NYSARC, Inc. - Warren, Washington & Albany Counties Chapter

WWAARC Career Opportunities

County Locations

Warren & Washington
436 Quaker Road
Queensbury, NY 12804
Telephone: (518) 793-4204
Fax: (518) 793-4345
Contact Us

Albany
334 Krumkill Road
Slingerlands, NY 12159
Telephone: (518) 459-0750
Fax: (518) 459-0725
Contact Us

We Are WWAARC


Each week we will be highlighting a different house or program and their dedicated staff. We invite you to learn more about us...

We are WWAARC Crossroads Industries - February 25, 2016



Front Row (sitting) L-R Anne West, Dave Martin, Michelle Donato, Celeste Kwak, Travis Morris, Vickie Henges Back Row (standing) L-R Nadine O’Donnell, Martha Cropsey, Marty Roberts, ShiaLee Ray, Lisa Beck

Crossroads Industries is a full-service contract manufacturing, assembly and bulk mailing business which employs over 105 individuals, including many with developmental disabilities. Crossroads Industries has been serving the needs of Capital Region businesses for over 25 years. We are proficient with U.S. Postal procedures for all classes of mailings along with having years of experience with the packaging of various products and have been a preferred source for such manufacturers as Irving Tissue. We strive to make each individuals day meaningful and full of learning experiences. There are many different ways we provide our service. Some employees come to Crossroads to work on team building skills, fine motor skills, filling out resumes, filling out applications and work experience to name a few. The team who offers these supports with patience and compassion are as follows.

Anne West – Work Skills Instructor Anne West started working for the agency 31 years ago. She has been a staple on the production floor and offers a wealth of knowledge from many years of experience. Anne is a twin and comes from a family of 9. Anne’s younger sister had Down’s Syndrome which helped her make the decision to work in the field. Anne has stayed through the years because she said she feels rewarded, appreciated and she enjoys helping others learn new skills. During her free time Anne enjoys traveling, spending time with her large family, food and wine. Anne’s dream is to build a log cabin that she can retire in!

Celeste Kwak – Work Skills Instructor Celeste has worked for A.R.C. for 28 years and joined Crossroads Industries 3 years ago. She first started working in the field in Texas. When she moved to New York and joined the A.R.C. team she appreciated the support and training that she received compared to Texas. She appreciates the comradery of her co-workers. On her free time she enjoys gardening, gambling, playing with her dogs and relaxing. Celeste’s dream is to hit the lottery!

Vickie Henges – Training Coordinator/Work Skills Instructor Vickie has worked in the field for 22 years and has been employed by the A.R.C. family for 20 of those years. Vickie enjoys being able to see the individuals achieve and accomplish work skills and helping them earn a living. During her free time Vickie enjoys walking her dogs, going to music festivals, traveling and painting. Vickie’s dream is to own a dance studio!

ShiaLee Ray – Work Skills Instructor ShiaLee started as an OPT in the Day Training program in 2010 and became a W.S.I. in 2013. She was drawn to the field from her mother who had exposed her to the field for 16 years. The relationships she has developed with the individuals is her reason for coming to work daily. In her free time she enjoys her cats, couponing, crosswords and spending time with family. ShiaLee’s dream is to build a house with a cat sanctuary.

Travis Morris – Work Skills Instructor Travis started as an OPT staff in 2013 and was also maintaining his part time employment at Toys-R-Us. In March of 2015 Travis decided to become a fulltime W.S.I.. He knew how much he enjoyed working with the program and was excited to join the team. Travis feels his work is rewarding and he enjoys helping others. In his free time Travis enjoys keeping his house tidy and playing his PlayStation games. Travis’s dream is to build his mom a house!

Michelle Donato – Work Skills Instructor Michelle joined the agency as an OPT staff in 2013 and then transitioned to full time in 2015. Michelle’s uncle has a developmental disability and she helps with his caretaking. Her Uncle attends the Day Training program which is how she learned of the agency. She loves working with the individuals and this is why she returns to work every day. Michelle loves playing video games and going to the park with her 7 year old son. Michelle’s dream is to make sure her son has a secure adult hood with limited struggles.

David Martin – Work Skills Instructor Dave first began in 2013 with the agency as a temp worker to assist Crossroad’s Industries with a contract they had. Once that was over, Dave knew he wanted to do more with the agency. He became an OPT staff in 2014 and ultimately went fulltime in 2015. Dave indicated working with his peers and seeing such a carrying atmosphere made him realize this was a place he wanted to work. He considers his peers his friends! During his free time Dave enjoys spending time with his 2 boys and working on video production, listening to music, watching movies and he also works at the Bethlehem Public Library doing video publications. Dave’s dream is to own a production studio.

Martha Cropsey – Sales Representative Martha started with the A.R.C. 23 years ago. Martha started in the Skill Acquisition level and V.S.E.L. and eventually transitioned to the Day Training department. Since middle school she has always taken an interest in people with disabilities. Martha enjoys spending time with family, reading, hiking, water skiing and most of all enjoying the outdoors. Martha’s dream is to live an happy meaningful life!

Lisa Beck – Assistant Production Manager/Mailing Coordinator A.K.A. Pat Lisa started at A.R.C. 14 years ago as a OPT staff and when a WSI position opened she knew that was the job for her. Lisa enjoys developing trusting relationships with some of our more vulnerable individuals. Lisa adopted the love of her life on 3-20-13 Tori Ray Beck! She also enjoys cooking, entertaining, and playing with as many children as possible. Lisa’s dream is to own a food truck called Pats Fats!

Nadine O’Donnell –Production Manager Nadine started working in the field in 1992, and joined the A.R.C. family in 1995. She became interested in helping people with disabilities after being asked to assist them when they came to her dad’s theater for many years as a young girl. Nadine started in Day Hab and transferred to Day Training in 1999. She enjoys helping people achieve their employment goals and the challenge of completing tasks in a timely fashion. In her free time she enjoy coordinating events for her friends, entertaining and spending time with family. Nadine enjoys being with people all the time! Her dream would be to live a long meaningful life.

Martin Roberts – Director of Voc. Rehab & Training Marty started working in the field 31 years ago in another agencies residential program. Part of Marty’s job was to take the individuals to disco which is where he learned about the A.R.C. family. Marty joined A.R.C. 26 years ago. Marty got into the field by accident and now it has turned out to be his career. During Marty’s free time he enjoys spending time with his daughter, listening to music and he is a voracious reader. Marty’s dream is for his daughter to become president of the United States!

We are WWAARC Janitorial- February 19, 2016



The Warren, Washington, and Albany Janitorial Services Department provides cleaning services to our facilities as well as contract cleaning services to both the State and Federal government. Our goal is to provide a clean and safe work environment to our staff, consumers, general public and tenants of all our buildings and contracts. Our program starts at Krumkill Road where we provide training in all areas of janitorial work to include office cleaning, restroom cleaning, floor maintenance, and various other tasks to prepare them to become employed at our contract work sites for the State and Federal government. Quality assurance is a central focus and all skills required to successfully work and maintain employment in the community are addressed. Those successful individuals also receive support services through our Community Employment Program once placed at a contract site to assist in maintaining employment. The Janitorial Services Department specializes in quality services and has provided employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities for over 35 years. Currently, we have over 100 employees cleaning various sites throughout the Capital District. We have an integrated workforce of individuals with disabilities and they are responsible for cleaning over 3,000,000 square feet of space per day.

We presently provide services at these locations: Leo W. Obrien federal Building, James T. Foley Federal Courthouse, Empire State Plaza Café, Harriman State Office campus- buildings # 4, 7, 7a, 8, 8a, 9 &12, Krumkill Road, Delmar Dayhab, New York State Department of Law, and the New York State Department of Conservation.

The Janitorial Services department is a collaborative team of professionals who love to work and strive for excellence. We are a customer service oriented department and deliver quality services to our staff and community. Below are some fun and interesting facts of our program supervisors at all locations.

Charles Williams; Senior Director of Janitorial Services, has been with the Agency for 35 years and started at the Leo w. Obrien federal building as a trainer on our very first contract. He enjoys sports and camping with family and friends and is expecting his first grandchild in September of this year.

Nick Panagopoulos, State Office Campus Contract Manager, has been with us for 10 years and is a New York sports fan. He also likes to play golf, travel and spend time with family.

Milton Conde, Contract Supervisor – State Campus building # 12, has been employed for 17 years, he is a Nascar Racing enthusiast, and he enjoys 4 wheeling and traveling with his family.

William White, Contract Supervisor – State Campus building 4,7,7a, has been employed for 14 years, likes to work out, Zumba, Yoga, shooting pool and enjoys going to movies with his fiancé.

Miguel Ponce, Contract Supervisor – Empire Plaza Café, has been employed for 19 years, he lives a simple life. He enjoys helping others in his free time, PlayStation; he attends his grandson’s basketball games and spends all his time with family and friends.

Mark Williams, Contract Supervisor – James T. Foley Courthouse, has been employed for 16 years; he enjoys cooking, camping and the Buffalo Bills football team.

Marlyn Ellis, Contract Supervisor – Leo W. Obrien Federal Building, has been employed for 21 years; she enjoys going to casinos especially when she wins and spending time with family.

Scott Ross, Site Supervisor/Trainer for Krumkill Rd., has been with us for almost 2 years, he enjoys spending time with his daughter and going to her sporting events. He also enjoys playing guitar.

Building Michael Haluska, Don Marsilio, John Donadlson, Scott Ross, Stephen Martino, Lourdes Lugo-Soto

Day Hab – Delmar William Finan, Edward Brown, Nicholas Wheeler

Encon Leonard Brewer.

MJames T. Foley Sammy White, Ike Carter, Mark Williams, Barbara Reeves, Angela Lopez, David Barnett, Reginald Cortese, Ronnie Stratton, Marquis Heath, Christopher Bouck

Leo O’Brien Jan Jose Reyes, John Myers, John Ellis, Marlyn Ellis, Christopher Leger, Todd Maynard, Virginia Barnett, John Fallen, Wendy Montano, Michael Griswold, Paul Albrecht

State Campus 4,5,5A, 7 David Hallenbeck, William White, Paul Williams, Eduard Maldonado, Rodney Treadwell, Lourdes Hallenbeck, Marilenny Ignacio, Narciso Maldonado, Takiem Hanner, Terrance Kite, Casey Parker

State Campus 8, 8A, 9 Gerardo Torres, Adrian Maldonado, Delores Alston, Darryl Cokes, Jafet Lopez, Curtis Lee Hanlon, Paula Reyes, Guy West, Kevin Toohig, Christopher Cozzy, Richard Barber, Rodney King, Nicholas Panagopoulos, Willard Broughton, Tommy Brown, Hector Maldonado, Lourdes Salcedo, Kelvin Kennerly, Clarence Holdren, Dan McBride, Cadian William, Laura Mastroianni, Michael Sunkes, Kenneth Castracane, Kyle Robinson, Randall McCarthy, Jessie Williams, Joshua Wright, Justin Giardino, Peter Guidarelli JR

State Campus 12 Darvin Gross, Julio Concepcion, Milton Conde, Guy McIlwain, Edna Allen, Latyoa Quattlebaum, Steven Allen, Manuel Ortiz, Danielle Powell, Robert Rooney, Suzzette Torres, Jesse Greene, Mary Brown, Johnny Davila-Robles, Migdalia Maldonado, Joshua Maxwell, Kevin Freeman, Mohamed Orsad, Jerry Tubbs Jr., Shamar Stenson, Donald Smith, Lawrence Baia, Ann Takach, Michael Holt, Felicite Moussabou

Sodexo Janitorial Miguel Ponce, Carmen Lugo, Marilyn Ponce-Mercado, Steven Carrion, James Maranda

We are WWAARC Gone For Good - February 3, 2016



When you walk into the Gone For Good Bottle & Can Redemption Center you are welcomed with warm, smiling faces. Gone For Good has been open since the spring of 2015 and is located at our Quaker Road location. The Gone For Good Center has four awesome employees; Daryl “Mark” Monroe, Brian Marino, Elizabeth Mead and Jerry Shewell. Elizabeth loves to work on crafts, puzzles and cross stitch. She loves her job at the bottle redemption center. Jerry Shewell is a hard-working young man who has been employed part-time at the Bottle Redemption Center in Queensbury NY starting in the summer of 2015. While he is hard at work, he enjoys participating on a variety of tasks including counting and sorting recyclables as well as going with his supervisor into the community to pick-up bottles and cans. When Jerry is not hard at work, he enjoys going to Everts Ave. Day Hab. to socialize with his friends and explore his local community. Jerry is a friendly individual with a good sense of humor who utilizes the many community resources that are available to him to increase his independence. Mark enjoys wood working, crafts and of course his pug – Brutus. Brian enjoys watching football especially the Denver Broncos. Brian also takes pride in his pet fish.

Gone For Good is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm for Drop Offs. While our main redemption center is located at 436 Quaker Road in Queensbury, drop offs can also be made at our 334 Krumkill Road, Slingerlands building. At our redemption center, you can exchange your redeemable containers for 5 cents each or you can donate the earnings back to the organization. The Gone For Good center can arrange pick-ups for over 100 units and will mail out your redemption check as arranged. Gone For Good also has redemption bins across the capital region including locations such as Midas, local auto repair shops and pizzerias.

We are WWAARC Southern Day Habilitation - February 1, 2016





 

We in Finance think of ourselves as part of the ”stage crew” that helps the organization perform the show, working hard from “behind the curtain”! With nearly 75 years of combined experience at the ARC and over 150 years of combined accounting experience, we are always working to improve our processes and keep up with changes impacting the organization. We do fun stuff like: pay the bills, send bills to Medicaid and others for our services, keep track of all the costs and revenues, manage cash, pay all the employees and handle employee benefits. Then we have lots of other fun with: government filings, tax returns, insurance, contracts and NYSARC reporting. Also we provide accounting and oversight for consumer funds which we consider a privilege and we do so with the greatest of care. We try to make accounting fun while working hard each day.

