Our Outstanding Employees’ Awards and Milestones
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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 give us a chance to share our utmost gratitude for their dedication, compassion, understanding, kindness, patience and flexibility! management staff to distribute ice cream and numerous wonderful raffle prizes. The Employee Recognition Day features a catered meal, games, prizes and a presentation of awards that include certificates and monetary awards including:
2019 Employees of the Year:
Josh Inglee, Day Services Direct Support Professional – Alpha Day Program
Karen Flanders, Direct Support Professional 2 – Ruggles Road
Kelley Alvord, Staff Development Specialist – Administration
Marissa Cornell, Day Services Direct Support Professional 2 – Alpha Day Program
Paige Hall, Day Services Direct Support Professional – ACE Program
Philip Miranda, Bus Monitor – Transportation
Susan Matthews, Employment Specialist – Alpha Career Options
Tina Lomaestro, Quality Assurance Specialist – Administration
Yolanda Gill, Residence Manager 2 – Lemont Avenue and Locust Grove Road
Yvonne McGee, Day Services Direct Support Professional – Wilton Day Program
Rookie of the Year — Chad Branch-Guinan, Day Services Direct Support Professional
Volunteer of the Year — Sarah DiPasquale, Associate Skidmore Professor
Years of Service
Donna Kiel Diaz
Alicia El Younsi
Julie Olefson Marks
Mark Roberts Jr
Safe Driving Awards
Bob Harrington – 25 Years
Jon Ladd – 17 Years
Phil Ellsworth – 11 Years
Melissa Rafferty – 8 Years
John Moore – 7 Years
Kelly Howe – 6 Years
Lori Kinisky – 5 years
Jackie Lewis Goodmason – 4 years
Woody Turenne – 4 years
Aubrey Kinsey – 3 years
Patty Boyle – 3 years
Wayne Allie – 3 years
Robert Williams – 2 years
Cathy Sarkany – 1 year
Ed Beam – 1 year
Jim Tyrrell – 1 year
Joe Gabel – 1 year
Mark Roberts – 1 year
Mike Marino – 1 year
Robert Bellamy – 1 year
Steve Smith – 1 year
Tina Licata – 1 year
Supervisor Program Graduate
Clark Spickerman – Staff Development Coordinator
Linda Fay – Executive Assistant
Scott Wright – Clifton Park Day Hab Coordinator
Terry Rimmer – Assistant Director of Residential Services
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 2019 J. Michael Fitzgibbons Scholarship was awarded to Kelsey Meaker, a Direct Support Professional at our Clifton Park Day Program. Kelsey wanted to extend her utmost thanks to you for the financial assistance. She is applying the $500 towards the tuition at SUNY Adirondack for an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities with hopes of becoming a Social Worker or Behaviorist.
The 2019 Mary Lawless Scholarship was awarded to Sara Scott, a Direct Support Professional at our Clifton Park Day Program. Sara wanted to extend her utmost thanks to you for the financial assistance. She is applying the $500 towards the tuition at Purdue Global University where she is studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with hopes of becoming a Criminal Investigator.
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, Dr. Thaddeus Obloy, 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.
Our most newest graduates are –
Brittany Alonzo de Paz – Assistant Director of Residential Services
Dorothy Broekhuizen – Quality Assurance Coordinator
Terry Rimmer – Assistant Director of Residential Services
Brittany, Dorothy and Terry are our 12th, 13th and 14th graduates and have demonstrated a potential for advancement in administrative and agency-wide functions and activities. As Saratoga Bridges was seeking accreditation status for the programs the agency supports, the three women worked as a team to develop and present a multi-media orientation to visiting members of The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). Their presentation outlined the agency’s mission, service programs and delivery systems for disabled adults. The orientation presentation was evaluated by CQL members and a panel of agency executives and peers.
As graduates, 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.
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.
Barry Bonney – Direct Support Professional 2 – Southbury Road
Elissa Bennet – Day Services Direct Support Professional 3 – Wilton Day Program
Jamie-Lee Greene – Program Coordinator – Wilton Day Program
Jasmine Rivera – Residence Manager 2 – Moe Road
Jeri Ferris – Direct Support Professional 2 – Finley Road
Jessica Miller – Family Support Direct Support Professional
Stacy Williams – Day Services Direct Support Professional 3 – ACE Program
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 12 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.