Alphapointe is pleased to honor its dedicated team members with our annual series of recognition awards. These individuals represent the collective spirit and determination as Alphapointe pursues its commitment toward achieving its mission of empowering people with vision loss to achieve their goals and aspirations.
Since our founding in 1911, thousands of individuals have worked at Alphapointe and the organization is ecstatic to add these caring and enthusiastic team members to the list of honorees.
Recipients were recommended for these honors by colleagues, whose nominations are below for each individual.
Peter J. Salmon Award
Direct Labor Employee of the Year
Denovia is a highly driven employee who generates enthusiasm and esprit de corps within the mops department. She is always happy and energetic and brightens departments when she enters them. She is goal driven and strives every day, day in and day out, to meet or exceed her daily production goal, but always ensures the utmost quality in mops she delivers. She strives for highest quality in her and her workers’ performance. In addition to being very punctual and dependable, she is always a willing helper with her coworkers and offers her hand. She also has a habit of singing (beautifully!) and is very well known for this talent!
Milton J. Samuelson Award
Indirect Labor Employee of the Year
Rebekah was promoted from a Contract Closeout Specialist to Contract Management Services (CMS) Site Supervisor last March. This new role is incredibly complex due to contracting and security clearance requirements. Rebekah has trained, properly staffed and executed on Alphapointe contract close out obligations. Rebekah’s attention to detail, work ethic, eagerness to learn and positive mental attitude made her the obvious choice in an extremely competitive job market. Her terrific work led to securing a contract in Guam in the fourth quarter. Rebekah oversaw the transition of the CMS team moving from an in-office work environment to 100% remote. She conducts daily check-ins with her team to provide training, support and accountability. Rebekah is a true role model to those both with and without vision.
President’s Award – Kansas City
With more than 17 years of service to Alphapointe, Mike Young has been quietly leading the Base Supply Centers (BSC) to success year after year. In 2022, Mike exceeded the BSC budget by 17% and exceeded the budged net income by 76%! This was all done at a time when BSC’s nationally experienced roughly a 25% decline in sales. Mike’s leadership and work ethic grew the BSC revenue by 8% during the same period. Mike’s tenacity to stay ahead of pricing also allowed a gain in margin. This would not have happened without Mike’s leadership. Mike’s approachable demeanor makes him well respected by his staff. He is very aware of rewarding all that work at the BSCs, oftentimes providing donuts, lunches or other means of recognition. Thanks, Mike, for all you do!
President’s Award – New York
Carroll Foreman is highly respected, trustworthy and accountable as the general manager of New York operations. Carroll’s distinguished business acumen, experienced management style and dedication to Alphapointe’s mission is truly to be commended. He is a motivated individual who is fully knowledgeable and involved in every facet of Alphapointe’s daily operations. True to his work, every employee can rely on his trust to guide in the correct direction. Regardless of his hectic schedule, his continual demonstration of patience makes it easy for any staff member to approach him. He assumes ownership of all processes involved in the business and therefore guides every machinery of productivity with astute pride and utmost responsibility. And, he also has a jovial personality and great sense of humor!
Kansas City Department Employees of the Year
508 Compliance/IT – Rachel Strother
Rachel is continually ready and willing to take the lead for 508 demonstrations with potential customers at a moment’s notice. She is thorough and concise in explaining why all organizations need to have 508 testing. Rachel was called upon to do a demo with a new tablet and new software within days of the demo. She has always been someone we can count on showing clients what 508 testing is all about and why it helps an organization to be 508 compliant.
Accounting – Cady Jones
Cady is truly a chameleon in the department and able to master any task quickly. The accounting department experienced a tremendous amount of change in the past year and Cady not only rolled with the punches, but successfully took on more responsibility and work. Cady never backs down from a challenge. She’s always willing to jump in whenever she is needed. She is a great support to the accounting team, especially during this very challenging year. She is dependable, reliable and committed to Alphapointe’s mission.
