Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is delighted to recognize our staff for Living Our Values @ CHSC – a peer-to-peer employee recognition program designed to recognize staff who go above and beyond in “living” one of our core values.

The criteria is simple: any member of our staff can nominate any CHSC co-worker who is caught in the act “living” one of our four core values on the job. Those are:

  • Dynamic Diversity
  • Caring Collaboration
  • Individual Integrity
  • Community Connection

Congratulations to these staff:

Rich LaManna, a CHSC adult who manages our cafe, was nominated by his wife, Kim LaManna, for Caring Collaboration. She wrote:

“I am nominating Rich LaManna for caring collaboration because he is an awesome person and a great chef. Rich works like a dog. Rich comes in every day, even when he is sick. We are lucky to have him on the cafe team!”

Congrats, Rich!

Debbie Margolis, part-time administrative assistant, was nominated by Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo for Individual Integrity. Catherine wrote:

“I am nominating Debbie Margolis for Individual Integrity because she exemplifies this core value with grace and determination. Debbie is highly conscientious in her work as an administrative assistant. She consistently does the right thing, shows a deep respect for staff, adults and our many visitors, and is highly dedicated to doing an excellent job. She is open to learning new tasks on the job and demonstrates an awesome work ethic. We often receive comments from prospective families and visiting professionals about the professional but warm welcome she provides to all who come to our campus. We are lucky to have her on our team.:


Rebecca Pearlman, ASAT graduate, was recognized by Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo for exemplifying the core value of caring connection. Catherine wrote:

“I am nominating Rebecca Pearlman for Caring Collaboration because Becca is enthusiastic and caring in all she does in her capacity as a part-time administrative assistant. Becca has done an especially good job of overseeing and creating the social media shout-outs for all our adults as they celebrate their birthdays. Along with that, Becca pitches in at the front desk and demonstrates enthusiasm and positive team spirit in assisting with administrative tasks and providing a warm welcome to all visitors.  I appreciate all she does in support of Chapel Haven’s mission.”

Kim LaManna was recognized for exemplifying Community Connection.

“I am nominating Kimberly LaManna for Community Connection as Kim, in her capacity as administrative assistant, creates a positive impression for Chapel Haven not just at the reception desk but throughout her community travels,” said Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo. “Kim is a positive ambassador whose kind and friendly demeanor has created bridges to many community organizations and to prospective families who are visiting and thinking about our program. Kim has also been an enthusiastic member of our golf tournament planning committee and has been instrumental in expanding our raffle items and spreading a positive word about all that we do. I appreciate her good work!”




Margaret Kelley-Watson, training specialist in HR, was recognized by Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo for Caring Connection. “Margi has shown outstanding support for efforts by CHSC to support our partners in the community, including the WTNH Toy Drive and a toiletry collection to benefit the homeless through DESK. She went above and beyond using her personal funds to fill our Toys for Tots collection bin. And she contributed countless items to the DESK toiletry drive. Margi also showed “school spirit” during the holiday season by bringing in inflatable characters for staff to wear, brightening the holidays for everyone. She has demonstrated a caring spirit both for the adults we serve and those in need served by our community partners.”

Congrats, Margi!

Bradley Bopp, director of security, operations and IT, was recognized by Hannah Carroll for exemplifying the core value of Individual Integrity “due to his modeling his dedication to his CHSC responsibilities every day. Brad vigilantly works for the safety of our community. Brad and his team work tirelessly to improve and maintain our facilities, even when short staffed or unexpected problems arise. Brad offers respect and dignity for co-workers and community members.” Congrats, Brad!

Laura Akins, special education teacher in the REACH program, was recognized by Christy Chandler for embodying Caring Collaboration for pitching in to help when the admissions department was short-staffed. “Laura agreed to provide hands-on support to the week visitor to help them settle into their new apartment and complete a grocery shopping trip. Though Laura was quite new to her role, she jumped in to provide assistance to contribute to the team efforts. We’re excited Laura is part of the CHSC community.”

Heather Orser, director of UARTS, was recognized by Kimber Marchesi for embodying the core value of Individual Integrity. “Heather keeps bringing new ideas to all her classes and is very determined and kind to all students. She makes her classes and UARTS fun. She makes sure that everyone is included and brings everyone together to make sure no one is excluded or left out. She shows flexibility when there is a challenge and makes sure to get straight to the point.”

Congrats, Heather!


Maulana Melton of CareerAbility has been recognized for Caring Collaboration by Jennifer Scasino. Jen wrote, “Maulana is always stepping in to help out another co-worker, either covering a job site or a class. She has great communication skills with other departments like the REACH teachers and is always giving them updates on her students at each site. Maulana is a natural problem solver and shares her thoughts and knowledge with the team.”



