15 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Kimberly Breslin – Program Manager – Scriven House

Congratulations, Kimberly Breslin, on your 15-year Springbrook Milestone! Kimberly started her career doing respite work when she was a Junior at SUNY Oneonta. She loved working with different people and their families and decided to become a DSP at Parker House on the main campus. Seven years and a handful of different residences on campus later, Kimberly was promoted to manager of Scriven House, where she continues to work with students and help them achieve new skills. Working at Springbrook has changed Kimberly’s perspective on life. She shares, “I am a lot more patient, and it prepared me for parenthood. I have taken many skills I learned at Springbrook and applied them to my own life with my son. Patience and understanding are key. Positive reinforcement is effective and creates a positive bond.” Thank you for your years of service, Kimberly, and congratulations on your Springbrook Milestone achievement.

Tyrone Lohr – Pre Voc Employment Specialist

Tyrone Lohr is celebrating his 15-year Springbrook Milestone! Tyrone is currently an employment specialist, but has held a wide range of jobs within the organization. When he first started at Springbrook, he was a shared staff in the school, then became an overnight staff member at Taylor House, and with some time became a mentor, helping new staff acclimate to their various work locations at Springbrook. This involved teaching part of the extended employee orientation class, which included teaching CPR and first aid. From there, Tyrone went on to be a residential counselor at Springbrook’s Glens Bridge Community Home and then held a day habilitation position before becoming an employment specialist. Tyrone says that he enjoys helping individuals connect with family members and other people in their life. “I’ve stayed at Springbrook because it has afforded me the ability to tackle different challenges and have a wide range of job assignments in the workplace,” he said. Tyrone is humorous and an eternal optimist who enjoys serving others and making a difference. Thank you for your years of service, Tyrone, and congratulations on your Milestone achievement! 

Deborah Carey – Custodian – Maintenance Education

Today we celebrate last year’s winner of the Belden Award, and now, 15-year Milestone employee, Deborah Carey. Deborah started working at Springbrook in 2006 in the facilities department and has been providing exceptional service since then. Friends and coworkers will tell you that Deborah is easy to talk to, helpful, honest, and hardworking. She enjoys her work and shares that she gets the satisfaction of knowing that what she does makes a big difference in the students’ lives. Deborah is an exemplary employee, so we asked her if she had any advice for new Springbrook employees. She shared, “Be true to yourself, be a hard worker, always treat everyone how you would want to be treated, and never take anything for granted.” Thank you, Deborah, for your years of service, and congratulations on your Milestone!

Special Education Teacher – Preschool

Why have you stayed at Springbrook over the last 15 years? “I have been asked this question before, and I always answer, because I like what I do. The reason I stay is that it is personally very rewarding to me to watch students make small steps and sometimes big steps,” shares Catherine Lien, who we recognize today for her 15-year Milestone achievement. Catherine started working at Springbrook as a temporary summer school teacher. She was then hired for the fall semester and became a lead teacher in the GEMS program, helping to mentor new teachers. Later, Catherine transferred to the Kids Unlimited Preschool as a special education teacher and was then promoted to lead. Springbrook has helped Catherine to appreciate the differences that she makes in the lives of students she supports. She shares, “It’s watching the small achievements and enjoying the students gain independence.” Congratulations on your achievement Catherine, and we thank you for your years of service.

Rachel Griffis-Grant – Training Coordinator

Many people at Springbrook will know our next Milestone employee because of her fantastic work in training our staff. Today we congratulate Rachel Griffis-Grant on her 15-year Milestone achievement. Rachel has worn many hats at Springbrook and in her years of service has been a DSP/shared aide, a mentor in-house trainer, a Community Homes DSP, a GEMS program DSP, and has provided direct support at Kids Unlimited Preschool. She then became a training specialist and is now working in Springbrook’s Human Resources department as the training coordinator. “I enjoy making sure that staff are trained well so that they are able to provide quality services and supports to the people we support,” she said. Rachel is outgoing, peppy, and friendly, and happily shares just how much she has truly enjoyed her time in all the many positions she has held at Springbrook. Thank you for your years of service and expertise, Rachel! Congratulations on your Milestone.

