2011 President’s Award Winners
CCS/CHS are proud to announce the 2011 recipients of the President’s Awards. These annual awards honor outstanding employees of CCS/CHS. A total of 12 employees were nominated in 2011 and received the President’s Award during staff celebrations. Please see below for information on all of the recipients.
Sterling Chick, Assistant Director, Integrated Family Services, CCS Northwest—nominated by Kathy McNaughton (Photo: Sterling Chick)
Sterling came to CCS NW in 1999 as a Clinical Supervisor in our Whatcom County Children’s Mental Health programs. He was later promoted to Assistant Director of Integrated Family Services, the position he holds today. Before embarking on his career in the children’s mental health field, Sterling had an interesting variety of jobs in many industries, including cabinet-making, carpentry and boat building. He holds Master’s degrees in both counseling and ecology, and he has a BS in Entomology. During his years at CCS, Sterling has provided strong clinical leadership and staff supervision in our Whatcom programs. In 2008, he began traveling twice a week to Everett (Snohomish County) to provide clinical support to our newly created Children’s Mental Health program, taking on a responsibility that has greatly contributed to the successes we have seen there in the last 4 years. Sterling is a knowledgeable clinician, a steady presence and an excellent CCS representative in the community, helping to secure our most important collaborative efforts for the benefit of vulnerable children and their families. Sterling has also willingly taken on the responsibility of providing CCS membership to a variety of task groups and quality improvement projects convened by the regional mental health authority. Sterling often says this is the longest he has remained in any job, and we are very thankful for his commitment and dedication.
Quilla Copeland, Human Resources, CCS Southwest—nominated by Mary Hatch (Photo L to R: Quilla Copeland and Helen Vajgert)
Quilla started with CCS as a Staff Accountant 13 years ago. She was a standout from her first day on the job and I couldn’t have been more thrilled when in February 2002 when she applied for the HRIS Coordinator position. Her knowledge of both the payroll and HR systems really added to the effectiveness of our HR team. Quilla joined HR just as we were looking at a new HRIS system. She hit the ground running and was an integral player in the implementation of the new Enterprise system. Over the years she has come to be a valued support to all users. We are so grateful to have her in a key role on our HRIS implementation team.
In 2007, Quilla was promoted to HRIS Supervisor where she again proved invaluable to the organization and has become a trusted resource to staff and members. Quilla has always taken on additional duties when asked and is unfailingly positive and supportive. She has consistently shown great interest and commitment to CCS/CHS’s diversity program and is a respected member of the Multi-racial Action Team (MAT). She has been the Southwest Safety Coordinator for many years making the safety and security of staff a priority. Quilla demonstrates a sincere commitment to the CCS Mission, her work being the epitome of excellence, and conducting herself with the utmost professionalism. She is a model of our CCS values, especially excellence, justice and diversity.
Mike Curry, Family Center Director for Grays Harbor and Kitsap County, CCS Southwest—nominated by Denny Hunthausen (Photo L to R: Denny Hunthausen and MIke Curry)
Mike began his work for CCS in the Volunteer Chore Services program nearly 16 years ago. He’s worked hard to gain experience and in recent years went back to school to get an advanced degree in non-profit management. Mike’s role grew to become Family Center Director in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties, and now includes Kitsap County and the Olympic Peninsula. He’s developed a number of new programs and services and brings ideas, energy and sound management to his work.
A co-worker who has worked with Mike for many years says it best: At CCS, we are sometimes asked to perform “other duties as assigned” and Mike Curry personifies this. Because of his experience working in VCS and functioning in a rural location, he is accustomed to rolling up his sleeves and pitching in wherever needed. He has transferred this can-do attitude into his role as Family Center Director, always willing to help out program staff and other managers with a creative mind, an eye to the big picture, and following through to project completion. He is reliable, courteous and responsive—a great team player and well-suited to his position mentoring others and guiding his staff to success.
Pat Graham, Program Director, Frederic Ozanam House, CHS—nominated by John Hickman (Photo L to R: Brigid Hagan, Pat Graham and Marian Shugrue)
Just like recounting the history of your favorite rock band, if you want to trace Pat Graham’s 22 years working for Catholic Housing Services follow the t-shirts. Residents of St. Martin’s on Westlake, where Pat began as Business Manager in 1989 and later became Program Director, can still be seen wearing their now vintage t-shirts (fashioned by Pat) announcing “I Feel at Home at The Westlake.” After serving several years as the Director of Permanent Housing and overseeing the CHS elderly properties, Pat became the Director and then the Service Coordinator of The Josephinum. During her thirteen years at The Josephinum, Pat instituted the tradition of creating t-shirts to rally residents’ participation and support in the annual Special Ministries softball championship. Each year residents voted on the design of the t-shirt that proudly declared the name of their community. In 2009, as Program Director of a new permanent housing project for homeless elderly men, Pat took this t-shirt tradition to Frederic Ozanam House. That year the men of Ozanam House strutted onto the softball field with the name of their new home emblazoned across their chests. They have already picked out the color for next year’s shirts.