Base Supply Centers – Dana Taylor
During the past year, we endured uncharacteristic turnover at the Little Rock Air Force Base BSC, especially in the role of Purchasing/AP. Dana stepped up each time and took on additional workload and responsibilities to ensure that customer commitments and internal timelines were met. Since her first day she has excelled in her primary position and responsibilities, yet without being asked, she was willing to help wherever needed to that we could accomplish our goals. She did so without a single complaint and maintains a positive attitude at every turn.
Contact Center/Guarded Exchange – Darrin Sherman
Darrin does an incredible job in his role as Call Quality Analyst – it’s hard to imagine what we would do without him. He wasted no time diving into his responsibilities from the start and has really grown in his confidence and command of the role since. He always comes in with a positive attitude and is ready to dive into his work. He is also always willing to help his fellow supervisors by pulling call recordings for them and assisting with simulations. Darrin’s work is always done promptly and he regularly takes the time to offer great insight to the agents when providing feedback on their calls.
Contract Management Services – Alessandra Sanitate-Rice
A lot has been asked of Alessandra during the last couple of years in CMS. She has consistently risen to the occasion without complaint and then asked what more she could do to help. Alessandra is consistently dependable, not only in accomplishing her day-to-day responsibilities, but willingness to learn something new and achieve whatever is asked of her. It is obvious that she not only wants to complete her duties, but do her job well and learn new things to improve not only her own performance but that of the team and department. Since CMS went remote, Alessandra consistently accomplishes her responsibilities in a timely manner and then asks what more she can do.
Development/Rehabilitation – Becky Dumsky
Becky has really grown into her role this year after transitioning to clinical services, consistently exceeding goals and benchmarks for occupational therapy appointments. This hard work contributed to the team setting a new department high for insurance billings. During the past eight years, Becky has worked hard to gain new skills and she obtained her OTA license. Becky’s patients are always exceedingly pleased with the care and training she provides in their homes and they show progress in meeting their own goals for independence because of her commitment. She always plans ahead to ensure that all of her appointments are filled and that she has the right equipment and devices for productive sessions with her patients. Becky is also always friendly and helpful with the rest of the team.
Office Products – Kevin Eschbaugh
Kevin is doing a fantastic job in the department. He is on time and at work every day. Kevin will do anything that is asked of him whether it is to work on the machines or to pack up finished product. Kevin is always aware of his speed and wants to complete the task as soon as possible, but is always mindful of producing good quality work. Kevin has no problem asking questions and seeking out the correct answers if he is unsure how to complete a task. He also gets along with everyone in the department and is willing to go the extra mile to help out one of his fellow coworkers if assistance is needed.
Plastics (1st Shift) – Alex Raiford
In the past year, Alex has proven himself to an incredible asset to the plastics department. He can run multiple machines, he maintains a clean work area and he constantly communicates with his supervisor and mold tech to see if they need any support from him. Alex is always willing to help a fellow employee when needed. He is always pleasant and maintains a positive attitude.
Plastics (2nd Shift) – Regina Huey
Regina constantly goes above and beyond her normal duties to get the job done. She makes sure that all work that passes through her meets our quality standards, she helps others when they’re having issues and she does not blame others for mistakes. She has a way of getting everyone to cooperate and has fun doing it.
Plastics (3rd Shift) – Greg Linard
Greg has really grown in his position this year. He can work all positions in plastics and he gives his all no matter where he is stationed. Greg is honest and takes accountability. He is eager to help others and maintains great relationships with his coworkers.
Quality Assurance/Warehouse/Maintenance – Loretta Jackson
Loretta has taken command of her new role as Quality Assurance Supervisor. She is very knowledgeable and goes out of her way to be helpful to those around her. She is always flexible; changing her schedule to meet the needs of the organization and working overtime to ensure coverage. She has taken it upon herself to become a subject matter expert by taking classes on her own time to learn quality management and auditing. She always has a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Loretta never backs down from a challenge. She has had many firsts this year and has had to learn quickly. Everything she tackles, she masters. Loretta is gracious and humble. She is respectful and collaborative. She is supportive and encouraging to those around her.
