ILA Wins Orion Fleet Intelligence Excellence in Fleet Safety Award!

Congratulations to
Independent Living Association, Inc.
on being awarded the
Orion Fleet Intelligence
EXCELLENCE in Fleet Safety Award for 2017!

In recognition of ILA’s continued commitment to fleet safety, ILA has been presented with the 2017 Orion Fleet Intelligence Excellence in Fleet Safety Award.

Orion Fleet Intelligence, the leader in products and services to help companies manage the safety and efficiency of their fleet, released its annual Fleet Safety Awards, highlighting organizations that have a measurable and proven track record of providing a safe and secure transportation environment throughout the year.

These awards are presented to organizations that operate commercial auto fleets as part of their business. To be considered, an organization must be deployed with a qualified fleet safety program during the entire calendar year and demonstrate high levels of safety performance relative to industry benchmarks. Fleets are scored based on specific speeding and aggressive driving data weighted by severity and normalized on a per-mile-traveled basis.

Orion’s deployed customers have performed on average 50% better than the industry average this year, a testament to the quality of Orion’s service as well as the importance its customers place on safety.

ILA is proud to be recognized for our hard work and dedication in ensuring a safe and secure transportation environment for ILA’s Individuals and staff. Congratulations to everyone at ILA and many thanks to Orion for this great honor!

http://www.orionfi.com/fleet-safety-awards

Fleet Safety Awards

ILA Opens Two New Houses

Earlier this year, ILA opened its first two residences in Queens, made possible, in part, by funds raised at last year’s golf outing.

226th Street Residence

The agency’s 226th Street residence, which opened in June 2017, is home to four Individuals who aged out of residential schools located out of state. Each Individual has a bedroom in the beautifully appointed house. Other notable features include a screened-in porch and two yards, front and back, enabling Individuals to enjoy warm weather days together. The residence also has a recreation area in the downstairs portion of the house, a separate kitchen and dining area, and a decorative fireplace.

The residence is centrally located. “The house is three blocks from Merrick Boulevard, allowing for easy access into the community,” explains Tiffany Bennett, Area Coordinator. Individuals walk to the library and stores, or they travel to appointments via public transportation, showcasing their increased independence and social inclusion. Some participate in ILA’s Community Habilitation Program, helping to enhance their self-sufficiency.

Inside the residence, Individuals continue to increase their communication, daily living, and socialization skills. They also take-charge in performing chores, helping to set the table at mealtime, and assisting with food preparation.

233rd Street Residence

In April 2017, ILA’s 233rd Street residence opened its doors, welcoming four Individuals who previously lived at residential schools in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania. It is also the agency’s first house solely for Individuals with autism. They maintain different levels of functionality.

The four-bedroom home is staffed by a supervisor and direct support professionals (DSPs), as well as nurses and a part-time behavior intervention specialist (BIS). Individuals enjoy spending time in the backyard and participating in community outings to local stores and restaurants.

According to Area Coordinator Donna Lundy, the Individuals have “adjusted well to their new surroundings,” and staff have enjoyed getting to know everyone in the house. She credits her team for their hard work and dedication while meeting any challenges that may occur. “I’m looking into additional training courses for management and DSPs so we can best meet the specific needs of these Individuals and enable them to achieve the highest level of independence,” Donna says.

Individuals are attending Community and Day Habilitation Programs, which provide greater structure to boost their comfort levels. “The community has been very welcoming to our Individuals, which has helped ease their transition to ILA,” Donna says. Another positive factor: the 226th Street and 233rd Street residences are fewer than two miles apart, allowing for regular social interaction between the two houses. Barbecues and other recreational outings have helped to foster camaraderie and socialization skills, with many more events on the horizon.

Celebrating a Great Cause on the Green

On October 12, 2017, ILA held its 11th Annual Golf and Games Tournament at Harbor Links in Port Washington, New York. More than 150 donors, vendors, staff, families and other supporters swung for a wonderful cause before raising a glass to the Agency during the lively cocktail hour and evening reception.

