January 25, 2023 – We were honored to celebrate our staff milestone anniversaries and recognition awards at J Bella’s in Strongsville last night. Blossom Hill leadership and board members celebrated staff milestone anniversaries that spanned from 5 to 25 years. The event also included four recognition awards: “Leadership Award,” “Rookie of the Year,” “Star Performer,” and “Krista Plowman Award.”

In 2022, we recognized an outstanding leader at Blossom Hill – someone who demonstrates our Core Values: compassion, teamwork, trust & respect, inspire, and integrity. Maria Fein, House Manager and QIDP at Center Ridge House received this award for her compassionate and calm leadership. Jeany Tri, Director of Quality and Compliance, wrote in her nomination, “Maria has demonstrated over and over her commitment to everyone’s welfare and taken the initiative to organize (dare I say even color code), build relationships and provide gentle yet consistent leadership.”

This year’s Krista Plowman Award was awarded to Gabby Morales, LPN Nurse Supervisor at Blossom/Haven House. 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. “The staff and indivduals have a sense of calmness when she is working the floor,” said Laura Zarycki. “Her knowledge of the individuals allows her to sense when they are not feeling good or having an off day. Her knowledge and overall gentleness allows for the individuals to feel safe.”

The “Rookie of the Year Award,” a new recognition this year, went to Adrienne Gonzalez, HR Generalist, who started in March, 2022. This award recognized a staff member who stepped up and has done an amazing job in their first year. “Adrienne jumped right in and has handled the transition from the outsourced H/R,” Harry Cool, Controller, wrote in his nomination. “She handles her responsibilities with both tact and grace and always has a smile.”

Finally, Blossom Hill’s “Star Performer” was Christine Curran, a Direct Support Professional at Center Ridge House who celebrated her 25th milestone year in 2022. Christine was nominated by Tabitha Wachenschwanz, who said, “Christine always is willing to help and pick up extra shift when needed. She always completed her job to the best of her ability; She shows compassion and shows all the individuals they are all important and equal. She takes the time to learn and gets to know every individual, and she makes she all their needs are met and makes each and everyone feel special in their own way. Christine shows and demonstrates our core values every day she is at work.”

Another highlight was celebrating Gayle Falinski, Director of Finance, who works remotely but has been part of Blossom Hill for 25 years. “Gayle has been a guidepost,” said Steve Zuponcic, a member of Blossom Hill’s Board of Directors. “When we were building the homes in North Royalton I became anxious about overleveraging ourselves, concerned about whether we really had the finances to pull it off. Gayle encouraged me to go forward, to take the next steps. Now we have two beautiful homes to show for it. In any situation I always appreciated her drive and her desire to do the right thing for Blossom Hill.”

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.

We missed a few of our milestone anniversary recipients at the event and made a video to share with them!