News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Springbrook

Springbrook Promotes Harman To Chief Financial Officer Post

Springbrook Promotes Harman

To Chief Financial Officer Post

Wade Harman

ONEONTA – Springbrook had announced the appointment of Wade Harman as chief financial officer.

Harman has been a member of Springbrook’s leadership team since August 2015, serving as the director of fnance. He joined the organization in February 2013 as the assistant controller.

As CFO, Harman will work closely with Springbrook’s Chief Operating Officer Seth Haight, Chief Executive Officer Patricia Kennedy, and the organization’s Board of Directors.

Springbrook Wages Rise To Cuomo’s 2019 Level

Springbrook Hikes Pay

To Cuomo’s 2019 Level

 Goal: Attract Employees, Lower Turnover

Tyrone Lohr, Maggie Reopell and Noble Champen were chosen by their fellow DSPs to represent their point of view in an upcoming article in the Springbrook newsletter.

ONEONTA – Springbrook is getting ahead of Governor Cuomo’s minimum-wage increases, raising its “direct support professionals”  to the 2019 level, effective New Year’s Day.

Otsego County’s third largest employer, Springbrook provides residential living for disabled children and adults on its Milford Center campus and group homes around the region.

The wage increase for its DSPs is a $1.2 million investment, Springbrook said in announcing the wage hikes today.

Seward Distributing Checks To Springbrook, Non-Profits

Seward Distributing Checks

To Springbrook, Non-Profits

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, toured Springbrook today, where he announced the residential community for people with disabilities will received a $576,000 state grant through the state Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program.  Seward will be awarding $2.8 million to nonprofits throughout his district, include $714,000 to Pathfinder Village and $873,000 to Arc Otsego.  Here, he confers during a stop at Springbrook with CEO Patricia Kennedy and COO Seth Haight.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, toured Springbrook today, where he announced the residential community for people with disabilities will received a $576,000 state grant through the state Nonprofit Infrastructure Capital Investment Program. Seward will be awarding $2.8 million to nonprofits throughout his district, include $714,000 to Pathfinder Village and $873,000 to Arc Otsego. Here, he confers during a stop at Springbrook with CEO Patricia Kennedy and COO Seth Haight.
Zephyr Teachout Circles County From City Of Hills Fest To Fair

Zephyr Teachout Circles County

From City Of Hills Fest To Fair

Democrat Zephyr Teachout, a candidate to succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson in the 19th District that includes Otsego County, shares her views at Dobler's Brewery & Tavern in Mount Vision Saturday afternoon. The stop was in a daylong swing that took her from the City of the Hills Arts Festival in Oneonta, to the county fair in Morris, and to Springbrook in Milford Center. She is running against Republican John Faso in the Nov. 8 election. (Jim Dean photo)
Democrat Zephyr Teachout, a candidate to succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson in the 19th Congressional District that includes Otsego County, shares her views at Dobler’s Brewery & Tavern in Mount Vision Saturday afternoon. The stop was in a daylong swing that took her from the City of the Hills Arts Festival in Oneonta, to the county fair in Morris, and to Springbrook in Milford Center. She is running against Republican John Faso in the Nov. 8 election. (Jim Dean photo)
Springbrook Breaks Ground On Family Engagement Center

Springbrook Breaks Ground

On Family Engagement Center

In the "groundbreaking" of the Family Engagement Center at Springbrook, Jerry Pondolfino, right, son Zach and Assistant house manager Matt Love, carry one of several ribbons which were stretched out to show where the new building will stand when it is completed in 2017. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
There were no hard hats or shovels, but Springbrook celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Family Engagement Center by stretching a tent of ribbons to show gathered guests where the building will stand when it is completed in 2017.  Here, Jerry Pondolfino, right, son Zach, who graduated from Springbook that morning, and assistant house manager Matt Love, carry one of the ribbons to the perimeter. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Springbrook Cuts Ribbon On New Housing

Springbrook Cuts Ribbon

On New Medical Housing

Springbrook Board member Dr. Gerald Pondolfino, Springbrook Parent and Donor Meyer Safdieh, and Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy cut the ribbon officially opening the newest home at Springbrook. (Photo Credit: Kira Delanoy)
Springbrook Board member Dr. Gerald Pondolfino, Springbrook Parent and Donor Meyer Safdieh, and Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy cut the ribbon officially opening the newest home at Springbrook. (Photo Credit: Kira Delanoy)

ONEONTA – With an open layout, single bedrooms, climate control and a therapy bathtub, Springbrook is making sure that their students with the highest medical needs receive the highest quality of care.

“It is a larger, more accommodating space with very thought-out design features,” said Seth Haight, COO.  “The completion of this home is an important part of a broad action plan made up of many exciting projects.”

