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TECH Holds Annual Client Recognition Night

TECH Holds Annual Client Recognition Night

TECH's Client Recognition Night is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for the people we serve and our TECH staff. This year, we honored nearly 60 people for achievements throughout the year as well as their anniversary with TECH. Jason Younger helped welcome all of our guests last Friday night, emceeing for the 21st year in a row! Once the awards were given out to the people we serve, Brenda Maxey, President/CEO of TECH, honored The Alley of Hutchinson with the Good Neighbor Award and Angie Bergmeier with the President's Award, both for their contributions as an outstanding community partner.

Every year, TECH honors the people we serve for their growth over the year in five different categories. TECH staff are asked for nominations and a small committee meets to determine the final honorees. Honorees are individuals that have shown exemplary growth in Independence, Creativity, Self-Worth and Connection to their Community - all pillars of TECH. This year, we also honored individuals in a Lifetime Achievement category.

TECH Awards


Self-Worth: Feel productive through meaningful work, engaging activities, and opportunities to learn new skills. Congratulations to the following honorees:

Judy Turner: Two years ago, Judy and her team set a goal that she would work on helping in the kitchen at her house. At first, she wasn’t interested in participating but over time has become more active in the kitchen, helping to prepare meals, make drinks and setting the table. Judy now offers to be a part of meal time prep all on her own and helps staff make supper in the house. Congratulations, Judy, on your Self-Worth Award.

Brandi Kile: Although Brandi is a shy yet outgoing young lady, she has gained a sense of who she is, what she likes to do and what she wants for her future. Over the past two years, Brandi moved independently into the community, she gained a great opportunity for community employment and is learning new skills. She quickly learned that she is valued and cared for by family and friends alike. Brandi has begun to enjoy her involvement in the community while on her journey to learning and increasing her self-worth. Congratulations, Brandi, on your Self-Worth Award.

Inez Vieyra: Inez is a hard worker, so much so she would rather work than retire. She loves to help others and stay busy. She is always willing to help with household chores and takes great pride in the works she does both at home and day services. She enjoys talking about gardening, especially growing jalapenos, and cooking different Mexican dishes. Congratulations, Inez, on your Self-Worth Award.

Ashley Poe: Ashley has worked very hard over the last few years with VR to find a job that was the right fit for her.  She had tried several different positions before finding the right job for her at Rib Crib. She never gave up on her quest to find a job that she enjoys. She loves working at Rib Crib and looks forward to going to work every day.  She often picks up shifts for her co-workers when asked. She is eager to go to work each day and loves serving her community. Congratulations, Ashley, on your Self-Worth Award.

Donald Clune:  Donald joined the TECH family last year when he moved here from northern Kansas to be closer to his family.  He has transitioned well into his new surroundings.  He has enjoyed going bowling and attending day services.  Donald is making new friends and participating in exciting activities. Congratulations, Donald, on your Self-Worth Award.


Connection: Having loving relationships with family through every transition, enjoying friendships with peers and caring staff, and be a valued member of the Hutchinson community. Congratulations to the following honorees:

Jolene Amthauer: Like many of us, Jolene has always struggled with changes. But in 2018, she made great strides to accept new people in her life. She has built new relationships with a new team leader and other new staff at her home. Jolene made these connections with amazing ease and speed. Congratulations, Jolene, on your Connection Award.

Alyssa Mills: Alyssa has been through many different transitions this past year. It is often difficult for people to feel safe and comfortable around others, and this is no different for Alyssa. In some ways it is harder for her since many people struggle to understand her communication methods. For the past 9 months, Alyssa seems to have opened up more to other people. She has handled new staff working with her in great strides. She loves participating in outings and games with her peers, and on payday Friday's she has done exceptionally well at communicating with not just the two staff and her peer that go with her but also with the other people at the events and restaurants. She still has days that are hard for her but even on those days she has expanded her comfort zone. Congratulations, Alyssa, on your Connection Award.

Jackie Clothier Jackie has a special place in the Hutchinson Community. Jackie has worked in the community for many years. She is best known as the sweet girl that works at Dillon’s on Main Street. Jackie struggled with a health scare last year and was off work for a few weeks. Her impact on the community is evident in that during her time off, many community members sent her cards and flowers. She is well loved in Hutchinson and makes a difference in the community by her kind caring conversations and her smile! Congratulations, Jackie, on your Connection Award.


Creativity: Finding fulfillment through creative expression. Congratulations to the following honorees:

Jerimiah Tolbert: In the summer of 2017, Jerimiah Tolbert first tried his hand at painting in TECH’s Art Studio.  His first piece was one that he spent many months working on.  Upon completion, he was shy, yet delighted to display his work.  In early 2018, Jerimiah was asked to paint the front of an old truck on a 36”x36” canvas.  For some, this task would have been intimidating, especially for his 2nd painting, but not so for Jerimiah.  He showed initiative and ambition even before laying paint down for this painting.  He learned a lot of new painting techniques in this painting, mastering each with meticulous precision.  About a month later, an order for a lion painting was received, which was for a purpose that couldn’t be explained until the painting was completed.  Since the painting was to demonstrate the personal journey of the buyer, there were numerous painting revisions along the way.  Jerimiah accepted these changes with maturity and rose to that challenge, using many bright colors and painting techniques which connected deeply with the buyer.  In the end, this painting was used for a public art project in Downtown Hutchinson.  Jerimiah was delighted with this outcome, which was celebrated then and again now in the great creativity that he used in each of these paintings.  Congratulations, Jerimiah, on a job well done and for receiving this Creativity Award.

