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2012 Direct Support Professional of the Year

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2012 Direct Support Professional of the Year

May 8, 2012

ANCOR President Wendy Sokol and 2012 DSP of the Year Lynda DiPressiLynda DiPressi, New Horizons Resources, Inc., Pleasant Valley, New York

On May 8, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) recognized Lynda DiPressi of New Horizons Resources, Inc. in Pleasant Valley, New York, as the 2012 Direct Support Professional of the Year. She received the award at a ceremony to honor Direct Support Professional Recognition Award recipients at ANCOR's 2012 Conference: Leading Cultures of Innovation and Advocacy in Washington, D.C.

ANCOR started the Direct Support Professional Recognition Award program in 2007 to acknowledge the commitment of the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who work to ensure community inclusion and full participation for hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities. DiPressi was named the national recipient among 212 nominations submitted for the competition. Forty-two additional DSPs received awards as the best of the best in their respective states.

DiPressi supports three women with disabilities in their home and says that she enjoys working with them so much that it doesn’t feel like she is working when she’s there. "These ladies I support are very independent, and I am there to teach and support them in both daily living skills and the things that are important to them, such as keeping up with their reading skills, money management and communicating with family members," DiPressi says.

While working full-time, DiPressi spent two years earning her DSP-Certified status from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. She also serves on a statewide task force, chaired by the New York Commissioner of the Office for People with Disabilities, which focuses on system-wide organizational culture change.

"Lynda DiPressi represents all the best attributes of our DSP workforce," says Renee L. Pietrangelo, ANCOR CEO. "She is committed to supporting independence and growth for the people she serves, dedicated to continually improving her skills, and a strong advocate for people with disabilities in her state. ANCOR is extremely pleased to be able to recognize her achievement."

The ANCOR Direct Support Professional of the Year Award is judged on criteria in concert with the overall philosophy of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign: to raise awareness for the direct support workforce. Among other criteria, nominees are judged on their effectiveness in building social networks; meaningful and productive participation in the community for the people they serve; and advocating or effecting change on behalf of people with disabilities.

2012 State Direct Support Professional Award Recipients

  • Alabama: Carolyn  McCoy, Volunteers of America

  • Alaska: Yuka Ungwiluk, ResCare

  • Arizona: Francine Gem, Independent Life Services, Inc.

  • Arkansas: Dorothy South, Elizabeth Richardson Center

  • California: Connie Terranova, INALLIANCE

  • Colorado: Ernie Mason, Dungarvin Colorado LLC

  • Connecticut: Andrea Reilly, Mosaic

  • Delaware: Henry Njenga, VOCA-Delaware/ResCare

  • Georgia: Rosa Norwood, Normal Life/ResCare

  • Illinois: Lisa Schnell, Association for Individual Development

  • Indiana: Deidre Begley, Dungarvin Indiana LLC

  • Iowa: Chuck Larson, Easter Seals Iowa

  • Kansas: Christina Johnson, TARC

  • Kentucky: Debora Perks, Community Alternatives/ResCare

  • Louisiana: Loretta Jones, Southwest Community Home/ResCare

  • Maine: Jessica Emerson, OHI

  • Maryland: Ada Jackson, Chimes Maryland

  • Minnesota: Tom Mohrland, Dakota Communities

  • Mississippi: Clara Penton, Brandi's Hope Community Services

  • Missouri: Ryan Hassani-Sadi, Concerned Care, Inc.

  • Montana: Diana Ford, ResCare HomeCare

  • Nebraska: Evan Engel, Mosaic

  • Nevada: Jasmine Goeschl, Dungarvin Nevada LLC

  • New Hampshire: Robin Carlson, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, New Hampshire Chapter

  • New Jersey: Luba Pikanin and Sharon Stewart, Neighbours Inc./Highland Park

  • New Mexico: Andrew Toney, Dungarvin New Mexico LLC

  • New York: Michael Davis, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester

  • North Carolina: Roz Epps,  Community Alternatives North Carolina

  • North Dakota: Savannah Poitra, HIT, Inc.

  • Ohio: Salifu Kabba, Dungarvin Ohio LLC

  • Oklahoma: David Pitts, ResCare

  • Oregon: James Lewis, Community Support Services, Inc.

  • Pennsylvania: Marie Hesser, Keystone Community Resources, Inc.

  • South Dakota: Kristin Foerster, Northern Hills Training Center

  • Tennessee: Adrian Walker, SRVS

  • Texas: Veronique Sudbeck, Educare/ResCare

  • Utah: Mele Fangupo, Dungarvin Utah, LLC

  • Virginia: Sheila Smith, ResCare HomeCare

  • Washington: Diana Collins, ResCare

  • West Virginia: Jeannette Penix, REM Community Options

  • Wisconsin: Michael Honeywell, Dungarvin Wisconsin LLC