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Our Outstanding Employees’ Awards and Milestones

Saratoga Bridges is very proud of its hard working, conscientious staff!  We celebrate them annually during Direct Support Professionals week and at our Employee Recognition event to praise their achievements and exemplary service.  Both opportunities allow management staff to distribute ice cream and numerous wonderful raffle prizes.  The Employee Recognition Day features a BBQ and a presentation of awards that include certificates and monetary awards including:

2017 Employees of the Year:

Cynthia Ricciuti, Dietician – Residential Program

Edward Cormie, Information System Technician – IT Department

Frank Turo, Support Work Employment Specialist – Alpha Career Options

Jill Norton, Licensed Practical Nurse – Wilton Day Program

Linda Fay, Executive Secretary — Administration

Louise Thomas Churchill, Educational Advocate – Family Support Services

Raymond O’Sullivan, Direct Support Professional II – Residential Program

Renee Brown, Behavior Specialist – Wilton Day Program

Robert Williams, Bus Driver — Transportation

Sally Fitzgerald, Day Services Direct Support Professional II – ACE Day Program

Samantha Welch, Direct Support Professional – Residential Program

Rookie of the Year — Jennifer Rose, Day Services Direct Support Professional – Clifton P[ark Day Program

Volunteer of the Year — Lydia King, Day Programs

Years of Service                     

30 Years                                                           

Catherine Tabor

Charlotte Mosso

Heather Franke

Jacqueline Roberts

Katherine Ringer

Robert Stanford

25 Years                                                           

Kimberly Fowler

Thomas Miller

20 Years                                                           

Barry Allen

Evelyn Marzloff

Jean Hofmann

Kristin Briggs

Lisa Fisher

Lisa Randall

15 Years                                                           

Barbara Stevens

Chastity Johnson

David Williams

Frieda Kiehl

Gregory Taylor

Jennifer DiDonna

Kimberly Collier

Laura Knowles

Marcia Manning

Mary Mikkelson

Patricia Westbrook

Shannon Milack

10 Years                                                           

Andrea Hill

Annemarie Caruana

Christina Saccoia

Debra Rodd-Cavallo

Kim Falanga

Lena Benvenuto

Margaret Ball

Margaret Klein

Marjorie Brown

Mary Kohler

Mary Mattison

Susan Polmateer

Walter Wallen

Winifred Pino

5 Years                                                             

Andrea Jordan

Angela Carr

Anna Szkopiec

Annette Glassman

Bobbi Pratt

Charles Shaffer

Darlene Palmateer

David Weaver

Dawn Woolard

Ginger Miller

Jennifer Dunn

Julie Olefson Marks

Kayla McDonald

Kelley Alvord

Kresney Facin

Kurt Freeman

Laura McClements

Lynn Dipasquale

Michael Marino

Michelle Mabie

Natasha Lent

Nathan Perry

Shawn McNulty

Tabitha Bellanger

William Dibble

2 Years                                                             

Aaron Zaleski

Amber Epting

Andrew Brennan

Andrew Jordan

Andrew Waxman

Angelina Ciccarelli

Arminda Kellogg

Ashley Hill

Austin Gregory

Brendan Armour

Brian Dillenbeck

Coquibine Turenne

Crystal Baker

Darlene Partlow

Denise Proper

Donovan Ryan

Emily Sloma

Jasmine Stewart-Green

Jennifer Prezorski

Jennifer Wexler

Jessica Palmatier

John DeMarco

Katie Mickus

Lindsey Brasser

Marcus Graham

Margaret Irish

Marlee Wood

Mary Kading

Michael Leach

Nicole Rouse

Robert Fagnant

Scott Bailey

Silkaya Degnan

Sonya Daniels

Virginia Carmichael

Wayne Allie

Safe Driving Awards

Edward Beam         30 Years

Bob Harrington      23 Years

Tina Licata               17 years

Jon Ladd                  15 Years

James Tyrrell          12 Years

Margaret Ball          10 Years

Phil Ellsworth           9 Years

Melissa Rafferty       6 Years

Robert Bellamy        6 Years

David Weaver           5 Years

John Moore               5 Years

Michael Marino        5 Years

Kelly Howe                4 Years

Lori Kinisky               3 years

Jackie Smith              2 years

Jennifer Dunn           2 years

Woody Turenne        2 years

Aubrey Kinsey           1 year

Patty Boyle                 1 year

Steve Smith                1 year

Wayne Allied              1 year

We are extremely proud of Midge Mikkelson, Direct Support Professional 2 and Robert Maggiolino, Direct Support Professional, from our Wilton Day Program as they were honored by the New State Association Day Service Providers with awards for the Central East Region. They are chosen as DSPs who provide strong and consistent leadership and exemplify these qualities — initiative, passion, compassion, commitment, self-management, teamwork, intelligence, integrity, role model, professional, creative and innovative.

