April 26, 2022 – We were glad to be back celebrating our staff milestone anniversaries and recognition awards in-person at J Bella’s in Strongsville. Blossom Hill leadership and board members celebrated staff milestone anniversaries that spanned from 5 to 25 years. The event included three recognition awards: “Rookie of the Year,” “Star Performer,” and “Krista Plowman Award.”

We were please to award the 2021 Krista Plowman Award to Laura Zarycki, a Direct Support Professional who has worked at Blossom Hill for 26 years. This annual award celebrates a beloved and inspiring staff member, Krista Plowman, who sadly passed away in 2018. Each year, this award goes to a staff member who truly goes above and beyond what is expected. “Laura is a hard worker and really cares about the individual’s wellbeing and the company’s wellbeing as well. Words cannot describe Laura enough,” Moody Assad, House Manager, Blossom/Haven House, said.

The “Rookie of the Year Award,” a new recognition this year, went to Sonia Richardson, an LPN at Center Ridge House. This award recognized a staff member who stepped up and has done an amazing job in their first year. Staff members must have been at Blossom Hill less than a year as of December 31, 2021. “Sonia is not only a great nurse, but she is whatever she needs to be to make our company achieve our high standards of care and love,” said Ron Deverse in his nomination of Sonia.

Blossom Hill’s “Star Performer” was Tabitha Wachenschwanz. The Star Performer Award is for staff members who have stepped up in a big way throughout the year. In 2021, this award recognized a staff member who really stepped up during COVID or provided outstanding service in a different way. “During our recent Covid outbreak she [Tabitha] did not hesitate to rearrange her schedule to accommodate the needs of the house to make sure we were covered wherever we needed her,” said Sarah Gorman in her nomination. “Her kindness and patience shines through as she sits and does crafts with the individuals and paints the females nails every Friday…It’s hard to put into words just how much she appreciated!”

Another highlight was celebrating Christine Curran, a DSP who has been with Blossom Hill for 25 years in 2021. “It’s one thing to be at any job for 25 years, let alone as a DSP,” said Sarah Gorman, House Manager at Center Ridge House. “It is truly an amazing accomplishment.”

About Blossom Hill, Inc.

Founded in 1968, Blossom Hill is a nonprofit organization that that owns and operates family-style group homes for adults with profound intellectual and physical disabilities living in the Greater Cleveland Area. Our homes provide a loving environment and personalized 24-hour care for our individuals, short-term respite care for families that need temporary care for their love ones and supported living care options. For more information, visit our website at blossom-hill.org.