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Associate of the Year

Associate of the YearGigi McCarthy
Manager of Business Systems

Gigi’s work behind-the-scenes with our IT systems has a significant impact on every area of the Ministry. Her efforts and attention to detail help lighten the workload for associates in each location, so they have more time to focus on the needs of residents and their families. Gigi’s desire to help others stems from her generous heart.

“Gigi holds herself to incredibly high standards and never shies away from a challenging project.
She not only fixes things but makes everything she touches a little bit better.”

Daniel Noonan, Chief Financial Officer


Carlos Menendez
Plant Operations Technician

Carlos is very mindful that when he comes to work he is a guest in the residents’ homes. Everyone counts on him in both large and small ways, and he never hesitates to help if someone needs assistance. He is humble, filled with compassion for others, and has a very kind spirit. When the residents found out Carlos won this award a celebration broke out in the hallways!

“Carlos has a strong sense of family, and that translates into the tremendous respect that he shows every resident and associate. But it’s his humility that makes him a great man.”
Dawn Cohn, Executive Director


James Barrett
Plant Operations Supervisor

James is a highly-respected, natural leader who works collaboratively with others to share resources. He embraces the significance of his responsibilities, demonstrates flexibility, and goes out of his way to meet the needs of the community. His warm personality lights up any room and he takes pride in addressing everyone by name.

“Jim owns his role and helps guide the community
to its highest level of service. His personality, especially his fun loving attitude, is
instrumental in creating a sense of family among residents and associates.”

Daniel Bannon, Executive Director


Salvador Valle
Chef, Independent Living

Salvador understands how important his role is within the community and takes resident feedback very seriously. He uses their comments to keep refining and creating high-quality, nutritious meals. He views it as an opportunity to grow. Salvador is a team player who shares his expertise, positive attitude, and warm smile with everyone.

“Sal is an excellent steward of the resources he is given. Under his watchful eye equipment is maintained properly, food costs are controlled, and nothing is wasted.
But most of all we love his spirit.”
Calvin Isaacson, Executive Director


Dorothy Harris
Human Resources Assistant

Dorothy’s abundant knowledge and longevity at the community make her an unofficial historian. She warmly welcomes everyone who stops by her office, and is happy to be a resource for others. Her compassionate and caring nature is evident when she interacts with residents and associates. Dorothy always gives them her utmost attention and displays a loving attitude.

“Dorothy truly sees herself as an extension of the Franciscan Sisters.
She leads by example and our community has been blessed by her presence.”

Daniel Bannon, Executive Director


Melanie Vasko
Human Resources Assistant

Melanie’s contributions to the community extend well beyond her work ethic. She is an important champion of the Living Joyfully culture and hires only people whom she would trust to care for her own loved ones. Melanie created a family legacy when two of her daughters started working in the community. Passing down her values and beliefs is a great gift that will continue to touch the lives of many in the years to come.

“All of us benefit from Melanie’s unique, personal attributes.
Her optimism and dedication to our mission inspires everyone around her.”

Patrick Welsh, Executive Director


Maribel Renteria
Manager of Administrative Services

Maribel has successfully held a variety of positions within the community and is always willing to share her gifts—especially her Spanish language skills. She has the ability to quickly and easily establish a good rapport with residents, associates and family members. When someone needs to talk, Maribel takes time to listen and provide support or encouragement.

“Maribel finds joy in her faith and in Jesus. It’s the reason she’s
able to be a positive force to those who need it.”

Brian Celerio, Executive Director


Samantha Trapnell
Supervisor, Dining Services

Sam affectionately refers to the residents as “her people” and has turned down opportunities for advancement outside of her department because she enjoys the daily interactions. She is at complete ease when serving and working with others and is extremely patient, especially when mentoring new associates. Sam’s positive, can-do attitude is contagious.

“Sam is a blessing to the residents. She knows all of them by
name and delights in making them feel special and loved.”

David Kinder, Executive Director


Matt McDonald
Plant Operations Technician

Matt creates a personal bond with the residents as he goes about his dual responsibilities in plant operations and transportation. He’s very knowledgeable, exceptionally kind, and believes in the importance of doing the right thing. His desire to give his all has earned him the respect of his fellow associates.

“Matt is one of our greatest assets. He is always determined to go above and
beyond his duties, which exemplifies the Ministry’s mission and values.”

Christopher Beymer, Executive Director


Ryan Elinkowski
Director, St. Jude House

Ryan is a tireless advocate for victims of domestic violence. He carries a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, yet he remains positive and always makes time to interact with clients and their children. His genuine gratitude for the resources and associates he has been entrusted with inspires others on a daily basis. Ryan is instrumental in providing hope for those who need it most.

“Ryan is blessed with many talents, and he shares them with his team and the entire house. Not a day goes by where he is not focused on making St. Jude House a home.”
Christine Zielke, Director of Philanthropy and Planned Giving