Guild celebrates dedicated employees at annual luncheon

Celebrating exceptional work by select employees was on the agenda on Friday, September 18 as the Guild for Exception Children (GEC) hosted its annual Employee Recognition Award Ceremony.

During the reception, held at 280 68th Street, the group honored 18 employees from various facilities with titles such as direct support professional, habilitation specialist and pre-vocational trainer. Honorees were given citations by various elected officials, gift cards and other prizes for excelling in their respective roles.

The GEC is a non-profit organization that helps people with developmental disabilities lead satisfying lives.

Recipients were joined by their supervisors who were given an opportunity to explain why they chose their respective employee.

“This is a terrific day because it shows the Guild appreciates the work that these folks do every day,” said Paul Cassone, CEO and executive director of the GEC. “Sometimes the job is very demanding, but they give their hearts, sometimes their souls, and they really help our folks have a better life every day.”

Ryan Lynch, who is the policy director for Borough President Eric Adams, expressed his gratitude while presenting each honoree with a citation. “Thank you for the caring you’ve shown and the intangible work you do every single day,” he said.

Treasurer of the GEC Stanley Ramsdal was also in attendance to share his support.

“It’s not just a job. It’s a calling,” he said. “Thank you for your dedicated professionalism. You are not just their friends but part of their family. We really appreciate it.”

The honorees were grateful to their superiors for recognizing them. Cicely Atkinson, a habilitation specialist who works at the Peter Mulligan Program, brought her daughter to witness the event.

“It’s an honor to be nominated by my supervisor and the people from the Guild because I love working here with the individuals,” she said. “I love when we interact. Whenever I would be gone for a day, they would tell me, ‘Where were you? I miss you. I really love you.’ It means the world to me.”

Once all the awards were given out, Cassone addressed the crowd. “You all deserve a tremendous amount of credit. We try to come up with things that will be interesting and that will help them grow and experience and help the community see what they have to give, but you are the people that experience the ups and downs and difficult days and joy when they accomplish something. I hope you are feeling that joy,” he said.

Paul Cassone, winner Cicely Atkinson, daughter Saberiel, and supervisor Donna Caltabiano
Paul Cassone, winner Cicely Atkinson, daughter Saberiel, and supervisor Donna Caltabiano


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