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  • This party will be rolling. And everyone is invited!

    The Resource Center is collaborating with other organizations to hold a free community bicycle ride Saturday, June 3, in Dunkirk. The ride will begin at 1:00 at The Point Restaurant on Lake Shore Drive.

    The ride is called the Dunkirk Pedal Party. Participants will follow a route taking them through various neighborhoods, along the lake front and into Point Gratiot Park. Along the way, there will be stops at Washington Park, Wright Park Beach and The Resource Center’s facility on Lake Shore Drive. At those points, riders will learn about the services and supports The Resource Center provides to the community.

    The total distance is about 12 miles, and the ride is expected to last about 90 minutes. For people who don’t want to do the full ride, there is an option to do a 2-mile loop that takes riders through Point Gratiot, to The Resource Center and back to The Point. The 2-mile loop was added to make it possible for people of all ages and abilities to participate.

    The full ride also will end at The Point, where participants are encouraged to stay to enjoy music and refreshments.

    The Pedal Party is patterned after the Slow Roll Buffalo and Central Connection initiatives, in which cyclists gather to take bicycle tours of the communities. These rides are not races.  Rather, as the name implies, Slow Roll cyclists take a leisurely ride.

    About 110 cyclists participated in last year’s ride, and organizers anticipate a larger turnout this year. Participants will receive a free gift as a thank-you for supporting the event.

    The Dunkirk Pedal Party is being organized by The Resource Center; its STARS employee wellness program; Filling the Gap, Inc.; and Slow Roll Buffalo.

    Though the event is free, organizers encourage those planning to participate to register online. It is recommended that all riders wear a certified helmet; New York State law requires children under 14 years old to wear a certified helmet when riding on a bicycle.

    For more information, phone The Resource Center at 716-483-2344.

    In accordance with its by-laws, The Resource Center announces its General Membership Meeting and Election will be held Monday, June 5, in TRC’s Administrative Office Building at 200 Dunham Avenue in Celoron.

    The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with light refreshments.  All Active Members of The Resource Center who are in good standing (those who are current in their annual membership dues) are invited to participate in the meeting and to vote in the election and on any business items that may arise.

    Those planning to attend the meeting should park in the rear lot and use the entrance at the top of the ramp. Those who wish to attend the meeting via Zoom may register at www.surveymonkey.com/r/LJ3FDYD.

    All Active Members in good standing who are unable to attend the meeting are encouraged to vote in the election online.  Click here to cast your vote.

    The tentative meeting agenda is as follows:

    1. Call to Order – 6:15
    2. Approval of the minutes of the 2022 General Membership Meeting
    3. President’s Report – Richard Erickson
    4. Treasurer’s Report – Todd Jacobson, MD
    5. Executive Director’s Report – Denise Jones
    6. Presentation – “Staff Orientation and Learning – Developing Talent, Achieving Greatness”
    7. Election
    8. Recognition of Outgoing Director Marlene Sirianno, Esq.
    9. Adjournment by 7:15


    The Nominating Committee — composed of June Jacobson, Chair; Carole Johnson and Gregory Krauza — has proposed the following candidates for Officers and Directors of the Board of The Resource Center, as well as candidates to serve on the Nominating Committee for the 2024 Election:

    Officers (one-year term)
    President — Richard Erickson
    Vice President — Richard Kimball
    Secretary — Dawn Columbare, DNP
    Treasurer — Todd Jacobson, MD

    Directors (two-year term)
    Marie Carrubba, Esq.
    R. Michael Goldman, Esq.
    Lisa Goodell

    Nominating Committee
    Kathy Field
    Laurie Goold
    Mary Jo Hamilton
    Carole Johnson
    Gregory Krauza

    For more information or to indicate you plan to attend the meeting, phone (716) 483-2344.

    If you have not paid your 2023 TRC Membership dues, click here to make a secure, online payment.  Your membership demonstrates your commitment to The Resource Center’s mission.  In these challenging times, your support of TRC is extremely important.  People who pay the $10 annual membership dues receive a Membership Card entitling them to discounts at more than 30 local businesses.