From left to right – Lauren Milavec, Central East Regional Director, Schoharie ARC, Midge Mikkelson , Kathy Rafferty, Aging Coordinator from OPWDD, Robert Maggiolino and Caitlin Prior, Central West Regional Director, The ARC of Oswego County

The vision of the New York State Association of Day Service Providers is to help provider members develop quality community-based vocational, volunteer, educational and social activities that maximizes each participants personal growth and enriches their life experience. This is achieved through inter-agency collaboration, advocacy, training and innovation.

Supervisor Program Graduate

Lena Benvenuto — Art Coordinator/Program Coordinator – 2013

Janel Nickol — Program Coordinator 2 – 2013

Debbie Aiken — Senior Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant – 2014

Catherine Spaneas — Bus Driver – 2017

David Caswell — Custodial Supervisor – 2017

Jacqueline Wright — Assistant Director Day Services – 2017

Jennifer Dunn — Director of Transportation – 2017

Winifred Pino — Art Coordinator – 2017

Scholarship Awards

Saratoga Bridges is most fortunate to be able to award scholarships to our dedicated staff members. They provide a wonderful mechanism to enhance their educational opportunities.

The 2017 J. Michael Fitzgibbons Scholarship to Kim Collier, a Day Services Direct Support Professional 2 at our Mt. Ledge Day Program.  She will apply the $500 towards her Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Human Services.  Kim has been working diligently to finish the program at Empire State College.  Established in his memory by his family, friends and business associates, Michael Fitzgibbons was the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for many years.

The 2017 Mary Frawley Scholarship to Brittany Hernandez, a Direct Support Professional at our Grooms Road home.  She applied the $500 towards the tuition at SUNY Adirondack to earn her Associates degree in Nursing.  Established in her memory by her family, Mary Frawley was the well-loved Director of Day Services for our Wilton and Clifton Park sites.

The 2017 Mary Lawless Scholarship was awarded to Sarah Seelow, a Production Supervisor at our Corinth Pallet and Production Facility.  She applied the $500 towards the tuition at SUNY Adirondack to earn an Associates degree.  Established in her memory by her family, Mary Lawless attended our Clifton Park Day Program.

The 2017 Donna Wright Scholarship Donna Wright Scholarship to Meagan Nair, an Assistant Residence Manager 2 at our Finley Road home.  She will apply the $500 towards her tuition at SUNY Adirondack.  Meagan has been working diligently to finish her Associates degree in Nursing. Established in her memory by her family, Donna Wright lived at our Ruggles Road home.

Leadership Institute

Saratoga Bridges Leadership Institute began in 2009 to strengthen our workforce, build internal leadership capacity, foster long-range individual growth, ensure stability and develop a group of highly knowledgeable staff.  Candidates apply and are chosen as individuals who have shown a potential for advancement in administrative and executive functions.  Selected staff members meet monthly to receive training on the fundamentals of leadership and determine the manner in which to experience the agency mission and each department’s activities.  Their training focuses on topics that include supervisory strategies, communications, human behavior, self-analysis, presentation skills and others.  Mentors guide the candidates until he or she is ready to successfully demonstrate their knowledge base to a graduation panel of executives and peers.

Tom VanderhoofThomas Vanderhoof, Assistant Director of the Clifton Park Day Habilitation Program, became the first graduate.  He presented a four year analysis of employee turnover at the Clifton Park facility.







lydiakingLydia King, Day Habilitation Coordinator at the Wilton Day Program, was the second graduate.  Her project was the “Best Buddies” program, which she initiated at the Oliver Winch Middle School in South Glens Falls last year.  “Best Buddies” links a student who has a developmental disability (the buddy) with a regular education student (peer buddy) to participate in a variety of activities.  The vision is to maximize social opportunities for middle school students in mainstream and special education classes to promote positive relationships, improve self-esteem and self-confidence and develop stronger communication skills for both students. Peer buddies gain an awareness of their buddy’s challenges, have an opportunity to see behind labels and a chance to make a difference in someone’s else’s life.

LauraGalchinStaceyWebsterStacey Webster (right) and Laura Galchin (left)are the third and fourth graduates of the Saratoga Bridges Leadership Institute.  Stacey is a Program Coordinator at the Wilton Day Habilitation Program and Laura is a Program Coordinator at the Clifton Park Day Habilitation Program.  Stacey presented a staff training course for new employees on Person Centered Planning and Positive Approaches that utilize a planning and behavior management process for adults with developmental disabilities.  Laura’s project details the development of a training course as well that focuses on Individual Support Plans.  She also created a digital goals bank for her fellow staff members so they can access and improve the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities.


Lena Benvenuto, Quality Assurance Specialist, has demonstrated a potential for advancement in administrative and agency-wide functions and activities as she received two agency promotions during her participation in this training.

Lena developed a 5 minute video to promote employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.  She filmed people working at the Saratoga Holiday Inn, Saratoga Farmer’s Market, Ballston Spa Central School District and the NYS Education Department. Our Employment Specialists assist employees and employers at these business partners’ sites.  The video showcases the benefits of hiring employees with disabilities, explains the program to parents and guardians and is a tool to assist in training new employees.  Lena edited more than 1.5 hours of filming to develop the final product which is available on YouTube by searching Saratoga Bridges.  She completed her training presentation of her project to a graduation panel and the Board of Directors.

