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Employee of the Month: Akeem Mohammed (February 2015)

14 April, 2015 11:19 pm

Employee of the Month

Akeem Mohammed

February 2015

SDC would like to congratulate Akeem Mohammed and thank him for his outstanding performance as a Direct Support Professional at Striving on Strength Day Program.

Akeem Mohammad Best ShotAkeem joined SDC’s day program in the summer of 2014 and took over what had been a very challenging prevocational site, which requires collaboration with a partnered agency.  Akeem brought enthusiasm, patience, creative ideas and stability to this site.  He has received consistent praise from the partnered administration who has been impressed with how well he interacts with the individuals and encourages their growth and independence.  Akeem has assumed full responsibility for this program.

The SOS day program has been consistently short staffed and short vehicles.  On a daily basis, Akeem has called or texted as soon as he realized the impact on the program to make suggestions and readily volunteer to assist whenever possible.  His suggestions and flexibility have been a great help at a very difficult time.

Akeem has a gentle, but firm approach when working with individuals.  He is patient, caring and considerate of their needs, abilities, and challenges, and he is creative in finding ways to help them grow and prosper.

Akeem is a team player, willing to help out whenever and wherever needed.  He is always willing to lend a hand to a co-worker, is timely and accurate with his documentation and he diligently works to assist the individuals meet their goals and serve and the program as a whole.

SDC’s Striving on Strength Day Program is proud to have Akeem on our team and look forward to all of the possibilities the future brings!!

SDC is proud to have Akeem on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Tony Gianfrancesco (January 2015)

16 March, 2015 6:21 pm

Employee of the Month

Tony Gianfrancesco

January 2015

SDC would like to congratulate Tony Gianfrancesco and thank him for his outstanding service as the Chief Financial Officer of SDC.

TTony G.ony started working in the Accounting Department at SDC in 2005. Since that time, Tony has played an integral role in the agency’s growth and success. Tony continuously steps outside of his prescribed job duties to help SDC. When the respite programs opened, Tony reached out to a resource to donate food for the open house. Whenever something comes up, Tony asks how he can help, and he usually finds a positive way to do so.

On the financial side, Tony constantly seeks out and suggests ways to cut costs so that SDC can focus on our Mission of serving the individuals in our care. He has brought in numerous potential properties for the Prader-Willi project, saved money on the vans, and never says no to an SDC family member in need.  Tony is an active member of the management team and often contributes positive ideas for the agency’s consideration.

As a small agency, we sometimes need a little extra help to complete a task, and Tony is always at the front of the line to assist. And for that, we thank him.

 SDC is proud to have Tony on its team!


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Employee of the Month: Eugene Sinlao (December 2014)

16 March, 2015 3:51 pm

Employee of the Month

Eugene Sinlao

December 2014

SDC would like to congratulate Eugene Sinlao and thank him for his outstanding service as a Direct Support Professional at the Fieldston Residence.

Eugene Eugenejoined SDC as a Direct Support Professional in 2001.  Since that time, Eugene has provided exemplary service to the individuals in his care. Eugene approaches his duties in a true teamwork spirit, supporting the residents and his co-workers. During his time here, Eugene has used his many years of experience as the foundation from which to mentor incoming staff and welcome them into the SDC family while demonstrating SDC’s core values in the performance of his job responsibilities.

Eugene is often observed with a smile on his face, taking care in his role to ensure the individuals are learning the task at hand, reinsuring them every step of the way. Eugene has gone above and beyond his normal scope of duties to ensure the cleanliness and safety of the residence and the individuals’ environment.

Eugene’s pleasant demeanor, mature and engaging approach to working with both individuals and coworkers alike, and his proactive attitude are what make him stand out above the rest.

SDC is proud to have Eugene on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Cruzileisy Velasquez (November 2014)

5 January, 2015 6:41 pm

Employee of the Month

Cruzileisy Velasquez

November 2014

SDC would like to congratulate Cruzileisy Velasquez and thank her for her outstanding service as a Medicaid Service Coordinator and Assistant Manager of the Reach Respite Program.

Cruzileisy Best ShotCruzileisy joined SDC as a Direct Support Professional in 2012. She then moved into her current position as a Medicaid Service Coordinator and has most recently taken on the part-time role as Assistant Manager of the Saturday Children’s Respite Program.  It didn’t take long for Cruzileisy’s outstanding work ethic to be noticed and recognized; she repeatedly stands out as a hard-worker and fierce advocate for the individuals she serves.

