Each year United Methodist Homes provides a “Values in Action” award in recognition of employees who have demonstrated extraordinary behavior that exemplifies the organization’s core values of Respect, Spirituality, Excellence, Collaboration, and Stewardship. All employees are eligible to be nominated or to nominate any of their team members.

Staff are encouraged to nominate their co-workers who demonstrate any or all of the UMH core values. One individual from each of our communities is chosen to receive the award, which is presented at our annual Employee Recognition Celebration dinner in October. Award winners are recognized with a monetary award and a trophy and praised by their supervisors for their outstanding character and service. Congratulations to our 2014 winners!

Our Values in Action Award is presented to a staff member who exemplifies the following criteria:


We hold each individual in high esteem and treat all with dignity and respect.


We view each individual as a whole person and administer to spiritual concerns as well as physical needs.


We collaborate with staff, medical practitioners and community members in order to incorporate the creativity of all.


We are responsible for preserving those who have come before us and we are responsible to those who will come after us.


We improve quality by empowering our associates to continually improve our outcomes of service. We encourage innovation by seeking, listening and responding to new ideas.

Bishop Wicke Award Winners:

Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson

Larry is affectionately known as the “clown” of Wesley Village (the campus on which Bishop Wicke Health & Rehab Center is located). He has a special way of using his sense of humor to relieve tension during a stressful day. Larry has joined several committees and currently works with our Director of Mission Development on our staff retreat committee, offering his time and ideas to help make our communities great places to live and work.

Larry volunteers for special projects and is a “spark plug” for safety. He will always say “YES” when asked to collaborate with other staff and residents. He has shopped for our residents, escorted them to weddings and funerals, and has gone above and beyond in so many ways…. we are so thankful to have him as a member of our team. Congratulations, Larry!

Veleka Coon

Veleka Coon

There could not be a person more deserving of this award than Veleka! She has a great heart and is so caring with our residents, treating them like family. She is very respectful to all and could “win a bear over with her charm”. Veleka is warm, welcoming, and approachable, and naturally makes other staff feel important, comfortable and part of the team.

She has no problem jumping in to help someone and when she delegates responsibilities, she does so with the utmost respect for her co-workers. Her patience, kindness and compassion are undeniable, and her staff are proud to be members of her nursing unit. She truly goes above and beyond for her residents and co-workers and we are grateful to have her on our team. Congratulations, Veleka!

Richard Scaife

Richard Scaife

Richard is a strong cheerleader for our community and the mission of our organization (UMH). He takes an active role in different committees and took the lead in planning recent events with our Nursing Home Week activities…we could not have done it without him!

Over the past year he has also taken a larger leadership role in our kitchen and has helped to establish an orientation module for our dining services. Richard displays our value of respect in so many ways and has a true understanding of our relationship-centered philosophy. He cares deeply about providing meaningful experiences for our residents. Beyond his dining services duties, Richard escorts our residents on out-trips, assists with special events, and attends to their needs with his kind spirit and friendly demeanor. He is well-loved by the residents and continues to inspire other staff, working closely with all departments to promote the importance of our residents’ dining experience. He is a huge asset to our UMH team. Congratulations, Richard!

Learn more about Bishop Wicke


Foxbridge Award Winner:

Nolia Fisher

Nolia Fisher has shown us what true teamwork really is! She is welcoming and warm and such a pleasure to work with, always helpful with anyone who comes in contact with her. Her patience with our residents is evident to all and she goes above and beyond her job duties and responsibilities, treating our residents as if they were her own family. She is hard-working, considerate of others, and “one of the most efficient young ladies we know”. The family members of our residents are always thanking Nolia and letting her know how much they appreciate her attentiveness to their loved ones. Nolia is a true team leader here at Foxbridge and we are proud to nominate such a respectful and caring woman. Congratulations, Nolia!”
Learn more about Foxbridge


Middlewoods of Newington Award Winner:

Tor Alston

At 16 years old, Tor Alston took his very first job working at Middlewoods of Newington as a member of the wait staff. Over the last nine years, he has learned more than just how to provide great customer service during meal times. Tor recognizes that each resident is important and special in an individual way. He brightens their days with his ready smile and kind words and is always willing to go above and beyond without question. Tor has changed his personal schedule around in order to provide coverage; he has been seen sifting through garbage cans searching for dentures when a resident thought she threw them out – only to learn later that they were in her apartment the whole time.

