Heritage Ministries celebrates annual Employee Recognition Dinner

JAMESTOWN – Recently, Heritage Ministries celebrated the longevity of its staff at the Annual Employee Recognition Dinner held at the Girl Scouts Service Center on Horton Road in Jamestown. In addition to the longevity of service and honoring the employees of the year, three people were individually recognized for their exceptional work for Heritage Ministries.

Each year, Heritage Ministries celebrates the dedication of its staff with a formal dinner. Those honored this year were celebrating their five-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year anniversary with the organization. Seventy-seven employees reached one of these milestones this year and were honored at the dinner. These 77 employees represented 635 years of combined service to Heritage Ministries. Heritage Ministries employs nearly 800 employees in Chautauqua County. As such a large employer of this area’s local talent, Heritage holds the annual Employee Recognition Dinner to distinguish and to appreciate this talent. Heritage Ministries is constantly striving to make sure that its employees feel valued.

In addition to the celebration of years of service to the organization, Heritage Ministries recognized three Employees of the Year at the dinner. The individuals were: Lonnie Clark, representing Heritage Village Retirement Campus and Heritage Ministries Management Company; Brent Reed, representing Heritage Park Rehab & Skilled Nursing; and Vikie Strong-Slagle, representing Heritage Village Rehab & Skilled Nursing. Also, two employees retired this year from Heritage Ministries: MaryLou Brainard and Carol Gens, both from the Heritage Village Rehab & Skilled Nursing facility.

In addition to the celebration of employees of the year and the retirements, Heritage acknowledged three individuals for exemplary service this year. The three individual awards that were given included: the MaryLou Clark Customer Service Award, the Leroy Lundgren Servant Leadership Award and the Reverend Walter Fleming Chairman’s Award.

The MaryLou Clark Customer Service Award was presented to Cheryl Farr, director of human resources of Heritage Green Rehab & Skilled Nursing. The MaryLou Clark Customer Service Award is given to an individual who exemplifies the highest level of sustained excellence in serving Heritage Ministries’ internal and external customers. Farr is an individual whose example and consistent performance sets the highest standard of customer service to which any organization can aspire. Farr’s nomination read, “Cheryl treats everyone with respect and compassion; she is a role model for all. Her exceptional demonstration of professionalism to fellow employees, residents, and families is a testimony of Heritage’s Core Values.”

In addition to the customer service award, The Leroy L. Lundgren Servant Leadership Award was presented to a deserving employee during the recognition dinner. This award appreciates a supervisor who consistently displays the life of a humble, servant leader at work and in the community. This person also treats those he or she supervises with genuine respect. In addition to a great work ethic, this person shows a true commitment to the mission of Heritage Ministries and serves others above him or herself. Diane O’Brien, LPN, interim shift supervisor, was named the winner of the Leroy L. Lundgren Servant Leadership Award.

O’Brien’s nomination read, “Diane is a beautiful person inside and out. She is always willing to do extra for the company to ensure that all resident needs are met. Diane stepped into the supervisor role easily, and she treats staff with genuine respect. Her commitment to the residents, staff, and company demonstrate just how willing she is to serve others above herself.”

Finally, the Reverend Walter Fleming Chairman’s Award was presented to Chaplain Sam Shreffler, the lead Chaplain for Heritage Ministries. The Reverend Walter Fleming Chairman’s Award is bestowed upon and individual who embodies Heritage’s Mission to serve others through Christ-centered ministries that promote hope, dignity and purposeful living. This person must also fulfill Heritage’s vision of becoming a trusted leader in the provision of human services that model God’s love. Finally, this person must display all of the attributes of Heritage’s core values, which are: respect for human dignity; excellence in everything we do; acceptance of every person; compassion for all; and honesty above all else.

Chaplain Shreffler’s nomination read, “Sam is a true, trusted leader in not only serving God, but also in serving our company. Sam knows when you need an extra prayer, and then he prays with youI will never forget when a staff member was passing away at our facility. Sam came in to pray with that staff member, but he also came in to pray with all of the other staff as well.” Chaplain Shreffler is at the heart of Heritage Ministries.

The evening concluded with a nice reception and great weather for a celebration. Heritage Ministries congratulates all of the staff that made a difference throughout the organization this year. Those looking for employment opportunities in the rewarding field of healthcare should apply online at heritage1886.org (click on the “Join Our Team” tab).

Heritage Ministries is a non-profit, human-service organization that serves the western New York region and employs nearly 800 employees. Independent- and assisted-living residences for seniors are located at Heritage Village Retirement Campus in Gerry and at The Woodlands on Southwestern Drive in West Ellicott. Rehabilitation and skilled-nursing services are provided at Heritage Village in Gerry, Heritage Park in Jamestown, and Heritage Green in Greenhurst. For more information about Heritage Ministries, call (716) 763-5608, visit at www.heritage1886.org, or LIKE Heritage at facebook.com/HeritageMinistries.