Celebrating our DSPs and more!
Celebrating our DSPs and more!
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Direct Support Professional Recognition Celebrated
A Message from our President and CEO
Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week is a time to celebrate our frontline staff, whose dedication and compassion make all the difference. With everyday care and guidance from DSPs, people we support with developmental and intellectual disabilities are able to connect with their communities. They’re able to enjoy the comfort and safety of their own homes. They can explore unique interests and build important life skills. And, above all, each person is able to live life to their fullest potential!
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards. Our Senior Leadership Team received and reviewed a record-breaking number of submissions, featuring amazing stories of leadership, selflessness and compassion.

Last week from September 11 through 17, we recognized the incredible DSPs across our agency. If you would like to express appreciation for our frontline direct support staff, you are welcome to submit a note.

Curious about the role of a direct support professional, how to get started in this career and the impact these vital staff members make? Take a few minutes to view this video produced by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Career Pathways initiative. We are very appreciative of their efforts to assist the agency in attracting new talent.

Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO, People Inc.
Open Interview Events Happening in Silver Creek and Springville
Looking for a job that allows you to make an impact in your neighborhood? People Inc. has a place for you on our team! Learn more about fulfilling positions and speak one-on-one with our knowledgeable team during Open Interview Events, happening this month:
People Inc. is a leading regional multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, providing a variety of supports to people with disabilities, families and older adults. Check out a
30-second video about our career opportunities.

We value what’s important to YOU – making an impact, feeling accomplished, enjoying outstanding benefits and fostering career development. Offering rewarding careers with affordable insurance plans, tuition reimbursement, Paid Time Off (PTO)/PTO Buyback, career mentoring, plus consistent shifts 24/7 with shift incentives and more!

Pre-apply for one of our Open Interview Events today. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Recognizing our Incredible Supervisors
People Inc. was proud to recognize 18 winners of our inaugural Dr. Lizbeth Booth Supervisors of the Year Awards during a breakfast ceremony at Classics V Banquet and Conference Center on Monday, August 15. Winners were nominated for their incredible commitment, motivation, leadership and the important role they play. The awards honor the memory and legacy of Lizbeth Booth, PhD, who was an integral part of many different areas of People Inc. for nearly 30 years. Dr. Booth inspired her staff, helped them build their own skills and empowered them to become a resource to others. We were honored to have Dr. Booth’s family participate in the ceremony. A video presentation was shown during the event, featuring photos and quotes from each award recipient. Event photos are on our Facebook photo album. Congrats to all!
Israel Cruz
Bringing Inclusivity to New Heights
Ferris Wheel at Buffalo RiverWorks Helps Make City More Accessible

The “Buffal-O” Ferris wheel at Buffalo RiverWorks is making the city more accessible for people who use mobility devices. BJ Stasio and Israel Cruz, advocates for disability rights who also receive services from People Inc., were among the first people to ride in the accessible car. Learn more from The Buffalo News Columnist Sean Kirst in this feature article.
In the Community
People Inc. is all about people! We are thrilled to participate in events that allow us to connect with those around us and build new relationships with our communities. Here’s a recap of recent happenings:
People Inc. took part in the Music Is Art Festival on Saturday, September 10! There, we shared our services and met Robby Takac, event founder and member of Goo Goo Dolls! It was an amazing event and experience! Pictured is James Scutt of People Inc. Vocational Services and Business Solutions with Robby Takac.

Tenants from the People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments Tenant Council participated in the National Night Out community activity with food, music, fellowship and a backpack give away for children. Pictured: Tenant Council members Gloria and Laura and Council President Johnny. Thank you to community members and businesses for their support!