    The Resource Center’s Make A Mark self-advocacy group is a collection of active people who share their thoughts and opinions on issues pertaining to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In recognition of March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and “Spread the Word: Inclusion” Month, the group’s members reached out to elected officials and area media outlets to educate them about this important issue. Below is the text of a letter the Make A Mark members sent to the media:

    The Make A Mark Self-Advocacy Group, based out of the Mary Andrews Center on East Chestnut Street in Dunkirk, would like to share this letter to spread awareness about the “Spread the Word to End the Word/Spread the Word: Inclusion” campaign.

    As some of you may know, in the month of March this annual campaign takes place. This campaign has been taking place nation wide since it was founded in 2009 by two college students named Soeren Palumbo and Tim Shriver.  The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the fact that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities still sometimes face exclusion, social isolation and social abuse in schools, workplaces and communities.  This prevents us as a society from being truly inclusive where we can grow and learn together.

    This year’s theme will be Going All In(clusive).  This means speaking up against the wrong and demeaning use of the R-word (“retard” or “retarded”), as well as speaking up against using this language to demean and hurt people.

    We believe the world would be a better place if people valued, respected and embraced all people and looked at people’s abilities instead of their disabilities.  We also believe it is important to educate people on the importance of inclusion, because people with disabilities are part of what makes a community.

    Our hope as a group is to make more people aware of the isolation and exclusion that many people with disabilities face every day and to encourage people to be a part of breaking the cycle.  You can do this by acting to make your school, workplace and community more inclusive to all by seeking out someone who has been left out or bullied, being a friend or just taking the time to get to know people before making assumptions.

    We not only want you to use the month of March to spread this awareness but would like to encourage all of you to do this all year long by always keeping an open mind; inviting diversity into your discussions; having a safe space for people to talk about their beliefs; and, most of all, remembering that we are all equal and deserve a chance to be included.  The actions you take can help educate others on how to make the world a more inclusive place for all.

    Please help us to Spread the Word throughout the month of March as well as all year long.  We believe together, we can all make a difference.  You can also take the pledge to go all inclusive by logging onto www.SpreadTheWord.Global/Pledge

    Thank you, and remember to take the pledge.

    The Self-Advocates of Make A Mark Group in Dunkirk

    Members of Make A Mark were proud to welcome Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas to one of their meetings, at which the Mayor read a proclamation designating March as “Spread the Word: Inclusion” Month in the City.

    Members of Make A Mark pose with Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas.

    Our efforts to Spread the Word didn’t end there. Beth Ray, a TRC employee who facilitates the Make a Mark group, was successful in persuading production workers at our Dunkirk manufacturing facility to sign the pledge.

    Production workers proudly display their “I PLEDGED” stickers.

    And we put up a large version of the pledge at our administrative offices in Celoron so people could stop by and sign it.

    We thank everyone who supported “Spread the Word: Inclusion” Month!

    Denise Jones has again been recognized as one of the most powerful business leaders in Western New York.

    Denise, TRC’s Chief Executive Officer, came in at No. 121 on Buffalo Business First magazine’s annual “Power 250” ranking of the most influential people in the eight-county WNY region. This marks the eighth straight year Denise has appeared on the list.

    TRC officials are proud of Denise’s recognition by Business First.

    “We are incredibly fortunate to have Denise leading TRC,” said Richard Erickson, the Chair of TRC’s Board of Directors. “Her 33 years serving TRC exemplify her dedication and ability to guide our organization during challenging times. She is laser focused on the many ways she supports our mission: to support individuals with disabilities and other challenges in achieving maximum independence, contributing to their community, experiencing lifelong growth, and enjoying quality of life. Denise has been outstanding in guiding and leading TRC in a time of unprecedented changes and challenges. The Board congratulates her on this well-deserved honor.”

    Denise joined TRC in 1990 and has been Chief Executive Officer since 2015. She is active in the disability field at the regional and state levels.

    The Resource Center’s next Family Town Hall meeting will take place Wednesday, March 8, starting at 5:00 p.m.

