Heritage Ministries Honors Employees At Annual Recognition Dinner

Heritage Ministries recently hosted its annual Employee Recognition Dinner at Moonbrook Country Club in Jamestown. More than 80 employees were honored for their service to the nonprofit organization. Submitted photo

Heritage Ministries hosted its annual Employee Recognition Dinner at Moonbrook Country Club in Jamestown.

This year’s event honored 82 Heritage employees for their service to the nonprofit, human service ministry organization. The evening’s presentation recognized these individuals along with the employees of the year and retirees. Also announced were the 2018 recipients of three awards: the Mary Lou Clark Outstanding Customer Service Award, the Rev. LeRoy L. Lundgren Servant Leadership Award and the Walter S. Fleming Chairman’s Award.

Each year, Heritage Ministries celebrates the dedication of its staff with a formal dinner. Those honored this year were celebrating their anniversaries of service with the nonprofit organization. Eighty-two employees were honored at the dinner, representing a combined 784 years of service to Heritage Ministries. As one of the largest employers in Chautauqua County, Heritage Ministries employs nearly 800 employees, and holds the annual Employee Recognition Dinner to distinguish and to appreciate them. Heritage Ministries is constantly striving to make sure that its employees feel valued.

Lisa Haglund, vice president of marketing and development said, “It is a privilege to honor those who live our mission, to promote hope, dignity and purposeful living to our residents.” She continued, “Each employee plays an important role every day, and I am thankful to be part of recognizing them for the hard work they do. We are honored to celebrate all that they do to continue to support the Heritage mission of providing hope, dignity and purposeful living to those entrusted to our care.”

Three employees were recognized for their outstanding achievement and exceptional service with special awards throughout the evening. David Smeltzer, Heritage president and chief executive officer, stated, “You are successful because of your passion to serve others, and truly do show every day that you hold true to the Heritage belief that caring is our calling. You embody the core values of our organization, and we are blessed to have you as a part of our team.”

The 2018 Mary Lou Clark Outstanding Customer Service Award was presented to Shelly Sandquist, a social worker at The Park in Jamestown. The annual award seeks nominees who demonstrate excellent customer service, positively represent Heritage Ministries showing a true commitment to the organization’s mission statement, and also hold an outstanding employee record.

Nominated by her co-workers, Sandquist is, “Sincere, patient, kind and always kind to residents and staff. She is always very attentive to her residents’ needs and does all she can to help them.”

The 2018 the Rev. LeRoy L. Lundgren Servant Leadership Award was presented to Sharon Walters, director of nursing at The Green. On March 4, 2007, the Rev. Lundgren, retired United Methodist pastor, completed his earthly ministry and began to enjoy his heavenly rewards. Although his sudden passing saddened the entire Heritage organization, we were thankful for the servant leadership he displayed in the few years he lived and served as the chair of the Resident Advisory Council at Heritage Village Retirement Campus. The Servant Leadership Award is given to an outstanding employee who serves in a supervisory role at work and in the community.

One Heritage employee noted, “Her commitment to our residents and staff is beyond compare. Her leadership and positive influence pushes us to always strive to do better and give our residents more. She works countless hours to serve and put our residents’ dignity first.”

The 2018 the Rev. Walter S. Fleming Chairman’s Award was presented to Melissa Trusler, director of development. In 2011, the Rev. Fleming, Gerry Homes board chairman, reluctantly decided to retire from the board due to his increasing responsibilities as a senior pastor at Pearce Memorial Church and as an adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan College. While the Heritage organization was disappointed to learn of his retirement, they were very thankful and appreciative of his unselfish servant leadership for close to 20 years. In this time he served as board member, secretary, committee chairman, and most recently as board chairman. The Chairman’s Award recognizes the employee who most exemplifies the mission, vision and core values of Heritage Ministries.

Trusler’s nomination read “Melissa deserves this award because she goes above and beyond every day to promote hope, dignity and purposeful to both residents and staff through every interaction she has. She represents all of the Heritage core values. I am thankful to work with someone as positive as she is.”