James Murdoch – Maintenance Supervisor

James Murdoch is celebrating his 15-year Springbrook Milestone! James is Springbrook’s grounds supervisor and water operator. When he first started at Springbrook, he was a temporary grounds employee, then got his water operator license. James says many moments stick out in his career at Springbrook. “Occasionally a resident will tell us how nice their home or classroom looks!” he said. “Hearing positive comments gives our team and me a tremendous amount of satisfaction.” James provides a safe and beautiful environment for people to live in and enjoy and feels great being a part of Springbrook’s mission. Thank you for your years of service, James, and congratulations on your Milestone achievement!

Lisa Young – Shared Aide Susquehanna – GEMS School

“When I first started working here I didn’t think I would last more than six months. Then the students opened their hearts to me and I found I didn’t want to leave them. I wanted to give them the care they deserved,” shared Lisa Young. Lisa started as a residential counselor at Penthouse working evenings and then moved into a shared aide position when Susquehanna House opened. She most recently became a teaching assistant for the GEMS program, and today we’re celebrating her 15-year Milestone achievement! For Lisa, Springbrook feels like home and she has made so many great memories. Thank you for your years of service, Lisa, and congratulations!

Laura Monk – Residence Manager

For our next 15-year Milestone employee, we congratulate Laura Monk. Starting her career as a shift coordinator, Laura trained new staff, did the grocery shopping, and took residents to medical appointments. She was then promoted to the position she holds today—Residence Manager at Springbrook’s Broad Street Community Home. She brings a lot of energy and positivity when she interacts with residents and her team. Laura shared, “I spent countless hours interacting with the residents to get to know their likes and dislikes and working on their goals with them. I am a great role model for staff.” Laura is dedicated and goal-oriented, always sure that each resident’s individualized needs come first. She says that a lot of what she gets out of Springbrook is the satisfaction of helping make a difference in each resident’s life and helping them learn new things. Thank you, Laura, for your years of service and dedication to the residents you support. Congratulations on your Milestone achievement!

Heather Schneider – Individual Program Coordinator

Congratulations, Heather Schneider, for your 15-year Springbrook Milestone! Heather is an IPC at the Cook Street Community Home. Coworkers, friends, and family describe Heather as easygoing, sometimes chatty, and always a team player. We asked Heather what advice she would give newcomers to Springbrook, and she said, “Enjoy the ride, follow the rules, and have fun. Remember that everyone we provide services to is with us for a reason, and we are hired to help them live their best life. Treat someone the way you would want yourself or a loved one to be treated.” Thank you for your years of service, Heather, and what great advice!

Lisa Vargas – Day Habilitation Assistant

Today we celebrate Lisa Vargas for her 15-year Springbrook Milestone! Lisa started at Springbrook as an administrative assistant for the HCBS department. She is now a day habilitation assistant in the Oak and Elm Community Home, where she takes people to the Oneonta Campus to enjoy their day program and see their friends. Lisa is very passionate about her current position and enjoys it very much, despite that years ago, as an administrative assistant, she never thought she would directly work with people.  Thank you, Lisa, for your service and expertise, and congratulations on your Milestone.

Erika Bennett – Overnight Residence Counselor

Congratulations to Erika Bennett on reaching her 15-year Springbrook Milestone! Erika is the Overnight Residence Counselor at Elm and she does a wonderful job providing quality supports and services. Thank you for your years of service, Erika, and congratulations on your Milestone achievement. .

Jessica Wilfeard – Certified Teaching Assistant 2

Congratulations to Jessica Wilfeard on reaching her 15-year Springbrook Milestone! Jessica is a Certified Teaching Assistant at the GEMS School and she does a terrific job providing quality supports and services. Thank you for your years of service, Jessica, and congratulations on your Milestone achievement.

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