Trish Caradonna (Senior Accounting Specialist) has just had her one year anniversary with the agency. When not working on accounts payable, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Sandy Congel (Director of Finance) has been with the agency for 18 years this March working in the Finance Department. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family.

Julie Holcomb (Audit Supervisor) has been with the agency for 12 years in the Finance Department. When she’s not working she enjoys spending time with my family. As a family they enjoy hiking, swimming, going camping and really anything outdoors. She has a son who is in 11th grade and a daughter that is in 8th grade and she loves spending time with them.

Jessica Hooper (Billing Specialist) joined the agency in 2008 as a DSP at Alma. After a few years she became Assistant Manager at Alma and then in 2012 became the Assistant Manager at the La Crosse Day Hab. Next she was Assistant Director of Day Hab for Maple and La Crosse. She joined the Finance team in 2015. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her two girls!

Jill Hunt (Accounting Manager) started in December 2015. She is very excited about being part of the Finance team and the WWAARC family. Jill enjoys spending her free time during the winter months at the gym and socializing with friends and family while she eagerly awaits the arrival of spring. Although… Jill says she is contemplating taking up snowshoeing this winter (if we ever get real snow!) Once spring arrives, Jill enjoys almost anything outside, especially a morning hike, golf, hanging out at the pool or lake and spending time with her daughter while attempting to keep up with her Chocolate Chihuahua running around the yard as her cat snickers from the windowsill. Jill hopes to add kayaking to her regular outdoor adventures this summer.

Shannon Kelleher (Senior Accountant) joined the finance team last May. She relocated back to New York after retiring from her architectural firm in California. In her spare time Shannon loves to cook, quilt and knit but her passion is travel and learning about other cultures.

Kacey Loomis (Billing Specialist) has been with the organization since July of 2013. In Kacey’s free time she enjoys spending time with her family and in the summer watches her husband race at Albany – Saratoga Race Track every Friday night. Soon she will be spending time with her daughter that is due in March!

Deb Martin (Senior Director of HR/Benefits) will celebrate her 20th anniversary with the agency in June! She enjoys reading, baseball (Mets) and fundraising for Haiti. She and her daughter will be joining a group for another trip to Haiti in February.

Jessica Martin (Payroll Specialist) has been with the agency since August of 2015. She enjoys reading all kinds of books and cuddling her dog Ruger.

Tara Miller (Accounting Specialist) has been with the organization since July 2013. When not entering invoices, she is at home doing other kinds of work, like 2nd grade spelling, re-grouping math problems and reading “Marley’s Big Adventure” with her 7 year old daughter! Tara loves cooking homemade meals on the weekends for her family, her favorite is anything to do with pasta and meatballs!

Shari Murray (Accounting Specialist) has been with the Agency since May 2014. When Shari isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Cheryl Najjar (Accounting Specialist) has been with the Agency since April of 2010. Cheryl loves working in the finance department and truly enjoys the “team work” comradery but her favorite part of job is getting out of the office to do the Annual Finance Audits and to meet the many consumers, if she is lucky enough to find them home during the days when the audits take place. She loves to be able to put faces with the names of the folks she serves from a financial aspect, they are the precious reason she is able to do what she does on a daily basis. As an added perk she also enjoys meeting the managers and their assistants while out doing the audits, she says they are a hard working crew, great characters! When Cheryl is not working, she spends most of her spare time investing in the lives of her own three girls and other children within the Granville community thru the Children’s Ministry that she and her husband have overseen for the past three years. She firmly believes in the children of that area and acknowledges that they are the future, she believes they are a perfect place to invest her time, love and energy.

Scott Palm (Senior Payroll Specialist) started with the agency in November of 2014. When Scott is not working hard to pay people he often gets back to his roots by doing some landscaping around his yard. And even though he has been caught using a flashlight at 10pm to plant trees, most nights he prefers a good game of Texas Hold ‘Em with friends and family. Scott is the guy you’ll see wearing shorts when it is 20 degrees out and is missing all of the snow that we don’t have.

Lynn Wadleigh (Chief Financial Officer) joined the team in fall 2015. When she is not crunching numbers, she enjoys “hanging out” with her family, especially her 2 teenage daughters. She enjoys checking out our regions history and is trying some new things like skiing, gardening and stargazing! Having been a special needs parent, she admires the ARC’s respectful commitment to those with daily challenges like her son Andrew. She spent most of her career in the for profit world, most of them right here at 436 Quaker with the buildings original owner’s Kadant Inc.

Previous Success Stories

We are WWAARC Southern Day Habilitation - January 14, 2016





 


QIDPs (Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals) or affectionately known as “Qs” are responsible for working with the individuals and their teams to develop plans to help them achieve their life goals. The “Qs” continue to monitor success of each of the plans and how the individuals are doing and make any modifications or changes to continue to help them become more independent in their lives.

Elizabeth “BJ” Lent, Director of the QIDPs. BJ has been with the Agency for 18 plus years, originally starting as the QIDP for the Jerome Avenue IRA. Over the years she has held many positions including Behaviorist, Manager and Trainer. She entered the role as Director in March 2015. BJ spends her spare time coaching youth girls soccer and youth girls basketball for Hadley – Luzerne and caring for her mother. She also volunteers with an organization that works with Veterans known as Team RWB (Red White and Blue).

Anthony Fernandez, QIDP Supervisor. Anthony started with the Agency in April 2012 as a DSP in the Krumkill Day Hab and joined the QIDP department in October 2012. He worked a couple of years in residential with another agency prior to WWAARC. A graduate from Utica College, Anthony moonlights as a waiter at a local Italian restaurant and deejays on occasion. Interests include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Netflix, HBO, ESPN radio, fantasy football, NFL and NBA

Erika Deferrari, QIDP. Erika has been a QIDP since March 2007, formally called “IPC”. She has been married for 37 years, has 1 daughter, 1 son-in-law and 1 granddaughter who will be 3 yrs. old in June. She and her husband spend a lot of time with them, as well as with their extended family on Long Island. They volunteer at their church and at Albany Medical Center and love to cross-country ski. She is presently crocheting a blanket for her granddaughter that she is hoping to finish before she finishes high school.

Jessica Fuller, QIDP. Jessica started with the Agency as a Day Hab. DSP in April 2013 in 4-6 Independence. She became a QIDP in November 2014. Outside of work she likes to read, exercise and spend time with her family.

Erin Daniels, QIDP. Erin joined the QIDP department 10 months ago. Prior to that she worked for 2 years as a DSP and almost 2 years as a voc. counselor. Erin enjoys shopping, reading and listening to music in her spare time.

Thomas Craig, QIDP. Thomas has been a Q for a little over 7 months. He is an Atlantic District-LCMS Lay Deacon at his church in Niskayuna, NY. He spends much of his time planning and leading bible studies and a mid-week service; and when possible, work with the youth of the church. He enjoys movies, playing video games, and spending time playing with his two nephews.

Collette Panis-Jones, QIDP. Collette is going into her 9th month as QIDP. She has three children, a son and 2 daughters. She spends the majority of time outside of work being a mom, but when she does have a couple of hours to herself, she likes to spend time catching up with her friends or just enjoying the solitude while binge watching Netflix on her couch. She hopes when her kids are older she will be able to reconnect with actual “hobbies”

Charmell Dobbs, QIDP. Charmell has been in the QIDP department for 2 ½ months and she loves her new job/position. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and is “slooooowly” working on becoming a runner.

Stacey Fusco, QIDP. Stacey is approaching her year anniversary with the Agency. She became a QIDP in February 2015. At this time in Stacey’s life, she is helping her son fill out college applications, going to visit different universities and preparing herself for an empty nest.

Deanne Romeo, QIDP. Deanne joined the QIDP department in April 2015. Prior to that she was a DSP at the Warrensburg IRA. Deanne is currently getting a nursery set up as she and her husband are expecting their first baby in May.

Ryan Bremser, QIDP. Ryan has been a Q for 8 months. He enjoys things such as hiking, snowboarding and long walks on the beach at sunset. He enjoys coaching (swimming) and has 2 children; Miles – age 2 and Annabelle – age 5.

Samantha Morehouse, QIDP. Samantha is the newest addition to the department. She is starting her second week in the position. Prior to that she was a DSP at the Warrensburg IRA. Samantha enjoys going on hikes with her two dogs as well as kayaking. She also loves her chickens (as pets, not food!) She loves going to see live music as much as possible with her fiancé and high school sweetheart of 11 years. They are currently saving to purchase a home together and eventually plan to get married (but they are not rushing).

We are WWAARC Building and Grounds - January 11, 2016





 

The Warren-Washington and Albany Buildings and Grounds Department provides the physical environment, utilities, and facilities support services necessary to promote the excellent services provided in each of our programs on a daily basis. The department is available 24-7 and we perform a wide array of duties to ensure that all facilities meet the comfort and safety needs of those we serve and the staff. Apart from our daily tasks, this past year we completed a number of significant projects, including several remodels of existing kitchens, bathrooms, and training areas. At the end of each of these projects it is a delight for us to see the smiles of satisfaction on the faces of the people who live and work at each site. As we move towards 2016, we are enthusiastic and look forward to even more challenging projects.

The Building and Grounds team consists of 15 gentleman and 2 ladies, each with an individualized skill set and experience level that aggregates to produce a supportive and collaborative team of professionals who strive to be a customer oriented department. Our core values consist of teamwork, integrity, dedication, and excellence. Each and every day, our goal is to professionally maintain a world-class environment by delivering the highest quality service to our agency community. If you see one of our team members out in the field, feel free to stop them and introduce yourself.

Our Building and Grounds team includes 17 hard workers - some of them have shared some fun and interesting facts about themselves.

Sean Casey, AED of Buildings and Grounds/Program Development, has been with the agency for a little over 23 years and loves to ski in his spare time. Paul Rock, Director of Building and Grounds takes enormous pride in working with the individuals we serve and making a difference in their lives. A bit of a dare devil, Paul enjoys bungee jumping and anything on the water. A little fact about our Director of Purchasing and Facilities Development, Crystal Staepel, is that one of her first full time jobs was driving a dump truck for a construction company in Aspen Colorado, which she did for a little over 2 years. Claudette Ford, our Building and Grounds Administrative Coordinator, has been here for over 30 years! She has worked in other departments, but feels right at home with Building and Grounds! She enjoys the unique team of guys the Building and Grounds has and their many special talents. “I have watched so many blossom and grow throughout the years. They have become “my family” away from home.”

John Caparello enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and exploring different places together. He also enjoys building new things around his home. Dan Caprood is an avid motorcycle enthusiast. His talent shines when he plays his guitar in a rock and roll band! Watch out for Scott Ising who is a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo. He owns 2 very unique pets Degu’s, they are an exotic rodent native to Chili. He is an avid movie-goer especially when it comes to Marvel and DC universe. He also enjoys the company of the other B&G crew members. Jason Sprague has a green thumb when it comes to gardening. He also enjoys woodworking and has a special furry friend, his cat Spooky! Darriel Taylor loves to make people laugh and really enjoys listening to music. Jason Piccirillo is an outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys hunting, fishing and camping! Mike Youngen has been working at the agency for over 7 years. He really enjoys putting puzzles together especially his favorite, 101 Dalmatians! Pete Simione just hit his 16 year mark in September! Pete loves the outdoors especially if he is hiking, kayaking, and biking He enjoys working on his old vehicles and taking his dogs out for walks.

Additional proud members of the Building and Grounds crew

Russ Cooper who recently hit his 10 year mark with the organization on Tuesday, January 5th! Tony Gifford has worked for the WWAARC for a little over 6 years. Rob Gimmler who has been employed at the WWAARC for over 2 years. As well as William Sheerer and Rob Cole who are the newest employee to the Building and Grounds department. They were hired in July and August of 2015.

We are WWAARC Quality Assurance / Quality Improvement
- December 11, 2015





 

We are the Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Department, tasked with ensuring that all programs and services remain within NYS requirements. Offering technical and regulatory support to all staff is our specialty. Whether it’s a question about a service plan, dryer vent, or a potential incident…we cover it all! As told to our new staff in orientation, we are the EYES of the agency, providing additional support to make sure those we serve are receiving the highest quality of life possible. To prep for state quality surveys, we conduct internal audits, using similar practices of OPWDD’s Division of Quality Improvement. The department is also responsible for the oversight of Incident Management and serves as the liaison for both the Incident Review and Safety Committees.

At the head of our group is Cindy Jordan, who has been with the agency about 33 years. Cindy started as a Direct Care staff and has accumulated tons of experience from her days in Residential and Day Services and as a QMRP (now known as QIDP). Currently, she is the Assistant Executive Director of Quality Assurance, who enjoys working with the individuals we serve. Favorite quote: Smile, it makes people wonder what you’re thinking. Did you know…Cindy is an avid sports fanatic!?!?

Jacquie Stacey, recently titled as the Director of Quality Improvement and Incident Management has been with the agency about 33 years. Starting as a Direct Care staff, she brings her experience from working in Residential Services and the Psychology Dept. She loves helping others make their program the best it can be! Jacquie is also a Safety Officer on the Safety Committee. Did you know…Jacquie collects sun catcher bobble heads!?!?

About 23 years ago, Katrin Schamberg joined the agency working in Day Services and then moving into the Psychology Dept. She is the Quality Assurance Specialist who prides herself on establishing long lasting relationships with individuals served and their families. Katrin’s primary role is to conduct internal surveys of the programs, assist with investigations, and she is also a member of the Safety Committee. She enjoys coaching children’s soccer and running. Did you know…Katrin was born in Switzerland!?!?