Rightfully Sewn – Ken Burrell
Ken is committed to providing the best service possible and gives his all to the mission and visions of Rightfully Sewn. Ken works with clients from the moment a project is brought to the team. He evaluates what material needs are – if we can perform the work, then he works directly with staff, from patterning making to final cut to ensure successful completion. Whether working with clothing, athletic wear, or table linens, Ken demonstrates the kind of commitment to detail required to succeed. He is a calming source to clients and he has shown a strong capacity to grow into an even better leader. Ken is always truthful and straightforward. He understands the work-life balance needed to grow into the next few years. Ken understands how important it is for staff to enjoy coming to work and he exemplifies the ideal leader.
New York Department Employees of the Year
Administration – Liam Martin
Liam exhibits all of the qualities of an exemplary employee. He has perfect attendance, is always professional and courteous and is always willing to lend a hand when assistance is needed. He always makes guests and visitors feel welcome and comfortable. As the receptionist, Liam always greets people with a friendly smile and professionally assists them in getting where and with whom they seek. Liam is very punctual and dependable. He is always at his workstation on time and never departs early. He is quick to let people know when visitors arrive and gets them checked in. Liam always assists personnel when they have administrative needs (printing, mailing, translation of documents, delivering mail/packages when they arrive, etc.).
Assembly – Areatha Mayers
Areatha always tries her best and works hard, constantly producing more than the established production goals. Whatever task she is given, she makes sure she understands what is asked of her and she double checks that all the material given to her is correct. Areatha is very cognizant of her work pace and will let her supervisor know if she ever feels that she may not have worked quickly enough. She works well with any team and happily assists her co-workers when needed. Her light hearted demeanor makes her a pleasure to work with day in and day out.
Broom/Brush – Lizardo Fernandez-Garcia
Lizardo works mostly in the broom area, but is willing to work in any area he is needed. He is always in a good mood, gets along with his co-workers, works well independently on the broom machines – moving from station to station making sure that our production needs are achieved. He checks everything in the process. If there is an issue with material or a machine or he feels something is not up to our standards, he will inform the supervisor. He strives to meet his production goals and informs his supervisor if there is something that is preventing him from doing so. He works well with is team and is always supportive of the overall success of the team.
General Factory/Maintenance – Roopnarine Ragnanan
He has a willing approach to every aspect of his job, which makes him a model employee. The fact that he knows every facet of the building makes him a huge asset to the team. He acts as a valued reservist for shipping and the warehouse in the absence of employees and when backlogged. He aims to ensure that his work output is of the expected standards or higher. He is honest, loyal, dependable, and always wears a smile on his face regardless of the situation.
Mops – Juan Batista
Juan takes a leadership role in the handles area. He is prompt and dependable and can handle all the machinery. He is very conscientious and has a very strong work ethic.
Needlecraft – Eddy Bartolo de la Cruz
Eddy is a motivated employee. He challenges himself to learn any new tasks or operations. His productivity and quality standards meet or exceed expectations. He has cross trained to work in other departments like broom and brush and mops. Eddy is on time every day, always at his workstation when it’s time to start and always has a positive attitude ready to meet the day’s goals. He takes initiative to help his co-workers both within and outside of his department.
Plastics – Cristian Sanchez-Paulino
Cristian leads by example and will do any task needed. If he runs out of material, he will go get more and if it is not available, he will jump on another machine to help out. He is always seeking what is next once he is done with his tasks. If there is an issue with a machine or a bottleneck on the line, he is sure to inform his supervisor. He meets his daily production goals and encourages others to pick up the pace if they are behind. Cristian works well with all his co-workers and keeps a pleasant demeanor throughout the day.
Sewing – Jie Ling Mei
Mei is an excellent employee. She does more than one operation in the department and her productivity is outstanding. She is conscious of the daily departmental goals and ensures the team meets them. She loves what she does and her positive attitude helps to overcome any difficulties that come up. She takes initiative and helps others when they need it, regardless of if they work within or outside of the department.
