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26 2019

Congratulations 2019 Employees of the Year

Congratulations 2019 Employees of the Year

Posted by Seven Hills Foundation
Dec 26, 2019
Posted by Seven Hills Foundation

Congratulations 2019 Employees of the Year!

The Seven Hills annual employee recognition event, Winter Wonder Fest, was held on Friday, December 13, 2019, at the Doubletree Hotel in Milford with almost 400 staff members celebrating. The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Seven Hills Employees of the Year awards. Each recipient was unveiled by highlighting their extraordinary work and passion for living the mission of Seven Hills. Congratulations and thank you for your dedication and commitment.

Carl Baker, President's Award

Talent Aqcuisition Manager, Seven Hills Foundation 

Picture of Carl Baker and Dr. David Jordan

Since joining the HR office, in 2017, Carl has had a significant impact on Seven Hills’ recruitment. He was quickly promoted to Talent Acquisition Manager in 2018 and partners with our hiring managers and senior leaders to implement a variety of strategies to source and recruit Seven Hills applicants. Carl has a keen understanding of the human services industry, having worked as a residence director and per diem before joining Seven Hills. 

Carl is passionate about proactively attracting and hiring the best candidates for our vacancies while being mindful of the staffing challenges our sector is currently facing. Despite the challenges, he remains positive and motivated to give 110% every day. He currently leads a small team of recruiters and keeps them engaged by focusing on their strengths and celebrating weekly wins. Under his supervision our out of state recruitment efforts have grown significantly. We've recruited well over 200+ out of state employees (Puerto Rico, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Michigan). However, Carl not only embodies the mission of our Foundation at work but also at home, he and his husband are Shared Living providers to Jackie, a participant in our programs. 

Alissa Rivard 


Picture of Alissa Rivard and Jay HaystonResilient, versatile, flexible, accommodating, competent – that defines Alissa Rivard’s approach to her work. She knows the importance of teamwork and has a “let’s get it done” attitude, and has the ability to fill in wherever needed. At Worcester Day Hab she has assisted the team by completing case management duties during times of case manager vacancies. Alissa has worked with 799 Day Hab to coordinate and update their Human Rights/Safety/Health Topics bulletin board and to train their human rights advocates. She facilitates the annual human rights inservice trainings at our ADH/day hab sites and this year she was recruited as the affiliate’s Human Rights Coordinator of our Human Rights Committee. At the request of the ADH Director, she has observed and given therapeutic input on ADH’s activities, while this is not an officially assigned program, her input is valued. She is creative and artistic and helps to coordinate “artsy” and fun groups, classes and community trips; always keeping the participants as her focus. She coordinates the Bookmobile and yoga classes, is our key SAORI weaving coach, is on the AT Super Users Group and is one of our specially trained sensory room coaches. She assists participants with assistive technology including the use of eye gaze technology and adapted computer devices. 

Christen (“Chris”) O’Shea

Adoption Case Management Supervisor, Children's Friend

Picture of Chris O'Shea and Karen LuddingtonA Licensed Independent Clinical Social worker since 1982, Chris has spent his professional life caring for and protecting children and teens in Massachusetts.  Chris and his wife, Kathy, are the proud parents of ten children, eight of whom they adopted.  Chris eats, breathes, sleeps and lives adoption. He travels across Massachusetts and sometimes outside the state at all hours to meet with children and families, check on his clients’ welfare, and take them to adoption parties and to meet with prospective families.  His mission is always to work for permanency for all the children the program serves.    More important, though, is the happiness Chris has made possible for the children and families he has brought together.  

Jillian Crawley

Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Clinical and Program Services

Picture of Jillian Crawley and Dr. Kathee JordanJill is the type to always go above and beyond in her work. Since beginning her time at Seven Hills Foundation Jill has worked on developing a strong clinical team, building good relationships between operational and clinical staff, developing new ways of training DSP's, as well as single-handedly developing a virtual monthly clinical group supervision that has been so successful. Jill has done all of this while also covering for a clinical vacancy that has existed in the Northeast for most of the past year.  Jill started working for Seven Hills as a summer staff at the Seven Hills Academy right after graduating from high school, and it's incredible to see the clinician and leader she has become since that time.  