Prior to Lori Lewis’ current role as Incident Investigator, she gained her experience while working in Residential Services and while serving as a QIDP. Supporting the agency for more than 23 years, Lori is the newest member of our team, with a primary function of investigating reportable incidents. She enjoys taking long walks with her dog, snowmobiling and coaching field hockey. Did you know…Lori has a twin sister?!?!

Mary Cooley, who first began her tenure at the agency through Human Resources, began working here about 13 years ago. She later moved to the Business Office before transferring to her current position as Incident Investigator. Her role is to investigate reportable incidents and to provide support to the incident management sector of the dept. What’s most rewarding to Mary about her job – meeting different staff and individuals and having the opportunity to hear their story. Mary enjoys having tea and conversations with good friends. Favorite book: My Grandfather’s Blessings, by Rachel Remen. Did you know…Mary has a love for chocolate!?!?

About 12 years ago, Cunene Hooper joined the agency with Residential Services and later moved to Quality Improvement when the department first developed. She is the Incident Management Specialist with the primary function of overseeing this sector and coordinating investigations. Cunene facilitates the Incident Review Committee and serves on the Safety Committee. The highlight of her work day would be entering the cafeteria and greeting everyone who is having a wonderful day! Cunene enjoys cooking, traveling, and listening to ‘old school’ music. Favorite poem: Don’t Quit. Did you know…Cunene is the president of the local chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated!?!?

Our Quality Assurance Administrator is Charles Southard, better known as “Chuck!” He joined the agency about 9 years ago through Residential Services and moved to Quality Assurance some years later. Chuck’s primary role is to conduct internal surveys of all programs in preparation for OPWDD quality reviews. He is the Chair of the Fire Safety Committee and also assists with investigations. Chuck prides himself on improving the quality of life for the people we serve. He enjoys gardening, interior design, and camping. Favorite Book: The Shining, by Stephen King. Did you know…Chuck loves the outdoors and kayaking?!?!

We are WWAARC and we do great activities at the Krumkill Day Hab
- November 2, 2015





 

The Krumkill Day Hab teams had a competition. They each completed an “The ABCs of Fall” Scrapbook. The objective was to complete innovative and fun activities starting with each letter of the alphabet, and then presenting it in a creative way. The presentation was held on October 20th and there was a tie in the votes so stay tuned to find out the winner! Here are some pictures of the creative scrapbooks and craft projects that everyone worked so hard on. Great job Day Hab!!! If you are able, please look on the server in the Common X Drive for the rest of the picture gallery! For those that are unable I would be happy to forward you the pictures.

Food Service Department - October 21, 2015


The Food Service Department has been operating, training individuals and expanding work opportunities since the 1970’s.

We are responsible for providing a wide range of food choices for over 200 people each and every day. If you have visited the Krumkill Rd. cafeteria, you probably have met the kitchen crew. Grace Papa, Food Service Manager, supervises all the daily food related operations and maintains the continuing catering business. In addition to Grace, the kitchen crew consists of Pauline, Yvonne, Pete, Sean, Tasfi, John, Andrew, Michael, Ajiana and Allan. Pauline works in the back of the kitchen cooking the daily meals and menu specials. Yvonne is responsible for the preparation and set- up of the food selections for the front end of the kitchen. Besides being the cashier, Peter takes orders for beverages, specials and a la carte selections. Sean, Andrew, Tasfi, Ajiana, John & Michael alternate daily responsibilities of working in a Food Service position. These responsibilities are food prep, dish washing, sweeping & mopping the floor, stocking the shelves after a delivery and serving food. They all particularly enjoy working the front food line, meeting and serving all the customers who enjoy the daily and various food offerings. On Wednesday afternoons, Allan assists with washing tables.

All of the kitchen crew enjoy their private time with their families and look forward to working in the friendly atmosphere of the cafeteria. Listen and you will frequently hear Ajiana singing while she is working!!

Team 3 - Krumkill Day Hab October 5, 2015


Here on the lower side of Opportunity Street are our program rooms, with the addition of 25 Grand Avenue. Team 3’s dynamic group consists of 4 elderly, however vibrant rooms with diverse individuals with many different interest. The needs of these rooms are geared towards elderly care so the individuals may enjoy their autumn and winter years. We like to celebrate and enjoy the time they have. Another great addition to team 3 is 25 Grand, which is located on the Day Training floor, this room consist of 20 young, talent individuals who love to assist the team by nurturing the elderly at different capacities, for example, sing and reading to the individuals, visiting, helping with deliveries, or just sharing life experiences. What make Team 3 special is the relationships that the staff have obtained with the individuals they serve. We have both tenured staff (Emily Wheeler, Jeff Blyth, Phyllis Ingraham, Kelly Thornton, Mary Jo Corrado, and Charlie Miles), who are great contributors to our team structure because they are nurturers by heart. Our newer staff (Wanda Briggs, Monica Kalinda, Jestina Cook, and Angel Maldonado) offer new possibilities to the team structure.

Here are the a few staff opinions on why they like working on Team 3:

“Staff are friendly and helpful and the individuals like to have fun” – Kelly Thornton 5+ years.

“We are a good team, we work together like interacting with the individuals” – Jeff Blyth 10+ years.

“ We have a strong bond with the individuals” – Charles Miles 10+ years

We are WWAARC Team 4 - Krumkill Day Hab September 25, 2015

As you stroll down Grand Ave. you will reach the intersection of Grand Ave. and Opportunity Street. It is no coincidence that the rooms providing the best opportunities happen to live on Opportunity Street. When you turn the corner onto Opportunity Street, you enter a block full of TLC and TCB (for those not up on the lingo “Tender Loving Care” and “Taking Care of Business”).

The first stop on the Opportunity St. tour takes you to room number 6 with Andre Carr and Myla Polk-Ford. They work very closely with their neighbors who live at our second stop, 8 Opportunity St. They have two terrific teammates in Karen Graff and Rob Williams! Just a few steps away you will find 10 Opportunity St. run by Joan Threatt and Ny’gina Kinzer. If you ever need a laugh these ladies will surely provide a few. If we hang a left when leaving the room, we will be crossing at the very busy intersection of Opportunity St. and Grand Ave. Please use the mirror and remember to look both ways. There are many happenings at this intersection so please proceed with caution! Once we are safely across, our first stop is 11 Opportunity St. where Xzavier Ortiz and Kalaisha Bell provide excellent supports in their classroom and there is always a song to liven up the day. The other side of the street will bring us to 16 Opportunity. There we will find Dina Prokrym and Syreta Williams. Dina is the longest tenured staff on Opportunity St. She and Syreta work well together to provide our individuals with exciting programming. The last stop on the Opportunity St. tour brings us to 18-20 Opportunity St. In this room you will find Tammy Collucio, Megan Walsh and Kayla Olsen. They are a very fun, artistic bunch.

It should be mentioned that Opportunity St. has a fine Assistant Director of local and county affairs in Leo Rouse and a Director of local, state and foreign affairs in Jason Rose. Last but not least we have a motto on Opportunity St. that we live and die by and we would like to share it with you. The motto is “TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!”

Team 1 - Krumkill Day Hab September 08, 2015

Team 1 at the Krumkill Day Hab is located on Albany St. near the Day Hab Admin. Suite. It is comprised of individuals ranging in ages from early 20’s to late 60’s with varied interests and abilities. Music and dance, computer games and board games, construction paper cut outs and Paper Mache crafts, language and social skills are just some of the activities that are part of our day.

Our dedicated staff is Rosemary Taft, Holly Pitcher, Amanda Dupelle, Charlene Leonard, Lance Ellers, Cyncetta Fitzgerald, Sue Wallace, Angelo Guidarelli and our newest member Daquan Johnson who joined us last month. I am privileged to work with people who are willing to jump in at a moment’s notice, helping each other and the individuals we serve.

Shipping and Receiving - August 3, 2015

The Krumkill Rd Shipping and Receiving Department was essentially established to provide support to the Production Department of Crossroads Industries by handling and storing customer contract supplies, thus helping to allow the employment of nearly 100 workers. As any homeowner can attest, with time, comes things that requires space, and so it is also with WWAARC. Over the past 25yrs the department has grown to provide assistance to virtually all areas of Albany’s various programs and departments by providing the services within its name and storage space in the warehouse. We try to keep things MOVING.

Ray O’Donnell is the department’s Truck Driver and Material Handler. He is as often on the road making deliveries or pick-ups as he is moving and organizing contract materials or delivering various supply orders throughout the facility. Ray started in the Albany Building and Grounds department and remained there for two years before transferring to the Shipping and Receiving department in December 2007. He often comments on how easily a bad day can turn around due to the positive nature of all the people we serve that he regularly meets and greets throughout his daily routine. He is often an advocate for our folks and always a friend. Outside of work he spends much time following sports and is a collector of famous autographs. Want to trade?

Doug Scott is the Shipping Manager. He began as a van driver in 1982, moved to truck driver and became the Shipping Manager when the Krumkill location was established over 25yrs ago. He helps facilitate the movements and storage of agency and customer items. He helped establish the Albany Staff garden and remains a liaison to it for the agency. Gardening, in fact, is a big part of his personal interests as well as being an unofficial agency weather watcher.

Thank you Ray and Doug!

The Chaplain’s Office of WWAARC - August 19, 2015

We are the Chaplain’s Office of WWAARC. Our primary role is to meet the spiritual needs of the individuals we serve through various activities, including Bible studies, spiritual counseling, prayer and referrals to other spiritual leaders. Our ongoing work is to connect individuals with their preferred house of worship in the community. Recently, we had 11 individuals attend a Bible camp in Rome, NY ( graciously funded by our Foundation Board), and we are planning special worship services specifically designed for our folks. We also have the unfortunate responsibility to leading funeral services and providing grief counseling to the friends and staff of those who have passed away in our agency.

Derik Bartholomew our Chaplain & Grief Counselor works hard to meet the spiritual needs of our individuals up north and is becoming well known in the agency for his gift in playing guitar and singing. Besides pastoring at Cornerstone Outreach Center in Fort Edward and heading up their food pantry which ministers to over 100 families each week, Derik is a husband, to Angelique, and father to two beautiful boys. Derik has also served in our Residential program for almost 10 years!

Anthony Antonecchia has served as one of our On-Call Chaplain & Grief Counselors for almost two years. Unfortunately, he has recently resigned to pursue employment as an assistant instructor at an outdoor alternative high school in Vermont. Please help us to thank Chaplain Anthony for his service!

Dan Schamberg, having worked for the agency for over 23 years, is well known as one of our Rec guys in the Krumkill gym, has recently accepted the position as an On-Call Chaplain & Grief Counselor. In addition to being the husband to our very own Katrin (“Kat”) from Quality Assurance Department and father to two beautiful children, Dan has a Bible education and can be found leading worship at Berean Baptist Church in Guilderland Center each Sunday. Please help us to welcome Chaplain Dan the next time you see him!

Frank Fabiano is the Lead Chaplain & Grief Counselor and has worked for the agency for two years. Frank is married to his wife, Ann Marie, and they reside in Saugerties, NY near Frank’s extended family.

Janitorial Day Training Department
at Krumkill Road! - August 27, 2015

Chris Bouck has been with our program for some time now and I am pleased to announce that in September Chris will be “graduating” to a position at one of our sites at the New York State Campus. Great Job Chris! John DeLude is one of our hardest workers making sure our rest rooms are clean and safe every day. Rene Ortega (not pictured) keeps our entrance way and back service area sparkling clean and helps with whatever he is asked to do. Louis McDonaugh is the guy who does all the “dirty work”. This man goes the extra mile and is a HUGE help. Last but not least, you can set your clock by Guy Grant, our notorious “Trash Man”. Guy hustles his way through a big route every day and always brings his smile to work, and to others. We have a great team and I am proud to work side by side with such dedicated staff.

Scott Ross is the Janitorial Day Training Supervisor and has been with the agency for 1 year. When he is not working Scott loves spending time with his daughter, watching (and betting on) the horses in Saratoga and loves his Yankees!!

Scott Ross

Transportation Department - July 28, 2015

We are The WWAARC Transportation Department. The function of the Transportation Department is to meet the transportation needs of the people that we serve. Transportation is involved in almost every department in the Agency. We provide transportation for our Krumkill Day Hab, which includes morning and afternoon transportation service. We also transport for our workshop program, which includes morning and afternoon service to our workshop and an afternoon shuttle to the Western Ave bus stop for the people that take a bus home or to work.

Currently the Transportation Department oversees the entire fleet of vehicles that are in both the Queensbury and Albany locations. There are a total of 152 vehicles between the two locations, with another nineteen vehicles to be added by the end of this year. We provide as much service to the vehicle as we can to maintain safe operations. If for any reason a vehicle is not in safe working condition it is removed from service and another vehicle is given to the department in need until the vehicle is repaired or replaced.

The Transportation Department is also a support department. We will support and help with anything that is required of us. Please remember to report any issues immediately so that we can ensure that everyone in our care is transported safely.

  • Our services are provided by:
  • Marquita Bradt – Driver- Clerical Assistant - 14 years
  • Michael DiPerna - Driver - 26 years
  • Todd Garrett - Driver - 10 years
  • Richard Jarrell - Driver - 3 years
  • Nygina Kinzer - Driver - 8 months
  • John Ody - Driver/ Mechanic - 11 years
  • Holly Pitcher - Driver - 17 years
  • Gilles Poulin - Driver - 12 years
  • Alexander Rinaldi - Driver/DSP - 2 years
  • Bruce Tetrault - Driver - 15 years
  • Bonnie Urban- Driver- 5 years
  • Eugene Williams- Driver- 8 years
  • Ron McLaughlin- SUB Driver OPT- 3 years
  • Joe Curran - SUB Driver OPT- 22 Years
  • Manch McLaughlin - SUB Driver OPT - 3 Years
  • David Haman- SUB Driver \ DSP- 24 years
  • Dan Schamberg- SUB Driver \ REC – 23 years
  • Michael Tryon- Director of Transportation- 26 years

Most of all, these folks are all more than just a driver; they are the first person that our people see in the mornings and they are the last person that they see to end their day at the agency. All of the staff listed above has a deep and caring concern for all of the people that they transport each day. Our drivers are all unique and they all have a great understanding of the people they serve.

