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Allegany Arc Recognizes Staff

Allegany Arc recognized employees for their commitment and dedication at their recent Staff Recognition Dinner and Annual Meeting held at the Wellsville Country Club. Over 140 people attended included chapter members, invited guests, self-advocates, staff and board members.

The evening began with the election of returning members to the Board of Directors. Current Allegany Arc Board members include David A. Harkenrider – President; Deb Thompson – Vice-President; James Stevens – Treasurer; Kevin Gildner – Secretary; Linda Clayson, Ed Pekarek, Linda Pullman, Theresa Salas, Thomas Talbett Jr. and Ed Wilson.

Christopher Koehler and Martha Updike each celebrated 35 years of service.

Belinda Emerson, Roswell Gowdy and Corinna McKnight celebrated 30 years of service.

Linda Clayson (Board of Directors), Marygail Geffers, Amy Gowdy, Kelly Graham and Calvin Kemp were recognized for 25 years of service.

Celebrating 20 years of service were Dusty Rhodes, Tom Eldridge and Ted Seeley.

Employees honored for 15 years of service included Tracy Beckwith, Dan Crowner, Shawna Cwiklinski, Diana Gowdy, Rachel Houghtaling, Judy Johanson, Lisa Kyser, Arlene McCaslin, Heather Perkins, Floyd Reynolds, Ashley Soit and Danielle Sturdevant.

Employees honored for 10 years of services were Amy Bennett, Amy Clemons, John Dolan, Joye Hornsby, Larry Hugar, Norma Hugar, Carla Miller, Krista Randall, Louanne Reynolds, Elizabeth Shutt, Michael Smith and Melissa Spinelli.

Employees honored for five years of service included Rebekah Brundage, Mary Conley, Julia Davenport, Michele Eichinger, Wiley Finn, April Gaylord, Lynette Goodridge, Tesla Greenman, Louise Jordan, Robert Paine, David Schweigart and Daniel Shutt.

Stephen Hamer was awarded Allegany Arc’s 2019 Self-Advocate of the Year Award. The Self-Advocate of the Year Award is presented to a self-advocate who has demonstrated leadership, personal growth and has positively influenced the lives of others. The award recognizes a self-advocate who has developed a greater understanding of their own needs, gained confidence to recognize their abilities, and demonstrate commitment to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. Self-advocacy is proof that people with disabilities not only matter, but they have the power to make real change on a large scale, influencing attitudes and communities.

The highlight of the evening was when Stephanie Presutti-Kubiak was awarded the 2019 Joseph Damiano Memorial Direct Support Professional of the Year Award. The Joseph Damiano Memorial Direct Support Professional of the Year Award was created in memory of Joseph Damiano, whose Direct Support Professionals enriched both his life as well as his family’s, by demonstrating an exemplary level of performance over the course of their relationship and consistently demonstrating commitment to improving the quality of Joseph’s life. Through this award, Allegany Arc acknowledges the invaluable work of a direct support professional who consistently demonstrates excellence, creativity and commitment in providing supports to people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Mike Damiano, Allegany Arc’s Chief Executive Officer said of the evening, “We are honored to recognize employees for their years of service, dedication, and incredible hard work. To have a diverse group as this representing so many programs and services celebrating such longevity shows the incredible commitment our employees have to people with special needs.”

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