Employees of the Year

Another year has passed and Hi-Hope has been fortunate count some amazing people among our staff. As we employ so many outstanding people in so many different capacities, we have several categories to recognize those individuals who go above and beyond in their unique role/s with Hi-Hope. We also go through the challenging process to select one person who really, really shines - not necessarily above the rest, but who stands out as an example of the mission, values, ethics and ideals of our organization. This person is awarded the Overall Employee of the Year Award.

Each winner is nominated by coworkers, family members or other related parties and then evaluated by our Senior Leadership Team. This process yields some fantastic feedback and we have the opportunity to share some of that information with you. Below you will see the winners in each category with some commentary from the nomination forms.

Administrative Employee of the Year: Amanda Saar, Human Resources Training and Development Manager

Amanda was described in the following ways: she is "always will to help," she has a "positive attitude, always pleasant, always courteous and friendly," she is "hardworking and dedicated to Hi-Hope's individuals and staff," she is willing to assist multiple departments "beyond her job description," people are able to "laugh with her," "she is solid, reliable, dependable, supportive and gets the job done with a smile," and "she is a real asset."

Residential Direct Support Professional of the Year: Keyanna Simpson

Keyanna was described by our community as follows: she is "very good at what she does and has great knowledge of her duties," "she has a positive, healthy attitude - it's contagious," "she is always willing to share information with her coworkers, respects her peers and fosters a friendly environment," she is "great with the individuals and is interested in their hopes and dreams," she "advocates for [the individuals] to get what they need," "she is a great example for other staff, an encourager, a coach who shows great leadership," "she is active in the organization as a mentor and member of the Employee Advisory Committee," and "she brought noticeable change to our organization and is admired by many." 

Day Program Direct Support Professional of the Year: Kalandra McDonald & Jasmyn Thornton

For the first time ever, Hi-Hope has a "tie" in this category. There were simply too many nominations and positive comments about both of these individuals to ignore and thus both earned this distinction. Kalandra was described as follows: she puts a great deal of "time, care and dedication into supporting individuals; they light up when she arrives," "she truly cares about the needs and wants of the individuals and always involves everyone in deciding group activities," she has "an immense amount of patience and care and is a role model for how employees should act," she is "always willing to assist everyone," she puts in "hard work with the client council and is active at meetings to plan parties," and she "was born to do this job."

Jasmyn was described in the following way: she "strives to do the right things for the right reasons," she is "trusted by parents to be forthright," she is "always motivated by what's right for the person and really cares about what they want; she is loved by the individuals and takes time for one on one conversations with them when they are having a hard time," she is "great at exploring community opportunities related to volunteering," and she "goes the extra mile and exhibits tenacity." 

Overall Employee of the Year - Angela Smothers, House Manager (Parkside, Beverly and Shoals)

Angela received high praise from her coworkers and family members from our community. They described her in the follow ways: she is "committed to a wonderful environment...everyday," she "takes her job seriously, doing tasks of great inconvenience to ensure that the job gets done and her coworkers feel supported," she "sets the standard for quality," she "makes a huge difference in the lives of individuals and wants them to have full, meaningful lives," she "caught the attention of families" with her high standard for care and house management, and she "inspires others to go above and beyond for our individuals."

Congratulations to all of the winners! You bring so much to our community and we are very, very grateful. You are and will always be a cherished part of the Hi-Hope family!