We joined the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY. We met up with members of the community and local leaders to celebrate Puerto Rican and Hispanic cultures! Check out event photos on our Facebook photo album.
ames Scutt of People Inc. Vocational Services and Business Solutions with Robby Takac Tenant Council members Gloria and Laura and Council President Johnny Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY
Jayden Franklin
Jayden Franklin Helps People Inc. Earn Rochester Chamber Contest
Thanks to the creative talents of Jayden Franklin, who receives support from our Respite Program in Rochester, NY, People Inc. won a contest from the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce! Member organizations were asked to showcase their Rochester Chamber pride with visual displays around a window cling. Jayden did research, conceptualized and implemented a colorful design at our Rochester headquarters. As the winning organization, People Inc. receives an advertising bundle from the Rochester Chamber. To show our gratitude, Jayden was presented with a People Inc. t-shirt for his great work from Senior Vice President Anna Korus. Way to go, Jayden!
Pictured L-R: Denise Bienko, People Inc. senior vice president; Roxane Albond-Buchner, Marketing Communications and Ashley Barbosa, Talent Acquisition
Pictured L-R: Denise Bienko, People Inc. senior vice president; Roxane Albond-Buchner, Marketing Communications and Ashley Barbosa, Talent Acquisition
People Inc. Receives Recognition
Thanks to our incredible team of staff, people served, families who entrust us with providing quality care and community support, we’re proud to share recent awards and acknowledgement for our agency:

People Inc. was recognized by the Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce with the Michael J. Bartlett Memorial Impact Award! The chamber recognizes how hard local organizations and businesses work to better the community. The chamber accepted nominations from fellow members for several categories and all were honored at the Annual Chamber Membership Reception, “Celebrate Our Chamber Businesses.” People Inc. is proud to be a part of the Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce and congratulates all of the award nominees. Our award category identifies businesses that have maintained significant contributions within their own respective industries and have a positive, compelling, long-standing direct economic and socio-economic impact on the local community.

People Inc. was named a finalist in Western New York’s Healthiest Employers for 2022! The 12th annual event, hosted by Buffalo Business First, honors Western New York companies that provide the best health and wellness benefits for their employees.
People Inc. Willow Senior Living in Wheatfield (located on the border of North Tonawanda) had a fun afternoon with a visit from House of Munch food truck
People Inc. Orchard Senior Living in Springville enjoyed an outing to Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY
Out and About with People Inc. Senior Living
Did you know our agency supports a diverse group of people all across the region, including older adults? Our People Inc. Senior Living tenants live in safe, affordable apartment buildings and enjoy lots of activities. Some recent happenings included:
  • People Inc. Willow Senior Living in Wheatfield (located on the border of North Tonawanda) had a fun afternoon with a visit from House of Munch food truck, along with a performance from the Hot Country Liners Dance Team.
  • Tenants from People Inc. Orchard Senior Living in Springville enjoyed an outing to Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY. It was a great way to spend time together safely in the great outdoors!
Are you or someone you know looking for an affordable and safe senior apartment? Consider our beautifully maintained apartments for yourself or a loved one! People Inc. Senior Living apartments are for independent older adults, age 62 and over who are income-eligible. Apartment units include kitchen appliances and safety features. They are also pet-friendly! Applications are now being accepted for our HUD approved, one-bedroom apartments, including locations in Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Gowanda, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield. People Inc. Senior Living includes 20 locations throughout Erie and Niagara Counties. Want to learn more or get an application to be added to our wait list? Call 716.880.3890. For more info and to check out apartment photos, visit: people-inc.org/seniorliving
Chris Zienski (pictured standing). Follow Nathan’s journey on TikTok, @NatetheGolfer and on Instagram, @Nathanthegolfer.
Thank You for a Successful
Golf Tournament

Our annual People Inc. Foundation Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament was held Monday, August 22! Many thanks to all of the businesses, sponsors, golfers and volunteers for their generous support to help make the event a success! Nathan Forrestel, a nationally-recognized golfer and recipient of People Inc. Self-Directed Services, participated in the tournament, alongside staff member Chris Zienski (pictured standing). Follow Nathan’s journey on TikTok, @NatetheGolfer and on Instagram, @Nathanthegolfer.