Tor recently changed departments and career paths when he accepted a position as the Maintenance Assistant. Over the last 15 months, he has grown personally and professionally, gaining an entirely new skill set while honing his customer service skills. Recently, the Director of Maintenance was on vacation, we were under construction and Tor had to manage other staff during a very urgent move that included several apartments, residents, and heavy furniture. In addition, he had to assume housekeeping duties when housekeeping staff called out due to a family emergency. Tor was able to delegate to his assistants accordingly so that the work continued to get done. During this stressful time, Tor did not display any indication that anything was amiss! He maintained a calm disposition while smiling anytime anyone walked by. Tor is a special part of the Middlewoods of Newington family – it has been a pleasure watching him grow from an inexperienced teen to a confident, caring, and exceptional professional! Congratulations, Tor!
Learn more about Middlewoods of Newington


Crosby Commons Award Winner:

Kathy Vayda

As a member of our wait staff team, Kathy goes above and beyond her job in a number of ways that exemplify our core values. She is very observant of residents and their daily needs and does not hesitate to notify our Nursing team when someone seems to require a bit of extra attention. For ten years, Kathy has offered to do personal shopping for our residents and never says no when a residents needs something picked up for them. She is truly accommodating and willing to go out of her way to find the item the resident is looking for.

Kathy also volunteers her time in other ways; escorting residents to the hairdresser when she is not busy in the kitchen, pitching in with resident activities when needed, volunteering at our annual Festival of Trees and Craft Fair event, and donating magazines to our library so residents can enjoy them. Her kind and caring spirit is evident in everything she does. Kathy is a true team player, always courteous and cooperative with other staff members, and a valuable member of our Crosby Commons family. Congratulations, Kathy!
Learn more about Crosby Commons


Middlewoods of Farmington Award Winner:

Joan Jakiela

Joan brings such joy to our residents and staff every time she walks in the building. She incorporates resident creativity and encourages hospitality within the community, regularly empowering residents to share their gifts and talents with all!

One example of this is with her wonderful flower-arranging program which our residents love. As a professor at Manchester Community College (in addition to her role at Middlewoods), Joan truly understands the importance of collaboration and has formed partnerships with countless interns who have made lasting relationships with our residents while working in the community. She cares about our residents deeply and often volunteers her time; willing to help lend a hand in any department. Joan has truly made it her personal goal to make Middlewoods of Farmington the perfect place for residents and staff. Congratulations, Joan!
Learn more about Middlewoods of Farmington


Wesley Heights Award Winner:

Donna Brice

Donna is an amazing “multi-tasker” who handles multiple responsibilities while always keeping our residents’ needs as her top priority. While working in the busy role of Receptionist and Medical Office Coordinator at Wesley Heights, Donna was always looking for more opportunities to spend time with our residents.

When a Resident Service Coordinator position became available, Donna came forward with her interest and has filled the position perfectly. Her passion for working with older adults, her compassion and sensitivity to their needs, and her ability to advocate for our residents has made her an invaluable resource to our community. Congratulations, Donna!
Learn more about Wesley Heights


United Methodist Homes Award Winner:

Marissa Salvesen

When Marissa joined our team in the Marketing/Development office we had no idea how lucky we were about to get. It was remarkable to see how quickly she was able to pick up the ball and run with it! Marissa works so easily with our vendors, the community, residents, staff and management, and always asks for input and ideas from others; making each person feel their advice and opinions are valuable to the project at hand.

She does an exceptional job promoting the positive qualities of our organization and is trusted by others to take on many assignments because of her strong work ethic and commitment to excellence. All of her efforts are directed at preserving the strong foundation of our mission and making sure that we, as an organization, are the best we can be for generations that come. Marissa is indeed a steward of our company and is someone whose very actions inspire us all to be better people. Congratulations, Marissa!

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