2014 Annual Award Recipients
PDP Executive Director's Award
Principal Education Specialist (retired)
Training and Technical Assistance to Support Local DSS Permanency Planning
Mary Kazmierczak was presented the 2014 Annual Executive Director’s Award at the April 2015 PDP Staff Recognition and Awards Program. Mary, who recently retired after 28 years of service, put her mark of excellence on all her work. Mary managed PDP’s Child Welfare Permanency Planning Project for the past 15 years. Prior to this, she served as Regional Office Project Associate assigned to the OCFS Albany Regional Office from 1986 to 2000.
Mary’s numerous contributions to PDP and the children and families of New York State along with her efforts in furthering PDP’s mission of helping government work better were her trademarks. On a statewide level, Mary’s influence on child welfare practice has been significant. She guided development of NYS’s first Foster Parent Manual and the Supervisor’s Guide to Assessing Practice. She also assisted in NYS’s efforts to not only establish a baseline of practice, but to also measure the impact of training on practice. She guided the revision of the Child Welfare/Child Protective Common Core training, the foundation training program for new child welfare caseworkers. During her time with PDP, Mary also worked extensively on the development of various child welfare training and practice initiatives.
With a management style that embodied a strength-based approach, Mary encouraged project staff to identify and build on their strengths, take initiative, and pursue excellence in promoting child welfare practice improvement throughout New York State. Mary’s exemplary accomplishments, and the impact she has made on child welfare practice make her a most worthy recipient of the Executive Director’s Award.
DTAT/Administrative/Project Support Team
Team Members: Deborah Brathwaite, Colleen Denning, (E.D. Eugene Monaco), Peggy Dayer, Amy Kerr.
The members of the Department of Temporary Assistance Training (DTAT) Administrative/Project Support Team include Deborah Brathwaite, Colleen Denning, Peggy Dayer, and Amy Kerr. These team members routinely combine their individual talents to produce outcomes that would not be possible without their effective collaboration, communication, as well as great synergy.
The work of the Department of Temporary Assistance Training spans four projects/contracts worth over $4.5 million. The DTAT Admin/Project Support Team supported 399 days of training representing 215 different deliverables and 50 different programs which allowed the training of 4,398 trainees. 156 reservations for the Harlem Training Center for 135 events were supported providing customer services to 3693 event attendees. In addition, 73 print bids/requisitions, 69 supply orders, 64 car rental and train ticket reservations and payment requisitions, 119 staff travel payment requests and 242 trainee travel payment requests for travel reimbursements was just the beginning of the behind the scenes work competed by this amazing team to ensure all project and customer needs were met.
PDP Outstanding Trainer Award
Department of Temporary Assistance Training
Greg truly shined in 2014, starting the year as an Education Specialist and ending it with a promotion to Senior Trainer. Greg consistently receives outstanding feedback from sponsors and trainees regarding his training deliveries, both independent and team deliveries, as well as being equally adept at delivering training in the classroom and via iLinc.
Throughout the year Greg was highly effective in delivering a high volume of training, completing curriculum revisions, and leading training teams for multiple programs. In 2014 Greg:
- Supported seven different training programs of varying length (from ½ to 10 days in length) and completed 37 offerings of these programs
- Delivered 122 days of project training (38 of these days were out of town)
- Delivered 3 days of “Communicating With Impact” DDI training for PDP staff
- Delivered 3 “Plan for Impact” DDI presentations for PDP Senior Staff, department managers, and department supervisors
- Delivered 2 “PDP Branding Update” presentations at PDP department meetings
Greg engages trainees easily and positively challenges trainees and peers to learn and adopt best practices.
PDP Outstanding Professional Staff Award
Senior Research Scientist
Since joining PDP in late 2011 as Senior Research Scientist, Susan Gieryic has worked tirelessly to raise the visibility of PDP’s Evaluation Unit from a behind the scenes quarterly report-driven operation to an integral part of PDP. Previously a staff of one, Susan has grown the Evaluation Unit to now include two part-time Research Scientists and a Graduate Assistant. These additions are a direct result of the increase in the scope of our evaluation work as our sponsors have made evaluation a higher priority.
Susan approaches her work in a determined manner offering keen insights to design optimum evaluation instruments. She prepares excellent reports and analyses and has paved the way for introducing NVivo qualitative software.
Susan volunteers for new projects and she takes on every assignment with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. She is a good mentor to the evaluation staff, has added significantly to the depth of our evaluation work, and is highly regarded by PDP staff and our sponsors.
PDP Outstanding Administrative Support Staff Award
Administrative Assistant I
Administrative Support Unit
Jeniver Zorrilla joined the Administrative Support Unit on the DC01 project a year ago however; her knowledge and skills match that of a well-seasoned employee. Jeniver is a team player willing to assist others regardless of the task.
Jeniver’s penchant for detail led her and her co-worker Sarah Iacobacci, under their own initiative, to build a comprehensive resource manual which is currently used by the unit and will be provided to all newly hired staff working in the Administrative Support Unit. Jeniver’s program knowledge and excellent customer service skills combined with her fluency in Spanish have led to a decrease in PDP use of the language line and improved service to our large Hispanic community as proven by the many positive comments received from child care providers and training organizations. In addition, Jeniver readily offers assistance with proofreading and editing of the various resource materials necessary within the DC01 project.