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Phoenix Announces 2023 Employee of the Year Winners

We had so many incredible nominations, but here's who stood out above the rest!

We work with so many great staff members who provide exceptional care to the individuals we support! It is with great pleasure that we announce our 2023 Employees of the Year! Staff were nominated by their coworkers for their compassion, work ethic, and outstanding service. Please join us in congratulating them! 

Direct Support Professionals of the Year:

1.) Shantona Macklin – Newport House 

"I’d like to nominate Shantona Macklin for Employee of the Year. She is one of my most trusted employees and is always willing to lend a helping hand when needed. She always picks up extra shifts or covers no call no shows when she can. She is excellent at training new employees and excels at her documentation. No stone goes unturned when she’s working.

She’s always willing to engage with the individuals. They love playing card games with her (she plays Kings Corner with Wendy all the time!), painting their nails, and loves doing crafts with them. Just recently, she made ghosts out of cotton balls and cutouts for Halloween, and this month we are making snowmen. She is so creative with her craft ideas!! Thank you Shantona!! We appreciate you!"

2.) Abbye Barner – Multiple Homes 

No nomination was submitted, but a member of our Director Team had this to say about Abbye: "Abbye does a great job and we all know it. She picks up whenever she can, and we can depend on her to be there when she says she will. She jumps in and does the job. We are constantly changing her schedule and location and she moves without any argument."

 3.) Barb Sims – Foss & Suburban Homes

"Barb is the glue that helps hold Suburban together. She is extremely respectful of the folks that live at Suburban, as well as her coworkers. She knows the all the little things that matter with the folks. She is persistent if the folks need something and we are having difficulty getting it. Barb’s positive, we will get this done attitude is an asset for Suburban and Phoenix."

Manager of the Year:

Patty Caughron – Drexel House

"I’d like to nominate Patty Caughron for Manager of the Year. Patty has only been here since May, but she has certainly made an impression! Right from the beginning, Patty has stepped up and been a fantastic manager for Drexel House.

Although she was new, that didn’t deter her from getting her hands dirty. From the very beginning, she’s been very hands-on with the individuals at Drexel House, and she communicates so well with everyone in the company. Most of the time, she is the first to respond to manager requests and you never have to remind her about anything. She is always on top of her duties!

She sincerely wants us to do well, and she’ll do everything she can to make that happen. I specifically remember, within two months of starting, she volunteered to raise money for her house for our Made in the Shade 5K walk—even reaching out to her own friends and family to raise money for Phoenix! She’s always bringing the individuals on community outings, especially Phoenix-wide events, like our Made in the Shade 5K walk, Bingo Night, and Holiday Party."

To read all of Patty's nomination, click here.

Support Staff/Nursing Team Member of the Year:

Sarah Hansen – Human Resources 

"Sarah’s focus on the bottom line, her efficiency and understanding of the different systems at Phoenix have been instrumental in the fact that we have cut our open hours in half in the time I have been working at Phoenix.  Sarah is the sort of person that you can say any employee’s name, and she will know which house they work at and what shift.  It’s magical honestly!  Sarah is always prompt in her responses and regularly helps others in better understanding the mechanics and systems behind hiring and scheduling. 

Sarah is also incredibly gifted at keeping her cool in uncomfortable or challenging situations.  She never sounds frazzled and keeps an even head even in a stressful room.  She responds gently and professionally to communication and regularly amazes me with how kind her voice and demeanor are even when she is not being treated as such herself.  Sarah’s general disposition is approachable and calming, which is invaluable on stressful days. To read all of Sarah's nomination, please click here.

I could go on and on about how instrumental Sarah is to the progress that Phoenix has made due to her influence.  I just hope that she understands how much value she adds to our work, even on the frustrating days when things go wrong.  I appreciate Sarah so much and feel that she deserves to be recognized with this award."

To read all of Sarah's nomination, click here.

Phoenix Service Corporation (our sister company):

 Cassie Linnell – Ramsey County Case Manager Supervisor 

"I would like to nominate Cassie Linnell for Employee of the Year. Cassie is an extremely valuable supervisor and staff at Phoenix. Cassie is always willing to step in and help out wherever needed and with a positive attitude. She works hard to get things completed even when she is covering for another staff or supervisor, or there is a quick turnaround time for the deadline. I rely on her experience and expertise so much as a co-supervisor and appreciate how much she cares about the clients and case managers on our team. Her work and dedication show how invested she is not only for the individuals served, but in creating an enjoyable and successful work environment for others. I don't know what I would do without her on our team!"

We had so many great nominations, it was hard to narrow it down. But thank you to everyone who nominated someone!! We’d also like to recognize everyone who was nominated—that’s an achievement in itself! Throughout January, we’ll be recognizing all the staff who got nominated for these awards. 

Follow our Facebook page or visit our website to learn more about all the nominees.

Congratulations to all our winners! You are making a difference!