ILA Executive Director Arthur Palevsky expressed heartfelt support for the event’s donors and sponsors who help make ILA’s services possible. A moving video highlighted the ILA ACES Day Habilitation Program, which is subsidized by funds raised from last year’s golf outing. The Staten Island-based program serves ten developmentally disabled Individuals, providing educational, recreational and volunteer opportunities in the community. The video is viewable at www.ilaonline.org.

This year’s fundraiser also featured a live auction and a chance to win many prizes including sports and entertainment packages. Tee and Flag sponsor James E. Vassalotti III, R.A., President of architectural firm, James E. Vassalotti III & Associates, successfully bid on tickets to the popular Broadway musical, School of Rock, as well as New York Rangers tickets. James and his son recently attended both events and had a great time.

A Mahjong tournament, perennially organized by Karen Palevsky, was a hit with several of the golf outing attendees, while a lively raffle added to the day’s festivities. Leah Dickerson, parent of ILA Individual Keith Dickerson and a longtime member of the ILA family, happily auctioned off one of her famous hats. Other lucky raffle winners went home with one of ILA’s extraordinary gift baskets. The grand prize was a remote controlled electric pull cart, a golfer’s dream.

For ILA Board Member Lola Simpson, the event was the first Agency fundraiser she has attended. She and her family enjoyed a round of golf and later attended the evening reception. “As a fairly new board member and golf beginner, it was a wonderful experience to immerse myself in the event with guided lessons from Arthur,” Ms. Simpson said. “The golf outing truly showcased ILA’s commitment to transform lives and the collaboration of staff, donors and sponsors to make a difference.  I’m proud to volunteer for ILA and can’t wait till next year so I can help raise more awareness and improve my golf game.”

Emilio DiSiervi, Account Executive, Community Care Rx, also a first-time attendee, remarked, “It was inspiring to be around so many passionate people who champion an improved quality of life for Individuals in need.”

Longtime donor Alan Kifferstein of Economic Planning Group, again showed his generosity as the tournament sponsor. Alan has attended ILA’s golf outing for seven consecutive years. “The wonderful work of ILA keeps me coming back every year. It’s always a wonderful time,” he said.

Executive Director Arthur Palevsky said, “We’re very grateful to everyone who came out to support ILA at this year’s event. Many thanks to our wonderful golf committee for organizing another successful fundraiser, and to our generous donors for helping us meet our mission of high-quality care to the hundreds of Individuals we serve.”

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Thank you to our 2017 golf outing sponsors:

Tournament Sponsor & BENEFACTOR

Economic Planning Group, Inc.

PLATINUM SPONSORS

P.E. Stone, Inc.
The Bentson Insurance Group

GOLD SPONSORS

James E. Fitzgerald, Inc.
Cirocco & Ozzimo Inc.

SILVER SPONSORS

BDO USA, LLP
Hunter Roberts Construction Group

BRONZE SPONSORS

Ace Endico
Bartel Construction Corp. & James E. Vassalotti III & Associates, LLP
Beacon Therapy Services, PLLC
Crossland Ventilation Inc.
John Gallin & Son, Inc.
Norris Mclaughlin Marcus, P.A. Attorneys at Law
On-Track Construction Associates, Inc.
Valley National Bank
Turner Construction Company

TOURNAMENT BENEFACTOR

The Bentson Insurance Group
The Whitty Family

EVENING RECEPTION SPONSOR

Hatzel & Buehler, Inc.

LUNCHEON SPONSOR

Tower Drugs Pharmacy

COCKTAIL SPONSOR

Tower Drugs Pharmacy

GOLF CART SPONSOR

MBAF, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors

DRIVING RANGE SPONSOR

Tower Drugs Pharmacy

TROPHIES / AWARDS SPONSOR

Tower Drugs Pharmacy

FLAG SPONSORS

 

BDO USA, LLP

The Bentson Insurance Group

Cirocco & Ozzimo Inc.

Economic Planning Group, Inc.

Hatzel & Buehler, Inc.

Hunter Roberts Construction Group

James E. Fitzgerald, Inc.

P.E. Stone, Inc.

TEE SPONSOR

711 New York Painting & Decorating Co., Inc.

Ace Endico

Ann Falutico Architect PC

Bartel Construction Corp. & James E. Vassalotti III & Associates, LLP

Beacon Therapy Services, PLLC

Briscoe Protective System

Cirocco & Ozzimo Inc.

