LIFELONG LEARNING. As part of our ongoing commitment to develop staff and management, the Marrakech Leadership team participated in the “Train the Trainer” event presented by John Raffaele, Director of Educational Services for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) on Wednesday, February 24th. Attendees learned about the core competencies for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) and Frontline Supervisors (FLS); a curriculum that will be woven into the fabric of the management Training Programs and contribute to the pursuit of the FLS credential with the NADSP. The goal of these sessions is to ensure quality services and the use of best practices for those we support.

Pictured (back left to right) Quiana Gibson, Zeno Payton, Tenille Johnson, Tyanet Allen,
Heather LaTorra, Elise Quaranta, Amanda Perillo, and Diane Corley.
(front left to right) John Raffaele, Sharde McIntosh, Chantel Haynes, and Danielle Phillips

COLLABORATION. On Saturday, February 24th, for the second year in a row, Jennifer Percopo, Vice President of Information Systems & Technology, participated in the Quinnipiac University Center for Interprofessional Healthcare Education Panel Discussion. This year she highlighted the collaboration among our departments, the collective behind-the-scenes efforts that support staff working with individuals, and the advancing technology that enables greater inclusion opportunities.

Jennifer Percopo (far right) pictured with other members of the panel

PASSING IT ON. Students enrolled in the Southern Connecticut State University School of Business can hear from and network with professional speakers in a weekly series called “Pep Talks.”  Our very own Heather LaTorra, President & CEO, shared her story on March 6th in a presentation titled “From Southern Intern to Nonprofit CEO…the Journey to the Top”.

Heather LaTorra

TAKING THE LEAD. Two Marrakech employees recently completed programs of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Leadership Center, both of which are sponsored by the Regional Water Authority and Albertus Magnus College. Jill Cretella, Chief Administrative Officer participated in the Executive Orientation class and Susan Chrzanowski, Senior Accountant, was part of Leadership Greater New Haven. Sessions provide opportunities to engage with others and collaborate over critical issues and topics specific to the region. Congratulations to both women on their initiative and achievement. 

Pictured (left to right) Jill Cretella, Jason Mirsky, Susan Hauser, Heather LaTorra, Maureen McMenamey, and Denise Canady

GNHCC BOARD CHAIR. President & CEO, Heather LaTorra’s appointment as the new incoming Board Chair of The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC) at the 230th Annual Meeting & Business Leadership Awards on April 4, 2024, is a significant achievement. She brings a wealth of experience coupled with a strong commitment to inclusivity and community engagement to the role. In her capacity as Board Chair, she is poised to advocate for economic growth, innovation, and collaboration within the dynamic business community of Greater New Haven. Her leadership is anticipated to have a profound impact, enhancing the lives of individuals and fortifying communities throughout the region.

Pictures (left to right) Steve Shwartz, Lauri MacLean, Denise Canady, Heather LaTorra, Jennifer Falzone,
Jason Mirsky, Danielle Phillips, and Jay Korman

U.S. CITIZENSHIP CELEBRATION. Young Adult Services (YAS) surprised Adelaide with a party to celebrate her achievement in obtaining her U.S. Citizenship on Friday, April 5th. Originally from Ghana, Africa, she arrived in the United States in 2018 and became part of YAS in 2019 where she has been coached in life skills, college prep and the citizenship exam. A true success story, she lives independently in her own apartment and was recently accepted into the nursing program at Gateway Community College in New Haven. Congratulations, Adelaide! We could not be prouder!  

SOROPTIMIST HONORS ELIZABETH ROSS. We are proud to announce that Elizabeth Ross, Program Billing and Audit Coordinator, was honored for her dedicated career helping others by Soroptimist International of Greater Hartford as part of Women’s History Month. Her lifelong commitment to volunteering, instilled by her grandmother as a child, is expressed through myriad activities: serving at soup kitchens, cleaning up parks and recreation areas, volunteering at summer camps and elementary schools to name a few. She now volunteers at many Marrakech activities in support of our individuals. She loves assisting with the annual ball, talent shows, the musical and many other activities. Her genuine pleasure in helping the community is engrained in her being and will surely continue for years to come.

Elizabeth Ross (left) pictures with Irma Turnage (right) who nominated her.

SOROPTIMIST HONORS MARY SMITH. Congratulations to Mary Smith, Community Support Professional, who was identified as an exceptional woman in the community and was honored by the Soroptimist International of Greater Hartford during Women’s History Month. Mary’s deep commitment to helping others extends through her entire adult life and is exhibited through the many groups that benefit from her volunteerism. The Special Olympics, minority groups in pursuit of higher education, and United Way of Greater New Haven have all received her time, energy, and compassion. In her role as an advisor to a domestic violence agency, Youth Advisory Board and Youth Drug/Alcohol Action Committee, her wealth of experience in the human services field contributes to her ability to make a positive impact. In a pro bono capacity at both Leeway, Inc. and the Yale Child Study Center-Family Support Services she assists clients with various issues including coping with AIDS and transitioning families from shelters to independent living. Mary’s commitment to helping others aligns with the Marrakech mission, where she has been employed intermittently for the past thirty years. Her impact on the well-being of the Greater New Haven region is obvious to anyone who has met this remarkable woman.

Mary Smith (right) pictured with Irma Turnage (left) who nominated her.