Event proceeds assist people with developmental disabilities, special needs and older adults in leading more independent and productive lives. Special thanks to all of our 2022 supporters:

Hole-in-One Sponsors: Allied Mechanical, Inc.; Long Associates Architects, PLLC; Parkview Health Services; Savarino Companies, LLC and Upstate Pharmacy.

Eagle Sponsors: Aries Transportation; Barclay Damon, LLP; Bryans & Gramuglia, LLC; Calamar Construction; Cedar Bus Company; CSI Contract Specialists; CSS Construction; Davis-Ulmer; Dobmeier, Inc.; DV Brown & Associates, Inc.; ePlus Technology/Cisco; Flaherty Salmin CPAs; Independent Health Association, Inc.; KeyBank; O'Bannon & Davis, Inc.; Ostroff and Associates; People First Mobility; Property Services of WNY; Quantum Rehab - Pride Mobility Products; Sinatra and Company; Towne Automotive Group; United Business Systems; USI Insurance Services; Vanner Insurance; Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc. and Worthington Designs, Inc.

People Inc. and Southeast Foundation Annual Fall Event
Featuring a Fantasy Casino

Here's the deal: Support our mission and join us for an evening of fun as we host a “Fantasy Casino Night!” The event will be held Thursday, October 20, from 5:30 to 10 p.m., at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Road, Depew, NY. The evening features: a two-hour open bar, a full cash bar, raffles and an auction, plus blackjack, roulette and slots!

Unique sponsorship opportunities available! Tickets may be purchased online. If you have questions, contact Christine Melchiorre at cmelchiorre@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269.
a group of People Inc. advocates and staff enjoyed a suite for the Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts preseason game

We Bill-eve in our Hometown team
Thanks to a generous donation by Empire State Development, a group of People Inc. advocates and staff enjoyed a suite for the Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts preseason game on Saturday, August 13. Everyone had a great time and the game ended in a Bills win! We look forward to more victories as the regular season continues. Go Bills!
Advocate for Seniors in Long-Term
Care Facilities

Virtual Training Starting in mid-October
Volunteer opportunities are available to advocate for older adults in our community! Join the NYS Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Team, supported by People Inc. We connect caring and effective advocates with residents who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara Counties.

As an ombudsman in your community, you will:
  • Visit with residents and work to identify complaints and concerns.
  • Assist with monitoring resident care, staffing and building conditions.
  • Investigate complaints.
  • Work with facility staff to correct problems, using a range of problem-resolution
    and advocacy skills.
Only two hours a week is needed! Contact us soon to reserve a spot at our virtual training, which begins in mid-October. For more details, call 716.817.9222 or toll-free at 1.844.527.5509.
In the Media: Being a Resource to the Community
Local media stories have featured our services and team expertise:

With support from Homes and Community Renewal, New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and many community leaders, People Inc. looks forward to opening an additional affordable housing complex, to be located on Rogers Road in the Town of Hamburg. Learn more in this article from The Buffalo News. For info about People Inc. Affordable Apartments, call 716.880.3890.

The Buffalo Healthy Living Community Conversations episode with People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. Associate Vice President of Community Relations and DEI Bradford Watts and Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown is available online. They discuss the need for affordable housing in the Buffalo region.

News and accomplishments about the April 2023 retirement of People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick were included in Buffalo Business First and The Buffalo News.