    All family members of people supported by The Resource Center are encouraged to attend this meeting, which will take place via Zoom.  Families will have an opportunity to hear updates about things going on at The Resource Center and have a dialog with members of TRC’s leadership team, including:

    In order to facilitate discussion, families are asked to submit in advance any questions or topics they would like to learn more about. Click here to register for the meeting, and please provide your Email address so we can send a Zoom link for you to access the meeting.

    Please contact Marcia at 716-661-1069 or marcia.restivo@resourcecenter.org if you have questions.

    We hope to see you at the meeting!

    Staff members who achieved milestone years of service with The Resource Center during 2022 were honored at our 38th Employee Service Recognition Luncheon, held February 2 at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron.

    Among them, the 118 employees honored have a combined 1,455 years of service with TRC. The longest-tenured employees honored were Kathy Peterson-VanHorn and Trudy VanDette, who each has worked at TRC for 40 years. They are the 13th and 14th TRC employees to reach that milestone.

    In recognition of her 40 years of service to TRC, Kathy Peterson-VanHorn, left, receives a painting (made by people with disabilities in our art program) from Rhonda Howard, Director of Human Resources.

    Recognized for completing 35 years of service were Elaine Adams, Michele Albaugh, Lisa Covey, Sandra Davis, Mary Ginley, Kimberly Greco, Debbra Grossman, Sheila Hyde, Melissa Rasmussen, and Wendy Stimson.

    Honored for 30 years of service were Heather Courtney, Donna Lee, Lisa Mattoon, Angela Oakes, Michelle Rizzardi, David Steed, and Sue Woods.

    Completing 25 years of service were Catherine Ensminger, Laurie Moretti, Beth Ray, and Richard Tuzzo.


    Celebrating 20 years at TRC were Jennifer Capitano, Rosemarie Carlson, Debra Glover, Kelly Jacobs, Shawn Kane, Wanda McBride, Christin Sweat, and Autumn Walters.

    Recognized for reaching 15 years of service were Kevin Anderson, Megan Anderson, Elizabeth Barr, Dawn Beardsley, Debra Blose, Patti Eckberg, Ashley Eckstrom, Deseree Johnson, Shane Josephson, Patrick Kent, Holly Lange, Janelle Newcomb, Nancy Simmons, James Stanford, Doug Vetillaro, and Chad Wilson.

    Reaching 10 years of employment were Tina Brockway, Ashley Brown, Patricia Clark, Mary Jane Depew, Kelly Dimitri, Janice Ganey, Karen Greiner, Tracie Howard, Julia Johnson, Kelsey Kilmartin, Nancy Knee, Christina Lanphere, Darlene Lascola, Tracey Luce, Michelle Lutgen, Nekeisha McAdoo, Michelle Miller, Mary Jane Mizner, Kristia Nowak, Tasha Pollaro, Jilliane Quigley, Michelle Smouse, Cynthia Summerford, Crystal Ward, Lori Watson, and Barbara Wilson.

    Staff recognized for five years of service were Ross Baird, Leslie Berg, Michael Bloss, Desaray Brown, Kimberly Calabrese, Nicole Comber, Heather Crandall, Christine Didomenico, Pamela Farnham, Kaylee Frederick, Richard Gifford, Dennis Gligora, Cynthia Grodecki, Amanda Hales, Nancy Hunt, Richelle Huntington, Steven Johnson, Brooke Kesby, Alex Krywoschyj, Beverly Larson-Butts, Heide Lauer, Christina Lockett, Torie Lucas, Briana Matteson, Cherish Matteson, Carrianne Morrell, John Ortolano, Thomas Perry, Heather Peters, Nanette Rances-Kilmer, Angeline Rodriguez, Jennifer Rolfe, Sheila St. John, Aimee Salvo, Katherine Short, Justin Simpson, Chelsea Soderberg, Lindsey Stow, James Strawder, Erica Telschow, Jean Thomas, Lauri Vincent, Tyler Warner, and Thomas Whitehill.

    We congratulate all of this year’s honorees and thank them for their dedicated service.

    Evelyn Wright-Kegelmyer and Tanya Schmidt recently were honored with The Resource Center’s top staff honors for 2022.