As an MSC, Cruzileisy tirelessly supports individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. She recently went above and beyond her duties to ensure the safety of an individual living in an abusive situation, and further assisted others in the process. Cruzileisy has tirelessly sought out residential placement for an individual with very serious medical needs and continues to strive toward that goal.

While still carrying out her MSC duties, Cruzileisy took on the added role of Assistant Manager of the Children’s Respite Program, bringing a positive energy to the development and implementation of what is now a successful, engaging program. She has even come in on days off just to ensure the program’s success. The children love to have Cruzileisy there and the families have nothing but praise for her and the program.


SDC is proud to have Cruzileisy Velasquez on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Crystal Navarro (October 2014)

5 January, 2015 6:38 pm

Employee of the Month

Crystal Navarro

October 2014

SDC would like to congratulate Crystal Navarro and thank her for her outstanding service as our Nurse.

CrystalCrystal Navarro, RN provides clinical nursing support to all SDC programs.  In the midst of recent agency expansion, our nursing staff became short-staffed when our prior nurse, Georgette Taylor moved to upstate New York.  Despite having a full-time job outside of SDC, Crystal worked double duty to cover all SDC nursing needs.  This role required Crystal to be the only nurse on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week   for over six months.  This is a huge task for one person to undertake.  Crystal took this on with no hesitation and never complained about having to take on the extra workload.

Crystal’s commitment to the individuals in this field is evident.  She has a great rapport with every individual in our residences.  She has been a strong advocate for the individuals in monthly Incident Review Meetings and also in past Clinical Coordinator Meetings.  Crystal has identified gaps in communication and brought this to the attention of management in an effort to help advocate for clients to the get the best quality of clinical service for the clients in SDC programs.  Furthermore, Crystal has helped develop clinical trainings for the staff which are required by OPWDD, but even more importantly crucial to support our staff in knowledge base and professional development.  Crystal is an outstanding employee due to her inherent work ethic, pleasant demeanor, can-do attitude, and strong assessment and advocacy skills.  She always puts the best interests of the clients first.


SDC is proud to have Crystal Navarro on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Genesis Flores (September 2014)

4 December, 2014 6:53 pm

Employee of the Month

Genesis Flores

September 2014

SDC would like to congratulate Genesis Flores and thank her for her outstanding service as a Direct Support Professional.

Genesis Flores works as a Direct Support Professional with the Evening Respite Program.  In less than a year of being employed by SDC, she has caught the attention of management with her outstanding work ethic.

Recently, when her manager, Kebbi Almonte, was out on medical leave, Genesis stepped up to fill his role in many ways.  During this time, she took initiative to lead the program while Kebbi was out by doing activities that are not in her job description like submitting payroll and planning and coordinating the program schedule.

Genesis has ideas for the program and brings them to the table.  She proactively finds events and activities in the community for the individuals to participate in.  In addition, even while balancing a hectic schedule (Genesis works a teaching job outside of SDC and also attends school) she takes time to prep materials the night before in order to be prepared for the program the next day.

Genesis is engaging, interactive, and it is evident in the close relationships she has forged with the individuals in her care that she enjoys working with the individuals.  Furthermore, she is flexible and accommodating, even at the last minute.  For example, she recently volunteered to stay late and write up incident reports and occurrences for Kebbi, when he needed assistance writing (due to his hand being injured).  Genesis is all-around a team player and wonderful employee to work with.

SDC is proud to have Genesis Flores on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Victor Santiago-Guzman (August 2014)

4 December, 2014 6:47 pm

Employee of the Month  

Victor Santiago-Guzman

August 2014

SDC would like to congratulate Victor Santiago-Guzman and thank him for his outstanding service as a Direct Support Professional.

Victor is a Direct Support Professional at the Sylvan Residence.  He is a true gentleman and although soft spoken, he is always outgoing toward other staff, parents and most importantly with the individuals we serve at SDC.  He routinely goes out of his way to look out for our individuals and their needs regardless of being assigned to do so or not.  Recently, Victor went above and beyond the call of duty by taking the initiative to help one of our individuals seek employment at a local neighborhood store.  Not only is he proactive in his approach to the clients, but he consistently demonstrates a willingness to contribute when needed.

Victor has been with the agency for 3 years, however, in such a short amount of time he has made a big impact on the lives of the individuals we serve.  Victor’s upbeat attitude has a positive effect on individuals and staff alike, which makes him a pleasure to work with.  Victor was nominated for this award because he is an amazing staff member, team player and most importantly, he is flexible and willing to adapt his role as needed.  He remains positive, displays teamwork, demonstrates a curiosity to learn more by being present, engaged and asking questions that are relevant to his professional growth, and he goes above and beyond to make sure he completes the work that is needed.