Amanda Petteys

Catherine Spaneas

Jacqueline Wright

Janel Nickol

As graduates, these five employees can become mentors for co-workers in the Leadership Institute program, serve on future graduate panels and use their training for agency-wide task forces and committees.

The College of Direct Support Professionals

We have numerous recent graduates of The College of Direct Support.  Sponsored by the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA), The College of Direct Support provides a validated and specialized curricula to enhance and develop a skilled Direct Support workforce throughout the United States.

Our 2014 graduates:

Melissa Benish, Day Habilitation Assistant – Ballston Spa Day Program Without Walls

Lena Benvenuto, Quality Assurance Specialist

Charity Clement, Residential Manager 2 – Lemont Avenue

Laurie Culverhouse, Day Habilitation Instructor – Wilton Day Program

Yolanda Gill, Direct Support Professional 2 – Locust Grove Road

Ashley Haskell, Day Habilitation Assistant – Wilton Day Program

Tonya McQueen, Community Support Team Leader – Residential

Janel Nickol, Day Habilitation Coordinator – Ballston Spa Day Program Without Walls

Amanda Petteys, Program Coordinator 2 – Wilton Day Program

Charles Shaffer, Direct Support Professional – Southbury Road

Allison Volk, Day Habilitation Instructor 2 – Wilton Day Program

Brandy Waite, Day Habilitation Assistant – McGregor Day Program

Our 2015 Graduates:

Tabitha Bellanger, Direct Support Professional 2 – Washington Street

Debbie Barrett, Employment Specialist – Alpha

Lindsey Brasser, Stacey Webster, Program Coordinator 2 – Finley Road

Stacy Briscoe, Day Habilitation Instructor — Wilton Day Program

Marjorie Brown, Direct Support Professional 2 – Washington Street

Sally Chung, Day Habilitation Instructor — Mountain Ledge Day Program

Angelina Ciccarelli, Habilitation Coordinator – Ruggles Road

Kimberly Collier, Day Habilitation Instructor — Mountain Ledge Day Program

Amber Epting, Direct Support Professional 2 – Moe Road

Cathi Goehrig, Marjorie Brown, Direct Support Professional 2 – Birchwood Drive

Becky Jerome, Assistant Residence Manager 2 – Locust Grove Road

Margaret Klein, Day Habilitation Instructor – Alpha Community Opportunities

Jeff Maben, Employment Specialist – Alpha

Erin O’Neal, Assistant Residence Manager — Graves Road

Jennifer Rivers, Program Coordinator 2- Wilton Day Program

Jodi Rivett, Day Habilitation Assistant – Saratoga Springs Day Program

Anna Szkopiec, Assistant Residence Manager – Lemont Avenue

Shelly Thornton, Assistant Residence Manager – Ruggles Road

Stacey Webster, Program Coordinator – Wilton Day Program

Caroline Welles, Program Coordinator – Alpha

Tara Wilson, Day Habilitation Assistant – McGregor Day Program 

Class of 2016

Christopher Deloriea, Direct Support Professional 2 – Juniper Place

Ashley Hill, Direct Support Professional – Malta Avenue

Robert Keane, Direct Support Professional 2 – Ruggles Road

Michael Passarelli, Program Coordinator 2 — Mountain Ledge Day Program

Tiffany Ray, Day Habilitation Assistant – Wilton Day Program

Class of 2017

Britney Hernandez, Direct Support Professional – Grooms Road

Cassandra Shafer, Residential Manager 2 – Finley Road

Christine Burr, Direct Support Professional – FSS

Kristen Mattice, Direct Support Professional – Pleasant Street

Louise Thomas-Churchill, Educational Advocate and Secretary/Receptionist -Admin

Marissa Cornell, Direct Support Professional 2 – Malta Day Program

Mary Mattison, Direct Support Professional 2 – Wilton Day Program

Nicole Szaraburak, Program Coordinator – Alpha Day Program

Ray Sullivan, Direct Support Professional 2 – Wilton Day Program

Rochelle Bormann, Direct Support Professional – Ballston Spa Day Program

Sara Scott, Direct Support Professional – Clifton Park Day Program

Sinead McCart, Direct Support Professional 2 – Middle Grove

Taylor Patterso, Assistant Residence Manager – Malta Avenue

Every graduate receives a Certificate of Completion from The College of Direct Support and will have their names listed on a permanent plaque located in the foyer of our Administration Building.

Direct Support Professional Week

For the past 10 years, Saratoga Bridges has designated Direct Support Professional (DSP) week each September. We acknowledge our dedicated workers who are often unrecognized. Along with the New York State Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), we celebrate staff who provide support to the people we serve every day, 365 days a year. This workforce is responsible for the health, safety and emotional well-being of individuals they work with by encouraging them to live more meaningful, dignified and productive lives. They promote inclusion and independence within the community.

Our celebratory week includes distributing movie passes, Stewart’s Shops certificates and ice cream to recognize our outstanding employees. Also, we had staff featured on television, radio and newspaper articles.