    Evelyn, who has worked at TRC for 28 years, received the Joseph Trusso Jr. Employee of the Year Award. As Administrative Support Coordinator in the Human Resources Department, Evelyn fields most phone calls to the HR Help Desk. She treats people with respect, maintains her composure when callers become emotional and does whatever is needed to obtain answers to people’s questions.

    Evelyn has taken on leadership roles in organizing events such as the Employee Service Luncheon and the Staff Picnic, and she has done a great job handling the many demands associated with these events. In addition, she volunteers her time for our Laurel Memorial Run/Walk, the Marine Toys for Tots drive and other community causes.

    Evelyn was nominated for this award by our Employment and Community-Based Services Department, which appreciates her for quickly resolving employment matters.

    The award is named in memory of the late Joe Trusso, who served on our Board of Directors for 38 years and was a strong advocate for our employees.

    Evelyn holds her award while posing with, from left, Denise Jones, Executive Director; Resa Rosen-Murray, Direct Support Professional Lead; and Donna Trusso, STARS Program Manager. Resa and Donna are family members of Joe Trusso, for whom the Employee of the Year Award is named.

    Tanya, A Direct Support Professional in one of our homes who has been with TRC for seven years, received the Norma J. Smith Award for excellence in providing direct support. She assists residents in getting ready for their day and ensures everyone looks good before they head to their Day Program. She then spends her day making sure household duties and chores are completed to her high standards.

    Tanya works extra shifts to ensure the home is properly staffed and the residents receive the level of supports they deserve. She knows everything about the home’s residents, and it’s obvious they care about Tanya because they always are happy to see her.

    She was promoted to one of the lead positions in the home after spending hours on her own time to complete the required computer training. On days when the manager is off work, Tanya keeps the home running smoothly.

    Said Lisa Peterson, Residence Manager, who nominated Tanya for the award: “I am a truly blessed manager to have Tanya as a DSP that cares for the individuals and understands the TRC mission statement and goes above and beyond daily to honor it.”

    This award was created in memory of the late Norma Smith, who worked for TRC from 1983 to 1991 and was passionate about supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Tanya holds her award while posing with Melissa Rasmussen, left, Lead Manufacturing Supervisor, and Joanne Bevan, Assistant Executive Director. Melissa is a daughter of Norma Smith, for whom the award is named.

    In addition to celebrating Evelyn and Tanya, we want to recognize our other employees who were nominated for the awards:

    Britnie Barmore
    Kevin Blackwell
    Roland Cartner
    Hjector Cintron
    Patricia Clark
    Abby Counts
    Heather Crandall
    Kathryn Curtis
    Daniel Farnham
    Marcos Figueroa
    Walter Gabalski
    Audrey Griewisch
    Abigail Hooper
    Deseree Johnson
    Terri Johnson
    Robin Kestler
    Debra Larsen
    Paula Morello
    Elizabeth Osarumwense
    Natalie Rosario
    Brianna Skinner
    Jessica Smith
    Cheryl Stow
    Christin Sweat
    Amanda Trout

    We also recognize and thank the people who served on the Awards Selection Committee: staff members Vicky Bardo, Rhonda Howard, Melissa Rasmussen, Resa Rosen-Murray, and Donna Trusso; and community members John Bauer and Carrie Swanson of the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce; retired TRC employee Kathy Field; Nelson Garifi of Jamestown Community College; and Richard Kimball, Vice Chair of TRC’s Board of Directors.

    Some of Tanya’s co-workers attended the luncheon to celebrate and cheer her. Pictured are, from left, Alyssa Fardink, Direct Support Professional; Lisa Peterson, Residence Manager; Jordan Knoop, DSP; Tanya; Nekeisha McAdoo, Nurse Supervisor; and Daja Howie, DSP.

    Paul Fardink has been honored for his decades-long support of U.S. Army Aviation.

    Paul, TRC’s Work Center Contractor, received the Honorable Order of St. Michael gold award from the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA).  The honor recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation while demonstrating the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displaying an outstanding degree of professional competence, and serving the U.S. Army Aviation or civilian aviation community with distinction.

