Northern Star Award for Direct Support Professionals

Three winners received the Northern Star Award.  This award is given to direct support professionals who have shown exceptional service by being a navigational guide, like the northern star, to the people they serve and who are committed to the Mains’l Mission, Vision, and Core Values.

MN: Christy McKay received the Northern Star Award for work her as a direct support professional in the College Essentials+ program in MN. Christy has been instrumental in helping a person she supports pursue his dream of becoming a comedian.  As a professional comedian herself, Christy used her experience and networks in the business to launch this person’s stand-up career.

CA: Annette Woodward, as the Northern Star Award recipient in California, has been the backbone of the home she works at. She is the shadow behind those she supports, encouraging, caring, and dependable even when they may feel lost. She offers her time, her expertise, and wisdom with the entire SLS team.

MN: Kort Lindblad, winner of the 2018 Northern Star Award, has been instrumental in helping someone he supports research theaters, run through acting lines, and assisting with auditions, so the person can pursue his dreams as an actor.  Kort gives it his all to be sure the person he supports is where he needs to be so that they can live out his hopes and dreams.

To The Max Award

Two winners received the 2018 To the Max Award. This award focuses on customer service. Customer service is important no matter where you work. This award is given to an employee who is committed to building and nurturing strong relationships with all our internal and external stakeholders in alignment with our mission, vision and values.

MN: Chris Townsend, winner of the 2018 To the Max Award, is someone who has shown commitment to our crew by going out of his way to help those who may not be quite as tech savvy as they might like. He teaches them and helps them feel comfortable with the tools they have been given to do their jobs successfully. He has taken the time, even on his days off, to meet with people who need technical support to help get them where they need to be to stay connected to their work. Chris has a knack for  technology and is also expanding his technology knowledge by furthering his education in programming.

CA: Ali Fairey, the To the Max award recipient, has been a silent leader for the agency over the years. She has a tremendous heart for the people she supports and the community in which they live. Ali has taken the lead on giving back to the community – she has been putting on dinners at the Torres shelter for the past year, serving approximately 160 people each dinner, and continues those efforts. Ali is a great representation of our agency’s core values. We are lucky to have her part of the crew!

Admiral’s Achievement

Two winners received the 2018 Admiral’s Achievement Award. This award is given to someone who focuses on “figuring it out.” They find ways to engage people in meaningful activities and relationships. They connect people to one another and to their communities. They are experts at listening and responding to what it is that makes a life worth living for the people they support and their colleagues alike.

MN: Matt Ulmen, recipient of the 2018 Admiral’s Achievement Award, is an experienced support coordinator who shows dedication and passion for not only the people he supports but his colleagues alike. Matt shows his grace in the presence of everyone with kindness, integrity, and concern for those around him, and brings out his great sense of humor that people enjoy.  Matt’s warmth and genuine personality helps create a better place for people to live and work.

CA: Nicholas Dugan, the Admiral’s Achievement award winner, was nominated for his commitment to the Mains’l mission, vision and values, which is apparent in every action he takes at work. He is continually willing to learn new tasks and takes initiative to help out wherever he can.  He quickly becomes the “favorite” of every person with whom he works, and every time he works at a new home, the people living there request for him to keep coming back.

Commitment To Excellence

Three winners received the 2018 Commitment To Excellence Award. This award is given to employees whose work habits and commitment are clearly above their peers. They are the people who inspire their colleagues, support those who require assistance, and whose character is without fault. They live the Mains’l mission, vision, and values and offer the very best of themselves in their work so that all people they touch experience meaning and purpose.

MN: Stephanie Swift, winner of the Commitment To Excellence Award, was nominated by person she supports who shared with us that Stephanie has been instrumental in the services and supports she received by providing excellent customer service.  Stephanie was acknowledged for always being prompt, knowledgeable and efficient, while always being cheerful, patient and helpful.

MN: Katie Wolf, who also received the Commitment To Excellence Award, was nominated by a family member of someone who receives fiscal supports.  They shared that Katie is a teacher and advisor, and supports them through complexity of the new program services their family member is receiving.  A testament to her work, they stated that “Katie is always the brightness and calm of any storm that would otherwise takeover our family.”

CA: Roderick Mallory, the Commitment to Excellence award recipient, was nominated by two of his coworkers in the same month because he is such a team player!  Roderick is a very hard worker who goes out of his way to be helpful with his coworkers. He is very thoughtful about making conversations with other people, and he is always willing to help without complaint. At the award dinner Roderick was lighting up the room with his great big smile!

Lighthouse Leadership

One winner received the 2018 Lighthouse Leadership Award.  This award recognizes a person centered leader.  They are someone who demonstrates integrity at all times, in everything they do.  They are motivated and inspire others with their positive spirit, strong people skills, and the ability to problem solve.  They see the big picture and have the ability to see what has to be done next. They are committed to excellence, modeling to others, and are constant and unwavering in their commitment to the agency’s mission, vision and values.

MN: Paula Christian, the Lighthouse Leadership Award recipient, was nominated by a co-worker who writes that Paula takes on a “how might we” approach which has, in turn, helped the team increase their ability to provide accurate and timely communication to the people they support and their families. She is a great collaborator, and her communication skills have been an asset and benefit to those she works with. She is flexible and honest about what she is and is not able to do and what others can do to increase productivity for her.

Esprit De Corps Team Award

This award recognizes a team whose work has demonstrated our mission, vision and values. This group of people are dedicated, enthusiastic, and work collaboratively to enhance the lives of the people they support and their colleagues. Their efforts have created synergy, so that the effectiveness of their work as a team exceeds their individual efforts.

CA: The Independent Living Services Team won the Esprit De Corps Award.  The team consists of Alissa Prestridge, Jeannette Bradford, Matthew Distefano, and Letysha Cephas. The team was nominated by their supervisor, because of their ability to work together and support each other through their day to day activities. During the awards dinner, the bond this team shares was very evident in the way they laugh with each other and enjoy each other’s company. They represent teamwork, collaboration and the ability to turn work into fun!

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