Jennifer Walton: Jennifer has found her passion in life, she has learned to embrace her artistic creations. Jennifer has created many paintings in the TECH Art Studio where she has brought her vision alive on canvas. Jennifer also displays her creativity with participating in MIME performances for clients and community members. Although Jennifer is a quiet happy person, she is strong, mighty and creative! Congratulations, Jennifer on receiving this Creativity Award.

Joe Thompson: Painting in the TECH Art Studio has always been important to Joe.  He has completed quite a few paintings, opting to sell some but many of his projects in the past year have been ones that he has given to family and to those close to him.  Joe is creating new projects nearly every day.  In 2018, Joe had been exploring more classes at TECH’s Adult Life Skills to exercise his creativity. One day staff asked Joe if he wanted to build a house. Joe immediately agreed and thought that house was supposed to be a small one, but he wanted to make a big one. Using a canvas board and popsicle sticks, he started building walls.  He then said that he had a goal to get it done before he went home for Christmas, so he can give it to his dad. Joe picked out the colors for the house, the trees, etc. Joe said, “I live on a farm.  I want farm things”. When almost done with this project, Joe smiled and proudly said, “My dad is going to love it” and sure enough, his dad did love it.  The project was completed the week before Christmas and the smile on his face showed delight, pride, and love for his dad and in a project well done.  Congratulations, Joe on receiving this Creativity Award.


Independence: Living and working as independently as they are able. Congratulations to the following honorees:

Hillary Jenkins: Hillary has acquired a part time job at TECH, Inc. as a part of the reception team. She works hard at her job. She is also moving from her mother's home into the community. We are very proud of Hillary and her steps towards independence.  Congratulations, Hillary, on receiving this Independence Award.

Christina Bradfield: Christina has not had the opportunity to live independently in an apartment of her own most of her life. This year, she transitioned from a long-term care facility to a group home setting. Christina has learned many skills she did not know she had while living in her current situation. Christina is getting ready to move into an apartment of her own independently in the community for the first time in her life. She has gained her independence and the self-confidence she needed to increase her abilities and to live her preferred lifestyle.  Congratulations, Christina on receiving this Independence Award.

Nettie Cole: Nettie has been working on increasing her independence in many areas of her life.  She can work independently cleaning the break room at day services and does many other tasks with little direction.  She has been working on learning to tell time, increasing her cooking skills, and becoming more independent with daily living skills at home.  She is also able to go into the grocery store and purchase a few items.  Nettie’s mom has been working very hard with her to increase these skills.  She also attends the computer lab weekly where she works on learning new skills. Congratulations, Nettie on receiving this Independence Award.


Lifetime Achievement: This award is presented to individuals who have continued to exhibit and demonstrate perseverance and determination in view of challenging obstacles. Congratulations to the following honorees:

Bruce Blasi: Bruce is fun loving and full of life. He’s a joy to be around and can turn a bad day into a good one just with his big smile and big heart. Bruce decided to retire a couple years ago. Through the years, he has had many challenges and has found ways to overcome them. He is able to manage with the love and support of family, friends and staff. TECH would like to recognize Bruce with a Lifetime Achievement award.

Anita Wainner: The word retirement is not in Anita’s vocabulary. She considers herself “slowing down,” as she continues to take the aging process in poise, grace and pride.   Anita is friendly, kind and a very polite woman, even though she does let her orneriness shine at times.  She enjoys looking at books, listening to music; her preference is gospel, or watching family-oriented movies or T.V. shows. Anita recently took on a new challenge in her life which involved a new residential home.  She has taken this experience head on and has flourished; adjusting to her new staff and housemates. She continues to accomplish each day with the assistance of all her staff, which she loves dearly. Congratulations Anita as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rodney Krafels: Rodney is always in a good mood. He loves coming to work and is always talking with clients and staff and making jokes. He loves making sure that his job gets done. When he comes to work, he likes to decide which job he wants to work on after given choices of jobs. He is capable of going to the break room by himself with staff assisting making sure he is able to make it to the break room. TECH would like to recognize Rodney with a Lifetime Achievement award.

Years of Service Awards


We also recognized milestone years of service with TECH. Here are those honorees:

  • 40 Years of Service with TECH Awards...goes to Stephanie Drews, Rodney Krafels
  • 35 Years of Service Awards...goes to Elizabeth Cole, Robin Martinez, Frank Saiz
  • 25 Years of Service Awards...goes to Scott Schultz, Melinda Thom
  • 20 Years of Service Awards...goes to Allyn Amyx, Bruce Blasi, Kelli Bringle, Pam Carey, Kelly Dick, Amanda Farmer, Beverly Fields, John Groening, Katelyn Harder, William Harmony, Paul Hudson, Greg Martin, Ashley Poe, Gregory Yohn
  • 15 Years of Service Awards...goes to Ashley Lundemo, Kim Whelan
  • 10 Years of Service Awards...goes to Jacob Bradshaw, Dana Conner, Tristan Nisly, Robert Rose, Joseph White
  • 5 Years of Service Awards...goes to Jeremy Stewart