Denise Santos

Clinical Coordinator, Seven Hills Behavioral Health

Picture of Denise Santos and Cliff CabralDenise Santos is the longest running staff member at the Psychiatric Day Treatment Program, faithfully supporting our participants for 13 years.  Each employee has his and her own professional technique, and we affectionately refer to Denise as "The Task Master" - she quickly and efficiently gets the job done.  She takes initiative when she is confronted with a program need, and readily takes on a wide array of tasks crucial to program functioning, such as creating the daily schedule, tracking daily attendance, and managing our vehicle maintenance, to name only a few.  Denise is always first to complete her work, and will offer to help others complete theirs.  She is as dedicated to her clients as she is to her colleagues and the program itself.  Her clients wouldn’t know what to do without her, and neither would we - she is an essential part of the team, and Seven Hills Behavioral Health is lucky to have her.

Marybeth Brown

Information & Referral Parent Counselor, Seven Hills, Children’s Aid and Family Services (CAFS)

Picture of Marybeth Brown and Holly JarekMarybeth Brown is a walking example of our core values.  She works with parents, child care programs, legislators, and other human service agency staff and treats everyone with the same high level of kindness and respect. Marybeth can be counted on to ensure that services are provided to all who need help. She was key in helping to ensure that CCR was awarded with a $15K grant from Child Care Aware of America Network. Marybeth leads our information and referral team and she works collaboratively with the other departments within CCR and also with the other Information and Referral departments across the state. Marybeth is one of three staff statewide working with Child Care Aware of America on a project to create a new federal child care database.She believes that service to others is an integral part of our mission and shows this everyday by reaching out to parents and ensuring that their needs are being met.  She has a great deal of empathy and provides families an understanding ear.  Although she can’t always help a particular family, she is always compassionate and leaves families knowing they have been heard and knowing that they understand their options for service.  

Christine Hyde

Administrative Assistant, Seven Hills Community Services, Northeast

Picture of Christine Hyde and Sharon GoldbergChristine began supporting the Community Services' homes when there was just a small office in Lowell and she has grown with the area, expanding her job duties over the years to supporting 41 homes, (through both SHCS and Neurocare) as well as a large Individual Supports Program. Chris is the “go to person” in the Middleton office. Her job responsibilities are broad as she monitors e-pay for accuracy and processes discrepancies as needed, she also on-boards new employees, reviews benefit information with them and assists them with any questions they might have. She is one of the first touch points for many new employees regarding our values and she makes sure to always make them feel welcomed.  Her knowledge of systems and employee relations is only surpassed by her willingness to help whenever someone appears at her door (which is often on any given day).  She has done an extraordinary job over the past 20 years supporting all of the daily needs of the many people that rely on her for the support she gives.  

Samantha Grace

Area Director, Seven Hills Community Services, Southeast

Picture of Samantha Grace and Sharon GoldbergSam recently became an Area Director in New Bedford, but for most of this year she was working as a Registered Behavior Technician.  Sam’s passion for the people she supports propels her into the most challenging situations so that she can influence change for the better.  She is the first person to volunteer when there is a tough job to be done.  She has a unique blend of tenacity and compassion that inspires others to not accept that status quo.  Over the course of the last year there have been a lot of changes made in the New Bedford Area.  The positive changes have been a team effort.  There is no one person who deserves all of the credit. Sam however was a catalyst for much of the change and she continues to be every day through her no-nonsense-roll-up- her-sleeves- and-get-it-done attitude to improve people’s lives. 