Shipping/Material Handling – Raymond Mohamad
Ray has quickly become a dependable, hard-working and trusted member of the shipping team. He takes on any role necessary to get things done. He works quickly and efficiently. He is also a self-starter, stays motivated and sees his tasks through to completion. Ray is a man of his word and if he says he will do something you can believe he will. He is dependable, forthright and always maintains a positive attitude. He doesn’t blame others or make excuses for his mistakes. Whether it’s unloading/loading trucks or shipping parcels, Ray willingly lends a hand without being asked. He keeps the team on track and everyone moving in the right direction.
Warehouse – Vincent Clement
Vincent has stepped into his new role and has excelled quickly to our top picker. He is able to complete the most lines in the shortest amount of time. He not only is our top picker, but has also taken the time to learn processing and shipping. Vincent takes pride in how his work is presented, keeping everything organized and neat. Vincent adjusts well on the fly and makes sure he consistently keeps his output high. He brings a “ready to work” attitude to work every day.
Special Recognition Awards
Thuy Bui (Kansas City – Payroll Supervisor)
New policies, late nights and weekends are no threat to Thuy. She has not only taken on each new request without hesitation, but tirelessly worked through each change and challenge with a smile. Thuy is willing and eager to conquer every task without hesitation and she takes perfection personally. Thuy has a joyous and giving spirit and is thoughtful of those around her. She is an unstoppable force who continues to be relentless in striving to make certain each of us has a perfectly executed payroll every time.
Tabitha Davidson-Jadwin (Kansas City – Rehabilitation and Clinical Practice Manager)
Tabitha is responsible for completely turning around the low vision services department and both low vision clinics to be both revenue positive as well as administratively sound and efficient. She surpassed her billing goals this year and the collection rate is above industry average. She has also done a great job in streamlining back-office processes. She is making great headway in establishing new reimbursement opportunities within the state rehabilitation offices. Last, but not least, Tabitha’s quick thinking and leadership skills were critical in the positive outcome of a medical emergency with a client this year. The agency scorecard reflects the excellence that Tabitha brings to her job. Revenue, billing and clients served goals were all met during the year. Administrative tasks ranging from contracts to client referrals to billing are streamlined. Client days and occupational therapy visits are booked solid.
Susan Hale (Kansas City – Purchasing Manager)
Susan’s leadership and expertise in supplier management and negotiations have been key to achieving substantial cost savings and cost avoidance totaling nearly $1 million for the year. Her exceptional cost savings performance is attributed to her innovative thinking, questioning the status quo and partnering with her suppliers to find solutions to our material and financial needs. Susan’s purchasing expertise and passion for detail, organization, planning and initiative consistently stands out.
Sandy Kelly (Kansas City – Director of Supply Chain)
Although Sandy is still a rookie at Alphapointe, she has performed as an experienced veteran at dealing with supply chain issues. Sandy is not afraid to dive into issues with vendors, transportation providers and our employees to help Alphapointe get things done. She keenly negotiates matters to accelerate timelines and decelerate costs. Sandy has helped us get what we need, when we need it, without paying too much.
Liz Hastings (Kansas City – Product Support Specialist)
Liz hit the ground running joining Alphapointe during the year. She immediately began by displaying dedication, initiative and a positive attitude. Liz regularly operates effectively and efficiently under tight timelines with little to no supervision. Her efforts managing lengthy reports, price lists, administering price fairness and supporting both sales managers and the business development team prove to be a true asset to Alphapointe as a whole. To measure the impact of her efforts, the pricing fairness initiative Liz orchestrated will result in massive additional in revenue during the next 12 months. Liz willingly volunteers in assisting in supporting Alphapointe’s biggest events bringing the same infectious positive as she does to the office.