People Inc. hosted local author Matt Higgins, athlete Monster Mike Schultz and his wife Sara for a book signing earlier this year. Learn more about how “Driven to Ride: The True Story of an Elite Athlete Who Rebuilt His Leg, His Life, and his Career” came to be in this Buffalo Spree article.
Team Kudos
A round of applause to our amazing team:
Denise Bienko and Elizabeth Mauro
Denise Bienko, People Inc. senior vice president, and Elizabeth Mauro, People Inc. Board Member and CEO of Endeavors Health Services, were recognized with a Buffalo Business First Woman of Influence Award for their nonprofit leadership on Thursday, September 15. The Women of Influence Awards recognize the business expertise and community spirit of local women leaders.
Pictured L-R: Denise Bienko, People Inc. senior vice president; Elizabeth Mauro, People Inc. Board Member and CEO of Endeavors Health Services
Ajaleah Bobowski
Ajaleah Bobowski, residential director for People Inc., was named a nominee for the first annual Colors of Success DEI Award from the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to better the community. The award was newly created to celebrate people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing diversity, equity and with clear positive impacts as a result of these efforts.
Rhonda Frederick
Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. president and CEO, was selected as the 2022 inductee into the Buffalo Business First WNY Business Hall of Fame, recognizing entrepreneurs, executives, inventors and visionaries, who have an indelible impact on the growth of our region.
Upcoming Virtual Event: Developmental Disability Awareness Day
People Inc. and our affiliates are looking forward to participating in Developmental Disability Awareness Day, happening virtually on Tuesday, October 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is hosted by the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York. The event will include virtual awards and a panel discussion. Register and learn more: ddday.org
New Date for Book Discussion –
Raising Jess: A Story of Hope

The People Inc. Advocacy Department is partnering with Peaceprints of WNY for a Speaking Volumes Book Club virtual discussion for “Raising Jess: A Story of Hope,” by Buffalo-based author Vickie Rubin.
This event was postponed from last month and the new date is Thursday, October 13, at 6 p.m. The book tells the story of one family’s journey when faced with the birth of a child with special needs. People Inc. will guide a discussion on the challenges of caring for a loved one with special needs, the affects of the pandemic and how we can all become more informed. The book can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other shops. Sign up for the discussion. There is no registration fee; however, online donations are welcome with a portion benefiting People Inc.
Career Spotlight: Recruiter – Western New York and Rochester Area
Join the Talent Acquisition Team

Staffing a leading health and human service agency that supports people in multiple counties – is rewarding and challenging! People Inc. is seeking motivated recruiters for both Western New York and the Greater Rochester area.

As part of a supportive team, the recruiter will manage all aspects of the recruiting life-cycle process, including sourcing, recruiting, conducting interviews, evaluating background checks, hiring and onboarding. This position requires a bachelor’s degree with one to two years of experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience, and the ability to travel to various locations located in, but not limited to Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Monroe Counties.

We are committed to the ongoing personal and professional growth of our employees, while offering outstanding benefits, tuition reimbursement and paid training. There is a place for YOU on our TEAM! Apply at people-inc.org/careers.
A New Opportunity to Serve the Community through AmeriCorps
The People Inc. E.T.H.O.S. AmeriCorps program has an opening for those interested in serving as an AmeriCorps member at The Care Management Coalition of Western New York to help streamline the partner agencies’ services at a single location.

Through the Care Management Coalition (CMC), you could help clients gain better access, create a platform for system change through collaboration and innovation, while increasing agency efficiency and cost effectiveness. Do you want to participate in meaningful national service, while earning a living allowance, an educational award and on-the-job training? If you said YES, join the Care Management Coalition, in collaboration with the People Inc. E.T.H.O.S. AmeriCorps.

To learn more about this specific position, contact: Director of the CMC at Director@CMCWNY.org. Learn more about the People Inc. E.T.H.O.S. AmeriCorps program and to apply.

The People Inc. E.T.H.O.S. AmeriCorps Program stands for Empowerment Through Helping Others Succeed. Ethos is a Greek word meaning “character” that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation or ideology. AmeriCorps is a national program, often referred to as the domestic version of the Peace Corps. It connects people and organizations committed to using national service to address community needs.
People Inc. Respite is Here for You
Supporting a loved one with a developmental disability is a rewarding experience, but it can be challenging, too. With day-to-day responsibilities, parents and guardians may find themselves too busy to run errands, attend appointments or even take a moment to rest and recharge. For all of these times when a break is needed, the People Inc. Respite Program is here to help!