Queensbury Clerical Support - July 23, 2015

As you enter the Northern Office you are always greeted with a smile by our Receptionist Suzanne Rost and our Clerical Support Kathy Murray (Admin QA/Res Support). These two phenomenal women do everything, they are all crossed trained in Reception, Scanning, Mail, Chron, Copying and anything that needs attention in the office; they jump in and get it done. They are very considerate with their co-workers and float/ backfill when there is a team shortage. The Clerical Department is also made up of two more additional Staff; Darren Holcomb who works 5 hours a week delivering the mail, and also does some filing for our Maintenance Department, and Miss Mary Gaulin who works 2 hours a week shredding. I am so glad I have such great people to work with.

Maple Street Day Habilitation Program - July 16, 2015

We are the Maple Street Day Habilitation Program. Providing day program activities and services to (19) gentlemen in downtown Glens Falls, NY. This is a very active program volunteering at variety of non-profit organizations to include Meals on Wheels, recycling, local Food Pantry, bottle return, and Northeast Career. These guys utilize the local community walking throughout the downtown area, and going on any number of recreational and social activities such as picnics, hikes, shopping, library, thrift shops, garage sales, ball games, and bus training. Visiting local fire houses, police stations, and museums are also some favorite pastimes. In house program activities include the use of a couple computers, a gaming system, and numerous board games, cards, and craft activities.

A Little about the Staff:

Jessica Hooper (Asst. Dir. of Day Hab.)- Jessica started her career working residentially for our agency and then transferred into the Day Hab. Jessica has worked for the agency (7) years. On her off time she enjoys spending time with her family.

Barb Ellis (Nurse) - Barb has worked for our agency for (5) years and also had experience in the field prior to coming here. Barb enjoys spending her time-off with her kids.

Tammie La Guerre (BIS) Tammie has worked in this field since 1997. In her spare time Tammie is a real “Soccer Mom”, shuttling her two daughters to various activities and lovin’ it.

Ryan Bremser (QIDP) – Ryan is new to our agency but has years of experience in the field prior to coming here. Ryan is a good addition to our Day Hab. Team.

Kayla Melendy (DSP) – has worked with the agency for (2) years, initially residential staff and then transferring to Day Hab. Kayla is returning to school this fall but is planning to remain involved with the agency.

Herbert “Pete” Wood (DSP) – Pete has worked residentially for our agency for (9) years. Pete is new to the day program and a fine addition to our team. Pete finds ways to relate to each individual and utilizes his own time and resources to support and assist the guys with various projects and interest areas. Pete quietly goes about doing good things for others.

David Gonzales (DSP) – David is the newest member of our team, again transferring from our residential programs to Day Hab. David has worked for the agency for (2) years. Dave is from New Jersey and the guys love to pick on his Jersey accent…say “coffee” Dave..

Delmar Day Hab- July 7, 2015

The Delmar Day Hab provides support to twenty-eight program participants. We are a busy group; supporting our community by volunteering at variety of places including the New York State Museum, Regional Food Bank, Capital City Rescue Mission, Meals on Wheels and much more. We explore the community and take part in many fun and educational activities, such as walking in local parks, visiting historical sites, seeing shows at Proctors, and many other local venues. We are always on the lookout for new activities to try, and the program participants enjoy helping to plan their activities. The Delmar staff members are a group of fun-loving, caring individuals who enjoy helping the folks build skills to become more independent and encouraging them to be the very best they can be.

Mahasin Alnaggar is the newest addition to the Delmar team, having worked previously at the Krumkill site. We are all happy to welcome her to the team! Mahasin has a talent for Arts and Crafts, and she is bringing some great ideas to our group.

Peter Berghela has worked as a DSP for twenty-four years. He always puts extra effort into getting to know each of the participants. Peter is actively involved with Best Buddies; a group that promotes one to one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmentally disabilities. At home, Peter enjoys gardening and keeping his lawn green and beautiful.

Debra Dyer has been working as a DSP in Delmar for five years. Deb is caring person who is loved by the program participants and her co-workers. Deb is a loving mom to her son. She enjoys antiquing and garage sales, often with Bill. She says she is a “picker”. (Urban Dictionary definition – an early bird who hunts swap meets, estate sales, thrift stores, etc and scoops up the good deals – often for resale in antique shops or on eBay. )

William “Bill” Garber has worked as a DSP for seven years. Bill’s fun loving nature and dedication make him popular with both his co-workers and the program participants. In his free time, Bill enjoys antiquing and checking out garage sales, and he is always willing to keep an eye out if you are looking for a special something. At the end of the day, Bill is always happy to get home to his two children: his dogs.

Casey Jasenski has working at Delmar as a DSP for two years. She always comes to work with a smile and has an amazing ability to remember everyone’s likes and dislikes, making her the “go to” person if you have any questions. Casey is a self-proclaimed county girl who enjoys country music, fishing and four-wheeling in her free time.

Esther Morris has been working as a DSP at WWARC for five years. Our activity room is always well decorated with the art projects that she does with the group. Esther enjoys walking, traveling and keeping active in general. She is very involved with her church; being a greeter on Sundays and participating in the sponsored activities.

Mary Katt, Assistant Director, joined the WWAARC team nearly twenty years ago, starting as a transportation/program aide, and has been with the Delmar group for five years. She loves to search out new activities and volunteer opportunities for the group. Mary has three grown children and a very adorable grandson, Johann. When she is not working or spending time with her family, Mary enjoys geocaching and traveling, often combining the two. She will be sure to talk your ear off about it if you give her a chance.

PR & Development - June 30, 2015

The Vocational Counseling Department provides support for our individuals working for Crossroads Industries. We help our employees plan their services, with an emphasis on enhancing their job-readiness skills. The counseling suite provides a space to help them work on their soft skills, skills that will ultimately benefit them in every aspect of their life. We also serve as the liaison between our individuals and the Community Employment Department, helping to facilitate the transition between our program and the community for those people who are ready to move on. We take great pride when we see someone work his or her way up through our program to a successful placement in the community. We relish the opportunity to help those in our program reach their potential and achieve their vocational goals. The Vocational Counselors have the unique and fulfilling job of helping to lay the foundation, that is to say giving individuals the resources and support necessary to be successful out in the community. Our own lives are enriched by those we serve and the progress they make.

Our department is made up of four Vocational Counselors as well as two managers. The Vocational Rehab Services Manager, Jason Foss just recently celebrated twenty-five years of dedicated service to WWAARC. His enthusiasm for helping our individuals and his knowledge of the field are immensely valuable. When Jason isn’t in the office, he is a caring father and husband. He enjoys beekeeping and is passionate about medieval combat and traditions.

The Assistant Vocational Rehab Services Manager, Cassandra Ray is a great resource for the department and helps keep everyone focused and productive. Her passion and caring for the field and the individuals we serve is inspiring. She is a great resource for the Vocational Counselors and brings her extensive experience to the office. Cassie loves to spend her free time with her family and friends, spending quality time with them laughing and growing together as a family.

Gabrielle Susser is the newest member of the Vocational Counseling team having previously worked on the production floor as a WSI (Work Skills Instructor). Her hands-on experience with our individuals has proven to be a great resource to everyone in the office. Gabby is a very loving person and her dedicated service to our folks is a glittering example for all of those who work in our field. In her free time, Gabby likes to get out on the lake and fish.!

Emily Pierce spent several years working in the WWAARC Day Habilitation program before making the move to Vocational Counseling. Her passion and drive for excellence has raised the bar for everyone who works in the department. Her ability to multi-task and still provide her caseload with an exceptional amount of attention is a reminder to us all that even on our busiest days, the individuals we serve have to be our top priority. In her free time, Emily enjoys going to the beach and seeing her favorite bands.

Michael Cole also joined the Vocational Counseling team after spending time on the production floor as a WSI. Mike is very passionate and this passion reflects positively on the individuals he works with. Spend any time with Mike and you’ll know immediately how much he cares for those we serve. No task is too big or small for Mike and his devotion to the job at hand and the individuals we serve means he rarely has a moment to sit back and relax. Mike likes to spend his free time in the gym, lifting, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Samson Dikeman also spent several years working in the Day Habilitation program at WWAARC before coming to work with the Vocational Counseling team. Samson’s experience in the field has proven to be a valuable resource for all those in the Vocational Counseling office. Samson’s capacity for patience and empathy has helped to develop strong trusting relationships with our individuals and their support teams. In his free time, Samson enjoys running and writing creative work.

PR & Development - June 16, 2015

Jennifer McCullough and Michelle Bielawa, work together to keep all of our employees as well as the general public informed of the many wonderful activities, events, and progress of WWAARC. We are happy to bring you your monthly internal publication, “The Grapevine”, as well as the bi-annual public Newsletter, “Connections”. Additionally, we have the pleasure of sending out the “We Are WWAARC” stories so that all get a more personal view of the people behind the work and what motivates us! All WWAARC media press releases, marketing materials and brochures, social media (Facebook) and website content is produced through the PR Department.

The major fundraising activities that support the amazing work of the Foundation Board start with the Development Department – The Annual Golf Outing, 5K and Fall Gala. The planning, sponsorships, and logistics are our responsibility, but these wonderful events would never be as successful as they are without the devotion and hard work of some amazing staff that volunteer to work on the events’ committees!

Our department acts as the liaison to Mito Hope and Help and the Strategic Planning/Communications group. Last, but certainly not least - all NYSARC chapters host an annual Membership Drive which is also the responsibility of the PR and Development Department to oversee. Increased membership means a greater voice in advocacy for the individuals that rely on us every day!

Jen came on board in November of 2013 after volunteering to help at the 3rd Annual WWAARC Fall Gala. When Jen isn’t hanging with her family or watching her daughter in Tae Kwon Do, she enjoys her perennial gardens. A little something you may not know about Jen – she always wanted to pursue a singing career and the closest she ever came was a one year rotation on the juke box at Sadie’s in Albany, NY!

Michelle has been working for the agency for 26 years. The majority of those years were working for the Day Habilitation Program and in January 2015 she joined the PR & Development team. Michelle loves to go camping with her family, work in her gardening and travel. A little known fact about Michelle is that she really enjoys cooking and baking for anyone that is willing to be her guinea pig!! She is always looking for new recipes to experiment with and loves to watch the Food Network!

Community Employment - April 29, 2015

Community Employment provides supports for individuals in their integrated, competitive employment in the community. We provide person-centered services while supporting the individual in gaining independence. Community Employment assists individuals in finding employment through resume building, assistance with applications, interview preparation, as well as outreach to business in our local communities. Once on the job we support through job coaching, travel training, soft skill development and so much more!

We provide our services through ACCES-VR and OPWDD. We support a wide variety of individuals with varying types of employment and support needs. It is an exciting job and we are always on the move. We may assist an individual mastering bagging one minute and meet with an accountant to discuss their work concerns the next.

It’s an incredible moment when you find someone a job and it’s wonderful to look back and see the personal growth they achieve over time. It’s amazing what someone can accomplish when they are believed in.

Finding people with disabilities jobs can be challenging. Our WWAARC Community is one of our best resources. If you know of anyone or any business that would be interested in hiring someone with a disability please feel free to contact David Ortiz our Job Developer 935-4452. Thank you to everyone that has helped find job leads over the years.

Additionally, if you know someone with a disability that could use assistance finding employment in our tri-county area please contact Katie DeMuth, Program Director at 935-4378.

The Training Department - April 17, 2015

The Training Department consists of Theresa Cantz, Tracy Devlin and Tabitha Juneau. We are a mini department that falls under the HR Department umbrella. The most exciting thing happening in the Training Department right now is the new training space in Albany that was recently completed by the Building & Grounds Department! We commissioned some folks to complete artwork for the new space as well .If you haven’t seen it yet, stop by! There are many exciting things the department has been working on. For example, our Supervisory Training Series is continuing with new topics being added every month. We have conducted several Team Building sessions for residences including Granview, Family Support Services and Brandywine as well as a murder mystery for Day Habilitation. The Advocate Panel continues to assist with New Staff Orientation. It consists of four individuals who conduct and discuss person centered topics. Stay tuned…upcoming training will include Yoga being offered in Albany and Core Competencies that we will be rolling out to all DSP’s and Supervisors.

Human Resources Albany & Queensbury - April 7, 2015

Our Human Resources Department is comprised of 10 wonderful staff who are dedicated to providing quality customer service to our almost 900 employees. Happy employees are bound to provide better quality services to our most deserving individuals!

Theresa, Tracy and Tab are all in our Training Dept. These three talented, lively & humorous trainers provide an extremely important function of this agency and continually work to improve and advance training opportunities, both for the enhancement of peoples’ individual goals and to satisfy our long list of compliance objectives. As an employer, we always want to encourage our employees to reach for their dreams, while they assist our individuals in obtaining theirs as well. Theresa wears many hats and also assists supervisors with coaching their staff to success, with many different approaches. People often seek Theresa out for her no-nonsense approach to assisting them in problem-solving.

Kate and Char are our recruiters and also focus on how to retain our employees once we’ve gotten them “on–board”. They work to recruit, interview, offer, hire and retain our employees. They are responsible for, among other items, coordinating all the necessary appointments, meetings, mandatory screenings and getting all the required forms completed – which is no small feat! All while welcoming new staff and communicating with all staff to foster cooperation between departments.

