Valley Health Services recognizes employees

Valley Health Services and Valley Residential Services in Herkimer recently celebrated their dedicated staffs during a recognition dinner at Francesca’s Banquet & Catering facility in Ilion.

At the event, staff members were recognized for their length of service to the organization. One staff member who embodies the qualities most celebrated was named the organization’s employee of the year.

This year, the following staff members were recognized for length of service:

— 5-year: Bethany Bongiorno; Tina Bruette; Alysha Henrickson; Shellèy Kentile; Lisa Knoblauch; Danielle Rickard and Diane Young

— 10-year: Margaret Avery; Janice Huffman; Thomas Samsel and Diane Wedemeyer

— 15-year: Eileen Callahan and Melissa Congdon

— 20-year: Nancy Agne; Christine Congdon; Christine Dygert and Wanda Loefler

— 25-year: Lisa Eckler and Bonnie Graves

— 30-year: Sherry Krick

— 35-year: Joan Keiffer

The employee of the year was Mark Ritzel, physical therapy assistant, who joined the VHS staff in 1998. His colleagues nominated Ritzel, attributing his success on the job to having the ability to interact with and help people every day to improve their quality of life. Ritzel has an Associate in Applied Science degree and is a graduate of the physical therapy assistant program at Herkimer College.

He resides in New Hartford.