JFS recognizes and honors employees

by | Jul 16, 2021 | Trending News


Shower with Appreciation was the theme of this year’s Jewish Family Service Employee Appreciation Celebration held on June 16. JFS pays tribute each year to its employees and honors those reaching specific levels of longevity.

“Last year, during the pandemic, the agency was not able to hold a big ceremony to thank the staff. We are so happy to be able to see everyone gathered together again!” said Sue Graves, JFS director of development.

Kelly Burroughs, JFS CEO, provided a historical review of JFS during numerous “unprecedented” times in history: “Unprecedented is a word that we heard so often to describe 2020—that these were unprecedented times; and in many ways they were. However, the pandemic really brought to light things that we all know very well through our work at JFS. We know about loniness, fear, anxiety, the feeling of helplessness and despair. Our jobs during the pandemic were to help bring hope and a sense of stability to people who count on us every day. That is not unprecedented at JFS.”

Burroughs also noted other times in history in which the agency rose to meet the challenges of the times, such as rolling bandages for the Red Cross to send to the warfront in 1912 and playing a key role in the resettlement of Holocaust survivors and other refugees from World War II. “The agency has consistently helped people in times of need,” she said.

“At the time, these were all unprecedented events” said Burroughs, “and throughout it all, there was a common thread—to help others that are less fortunate than ourselves,” said Burroughs. “This continues through to today, and throughout the pandemic. You are carrying on a tradition that will continue into the future: you are all part of this wonderful legacy where kindness counts.”

Jan Ganderson, director of nursing, recognized Marcie Wesner as the 2021 JFS Home Care Worker of the Year. Wesner has worked for JFS for 17 years, caring for many patients, some for several years.

“Marcie has always provided her patients with the loving, caring support that makes her an exemplary aide,” said Ganderson. “One patient described Marcie as always steady, unassuming, quiet, but always there—‘a presence in his life that was truly invaluable.’”

JFS’ Executive Leadership Team also recognized employees from each department for their longevity. The following employees were honored for their years of dedicated service to JFS:

Recognized for 25 Years

• Kim Stites, Director of Operations

Recognized for 20 Years

• Alla Gean, Clinical Services Case Manager

• Sue Graves, Director of Development

• Marina Tidwell, Personal Affairs Management Financial/Administrative Assistant

Recognized for 10 Years

• Sentera Cook, Embrace Home Care Scheduler

Recognized for 5 Years

• Andrei Niazdoimin, Personal Affairs Management Staff Accountant

• Jonathan Harris, Personal Affairs Management Trust & Assets Assistant

• Kimberly Larocco, Personal Affairs Management Administrative Assistant Accounting

• Bob LeBlanc, Clinical Services Driver

Burroughs closed the ceremony by saying, “There are stresses and challenges that we have endured and will continue to endure throughout the next stages of 2021. None of us know what it will look like as we emerge from this pandemic. But we do know one thing for sure—that if we continue to show genuine kindness and empathy for one another, we will carry on the traditions of those who came before us, and we can pull through anything.”