Employee Awards and Accolades

Stairways holds 17th Annual Employee Recognition Celebration

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blended Case Manager Laurie Bizzarro was honored as the Laura Wallerstein and Jerry Cline Distinguished Service Award winner at Stairways Behavioral Health’s annual employee recognition ceremony Tuesday morning at the Bel-Aire Conference Center.

Employees and guests attended the ceremony to announce the Distinguished Service Award winner and honor those who reached 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35-years-of-service milestones in 2015.

Bizzarro, left, with Stairways case manager team leader Kelly Roberts, became the 25th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award since its inception in 1996. The award, named after Stairways founder Laura Wallerstein and the late Jerry Cline, a longtime human resources director, is bestowed upon the employee who best exemplifies the mission, vision and values of Stairways.

A veteran case manager, Bizzarro often works with transition age youths. Due to her experience and knowledge, she has gained a reputation as a skilled professional throughout the Erie area.

In addition to her duties as case manager, Bizzarro has also made impactful contributions in community outreach by visiting local inpatient hospital units where she explains to people suffering from mental illness the treatment options available at Stairways.

She also organizes a dinner for clients at the Zukor Club each Thanksgiving and has secured substantial donations for Stairways.  

Bizzarro was nominated by four co-workers. Her nomination stated that “Laurie’s natural inclination is always to help people, an endeavor she holds so dearly that she often goes beyond her work requirements to do so.”

Special congratulations also went to Hank Krol (pictured right with Director of Treatment Services Becky Clark) and Tom Kirkwood, who reached 35 and 30 years, respectively, at Stairways. Also among those with special service anniversaries being honored were Dave Neubert and Kathy Thomas-Ibemere, each for 25 years.

Employees celebrating 20 years of service were Edward Cunningham, Chrystal Drain, Lisa Gingenbach, Marilyn Goss, Melanie Hake, Julie Harman, Theresa Jordan, Debbie King, Kevin McCaslin and Jennifer Wright.

Those who reached 15 years of service were Rebecca Clark, Tricia Cloyd, Mary Custer, Ralph Dieter, Joe Hockenberry, Margaret Mechlenburg, Barbara Sala and Sharon Sandberg.

The group who has completed 10 years of employment is Lisa Betts, Kerry Dieter-Roward, William Hilliard, Alicia Hodges, Kathleen Horan, Jill Hughes, Celeste McCallum, Stephanie Montgomery, Stephanie Rice and Edna Stickell.

Donna Bartoo, Kimberlea Casey, Laura Deal, Catherine Fischer, Betty Fleming, Deanna Kosarek, Dr. Meghan McCarthy, Sheila Mooney, Samantha Nichols, Dr. Jason Rock, Rachael Ross, Stephanie Sherman, Patricia Smith, Belinda Stillman and Laura Waugaman composed the group of employees reaching five years of service.

Those who were named Employees of the Month were also recognized at the ceremony: Alfonso Pickens (April); Stephanie Montgomery (May); Joan Rowland (June); Jamey Gamble (July); Debra Sardini (August); John Sushereba (September); Kari Papinchak (October); Josh Thayer (October) and Bev Wright (November).

Stairways was also honored to host founding volunteers Joan and Walter Harf as well as new Board of Directors members Mary Ellen Dahlkemper and the Hon. Ernest J. DiSantis.

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