Helping America's Most Vulnerable

2016 Employee Awards

from the Inspirational Fiesta

Below are June's words as she gave out the Outstanding Employee awards for 2016 at the Inspirational Fiesta.

The Maud and Ballington Booth Award 2016 #1

The Maud and Ballington Booth Award recognizes someone who consistently demonstrates our agency's values: faith, integrity, innovation, collaboration and passionate, engaged talent. Their work, loyalty and dedication exemplify our mission and inspire others. The nominees must have been employed for at least one year.

This is how many of you described this 2016 Maud and Ballington Booth Award winner:

When I think of the person who best exemplifies what Maud and Ballington Booth envisioned 120 years ago, I think of Greg Drake. Maud and Ballington's belief was that 'whatever the problem, Volunteers of America would be flexible in their awareness of problems or emergencies, and quick to act toward solving them." As a maintenance person, we think of this in the literal definition of Greg's job. He must be flexible because he could be called day or night for a maintenance emergency, he is expected to work quickly to solve the problem so there is little impact or displacement on the person having the emergency and when he leaves they are better off than when he arrived. But what makes Greg unique is how he embraces what VOA is and the Mission of Volunteers of America in his work.

Greg is a Maine-ah who traveled around the country for work before coming back to Maine to retire and to care for his ailing mother until her death. He says he wasn't really looking for work but saw an ad for a maintenance position at Miller Square in Bangor and thought it would keep him from being bored and that he could make a positive impact on the seniors living here by helping take care of their maintenance needs…and what a positive impact he has made, but not just for the seniors of Miller Square. Greg makes an impact on all of the residents and clients he serves and all the staff and peers he works with across VOA programs. Regardless of what else is on his plate, he makes us feel that whatever he is doing in that moment and whomever he is doing it for is most important. Whether he is doing regular maintenance for one of the housing properties or at the Northern Maine Regional Reentry Center, making the buildings safe for new IRT North clients and staff, moving furniture, cooking at Camp POSTCARD, mentoring and supervising Reentry Volunteers, or putting up a picture for an elderly resident, he never fails to demonstrate the best of VOANNE. He is always there for each one of us VOANNE managers in the Northern properties and programs and we are always better off once he arrives.

Greg Drake, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the 2016 Maud and Ballington Booth Award.

The Maud and Ballington Booth Award 2016 #2

This is how many of you described this 2016 Maud and Ballington Booth Award winner:

Patti Hamilton has been employed at Volunteers of America for seven years. Throughout her time at VOA, Patti has worked at Sawyer Street and currently now at Brackett Street. She is a dedicated, compassionate and extremely hard working individual. She is the person whom all her co-workers look to for support with their paperwork, as she is organized and one of the best multi-taskers. Patti is always willing to support the program by picking up an extra shift, come in early, or stay late. She is a joy to be around and has an uplifting personality and a 'permanent' smile on her face. Brackett Street is lucky to have her.

Patti is a very conscientious and caring woman, and this shows in everything she does at Volunteers of America. She is always moving, working on paperwork that is vital for the clients to maintain their living in the houses they are in, and works hard to get the clients involved in their own treatment and goals whatever they may be at any given time. Patti does not shy away from the hard situations with clients, she sits with them and works with them through any issues they may have. Patti brings a smile to work every day and is a joy to work with.

Patti Hamilton, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the 2016 Maud and Ballington Booth Award.

The Maud and Ballington Booth Award 2016 #3

This is how many of you described this 2016 Maud and Ballington Booth Award winner:

Sharon Jordan's a hard worker and a good team leader.

We were hired around the same time, a few years ago. She has always been there for staff, even before becoming our Team Leader. She is very supportive, always does her best to accommodate staff's needs. She always puts a smile on her face even when things are going rough.

Sharon is an amazing part of the team and always has her peers' back with scheduling.

She has an eye for detail – ensuring the best care for our clients. She is thorough and takes her time. Clients are happy when they are scheduled with Sharon; they appreciate her — we all do.

Sharon is the team leader at IRT South, a title that she does not hold lightly. Sharon goes above and beyond her responsibilities as the IRT team leader. She is often the 'go to' for extra support and guidance, for an update on med changes and client mental status, and for scheduling help.

She is dedicated to the clients whether she is punched in or not. Sharon is always learning; reading about new medications and mental health studies, current events and funding/or lack thereof. She is fascinated with the work VOA does. The newsletters, prayers and Facebook posts are not just 'clutter' to her. She is the employee who runs around and tells everyone all the exciting things that VOA does.

Sharon goes over and above on a daily basis. She always has a positive attitude. It is obvious to everyone who works with her that she truly cares about her job and her co-workers. IRT South is very blessed to have her on staff.

I recently started to work at VOA. Sharon went out of her way to make me feel as comfortable and confident with my job as possible. She always has a positive attitude and motivates us all to do the best we can. Her enthusiasm and work ethic really inspires me to keep a positive state of mind and be patience. Although I am new, I really don't know and don't want to know how my work life at VOA would be without Sharon and her unconditional support and guidance!

I've never met someone who is dedicated in not only making sure clients are well taken care of, but also makes sure that staff at IRT are happy.

Sharon Jordan, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the 2016 Maud and Ballington Booth Award.

The Building Bridges Team Award 2016

They say the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With this award, we look to celebrate individual employees who have reached outside of their own programs to form teams OR teams within programs that worked on a project together.

Our maintenance team is fantastic. Any interaction I have had with them shows me their dedication to our programs, our residents, our clients and to their co-workers.

Julie Staires has formed a strong team of hard-working individuals who are willing to go the extra mile with a smile. Fixing a ceiling, replacing lights, washing and waxing floors, moving furniture, vacuuming, repairing, helping with move in and move out at Camp POSTCARD – they take on every task with humor and dedication.

The IRT North Program became a reality in November 2015. We have quickly grown to house five clients, and our success could not have been possible without constant support of the amazing maintenance team. There is no request to them that goes unattended, and it is clear that they care about our program and our clients.

One of the things that I appreciate most is the careful touches that they make to ensure that the clients feel welcomed upon arriving at our program. They have set up the apartments in a way that shows they are meant to be someone's home. They also immediately respond to any maintenance concerns at the IRT apartments.

My staff and I are never meant to feel as though anything is a bother, although I'm quite certain the maintenance team is always busy.

Since coming to VOANNE, I have been welcomed by everyone and supported by many throughout the organization, but the maintenance team, as a whole, has been simply amazing to work with and they certainly deserve recognition for that!

To the Maintenance Team, Thank You and Congratulations to you as the recipients of our 2016 Building Bridges Award!

We are all so very proud of what you have accomplished together. Your commitment and passion for the services you provide is evident in all that you do. You are a role model for all of us.