While these t-shirts may become worn and tattered, what they stand for will not. They are a testament to Pat’s years of commitment to provide the people she serves with a caring and compassionate home and a community where they can find supportive relationships, a sense of belonging, and a path out of brokenness toward a life of healing and hope. In her work, Pat embodies that often illusive ideal of the Ministry of Presence—accepting people where they are—and takes it a step further by inviting people to share who they are and to celebrate it. Pat’s passion and creativity are gifts that have shaped and brought life to the mission and work of Catholic Housing Services. We are blessed to have her, and to wear those t-shirts.
Amy Huang, Accounting, CHS—nominated by John Hickman (Photo: Amy Huang)
Amy Huang has been employed by Catholic Housing Services just a few months over 10 years. Amy’s work touches every CHS employee as she faces the week-in/week-out deadline to collect timesheet and payroll data and then review and process payroll information so CHS employees get paid on-time and correctly. She accomplishes this with a genuine concern for her fellow employees and a smile and a dedication to detail that is phenomenal. She is organized, consistent, and respectful of other’s opinions and is valued as an essential team member of the accounting department and the CHS agency as a whole.
Erin Maguire, Program Manager, Groundwork Project—nominated by Bill Hallerman (Photo: Erin Maguire)
Erin Maguire is extremely mission focused. It is continually clear that she takes our CCS mission to help those most in need, with dignity and respect, and with the best services we are able to provide, to heart. In her time with CCS, she first took Groundwork, which at that point was an under-performing program with a lack of clear direction, and transitioned it into a strong program with significant impact on King County’s homeless youth population. In doing so, she has given considerable attention on how to serve those least likely to access or find success through more traditional programs.
This year, Erin has also supervised several programs at the University District Youth Center. Although this center has been operating with success for many years, there have needed to be many painful changes in the past year, to accommodate changes in funding and requirements. In finding ways to meet these challenges, Erin has kept a keen focus on our clients, ensuring that we did not make decisions without carefully considering impact; consistently ensuring that we remain true to our vision of quality and dignity when it comes to serving others. With her dedication to mission-focused work, Erin has helped to integrate a more fully mission-centered focus throughout the Homeless Youth Services Culture.
Erin Maguire is an inspiration to both her staff and her peers/supervisors. One of her strengths is in ensuring that each individual she interacts with knows that they have her focus, care and attention. She takes the time and energy required to give the dedicated attention needed to build relationships and grow each of her staff into strong and thriving staff members, ensuring a stronger program and organization. Her staff has gone out of its way two years in a row to take time to honor and celebrate her role in their success. This year, her staff members each submitted words they felt best described Erin. A few of these include: centered, visionary, peaceful, sincere, supportive, dedicated and conscientious.
Erin is committed to being an expert in her field. She is knowledgeable and thoughtful about youth services, especially homeless youth services. She is thoughtful in her use and sharing of skills and knowledge. Due to high level expertise in her field, Erin recently presented at a national conference for Catholic Charities USA.
Doug McKeehen, Housing Manager, Aloha Inn and Palo Studios, CCS-King County—nominated by John Hickman (Photo: Doug McKeehen)
Doug faced many obstacles throughout his life and entered the Aloha Inn as a resident, determined to get back on-track. He successfully graduated from the program and moved out and into permanent housing. Having achieved many of his goals, Doug wanted to help other people who were still struggling to get off the streets. Doug went on to work with homeless adults at the Boomtown Café in Pioneer Square. In 2005, when the Café closed, the management of the Aloha Inn wasted no time in hiring him as a staff member to work in the computer lab. Doug’s primary job was to help residents learn to use the computers and to assist them in their efforts to find employment. He was promoted to the Housing Manager position at the Aloha Inn and began working with our Screening Committee to process applications to the program. Doug excelled in this position because he never lost sight of the struggles that people living on the streets go through every day.
Three years ago he took on the role of case manager for a new program, Palo Studios. He has really grown as an employee and is an outstanding case manager. We have served 26 chronically homeless adults with significant barriers to housing in the Palo program. As a testimony to Doug’s skills as a case manager, every person who has been enrolled in that program has either remained at The Josephinum or left to live in alternative housing.
Here is one example of Doug's commitment to his work: A Palo tenant received a 10-day notice for having a "pet" rat. The rat belonged to the tenant's brother and she was taking care of it for him. In order to keep her housed, Doug did some research and found a rat rescue group. The rat rescue group came to the apartment and caught the rat, and they then posted the rat's picture on their website and it was adopted to a nice home. Doug was able to resolve the 10-day notice, keep the tenant housed, and even find a better home for the rat.
Tiffany (Sater) Radonich, Clinical Supervisor, CCS Family Preservation Services—nominated by Mary Stone-Smith (Photo L to R: Nolita Reynolds and Tiffany (Sater) Radonich)
Tiffany started with Catholic Community Services 6 years ago as a Community Support Specialist. Her hard work and dedication was evident in those early days and she was quickly promoted to a Care Coordinator. She continued to shine in this role, showing a maturity beyond her years and a tireless commitment to doing whatever was needed for a child or family in need. She left the agency briefly to complete her graduate degree and returned to Family Preservation as a Clinical Supervisor. She rejoined the agency during a time of great change, supporting more senior supervisors and taking over the largest team at the north-end office. She brought ideas to the table, an eager mind, and was always willing to help wherever she was needed.
