Friendship Announces 2019 Employee Award Winners

Friendship has selected the winners of its annual recognition awards for 2019. The four awards were presented at the Employee Recognition Awards banquet on December 4th at Friendship Assisted Living.

“These awards highlight just some of our Friendship team members who strive to make our community the best in the industry,” said Joe Hoff, Friendship President and CEO. “In the four award categories of Leadership, Achievement, Community and Clinical, we select individuals whose contributions are exemplary within their department and across the company.”

The recognition award winners are:

· Achievement Award: Wille Ayers, Telecommunications/Life & Safety Technician, Friendship Maintenance

· Friendship Clinical Award: Jacqueline Smith, Nursing Supervisor, Friendship Health and Rehab Center South

· Friendship Community Award: Renee Richardson, Director of Social Services, Friendship Health and Rehab Center South

· Friendship Leadership Award: Selena Bonner, Director of Dining Services, Friendship Health and Rehab Center South

The Friendship Achievement Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the success of Friendship. The award is given to an individual with multiple years of service to Friendship, who has made a significant impact for those served and is recognized by his or her manager or director and peers as being the best-of-the-best at their vocation. Wille Ayers, Telecommunications/Life & Safety Technician, continuously strives for excellence, is a perfect example of living the Friendship values; by being a team player, having a positive attitude, being accountable for his actions and always respectful and compassionate to our staff and residents. He is a valuable team member who is always looking to improve process and procedures in his area.

The Friendship Clinical Award is given to an individual who has made a significant positive clinical impact to his or her patients and residents, promoted and obtained higher quality standards, improved safety in the workplace, and demonstrated best practices. Jacqueline Smith, Nursing Supervisor at Friendship Health and Rehab Center South is a great example of our new mission statement: “Supporting friends by providing peace of mind”. She is always assisting the team by educating on providing excellent care to the residents. She is always smiling and stays positive when dealing with difficult situations. She strives to meet the needs of the staff in addition to providing care and support to the residents and family members.

The Friendship Community Award was designed to recognize the extraordinary efforts of an individual who, in addition to making a significant positive impact in his or her department, provides significant volunteer work, personal time, and/or contributions to the betterment of our local community or represents themselves and Friendship in the community with distinction.  Renee Richardson, Director of Social Services at Friendship Health and Rehab Center South, participates in many area community fundraising events, and enjoys spreading the word about Friendship. She selflessly devotes her time, energy and money to others. She is devoted to the residents and employees, always jumping in to help out to ensure all events are well done. She is a caring, compassionate individual who strives to assist anyone in need.  

The Friendship Leadership Award recognizes and honors an individual for providing exemplary leadership consistent with the vision and mission of Friendship. The recipient positively engages those around them to promote quality of care and services, to improve resident experience and quality of life, to enhance resources and environment in support of our mission, and to communicate and educate by engaging partners and teammates, promoting successful strategies, and advocating for success of our goals. Focused on the success of Friendship, Selena Bonner, Director of Dietary Services at Friendship Health and Rehab Center South, has built an engaged team by supporting and encouraging the efforts of their staff and leading by example.  She is always willing to jump in and assist with any position in the department. She is a great listener and communicates effectively to all members of the team. She has also built great relationships with other departments by working together to assist and resolve issues impacting resident satisfaction. She is truly dedicated to Friendship and committed to our new culture changes.  

Friendship also recognized staff celebrating their 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 35th and 45th anniversary with the organization.

“Each one exemplifies Friendship’s values and principles, and have played an integral role in making Friendship the organization it is today,” said Angela Hughes, Friendship Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance. “These individuals are excellent representatives of Friendship and we are very proud to have them on our team.”

Celebrating milestone anniversaries this year are the following:

· Celebrating 15 years– Anethia Zerfoss, Windy Byers, Mike Shannon, Hang Nguyen, Michelle Harris, Julia Avinante

· Celebrating 20 years– Rose Hutchens, Nancy Karpowich, Tosha Bonds, Karen Montgomery, Susan Morton

· Celebrating 25 years– Beverly Mitchener, Rochelle Williams

· Celebrating 30 years– Nancy Erickson, Victoria Barnett, Carolyn Rowland

· Celebrating 35 years– Sherry Boyd, Gloria Samuel, Betty Tate

· Celebrating 45 years– Juanita Lewis

Award Winners (L-R): Selena Bonner, Renee Richardson, Jacqueline Smith, Wille Ayers, with Joe Hoff, President and CEO

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Friendship North Campus

367 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24012


Friendship South Campus

5647 Starkey Road, Roanoke, VA 24018


Friendship Salem Terrace

1851 Harrogate Dr, Salem, VA 24153