Last week, Beyond Support Network celebrated its employees at the annual employee recognition event. This was the first time that the entirety of the agency has been celebrated since the merger of Cantalician Center for Learning and Learning Disabilities Association of WNY; and furthermore, the first time this event was formally held in person since prior to the pandemic.

The Distinguished Career Service Award recognizes an employee’s service with Beyond Support Network that has been marked from its beginning by outstanding performance and commitment to the individuals we serve. This is the highest honor a Beyond Support Network employee can receive. Only an immediate supervisor or the leadership team can nominate and individual for this award.

Criteria Includes:

  • Commitment to Beyond Support Network’s mission, vision and values.
  • Consistently promoting a positive work environment.
  • Model behavior and positive attitude.
  • Demonstrated commitment to own professional development.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the development of employees.
  • Promoted and demonstrated commitment to best practices of Beyond Support Network and human services.

This year, Melissa Hiam and Tiffany Semonian were honored.

Melissa Hiam

As the director of community services, Melissa oversees several different programs. She is able to ensure that each of the program leaders are provided with supervision and guidance while prioritizing day-to-day issues. Melissa advocates for staff as well as for the individuals to ensure that our programs are successful. She is able to manage her time well, delegates tasks where needed, while ensuring that she does not overburden anyone on her team. She is vigilant over the department budget and does all that she reasonably can to increase billing and decrease expenses.

Melissa consistently advocates for what is needed for staff and individuals to be successful at Beyond. She ensures that staff feel heard and always goes the extra mile to let staff know that they are appreciated, especially when difficult/extra tasks are taken on. Melissa is incredibly supportive of staff, always looking for the potential in everyone. She provides guidance to ensure that staff & program leaders can be confident and successful at work. No matter how complicated a task or system is, she remains committed to figuring it out! She did this during COVID when needing to learn a new habilitation payment system. She did this when learning Therap. Melissa is a naturally curious person with a thirst for learning. She is also is an enthusiastic teacher who likes to share what she has learned to enhance her staff and ultimately positively impact the people we support.

Melissa continually works to better the department, herself, and the employees in her supervision. She is currently attending a leadership course to learn, share, and implement new strategies. Melissa has been an integral part in bringing organization, new strategies, and staff advocacy into the community services division. She continually looks for efficiencies and improvements in any system where she has input. She applies her creativity to improve things for staff and the people we support.

Tiffany Semonian

Tiffany is tasked with helping all staff that work at Beyond Support Network to develop safe and effective environments for those we serve when they are challenged and struggling. Tiffany guides those in her department to develop strategies and plans to assist others problem solve and become successful. She facilitates team meetings and trainings, is an active member in incident review committees and works with staff to help develop conflict resolution skills. She is one of a handful of leaders who has responsibilities across our network, working with staff from within Beyond Learning Center, day habilitation facilities, employment settings and community residences.

Tiffany is an active listener, who reflects upon the needs of those she leads and those she serves. She is always willing to go that extra mile. When seen in the school beyond working hours and asked why, her response is typically the same, “there is a student still in the school.” Even though her staff is fully equipped to resolve a situation, she wants to be available to help. She is an expert in her field and believes all individuals can succeed. Tiffany is committed to making that a reality. She is respectful, friendly, welcoming and will always share her time with a co-worker, student or family member.

She sits on several boards and committees in the community outside of our network and has brought weekend workshops to our sites, bringing together those working in the Social and Behavior disciplines together. She has researched and brought a new behavior management approach to our agency, UKERU. Tiffany persisted, demonstrated, trained and retrained staff as needed. She not only works to help our individuals when they are in crisis, but helps to provide opportunities for growth and independence. This year she is bringing ” Beyond Camping” to our school. A two night, three day, camping trip for several students.