Across companies on Long Island, these workers rose to the occasion and were recognized for their passion and dedication, for their philanthropy and volunteerism, for helping their businesses survive and thrive.
Grassi partner Lou Pizzileo, of Wantagh, mobilized a team of Grassi professionals to begin serving the needs of PPP applicants even before the CARES Act was passed, according to his company. Under his leadership, the team worked around the clock to interpret and communicate regulations, create a digital tool to calculate complex loan forgiveness requirements and roll out new service offerings to help business owners secure the relief they deserved.
In her role as an office leader for the Emerging Professionals Group at VHB Engineering, Elyse Belarge led a Wellness Series for colleagues, her employer said. The series provided content for employees on topics including exercising, meditation, stretching, eating healthy, stress relief, local outdoor activities, and TED Talks related to mental health.
Austin Williams creative director Bryan Hynes, in his office, wears a company-branded gaiter face covering he helped design for employees to return to the office.
Carla Rowland, receptionist at Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corp., was nominated workplace hero, "as she's been working on-site while many of the other staff worked from home."
Caitlin Roeder, assistant director, PROS, at CN Guidance & Counseling Services was nominated as a workplace hero.
Suzanne Wenz, a senior program manager at Zebra Technologies Corp. in Holtsville, was nominated as a workplace hero. Her employer said: "Suzanne truly goes above and beyond every year with her philanthropy and volunteerism. She has been instrumental in organizing weekly volunteering efforts at the Island Harvest food bank over the past few months and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Smile Farms."
Maria Martin of SUNation, her employer said, "I'm especially proud of Maria's performance during the brutal Covid shutdown of the solar industry. She took over everything from home. The phone and computer were on 24/7 and with most of her team furloughed, she met every challenge. Maria is a warrior. We didn't just survive, we thrived. The is only one Maria Martin on this planet and she makes our workplace and our company so so special. We are so lucky to have her."
Marian Barr, senior specialist at New York Life Insurance Co. in Melville, not only continued to work in the office despite her compromised immune system as cancer survivor, said market development director Brian Miller, but she also started a food drive, and then drove around distributing food and supplies to hospital workers and cancer patients.
Dr. Mikala Egeblad, an associate professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a workplace hero. Her employer said: "Dr. Egeblad is a cancer biologist who pivoted her research to apply what she has learned about how breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, like the lungs, to the current COVID-19 pandemic. She is leading a global network of scientists and clinicians who are investigating how the immune response to cancer is similar to the immune response to COVID-19 in patients who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS."
Wayne Hamilton, a shipping and receiving clerk at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was nominated a workplace hero. His employer said: "Wayne is probably the most well-known face across the entire Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory campus because he visits every office and lab, sometimes multiple times a day, to make sure deliveries get to where they are needed. In addition to packages, Wayne always delivers a smile and is active in campus community activities, including founding the employee biking club."
Kamisha Haynes, a direct support professional at Adults & Children with Learning & Developmental Disabilities, Inc. is a workplace hero. Her employer said: "When a group home began to experience positive cases of COVID-19, Kamisha made the extraordinary decision to stay at the home around the clock for 11 days to ensure the responsibility of administering medication was covered. She remained in contact with the families, setting up video chats so they could see their loved ones and ensured everyone's medications were in supply during the crisis."
Christina Hauptman is a family peer advocate in the Family Peer Support Service of WellLife Network Inc. Her employer nominated her as a workplace hero. "Christina has helped our young residents in adjusting to a more secluded life because of the coronavirus pandemic even as she mourns the loss of a 17-year-old resident who succumbed to the virus and whom she had worked with closely for more than a year."
Max Banilivy, director of clinical training, education and field placement, at WellLife Network Inc. was nominated by his employer as a workplace hero. His employer said: "Whether he is simply greeting you in the morning, or offering you a piece of candy, or helping you individually to process what may be a complex challenging case, Max does so with a caring heart and kind words."