Congratulations to the recent Spirit of MHP award winner, Bill Highsmith, Vice President of Operations. Bill embodies our core values of integrity, excellence, and teamwork. He goes out of his way to build relationships within the organization, makes everyone feel welcome, and is quick to help solve problems.
Bill played a huge role in the office renovations that took place over the summer. He made sure the work was completed with minimal disruption to staff productivity. Some comments from the survey included: “His commitment, effort, hard work, and organization dedicated to the recent office renovations should be recognized and celebrated. During the renovations he not only worked late and came in early several days, but he also did it all with a positive attitude!”
Overall, many staff members appreciate the effort that Bill puts forth daily. One nomination commented, “Having him join MHP was one of the best decisions ever made.” MHP appreciates Bill’s dedication to supporting other employees and giving them the tools needed to perform their duties.
MHP Program Manager Violeta Martell is dedicated to creating a safe and engaging environment for her students and the larger community at Great Hope Homes. She invests time in ensuring the classroom is inviting and filled with learning resources to enhance enrichment programs. Violeta has a keen sense of color which she uses to purposefully select classroom paints and decor to make the environment feel vibrant.
When Violeta noticed that there were some uninvited guests (feral cats) at her property, she quickly sprang into action, developing new relationships with local partners to spay, neuter, and microchip the cats, mitigating the problem in a humane way.
MHP thanks Violeta for bringing residents together to solve a problem, making our community welcoming and safe for all!
Director of Asset Management Ash Bhatia arrived in January and in this short period, he has created clear lines of communication among MHP’s Community Life, Property Management, and Asset Management Departments. He has provided extra support for many community and fundraising events, pitching in however he can. Ash shared his expert golf knowledge and passion with young MHP residents who came to our spring golf event, and he stuffed countless backpacks for our fall backpack drive. Despite the challenges of budget season and other busy times for his department, Ash makes himself available to help others.
Community Economic Development Specialist Paul Grenier has been working hands-on in Long Branch to keep the community clean and safe. When there’s a change in seasons, he’s diligent about making sure that the planters in Long Branch are filled with flowers and plants that are appropriate for the season, which helps beautify the area. He has also been leading our efforts to organize regular monthly cleanup events. Paul is responsible for managing volunteers at these events and then stays afterwards to socialize with volunteers at a local restaurant. He has been working closely with the Long Branch business community to address recent issues concerning homelessness and public safety in the area. Paul embodies the spirit of MHP and puts in extra time to make Long Branch all that it can be.
Fatima is the Community Engagement Specialist with MHP’s Neighborhoods Department. She is the glue that connects many aspects of MHP’s activities and programs. She is bilingual in Spanish (and has been a professional salsa dancer!). Fatima supports MHP’s Green Clubs for youth, helping plan special activities like a movie night. She has worked with residents to prepare them to advocate for affordable housing before the County Executive and County Council. Fatima meets with residents to help MHP develop programs that respond to their needs. Fatima is a valued teammate who embodies the Spirit of MHP through collaboration and creativity. She is willing to pitch in wherever she is needed.
MHP COVID Outreach Team
MHP recognizes the COVID Outreach Team for demonstrating commitment, compassion and empathy in reaching out to MHP residents who are challenged by serious problems due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This committed group of employees and volunteers has reached hundreds of MHP residents and helped them connect to vital resources to address their issues, including job loss, food insecurity, medical needs, family crises, and possible eviction. With skill and compassion, this group interviews individuals and provides them with the resources they need to achieve stability and security. Bravo to all, especially our volunteers.
The outreach team is led by Chris Gillis, MHP’s Policy and Neighborhood Development Director. These are the other members of the outreach team:
- Raquelle Contreras
- Fatima Coreas
- Martina Tinong
- Jo Ann Woods
- Stephen Durako (volunteer)
- Cesia Delcid Hernandez (volunteer)
- Eduardo Chaves Serrano (volunteer)