Agency recognizes milestones and presents honorary awards

Oak Bluffs, MA. (May 17, 2022) ‐ Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) held its annual Staff Recognition Ceremony on campus last Friday, May 13th. The event honored milestone anniversaries and recognized the recipients of this year’s nine awards.

MVCS senior leadership had the difficult job of reviewing the deeply touching 32 nominations for 22 various staff members or teams, and selecting the nine awards to be given out. This year was different in that the nominees were asked to name the award they were giving.

MVCS Chief Executive Officer Beth Folcarelli hosted the ceremony, presenting awards and recognitions throughout the hour-long event attended by employees and board members on Friday evening.  Below are recipients and excerpts from the award presentations: 

Milestone Anniversaries

  • 5 Years
    • Jennifer Vogel
    • Selma Souza
    • Jessica Tartell
  • 10 Years
    • Amanda Schwab-Doyon
    • Alicia Nicholson
    • Jennifer Neary
  • 40 Years
    • Judy Thomas


The Shining Star Award – Emily Medeiros, CONNECT to End Violence
Emily has grown tremendously throughout the year.  She serves clients with  great intention.  Emily always displays a calm presence during crisis situations.  She is a true team player who steps up to the plate with a positive attitude…Emily always exudes  a willingness to support the team and the clients served by CONNECT to End Violence. 

The Best Community Partner Award – Chrissy Laurie, Island Wide Youth Collaborative
Throughout the last two years Chrissy has elevated IWYC programming to new levels!  She is known across the Island as a wonderful collaborator and partner.  Chrissy routinely comes up with inventive, creative and meaningful programming for Island families.  She leads with passion and a genuine interest in the needs of the children and families she serves. 

The Life Savers Award – Emergency Services Core Team, Island Counseling Center
This team has consistently gone above and beyond for the Island’s  most vulnerable clients in crisis.  In an incredibly short-staffed situation the Emergency Services Team pulled together to complete late night evaluations, conduct bed searches, and work collaboratively with hospital staff to ensure clients with emergency needs were placed in the safest and most appropriate setting. This group of incredible staff ensured everyone in our community had access to the emergency care needed,  at any hour of the day or night.

The Most Boat Rides Ever Award – Kathi Hackett, Disability Services
Kathi has created a dependable support system for the families served by Disability Services. Kathi sustained strong relationships with clients, families, and communities on both MV and Nantucket. Kathi also set a high bar for the program to sustain.  Now formally retired from MVCS as of 13 days ago, this super star also mentored her replacement to make sure our clients and communities experience continued great services without disruption. For those of you who DON’T know Kathi…she lives on the Cape and has been back and forth on the boat for 33 years to  serve clients on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. 

The Keep On Clucking Award – Chicken Alley Thrift Shop Team
Yes, the 2022 Keep on Clucking Award reveals all that is AWESOME about this great team from Chicken Alley. It is no mystery why this phenomenal team was selected for this honor. Each day at Chicken Alley is unpredictable and exciting. On any given day, this team may need to manage back room flooding, a huge flatbed truck full of surprise donations, or an urgent call to help a client move to and furnish safer housing. This team personifies characteristics like commitment, initiative, cooperation and dedication.

Chicken Alley Thrift Shop Team: Jessica Tartell, Kris Ivory, Courtney Atkins, Bruce Elliott, Amanda Adams, Lulu Sylbert, Ana Sargent, Karen Humphrys, Mary Carmel, Carolyn Baer, Heather Beeman, Ellie Hehre, and Kristen Coogan

The Quiet Hero Award – Brad Mendenhall, IT Manager
This award goes to a person who quietly, consistently, and without fail steps up when needed with competence, grace, and  and confidence. Brad willingly helps his colleagues and approaches his work with a combined sense of reassurance, expertise, humility, and optimism. Is there any problem Brad cannot solve? From outfitting our new Early Childhood Center with state-of-the-art technology, to onboarding new staff, to launching a new software…Brad just seems to do it all.  His  “can do” approach has no fanfare. All of a sudden your problem is just miraculously solved. Sometimes mysteriously and remotely! 

The Kids Choice Award – Early Childhood Center Teaching Team
The Early Childhood Center team is almost completely new. They have come together over the course of the last year to respond to ever-changing rules–from the height of the pandemic until today. This extraordinary group moved THEMSELVES and all of their clients into a new facility without missing a beat. They successfully emptied out Building A!  Thank you, to this awesome  team. You were able to keep your program running, serve families amidst a pandemic, AND maintain a positive attitude through it all.

ECC Teaching Team: Heather Quinn, Judy Thomas, Amanda Schwab-Doyon, Ronna Costas, Santanna Sterling, Selma Souza, Mariah Duarte, Abbey Entner, Jesse Jason, Dianne Booth, Olivia Prestly, Veronica Lundgren, & Alice Pope.

The All Star MVP – Barbara Bellissimo, VP of Development, Marketing & Communications
The All Star MVP goes to a member of our senior leadership team. Barbara carries a lot of responsibility and makes it look so flawless and easy. On any given day Barbara is leading a staff training, giving a  campus tour, closing a $50,000 donation, finalizing traffic flow for an event, and editing a press release. She leads with confidence, wisdom, and impact.

The Program Director of the Year – Jennifer Neary, CONNECT to End Violence
Jennifer is an exceptional leader. She is always ready to listen and offer an empathetic perspective with everyone around her. Jennifer sets a shining example for her team and this example trickles down into and through the team.  It inspires her colleagues to build confidence, grow, and take on new challenges. The work of Connect to End Violence would not be possible without Jennifer’s exemplary leadership.