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 Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York, recently announced this year’s award winners. (Also see the stories on the Rhode Island winners and Connecticut honorees.)
Rookie of the Year:
The Rookie of the Year award is presented to someone who has worked for the agency for less than one year but has already made a notable mark on their program, having shown great enthusiasm for their job and commitment to professional growth.
Allison Towers – Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL)
Alli Towers (Minotti) comes from a school counseling background. She came to NAFI seeking a new type of counseling role with a desire to support youth and families in a new and more impactful way. Alli now works as the Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL) Clinician for Orange County, NY. Since she began, Alli has been eager to learn and willing to take on more than is required to continue to grow in her leadership and clinical skills. Alli has quickly learned and applied the PLL model to the families that she has served. In addition, Alli has shown teamwork and approach with her colleagues working collaboratively to support family needs. As she reaches the end of her first full year with NAFI, she has diligently served 16 youth and 13 families. Alli’s determination to continuously grow as an individual and support her team has earned her NAFI NY’s Rookie of the Year award for 2022. Thank you Alli, for all you do to support your families, your PLL team and NAFI NY.
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.
Maggie Orellana – Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL)
Maggie Orellana started as a clinician in the Parenting Love and Limits program in the NAFI NY region. Maggie was promoted to Program Director of PLL in 2021. Since then, Maggie has stepped into her leadership role within the program and the NAFI NY region. Maggie has also lead and support the Orange County office through managing cars, ensuring supplies needed are ordered and being a point person to address issues as they arise. Maggie actively works to identify strategies to support staff and streamline systems when needed.
Maggie has worked to support PLL team approach and develop cohesive working teams across Westchester and Orange County. Maggie collaborates with stakeholders to strengthen relationships and support the referral process to ensure PLL is available to as many families as can benefit from the program.
Spirit of the Community Award
NAFI’s Normative Community Approach creates a culture where people work together to achieve individual and community successes. We have come to think of this phenomenon of working together towards a greater mission as the “Spirit of the Community.” The Spirit of the Community award recognizes individuals who exemplify this dedication to the greater good of their community, NAFI and beyond, throughout the year.
Jamel Holder, Therapuetic Foster Care
Jamel is an active team player willing to take on different ways to support and help across the region. Jamel is also member of the NY Spirit committee. Jamel actively supports the development of events and ideas to bring spirit to NY region employees. In addition, Jamel connects with local community resources to identify and connect supports and material goods that can be of use and value to the families we serve.
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.
Andy Torres – Director of Developmental Services, NAFI Connecticut
Andy Torres has made countless contributions to NAFI, youth, adults and colleagues for over 26 years! His passion for helping those in need has never wavered both personally and professionally as he will go above and beyond any job description in order find ways to make peoples’ lives better. Historically, he could be found finding youth out in the community to lend an ear or a hand, working with foster parents to help build safe homes and ALWAYS building positive cultures within and across programs so staff feel supported. He actively participates in the greater agency though his involvement in committees, donations for other organizations and always supporting other NAFI programs whenever and however needed. Just ask him – he will be there. Over the past year as the Director of Developmental Services, Andy approached and met the challenges of staffing shortages and high service demands with personal grit, tenacity and time. He took the time to listen to others, be present and bear witness, lend a hand and give others some well-needed time of their own. Where and how people choose to spend their valuable time is a significant indicator of what is important to them. Andy has clearly shown his dedication and genuine care for employees and participants in the Pierpont, Milton, IS, LeClair and Corey programs and all of NAFI CT.
About NAFI CT
NAFI CT is a multi-service agency that provides programming, consultation, and individualized support services to youth, families, and adults in a variety of settings across Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. Our core services include foster care, developmental services, residential treatment, and in-home services and consultations. We take a respectful and dignified approach to all care services, with the mission of empowering individuals and strengthening families. To learn more, call our New York Regional Offices at (914) 355-7442 or see the website at www.nafiny.org.