Tiffany has a great aptitude for leading, and has shown phenomenal growth in this area. It was this capacity that brought her to her role as Clinical Manager, leading more clinical teams than anyone else in Family Preservation. She continues to develop new leaders. She embodies the mission of doing whatever it takes to help children live safely with family and community. Clinical Supervisors share positive feedback about the support they receive from Tiffany and actively seek her direction. It was a pleasure to recommend Tiffany Radonich for the 2011 President’s Award!
Jacqueline Raymond, Program Manager, Traugott Terrace, CHS—nominated by John Hickman (Photo L to R: Greg Alex and Jacquelinr Raymond)
Jacqueline has worked for CHS since 2003. She is the founding Program Director of Traugott Terrace, and is dedicated, faith-led, and deeply committed to mission and service. She maintains an excellent balance between honoring individual needs and managing program priorities. She does this with excellence and attention to detail. She sets high expectations of herself, her staff and her residents, and this has helped cultivate a culture of respect and community. Jacqueline is admired by her colleagues for her smarts, her steadfastness and her sense of humor. She is an asset to Traugott Terrace and to this agency.
Sandy Schneider, Care Coordinator, CCS Family Preservation Services Bremerton—nominated by Mary Stone-Smith (Photo L to R: Gary Romjue, Sandy Schneider, Dave Kucklick and Linda Thomas-Jones)
In May 2007, Sandy was employed by the Bremerton CCS Family Preservation office as a Community Support Specialist and was promoted into her current Care Coordinator position in September 2009. The children, youth and families we serve have consistently expressed an appreciation of how diligently Sandy works for them to achieve their goals and to support their hopes and dreams to live together. Families trust Sandy because she is always there for them, day or night, and always follows through with services promised. Sandy “jumps in” whenever there is a need. Many times she has taken the initiative to ask co-workers, and supervisors how she can help out when things get a little crazy around the office. She is always willing to go the “extra mile” to keep kids at home or in supporting reunification efforts to get them back home or into other permanent placements. Sandy exemplifies our values that children need their families and families need their children. She has extreme perseverance and puts in whatever effort and time is needed to accomplish her performance goals.
Sandy’s perseverance was recently demonstrated when she and her team were successful in getting a youth back home with family in Montana. There were many barriers to reunification that, at times, seemed insurmountable. Sandy stayed the course and the youth was returned to family. Sandy agreed to fly to Montana even though she is deathly afraid of flying!!! I am inspired by Sandy, because of her “make it happen’ attitude, and her unwavering commitment to bring hope and joy into the lives of the children and families we serve.
Jennifer Shin, Development Associate, CCSWW Office of Mission Resources—nominated by Tina O’Brien (Photo L to R: Tina O'Brien and Jennifer Shin)
Jennifer has been on staff with CCSWW for 5 years and wholeheartedly embraces the missions of CCS & CHS. Ever mindful of the people we serve and how her role fits within the larger picture, she is a passionate ambassador for our work. She has a keen awareness of the struggles of persons who are oppressed and who face discrimination and she strives for a just and fair environment for all.
A highly skilled and essential member of the Office of Mission Resources team, Jennifer consistently goes above and beyond, always willing to help others whenever possible. Over the past year, Jennifer has done a remarkable job of bearing the burden of staff transitions, successfully and gracefully juggling the work of multiple crucial positions. She serves on an insight task force and she volunteers with agency programs in her spare time.
Jennifer is well-loved and respected by her colleagues. She is a skilled communicator and is always responsive, loving and professional. She is a sage voice during every logistical conversation as she has a gift for creating simple, elegant solutions to complex problems. Jennifer is one of those rare culture-creating individuals whose positive can-do spirit is deeply affective.
We are endlessly grateful to her for her beautiful spirit, exceptional competence and deep love for her colleagues and the people we serve. She greatly deserves recognition as a person who reflects the mission, vision, core values and beliefs of CCS & CHS in all she does.
Cathy Werden, Regional Manager, Chemical Dependency System Northwest – Snohomish County—nominated by Will Rice. (Photo L to R: Cathy Werden and Will Rice)
Cathy has been an employee of Catholic Community Services since the summer of 2004 when Northwest Alternative was assumed by CCS. Since that time, Cathy has been a leader in the CD program. In 2006 when CD System NW was formed, Cathy became the Regional Manager of CD in Snohomish County. Cathy is an extraordinary leader and represents the CD System on the CCS Western Washington Mission Team.
Cathy was chosen for the President’s Award because she exemplifies the mission of CCS. Her sincere and undying commitment to the addict that is suffering is without parallel. The quality that makes her such a powerful leader in CD System NW is her love for the client that is walking through the door for the first time. Cathy knows the power of recovery and the immense obstacles that someone suffering in active addiction must overcome to walk through the doors and ask for help. She knows that the manner in which that person is treated by us may be the difference between life and death for that person. Compassion, persistence, and faith are words that describe Cathy Werden. We are blessed to have her at CCS.