The Resource Center’s annual budget preparation process can be a frustrating and confusing time for TRC managerial staff, who must make careful assumptions for the coming year that include setting revenue and expense targets as well as determining staffing needs.
When developing their spending plans, TRC administrators inevitably turn to Joan Scalise, Assistant Director of Finance in charge of budget and allocations. In Joan, administrators find a knowledgeable, patient person who can answer any question and resolve any problem people encounter as they prepare their budgets.
For her efforts, Joan received TRC’s Agency-Wide Staff Appreciation Award for the fourth quarter of 2019. A luncheon in her honor was held at the Dunham Avenue building.
At the luncheon Mark Morton, Assistant Executive Director for Employee Relations, said Joan had been nominated for the award by senior administrative staff in the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services Division. Lori Carlson had traditionally done much of the work in preparing the I/DD budgets, but last year she was promoted to Director of Property and Maintenance. This meant a number of administrators in the I/DD Division had to become involved in preparing the 2020 budgets.
“The budget process can be very stressful and overwhelming to staff. When the person on the other end of the phone or across the desk is as warm, friendly and positive as you are, the stress level comes down and the task seems less daunting,” Mark said.
This was a theme that was repeated at the luncheon as several people came forward to express their appreciation to Joan. They cited her patience, cheerfulness and accessibility, and all were genuinely grateful to Joan for assisting them in developing their budgets.
“You made it something that wasn’t easy, but was understandable,” Kristen MacKenzie, Residence Coordinator Supervisor, said of Joan’s guidance regarding the budget process.
Kelly Dimitri, Chief Financial Officer, noted The Resource Center has some 250 cost centers, each requiring its own budget. The people responsible for putting together those 250 budgets look to Joan for guidance in developing and managing their spending plans.
“There is no doubt you are the driving force of the budget,” Kelly told Joan.
Denise Jones, Chief Executive Officer, praised Joan’s attention to detail and ability to foresee the consequences that would be felt across other aspects of the organization when changes are proposed to specific areas of the budget.
“Her corporate knowledge is just so strong and so good,” Denise said. “It’s one thing to read numbers on a spreadsheet, but another to make sure people understand.”
Marie Carrubba, a member of TRC’s Board of Directors, has served on the agency’s Finance Committee for 20 years. She appreciates Joan’s input when the committee reviews the budget.
“I can’t thank you enough for all of your contributions,” Marie told Joan. “You explain things to people who aren’t finance experts.”
Mark noted that Joan, who has worked at The Resource Center for 32 years, is one of the many employees whose behind-the-scenes work is critical to TRC’s operations.
“We have a lot of staff who have been here a long time, who do their job every day,” he said. “It is great that what you do and the positive and helpful manner in which you do it is being highlighted and recognized. It is well deserved.”
“I’m very humbled,” Joan said after accepting her award. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”
She said she was grateful to other TRC employees who have helped her to be successful in her job. She singled out Joshua Straight, Assistant Director of Information Systems, and Kristen Rendel, Business Systems Analyst, for their assistance in managing TRC’s online budget-submission process.
Joan’s husband, Larry, and daughters, Sam and Alex, attended the luncheon. Joan said that if not for TRC she wouldn’t have her family, explaining that she met Larry thanks to the efforts of his late mother, Pat, who worked with Joan at TRC’s Carl Cappa building in the 1980s and 1990s.
Noting that she has been a TRC employee for more than half of her life, Joan said she will always have a fondness for The Resource Center and the people with whom she works.
“This is my immediate family,” said Joan, gesturing toward her husband and daughters before turning to address her co-workers assembled in the room, “but this is my family as well.”