Polar Bear Visit Brings Warm Hugs to Springbrook

Polar Bear Visit Brings 

Warm Hugs to Springbrook

Springbrook has been named as one of the recipients of this year's Polar Bear Jump! In appreciations, Springbrook students, including Matt Wagner, left, Franklin, decorated donation boxes and presented them to Goody, the jump's mascot, at a pep-rally this afternoon at Springbrooks main campus. Patricia Kennedy, center, Chief Executive Officer at Springbrook, challenged Seth Haigt t take the plunge next month, but it remains to be seen if that challenge will be accepted! (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)
At a pep rally this morning at the main campus, Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy, center, announced that Springbrook is one of this year’s recipients of funds raised by the brave Goodyear Lake Polar Bear jumpers.  In appreciation, Springbrook students, including Matt Wagner, left, Franklin, decorated donation boxes and presented them to Goody, the jump’s mascot, with plenty of hugs, high-fives and dancing.  Kennedy challenged deputy executive director Seth Haight to take the icy plunge on Saturday, Feb. 20. (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)

 

Springbrook Wins $575,000 State Grant

Springbrook Wins $575,000 State Grant

MILFORD CENTER – Springbrook announced today it has received $575,193 from the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities to move three of its initiatives forward.

“These three important initiatives will touch the lives of hundreds of local individuals and families, increasing their access to and choices for quality services,” said Springbrook CEO Patricia Kennedy.

Springbrook, D&H Rail Yards Big Winners of CFA Funding

SPRINGBROOK, D&H YARDS

AMONG BIG CFA WINNERS

By LIBBY CUDMORE • allotsego.com

ONEONTA — A $400,000 renovation to upgrade Springbrook’s residential facilities was awarded today through the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Application.

In all, four of the eight Otsego County projects were funded, a total of $700,000 towards economic development and job growth for the region.

“It’s a positive step forward,” said IDA president Sandy Mathes.  “Our projects were all linked directly to job growth.”

Springbrook Keynoter: ‘Weaknesses Can Be Made Positives’

Springbrook Keynoter: ‘Weaknesses Can Be Made Positives’

By LIBBY CUDMORE•HOMETOWN ONEONTA

Jesse uses a puppet to share his story
Jesse uses a puppet to share his story

Nothing, not the lack of coordinates on Mapquest or a GPS mishap was going to delay Jesse Saperstein from speaking at Springbrook. “A comedy of things happened,” he said. “But it was important for me to get here and speak, especially to my new friend Michael.”

That new friend was a visibly overjoyed Michael Travisano, who was in the audience with his father, Hartwick professor Thomas and mother, Elsa.

“For a lot of kids, there’s no role models they can directly connect to,” said Rick Turner, a Springbrook teacher who grew up with Saperstein. “But to look up and see someone on the autism spectrum wearing nice clothes and speaking to a roomful of people, it’s good for their self-esteem.”

Saperstein, an autism activist and author of “Atypical: Life With Aspbergers in 20 1/3 Chapters,” was the featured speaker Saturday, Sept. 21, to cap off Springbrook’s Family Weekend.

“We were in the same class from middle school up through graduation,” said Turner. “He has always been a generous, nice guy.”

They reconnected when Turner was working at the Anderson Center for Autism in Hyde Park, and when the Golisano School opened at Springbrook, Turner knew his friend would be a dynamic speaker.

“We have a lot of workshops for parents about dealing with the difficulties of transitioning from the school to adulthood,” said Kira DeLanoy, Springbrook spokesperson. “And that’s the focus of his latest book.”

“Getting a Life With Aspberger’s: Lessons Learned on the Bumpy Road to Adulthood,” was published in August. “This one has fewer fart jokes than the last one,” he joked. “My editor told me to have fun, and I might have taken her advice a little too far.”

Saperstein wrote the books as part of what he calls “our collective quest to understand autism.”

“Oftentimes, it’s more of a character trait than a disability,” he said. “The true disablers are the unnecessary failures created by a society that doesn’t understand.”

One of his current undertakings is to mentor and raise awareness about bullying. “We must work hard to fight bullying, but we must also equip our young adults to deal with the dark arts of humanity,” he said. “Poison ivy isn’t everywhere, but there’s enough of it to make life miserable.”

And he would know about poison ivy – in 2005, he hiked all 2,174 miles of the Appalachian Trail to raise money for the Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation. “I was able to complete that journey because of qualities that were vilified,” he said. In 2012, he went skydiving in a “Free Fall to End Bullying,” and speaks at schools across the state about his experiences.

“Michael did really well at Center Street School, but when he got to middle school, there were some problems,” said Travisano. “But the kids from Center Street stepped up and they wouldn’t let anyone bully him.”

Michael graduated from Hartwick College this spring with a major in Art History.

“What we see as our own weaknesses can be made into positives,” said DeLanoy. “That’s something everyone can take away in their own lives.”

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