NAFI New York 2021 Staff Awards Announced

December 14, 2021

Each year, NAFI recognizes and celebrates employees for the outstanding work they do in providing the highest level of innovative human and social services to individuals and families.

Lynn Bishop, Executive Director of NAFI operations in ConnecticutRhode Island and New York, recently announced this year’s award winners. (Also see the stories on the Connecticut awards and Rhode Island honors.)

Awards of Excellence

The Award of Excellence is presented to someone who serves as an example of superior performance in their agency, having made significant accomplishments during the year. Recipients are recognized for exemplary leadership, innovation, or initiative.

Tracy Dreher – Therapeutic Foster Care, NAFI New York

Tracy is fully committed to not only the tasks of the job but to all of the youth and families she works with. She is a dedicated team member, always willing to help her peers, other managers and supervisors. Over the last year, she has been thrown into a new role ,working with managed care, with little guidance and lots of transitions. She has learned all of the moving parts of this role and made sure every youth’s needs are taken care of! It’s obvious when meeting Tracy that she is devoted to both the Foster Care team and all of NAFI NY. Please take a moment to congratulate Tracy on her achievement and thank her for her commitment and loyalty to NAFI NY!

Danielle Soule – NAFI CT/RI/NY Finance Team 

Danielle joined NAFI less than a year ago and has showcased her professionalism, ability to learn, and willingness to tackle any responsibilities given to her.   

Danielle approaches her workday with appreciation, focus, maturity, consideration of others, and lots of humor! On the business side of the agency, attention to detail, accuracy of work and meeting deadlines are core to our success. Danielle owns these values naturally and executes them with grace and respect. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to NAFI’s vision. You make a difference.   

Thank you Danielle for being a part of our team. We are so lucky to have you. 

Executive Director’s Choice Award

Each year, the agency’s Executive Director selects one individual to receive this distinguished award. It recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact on the organization based both on performance of job responsibilities as well as contributions to the overall mission, goals, and values of NAFI. 

Tracey Pearson with Executive Director Lynn Bishop

Tracey Pearson – Director of Residential Services, NAFI Rhode Island 

Capable, competent, dedicated and energetic are words that come to mind and fully describe Tracey. As the Director of Residential Services in RI, Tracey has given 110% to the residential programs over the past year, filling positions and acting as the Program Director in a time of a staffing crisis. Helping with transports, doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and so much more, she has proven to be a true leader. She has spent countless hours interviewing and helping to hire and train staff because she understands the urgency and importance of supporting our staff. She is an advocate and has worked endless hours supporting and guiding the staff and kids at all four of RI’s group homes. Bottom line: Tracey is a true inspiration to others through role modeling and having a “we’re all in this together” attitude. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion

The DEI Champion Award is presented to a NAFI employee who is actively working toward achieving a welcoming, supportive and inclusive work environment. It is intended to celebrate those who embrace the value of diversity and recognize how it helps advance the mission of NAFI.

Giselle Lopez, LYNC, NAFI Connecticut

We have found in Giselle an inspirational mentor. She has voice, volume, vibrancy and virtue. She is the embodiment of human centered connection and she inspires in us the courage to open our hearts, start the conversation, take a stand, and connect across cultures, races, religions, and genders. Giselle goes above and beyond to incorporate cultural sensitivity and respect in all of her communications. She educates colleagues about the differences in Latino cultures, language, and norms. She continuously helps to keep us grounded in our goal to be inclusive and welcoming to all races, ages, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, and religious backgrounds. Giselle has recorded PSAs in English and Spanish, and across many NAFI CT programs has translated documents and supported us with interpretation. She also participated in the Cultural Diversity Sub-Committee as part of NAFI’s strategic planning. Giselle is currently serving as the chair of a committee working to start a Latino Center in Willimantic. The focus of the committee is on supporting undocumented immigrants to connect with community and mental health services.


NAFI New York’s mission is creating diverse and innovative services for people as a multi-service agency that provides programming, consultation and individualized support services to youth and families in a variety of community-based settings.

The agency was established within the North American Family Institute in 2005 with the ground-breaking Westchester Wraparound program. From there, NAFI NY has grown to be known as a leader in community-based and therapeutic foster care programming for youth and families.

The foundation for all of our diverse services and programs are the common values and beliefs known as the Normative Community Approach. It is not a prescriptive model but rather a culmination of our basic assumptions and beliefs about working with people. It forms a framework for building community and empowering people to find their voice.