Amy McCaslin (Kansas City – Director of Operations)
Amy stepped into a challenging role as the Director of Quality Assurance. She stabilized the quality team and established a clear structure that allows her team to function fluently. Amy consistently goes the extra mile to satisfy the customers’ needs, both internal and external. She has been invaluable to the plastics team by providing leadership and stability to the department and its employees. Amy consistently strives to develop data driven decisions to provide the most accurate information available. She regularly shoulders the burden of our mistakes as her own failure. She rarely places blame on others and strives to create real root causes to prevent mistakes in the future. Amy takes great pride in the relationships she developed during her tenure at Alphapointe. These relationships are built on trust, honesty and a shared motivation for success.
Oswaldo Rivera (New York – Assistant Supervisor, Mops)
Oswaldo is a long-term, loyal and dedicated employee. “Waldo” is one of the hardest working individuals in New York. When the Mops team struggled for an extended period of time, Waldo stayed the course, listened and accepted guidance and never gave up. As a result of his efforts, Mops has become one of the most efficient departments, often hitting and exceeding 100% efficiency. Waldo is a hands-on supervisor and works hand-in-hand on the lines with his team. He is quick to point out problems and is outspoken when something isn’t right. He’s quick to engage in and assist in any problem thrown at him. He is very punctual and extremely dependable. He takes his responsibilities very seriously. Waldo is respected and admired by his employees; not only does he stand shoulder to shoulder with them on the line, he inspires them with his jovial and happy approach to work.
Scott Thornhill (Remote – Director of Public Policy)
Scott was a contributing member of the public policy team that secured significant funding from the federal government, New York State government and New York City government for renovations to the Queens facility and for the training programs. He also interviewed Governor David Paterson and Trisha Zorn-Hudson and then coordinated the launch of the Foresight series featuring the Governor as the first guest. He coordinated numerous meetings and developed relationships with city and state officials that will help Alphapointe for years to come.
Terence Upshur (New York – Material Handler)
Terence is a long term, loyal and dedicated employee. He is one of the hardest working individuals in New York. When changes occurred in the warehouse, Terence took it upon himself to independently take charge of “the cage” and as a result it is in better shape now than it has ever been. Terence is a self-starter and doesn’t need to be managed. He eagerly responds to radio calls when raw materials are needed and/or finished goods need to be sent to the warehouse without needing to be “dispatched. He also notifies production management when he notices that he’s down to the last pallet of materials so follow-up can occur with procurement. Terence is quick to point out when he’s made an error and accepts responsibility for it. He is very punctual and extremely dependable. Terence is respected and admired by all of his coworkers. He’s quick to volunteer for special projects and maintains a very happy approach to his work.
Wendell Walch (Kansas City – Mold Technician)
Wendell has been an exemplary employee. Every day, Wendell keeps machines running effectively and consistently. When there’s a problem with the quality of bottles, Wendell will address the issue with urgency. Wendell makes sure employees have all the supplies they need throughout the day to ensure they do their job effectively and safely. Wendell is always willing to go above and beyond his regular duties as a mold tech, he will help maintenance when needed to work on a machine or even help with mold changes in the micro molding room. Wendell has been a dedicated employee who shows passion for the work he does and always strives to be better.
Taiiyyaon “Tay” Wilson (Kansas City – Mold Technician)
Tay has done a great job keeping the machines running and making sure all parts are good. He will fix problems if there are issues with products. He’s quick to ask a question when he doesn’t know how to deal with an issue and he never blames someone else when something goes wrong. Tay has also had to fill in as a supervisor several times on the second shift. He has grown his supervisory skills due to this, which has allowed him to get to know his fellow co-workers allowing for greater team collaboration.
Mark Wishon (Kansas City – Plastics Process Technician)
Mark established himself as a valuable member of the manufacturing team almost immediately upon hire. His positive attitude and mentoring personality were a hit. He has been organized and innovative since starting at Alphapointe and has had a positive impact on the team and their performance. Since Mark joined the production team, we have seen marked improvement in the performance of the injection molding area as well as the Bekum machine. Organization, schedule adherence, and quality have all improved as a result of Mark’s ideas and examples. Mark has established himself as a “go-to” guy in the injection molding area because of his “make it happen” mentality. He has a heart for the mission and loves to brag about where he works.