Outstanding Employees – August/September 2020

George GonzalezBlog, Employees

Inland Regional Center (IRC) is an awesome place to work! If you ask our staff, they will tell you time and time again that “the people” are what make IRC great. Our team is made up of more than 780 dedicated employees working to support people with developmental disabilities in the Inland Empire.

Each month, IRC staff nominate their outstanding colleagues in our Employee Recognition program. In this blog we are highlighting the contributions of our August award winners, Cathy Brubaker and Yvonne Guajardo, and our September award winner, Ismael Ocampo!

 

August’s Positivity Award Winner – Cathy Brubaker

 

Cathy is a Consumer Services Coordinator working in the Riverside Transition Unit, and is the recipient of August’s Positivity Award! Here is what her co-workers had to say about her. “Cathy consistently has such a positive attitude with every extra task that she volunteers to assist with. I have never heard or seen her look like she is upset or frustrated when things get rough. She has been there consistently helping out on caseloads that are empty with tasks like case coverage, processing IPPs, and doing memos. Cathy voluntarily provided her help to me when she saw I needed help. She has maintained a positive attitude and is able to lift others up by seeing the good in things rather than the negative. I appreciate that she brings this positivity with her in any setting . I am truly grateful to have Cathy on our team and IRC is so fortunate to have her.”

To get to know Cathy a little better, we asked her a few questions. Here is what she told us!

What do you like about working at IRC/your position here? 

There are so many reasons why I love working at IRC. I love my team. We are more than a team, we are family. We support each other. Since I was young girl, my goal was to work for IRC. My goal was accomplished in 2007. I left in 2010 to care for my premature daughter. When given the opportunity presented itself to come back to IRC, I applied right away.

I am a Consumer Services Coordinator here at IRC. I am working with a population that is dear to my heart. I enjoy interacting with my families and the consumers.  I revel in seeing the relief of my families’ faces when I can provide solutions to issues.

Tell us about your job and your job duties are? 

My job mostly entails case management. Case management includes report writing, case notes, sending referrals to vendor to obtain services and most importantly advocating for our consumers’ needs.

Do you think this award reflects your personality/work here, etc? 

Honestly, I am shocked but very, very honored to receive this award.  I suppose it does. This is who I am and how I have always been. My nickname given to me when I was a kid by my cousin was “Happy”. Of course, she may have been given me that nickname because she thought I looked like Happy from the Snow White.  My personality runs over into my work as well. I believe a work environment needs to be balanced. It needs to be fun and productive.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies, interests, etc.

I am a homebody. I enjoy watching movies. Movie genres including horror movies dated 1941 to 2020, films made by Hayao Miyazaki and hidden gems. When not watching movies, I will go shooting with my husband at the gun range. Also reading novels by Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  Before COVID-19, going to theme parks with my husband and girls.

Tell us a fun fact about you! A little known fact or something people might be surprised to know about you! 

When I was in high school, there was two things I wanted to be: a shark biologist or a parapsychologist. I put my goal of working at IRC on hold.  Big Mistake! All I can say is the science courses in college; especially Chemistry and Physics won, and I lost. When I need to get my scientific fix there is shark week and sea world and ghost hunter shows. I was born to be a Social Worker.

 

August’s Above and Beyond Award Winner – Yvonne Guajardo

Yvonne is a Forensic Specialist in the Fair Hearing/Legal Affairs Department, and is the recipient of August’s Above and Beyond Award! Check out what her colleagues had to say about her. “Yvonne is always going above and beyond for her fellow co-workers, both in and out of our unit. Within our unit, she is always willing to lend a helping hand by setting aside her time and workload to assist Appeals in translating documents and/or phone calls, assisting CSCs with questions regarding legal matters on her caseload or not, and doing so with so much support and guidance. Her passion to help our consumers has always been her #1 priority and it is very inspiring to see. You do not come across many people like Yvonne who are truly passionate for the work they do. She makes coming to work, or logging on I should say now, so much more brighter! And in times like these, that bright light is very much needed. Yvonne’s hard work and dedication to Legal, Appeals, and IRC as whole does not go unnoticed. ”

We asked Yvonne a few questions to get to know a little more about her. Here is what she told us!

What do you like about working at IRC/your position here? 

I have been working at IRC for 17 years where I have had the pleasure of working with so many people that share the same passion and commitment to serve our consumers.

Tell us about your job and your job duties are? 

I have been on of the Forensic Specialist in the Fair Hearing/Legal Affairs Dept. for the last 5 years.  I provide support and educate staff in all consumer legal matters which may involve court appearances, assessments, and court reports.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies, interests, etc.

I enjoy traveling, reading a good non-fiction book or watching a series on Netflix on my spare time.

 

September’s Above and Beyond Award Winner – Ismael Ocampo

 

Ismael is a Facilities Coordinator here at IRC, and is the recipient of September’s Above and Beyond Award! Here is what his colleagues had to say about him. “Whenever I work with Ismael or pass him in the hallway, I am always greeted with a huge smile. And with his recent help on all the on-site COVID-19 testing at IRC, his positive and energetic attitude are especially appreciated! Logistics-wise, planning for the on-site testing requires a lot of prep work and Ismael always stays on top of any last minute request I may have. When setting up the auditorium in Building 3, he is also very friendly and professional with the nurses, and he makes sure they have everything they need at their station. Ismael’s genuine and friendly demeanor and his work ethic are just a few of the reasons why he would be a great recipient for the Above and Beyond award!”

We asked Ismael we few questions to more about him. Take a look at his answers:

What do you like about working at IRC/your position here? 

It gives me so much pride and joy to be a part of the IRC family serving individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

Tell us about your job and what your job duties are? 

I’m so happy to be a part of the Facilities Department as a Facility Coordinator. We coordinate with our Property Management Group regarding building issues and up keeps. Receiving office supplies, office equipment and office furniture. Working hand in hand with our Security Group in making sure that we have a safe and healthy working environment. And tons of other facilities & building day to day tasks.

Do you think this award reflects your personality/work here, etc? 

IRC is home for me. It reflects the same responsibilities I do at home. Making sure that the place is secured, clean, orderly and safe.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hobbies, interests, etc.

I am a family oriented person, enjoying every moment I spend with my families, relatives & friends. I am a devout Catholic. I love to travel. We are blessed & fortunate to visit different places (Europe, Australia, Asia and different States of America).

Tell us a fun fact about you! A little known fact or something people might be surprised to know about you! 

I love gardening! Having planted 12 fruit trees around our backyard and different plants and flowers together with my wife. Friends labeled me as a “farmer”.

Congratulations Cathy, Yvonne, and Ismael! Thank you for helping make IRC a great place to work!

 

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George Gonzalez

George Gonzalez is the CSTIII for the Community Engagement Unit. He is the primary content editor for inlandrc.org as well as graphic designer for the unit. Off the clock, George is a home theater enthusiast and also moonlights as a disc jockey.

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