Learn more about our Homes with Heart capital campaign at HCSheart.org

Spring 2023 Spirit Newsletter

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Dear friends and supporters,

I am not the first to say this, but it bears repeating; it’s wonderful to be able to come back together.

In this new season, we’ve been reminded of just how important in-person interaction and experiences really are. We are closer to our Rochester, Finger Lakes and western New York communities than ever before, and are actively engaged with so many community partners.

We are thankful for the people who have continued to support us for so many years, as well as those who are new to us; your support directly benefits the people our agency supports, and allows us to fulfill our tradition of person-centered services as we continue to work to build an even more inclusive community. In addition to individual supporters, organizations and businesses from Rochester Rotary to the Buffalo Bills have helped spread the mission of our agency far and wide.

By rallying around our mission, you have demonstrated you care about what we stand for: dignity and worth for all, supporting lives of endless possibility, and helping the people we support achieve what is meaningful to them! You also show that you understand we can’t elevate love and care without elevating the experience of caring professionals. That’s why we work together to provide all of our compassionate and talented staff with wages that allow for self-sufficiency and career development. These initiatives are the crux of what our agency is about, and it is the connections we foster throughout the community that make them possible to achieve.

Sincerely, Marisa Geitner

President & C.E.O

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DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Bernice and Bernard O’Sullivan

Bernice and Bernard O’Sullivan have worked hard to instill the spirit of philanthropy in their 15 grandchildren. Each year, they ask their grandchildren to choose a charitable organization to contribute to. The organization they chose for 2023 is Heritage Christian Services.

Megan O’Sullivan is one of Bernice and Bernard’s grandchildren, and is supported by Heritage Christian Services. This year, Megan was proud to lead her cousins in selecting the yearly benefactor of her grandparents’ generous donation. She hopes the gift will allow the agency to serve more people who are awaiting services.

Generosity from families like the O’Sullivan’s is important for Heritage Christian Services. We thank Megan for thinking of us, and Bernice and Bernard for teaching an important lesson to their grandchildren in the joys of giving back to their communities.

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Todd and Christian Goddard

Todd and Christian Goddard are father and son volunteers at the Pieters Family Life Center Garden Café. Pre-pandemic, the Garden Café was a wonderful place for fellowship, devotions, and connecting with one another. Their goal has been to bring the café back to being what it was.

Christian (pictured) had experience running a coffee shop in high school, and Todd connected with leaders throughout Heritage Christian Services and reached out to his parish to create a mission opportunity. The café re-opened in October of 2022 on Fridays, with Christian and Todd working.

Since then it has grown, and is now open Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. with noontime devotions. All profits from the café are donated to the agency’s International Ministries in Guatemala.

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Cam Lewis chose Heritage Christian Services for My Cause, My Cleats

Buffalo Bill Cam Lewis picked Heritage Christian Services as his chosen organization for the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats initiative. Lewis wore custom sneakers bearing the agency’s brand in a game against the New England Patriots last winter, which were later put up for auction on the NFL’s auction website and recently sold for $700.



Advancement webinars educate people

We recently wrapped up a free educational series designed to provide people who have loved ones served by Heritage Christian with information on how they can best support them through their entire lives. Recordings of all of the webinars are available at HeritageChristianServices.org/seminar.


Increase in job applicants

Job applications to Heritage Christian Services have increased significantly in recent months, as a variety of recruiting strategies have been implemented. Increasing employee referrals through our Refer & Earn incentive program remains a focus. We also continue to invest in job boards such as Indeed and have allocated more resources to share and promote job openings. We are always looking for new and compassionate people to join our agency. If someone you know would make for a great Heritage Christian Services employee, tell them to apply at jobs.heritagechristianservices.org.



Springdale Farm awarded new contract by Monroe County

Heritage Christian Services has been awarded continued use of Springdale Farm, Colby day hab and Rodwell day hab by Monroe County. We look forward to expanding our programming to include partnerships with Monroe 2 BOCES and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County.





RPO Gala Holiday Pops held with Rochester Rotary

In December, Heritage Christian Services was pleased to partner with the Rochester Rotary and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra once again to present some live holiday music.




Michelle Labossiere-Hall is vice president of clinical and Finger Lakes residential.