Larry also focuses a great deal on employee customer service, and one of his areas of expertise lies in the world of all things insurance: disability, worker’s comp, liability, voluntary products, etc. Together with Deb Martin, Larry oversees the benefits for all of our employees and they are currently preparing Open Enrollment, with an effective date of 7/1/15. This is a huge annual project, providing important benefits and critical information to our employees.

Lynette and Dawn are very helpful HR Specialists who share a wide variety of tasks, some of which include: HR software (ABRA) entries, tracking many mandated analytical data sheets, assisting employees in getting their concerns solved and also communication with employees, candidates, applicants and outside vendors. They provide the necessary “glue” to hold the other areas of the HR Dept. together and provide consistent thorough communication through phone, email, in person and written forms. They know where most everything can be found and are wonderful gatekeepers of the never-ending new information.

Lisa oversees the department, which is unified between the North and the South. We now use the same forms, procedures, vocabulary and approaches to concerns in all three counties. We hope that this makes HR processes less confusing for our staff. Lisa also assists supervisors in talent management and coaching employees to success, along with the global goals of the department and agency as a whole, such as strategic planning, budgets, staffing, performance management and recruitment/retention strategies.

When you see any of our Human Resources/Training staff, please say hello!

Wing - April 3, 2015

Wing house is located in Fort Edward. It is home to 9 wonderful women. The staff group is made up of Kathleen Laiacona, Jane Egan, Erin Bigelow, Judy Turner, Tammy Sitterly, Beth Barber, Katrina Thibodeau, Andrea Myer, Alice Hay, Dawn Bogardus, Danica Blanchfield , Cyndi Seitz, Thelma Gonzalez, Lauren Squillacioti, Diana Marshall, and Kristen Thompson. Each team member is an active participant in providing quality support to the individuals we serve. Community integration is a large part of the daily lives of the individuals at Wing. This staff group is the definition of team work. “The combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.” One of the best characteristics of the staff who work at Wing is that they measure their success based on helping others to succeed. I’m proud to work with such a dedicated group of individuals.

Warrensburg - March 17, 2015

Warrensburg IRA is home to 4 gentlemen and 5 ladies. The individuals enjoy many activities such as shopping, eating out at our local eateries, getting ice cream in the summer, going out for coffee, picnics, van rides, going to the movies, plus many other outings. Staff do many special things for the individuals at Warrensburg. The ladies of the house enjoy having their nails painted every Saturday by the staff. The staff make this very special for them. In the summer the folks enjoy staff bringing them to the Rec. field to watch the kids play baseball.

We have many wonderful staff at the Warrensburg house. We have 15 full time staff and 5 relief staff. The staff are Amanda Szablewski, Anna Nunez, Andy Palmatier, Danielle Allen, Deanne Abell, Delores Delgiorno, Kevin Papenhausen, Kylie Baker, Melinda Trombley, Michelle Young, Samantha Morehouse, Tamara Stockwell, Laura Eklund, LouAnn Springer, Sarah Kelly, Penny Clark, Margaret Welz, Walter Bassarab, and Kelly Sweet. All of the staff are very caring and work hard to ensure the individuals are happy and well taken care of.

Thank you to all the staff at Warrensburg for all your dedication and hard work! Also thanks to the relief staff for helping to fill our open shifts, it's greatly appreciated!

Second St. - March 3, 2015

Second St. is home to 3 gentlemen, located in a quiet neighborhood in Glens Falls. They enjoy walking in the community, outings to go shopping, sightseeing, going out to eat, etc. They are supported by 4 wonderful staff. They are: Assistant Manager, Cary Thew, Direct Support Professionals Dick Jones, Melissa Sullivan and Quan Dobbs. Each of the staff there directly impacts the individuals every single day. The staff assists them with their needs as well as listening to their wants so that they can make them happen as they are able. The staff truly makes an impact on their lives and put a smile on their faces! It is a joy to work with such a diligent team on people at Second St!!

Sanford - February 27, 2015

Sanford IRA is located in Glens Falls, just a few miles from our Quaker Road office. We have 5 dedicated staff that work with the 3 gentlemen who reside there. Dave Sprague, Pete Roman, Linette Dean, Mark Monroe, and Kim Kelly make up the staff group. The difference between success and failure is a great team. This group is an extraordinary example of that. The strength of the team is in each individual member. They are dedicated to the individuals we serve and to providing them with the highest quality of care. They are exceptional at offering opportunities to the individuals and helping them reach their full potential. This team has been able to achieve wonderful things and I'm proud to have to opportunity to work with them each day.

Regency - February 24, 2015

Regency 10--112 is located in Queensbury and is the home to three great ladies, Kimmy, Lisa, and Linda. The ladies love getting out in the community. They love to eat out and go shopping at Wal-Mart. Kimmy went this past summer with staff to the Mets game. She absolutely loved it.

The staff person at Regency is Eliza Wadsworth. She absolutely loves the ladies that she works with. She has been here for a short time, but is getting the ladies involved in arts and craft and many new outing ideas.

Thank you Eliza for all you do for the ladies! It is appreciated by myself and the ladies who live at Regency!

Rosemont - February 16, 2015

Rosemont is located in Albany only a few minutes away from our Krumkill Rd. site. Rosemont is the home of 8 individuals, 3 ladies and 5 guys. They are Bill. H, Bill. G, Thomas, Danny, Jay, Mary, Christine, and Betty. Everyone enjoys arts and crafts, baking cookies, helping prep meals and going out to dinner. We also love to have parties and decorate the house, visit Build a Bear, go to Stewarts for coffee, have tea time and help one another. In the summer we take long rides into the country, visit the park, go to country concerts, and take walks in the community. The staff at Rosemont is excellent. They take their time with each individual to make sure that every need is met. The staff are Miriam Sowan DSP, Ashley Aarons DSP, Rebecca Godfrey, Assistant manager, Jazmine Edwards Miller DSP, Dylan Schodoar DSP, Tanisha Findley DSP , Nicola King DSP, Larry Warner DSP, and ODaysha Hicks House Manager. Itís a big house but, we make sure the job gets done. I appreciate everything that the staff does because they work so hard to make our individuals happy. I could not ask for a better team!

Orville - February 15, 2015

Orville is located in Glens Falls and is the home of three wonderful gentlemen, Craig, John, and Mike. All three of the gentlemen enjoy many outings. They love to go out to dinner and movies with their friends, traveling for sporting events and shopping at Walmart. In the summer all three usually get a season passes to the Great Escape and spend most of their days there. They are very busy throughout the week.

The staff at Orville is wonderful. They are Brendon Murphy, DSP and Kim Brown, DSP. Brendon has worked at Orville for a couple years and he is a true asset to Orville and to WWAARC. Kim is new to Orville but, she fits in perfectly. She has many strengths, but the most important one is the way she cares about the Orville guys. The way the gentlemen interact with her shows they care for her as much as she cares for them.

Thank you Brendon and Kim for all that you do, it is greatly appreciated.

Ledgeview - February 11, 2015

We are Ledgeview, located right off 149 in Lake George! Ledgeview is home of 3 great guys, and a fantastic lady. Dolores, Michael, Sherwin, and Chris!

The individuals here at Ledgeview enjoy going for van rides, trips to the store for drinks, shopping at Hobby Lobby for lots of arts and crafts, going out to lunch, and catching a movie now and then. In the summer they like to have picnics, go into town, visit the great escape, take a walk in the Ledgeview community, stop at Marthaís for some dessert, and lots more to keep themselves busy!

The wonderful staff at Ledgeview put in so much of their time and care so much about each individual that lives here. The Ledgeview staff are; Kristen Greco (RM), Jenn Brown (ARM), DSP's Olivia Morehouse, Kristi Fleeman, Amanda Introne, Kayla Melendy, and Terry Mabb.

Thank you to all the staff at Ledgeview, for all your dedication and†hard work! Also thank you to the relief staff, and staff from other houses that have been helping to fill our open shifts, itís greatly appreciated! -Jenn Brown

Pearl - February 3, 2015

73 Pearl Street is located in the Village of Hudson Falls and is the home of four wonderful gentlemen. Robert, Ted, Kevin and Brian are supported by their staff Lewis Humiston, Shawn Horning, William Middleton, Zachary Viele and Curtis Zwirz. The staff go above and beyond to help support the guys and ensure that their wants and needs are met day after day. The guys at Pearl very much enjoy going out into the community with their staff, including shopping at the Aviation Mall, purchasing CD's and DVD's at FYE, going to WWE wrestling, other local amateur wresting events, country music concerts at SPAC and the Times Union Center, concerts at the local park and Adirondack Flames hockey games at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Most importantly these staff members help the guys stay in contact with their families, and the guys are very much appreciative of that.

It is a pleasure working with such caring people.

Thank you Lewis, Shawn, Will, Zach and Curtis for all that you do!

Meadowbrook - January 28, 2015

1-107 Meadowbrook is located in Regency Park Apartments. It is the home to John Kirker and David Maki. Both of the guys are welcoming and friendly.

The staff that work with John and Davey are just as wonderful as they are. Harry is the FT awake overnight. Harry encourages John’s participation in helping him complete the vehicle/house inspections. It is nice to have John’s reminders to have areas of concerns timely addressed. Harry is (very deservingly) well liked and respected. Wendy is the PT awake overnight. Prior to working with John, she actually cared for one of John’s elderly family members. Wendy seems to have much in common with the guys. She researches old TV movies to challenge Davey in TV trivia on the nights she works. Both of the overnights come into work with a nightly snack prepared by John and the books all set out to be reviewed. John takes pride in helping to keep all the staff well informed.

The two evening staff are Casey and Marissa. Since they have both transferred to 1-107 Meadowbrook there has been a noticeable increase in community outings. They are both very motivating to the guys, and the guys enjoy spending time with them. They encourage lots of choices and independence. They promote relationships and friendships, and they are respectful. Casey and Marissa should be proud of the nice things Davey and John say about them.

The guys (as do I) can depend on the 1-107 Meadowbrook staff. I am lucky to work with such dedicated, hard working employees. 1-107 Meadowbrook staff’s #1 priority is the guys’ happiness and safety!

Cottage Hill - January 19, 2015

The Cottage Hill ladies are very busy!! Mary, Marianne, Jody, Tara and Patty enjoy drama, Special Olympics bowling, swimming and track & field, taking walks, visits to Moreau State Park, crafts, baking, horse driven sleigh rides, throwing parties, vacations and camping at Camp Wilton with staff. The Cottage Hill staff is kept very busy supporting the many exciting adventures of these wonderful ladies! Recently, they have experienced lean-to camping at Long Lake, visits to the John Dillon campground and Tupper Lake Wildlife Center. Tara has even gone cross country skiing with the staff and is looking forward to doing it again!

A special thanks goes to our Cottage Hill staff – Kathleen, Pat, Kelly, Maureen, Casie, Elissa and Tori for making every day as special as possible for these ladies!

Mariette - January 14, 2015

There are 5 extremely amazing individuals who reside here. There's definitely NEVER a dull moment here at Mariette from their singing and dancing to their great sense of humor. These extremely unique individuals will definitely keep you entertained. Don't be mistaken, these four guys and one Diva will surely show you, life only gets better after 50!!!

Here at Mariette we are one big family. The amazing staff make sure to keep it that way! No matter what, their dedication is never doubted. They go above and beyond to give these guys the best quality of life as possible and promoting their independence every step of the way.

So one day when you’re not busy and in town, come on over and visit us here at Mariette... I promise it'll be worth your while!!

Manor at Regency - January 7, 2015

Here at 4-103 Regency in Queensbury, NY we have 2 great gentlemen that live here. Terrance Campbell and Patrick Denier. Both Patrick and Terrance are extremely active in the community. Both of the gentlemen participate in the APT theatre group, and love prepping for their yearly production. You can always find Terrance and Patrick supporting their local sports teams. Whether it be hockey, basketball, football or baseball. If you’re lucky you can catch Patrick performing karaoke at the Blue Moose. Sometimes your even lucky enough to catch Terrance performing too!! These two are both fun loving guys who keep the staff here on their toes. There are 6 wonderful staff that work with these two gentlemen. They are Jennifer Hunt, Debbie Backus, John McEachron, Amy Witherbee, Lynn Hayes and Sandy Fredette. The manager is Laura Lunt. So if you are ever up around our neck of the woods stop by and visit. We love company!!!

Kent Street - December 29, 2014

Welcome to Kent Street!!! Here, at Kent, lives 3 wonderful individuals that are very special and unique in their own way. They enjoy many different hobbies like crocheting, listening to music, playing on the computer and even cooking meals off of the menu. We have a married couple that resides upstairs and one individual that resides downstairs. They all love participating in many different activities from bowling to bingo and even going to work at workshop each and every day. We also have one individual that resides at Kent that has recently gone on her own and acquired an outside community job! The guys at Kent are really a great group of individuals to work with. There is NEVER a dull moment.

So let’s not forget the AMAZING staff that go above and beyond to make sure that everyone’s needs and concerns are met, while allowing them to be as independent as possible. The staff is always there to reassure them that they are there to help and assist them with whatever they are concerned about.

We are so lucky to have such wonderful staff!

Jerome Ave. - December 20, 2014

Jerome is located in Queensbury , NY right behind Crandall Park. It is home to seven wonderful young men and women who love shopping at the local mall, the Great Escape and walking around Lake George in the summer. The individuals are supported by 12 regular staff and 3 regular relief staff. Jerome Ave staff are very dedicated and go over and beyond to ensure the individuals’ wants and needs are met on a daily basis. The best way to describe the staff and individuals is by the name of the home.

