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WCI Newsletter: November 2nd, 2016

Message From The Vice President of Operations

Joe DonatiEvery September we all get the reminder of just how lucky we are here at WCI. We get to put aside some time to reflect on all the wonderful Direct Support Professionals we get to work with every day. These are the people that are there day in and day out to be the ones that do the most important work with the Individuals we support. They are there in times of celebration, times of need, times of frustration, times of despair and times of great joy. They are part of the lives of the people we support. They are the core of what we do.

September 11th to September 17th was Direct Supports Professional Week across the country and our state was right there to show their appreciation in full force. Here in Massachusetts, Governor Baker, US Senator Warren and US Senator Markey all signed on to the Resolution to proclaim this week DSP Recognition Week. It is comforting to know that there are people in our government that appreciate the amazing contributions of DSPs everywhere in our Commonwealth.

Here at WCI it was truly a time of celebration. There were cookouts and parties in the Deaf Supports, 24 Hour Supports, Individual Supports and Social Supports Divisions. There were special breakfasts for the Employment and Day locations. The people, the energy, the food, all were wonderful. The nicest part of these events are talking with the staff and hearing their stories and the what they love about their jobs. While celebrating with everyone it gave a great feeling of togetherness and people seeing themselves as part of a team. It was also wonderful to hear their connections to the Individuals and their dedication to the supports they provide.

I truly do consider myself lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with all of these incredible people. I look forward to celebrating with them for many more years. Thank you DSPs!


WCI 2016 Wine & Beer Tasting and Silent Auction

dsc_0459WCI held its Annual Wine & Beer Tasting and Silent Auction on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the Robert Treat Paine Estates in Waltham from 6pm-8:30pm. Over 150 guests enjoyed appetizers and desserts from Better Life Foods and fabulous Wine and Beer from Gordon’s Fine Wine and Liquors. We would like to thank Rick Gordon of Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors and Chris Osborn of Better Life Food for their support of the event!

We had over 50 Silent Auction items that were generously bid on by all the guests. Additionally, Chuck Lunsford, WCI Maintenance Director win the Lottery Tree and Charles Cicalis, friend of WCI was the lucky winner of the Treasure Chest which had over $50 in a cash prize!

Between the generous bidding, lottery tree, Ad Book Sales and more WCI generated a revenue of dsc_0432approximately $24,000!

We would like to thank our Sponsors of the event, The Battaglino Family, RCN, USI, Citizens Bank, Cambridge Trust Company and Formal Oil and PR Douglas which helped make our event so successful.

In addition, we would like to thank our advertisers in our Program Book. To see a copy of our Program Book and the amazing Advertisers we had please click here!

We also want to give a big thanks to our Development Committee, Board of Directors and fabulous staff volunteers who this event would not be possible without!

Thank you to everyone who attended, we truly appreciate your support and hope you had as great of an evening as we did!


Annual Meeting, October 25th, 2016

dsc_0487On October 25th, 2016 WCI held its 2016 Annual Meeting including some great refreshments from The Chateau. Our Board Chair, Ed Skou, announced that we are looking for additional Corporate and Board members as well as Committee members in a variety of areas. Please let us know if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member.

The purpose of the meeting is to review WCI’s progress over the last fiscal year and to identify new goals for the coming year. In addition, we also vote in our Corporate, Board and Clerk and Assistant Clerk of the Corporation annually.

Various members of the WCI community attended the meeting. Corporate members, Board members and the Clerk and Assistant Clerk were all voted in during the meeting. Congratulations to the Corporate Members, Board Members and Trustees in attendance who were elected for the coming year: Edward Skou, Thomas Montanari, Colt Navins, Matthew Sanders, Nicole Starck, Michael Sullivan, Kevin Fahey, Rhonda LeSanto, Chris D’Anna, Sara Goddard, Rob McMullen, Ruth Harutunian, Judy Mello, Jeff and Cindy Mello and Beth Rutledge. Matthew Sanders and Nicole Starck were elected as the Clerk and Assistant Clerk respectively of the corporation.