Michelle Labossiere-Hall has been promoted to vice president of clinical and Finger Lakes residential. Previously, she held an associate executive role overseeing customized services, leading many of our community-based initiatives.




Leonard Munthali is new VP of information technology.

We are thrilled to welcome Leonard Munthali to the Heritage Christian Services leadership team as our new vice president of information technology. Leonard has over 25 years of experience in information technology and data analytics, and successfully designed and implemented data hubs and business intelligence platforms for companies in the telecommunication industry.



Vicki Reina named VP of quality advancement.

Vicki Reina was named the new vice president of quality advancement in March. Vicki is leading efforts to reinforce and drive the continuous development of a quality culture reflective of Heritage Christian’s mission, vision and values, while upholding compliance with all legal and organizational requirements, standards and procedures.



Rachele Gugliuzza promoted to director of residential and day services for WNY.

Rachele Gugliuzza has been promoted to director of residential and day services for western New York, a position created to elevate training and compliance, enhance service delivery and optimize staffing levels. Rachele brings over fifteen years of experience and a track record of success in residential and day services. Her passion for teamwork and communication make her the ideal candidate for this role.



Hurley Boazman named director of Expressive Beginnings Child Care in Greece

Expressive Beginnings Child Care Greece welcomes new director, Hurley Boazman. Hurley brings his over 25 years of experience in the child care field to his new position, and previously served as director of Boise State University Children’s Center.



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Andrew Hulbert works as the recreation office assistant at Jewish Senior Life, a place where he has found a sense of community in both the work he does and the people he works with.

“His position is very important to the recreation office,” said John Russell, an employment specialist at Heritage Christian Services who supports Andrew at work. Among his other responsibilities, Andrew ensures that activity sheets for the people who live at Jewish Senior Life are logged into the computer each day, so that they can participate in the activities that they love.

“I have to check with management each day to see what they need me to do,” said Andrew. This may include things like assisting people who communicate non-traditionally when it’s their turn to call bingo. He also assists people in getting to their next activity or back to their room once the game is over.

“Many people who live here use wheelchairs, so they depend on Andrew and his coworkers to get around,” said John.

Andrew’s journey to Jewish Senior Life started with the Heritage Christian Services Employment Alliance. They support people in their search for jobs and organizations that match their interests and skillset.

Andrew participated in Project Search™, a program that prepares the people we support to enter a working environment, and it became evident that Andrew would be great for any organization that he was interested in working for.

“Project Search™ helped me realize I have the skill and mindset needed to work,” said Andrew. He was one of the first people Jewish Senior Life hired from the Project Search program. “This was a big deal for me.”

Andrew was part of charting his path, and hasn’t looked back. Jewish Senior Life is thrilled to have him, and he is thrilled to be there.


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As part of our strategy to increase the number of homes where the people we support can age in place gracefully, the people living at the home on Oxbow Lane in Lewiston will be moving to a future home on Hoover Road in Sanborn.

In addition to being a bigger home that will feature wider hallways, an open floor plan and fully accessible kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces, the home on Hoover Road will also give people their own bedrooms.

Currently, people like William Barcaro and Dennis Whelan are sharing bedrooms with other people in the home.

“I can’t wait to have my own room,” William said.

For Dennis, that means listening to talk radio and his favorite R&B music without distracting his roommate. For William, that means he can watch his favorite shows without denying someone else from watching what they want to watch.

“I can’t think of a single negative of the move,” said Greg Stentzel, the manager of William and Dennis’ current home at Oxbow.

These newly rebuilt or remodeled homes will provide the people we support with better opportunities to gather, while giving them the privacy to do what they love in their free time.

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Board Member Maria Reed a Rochester Business Journal Woman of Excellence

Congratulations to Maria Reed for being a Rochester Business Journal Women of Excellence honoree. Maria serves on the Heritage Christian Services board of directors. She is also the owner of Cubillos Reed Law PLLC, specializing in child custody and parental rights, family-based immigration petitions and child support.



Chuck Collard Receives Buffalo Business First Excellence in Health Care Award

Congratulations to Chuck Collard, vice president of western New York operations, for receiving a Buffalo Business First Excellence in Health Care award. Chuck has taken the mission of Heritage Christian Services to heart, and continues to push for the services that allow people to achieve what is meaningful to them.