 

 

Gentry - December 14, 2014

Gentry, located off of Bay Road in Queenbury, is home to four wonderful ladies, Michelle, Jennifer, Frances and Shelly.

The staff that have the pleasure of working with these ladies are Melissa Allen (RM), Jodie Pude (ARM), and DSP's Laurie Elbert, Eliza Wadsworth, Pam Monroe, Diane Reed, and Stephanie Switser. The staff at Gentry have nearly a combined total of 40 years making "A Respectful Commitment" to the folks we serve at WWAARC.

The ladies at Gentry like to keep themselves busy all year long and have a tradition of going on the Minnie HA-Ha boat ride every summer. Other activities include going to movies, picnics in various parks, shopping, visiting museums, and going to the Wood Theater. The ladies like to give back to the community also. Last spring they baked cookies, made crafts to sell and walked to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.

Thank You to all the staff at Gentry for all of your hard work and dedication! You all really make a positive difference in the lives of four very special ladies !

Ft. Anne - December 3, 2014

Fort Ann is a small town at the edge of the Adirondacks, about 15 minutes from Lake George, and the Ft Ann IRA is home to eight of the most special folks that you’ll ever meet! There are twelve of us lucky enough to be permanent staff at Ft Ann: Rose, Kadi, Carol, Melissa, Blair, Kayla, Bonnie, Marsha, Taylor, Tabitha, Candi, and Kathie, as well as several very dedicated relief staff: Roger, Kara, and Allison. We are also lucky enough to have a few other relief staff visit us from time to time, which we appreciate so much. Like it says on our bulletin board, we are thankful for the Ft Ann folks, thankful for them having us into their home, and thankful for the friendship and smiles they share so freely!!

Galesville - December 3, 2014

Hello from the Galesville IRA. Galesville is located in a small town (Greenwich) in Washington County. The three residents that live here enjoy being close (within an hour) to area attractions while still living in a small quiet town. Kellie, Patty and Darrin love van rides, concerts and going out to eat. There are six of us that are lucky enough to work full-time here at Galesville; Bridgett Barbur, Desiray Murtha, Michelle Warner, Nicole Nesbitt, Shanone Miller, ARM and Laura Lunt, RM. IF you enjoy smiles and giggles come on out and see us sometime. Thank you to the wonderful staff at Galesville IRA!

Circular Drive - November 12, 2014

Circular drive is beautiful home located in a quiet neighborhood in Hudson Falls. Nine wonderful individuals live here with the support of a fantastic group of staff: Alex Rosenbrock, Donald Jenks, Ann Necatera, Jennifer Gilles, Caitlin Bell, Beth Morelli, Krystal Westover, Madyson Gregoire, Annalee Rutty, Breanna Vance, Nathan Braim, Cheyanne Jenkins, along with relief staff Vera Brewer, Linda Harrington and Stan Miller. Each staff member brings their own unique quality to benefit the growing team here at Circular Drive. They work very hard to ensure everyone is happy and healthy. They are a great group of staff to work with and I am glad to be a part of this great new team.

Thank you to the enthusiastic and dedicated staff of Circular Drive!

Candleberry IRA - November 7, 2014

Candleberry IRA is located in Queensbury, NY, only minutes from the West Mountain Ski Center. It is home to five wonderful ladies- each of whom brings life and laughter to the program every single day! These ladies are supported by a staff group of 8 very hard working individuals. Julianne Russell, Kim Park, Lucinda Rosenburg, Diana Monahan, Yuki Landphere, Louise Bardin, Patricia Seratte, and Courtney Hoag. Each staff person prides themselves on being the BEST they can be at supporting the ladies and giving them the power to make their own choices. Their dedication to the ladies and to helping them achieve their goals is inspiring! Their efforts do not go unnoticed and are appreciated beyond measure. I am proud to say I work with a group of individuals so dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of life for each of the individuals we serve!

Gert Lane - November 7, 2014

Gert Lane The Gert Lane house is located in Colonie; the house is occupied by three wonderful and fun loving individuals. The guys love to go out in the community and are always on the go. They enjoy walking in the park, going to the book store and movies, and mini vacations with their staff. The staff at Gert Lane are excellent advocates and are always willing to lend a hand. A big thank you goes out to all the staff at Gert lane!

Meet Beech Street IRA - October 13, 2014

Beech Street IRA is home to three wonderful gentleman, staffed by ARM Amanda Phillips, and DSPs John Canary, Katrina Conte and Mike Corlew. We look forward to welcoming Doug Ploof to the Beech Street Team!

The Beech Street men enjoy going for car rides, making friends at the local Dunkin Donuts, taking trips to farms in Vermont, attending car shows, hockey games and other local events. They are excited to go to Hick's Apple Orchard this month, in addition to other fall fun! Whether on an outing or just hanging out in rocking chairs on the front porch, these gentlemen have smiles for everyone and are always ready to make a new friend.

Henry St. - October 20, 2014

Henry St IRA is home to 4 incredible young men, located in Warrensburg. They enjoy a variety of activities such as visiting the Great Escape, going dancing, bike rides in the area, eating out, garage sales, going up to the ski jumps at Whiteface Mt, sporting events, and one gentleman recently took a scenic airplane ride over the Adirondacks! These individuals are well known in their neighborhood and are very friendly with all that walk or jog by. They can often be seen checking out the latest wood carving made by the next door neighbor!

They are supported by equally incredible staff. Cheryl, the ARM and DSP's "Pete", Robert, Jerry, Casey, Jaz and Tracey. This group works hard to make each of the individuals feel important and valued. They genuinely care for the people we work for and with. There is much laughter heard throughout the house.

Ford - September 29, 2014

Ford is a small house located in Latham and the home of Nikki, Georgianna, and Deb. The staff at Ford is a great team. They take pride in a job well done on a daily basis, and they go above and beyond to make sure the three ladies’ needs are well taken care of. The staff always makes sure the ladies are involved in all decisions. The individuals can always count on their staff to go the extra mile whether it is working an extra shift, working flexible hours, or having the ladies join their family activities. Last month one of the ladies had the opportunity to go camping for a week, which she truly enjoyed. Ford is a great house with a great team! Thank you Ford staff!

Recreation Department - Krumkill Rd - September 23, 2014

The Albany gymnasium at Krumkill Road has been host to several activities supported by the Recreation Department in the first few weeks of September. John Robinson of Our Ability, best known for his motivational and inspiring talks related to overcoming obstacles and disabilities, visited the agency on the 11th for a tour and assembly with our Day-Habilitation participants. Throughout his talk he stressed the message of “being proud with who you are”, and it was evident that our folks were excited to hear his stories by the amount of questions asked and feedback he received.

On Tuesday the 16th we had another group of volunteers fill the gymnasium. 12 seniors from local Voorheesville High School accompanied by their guidance counselor made a return visit to our program. The students worked hand in hand with several Day-Hab groups, painting and creating wall decorations for our October Harvest theme. A few of the students accompanied Recreation staff around the building, playing guitar and singing in our participant’s rooms. These students have volunteered with our Day-Hab program for the past 4 years gaining valuable experience and exposure to our field.

The next few weeks of fall will be filled with group outings to Indian Ladder Farms for apple picking and Liberty Ridge Farms to walk through their famous corn maze and pumpkin patch. Recreation always looks forward to the fall season as this is the most popular time of year for the people we support.

We are so grateful to all of our volunteers for their loyalty, support and enthusiasm!!

the Clerical Department in Albany! - September 17, 2014

If you come into WWAARC Albany location, you will be welcomed by the smiling face of one of our Greeters. This position was created this year and called for someone who could greet our visitors, direct them to meetings, and assist with the mail and light phone duty. Since the start of this position, many people have come to know our Greeters, Zach and Connor. No one gets by them without signing in and getting a visitors badge, and of course, a smile. They have been a wonderful addition to our organization and we are proud to have them here.

Jane, Patty and Vicky are part of the Clerical Department. They assist with many things from sitting at the front desk, doing the daily mail, as well as assisting various departments with clerical help when they need it. We all work together as a great team.

Jane Bassett- Jane has just recently celebrated her 15 year anniversary at WWAARC. Jane assists with many tasks including stamping the daily incoming mail, labeling, sorting, scanning and copying documents for prevocational participants as well as additional tasks assigned. Jane is always happy and willing to do new tasks. Jane is a vital part of our clerical department and we count on her every day.

Patty Corsi- Patty has been with WWAARC for almost 10 years now. Patty is always ready and willing to assist everyone. You can, on many occasions, hear her wonderful laugh and know that Patty must be nearby making people smile. Patty assists with many vital tasks in the clerical department. She handles and distributes mail on a daily basis as well as making sure all the mail gets stamped and sent out. Patty is always willing to assist other departments with their clerical needs, as well as many other tasks she does for the Clerical Department… she is a true team player!

Veronica Dayter- Vicky has been with WWAARC for 16 years. Vicky has been working in the Clerical Department since May of 2014, and has really made a great addition to our team. Vicky assists with many tasks including processing the mail every day, sitting at reception greeting visitors in the afternoon, and assisting other departments when necessary. Vicky is always ready to learn new tasks and lend a hand. We are so pleased that Vicky has joined our clerical department.

Thank you to Zach, Connor, Jane, Patty and Vicky for the great job you do on a daily basis, it is much appreciated!!!!! Sincerely – Anne Marie Aussicker

Corporate Compliance - September 10, 2014

Due to the increasing responsibility of human service agencies to strongly enforce the regulations of federal, state and local government including those issued by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and others, WWAARC continues to focus on ensuring that its Corporate Compliance Department staff are not only immersed with knowing and understanding those regulations and laws that are applicable to our agency, but that they also assist in nurturing the culture of the agency to accept responsibility for following those requirements.

We have a saying in the WWAARC Corporate Compliance Department—the hard side of Corporate Compliance is the emphasis on following the rules and regulations and the soft side of Corporate Compliance is the heart of our culture, the belief and effort to always “Do the Right Thing When No One is Watching”; to address all duties and activities with integrity; to always try to put our best foot forward on behalf of our individuals we support, our families, our staff, our Board of Directors, our community, our vendors and our regulators.

Although we currently have 25 policies in our Corporate Compliance Plan, it is the Code of Conduct that sets the stage for all those who work at WWAARC and for all those associated with our agency. Our Code of Conduct establishes our guiding principles, rules of conduct and values (teamwork, integrity, excellence, respect, stewardship) that permeate the culture of WWAARC. The Code of Conduct serves to enhance our performance as we carry out WWAARC’s Mission:

WWAARC is respectfully committed to providing services, advocating for and offering opportunities to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families; by supporting them in the realization of their fullest potential.

Your Corporate Compliance staffs, Steve Ramos, Corporate Compliance Officer and Deb Kiskis, Director of Corporate Compliance both have many years of experience in the field of Quality Assurance and Corporate Compliance. They are always available to assist you and the people we support in compliance matters—they are only a phone call, email, and/or a visit away!

As a team, Steve and Deb not only focus on surveying our services and programs against the array of regulatory requirements, but they also strive to be “helpers”, “educators”, and “another pair of eyes” to assist WWAARC employees as they tackle the daily demands of the human services field and strive to fulfill our mission on a daily basis. Steve and Deb believe:

“Character is a habit, the daily choice of right over wrong.” Charles McMoran Wilson

Rec Department - September 3, 2014

The Warren-Washington and Albany Counties recreation department at the Queensbury location was developed in March of 2014. Through mainly donations, a bay of the warehouse has been transformed into a recreation area with a full gym, music, art/crafts, game, sports and dance floor. There are daily activities offered that include yoga, dance, Zumba, band, arts/crafts, music, games and sports. Without the incredible volunteers who dedicate their time, these activities would not be as successful as they are.

Krista Sigel who is a QIDP here up North started a dance class as well as teaching Yoga. We now have many dancers out there that can hear a song like “Thriller” and bust out some quick moves. Krista then helps everyone switch gears to release their daily stress in her yoga class.

We then have Tammie LaGuerre and Jason Johnson who started music appreciation nights. It all began with a small jam session with Jason on the guitar, Tammie with a tambourine and everyone grabbing an instrument to join along in the beat. Many of us already knew about Al Posteraro and his drumming abilities, Mike Ibbotson has the beat, and Derick Borst has the rhythm on the bass but Jason brought them all together and a band was formed! They have since performed at an all staff meeting and Vaughn Road picnic with beat rolling along.

BJ Lent as many of you know has many cards up her sleeves when it comes to ingenious ideas for arts and crafts activities. She grabbed the reigns and put arts, crafts and now ceramics into the books as a highly desired night during the week. A local woman who had a ceramics studio recently retired and donated all of her equipment and supplies to WWAARC.

And then there is Zumba. Thanks to Jaime Sutherland and Vicki Solimanto, we found Kait Gecsedi, a certified Zumba instructor who volunteers her time. Kait offers a high energy Zumba class weekly that everyone looks forward to not only for exercise but for laughter and fun! The Maintenance Department was able to work with Curtis Lumber to build a new dance floor that provides the space for the dance, yoga and Zumba classes. Tony Gifford and Russ Cooper did an outstanding job installing this.

Rob Gimmler, WWAARC Maintenance staff, started all the seeds for this year’s garden in his own greenhouse and donated them. KeyBank prepared the space for us, LaCrosse Street and Maple Street day habs weeded/watered/tended to the garden all summer. We have hopes of obtaining a greenhouse of our own next year to kick the garden into a different gear. Stop on by the office to get some fresh veggies with all profits going to the recreation area. We also have Laura Ferris from Wax ‘n Wix candle m

We also have Laura Ferris from Wax ‘n Wix candle making in Lake George come in every few months for anyone that wants to make a beautiful scented candle for $7 each. Each week a listing of local activities and events is sent out to let everyone know what is going on in the Warren-Washington Counties area. Pet therapy is on the list to be started at the residences and yoga in the residences for our individuals to enjoy is being offered weekly at the Granview residence with a certified instructor, Courtney Martindale volunteering in leading the class. There are hopes to eventually add music therapy as well.