Our site-based Respite houses in Erie and Niagara Counties have been newly re-opened and are currently accepting enrollees! The two wheelchair-accessible homes are available for people with developmental disabilities, ages 10 and up, to receive support in a safe environment. Staff are certified to pass medications and are supervised by an on-site RN. The program offers planned and emergency on-site care, by the hour, or overnight – including after school or program hours. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are provided. Recreational activities include, but are not limited to, outings to the mall, Lasertron and the movies. Arts and crafts, sports activities and help with homework are available.

Fees are waiver-based and private pay. Parents or guardians interested in enrolling their loved ones can encourage their care coordinators to reach out to the People Inc. Admissions team at admissions@people-inc.org or 716.800.3700.
Accepting Applications Year-round for Affordable Apartments
Your New Apartment Awaits!

People Inc. is pleased to provide a variety of apartment options for the Western New York community – open to the general public! Each location through People Inc. Affordable Apartments includes units with a refrigerator and stove. Plus, the apartments have safety features, AC, are pet-friendly and tenants enjoy the ease of using the building laundry facilities. Rental vouchers accepted. Our staff members are available to provide age and income eligibility details. Contact us today to learn more and complete an application: Email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890.

Here’s the latest info about People Inc. Affordable Apartments, which are close to shopping, dining, schools and so much more:
A Kitchen at Oakwood
Grant Apartments
  • People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments, 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY: One- and two-bedroom units available. This brand NEW apartment complex is for people 55+ years, income-eligible. There are also seven furnished set-aside apartments for people 55+ who are income-eligible and are frail elderly homeless individuals.

  • People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: Age 55+ and income-eligible.

  • People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, 25 Grant Street, North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible or who has an intellectual or developmental disability.

  • People Inc. Highland School Apartments, 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible; have a traumatic brain injury or an intellectual/developmental disability.

  • Locations for the Olmsted Apartments, managed by People Inc., are located in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lockport and North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible. Preferences for people with physical disabilities or vision impairments are provided.
News from Deaf Access Services
Global Flag for the Deaf Communities
Get Ready for Deaf Awareness Week!
International Week of Deaf People, also known as Deaf Awareness Week, is happening this year from Monday, September 19 to Sunday, September 25. During this time – and all year round – we encourage everyone to learn about the contributions of Deaf people and advocate for inclusion!

Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is coordinating a number of events from Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 25, featuring accessibility options for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. From movie nights, local tours, dining opportunities and social events, there is something for everyone! Check out the full schedule on the Deaf Access Services website. Info will be also be on the Deaf Access Services Facebook page.

News from Headway of WNY
Brad, Devon, David
Sharing Services with Area Veterans
Last month, Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., was pleased to take part in the Buffalo Stand Down event at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY. Devon M. Pettygrove of Headway of WNY (pictured at center), along with Bradford Watts (left) of People Inc. and David Wantuck (right) of our affiliate Deaf Access Services, shared services and information with veterans in Western New York. Be sure to follow @HeadwayWNY on Instagram for the latest news and happenings!

Headway of Western New York is a support and advocacy agency for persons with brain injuries and other disabilities. The agency is the Regional Resource Center/Single Point of Entry for the Department of Health's Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver.

News from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Lothlorien Program Director Receives Recognition
Maggie Keller, program director for Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., was recently recognized by the Western New York Muslim Association! She was presented with a Community Service Commitment Award for her deep commitment to the welfare of children, veterans and amputees.

For a recap from last month’s Croquet Tournament with East Aurora Kiwanis and the East Aurora Rotary Club, benefiting Lothlorien, check out this article in the East Aurora Advertiser.

Located in East Aurora, NY, Lothlorien provides horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for people of all ages with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Learn more about Lothlorien’s services on their website or Facebook page.
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