Donna Mostiller Honored with Alumni Award

Congratulations to Donna Mostiller, senior vice president of people and culture, for receiving the Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumna award by Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart. The award is given to remarkable women who have distinguished themselves in career, civic or community activities.



Marisa Geitner named Health Care Hero and Power 100 Honoree by RBJ

Marisa Geitner has made it her mission to elevate the role and self-sufficiency of direct support professionals. “Under Marisa’s wise and caring leadership, Heritage Christian Services impacts thousands of lives in our community in life-changing ways every day,” said Beth Paul, president of Nazareth University, who nominated Marisa for the award. “These are, without question, the actions of a hero.”

In addition, Marisa was named to the 2023 RBJ Power 100 list, a recognition given to those who make an impact on the community. Aqua Porter, executive director of the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, applauds Marisa’s dedication to “recognize the hard and compassionate work that frontline professionals perform.”


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Nancy Bojanowski has more than 30 years in education, finishing her career as the executive director of human resources and professional development with Erie 1 BOCES in West Seneca.






Jim Reitz is director of IT finance, HR and operations at the University of Rochester.






Carl Grayson serves on the Board of SANYS (Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc.) and is known for pushing for the equity of people with disabilities.







The Reverend Angela D. Sims, PhD is the president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.









Paul D’Aiutolo is the lead fiduciary consultant for the D’Aiutolo Malcolm & Associates Investment Consulting Group’s retirement plan.







John Ward has been a marketing and international business lecturer at the E. Phillip Saunders College of Business since 2005.




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Mike Wolf, a cornerstone of our agency in western New York, passed away in March at the age of 91. Mike and his first wife, Anne, were leading members of The FAITH (Faith And Inspiration To Help) Foundation, which allowed our agency to establish a presence in western New York.

“I was blessed to know Mike for over 30 years,” said Marisa Geitner. “Mike, Anne, Susan, Melissa and his entire family are so very important to us, and an indelible part of who we are.”

Mike was a dedicated supporter of Heritage Christian Services right up until his passing. His impact on our agency and its foundation is immeasurable, and we will miss his love of life, his infectious laugh, his devotion to craftsmanship and his deep Christian faith.



Shirley Griffin was a woman of great faith and strong spirit. She passed away peacefully on January 11, surrounded by people who loved and cared for her, at age 83.






Jeri Lynn Jones who was known for her strength, passed away peacefully on December 16. In Jeri Lynn’s final moments she was surrounded by friends and family. She was 53 years old.




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Often people will make a donation in memory of a loved one who has passed away. The agency sends the bereaved family a note of sympathy and informs them of the gift, without disclosing the amount. People also mark joyous occasions – like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings – by donating in honor of a friend or family member. Sue Hoh, donor relations manager, can help you through the process. Call her at (585) 340-2045.



We are so grateful for the support of our partners and donors, who allow HCS to support people to fulfill lives of endless possibility. Thank you!

The National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals has selected HCS as one of 17 organizations across New York to pilot a credentialing program—NADSP E-Badge Academy—that will support over 800 direct support workers and frontline supervisors in achieving their Direct Support Professional (DSP) certifications.

The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation gave in support of retaining afterschool respite staff.

For the third year running, the Avangrid Foundation has donated in support of the Employer Resource Network, which provides success coaches to help staff remove barriers to employment.

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has donated toward the project on Atlantic Avenue in Penfield. This is the third home supported by the foundation.

Our ongoing home rebuilds and renovations have also received support from the Paychex Foundation, donating to provide people the opportunity to age with dignity in their own homes.

The Jordan Fund and Webster Community Chest are funding therapeutic horseback riding scholarships that helps people we support to enhance their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

The Gonsenhauser Family Fund, too, has supported animal care at Springdale Farm for over a decade!



Ann Costello, executive director of the Golisano Foundation, will retire from her position this June after leading the foundation for 23 years. Under Ann’s leadership, the Golisano Foundation has granted Heritage Christian Services more than $2 million for various initiatives, including the Pieters Family Life Center, respite services and gifts to support home renovations which will allow us to continue supporting people as their needs change.

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