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  • The Resource Center holds annual service recognition event

    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.

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