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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 115 people attended included chapter members, invited guests, self-advocates, staff and board members.

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.”

Joni Vallieres, Kathy Ueblacker and Sherry Densmore each celebrated 25 years of service.

Lisa Smith was recognized for 20 years of service.

Employees honored for 15 years of service included Alix Fabiny, Carl Dandridge, Christine Hale, Ed Wilson (Board of Directors), Linda Nye, Lisa Crandall, Michelle Flewellyn, Sandy Jackson

Employees honored for 10 years of services were Amber Burdick, Carrie Redman, Cheri Wagner, Dave Slawson, Dave Young, Deb Thompson (Board of Directors), Larry Haxton and Laura Fleischman.

Employees honored for five years of service included Amanda Person, Amy Freidly, Dan Burdick, Dan Kincaid, Dave Harkenrider (Board of Directors), Erienne Burton, Hank Winans, Janine Linza, Justin Santas, Kristal Brownell, Margaret Ames, Marlon Johnson, Matt Whitesell, Mike Ryan, Ralph Haxton, Terry Dodge, Tina Day and Sarah Shultz.

Foch Russell was awarded Allegany Arc’s 2018 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 Joni Vallieres was awarded the 2018 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.

The evening concluded 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.

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