Hannah Carroll, Senior VP of Finance and Administration, has been recognized for exemplifying Caring Collaboration. Nominated by Gina Apicella, Hannah demonstrates “a collaborative nature that has been evident in her daily work with all of us from our respective departments, learning the dynamics, deferring to us when needed but also offering valuable insight from her own professional experience.”

Gina added that Hannah has “hit the ground running” in a way that has been well-received and reassuring that she is a great addition to our team. Congrats, Hannah!”


Jen Schiavo, administrative manager of the ASAT program, has been recognized for caring collaboration. Nominated by Gina Apicella, “Jen is consistently demonstrating her collaborative nature and overall problem solving within her position. Recently, without hesitation, Jen stepped in, as she has many times before, to pick up a task that is imperative to the COS program running effectively. With little guidance needed, Jen took the initiative to find out what has changed with the task, if there were any new elements she needed to be aware of, and how to ensure a seamless transition for the staff who use the system. This type of work ethic ensures our individuals are being provided with high quality services, staff have a trusted contact person for any questions they may have, and Chapel Haven is providing quality services. We are lucky to have Jen as part of our team!”

Alyssa PareteAlyssa Parete, director of recreation, has been recognized for embodying Individual Integrity. Nominated by Erik Rambush, Ayssa is “dedicated to Chapel Haven, every department and individual. She embodies patience, flexibility, respect and problem solving skills. However, it was her recent display of dedication that really caught me. The Supported Living Program recently lost someone who was working with an individual. She knew this and jumped in to support him while I was trying to make a plan. I did not even ask. Her integrity and dedication was next level.”


Erik Rambush nominated all his support coordinators for modeling the core value of Caring Collaboration. “My team has gone above and beyond collaboration. They are the essence of Chapel Haven.” Rambush said the staff are “classy, dedicated and emotionally intelligent” and have gone above and beyond for the adults in their care. Congrats to all!

Jennifer Scasino of CareerAbility was nominated by Suzanne Snowden for demonstrating individual integrity. Sue wrote,

“Jennifer continues to show dedication to her work with all individuals she serves within her role as Work Based Learning Specialist within the CareerAbility department. Jennifer can be counted on to maintain the integrity of the WBL Program throughout her busy work week and we are proud to acknowledge.”

Sarah Elsdon and Suzanne Snowden of the CareerAbility program. nominated by Christy Chandler for embodying the core value of dynamic diversity.

“Sarah, Sue and the CareerAbility team have done a tremendous job of both supporting the Diversity Committee by being longtime contributing members, and in living out this commitment in their program recruitment, hiring & promotion. As such, they’ve developed a talented team and are exemplars to other departments to foster an inclusive & equitable community.” Congrats, Sarah and Sue!

Dan Forman, Speech-Language Pathologist in the REACH Program. Dan was nominated by Erik Rambush for exemplifying the core value of caring collaboration. Erik wrote:

“I nominate Dan Forman for ‘Caring Collaboration.’ Dan works with students, who are on my caseload, with social thinking and problem-solving skills. Dan is explicit with me and students about what CH’s mission is: to empower individuals to live independent and self-determined lives. Dan makes sure that the lessons we teach foster these aspects. When we face challenges, Dan brainstorms with me to find the best ways to instruct and case manage students. I seek Dan as my lodestar with particularly challenging scenarios and he provides “clarity” by utilizing empathy (with me and the student!). Often times, Dan communicates the wants the students express in his sessions, and we honor these to help shape next steps for students who may be transitioning into the community. I trust Dan’s wisdom. He is a great teammate, and he applies a practical sense to case management. Dan embodies every criterion that are bulleted in the description. “

Patricia Larson of the Recreation Program, nominated by EmilyAnne Austin for embodying the core value of individual integrity. Emily wrote: “Patricia embodies all CHSC’s core values but without fail Individual Integrity. Patricia always puts the needs of the individuals first and creates an accepting and encouraging environment. Patricia takes the time to get to know the individuals and how best to support them. She has strong problem-solving skills and applies them to the job daily. Not only does Patricia go above and beyond to help plan meaningful and engaging activities for the individuals, she also works many of the activities each month. Patricia has years of experience working with our Best Buddies program. Patricia is also a dedicated Special Olympics coach for multiple sports. Patricia is a committed staff that truly loves CHSC and the individuals!” Congrats, Patricia!


Mylissa Rockefeller of the REACH program, nominated by Christy Chandler  for embodying the core value of individual integrity. Christy wrote the following: “Mylissa has been a great support and help with managing day and week visitors.  She sends her feedback promptly and includes helpful details to guide the admissions assessments.  Mylissa also recently took care to initiate adjustments & resubmit her feedback to better reflect the visiting student’s pronouns.  Mylissa is also great about letting admissions staff (who may be out of the loop of the regular REACH team communications) know when she or colleagues will be out, in order to make alternate plans. We’re appreciative of Mylissa being a dedicated team player who helps our visiting students have a supported and positive experience.”