Evan Prentice

Support Advocate, Seven Hills Community Services, Central

Picture of Evan Prentice and Sharon GoldbergEvan Prentice has been a Direct Support Professional at Williamsville Rd in Hubbardston since January 2016.  This home supports individuals with significant challenges and clinical risks. He has shown many of the qualities that Seven Hills looks for in their direct support staff.  He is: empathetic, compassionate, respectful, dedicated, creative, enthusiastic and hard working.  His willingness to learn and grow within the human service field was apparent from the beginning.  He took training and feedback in stride and always wanted to learn from mistakes and get better.  In his new role as a day staff, he helped an individual continue with volunteering in the community and led by example with showing them what hard work was and worked alongside them which motivated them to always work hard and strive for excellence.  The individual’s confidence soared and self-worth of their abilities realized throughout this time.  Evan also helped this individual in the long, and many times, frustrated search for competitive employment.  The individual wanted to give up after 2 years of not finding work.  Evan was able to encourage the individual to not give up.  He would take the individual to fill out applications, help him navigate the Indeed website and took him to several interviews.  Over time the individual learned the skills needed to be more independent in the job search process. In August of this year, after 2 and a half years of tirelessly searching, the individual was hired at a grocery store.  Evan’s hard work, dedication, persistence and enthusiasm were key for this individual in realizing their true potential and personal well-being.  Evan is deserving of recognition throughout this award for all the innate qualities he’s shown and his support of Seven Hills organizational mission.  

Ali Suenaert

Senior Human Resources Manager, Business and Support Services

Picture of Ali Suenaert and Mike MatthewsAli started as an intern at Seven Hills in June 2007 and joined the Human Resource team in May 2017 supporting Seven Hills Rhode Island. Since joining the HR team, Ali has worked hard to put systems and processes into place to ensure compliance with BHDDH requirements, state and federal employment laws. This paid off immensely during our BHDDH audit earlier this year. Ali is described as a cheerleader, always upbeat and ready to help our employees whenever they need her.  She consistently demonstrates empathy for the needs of others and assists staff/management team with challenging workplace situations… all while trying to maintain high morale and team spirit. Ali embodies many of our core values and that is why she was chosen as this year’s business and supported services employee of the year. 

Janice Anderson

Senior Administrative Assistant, Seven Hills Family Services

Picture of Janice Anderson and Leslie CourtneyJanice Anderson’s position as Senior Administrative Assistant includes  enormous responsibilities, supporting the entire affiliate and providing guidance for other admins across the state, but in practice she is so much more. Often times, the day to day items that Janice oversees and takes care of go unnoticed.  Janice is always been willing to jump in and help staff with anything, she is the "go to " person for everyone. She assists everyone with a smile and every person that walks through the door at 799 West Boylston is pleasantly greeted by her, a positive first impression of Seven Hills. Janice symbolizes what an employee of the year is because she goes above and beyond on all occasions and is truly the foundation of the affiliate.  

Sonya Bouchard

CBIS, Behavior Analyst/Clinician, Seven Hills NeuroCare

Picture of Sonya Bouchard and Rich NeckesSonya is described as warm and genuine by all her co-workers. She is a support system for staff and individuals alike. She listens, understands, has a kind heart, is compassionate, and driven. Sonya is someone that staff and individuals look up to and respect. She understands the needs and capabilities of the individuals in NeuroCare but has become just as much an advocate of staff as she is of the people in her care. The quality of Sonya’s clinical service has been nothing short of outstanding. With her open mind, professional training, and driven personality, Sonya has a direct positive impact on the lives of the people we serve every day. She approaches a challenge thinking we cannot achieve a goal. Instead, Sonya asks how we can help to make the goal a reality. Sonya’s presence alone makes it hard for someone not to be motivated and happy. Sonya embodies the concept of teamwork. When approaching a challenge, she asks the input of the entire team. She takes their suggestions to make a plan that is best for the individual. Sonya is always willing to help in any way possible, makes it a priority to make herself available to others, and volunteers to help and put the needs of others first. Sonya is one of the biggest advocates that the individuals and the team have on their side. She possesses qualities that are truly rare, yet ever-so appreciated. 

Kayla Hillman

LPN, Seven Hills Pediatric Center

Picture of Kayla Hillman and Holly JarekKayla exemplifies the core values of the Seven Hills Foundation: Respect and Kindness, Service to Others, Integrity, Teamwork and Innovation. Kayla co-ordinates and transports children and young adults to all of their medical visits that are outside of Seven Hills Pediatric Center. Her yearly number of visit to Boston Children’s Hospital averages around 300!  Kayla cares for each resident with respect and kindness. She presents their medical history accurately to extended providers and acts as the child’s advocate on behalf of the family and Seven Hills Pediatric Center. She is seen as an integral part of the Team as the information that she communicated between providers to the Center is crucial to each child’s life. When Seven Hills Pediatric Center’s transportation company was no longer able to support our medical and hospital visits, it was Kayla who developed a system that allowed all of our residents to continue to receive the care they deserve. Seven Hills Pediatric Center is thankful to have Kayla as their scheduler, companion, nurse, communicator, and advocate for our children and young adults.

