August 2019 Newsletter
Leadership Message

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we are here at ACHIEVE. The weather has been beautiful and individuals and staff across our agency have been taking full advantage!

I am pleased to share that we are making great progress on our strategic plan for the agency. As a reminder, the plan prioritizes 1) programmatic growth opportunities to address stakeholder needs and 2) increased workforce attraction and engagement, as our primary areas of focus over the next 3 years. ACHIEVE has numerous multi-disciplinary teams, consisting of staff from all levels of the organization, that are researching best practices and implementing new and creative solutions and approaches within the agency. I am so pleased with the innovation and positive impacts that are being made, as all efforts point toward improved quality of programming and supports for the individuals we serve each day. More to come on this!

I am also excited to share that our 10 th Annual Savor the Summer event is being held on August 22 nd at 6:00pm at our Cutler Pond Road facility. This is our largest fundraiser of the year and if you haven’t attended in the past, this is the year to join us! With strong representation from our local wineries, breweries and restaurants, as well as incredible music by the band Friday at Freddy’s, an impressive silent auction, and spectacular fireworks to cap off the night, you are guaranteed a great time! For tickets please click here . I hope to see you there!

As always, thank you for your support of ACHIEVE. Enjoy this month’s e-newsletter. 

Amy Howard
Chief Executive Officer
Planning is well underway for our 10th Annual Savor the Summer Event! Over the past decade, Savor the Summer has grown to become a premiere event in the Southern Tier. Hosted by ACHIEVE and the Foundation Board of Directors, this year’s event will take place  Thursday, August 22, 2019   at ACHIEVE’s Cutler Pond location. Presented by M&T Bank, this elegant tasting event features offerings from over 40 of the region’s finest restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The expected 500 guests also enjoy live entertainment and an impressive silent auction overlooking the beautiful vistas of Cutler Pond.
Submitted By: Justin Parker
ACHIEVE's packaging branch, CWS in Norwich, has an exciting new partnership with a customer; Made with a Mission out of Colorado. They are a unique company with a unique view on bringing products to the market. Below is their mission statement:
" Made with a Mission was founded on the desire to promote artisans nationwide- to give them an outlet, and a brand to promote their passion products. Every product is hand selected, from experts around the country. We search for the best, the most passionate creators, and bring them to you. All we have ever wanted to do was to help others, to show them how much their life matters. With a heart full of love and desire for excellence-we want you to know we care, and offer you nothing but the best."
Currently CWS is running two product lines for Made with a Mission :

  • Literally Lavender goat milk based body lotion
  • Yasss Citrus Goat milk based lotion

We are excited to bring their story to shelves, and they love the story we have to tell. We are bringing several new projects on from them - so stay tuned for updates.
CWS is always looking for new and exciting clients and products!

If you're a business owner with packaging needs, learn how CWS can help tell your story!
For more information:
Justin Parker, Sales and Marketing Representative : (607) 206-8695
Moving up at Tioga Downs
Submitted By: Renee Heaney
Rebekah Buffum has displayed how accepting changes and learning new skills will make anything possible.

