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July 2015


Longevity at CSI (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second of a two-part series highlighting internal promotion, longevity, and staff achivement at CSI. While CSI is proud of its achievements, its record of employee longevity demonstrates the strong team culture and enthusiasm present company-wide. Having employees who have been part of CSI’s history and growth is of tremendous value to the agency. Every department currently has at least one employee who has been with the agency for at least ten years. The following table shows employees who have been with CSI for ten or more years. In total, forty-three people have been with the agency for a decade or more.
20+ Years
Sylvester Esangbedo
Derek Harrison
Sally Guy
Aileen O’Connor
Pauline Hamilton
Stephen Solazzo
15+ Years
Amy Anderson
Daren Lamb
Alan Butkus
Annie Marshall
Richard Dalla Valle
Elsa Paulino
Barbara Davis
Olga Rudyak
Heather DeLeon
Denise Thayer
Maria Grubaugh
Timothy Thresher
Susan Guay
Michael Warburton
Deborah Hynd
 
10+ Years
Sherry Albert
Theresa Lefebvre
Tina Cioffi
Sedgrid Lewis
Cynthia Cornelio
Gregory Lindsey
Marvin Cruz
Douglas McAvay
Oktavian Florysiak
Tysha Phillips
Robert Flynn
Carol Shaw
Jessica Fraser
Deborah Smith
Raymond Gavins
Marlene Thomas
Veneta Gooden
Jenith Velez
Jill Hoch
Darrin Whitman
Brett Keaton
Qin Zhang

To gain a greater understanding of CSI’s long-time employees, a member of each of the 10+, 15+, and 20+ years of experience groups responded to a question and answer session.

Derek Harrison, Program Director, Berman/Drapelick/Sullivan Centers (20+)

Q: When you first began working for CSI, did you see yourself staying at the agency for 21 years?
A: No! I can honestly say. I never imagined that I would be anywhere for 21 years and approaching 22 in September 2015.

Q: How have you seen CSI evolve over the years?
A: Connecticut Halfway House! The evolution of Community Solutions is incredible! I have seen this agency change for the better in so many ways! The staff and leadership! As well as expansion of our organization throughout the US. It's been an amazing journey that I am blessed to continue to be a part of.

Q: Has there been one moment, day, or event in your CSI career that has stood out to you as being especially rewarding, inspirational or memorable?
A: I have been fortunate to meet and see so many amazing people in my time. I have seen so much that it's really difficult to put a finger on a specific moment. I really am proud of the growth of my peers throughout the years. I am so grateful for the success of them all, who are still involved and working with people to improve their quality of life but in much higher positions. I have always believed that in the 90's we had the greatest and most dedicated working class ever established for this agency. Ask John R., Sherry A., Aileen O., Steve S., Mike W., Bill S., and Barbara D. Say no more...

Olga Rudyak, Senior Accountant, Central Office (15+)

Q: When you first began working for CSI, did you see yourself staying at the agency for 15 years?
A: It's hard to predict where one could be in 15 years, but from the very beginnings my work at CSI became more than just a job. I have also grown a sense of appreciation and value for being able to contribute to an organization with such worthwhile goals. So I'm not overly surprised to find myself at CSI 15 years later.

Q: How have you seen CSI evolve over the years?
A: It seems to me that over the years our teamwork has grown stronger, as well as our dedication to the clients. We have started many great initiatives, including the annual Golf Tournament fundraiser.

Q: Has there been one moment, day, or event in your CSI career that has stood out to you as being especially rewarding, inspirational or memorable?
A: The most memorable times are always the ones when our clients recall their life stories and the meaningful changes that took place due to CSI's work. Hearing real people express their gratitude has been very inspirational for my work, even though it does not directly impact them.

Theresa Lefebvre, Coventry House Program Director (10+)

Q: When you first began working for CSI, did you see yourself staying at the agency for 14 years?
A: I didn't really think about it at the time. But I was at my last job for 14 years and it was very hard for me to leave but I took the chance and started working at CSI in 2000. The director at the time fought very hard for me to leave my job and come work for her and I'm truly glad I did. It doesn't seem like 14 years have passed.

Q: How have you seen CSI evolve over the years?
A: I have seen many directors come and go. Many changes and improvements. We are always striving to be the best. I feel CSI is in a great position right now. It's being run overall by great leaders who are more in touch with who everyone is individually and they recognize the potential in everyone.

Q: Has there been one moment, day, or event in your CSI career that has stood out to you as being especially rewarding, inspirational or memorable?
A: There are so many. Most of my rewarding memories are always connected to the youth we serve. There was one child who came to CSI when he was 12 and left at 15. He was just one of the special ones that came through and he had no one in the world to call his own. He had been in placement since he was 3 years old when his mother abandoned him in a McDonald's parking lot. We helped him through some difficult times and taught him all the things parents should teach their children. We along with DCYF found a foster family and he is now 19 and living a healthy normal life. The reason he came to mind is that he tried to friend me on Facebook. Although I don't friend residents I did look on his page and the touching part was where you list where you are from. He put "Coventry". Therefore WE were home for him. He still calls and visits on occasion. These are the moments why we at Coventry house are committed to CSI and these kids who need someone to care for them.