The following Executive and Management Team members presented their annual reports and identified dsc_0504
new goals for the coming year, Nancy Silver Hargreaves, President & CEO; Pam Laventure, VP of Human Resources; Joseph Donati, VP of Operations; Shannon McDonald, Clinical Director; Sally Roach, Division Head; and Lucien Archambeault, Quality Coordinator. One of WCI’s primary new goals was to develop a Strategic Direction Committee. Members include: Ed Skou, Chair, Michael Sullivan, Rhonda LeSanto and Sara Goddard. WCI began a Shared Living program in FY’16 when it wrote a proposal to be qualified to do the service and then later when it received a $50,000 Shared Living Incentive Grant to expand the service in the coming year. We are all very excited about our accomplishments in this new area and look forward to expanding the service. Our next strategic direction that we are researching is Acquired Brain Injury Services. We look forward to investigating this area further.

Jeff and Cindy Mello were awarded the 2016 Helping Hands Award at the Annual Meeting since they are not able to make our Holiday Awards Banquet on December 6, 2016. They have for many years ran the Balloon Pops at our Wine & Beer Tasting and Silent Auction every October. Thank you for your generous contribution to WCI and to making the Balloon Pops a success. Congratulations, Jeff and Cindy Mello!!!

As we said, we are also looking for new Corporate, Board and Committee members. Areas of interest are: Public Relations and Marketing, Finance and Business. If you are interested in being on our Board of Directors, Finance, Strategic or Development Committee, please contact Nancy Silver Hargreaves, President & CEO at 781 – 389 – 5992 or nshargreaves@wearewci.org.


Behavior Analysis and Therapy Conference Recap

image12On October 14th, Shannon McDonald spoke at the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy Conference, which is a conference on Behavior Analysis with 3,000 attendees, most of whom are Clinicians. The talk was on Managing Suicide Risk in Individuals with Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities and was part of a Panel Discussion titled, “We’re Not Always Screaming for Attention: Considerations for Bizarre Vocalizations and Suicidal Behavior”. Dr. Michael Dorsey, Director of the Institute for Behavioral Studies at Endicott College, was a discussant for the panel. The talk was well attended and received positive feedback. Shannon McDonald is the Clinical Director at WCI and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, as well as a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst.


Employee Recognition: Unsung Hero!

On Wednesday, October 5th WCI’s Employee Recognition Committee presented img_7287Jay Dulong,
Assistant Maintenance Director, with the “Unsung Hero” award.  The people we that we recognize with this particular award tend to be self-effacing and embarrassed by the attention and Jay was no exception.  As agonizing as it was for Jay, the entire audience (the Management Team, the Business Office, Human Resources and Jay’s own Maintenance Team) erupted in spontaneous applause when Jay’s name was announced.  A delicious Chipotle’s catered lunch was enjoyed by all.  (Chipotle’s is one of Jay’s favorite places to get the health vegetarian food he loves.)

One nominator described Jay as “always cheerful and kind and he is humble.  He responds quickly to maintenance requests and always has a ‘can do’ attitude.”  Another said “Jay helped everyone at the Main Office through the expansion without a single complaint, helps reassure the Individuals when they are dealing with difficult situations and has come in on his day off to let me in to an apartment that I was locked out of, answers every phone call, email and text promptly and has a great attitude!”

Congratulations, Jay!  We are lucky to have had such a loyal and hardworking “Unsung Hero” in our WCI family for more than eleven years.


Mission In Action: Canobie Lake Park!

Individual Supports was thrilled to be awarded a Mission In Action grant to go to Canobie group-photoLake Park! It was really great that we were there for Screamfest; the scary music and decorations were really exciting! We started out with breakfast at Dunkin
Donuts and then went into the park. Bobby H, Bob W, Kevin B, Kevin F, Nancy and Ray, and Barbara enjoyed the carousel, and then we had lunch of burgers and hot dogs at the park. While Sally took Kevin B and Bobby H on some roller coasters, the rest of the groups played carnival games with me! Everyone won a prize, but Bob W took home the biggest stuffed animal! We then enjoyed ice cream, and wrapped up the day with dinner at McDonald’s (the crowd favorite).

