Start with strengths — always!
Not only is this one of the core values at UMFS, it’s a value that our employees consistently embrace. We have been blessed with a team of passionate employees who are undoubtedly unwavering champions for high-risk children and families.
This week, we celebrated these talented individuals at our annual employee appreciation event. Employees enjoyed lunch, sweets, prizes, a surprise visit from Gov. Ralph Northam, and a keynote speech from Del. David Reid, who lived at UMFS in the 1970s.
Del. Reid shared with the audience the dramatic changes that have taken place in his life, from his early years living in poverty in the mountains of Virginia to college graduate, and now as representative in the Virginia General Assembly. UMFS, he said, played a pivotal role in his life, and the people there helped shape who he is today.
UMFS is where Del. Reid said he learned the value of hard work. He also learned the importance of a support system and thanked the employees for their social service. “The things that you do every day make a difference,” Del. Reid said in his speech to employees.
Alisa Kline, UMFS’ Recruiting Manager, echoed Del. Reid’s sentiments.
“There are variables at our agency that make the work we do sometimes difficult but always rewarding,” she said. “The employees at UMFS are relentless in their pursuit of solutions. They are true superheroes.”
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The Information Technology trio of Paul Kolhoff, Katherine Mayo, and Jonathan Ingram was named Project Team of the Year. Paul also was recognized for an incredible 30 years of dedicated service to UMFS.
Congratulations to Tory Everson for being named the UMFS Unwavering Champion of the Year.
UMFS’ Southwest Region, which comprises South Hill, Farmville, and Lynchburg, was named Team of the Year. Many thanks to the Southwest Region teammates: Bridget Bass, Ralph Branch, Lindsey Dawson, Stephanie Edwards, Amera Ghanem, Kyna Johnson, Lauren Lynch, Chiquita Stokes, Alex Strittmater, Andrea Walker, Holly Coates, Lindsey Edwards, Jamesia Harrison, Sherry McCormick, Omar Ott, Hunter Swann, Deborah Burton, Juwan Casper, Jacquelyn Doyle, Alishia Ewell, Stephanie Finney, Dwight Kuhns, Danetta McKnight, Shakeema Mosley, Kayla Pearce, Heather Schwartz, Abby Spence.
Direct Employees of the year are: Shun Washington (Residential), Kim Denmark (Charterhouse School), Amera Ghanem (child placing).
Jewel Cooper was recognized for 25 years of service. Brenda Foster celebrates 20 years with UMFS. And Holly Coates has been with UMFS for 15 years.
There were 64 one-year awards; 43 two-year awards; 15 five-year awards; and eight 10-year awards.