Whitney Bailey, Program Staff for ASAT and SAIL, was nominated by Brittany Nadeau for embodying the core value of caring collaboration. Britanny writes:

“Whitney is always wiling to lend a hand to her co-workers. She has the best intentions and is continually looking for ways to help/engage the students she supports. Whitney has gone above and beyond to assist in social recreation activities on the weekends. Whitney is such a positive force in ASAT and we are fortunate to have someone as caring and compassionate as her.”

Congrats, Whitney!

Terri Console, SAIL Program Manager, was nominated by Amanda Torres for embodying our core value of individual integrity. Amanda wrote:

“All of the Core Values listed apply when describing our nominee Terri Console but the main one is Individual Integrity.

  • Showing patience and flexibility, even when unexpected obstacles show up
  • Creating a culture where it is safe for people to make mistakes and grow
  • Demonstrating dedication to your work
  • Respecting the views of others, even when you disagree

To add, she is considered among us at SAIL as the ultimate “Task Master” because of her great attention to detail, problem solving skills and going above and BEYOND in difficult situations! She is a true professional and well-spoken leader whose strong suits are critical thinking, multi-tasking and a positive outlook! We can’t forget about her inclusion of culture and beliefs (such as the Jewish holidays that we always celebrate) at SAIL that wins the heart over the families and staff alike. The family-like environment here is only possible with a stellar dedicated employee like her!” Congrats, Terri!

Rachel McEachern, Community Outreach Advisor & Social Recreation Coordinator in the ASAT program, is being recognized for embodying our core value of caring collaboration. Nominated by Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, Rachel goes above and beyond in the course of her work.

“I am nominating Rachel McEachern in the category of Caring Collaboration because I have seen firsthand how Rachel advocates for our students and community members, Catherine wrote. “She is known to spend her own money to buy individuals essentials like a winter coat or shoes. She has helped CHSC improve our scholarship process to make it easier for adults with limited incomes to take advantage of our services and programs. I also saw her passion in involving ASAT students and community members in everything that we do, from outdoor movies in our courtyard to our summer hiking week with Accessibility Accelerator. It is evident that Rachel thinks about our adults in all that she does and is committed to our model of empowerment and self-determination.” Congrats!

Congratulations to Dana Skawinski, ASAT student advisor and special education teacher, for embodying our core value of individual integrity. Nominated by Christy Chandler, Dana “has done an excellent job transitioning into the ASAT program. She is especially helpful with visiting prospective students – submitting timely and detailed feedback about their engagement in her classes and meetings.  She frequently takes initiative and goes beyond the required by bringing samples of student work to include in their admissions file or by sending pictures of students engaged in class that can be shared with the student’s family. Dana’s dedication as a teacher and compassion as a colleague is greatly appreciated!” Congrats, Dana!

Sunny RIchards, Director of Community Programs, was nominated by Christy Chandler for embodying our core value of community connection. Christy writes:

“Sunny is well known for her tendency to go above and beyond the call of duty for the benefit of CHSC adults!  Recently she took time to meet with a new family, not currently supported by her department, to help them consider future planning options to best support their young adult for the long term.  Sunny used her knowledge of another community-based resource to connect the family to additional expertise to further guide their planning.  Sunny’s warmth and commitment to CHSC adults comes across in all that she does!”

Christy Chandler, Director of Admissions, was nominated by Tina Menchetti for exemplifying our core value of caring collaboration. Tina writes:

“In her capacity as Admissions Director, Christy brings care and consideration to all our departments, looking to bring CHSC the best candidates for our programs. She has a deep understanding of each department and goes above and beyond to fill them with diverse and willing students. She is very dedicated and always has feelers out to share possible collaborations for all.” We could not agree more!

Congratulations to ASAT Community Advisor Shaniya Jones, for exemplifying the core values of caring collaboration and individual integrity. Nominator Gina Apicella wrote:

“I am nominating Shaniya for caring collaboration and individual integrity. I couldn’t decide between the two since there is so much that Shaniya brings to our ASAT team. Shaniya works with her co-workers to ensure not only that her caseload’s needs are met, but the needs of those in the residential program and other community members as well! She fills in wherever needed, has gone above and beyond to develop new classes to teach in ASAT (even though her full-time job is in COS) and always has a smile on her face. Shaniya is a co-worker who is approachable and patient. She assists her co-workers when they have questions and demonstrates the same patience and dedication to being a supportive team member. Shaniya enjoys coming to CH events in her personal time, which shows us her dedication to being part of the CHSC family.”

Congrats, Shaniya!