Rebekah graduated from BOCES in June of 2018. This was a big change for Rebekah, knowing that she was leaving BOCES behind and beginning a new chapter in her life. Rebekah applied to several businesses in the Owego area, but was offered a position at the County Fair Buffet at Tioga Downs.
Nancy Worden, Manager (Left) - Rebekah Buffum, Prep-Cook (Right)
Rebekah was hired as a Busser, and began working in October of 2018. She enjoys meeting and speaking to the customers, and has become friends with many of her co-workers. Rebekah is averaging 20-25 hours per week, and often works the busiest nights, including “All You Can Eat Steak and Seafood Thursday’s.” She has done so well at work, that she has already received a raise and a promotion. Rebekah is now a Prep-Cook and maintains the salad bar and the cold food service. She has proven that she has a strong work ethic and she isn’t afraid of any challenge that she may face at work. She continues to learn new tasks every day, and has stated that she likes the change. Rebekah’s manager, Nancy has stated that she is a fantastic worker and they love having her on the team. Nancy enjoys Rebekah’s strong work ethic and her attention to detail. Executive Chef Keenan has also stated that Rebekah is a great worker, and she does a fantastic job keeping her area filled and clean for the customers. Rebekah loves her job and enjoys what she is doing. Rebekah’s journey shows how ACHIEVE strives to bring the best out of the individuals that we serve, and also assist them with continuing to maintain successful and meaningful employment. 
ACHIEVE More & Diversify Your Workforce
Attention area business owners: Are you interested in diversifying your workforce? Are you seeking dependable, quality employees? Please consider a partnership with ACHIEVE in our initiative to assist individuals of varying abilities find employment. We currently have a pool of 55 available applicants ready to meet your business needs. For additional information please contact Lisa Whitney, Chief Operating Officer at   or 607-231-5201.
Animal Adventure
Submitted By: Tammy Vinal
One of the best ways to celebrate summer is to visit Animal Adventure! Participants couldn't wait to meet, feed, and pet all the different animals. They were especially excited to meet the famous giraffes!
Color Run
Submitted By: Tori Studer
ACHIEVE Staff and participants had a blast volunteering at the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier's Color Run!
Chenango Rodeo
Submitted By: Tori Studer
Every year, our Chenango Day Habilitation program throws a picnic - and this year's theme was Rodeo! We'd like to thank our amazing staff members that put on such a fun and creative picnic, and hope all that attended had a great time!
Ice Cream Outing
Submitted By: Melanie Stein
What better way to beat this summer heat than by going out for an ice cream trip? And you can't forget to feed the dog!
Main Street Music Series
Submitted By: Melissa Blakeslee
Recreation Respite went to Cortland for a favorite summer event: The Main Street Music Series. Folks enjoyed watching and dancing to The Alternate Roots, Fall Creek Brass Band, and Lonnie Park. Recreation Respite also attended the July Fest and road on all of the carousels in the Broome County Carousel Circuit!
Broome County Fair
Submitted By: John Adams
Everyone is excited for the Broome County Fair to roll into town! This year, participants across all three counties gathered up and attended the Broome County Fair for a fun-filled day of rides, games, fair food, and farm animals!
Butterfly Release
Submitted By: Caitlin Ropp
Team Tioga has been studying butterflies for the past few weeks, and they have recently hatched! All participants gathered one evening to give the butterflies a proper release into the world!
Road Trippers
Submitted By: Melissa Blakeslee
The Recreation Respite Program has officially begun the second season of Road Trippers. This is a program for teens and children, ages seven and up, that runs during the day each Friday for six weeks in the Summer. For week one, the group spent the day visiting, interacting with, and feeding lots of critters at Animal Adventure!
Tulip Travel
Submitted By: Lynelle Davis
Donnie, James, and John were excited to be going to a NASCAR race at Pocono raceway in PA. They were all smiles the entire time!
Tioga Downs
Submitted By: Melissa Blakeslee
One of Recreation Respite's favorite activities is visiting Tioga Downs! This summer, participants from the program spent the evening watching horse races!
Home Depot
Submitted By: Tori Studer
Thank you  to Home Depot  for not only visiting our On the Pond ~ At Cutler program to teach everyone how to paint beautiful flower pots for summer, but also for providing all of the materials to do so!
Rainy Day Fun
Submitted By: Theresa Melnyk
Not all summer plans work out - and after the Challenger Baseball game was canceled, individuals gathered at the Main Street House and made cookies together!
Lemonade Stand
Submitted By: Caitlin Ropp
What better way to "cool-off" from the heat than with a fresh lemonade stand? Folks in Tioga had a blast creating a lemonade stand, and serving fresh lemonade and lemon cookies to their friends and other staff members!
Bowling and Golfing Trip
Submitted By: Melissa Blakeslee
Recreation Respite kept nice and cool during the Extreme Heat Advisory by having fun indoors! The Road Trippers went to Shipwreck Golf in Cortland to play mini glow-golf, while others from Rec went to Midway Lanes to do some bowling, and play in the Fun Zone!
NYSARC Trust Services 2019 Recreation Grant
NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts (SNT) that can make dramatic improvements to the lives of people with disabilities while enabling individuals to maintain eligibility for public benefits programs, such as Medicaid and SSI. For 2019, NYSARC Trust Services is proud to fulfill its commitment to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by awarding a total of $2,933,000 in grants to The Arc New York Chapters statewide.

This year, ACHIEVE received $15,000 to assist in funding ACHIEVE's James M. Hayes Guardianship Program and recreational opportunities. Guardianship services are provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who would not otherwise have a legal guardian or advocate. Supported by Chapter staff and community volunteers, ACHIEVE's James M. Hayes Guardianship Program currently provides guardianship supports and services to sixteen people and is ready to assists five more as a Standby or Alternate Standby guardian.
National Disability Voter Registration Week
Submitted By: Preston Evans
ACHIEVE celebrated National Disability Voter Registration Week by visiting the different ACHIEVE sites, and informed everyone about the importance of having a voice and voting. Within just a week, we were able to register twenty people!
Submitted By: Preston Evans
The Foundation Board of Directors are pleased to offer two community service scholarships each year to qualifying Chenango County seniors. The Wilson Harrison and Dr. Nobel & Muriel Valerio Scholarships recognize two students for their volunteerism and commitment to human services.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients, Kaitlyn Furner and Matthew Ryan! Thank you for your dedication to your community and good luck in the fall!
Inspirational Conference
ACHIEVE staff Irvelt Mystal and Julie Hildebrandt had the opportunity to attend the 2019 North Western Direct Support Professionals Conference. Motivational Speaker Lou Radja presented on how to thrive in challenging times. DSP’s were provided with concepts and strategies to have a greater impact, drive, and higher performance, especially in uncertain and challenging times. The presentation was centered on five pillars, including gratitude, the why, embracing change, collaboration and going the extra mile. DSP’s were celebrated at a beautiful water front venue, with a delicious buffet, raffles and, most importantly, the INSPIRATION, to ACHIEVE even more, moving forward.
Congratulations to the following employees who received a promotion in the month of June!

Candice Bond - Day Habilitation Specialist

Courtney Sarpriacone - Program Manager

Matthew Blazey - Senior Division Manager
July 2019

Tracy Eichler
Operations/Habilitation Specialist
On behalf of the Executive Management Team and the Staff Appreciation Committee, we are honored to award Tracy Eichler, Operations/Habilitation Specialist, with ACHIEVE's July Employee of the Month!
August 2019

Veronica Hernandez
Program Manager
On behalf of the Executive Management Team and the Staff Appreciation Committee, we are honored to award Veronica Hernandez, Program Manager, with ACHIEVE's August Employee of the Month!
To learn more about why these two have been selected as Employee of the Month, visit our website by   clicking here!
W e're excited to be launching our newest social media platform - Instagram! In addition to sharing good news and stories of those we serve, we will be launching multiple campaigns centered around what it's like to work for ACHIEVE, and learning more about the opportunities the agency holds for our community.
2019 Sponsors