We’ve also had trips to Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Tri-City Valley Cats, boat cruises and beyond. With the efforts of our residential, day program and recreation staff down in Albany these trips made for great memories for all that attended.

Preliminary plans have also been started to create a Sports Complex out back of our office on Quaker Road which will be the home of a softball field, volleyball courts and bocce ball pits to start. The recreation department is also in talks with the local BOCES to create a nature/walking trail on the property as well. There are fishing charters, NFL, NBA, NHL, Broadway shows, whale watches, zoo trips and whatever other ideas come along on the horizon. Keep your eyes open!

If you have any questions or suggestions for Doug Ernenwein, Director of Recreation, you may reach him at (518) 615-9820, cell at 791-9120 or by email at dernenwein@caparcny.org. He also welcomes donations of any kind to enhance the recreation experience he is developing!

Brandywine location - August 24, 2014

The Staff at Brandywine is truly a wonderful team. You may have met some of them helping out in other houses in need. They help provide care from our Warren Washington houses to our Ravena houses. They provide quality care to 7 individuals who live in four separate apartments. The staff have facilitated numerous opportunities and outings from church to bingo and family get togethers with others we provide care to within our families of WWAARC. This make us a whole. They love to travel - last year they went to Disney World. Last month we visited Sea World in Boston, MA., took in some baseball games, movies and the Altamont Fair. On holidays we love getting together for cookouts and also family dinners on Sunday. We will be going whale watching in September. We recently had a wedding in our program and the two individuals moved into their own supervised apartment. May the blessing of God forever hold their love together as they enjoy the honeymoon “sweet” of marriage. Jim and Mindy may have left Brandywine but they come back home every Sunday for dinner and the love that staff provide here at Brandywine. As we know, it’s easy to leave but very hard to say goodbye. Over the past few months, the staff have been very flexible with their schedule and providing coverage to both Brandywine and other programs in the agency. There is one thing I can say about us here at Brandywine; “We love our job.” Most of all, we truly love the people we take care of! That’s a TEAM with a whole lot of love. That is BRANDYWINE!

Alfred Street location - August 22, 2014

Alfred Street is a wonderful home that is separated into two apartments. There are three amazing ladies that live in one apart, and three wonderful gentlemen in the other. The staff we have working at this home are truly outstanding. Thomas Hirsch, Raymond Hughgill, Marion MacDonald and Brenda Williams are four of the most dependable, hardworking, and caring people in the agency.

Thomas and Raymond are always willing to lend a helping hand. They make sure that everyone who lives at Alfred receives the individual attention that makes them feel important. They also ensure that everyone has an amazing time on the weekly outings. Raymond recently brought one of the individuals to his favorite place, a sports memorabilia store where the individual got to see and purchase many baseball cards. Thomas is planning a special outing for another individual to a local zoo. Marion and Brenda have been the overnight staff for many years. Through all the changes they have been the two faces that the individuals can count on. They go above and beyond to ensure the safety as well as the happiness of the individuals they serve. They are looked at more as family then staff to the people living at Alfred. We would like to thank each and every one of you for all the hard work and dedication you have given to Alfred Street along with the joy you bring to the people who live there.

Schoolhouse location - August 11, 2014

Schoolhouse is located right of exit 19 in Queensbury. Schoolhouse is a home to 3 wonderful ladies Sonja, Bonnie, Anne and the attack cat Lucy! The ladies like to stay active in the community. Most days you're not going to find them home. They enjoy shopping , dining out and the library. Just about every Friday afternoon you can find them hanging out at the office doing Art's and Craft's. Two of the ladies go to a local Church every Sunday and have been for the last 7 years.

Schoolhouse also has three wonderful staff that I'm honored to work with - Margaret, Laura and Stephanie.

 

 

 

MSC Queensbury location - August 8, 2014

The Warren Washington and Albany ARC’s Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) department in Queensbury is proud of their staff longevity racking up a combined total of 89 years with the agency. Here are introductions to those staff that have dedicated so many years to serving people:

Carol Andrews: best described as a caring, strong advocate that is reliable, optimistic and a great listener. When she isn’t working she might be found dining on a gourmet meal that her chef husband whipped up or curling up with a good book and glass of wine.

Dalia Koons: is a very knowledgeable MSC who has much experience with school age individuals advocating for their needs, she is someone that gets the job done and done well, and relates extremely well with all that she works with. She is as dedicated to her family and values time spent with her them as they grow.

Julie McDermott: despite being busy with her 2 teenage children and their activities she can be found helping out at the agency fun run. Her positive upbeat attitude coupled with her great sense of humor keeps us all laughing. Julie has handled some very difficult cases competently and although that consumed a great deal of her time still manages to do an excellent job meeting the needs of everyone on her caseload . She is well liked by all her people and treats them with a great deal of respect.

Beth Centerbar: a great advocate is an understatement when it comes to describing Beth. She will fight for those things that are in the best interest of the people she works with. Even with this strength her compassion for peoples’ needs shines through when they need her support. Beth balances work with her family of 2 handsome boys, her husband and grandson.

Shannon Ballard: the newest member of our MSC family (little over a year) came to us with experience as an MSC with another agency. She took on many of the individuals that live in State Operated homes and has gotten to know their systems very well. Shannon has a great sense of humor. Outside of work when she isn’t moving she is very involved with her family.

Chris “Teen” Utter: bears the role as MSC supervisor that supports the above team members however they might need support. When she is not working she can be found volunteering with Special Olympics, dancing or coaching swimming.

We currently provide MSC to 256 individuals ranging from 3 years old to individuals in their 90’s! We serve people in Warren, Washington and Saratoga Counties doing what we can do to strive for the highest quality of life each one can attain. The MSC assists with connecting the individual to necessary and appropriate services in the community to enhance the quality of their life and to ensure their safety. We work very closely with families to assist them with caring for their loved one at home. For those individuals ready to make a life for themselves the MSC can assist in looking for the right living opportunity. Some services we have assisted families with include securing funding for safety alarms in their home, fences to keep little ones safe , portable ramps, and outdoor play set for fun in the safety of their own yard. MSC’s apply for many family support grants with other agencies as well as our own to assist families with the cost of someone providing care in the home, with the cost for their children to partake in activities such as swimming, gymnastics, and horseback riding. We also assist families and individuals with applying for and maintaining their benefits.

There is a story from The Sower’s Seeds by Brian Cavanaugh that goes something like this. There is a youth walking along the beach picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. A man comes up to him and asks him why. The youth responds that if he didn’t the starfish would die if left in the morning sun. The man replies, “But the beach goes on forever and there are millions of starfish. How can your effort make any difference?” With that the youth looks at the starfish in his hand, throws it to the safety of the ocean and says, “It makes a difference to this one.” MSC is that youth on the beach making a difference one person at a time despite the challenges and difficult situations they may encounter along the way.

Carol, Dalia, Julie, Beth and Shannon make differences everyday in people’s lives just as the people they work with make a difference in their lives. Their dedication and loyalty to WWAARC is greatly appreciated and valued!

Albany MSC - August 1, 2014

The Warren Washington and Albany ARC’s Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) department in Albany consists of Shannon Milack, Director of MSC and 6 MSC’s; Sarah Aison, Denise DeSeve, Stefanie Holcomb, Nicole Palma, Don Pitts, and Mary Poland. We currently provide MSC to 229 individuals ranging from 3 years old to individuals in their 80’s! We serve people in Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Greene counties.

The MSC, in collaboration with the individual’s team, develop, implement and maintain the individual's life plan. They also advocate in all areas of their life, especially in the two main areas of protecting and upholding personal rights and ensuring that the living environment is safe.

The MSC assists with connecting the individual to necessary and appropriate services in the community to enhance the quality of their life and to ensure their safety. We work very closely with family members as well to assist them with caring for their loved one at home. For example, we have assisted families with securing funding for their homes to be modified with wheelchair ramps, walk in showers, and fences for kids who wander. MSC’s apply for many local agency grants to assist families with the cost for their children to partake in activities such as swimming, gymnastics, and Tae Kwon Do. We also assist families with applying for and maintaining their benefits.

Although there are many challenges and difficult situations that come with being a MSC, there is also a sense of satisfaction knowing we are able to make a difference in someone’s life. Sarah, Denise, Stefanie, Nicole, Don and Mary are all hard working MSC’s and I appreciate all of their hard work and their dedication to the individuals they work with!!!

Chelsea Square - July 22, 2014

Chelsea Square is home to Laurie, Mary, Dee, Casey ... and the beloved cat, Sasha. It is located on an adorable cul-de-sac in Hudson Falls. They are a wonderful group of fun and active ladies. They enjoy participating in lots of community activities. They helped me prepare this article, and these are some things they wanted you to know about them:

Laurie: Nothing is more important to her than her family (they love her unconditionally), her cat (that loves to get out) and coffee!! She is very proud of her new job at WWAARC! She has a good sense of humor and enjoys using it on/with staff!

Mary: She is helpful to staff. She is an excellent swimmer and won a lot of medals recently at the state competition. She's glad that she moved to Chelsea. She loves visiting her mom and her aunt. She is funny, quiet sometimes and a good person.

Dee: She loves her sleep!! She likes ordering from Avon and using her CVS discount card. She always smells nice. She is kind and helpful to the staff and her housemates.

Casey: She loves going to Sweet Frog and Friendly's. She cannot resist a good (or not so good) joke. She is very intelligent and a math whiz. She LOVES living at Chelsea. "Ever since I moved to Chelsea my life has turned around for the better"! Sometimes she dresses like a cheeseburger!!

I am truly blessed to be a member of the Chelsea family. No matter how bad the day or how rotten a mood the Chelsea ladies can always make you feel better!! Thank you to the dedicated Chelsea staff who are all committed to ensuring the ladies' happiness every day! The ladies love to have visitors (especially those who make them peanut butter and chocolate chip pancakes) so please stop by anytime to say "HI"!!! I promise you will leave with a smile.

Thank you Lori Centerbar!

Meet Maynes Avenue - July 14, 2014

Meet Maynes Avenue. This is a picture that captures the love of Sue and Carol (two of the ladies who live in this home) along with the staff they refer to as “Ma”.
Lucia Lamadine is a full-time staff member who has worked with the ladies since the house opened 7 years ago- the ladies in the house have developed such a close relationship with Lucia that they often refer to her as “Ma”. Lucia and the other staff at Maynes are long-term, dedicated staff. They always promote independence and quality of living and consider the individuals to be part of their family. This can be seen by anyone who steps foot into our program. All of the staff go above and beyond to ensure that the ladies are always engaged in preferred community activities. The ladies have special trips this month to Tampa Florida and to the Atlantic City Casino. The staff at Maynes ensures that when planning anything, they take a person-centered approach to ensure that it is something the ladies will truly enjoy. The ladies are active members of the community and are well known in local churches, bowling leagues and shopping plazas. The ladies enjoy living here and report a sense of comfort and feel safe and happy in their home.
Thank you to our wonderful staff at Maynes, for all that you do every day!

Aiken Road - July 7, 2014

Twelve fantastic folks live at Aiken Road. They are mostly non-verbal and require lots of attention and tender loving care which is provided to them by the wonderful staff at Aiken Road. It takes some great observation skills on the part of the staff to be able to read the non-verbal folks and figure out what their needs may be. The seasoned staff here have those great observation skills and are happy to provide training to the new staff coming in to be able to learn those same skills. Teamwork is a huge necessity in this house. Cheryl and Diane are the two assistant managers who train and supervise the staff, do direct care as needed and help the resident manager with her duties. These two are invaluable and wear many hats during their shifts. They also help to plan outings for the folks to enjoy. Scott, Kilene, Kaye, Pam Edrass, Alice, Tina, Jen(med person), Cathy(cook) are seasoned staff who have worked here for some time. New to our team are RaBecca, Terese, Dixie and Theresa(Traci). Relief staff(which it would be very hard to survive without) are Sandy Waite-Jones, Deb Zervas and Richelle Wooddell.

Staff take the folks to open air concerts in Granville during the summer, Time Union Concerts, SPAC and the Civic Center. Picnics at the parks are going to be planned for the summer as are outings to Lake George, and possibly some surrounding farms. Our folks seem to love to look at nature and all kinds of animals. You might drop into Aiken and see one of our folks in a swing on the front porch or some folks on the back deck enjoying the sun. Robert spent some time recently lying on a blanket on the lawn enjoying the warm weather. Scott accompanied Charlie to a Mets game in NYC and Charlie seemed to be in Heaven. Movie outings are enjoyed by some of the folks, and they all love to go out to eat and shop. Frank and Joe even enjoyed dinner at Hooters last year with Jen and another staff. Fun is a very important part of what this staff provides to our folks along with working diligently on their goals with them, accompanying them on med appointments and providing great care.

Sandy helps the folks plant vegetables and flowers and helps them take care of them and to harvest the veggies when they are ready.

You often see different staff taking our folks outside to walk around the house, look at the bunnies and sometimes deer or turkeys in the yard. Frank makes sure the birds get fed with staff assistance of course.

Leanne is the RN at Aiken. She is new to our house but has been doing a fantastic job and is learning every thing there is to know about our folks. What a great asset she is to Aiken.