SDC is proud to have Victor Santiago-Guzman on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Luis Ortiz (July 2014)

16 September, 2014 4:02 pm

Employee of the Month

Luis Ortiz

July 2014

SDC would like to congratulate Luis Ortiz and thank him for his outstanding service as a Professional Driver.

Luis Ortiz joined SDC relatively recently.  He started as a part-time driver for the Striving on Strength Day Program and then began driving for the Evening and Weekend Respite programs.  Working with three different programs means that Luis has to coordinate with three different managers.  All three managers who work with Luis collectively agree that he has become a huge asset to SDC in a very short period of time.

Luis approaches work with a positive attitude that individuals respond to. He has a gentle, but firm approach that has proven to be very successful in managing challenging situations.  Luis has provided coverage when DSP staff have needed to call out on many occasions and this has proven he is willing to go above and beyond his own role.  At the weekend respite program, Luishas developed a great rapport with the children and       teenagers alike and has consistently been very cooperative, going beyond his duties as a driver.  On more than one occasion, Luis has intervened with the different behavioral outbursts of the individuals receiving services and as a result of his experience, training and overall care/approach, individuals are very responsive to him.  While in the community, Mr. Ortiz advocates for the children, consistently ensuring their safety and well-being.

Luis has provided a level of support that none of the managers who work with him could have expected.  Luis’s positive approach and reliable actions provide a sense of safety and security to those who are in his care.

SDC is proud to have Luis Ortiz on its team!

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Employee of the Month: Edna Josey (June 2014)

16 September, 2014 3:58 pm

Employee of the Month

Edna Josey

June 2014

 SDC would like to congratulate Edna Josey and thank her for her outstanding service as a Direct Support Professional.


Edna Josey has worked with SDC for over a decade.  She started off as a part-time employee and eventually joined the SDC team full-time.  Edna exudes positivity, which is something that individuals and co-workers alike respond well to.  She approaches her work responsibilities with a positive attitude.  Edna never hesitates to assist when and where needed and her primary concern is to meet the needs of the residents with dignity and respect.

Edna’s commitment to the field is evident.  She scored a perfect score on every quiz she submitted last year for the monthly training program!  This is an excellent demonstration of how it is obvious that she takes her job seriously and is committed to growing both personally and professionally.  She took every training seriously and committed to learning the material she was presented.

Edna’s skills and knack for working with this population are further demonstrated by her ability to put her training into practice.  Edna is a model employee who her managers can trust to get a job done and get it done right.  Edna is a pleasure to work with and has been a valuable member of our team.  SDC has taken note of her hard work and commitment to this field.

 SDC is proud to have Edna Josey on its team!

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Employee of the Month (May 2014)

1 August, 2014 12:07 am

LoisSDC would like to congratulate Lois Foy and thank her for her outstanding service as a Direct Support Professional.

Lois Foy has worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities for over a decade.  Her experiential wisdom and empathic nature are what makes Lois stand out as SDC’s Employee of the Month.  As a Direct Support Professional, she shines.  Her nonjudgmental and accepting nature helps individuals relate to her quickly.  Lois is particularly skilled in assisting individuals in managing their own behaviors and in deescalating tense situations.  Lois has a knack for helping individuals express their anger and frustrations appropriately and for helping them get their needs met in a more productive manner.

Lois is extremely intuitive and tuned in to the individuals needs in her care.  Her intuitive nature and excellent insight into behaviors is evident to all who work with her.  Lois’s gift for understanding people has enabled her to build strong relationships with individuals and co-workers alike.

In addition, Lois is knowledgeable on OPWDD regulations and has stepped up to mentor new employees on documentation, working with individuals, and the ins-and-outs of day programming.  Reva Zawel, director of the Striving on Strength Day program, credits Lois for being a natural leader in the program.  Reva states, “When I am out, Lois is extremely instrumental in ensuring the program runs efficiently, in accordance with regulations and ensures individuals’ needs are met.”  Lois has taken on this role proactively, without being asked or told to do so.

Finally, Lois exudes a happy, upbeat attitude on a daily basis, to which individuals and co-workers respond well.  Lois’s natural leadership, ability to build relationships, knowledge of regulations and procedures, and positive, charismatic attitude are what make Lois stand out.  SDC couldn’t be happier to have such a wonderful DSP as Lois to help our agency fulfill its mission.

SDC is proud to have Lois Foy on its team!

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