Congratulations to Sallie Carter, Career Development Advisor for Career Ability, who exemplifies the core value of caring collaboration. Nominator Abbie Heaphy wrote:

“I wish to highlight Sallie Carter for exemplifying the Caring Collaboration value. I would argue that the best coworkers build us up but also challenge our thinking. Sallie did both for me during a recent hour-long brainstorming session about big, daunting structural questions in our job development process and my role as Business and Community Relations Specialist within it. Together, we came up with a new tentative BCRS schedule and talked through several other considerations broached by the CareeAbility management team. Not only did Sallie break out the whiteboard markers and her much too small whiteboard to make a trying task feel a lot more manageable (and certainly a lot more fun), she did so quietly of her own volition, without being asked and for no recognition or award. She is simply that kind of caring collaborator, coworker, and friend. And the following day, she even brought in a homemade fudge pie!”

Congratulations to Cherice Grandy, administrative manager for REACH, who exemplifies the core value of caring collaboration Nominated by colleague Sue Peters, Julian Sandoval, Erik Rambush and Bill Angier, Cherice is the glue that keeps everything running in REACH. The nominators wrote:

“Sue, Julian, Erik, and Bill all nominate Cherice Grandy for Chapel Haven Core Values because she exemplifies the Caring Collaboration value. Cherice is behind the scenes working hard to provide the best for all of our individuals and Chapel Haven programs. She always gets the job done and provides peace of mind even under tight deadlines. She is supportive when it comes to providing flexibility with classes and scheduling. Without her level of organization there would be chaos. Thanks for everything you do Cherice!”

Congratulations to REACH Director Jordan Girard, who has been recognized for embodying the value of caring collaboration. Jordan was nominated by Sue Peters, REACH Shift Manager. She writes,

“Jordan is an all-around great guy, super positive, and has a great sense of humor. Many time, he can turn a frown into a smile.  When Jordan walks into a room full of students the crowd goes wild. He’s super helpful to students and staff, especially when it comes to electronics. Jordan is always there to help brainstorm with the team especially when it comes to each student’s programming. Jordan truly cares about the program, staff and students.”

Congratulations to Gina Apicella, Vice President of Autism Services, who has been recognized for embodying the value of caring collaboration. Gina was nominated by Wellness Coordinator Ryan McEachern. Ryan wrote:

“I nominated Gina because she is always putting herself out there to help others. She went out of her way to help with the TREKKER trip, drove her own vehicle, went and picked up sunscreen and bug spray, and showed up every day to help. I’ve also observed her doing a great job of working with other members of her team. She has a high level of integrity and truly cares about her employees and program. She is a great, positive, and caring person and I feel she does a great job of modeling CHSC’s core values.” Congrats, Gina!

We are excited that Art Director Tina Menchetti has been recognized for exemplifying the value of community connection.

Tina was nominated by Director of Admissions and Marketing Christy Chandler. Christy wrote:

“A student was recently accepted to a CHSC program (where they would be unlikely to work directly with Tina’s art classes in REACH) but has a strong interest in the arts and was seeking to find more information about what might be possible at Chapel Haven as well as the New Haven community if they were to enroll as a CHSC student.  Tina not only took time to meet with the prospective student during her lunch break but was also willing to adjust the timing of the meeting to accommodate the student’s late attendance.  She maintained a positive outlook and shared information about CHSC and community resources in an encouraging and supportive manner.  This meeting will likely be an important factor in helping the prospective student feel comfortable moving forward with potential enrollment at Chapel Haven.  Tina’s appreciation for and commitment to developing our adults’ involvement in creative expression is admired and appreciated.”

Congrats, Tina!

REACH Special Education Teacher Erik Rambush has also been recognized for exemplifying the value of individual integrity.

Erik was nominated by REACH colleague Mylissa Rockefeller. She said:

Erik Rambush

“Erik does a very good job of finding out how to help his students with what they need extra help on or anything that they tend to perseverate on. With his knowledgeable background, he does well getting them where they need to be and helping staff to understand the situation and how to work with that particular student. He will often spend late hours working on things for his students and it shows.”

We also are pleased to recognize Suzanne Peters, REACH residential manager.


Sue was nominated by Julian Sandoval. REACH Special Education Teacher. Julian said Sue embodies the value of Caring Collaboration:

Sue embodies this core value the most because she works well with her coworkers and does an amazing job working with the students. She is the very important connection between daytime EDU staff and the evening Life Skills staff. She helps teachers solve problems, provides positivity to all, shows empathy to staff and students, and empowers all of our students to live more independent lives. Whether she is teaching students valuable budgeting skills or working with Life Skills Instructors and students during life skills, she is always there for everyone and puts her heart into everything she does.”

Sue is being recognized with coverage on our website, in our social media, on our Welcome Center e-board and at our next all-agency meeting. She has a lapel button to wear and will be entered into a raffle.

Stay tuned for more honorees!