KenCrest Staff Award Overview and Nomination Links



Annually KenCrest celebrates its team members and recognizes employees who go above and beyond in their work, commitment to their teams, and those they support. Below are the nomination links to submit an award as well as all of the descriptions of each of KenCrest’s various leadership awards.

Submit a nomination for a PRIDE Award

Submit a nomination for a SPECIAL Award



PRIDE Awards Descriptions

Everyone except Directors, Executive Directors, Sr, Directors, Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents, and Cabinet members are eligible to be nominated for these awards.


Positive Approaches  

(Each nominee must exemplify at least two of the respective qualities.)

  • Empowers others through praise, helping to reinforce productive and proactive work habits.
  •  Creates a supporting and positive learning environment; including one where others can build on each other’s unique gifts, and where strengths are honored and shared.
  •  Establishes respectful relationships with those they come into contact with, and respects and values the differences in others.
  • Maintains a positive attitude, and even in the midst of challenging situations pursues proactive resolutions.
  •  Encouraging people to make empowering decisions and problem solving while respecting and valuing them.
  •  Displays willingness to give others support and opportunities.
  •  Using the “Brain as a Car” to practice understanding and identify people’s mental and emotional state and help them progress towards greater empowerment and control of their situation.


Reaching Higher

(Each nominee must exemplify at least two of the respective qualities.)

  • Explores beyond what we’ve been informed of or given; releasing limitations and the status quo. Explores beyond current processes and/or approaches, and searches for alternative, proactive options.
  • Doesn’t impose limits on people, places, or things.
  • Embraces change and discovers new ways of empowering others to embrace change as well. Practices innovation and innovative techniques. Has a visionary approach.
  • Exhibits ingenuity in their job performance, and develops valuable approaches to solving problems and improving efficiency in the workplace.
  • Uses reflective practices and doing break through thinking such as looking at actions and experiences to learn, grow, and improve from them.
  • Pushes their own boundaries and gets out of their comfort zone.
  • Asks questions to think outside of the box and develops new ideas to facilitate positive, personal outcomes.



(Each nominee must exemplify at least two of the respective qualities.)

  • Empowers and encourages others on the team to do their best; and works proactively with fellow employees to foster a sense of community in the workplace.
  • Ensures everyone can access, engage, and benefit.
  • Creates equitable environments, practices collaboration and belonging.
  • Accepts and embraces social, cultural, mental, emotional, and physical differences.
  • Assures the people we support—as well as their family and friends, and community members are included in shaping our work, the way we work, and our future.
  • Adapts in different environments and abilities to creative positive outcomes.
  • Uses person-first language; treats the people we support with the same dignity and respect we would want for ourselves. Creating age-appropriate offerings and opportunities; and has age-appropriate conversations.



(Each nominee must exemplify at least two of the respective qualities.)

  • Always finds or learns new things, and seeks out new opportunities to educate themselves.
  • Thinks critically to find solutions to challenges with team members and those we support in our programs.
  • Explores and uses measurement practices and collects data to get to the heart of a challenge—including digging, evaluations, ISPs, processes, and previous outcomes to determine the root cause of a problem.
  • Digs deeper; asking “what if,” finding their “WHY;” embracing KenCrest’s “WHY.
  • Opens themselves to new questions and new approaches and gets creative and curious about people’s needs and their desires.
  • Uses the Meaningful Life and/or Charting the LifeCourse practices.
  • Fosters a collaborative work environment that encourages multiple perspectives, and embraces the opportunity to learn from others.


Excellence in Leadership

(Each nominee must exemplify at least two of the respective qualities.)

  • Goes beyond expectations and responsibilities to help achieve goals and positive impacts.
  • Serves as a role model for others and demonstrates leadership traits—regardless of their job title; including taking on leadership roles and tasks when they recognize a need or problem being unfulfilled or unresolved.
  • Inspires shared vision and helps to mobilize a team effort, coaches, teaches, and empowers others to do their best.
  • Motivates and guides others to achieve personal goals and/or achieve positive outcomes for the people they serve.
  • Encourages harmony and cohesiveness by working collaboratively, through synergy and interdependence.
  • Builds trust, respect, and compassion amongst those they work with. Recognizes and celebrates the achievements of those around them.
  • Embraces and creates opportunities for growth for staff and the people supported through our programs, inspiring positive change.




Special Leadership Awards Descriptions

Everyone is eligible to be nominated for these awards.


McNeal-Schuessler Leadership Award

McNeal-Schuessler Leadership award is named after two of KenCrest’s longest running Cabinet members, Toni McNeal, who served as Chief Financial Officer, and Pam Schussler, who served as Chief Operations Office. Both, respectively, served the Agency over 30 years, and led KenCrest through several significant shifts and the expansions of our programs and services. This award recognizes those who lead by example through all of the following attributes:

  • Collaboration: Brings people together to share insights and positive approaches.
  • Coordination: Aligns the efforts of individuals and teams for the benefit of all.
  • Cooperation: Models the way by practicing the values we hold as essential (including the PRIDE values).
  • Communication: Defines expectations of great (over good) and actively enrolls support by sharing the good news and our plans.
  • Engaging Talent: Sees each person as gifted and creates an environment for everyone to succeed.



