RARITAN, N.J. – Alternatives, Inc., a provider of comprehensive services to people and families with special needs in Central New Jersey, named Amazon Fulfillment in Florence, N.J., 2016 Employer of the Year. Alternatives also recognized Brian M. Cige, Esq., Law Office of Brian M. Cige, Somerville, N.J., with the Alternatives 2016 Community Service Award. In addition, Alternatives honored several clients and employees for their contributions in 2016.
Amazon, which employs more than 900 people at its Florence facility, was recognized for its one-on-one approach with special needs employees. The company accommodated deaf clients with interpreters for trainings and orientation, and for events such as monthly employee birthday celebrations. Employees from Amazon Human Resources, Adolfo Diaz, Dan Moora, Stephanie Morales and Chantell Moss, accepted the award on Amazon’s behalf.
“Amazon Human Resources showed extra attention to our clients and made themselves available to solve problems and address concerns as needed,” said Linda Leparulo, Board Chair, Alternatives. “Amazon went above and beyond to show our clients they are respected employees and that they are supported not only by their job coach, but also by Amazon.”
Cige was awarded the Alternatives 2016 Community Service Award for representing an Alternatives client who needed legal protection from an employer. He took the case at the request of an Alternatives’ Board Member in 2012.
“After many, many hours and years of preparation, depositions, interviews and follow through, Brian has never stopped advocating for our client, and doing what he could do to fight for what is right and just,” said Leparulo. “Brian has not only been an attorney for our client, he has always been patient, kind and understanding with no monetary gain from his efforts.”
“I am very honored to be recognized for my work and look forward to supporting Alternatives and its clients,” said Cige.
Alternatives awarded Michael Trucksess of Highland Park, N.J. its prestigious Paul Mannion Award. Named after one of the agency’s very first clients, it is the highest award achievable by an Alternatives client.
“The Paul Mannion Award recognizes and honors someone whose positive attitude and spirit have served as an inspiration to others and it pays tribute to all clients who have made significant achievements,” said Nancy Good, president, Alternatives. “Mike was chosen as our Paul Mannion Award recipient this year, not because of the challenges he has faced, but for the manner in which he met those challenges.”
The Alternatives Consumer Advisory Committee also recognized the following clients with Outstanding Achievement Awards:
- Mary Lynn Pappas in the Alternatives Community Support Program.
- Alexandra Cavuto from Alternatives Group Home 9.
- Marco Tantillo in the Career Development CenterDiane Burt and Carmelo Greco were honorable mention recipients of this award.
Alternatives also recognized two of its employees nominated by Alternatives staff for full-time and part-time Employees of the Year.
- Full-Time Employee of the Year -- Caroline Calegari of Bridgewater, N.J., a Clinical Specialist with Alternatives COS Department.
- Part-time Employee of the Year -- Kristin Agunbiade of Old Bridge, N.J., a Support Specialist with Alternative’s Group Home 9.
Since 1998, Alternatives, Inc. has provided comprehensive services to individuals and families with special needs to enable them to reach their highest level of independence and integration into the community. Alternatives has a person-centered philosophy that is dedicated to providing each person served with the support they need to assist them in achieving their goals. Alternatives is committed to being the social service agency of choice in providing residential and support services to people in the Greater Central New Jersey community.
On April 1, Alternatives, will host The Alternatives Dignity Gala. For more information on the agency and upcoming events, visit www.alternativesinc.org and visit their Facebook page.