When I asked Bob W what his favorite part of the day was, he said “Every bit of it!” Nancy enjoyed dancing to the great music, and Ray liked riding in the antique cars the best. It was really a great day.


A Team Building Experience For The Business Office!

business-office-team-buildingThe WCI Business Office Survived the challenge of a conversion of all accounting software from ETS to Acufund , the Workers’ Compensation Audit, the 401k Audit and the Financial Audit. We decided to take on another challenge that would stimulate the mind and generate some team building fun. The team had lunch to warm up to the event and relax from the intensity of the past few months. We chose to be locked in the maze called, “The Dig,” and have a fun experience of solving lots of clues to unlock multiple areas and rooms in order to be released. Needless to say our group succeeded in solving 75% of the clues, but we were unable to get the key to release ourselves from “The Dig” before time ran out. With the help of friendly staff at “The Dig”, we were all released.

I guess getting audited is much easier. Or maybe math is much easier for the group. Check out the picture of how we did!!

The Business Office challenges any other Department to do some team building and get themselves out of “The Dig.”


Employment Spotlight: Our Individuals At Work! – By Greg Chludzinski

It has been a very exciting few months of job development here at WCI. I am very pleased to report Nancy Gallant, Aditya Kadambi, Frank Brazie, Aida Costa and Shannon Weyman have all found new jobs!

In late August, Nancy Gallant started working at Stop and Shop on Pleasant Street in Watertown. Nancy works in the Pea Pod Distribution Center. Pea Pod is a home delivery service for groceries and the Watertown Stop and Shop serves the Metro-Boston area. It is very busy. Nancy has many responsibilities including cleaning and organizing the shelves, checking products expiration dates, and cleaning and labeling the totes used for deliveries. She enjoys going to work every Wednesday and Friday and has become a valuable member of Pea Pod!

20160921_121723There is a familiar face at the receptionist desk at the office at 135 Beaver Street. Aditya Kadambi is now a part-time receptionist for WCI! Aditya has been doing a fantastic job greeting visitors, answering the phone and completing general office task. He is currently at Beaver Street on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 to 1. Aditya is very proud of his new job! He has been a wonderful addition to office at Beaver Street.

Frank Brazie had worked washing dishes and making pizza at YagerSchmit Catering in Tewksbury for years. Unfortunately, this summer, YagerSchmit Catering was forced to close down and Frank need to find a new job. A few weeks later, Frank had submitted many applications, attended several interviews and was offered jobs washing dishes at New York Pie and bagging at Market Basket. Frank accepted the job at Market Basket and he began working there at the end of September. Frank is enjoying his job and seeking more hours!

Aida Costa and Shannon Weyman have both been offered seasonal jobs at TJMaxx in Waltham! Aida has accpeted a position as a Backroom Associate. She will be helping unpack boxes coming in on the trucks and prepare merchandise to go out onto the sales floor. Shannon has accepted a position as a Recovery Associate. She will be working in the fitting room, re-shopping merchandise and organizing the displays at the store. They will be attending orientation on November 10th before starting work the next week.


Headlines

Archer’s Challenge Has Able-Bodied People Use Wheelchairs to Highlight Inaccessibility

National Focus On Disability Reminds Us Of The Urgency Of Our Work

Clinton & Trump On Disability Issues

High School Athlete Helps Opponent With Epilepsy, Autism, Finish Cross Country Race

21 Chrome Extensions for Struggling Students and Special Needs

Challenging Days Ahead For Disability Programs

Social Security Beneficiaries Will See 0.3% Cost-of-Living Increase in 2017

Hillary And Bernie’s Absurd Insistence On Abolishing The Sub-Minimum Wage For The Disabled

Voters With Disabilities Fight For More Accessible Polling Places

ESPN to broadcast Special Olympics World Games through 2019

Europe’s morality crisis: Euthanizing the mentally ill


Also remember to check out the all new wearewci.org and our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!

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