Employee Appreciation Awards
The Beryl Wolney Award was named after a woman who worked at St. Ann's Residence for many years. The women there cherished her as a beloved friend; there was no one they respected more than Beryl. She was a role model to all of the staff and a very humble person--a kind and loving friend to everyone. Beryl lived a life of service to others and that is where she found her joy in life.
Phyllis Lee (Sheridan) was nominated for the Beryl Wolney Award. She has been a long time employee with Wingspan Life Resources. Throughout the many years she has developed a strong relationship with so many of our clients. She is a BBQ queen who helps her ladies look their best whenever they’re going out. She has helped foster friendships between houses, bringing them together for socialization including ice cream parties and backyard barbecues, birthdays and holidays. She’s been a friend and mentor to many staff new and old, many calling her “Miss Phyllis.” She has been to glee club, picnics, and Made in the Shade with many clients. Phyllis’s standards are very high, and she will make sure everyone knows client cares come first. You don’t slip when Phyllis is around! Clients that she hasn’t worked with in years still light up when they see her because she truly cares about them and they know it. She has a friendly way about her that makes you feel at ease while also being down to earth.
Very recently, Phyllis ended up being one of the main staff to care for Michelle as she went through stage 4 cancer. Michelle was able to stay in her home on hospice, seeing all her many friends as they would come to Sheridan. Phyllis was a key part in that. The love and support Phyllis was able to give Michelle was crucial and I know how much it meant to her. She helped Michelle to the very end, allowing her the dignity and respect she deserved. Michelle was able to share her fears and talk about her hopes for heaven with Phyllis. It was a difficult time and I know God made sure Michelle had Phyllis there to hold her hand until the end. There are so many good qualities Phyllis embodies, one of her strongest is her integrity. You can trust and depend on her, she lives her values. She treats everyone with respect and honor. If you could pick someone to care for your closest loved one, Miss Phyllis would be high on the list. You would be able to sleep knowing they were well cared for at all times. Phyllis embodies the spirit of Wingspan and we are proud to present her as this year’s Beryl Wolney winner. ~Eric Hemme~
Anne Perry (1250 Hoyt) was nominated for the Leadership Award. She started working for Wingspan in 2018 as the overnight staff at 1250 Hoyt and has climbed the ladder to become the HC two years ago.
She has created a homie atmosphere at 1250 Hoyt that one will feel as they walk into the home. She teaches love and respect for the individuals living in the home and for the staff working at the home. Each meal is served with love and a prayer lead by each of the individuals.
Anne shows exemplary leadership supervising the group home as she empowers the women living there to acquire ownership of their living space and managing the staff through a very difficult staffing crisis.
She brings a considerate and thoughtful approach to leadership and equally, a willingness to learn. Anne’s honesty, friendly and considerate nature are qualities that make her a natural leader. In the two years since Anne has been the HC, her affable nature, clear insight and guided vision has garnered the respect of family members, case managers, guardians, and day program representatives. They all speak very highly of Anne’s interactions with them. She empowers the individuals living at the group home with self-love, self-assurance, future growth, love for each other, and independence. At the beginning of Anne’s supervisory role, she was challenged with Tina’s very difficult aggressive behaviors, where Tina was faced with a possible discharge. Anne decided that this challenge needed a different approach and that was to give love and a listening ear. With that in mind, she created an open-door policy for Tina and each of the individuals as well to share their thoughts individually and at a table meeting with each other as they take turns to speak and problem solve their issues. This approach has made a positive impact with the women in their individual lives. They all have a positive outlook on their lives and are very caring towards each other. Congratulations! ~Shelda Thompson~
Saidat Adetunji (91st Street) was nominated for Employee of the Year Award. She is fondly known as Bukky and has been working with Wingspan for the past 14 years. Bukky trained at many homes and helps out whenever she can. She worked at York for a number of years and briefly as an HC before transferring to 91st. Bukky has been one of the back bones of 91st. She demonstrates, through her work as a DSP, the kind and compassionate person she is. She’s hard working and always the first person to be called upon to help out either with appointments or covering shifts. Her effort and dedication with helping to cover shifts amid the staffing crisis during lockdown was outstanding. She is always thinking about the house and clients in spite of herself. Whenever she has to take a vacation, the first thing she will ask is, “how are you going to cover the shift, we don’t have anyone.”
As much as I try to reassure her that I will cover it the best I can, she will rearrange her vacation to a more suitable time for the house.
When it comes to client care, Bukky is always on top of things and assists me (Gifty Narh) to make sure we have every appointment up to date. She is self-sufficient and will not wait to be asked to order medication or schedule appointments. When Bukky calls me about a problem at work when I’m off, then I know for a fact that she has exhausted all avenues trying to find a solution. This rarely happens, so when it does, Eric and I both know we then have to put our heads together to work to find a solution.
She’s very active when it comes to clients’ activities. She always makes sure to have our ladies enjoy their one-on-one time with staff. Even when there’s a shortage, she will find ways to make an outing happen no matter what. She has a big heart for Wingspan and is always referring people to Wingspan. Her spirit is uplifting in developing a calm environment. Bukky is well deserving of this award for her dedication to our clients, co-workers, and Wingspan as a whole. Thank you for all you do. ~Gifty Narh~