Melissa Busillo

Behavior Specialist, Seven Hills Rhode Island, Adult Services

Picture of Melissa Busillo and Cliff CabralMelissa Busillo has served as a clinician for the Seven Hills Adult Services Program for the last 5 years, providing support to individuals with complex behavioral health challenges. She is thoughtful and caring and takes the time to get to know everything she can about each individual. She meticulously ensures that supports are tailored to meet individual needs. She is a team player who utilizes innovate ideas to support our staff so that they can provide the best care possible. She is fair, supportive, and a consummate professional. Melissa treats everyone with respect and dignity. She has great integrity and will step in to assist in any situation. There is no one who better embodies the core values of Seven Hills. 

Karen Menz

PASS Worker, Seven Hills Rhode Island, Child and Family Services

Picture of Karen Menu and Cliff CabralKaren Menz has been a dependable, compassionate and effective direct service staff to her client since starting with him in the PASS program last year. When Karen began working with him, this client was struggling with the recent loss of his father and was falling into negative peer influences, eloping, and becoming involved in illegal activities. His mother was having a lot of difficulty getting him to complete any chores or to stop playing video games. He also was not talking about his loss with anyone, including his mother. Over the course of the last year, he has become increasingly willing to complete chores, has learned to cook, and is learning about how to give back through volunteer work he and Karen do at the Ronald McDonald House. Karen has also been a support to his client’s family relationships. When Karen and this client shop for and prepare dinners, he and his mother are able to share meals together and talk about their day. His mother has observed that he is becoming more respectful toward her, and he now shares with his mom and Karen more about friend situations and the loss of his father.Karen defines integrity and is deserving of recognition. There could not be a better staff member for Seven Hills than Karen. 

Lisa Ouimette

Supervisor Trainer, Stetson School

Picture of Lisa Ouimette and Joe AllredLisa has twenty plus years of experience at Stetson and has taken on many roles during that time.  She is currently a Senior Program Supervisor, responsible for our campus training and scheduling.  In this role Lisa has been able to improve the training and training attendance numbers to almost 100% consistency.  The impact this has had on our staff, students, funding sources and ability to maintain our licensing is immeasurable. Lisa also supervisors the Per-Diem staff here on campus.  In addition to being certified in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention  Instruction and CPR/First-Aid Instruction, Lisa has taken on a bigger Foundation role and is a certified trainer in the ACHIEVE Leadership Forum initiative.   Her work with the Celtics and Bruins foundations has been a great and very successful resource for learning and growth for our students.  Lisa has been tapped by the clinical department and her on-going work in providing Art Therapy to some of our students is adding another dimension to treatment and highlights another skillset that Lisa possesses.  Lisa's value to Stetson School cannot be overstated, and her commitment to the students is second to none. 

Portia Brown

COOL Schools Teaching Artist, Open Door Arts

Picture of Portia Brown and Kathee JordanPortia joined the ODA team two years ago and instantly became family. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise as a special education teacher, program director, and inclusive arts programming designer that have pushed our work to the next level. She embodies a beautiful balance of rigor and professionalism, with a joy and kindness that make her an absolute pleasure to work with. She has kept us organized and on track, brought new ideas, and risen enthusiastically to new learning opportunities and challenges. Most importantly, Portia is truly committed to our mission of advancing inclusion through the arts, which she embodies with her full self. 

Media Inquiries

Bill Stock
Vice President for Government and Community Relations 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1305
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: bstock@sevenhills.org
Kathleen A. Myshrall
Vice President of Advancement 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1302
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: kmyshrall@sevenhills.org
Jennifer Wentworth
Director of Communications 81 Hope Ave, Worcester, MA 01603
Phone: 508.983.1304
Fax: 508.849.3888
Email: jwentworth@sevenhills.org