Jane Young and Tracey Johnson have received The Resource Center’s top employee honors for 2017.

Young received the Joseph Trusso Jr. Employee of the Year Award for excelling in her job as Nursing Office Assistant. Mark Morton, Assistant Executive Director for Employee Relations, described Jane as being a “wonderful asset” in that role.

“She is willing to take on any task requested of her and will do this to the best of her ability. She has a great understanding of the organization and is extremely mindful of all financial costs, as she orders a great amount of supplies,” Mark said.

“Jane has developed relationships with outside vendors, direct support professional staff, all nursing staff, and pharmacies within her role. She is extremely professional and courteous. She is action oriented and addresses challenges as opportunities with perseverance, and completes projects and goals successfully on time.”

Mark said that in addition to her job duties, Jane serves as the photographer for many of the events, activities and functions that occur at The Resource Center and Filling the Gap, Inc.

“Jane truly serves as the eyes of TRC and Filing the Gap, in the sense she and her camera can be seen throughout TRC and at most events,” he said.

Jane has worked at The Resource Center since 1980. She spent the bulk of her career working with people with disabilities employed through TRC’s manufacturing division before moving into the nursing office assistant role in 2015. She relishes her time at The Resource Center.

“I have had the privilege and honor to work at TRC for 37 years and have always felt that TRC is `my TRC’ and have taken an ownership view of what was going on,” Jane said. “I am so grateful that we have opportunities available in which we can give back to TRC and the people we support. But what really happens is that we are the ones that become enriched by having known the wonderful individuals in our TRC family. We can only hope that we will have made a difference in that person’s life.”

The Employee of the Year Award is named in honor of Joe Trusso, a former Chautauqua County Legislator who served on TRC’s Board of Directors for 38 years. Executive Director Denise Jones and R. Michael Goldman, Board President, presented the award to Jane.

Jane Young, center, receives the Employee of the Year Award from Board President Mike Goldman and Executive Director Denise Jones.

The Resource Center’s other major employee honor is the Norma J. Smith Award. It is presented to a non-supervisory staff member who has excelled in providing direct support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The award was given to Tracey, who has worked for TRC since 2001.

She was selected for the honor based on her work as a Medical Aide, a position she held for 13 years before recently becoming Office Assistant and Scheduler for the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services Division. In her role as Medical Aide, Tracey was responsible for taking people to their medical appointments and following up to ensure all orders and plans were implemented.

“She is a true advocate for all our individuals. She consistently demonstrates care and concern for each individual. She is an outspoken advocate for their rights and care,” said Nancy Knee, a Nurse who nominated Tracey for the award. “Her documentation and attention to detail is always impeccable. I have had the privilege of working with Tracey, and to say I rely on her is an understatement. I truly believe my job would be 100 percent more difficult without Tracey.”

Stefanie Gifford, the Manager at one of the homes where Tracey worked, praised her as well. “She goes above and beyond her job description on a daily basis. She consistently makes sure that the best interests of the people we support are put first. Tracey is well known throughout the agency, and no matter where she is she takes time to stop and talk to each resident that knows her,” Stefanie said.

“Tracey also encourages all the residents in the decision-making process. She makes them aware of the options that are available to them and what the outcomes of each decision could be, and allows them to choose.”

Tracey said she enjoys working for The Resource Center and values the relationships she has developed over the years with the people who TRC supports.

The award was created in memory of the late Norma Smith, who worked for The Resource Center from 1983 to 1991. Norma’s daughters Sherri Eccles and Melissa Rasmussen, who also work for TRC, were on hand to help present the award to Tracey.

Both awards were presented at TRC’s annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon, held recently at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.

Pictured from left are Mike Goldman, the President of TRC’s Board of Directors; Norma Smith’s daughters (nd long-time TRC employees) Sherri Eccles and Melissa Rasmussen; Sherri’s son, Owen; Tracey Johnson; and Executive Director Denise Jones.