Gowanda Community Residence, has been a consistent, loyal, and committed employee of STEL for 30 years. Her energy and dedication to the job over the years is impressive. She has not lost her passion for the work and it shows in her everyday interactions. She is patient, kind, and always finding creative ways to connect with our residents and support them through whatever obstacles they are facing. Mary is organized and professional, and committed to leading her team on a common goal, the quality of care for the residents. Mary is well respected by the residents, family members, staff, and provider agencies.  She is a true role model.  Congratulations Mary!


February 2019

posted Mar 4, 2019, 9:03 AM by Swan, Vivian

Jennifer Mason has been a wonderful addition to the Supported Housing team.  Scott Edwards wrote, since Jennifer started with the Agency in June, she has been eager to learn and assist the program in any way needed.  Hired as a combination of Supported Housing Counselor and HCBS Specialist, Jen has learned both programs remarkably quickly and become an extremely reliable employee in a very short time.  Jennifer has embraced the challenge of working in the new HCBS program.  As program guidance continues to change, she has adapted with ease while maintaining a positive attitude.  Her focus and genuine concern for the consumers she serves is evident to all.  Recently, Jennifer dealt with an extremely difficult situation and was able to get this SH consumer into a long term SUD treatment setting that had been needed for some time.  Despite less than helpful community providers, consumer reluctance and a very dangerous encounter, Jennifer was able to ensure the consumer received the assistance needed as if Jennifer was a veteran counselor.  During our ongoing staff shortage, Jennifer has been working overtime in order to cover Supported Housing consumers in both the North and South portions of Chautauqua County.  Jennifer has shown herself to be a very independent, motivated and productive employee.  We are very grateful to have her.  Congratulations Jennifer!


January 2019

posted Jan 23, 2019, 1:11 PM by Swan, Vivian

Kristen Lockwood was nominated by Stacey Thomas.  Krissy was recently promoted to Residential Manager at the Prendergast CR.  She has been a phenomenal staff member during this critical period for the Jamestown programs.  Krissy has worked so hard these past couple of months and carried two separate caseloads while working at the North Main and Prendergast Community Residences. With all the doubles and extra hours that Krissy has put in, she still makes time for everyone around her.  I love that Krissy does not allow the countless number of hours she works, to effect her work.  Krissy has a passion for the work we do, plus has so much compassion for the people we serve as well as the staff. Krissy is reliable, dependable, hardworking, and is always there for anyone.  I could say so much more about Krissy, but I think the work she does for STEL, speaks volumes.  Those who know Krissy love her, and those who don't know her yet, will!  She has many strengths and is very dedicated. Congratulations!!


December 2018

posted Dec 21, 2018, 11:41 AM by Swan, Vivian

Jamie Hillker, RC at the Gowanda CR, was nominated by Mary King for demonstrating job performance above and beyond the call of duty.  Jamie maintains her caseload without waiver.  She and her clients work very well together, and she is very creative in formulating objectives with her clients to work on areas of need.  Jamie has been covering the weekend overnight position since July of this year, and works diligently whether it is on the overnight or on her regular shifts.  Jamie is driven by her passion to work in this field and makes a difference in the lives of the clients we serve.  She is beyond special, and beyond over and above the call of duty.  Jamie is a treasure and the staff and clients at the Gowanda CR are so grateful that she is an integral part of the team.  Congratulations!


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!


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