    Paul is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who flew helicopters and airplanes while on active duty.  In civilian life, he has continued to support the Army Aviation community by giving presentations and serving as a spokesperson at national events.

    Paul received his gold award from Major General William Crosby, President of the AAAA’s Executive Board, during a ceremony at The Resource Center’s Jamestown manufacturing plant.  Gen. Crosby also took time to tour Allied Industries, which is the business name of TRC’s manufacturing operations.

    “The visit by Gen. Crosby was truly inspiring for our staff at Allied.  I have had several tell me they were close to tears because of his passion and gratitude for what we do here,” reported Paul, adding that the general told workers, “You are saving lives!”

    Pictured from right are Paul Fardink; his wife, Cheryl; Major General William Crosby; and Denise Jones.

    This marks the second time Paul has been honored by the AAAA.  In 2014, he received the Honorable Order of St. Michael silver award at a ceremony in Tennessee.  The event was held near Fort Campbell, home of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, the world’s largest helicopter-borne division.

    “While on active duty, I had written their Air Assault School Handbook,” Paul said.  “It was a real honor to get the award in front of all of those special soldiers.”

    Officials of The Resource Center are grateful to Paul for his efforts on behalf of the organization.

    “We feel blessed to have Paul continue his impressive career at The Resource Center,” said Denise Jones, Executive Director.  “His commitment to excellence and his previous military experience have allowed our organization to excel as we manufacture products that support our troops.”

    Denise expressed appreciation to Paul for choosing to receive his award locally, thereby providing an opportunity for TRC workers to meet with Gen. Crosby.

    “This was a personal award that Paul shared with The Resource Center,” she said.  “He could have received this award anywhere, but he chose to have it here so the major general could expand his understanding of our organization.  During his visit, the general was able to quickly connect the products we make and how they save the lives of men and women serving abroad, which translates into great pride for our manufacturing employees.”

    We congratulate Paul on his latest recognition, and we thank him for his continued service to our nation.

    The Resource Center has been manufacturing items for the U.S. military since 1977.  Some of the products made or assembled by TRC workers literally have saved lives.  For example, when the second Gulf War began in 2003, every U.S. Marine carried with them a first-aid kit assembled by workers at The Resource Center.  Those kits saved the lives of Marines injured during the conflict.

    Harold Roberts, right, TRC Production Superintendent, describes to Major General William Crosby one of the products The Resource Center manufactures for the military.

    Combined, they have put in more than 2,355 years of service at The Resource Center.  And TRC recently honored those 139 people at the agency’s annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon, held at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron.

    The event paid tribute to employees who, during 2020 or 2021, completed a milestone year of service with The Resource Center.  Also recognized at the luncheon were the recipients of TRC’s two main staff awards for 2021.

    Forty-year employee Jane Young, left, is congratulated by Rhonda Howard, director of human resources.

    The longest-serving employees recognized this year were Resa Rosen-Murray and Jane Young, who each reached 40 years with TRC in 2020.  (There now are 11 people who have achieved that milestone.)  Jane and Resa each received a painting created by people in The Resource Center’s art program.

    Forty-year employee Resa Rosen-Murray, right, receives her gift from Rhonda Howard, director of human resources.

    Recognized for 35 years of service were Terry Brandow, Susan K. Brown, Lori Carlson, Debra Densmore, Rick Gray, Laurie Heeder, Debra Hinsdale, Neil Magnuson, James Tingue, Michael Tingue, and Donna Trusso.

    Honored for 30 years of service were Daniel Farnham, Carla Hall, Brenda Jabczynski, Denise Jones, Patricia Mead, Robert Schifano, Robert Warner, Barbara Wheeler, and Douglas Wiggers.

    Completing 25 years of service were Lance Bensink, Stephen Bulich, Kelly Gagliano, Tamara James, Robin Kestler, Patrick Smallman, Suzette Smith, Mary Straight, and Jacqueline Wiggers.

