New Community Celebrates Employees Who Reached Career Milestones

Photos by Ibn Nash.

New Community hosted Employee Appreciation Day on June 16 to honor and celebrate employees who reached career milestones with the organization in 2022. A total of 96 employees were recognized with a combined total of 895 years of service.

New Community CEO Simone Gagneron told the group that their years of service not only represent their commitment to the organization and its mission but also individual lives touched.

“Our work here would not be possible without each and every one of you,” she said. “We are forever grateful and we appreciate you all.”

New Community Director of Human Resources Benjamin Galvez pointed out that over the 55-year history of the organization, there have been many dedicated employees and those in attendance have joined those ranks.

“Some have come and gone but all of you here today have chosen to continue to do what we started a long time ago because you know we have not yet accomplished our mission,” he said. “For that, we thank you.”

New Community Director of Mission Frances Teabout talked about how the work of the organization is ongoing and requires many different people on a continuous basis. She told the story about the 2016 women’s Olympic relay team and how they overcame dropping the baton during a qualifying race and went on to win a gold medal in the event. She said even though they made a big mistake, they didn’t give up and continued to work toward their goal. At New Community, she said there have been many groups of people tackling issues over the years and while at times mistakes have been made and the mission hasn’t been fulfilled, someone steps up and encourages the rest of the staff to keep working toward the end goal.

“Thank you for running the race. Thank you for picking up the baton, for never letting it lay there for too long but for moving it forward,” Teabout said.

In addition to recognizing employees who reached milestone years of service, New Community also presented a plaque to Tony Tolles who retired from the position of Director of Real Estate Development at the end of March. He worked at New Community for a total of 13 years in several roles.

Gagneron told Tolles, “You were a pleasure to work with and I’m honored.”

New Community Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Mbakaya worked with Tolles in the Finance Department. She said, “I’m who I am because of Tony.”

Tolles said he enjoyed his tenure at New Community and the time he spent with colleagues.

“It’s been a joy and a pleasure to work with you. It’s been a wonderful ride,” he said. “Thank you all and I appreciate the kind words.”

Each honoree who reached a milestone year was presented with a certificate and later received a rewards program gift, which was in the form of a dollar amount recognition based on years of service.

2022 Honorees

5 Years of Service
Augusta Agaranwa, Extended Care
Gladys Artis, Resident Services
Olatokunbo Awojobi, Extended Care
Damonya Bronson, Security
Essi Ramona Galley, NCCTI
Lawrence Ibeh, Extended Care
Aziza Johnson, NCCTI
Lorraine Jones, Security
Najiam Kinchen, Security
Sunil Kumar, Security
Michelle Lang, Communications
Marco Luzuriaga, Environmental Services
Sophia Mason-Sample, Finance
Linda Murphy, Extended Care
Violet Mutsalali, Finance
Mariluz Nunez Saldana, Security
Nicole Porter, Security
Rolando Rivera, Security
Jacqueline White-Alston, Security
Satoya Williams, Security

10 Years of Service
Warren Booker, Security
Basilio Mota, Environmental Services
Foluke (Debbie) Ogundele, Extended Care
Helen Okafor, Extended Care
Sarah Rolon, Finance

15 Years of Service
Maria Armas, Extended Care
Sharon Brown, CHELC
Phillip Cobbs, Security
Osiomwanr Edwards, Extended Care
Keith Mckenzie, Environmental Services
Yonette Semple, Extended Care
Migdalia Serrano, FSB
Atul Shah, Credit Union
Angela Williams, Finance

20 Years of Service
Tina Buckman, Extended Care
Martinha Gracias, Extended Care
Wayne Gravesande, Environmental Services
Frances Haywood, Extended Care
Martina Nunez, Adult Learning Center
Abigail Osorto, CHELC
Maria Ruiz, Environmental Services
Reginald Watson, Environmental Services

25 Years of Service
Carolyn Andrews, HHELC
Brenda Buesing, Human Resources
Maria Cruz, Extended Care
Mary Hall, Extended Care
Delya Holt, Adult Learning Center
Krishna Kumar, Extended Care
Alexandra Solano, Finance
Joann Williams-Swiney, Family Resource Success Center
Brian Yhap, Environmental Services
Woolford Yhap. Environmental Services

30 Years of Service
Amabel Clement, Extended Care
Ali Jenkins, Transportation
Rufus Keil, Environmental Services
Veronica Onwunaka, Extended Care

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