Community Resources Capital Foundation

Crossland Ventilation Inc.

Economic Planning Group, Inc.

GDO Contracting Corporation

Hatzel & Buehler, Inc.

James E. Fitzgerald, Inc.

John Gallin & Son, Inc.

Norris Mclaughlin Marcus, P.A. Attorneys at Law

On-Track Construction Associates, Inc.

P.E. Stone, Inc.

The Bentson Insurance Group

Trooper Foods Inc.

Valley National Bank

 

Board Member Brings Passion and Insight to ILA

“I’m inspired by people making big differences in their communities,” says Lola Simpson, one of ILA’s newest board members, elected in December 2016.

That was the biggest appeal about joining a nonprofit board, which is why she jumped at the opportunity to volunteer her services on ILA’s Board of Directors. Ms. Simpson brings valuable insight and expertise to the table, including two decades of experience working with city government and nonprofits (both on-staff and as a consultant) in the following areas: data management and reporting, program research and evaluation, technical assistance planning and implementation, business process analysis, technology management, contracting, and budgeting.

Her distinguished career in city government began when she was accepted into the LaGuardia Management Fellowship Program after leaving graduate school. As a fellow, Simpson worked as an analyst, rotating at several oversight and line agencies learning the challenges of policy and program implementation.

During her later career at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Simpson worked for several reform initiatives in the mid-90s and early 2000s focused on decreasing foster, increasing preventive services, and improving data collection and internal systems to monitor contracted provider agencies’ accountability and performance. Ms. Simpson was instrumental in initiating and managing a web-based application to automate preventive services data to effectively monitored contracted agencies’ prevention services to families and children across the city. She served as Director of Management Analysis, Research and Planning at the agency for nine years.

Currently, she works as Senior Director at OneCity Health, which is currently reforming the state’s Medicaid waiver program, and is responsible for operations, administration, contracting, and payment for the NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest Performing Provider System (PPS) in New York City. Prior to OneCity Health, Simpson held a similar role for a year at NYC Health + Hospitals, streamlining large contracts and fiscal procedures with several community-based social justice organizations and stakeholders including the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and Office of Mental Health and Mental Hygiene. She assisted Central Office Finance in the External Appeal Pilot implementation to develop a centralized appeal process across the 11 hospitals, and helped recoup lost revenue from insurance denials for medically necessary procedures. Ms. Simpson was part of a HHC Options Steering Committee looking at strategies to improve and increase access to health care for uninsured populations. She also held an eight-year position at Metis Associates, a national research and consulting firm, where she advised federal, state and local governments, and foundations across the country on policy, program research, evaluation and implementation, and data collection and reporting improvements in areas of child welfare, social justice reform, and community development.

Ms. Simpson credits years of analyzing data and evaluating programs as an ideal fit for ILA. “Understanding the importance of data in the workplace, particularly in human services, is critical to understanding the populations you’re serving to successfully meet their needs,” she explains. “It’s a powerful way to justify why a program is needed. If donors see ILA is meeting its performance measures and outcomes, the more likely programs can continue to receive proper funding and support.”

Ms. Simpson is committed to helping ILA enhance outcomes for Individuals so they continue to meet their goals and live full, productive lives. “As a board member, my goal is to help the agency grow and function at the highest level possible, while serving as a model for best practices.” She believes it’s important to tour ILA’s residences so she can meet the staff and Individuals behind each program.

When she’s not working, or serving on the ILA Board, Simpson volunteers for New York Cares, a nonprofit dedicated to improving education, revitalizing public spaces and fulfilling community needs. Every August, she participates in a beautification project at a city school and helps to prepare classrooms for the new academic year.

Education is a cause close to Simpson’s heart. She’s the mother of two children who are currently pursuing degrees at the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University. Guiding them along new and exciting paths is one of life’s highlights for Simpson. She never hesitates to discuss their futures to prepare them for success.

The same could be said about her work with ILA. “Impacting lives has always been one of my biggest goals. As a board member, it’s rewarding to know that our efforts have the capability of improving Individuals’ lives.”