The Resource Center recently said farewell to longtime employees Mary Jo Hamilton and Joyce Peterson, who combined had almost 70 years of service with TRC.
Mary Jo joined The Resource Center in March 1982, not long after graduating from Brockport State with a degree in recreation and leisure, with specialization in therapeutic recreation. She also minored in special needs for people with intellectual disabilities.
Mary Jo came on board about three weeks before the opening of our Intermediate Care Facility on Foote Avenue in Jamestown, and that is where she spent most of the first 20 years of her TRC career. In that time she steadily moved up the ladder, starting out as a Recreation Therapist and then becoming a Direct Care Supervisor, Residential Coordinator, Assistant Program Administrator, and Program Administrator for Adult Developmental Services.
From 2004 to 2008, Mary Jo’s career took a slightly different turn as she served as Quality Assurance and Verification Coordinator. In 2008 she became Associate Director of Residential Services, and she remained in that role until 2015, when she was promoted to Director of Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services.
Mary Jo had good relationships with the people living in TRC’s homes, and their families. Our staff also valued her – Direct Support Professionals appreciated the fact Mary Jo spent her early years of her TRC career in the direct support realm, so she understood the challenges faced by DSPs. Her peers depended on her knowledge to help guide the agency in areas of policies, procedures and regulatory compliance.
During a virtual retirement celebration attended by dozens of TRC employees and some of her family members, Mary Jo shared some reflections on her time at The Resource Center.
“Working here gave me many opportunities to make a difference, grow, learn from my mistakes, and, most importantly, assist and get to know the people we support,” she said. “I thank all of you who have made my job easier because you worked so hard.”
She praised those who provide direct support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“A special `thank you’ to all DSPs, but no words can thank you enough, as you make it happen – you are the nuts and bolts of TRC.
“And of course, why we are all here – for the people we support. This is what drives all of us, makes us laugh, love, and want to do our best to ensure they are living the life they want to live.”
Mary Jo’s last day as a TRC employee was March 4. Since then, she has moved south to enjoy the next phase of her life and her new full-time role — that of a doting grandmother.
Our other retiree, Joyce, joined TRC in October 1990 as a Habilitation Skills Technician in the Day Habilitation Program at the Michael J. Raymond Center on Jones & Gifford Avenue in Jamestown. The following year she became Manager of our home on Chandler Street in Jamestown and spent two years in that role before becoming Treatment Coordinator for some of our Intermediate Care Facilities.
Joyce spent many years with our Article 16 Clinic as Treatment Coordinator and Assistant Administrator of the Clinical Team. In 2015 she became a Rehabilitation Case Manager in the Supported Employment Program before becoming a Vocational Evaluator two years ago.
Joyce was a leader in developing TRC’s Pathway to Employment program. She also has been a member of the Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Incident Management Team and a Personal Outcomes Interviewer. This past year, she also covered a Habilitation Specialist position that was vacant due to the pandemic.
Her co-workers noted Joyce is extremely caring and genuinely wants to see people supported by TRC to succeed in all aspects of their lives.
“I have had many wonderful experiences in my 30 years at The Resource Center and have worked with and for many great people,” Joyce said. “I look forward to enjoying my retirement and will miss each and very person I have had the opportunity to work with and for.”
Joyce’s last day at TRC was March 11. She now plans to spend a lot of time on the golf course and at her camp.
We thank Mary Jo and Joyce for their decades of dedicated service in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We wish them a long, happy and healthy retirement!