    Honored for 20 years of service were Coty Anderson, Rhonda Bauer, Kimberly Baxter, Aaron Brown, Tonia Brown, Brian Burch, Melissa Cardone, Rita Ferraloro, Jennifer Herron, Amber Iuculano, Terri Johnson, Tracey Kotch-Johnson, Lori Miller, Rischell Pratt, Jody Roman, Tammy Russell, Daniel Schroder, Brandi Somerton, Paul Sweat, Robert Thompson, Evelyn Torres, Tanya Wargo, and Gregory Williams.

    Those recognized for 15 years of service were Rhonda Boardman, Lisa Bongiorno, Jodi Eckman, Marcos Figueroa, Susan Gutierrez, Joyce Harris, Jennifer Hinson, Jennifer Holdridge, Rashonda Leeper, Stephanie Levoie-Beatty, Amber Marino, Ladena Marks-Nalbone, Patricia Martines, Kelly Moon, Paula Morello, Donald Myers Jr., James Richard Nary, Margaret Paolini, Philip Sanborn, Susan Short, and Nichole Washer.

    Completing 10 years of service were Jacqueline Blackwood, Tammi Blodien, Alda Brown, Debra Dalziel, Thomas Dawson, Joseph DePasquale, Kristopher Drozdziel, Todd Frangione, Becky Frederes, Christina Gaworecki-Dorrell, Audrey Griewisch, Brian Hanna, Trisha Hopkins, Kaitlin Kell, Ashley Luka, Thaddeus Lund, Dana Manno, Michael McCoy, Nancy McGuire, Selina Phillips, Charles Reardon, Marie Rickerson, Sandra Salzler, Amber Siragusa, Jeanne Slade, Matthew Strom, Laurie Strong, Amanda Trout, Russ Valone, John Vogan, Ashley Winship, Nicole Witruke, and Susan Yocum.

    Employees who reached five years of service were Jeffrey Arters, Brianna Ashdown, Breaunna Babyak, Cassandra Becker, Raymond Bigney, Barbara Billings, Kevin Blackwell, Linda Bowman, Kalee Bryant, Tracy Burdic, Jeffrey Burt, Samantha Campbell, Pamela Clark, Jordan Coan, Tina Cochran, Abby Counts, Lonnie Crawford, Irene Culpepper, Jerri Dawson, Lauren Dean, Louise DeCosta-Bacher, Kathleen Ferry, Carol Ford, Ronald Walter Gabalski, Elisa Galuppo, Lindsey Greene, Leanne Hancock, Kimberly Haskins, Cheyenne Houghwot, Alyssa Huntington, Paul Hurley, Derek Ingersoll, Garret Johnson, Jamie King, Roxanne Lanphere, Robert Larkins, Jessica LaSpada, Ryan Lehman, Denise Luce, Samantha Macri, Christina Miller, Steven Monroe, Diana Mosher, Lynne Newman, Brandon Olds, Tracy Peterson, Richard Porter, Crystal Przybelinski, Lindsey Robbins, Mary Rodriguez, Jessica Rosa, Thomas Rounds, Michael Sandquist, Rocio Santiago, Tanya Schmidt, Marie Smith, Andrea Sweet, Samantha Swiderski, Carley Taylor, Stephan Taylor, Betsy Thayer, Renae Thayer, Cheyenne Walters, Angel Weaver, Cynthia Weise, Gregory Will, and Kevin Woloszyn.

    In addition to the service awards, The Resource Center also celebrated the recipients of its two major staff honors.  Virginia Vath received the Joseph Trusso Jr. Employee of the Year Award, while Ashley Luka received the Norma Smith Award for excellence in providing direct support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Virginia, who retired in 2022 but continues to work part time, was recognized for the positive impact she has had as TRC’s assistant executive director for quality assurance, quality improvement and compliance. During her 18 years at The Resource Center, she refined policies and procedures to ensure TRC remains in compliance with federal and state standards.  She also oversaw the reporting and investigation of incidents and any resulting systemic changes.  And she coordinated TRC’s response to the pandemic.

    The Employee of the Year Award is named in honor of the late Joe Trusso, a former Chautauqua County legislator who served on The Resource Center’s board of directors for 38 years.

    Virginia Vath holds her Employee of the Year trophy flanked by Executive Director Denise Jones, right, and Donna Trusso, Manager of The Resource Center’s STARS Wellness Program. Trusso is the daughter-in-law of Joe Trusso, a longtime member of TRC’s board of directors for whom the Employee of the Year Award is named.

