Our Outstanding Employees’ Awards and Milestones
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Saratoga Bridges is very proud of its hard working, conscientious staff! We celebrate them with a variety of activities every September during Direct Support Professionals Week and at our Employee Recognition event to praise their achievements and exemplary service. Both opportunities give us a chance to share our utmost gratitude for their dedication, compassion, understanding, kindness, patience and flexibility! The Employee Recognition Day features a catered meal, games, prizes and a presentation of awards that include certificates and monetary awards including:
2020 Employees of the Year:
Patricia Baldwin, Office Manager – Wilton Day Program
Jennifer Ball, Direct Support Professional 2
Patricia Boyle, Bus Driver – Transportation
Donna Giffune, RN – Medical Trainer – Administration
Gabriella Mead, Direct Support Professional 2
Vanessa Rose, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant – Clifton Park Day Program
Amanda Schermerhorn, Residential Program Coordinator
Kathryn Sowle, Assistant Residence Manager – Stone Church Road
Rookie of the Year — Jenna Dietz, Direct Support Professional 2
Years of Service:
Audrey Della Ratta
Safe Driving Awards
Robert Harrington – 26 years
Philip Ellsworth – 12 years
Melissa Rafferty – 9 years
Woody Turenne – 5 years
Patty Boyle – 4 years
Robert Williams – 3 years
Ed Beam – 2 years
Robert Bellamy – 2 years
Joe Gabel – 2 years
Tina Licata – 2 years
Mike Marino – 2 years
Mark Roberts – 2 years
Maryann Bates – 1 year
Donna Diaz – 1 year
Steve Lloyd – 1 year
Joe Maloney – 1 year
Howard Meyette – 1 year
Eric Statechnyi – 1 year
Supervisor Program Graduate
Richard Varney – Lead Custodian
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 2020 J. Michael Fitzgibbons Scholarship was awarded to Edward Cormie, our Assistant Director of Information Systems. Edward is applying the $500 towards the tuition at SUNY Empire for a Bachelors in Computer Science. The scholarship provides funding for varied academic opportunities. We encourage staff to increase their educational pursuits and enrich their own service delivery skills for our individuals. Proceeds from our annual J. Michael Fitzgibbons Memorial Golf Classic benefit the Scholarship Fund and the agency. Michael was our long-time Board Member who passed away unexpectedly in 2005. We proudly host the event to keep Michael’s memory and indomitable spirit alive and are exceedingly grateful for the support we receive from the Fitzgibbons’ family and friends.
The College of Direct Support Professionals
We have numerous recent graduates of The College of Direct Support. Sponsored by The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation (NY Alliance), The College of Direct Support provides a validated and specialized curricula to enhance and develop a skilled Direct Support workforce throughout the United States.
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.
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. highly knowledgeable staff. Selected staff meet monthly with coordinator to receive training on the fundamentals of leadership. The Institute provides an opportunity for the member to experience the agency mission and familiarize themselves with each department’s activities. Their training focuses on topics that include supervisory strategies, communications, human behavior, self-analysis, presentation skills and others. Working with mentors, the Leadership Institute members develop a project that will benefit the agency and the people they support. The mentors guide the candidates until he or she is ready to successfully demonstrate their knowledge base to a graduation panel of executives and peers. Upon graduating, they 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.
Direct Support Professionals Week
For the past 13 years, Saratoga Bridges has designated Direct Support Professionals (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. Our team 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. Our DSPsThey promote inclusion and independence within the community.
Our celebratory week includes distributing gift certificates, Saratoga Bridges garb, Creative Endeavors artwork and more to recognize our outstanding employees. Also, we had staff featured on television, radio and newspaper articles.