Overall, Aiken has great staff to take care of great folks and I feel honored to be the Residential Manager here.
Vicky Fifield

Alma House - July 3, 2014

Alma is located in the village of Hudson Falls on a quiet street where we know all of their neighbors. Brian, Brett, George and Scott and 9 wonderful DSP's all love spending time together going out on picnics, going fishing, listening to music and even just enjoying each others company. The staff encouraged and supported the guys in participating in a fund raiser/walk this spring to help find a cure for Alzheimer's. Brian and Scott wanted to attended the Yankee's game staff came in to ensure the trip was memorable. The staff accompany the guys on their favorite outing of van rides. The summer season has brought us out to parades, Crandall park (with the ladies of Gentry), and to Lake George. If you see us out and about stop and say hi! Please give the staff a little pat on the back for doing such a wonderful job, I know they would say it is their pleasure. The guys and staff are looking forward to many more adventures!

Thank you to all of the Alma staff and staff that help out at Alma for making this home such an enjoyable place work!

LeFevre House - June 23, 2014

Shown in the photos, staff members Kelli Moore and Bethany Lasch made our trip to the zoo exciting and fun by engaging the individuals with petting and feeding the animals. They made sure the individuals we serve had a memorable experience, with lots of laughter and education mixed in. A Big Thanks to them for making that day special J The Lefevre House is called home for 8 great individuals. They like to stay active in the community by enjoying mall shopping, dining out at various restaurants, music by the river, local fairs, concerts and plays, movies at the cinemas, and relaxing at the library with a good book. We also like to picnic in season at area parks and just recently started our own baseball team which gets both residents and staff involved…What fun! . Thank you to ALL LeFevre staff for enriching the lives of the ladies and gentlemen we serve each and every day!

Family Support Services - June 16, 2014

The Family Support Service program is made up of multiple programs and enrollment is constantly fluctuating. We currently serve just under 200 people between the Free Standing Respite Center's weekend and school break programs, Community Habilitation, In Home Respite, Sunday Recreation and Respite Reimbursement. We are lucky to have some very committed and creative staff who work hard across the board in each of our programs and even some of yours!

We have two amazing ARMs – Kiersten Baldwin and Tealia Mandy. Seven dedicated DSPs – Branden Aird, Karesha Brown, Kerri Driscoll, Vallie Konnight, Nichele Long, Stephanie Mastrodomenico and Jade Flewelling (Soon to be welcoming Richelle Greenough currently in training!). Five great Relief staff – Yvonne Crannell, Danielle Holcomb, Heather Lampmon, Amy Powers and Laura Schidzick. And a very busy mini team J – Chrissy Shumate RPD, Mary Beth Schaefer RN, Jaime Southerland ABS and Deb Sliva QIDP

I am quite proud of our team and am very lucky to be able to come to work here every day! J
Thank you!! Thank you!!
Carly Perry, Director of FSS

We are the Ridge Team!! - June 2, 2014

We have 10, very active and independent gentlemen, with the staff to match their enthusiasm for life. Together, we are one large, happy family. Over the last year we have been enjoying going to Yankee's games, NYC and going to local garage sales (anything for a Bargain!). Everyone has a special place at the house and it would not be the same team without each of our staff members.

Travis - Travis has been the Manager of Ridge Street for over a year now. He brings great dedication and commitment to the guys that live at Ridge and to the team!

Alyssa - Creates a fun, organized, enthusiastic environment.

Kevin – Has an outstanding commitment to the gentleman. He has worked at Ridge for 6 years!

Lindsey – Our professional baker, who makes delicious, custom cakes for all birthdays.

Dave – Has a very calm demeanor and is very supportive to people in need. He can diffuse any situation!

Mark – Always focused on what's in the best interested of the guys.

Mike – Focuses his attention individually, providing special 1:1 trips in the community.

Nina – Brings positivity, humor and camaraderie to the house.

Jim – He has an innate ability to connect to the gentlemen to opportunity. For instance, contacted a personal friend and received a signed picture of Jason Aldean, for Kieghan.

Brad – Is deeply caring and reliable. He focuses his efforts on connecting the guys to their community.

Nick – Is very hardworking and has an incredible work ethic. Nick has formed deep bonds with the many of the gentlemen and is well respected.

Derek – Is very dedicated to providing the guys access to their interests and opportunities. For example, he accompanies Al to his music group, even on his days off.

Of course, we wouldn't be the same without or mini team members, Chrissy, Audrey, Peggy, Lori, Julie, Teen and Jason. I am very grateful to work with co-workers who have the same values and dedication to those we serve. With so much personality, in one house, how could you not want to come visit!

Respectfully,
Travis Solimanto

Meet Western Ave - May 26, 2014

Meet Western Ave
The staff of Western is a wonderful team. The staff have facilitated numerous opportunities to do many different outing and provide the 10 individuals who live at Western with different experiences. Just recently the guys enjoyed going to the Times Union Center to see WWE. They also have attended quite a few local basketball games for both college and high school to cheer on local teams.

Over the past few months, the staff have been very flexible with their schedules providing coverage at both the house and hospital ensuring that the individuals have familiar staff with them. The staff just took Sonny to get his fishing license and they are busy making their plans…sounds like they will be fishing the summer away!

We are Argyle | May 19, 2014

We are Argyle IRA. Our residence opened up in January 2014 and it has been a great couple months. We have four gentlemen that live here, Joe, Tom, Brian, and Clarence. All of the individuals are new to WWAARC, so we are learning more about each other every day. The amazing staff have been seeing the gentlemen open up and become part of the Argyle family. The guys are all sports fans, and they love to go to as many sporting events as possible. All of the guys look forward to the beautiful weather where there will be B.B.Q.’s and picnics. We look forward to meeting up with other houses and brainstorming on activities and outings over the summer.

Vivian and Wendy both ARM’S at Argyle always make sure the gentlemen are happy and every need is met 110% Marla DSP, is always looking for new and exciting outings to try with the guys.

Richard is always more than willing to travel for an outing that one of the guys want to do. Argyle also has a terrific Mini-Team, They consist of David Moses PD, Jason Johnson ABS, BJ Lent QIDP, Barb Ellis RN.

Argyle could not be as successful as it is without the help and guidance of Dave and Jason. Their years of service have brought a vast amount of knowledge. Words cannot express how much they give to Argyle as well as the agency as a whole. B.J. is always there to help with Res habs and quickly resolves any issues that are brought to her attention. When Barb is not at the residence, she is only a phone call away to answer any medical question no matter how big or small.

I am truly blessed to be working with all of these individuals……….Adam LaRoe RM

We are the Suportive Living Program | May 12, 2014

Meet SLP!! For those who don't know, SLP is the Supportive Living Program. Between Warren, Washington and Albany counties, we have the honor of working with (currently) 36 amazing individuals who live in their own apartments. We have recently joined forces between North and South. Please get to know us, as we are getting to know each other!! Working with our Queensbury and Glens Falls folks are: Bonnie Bass DSP, Lori Wright DSP, Brandon Parsons ARM, Belinda LaCross Senior ARM. To say that the SLP staff go above and beyond on a regular basis would be an understatement. It is not the exception, it is just the way they are. We are busy doing lots of hard work in SLP, but we always manage to make time for fun!! Sporting events are always a favorite activity (participating and as spectators). Brandon takes opportunities to turn necessary trips into fun outings for as many people as he can, and is a great role model!! Bonnie takes people to dances in Saratoga every other month so they can party down and meet new people! She has a heart of gold and it shows!! Lori is the newest addition to the SLP family and has fit in so much so, that we couldn't imagine SLP without her. She is a ball of energy and keeps everyone laughing when doing many fun activities!! Belinda is the glue that holds SLP together and I don't think the word NO is in her vocabulary!! SLP is a tight- knit team. In the short time that we have been working with out SLP family in Albany, the same things ring true. The passion that the DSPs have for what they do is palpable!! Julie Geleta ARM and Donata Ditoro RM are excited to introduce everyone to the Albany SLP staff.

Meet the DSP’s of Albany’s Supportive Living Program, Jean Adams, Sandy Anselment, Nancy Gretta and Vanessa Threatt, who collectively have over 70 years of experience in this program!!! Through all of their years, amazing things have happened and so many lives have changed.

Now-a-days, we’re preparing for the summer, everyone’s excited for all of summer activities, and we’ve begun to jump-start our fun! At SLP, we periodically do smaller group outings, however the staff do a wonderful job promoting independence, and encourage the individuals to explore their community on their own!

Staff and one of the ladies just returned from an exciting weekend at Turning Stone Casino, cha-ching!!! This past weekend, many of the individuals had a great time at Albany’s beautiful Tulip Festival! A group will be returning to Rydin Hy Dude Ranch in September for their 9th annual trip, yee-haw!! Also coming up is a fun trip to the Automobile Museum in Saratoga as well as Animal Land. We will also be planning our annual brunch cruise on the Captain JP, which brings us on a 3 hour journey down the Hudson River where we all boogie down to the live band after brunch!!

Thank you to everyone at Supportive Living for all of your hard work and dedication! You’re the best!!!!

Thank you all!
Danielle Bushey. Senior RM

Please “meet” the staff of Granview Drive… | May 5, 2014

Granview Drive is honored to have Patricia DeRidder, Derik Bartholomew, Ryan Park, Michael Hilder, Carmen Leduc, Nick Parent, Pam Williams, Frances Winchell and Tanice Chesney-Zellars as full-time staff, and Kayla Melendy, Heather Russell, Jenna Kryston, Val Large, Jen Palmer, Will Venner and Mary Murphey as relief staff! This incredible group of people gives their all every day to promote the independence and bliss of the the folks here at Granview. In the past month Granview staff have taken the folks to the Boston Aquarium for a day trip, ice cream outings, trips to Vermont and the Maple Festival in Lake Luzerne. Upcoming we have trips to the Bronx Zoo, Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and one gentleman is going for an overnight vacation to a drive-ins hotel in Vermont!

Every day we strive to have as much fun as possible, and give all of our care to those who reside here. The folks and staff make dinners together, bake cakes together, and help to decorate the house for the holidays. Every Sunday Val brings those who want to attend to church, which is led by Derik. Frances worked with the folks to help them make their own colored chocolate Easter baskets and lollipops to give to family and friends. Her next project with the folks is to recycle their unused clothing into a quilt they will make together--a beautiful wall hanging for Granview Drive! We are also working to put together a barbecue at Granview Drive over the summer--all are welcome to come! (We will pass along more information when we finalize our plans!)

With so much going on, the folks here are never bored, always on the move and enjoying themselves! They are a stellar group of individuals, and we are all thrilled for the chance to be a part of their lives!

Madison and Femminella | April 28, 2014

A big thank you goes out to the staff at Madison and Femminella. They often go above and beyond for the individuals who reside there. Whether it's helping someone participate in away weekend hockey tournaments, visit with family members, attending a variety of different sporting events, trips to the casinos, or in house pool competitions, the staff at these programs ensure that it happens for these guys.

Each of them pull together and work as a team to ensure that the individuals in these programs live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives. We are so grateful to all of our staff for their dedication, hard work and compassion. Attached are pictures of Sean Furlong from Madison and Robbie Myers from Femminella enjoying last weekend’s Yankees game.

Family Support Services - Drop In Center | April 17, 2014

Family Support Services - Drop In Center at Krumkill Rd.

Bernice Hopkins, program director of Family Support Services in Albany, has had the unique pleasure of watching the Drop In Center Program grow and flourish over the years. The program initially began as a service provided for 2 hours every other week with only 6 people participating. Demand quickly grew and the drop in center became available to participants Monday through Friday in 2004 with occasional weekend hours. In 2007, services expanded to include a special program to work with individuals with behavioral issues - addressing the need to help the individuals manage behaviors so that they may continue to participate with peers in activities and community events.

Today Bernice is honored to be working with Yvonne Adams, Samantha Bailey, Adam Czarnick, Todd Garrett, Katrina King, Justin McCafferty, Gordon McDaniels, Debra Stiles, Virginia Taber, Andre Carr, and Darlene Goodwin.

The staff has become a family, working together for years. On Thursdays in the Summer, the program participants volunteer to work Alive at Five in Albany! Before they leave, the staff make them dinner, they all sit together to discuss the day, what they might expect at the event, how to handle difficult situations that may arise, and any other concerns the individuals may have. The family members of the participants have been invited in by the staff twice per year for dinner to sit down and discuss how the program is going, what changes they may like to see take place, and what is working well. The drop in center is a true family atmosphere - the individuals, their families, and the staff have grown and learned from each other over the years. Thank you to the staff of the Albany Drop In Center for a job very well done!

The staff at Vaughn Rd | April 10, 2014

The staff at Vaughn Rd. does everything and anything possible to make our guys shine! We want that pride, recognition, and the memories that last a lifetime - not just for our staff but most definitely for those we serve through the whole agency.
At first, the guys here at Vaughn were skeptical about dressing up for the theme of the St. Patrick's Day Dance. Then, when they heard we were tie-dying T-shirts, they wanted to participate. They saw the staff dressing up and having a ton of fun. The contagious feeling soon filled the entire house. As we are heading out the door, we know there are no contests for the most spirit, no prizes or incentives, but the smiles on the faces of the guys who willingly dressed up due to the enthusiasm of the staff was priceless! That is what the staff at Vaughn Road aim for!! That is what makes our jobs worth while! A big THANK YOU to the guys at Vaughn for letting our staff be part of their everyday living, from bright and sunny days to a little cloudy at times. Every day at Vaughn is nothing less than AMAZING!!!

Thank you Vaughn Road staff! We are so lucky to have you!

The staff at Commodore | April 3, 2014

The staff at Commodore go above and beyond. They value each of the individuals’ independence and ensure that they make their own decisions, so that they live a healthy and fulfilled life. They consider the individuals’ families. The staff does an excellent job with getting the guys involved in the community. When speaking to the individuals at the house they say - the staff that work with them are the best and they take them to all the events that they want to go to.

Please join me in extending a big thank you to Ben Aoumeur, Greg Barthelemy, and Latisha Jones for a job very well done! Our staff at Commodore have a combined total of 34 years of excellent service.
We appreciate all that you do!!.