    Ashley received the Norma J. Smith Award for the way she performs her job as a direct support professional at one of TRC’s homes.  Ashley, who has worked for The Resource Center for 11 years, has positive relationships with the people she supports.  She is knowledgeable about policies and people’s individual plans.  Her work ethic, relationship-building skills and role modeling are described as traits that everyone should strive to emulate.

    The award was created in memory of Norma Smith, who worked as a direct support professional at The Resource Center from 1983 to 1991.

    The Resource Center is pleased to announce the hiring of Jacqueline C. Phelps as Assistant Executive Director for Quality Assurance, Quality Improvement and Compliance.

    In her new job, Jacqueline is responsible for seeing that The Resource Center provides high-quality services and supports that operate in compliance with state and federal policies.  She and her team work to ensure TRC’s programs and services have a strategic direction that promotes continuous improvement; compile and analyze agency-wide data to identify challenges and growth opportunities; and oversee the organization’s incident management process.

    Jacqueline has long been familiar with The Resource Center and its primary mission of supporting people with disabilities and their families, and she jumped at the chance to move into the assistant executive director’s position.

    “In my previous role, I visited The Resource Center several times each year to celebrate staff and the people TRC supports, learn about legislation that would benefit individuals with disabilities, and be a resource to the agency,” Jacqueline said.  “Every time I visited, I learned more about the positive culture of the organization, longevity of employees, how the mission was celebrated and followed, and how community-driven TRC is.  I knew I wanted to be a part of TRC one day; I even joked about it at events, and I’m thrilled the opportunity arose.”

    As an organization with more than 1,000 employees that supports hundreds of people with disabilities, in addition to providing health care services to thousands of area residents, The Resource Center is a complex agency that operates under the regulations of numerous state and federal bodies.  Jacqueline hopes to help guide TRC’s operations to ensure the agency provides the best possible supports to its range of customers.  In addition, she wants to position TRC for growth and success.

    “As the assistant executive director of QAQI and compliance, it is most important to me we provide high-quality care and services to each person we support at TRC, and that we always continue to improve,” she said.  “My goal is to work with our team to best serve people we employ and those we support so we retain good staff and help those we support to thrive.  By analyzing data and identifying the root cause of our successes and challenges, we will continue to find creative solutions to enhance and elevate the organization.  I also hope to be a part of the team that works on strategic planning so we grow with the times, ensuring we are serving our community to our greatest potential.”

    TRC officials feel fortunate to have Jacqueline on staff.

    “Jacqueline brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to our organization,” said Denise Jones, Executive Director.  “I’m impressed with the dedication and commitment she has demonstrated.  With our three distinct business lines – supports for people with disabilities, health care services for the entire community and manufacturing support for area industry and the federal government – The Resource Center is not a simple organization to comprehend.  Jacqueline has quickly immersed herself in our culture and gained an in-depth understanding of our agency’s strengths.  She has offered insightful suggestions on how to improve some aspects of our operations to position us for success moving forward while ensuring quality assurance and continuous improvement.”

    Jacqueline grew up in Bemus Point and graduated from Maple Grove High School.  She earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and criminal justice from Canisius College before obtaining her law degree from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2012.

    “I wanted to be an attorney from the time I was a little girl, and when I got to law school I realized there were so many career choices I could explore with my degree,” Jacqueline said.  “I did not know where it would lead me, but I knew it would give me the tools I needed to be successful and make an impact in my community.”

    She is involved in several community organizations, serving as the social media chair for the Greater Jamestown AM Rotary; board member and program development co-chair of the Chautauqua Leadership Network; co-vice chair of the Jamestown Center City Development Corporation; and treasurer of the Gebbie Foundation.

    Jacqueline and her husband, Craig, live in the Town of Ellicott.  She lists among her passions spending time with family and friends; enjoying live music and singing; traveling; exercise; exploring our community; volunteering; completing new house projects; and the Buffalo Bills.

    200 Dunham Avenue, Jamestown, NY, 14701