Fischer-Roeck Leadership Award

This award is named after two of our founding leaders― Reverend August Fischer, pastor of the St. Michael Lutheran Church, and Deaconess Sister Maria Roeck. When KenCrest was first founded as the Kensington Dispensary in 1905, Reverend Fischer and Sister Roeck had a vision for helping to heal people in the City of Philadelphia from the effects of tuberculosis. Little did they know their vision of supporting others would lead to a legacy that has lasted over a century. The Fischer-Roeck Leadership award recognizes those who embody all of the following attributes:

  • Sees clearly the needs and dreams of others.
  • Serves as a catalyst for action (enables others to act by practicing coaching and a leader-leader approach).
  • Values diversity.
  • Recognizes and values achievement of others (they encourage the hearts of people by recognizing the giftedness of each employee and celebrating how that talent was put to work).
  • Trailblazer within their department, and/or in the human services sector (they challenge processes to delight our staff and the people we support).



The William J. Nolan Advocacy Award

The William J. Nolan Advocacy Award is presented annually to a deserving KenCrest staff member who acknowledges advocacy as a core part of their work. The award includes a plaque and an accompanying cash award. William J. Nolan was the longest serving Executive Director of KenCrest in the history of the agency, and a lifetime advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. It was that desire to give voice to the people KenCrest serves that brought him to the agency initially as a volunteer, then as a Board member, and then for 35 years as Executive Director. Bill is a tireless advocate for children and adults with special needs. He believes that the heart of the KenCrest mission is advocacy in its many forms. The winner of the William J. Nolan Advocacy Award will be an accomplished advocate in one or more of these ways:

  • Helping people with intellectual disabilities speak for themselves about their dreams, their plans, and their hopes for the future
  • Strengthening the staff working with people with intellectual disabilities
  • Developing understanding among decision makers and the community in general about people with intellectual disabilities
  • Meeting the needs of the people in our programs
  • Assuring that each person has the same opportunities for a meaningful life as any other citizen
  • Advancing our belief in the fullest inclusion in the community
  • Promoting laws, practices, and processes that advance our ability to help our consumers succeed in life



The President’s Award

This award recognizes team members who truly embody all of our PRIDE values—positive approaches, reaching higher, inclusion, discovery, and excellence in leadership. The recipients of the President’s award exemplify the highest standards of character, and serve as outstanding role models for both their fellow team members and the people we support.



The Siebott/Hibbard Award

Marylyn Siebott and Rod Hibbard were two inspirational staff who were lost far too early in life. Their paths within KenCrest were different—Marylyn worked with children in their early years in our Philadelphia Early Intervention programs; and Rod directed the Philadelphia Residential programs which served adults, some of them seniors. Both were unmistakably passionate about their work, and both accomplished much in their time at KenCrest. They demonstrated insightful leadership and their sheer determination helped KenCrest become a leader in Philadelphia community services for people with intellectual disabilities.

An outstanding characteristic Marylyn and Rod shared was their fervent love and support of the staff they worked with. Both were tireless champions of the direct care workers in their respective areas of the agency. Both were deeply devoted to the staff they worked with, and all the staff working at KenCrest. Both advocated vigorously for them every chance they had with those who funded the programs, with the communities the staff served in, and within the agency itself. Marylyn was renowned for her personal humility and the praise and recognition she lavished on others.  Her personality was one of positive attitude, enthusiasm, and encouragement of her staff. Rod planned a generous bequest to KenCrest prior to his death that he wanted to be used in support of staff members who encounter personal emergencies. The Siebott/Hibbard award includes a cash award, a plaque, and a unique pin exemplifying their work.

The Siebott/Hibbard award is created to reward a KenCrest staff member who has done something extraordinary among their fellow staff to encourage their:

  • Professional progress
  • Personal achievement
  • Exemplary leadership
  • Support of their colleagues and coworkers



The Sister Grace Award

In September 1992, the KenCrest Centers Board of directors authorized a fund to be set aside in the name of Sister Grace Jones. It is the intention of the Board and many staff members that gifts to this memorial fund be used to both remember and to celebrate the life of dedicated service and inspirational leadership freely given on behalf of KenCrest and those we support. Beginning in 1993, there will be an award presented at the annual staff event. The Sister Grace Jones award will be accompanied with a $500 check. Selection of the staff member will be made by the CEO based on the recommendations of service directors.  All staff are eligible to receive the award.

  • Recipients of this award embody all of Sister Grace’s unique combination of leadership traits:
  • Longevity— Sister Grace became the administrator of the Kensington Dispensary in 1947
  • Innovation— in 1955 Sister Grace opened the doors and greeted the first class of three children with intellectual disabilities—launching the Kensington Dispensary on a new mission
  • Cooperative Action— in 1969 Sister Grace led the merger of the Kensington Dispensary and River Crest
  • Volunteerism— Sister Grace remained an active participant in the mission of KenCrest through her retirement
  • Equality— throughout her life, Sister Grace remained a humble servant, fully recognizing the value of all people