Appreciation of Years of Service

Take it from someone who has worked in several different countries, cities and jobs.  It’s the people you work with that make an organization the place to work.  An organization can have great benefits, convenient hours, great pay, and provide challenging work; but in my opinion, without good people to work with, an organization is just that, an organization. 

The success of Futures is the direct result of our valued staff members. Their commitment and dedication to their peers, the participants we support, and the values and mission of our organization is a vital link in the chain which drives our operations. In recognition of that commitment, we are honored to recognize the following staff for their years of valued service.

1 Year of Service

Our best compliments on your one-year anniversary!  We are looking forward too many more year of amazing work together. Congratulations to: Tim Anderson, Jessica Pierce, Joshua McHugh, Ruth Whiteman, Amber Hallock, Jessica Luce, Rachel Ingram, Danielle Stull, Jennifer Johnson, and Patricia Weiss.

5 Years of Service

Over the past five years, Futures has undergone significant changes such as management, a new CEO, a Human Resources department, a new kitchen, expansion of the CPS program and vehicle fleet, addition of Home and Community services, a 25% increase in staff, and the first agency wide shut-down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are so proud to have the following individuals as part of the Futures family and hope you keep up the good work for many more years to come. Congratulations on five years of service!

Amanda Charnisky began as a floor supervisor and continually gained experience over the years.  She now oversees the responsibility of scheduling the Community Integration Program and the agency vehicle schedule. She is very organized, tech savvy, and a team player. She is kind, caring and patient with the participants. Amanda is a member of the Events and Newsletter committees. Her supervisor, Mark Sherman, stated, “I am very thankful to have Amanda on my team. She is a great asset.”

Bonnie Johnson has worked in a variety of programs to include the BRAD Center, Home and Community Program and the work center. She has excelled in each program. Bonnie is always willing to help and is a team player. Bonnie is often responsible for the creative holiday decorations in the work center. She is a natural at arts and crafts.  Debbie Wells stated, “Bonnie is patient, kind and compassionate. She’s authentic!”

10 Years of Service

10-years ago, a huge part of production for Futures’ work center was the labeling, assembling and packaging of Whirley Cups. On average, two trips per day (to and from Whirley Industries in Warren), were made. Futures was involved with the labeling of cups for the Winter Olympics in China. Storage space in the work center was converted to accommodate the request for more participants. Life Skills began operating the Wednesday Morning Café Program, where breakfast foods and desserts were made and sold.  Paperwork was still being completed by paper and pencil. Futures joined in partnership with BASD to provide job try outs and career exploration programs for students with Autism. On pay day Fridays, staff get together after work to socialize and unwind.

Brian Good, an avid sports lover, began his career with Futures as a supervisor in the work center. In 2017, he became coordinator of the Community Integration Program and in 2019 was promoted to Program Specialist. Brian is a Certified Investigator for the agency and is on several committees. He is always willing to help others.  “Brian is a pleasure to work with,” as stated by Matt Woodhouse. “He always makes a point of making our participants smile, either by joking or talking with them.”

Carrie Parsons came to Futures Life Skills Program with many years of experience working in the human services field.  For many years she played an integral part in operations of the Wednesday Morning Café Program.  Carrie is a lover of animals and a member of the local No Feline Left Behind Program. Her supervisor, Marcia Good reported, “Carrie has a caring nature, is kind hearted and shows genuine concern for her peers and the participants she works with.”

Rita Stark has worked in the Life Skills program and work center. She assisted Life Skills participants with volunteering at the Ecumenical Nursing Home as well as the Wednesday Morning Café Program. Rita enjoys the outdoors and is often seen interacting with the participants outside. “Rita is very dependable, witty, and has a good sense of humor. She is good at finding the participant’s interests and using that interest to develop a working relationship,” as noted by Marcia Good.  

Sam Wilcox evolved his role within Futures from a floor supervisor to a DSP III who supervises the production group involved with completing advanced assignments for our business partners. Sam has a high resiliency and good knowledge in regards to the varying responsibilities and assignments of his work group. Sam is artistic and has a great sense of humor. He is our agency CPR/First Aid Trainer and a member of the Safety Committee. “He is a wonderful asset to our team,” states Mark Sherman. “Sam’s organization of documentation and excellent rapport with the participants continues his success here at Futures.”

Joe Sostakowski is a dedicated employee of the Maintenance Department and takes great pride in his work.  When an agency event takes place, Joe can be counted on to play a huge part in the setting up and tearing down of the events. Per Dave Rinfrette, “Joe is always eager to lend a helping hand. Futures is fortunate enough to have Joe as a member of our team”.

Thank you all for being valuable members of our team and wishing you the best for continued success. Congratulations on your 10-year milestone with Futures!  

25 Years of Service

25 years ago, payroll was completed on graph paper and attendance on index cards. Lynn Keltz was the face that greeted everyone as they walked through the door. Don Fredeen was the President of the Board of Directors. Futures employed 36 staff and provided services to 166 participants. One staff member made up the safety committee. The annual cost of services was approximately $6,885/person/year. Futures had business partners from every industry in the Bradford area in addition to ones in Kane, Tioga, Clarion and Warren. The gazebo was built from the support of community donations. 

Leona Reed has been a part of the Futures family for the past 25 years.  Leona is well versed in many areas of the production process from operating machinery, building bulletin boards and pallets, and assisting with various maintenance projects.  She has an excellent sense of humor and enjoys joking around with her peers.  “Leona has been a pleasure to work with over the past 25 years and we are fortunate to have her as part of our team,” as stated by Dave Rinfrette. “She is one of the hardest working, dedicated and dependable workers that we have at Futures.” Congratulations on achieving this anniversary with us! We know you have worked hard for this accomplishment and we truly appreciate your dedication.

40 Years of Service

40 years ago, 29 staff were employed at Futures. Hours of operation were from 9:00-2:30. Services were provided to 122 participants in a variety of programs to include the work center, print shop, chocolate shop, woodworking shop, handicap employment, job placement, and non-work activities. Funding was provided by the United Way, McKean County Human Services, counseling services, and industrial contract work. Futures had two facility locations, Bradford and Coudersport. Staff transported participants to their programs, as public transportation was not available. Production included cutting cloth strips, cleaning and inspecting Case stones, and labeling golf ball packages. The school students operated a lunch program in the cafeteria.  For participants not involved with production, activities included gardening, quilting, and cutting coupons. Futures participated in the community Green Thumb Program, which provided employment to older, low income adults.  Volunteers from the community donated over 1,000 hours to provide extra support to staff.

During this time, Mark Sherman walked through the doors of Futures and began his career as a floor supervisor. Over the years, he advanced to the Director of Production. Mark was very active in the Special Olympics program, where he coached golf and tennis. Dave Rinfrette stated, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mark for the past 33 years and I have to say it has been a good experience. You can’t think about the work center without thinking about Mark.”

Mark has a good sense of humor (despite being a NY Giants fan) and enjoys joking with his peers. He is a good story teller and knows a lot about the participants and history of Futures. Currently, Mark is the morning shift screener (COVI9-19 pandemic precautions). “Mark makes the screening process enjoyable for everyone by engaging staff in a question of the day and joking with the participants,” states Melissa Bartlein. “Mark has a way of making the participants smile, which is so wonderful to see during this time of change for us.”

We want to express our sincere appreciation for your achievement with this milestone. Loyal and dedicated employees like you are the foundation to any successful organization. Thank you for your contribution to our success!