Penn-Mar News

Please check back often to view all of Penn-Mar’s latest news and event information.

Featured Penn-Mar News

Team Member Spotlight: Teresa O’Brien

Posted on October 18, 2021

Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages.

We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do.

So, tune in for our #TeamMemberSpotlight, where our team members share in their own words a bit about themselves!

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More Penn-Mar News

Meet Residential Supervisor Soumbouth Seng

Posted on October 1, 2021

Soumbouth Seng is a Residential Supervisor who is passionate about helping individuals live life to the fullest. She began her career at Penn-Mar in October of 2016 as a Residential Assistant. Prior to coming to Penn-Mar, Soumbouth worked in retail for 18 years where she…

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Team Member Spotlight: Mark Palmer

Posted on September 24, 2021

Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages.

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Scott Deise: An Original

Posted on September 22, 2021

Scott Deise is no slouch. Sixty-five-years young, he’s one of the most active and hardest working people you’ll ever meet, who has no intention of retiring anytime soon from his six-day-a-week work schedule.

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DSPs: Exceptional, Essential Employees

Posted on September 16, 2021

This month’s guest blog is written by Janice Mackel. She shares her appreciation for the Direct Support Professionals at Penn-Mar who support her daughter.

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High Potential DSPs Successfully Complete Leadership Program

Posted on September 1, 2021

By Jen Skelly, Director of PA Programs For years, I have been mulling over what a groundbreaking Professional Development Program could look like at Penn-Mar. Now I know! This is an organization that craves learning, promotes from within and was the first to latch onto and implement the…

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WJZ Highlights Penn-Mar’s Customized Employment Program

Posted on September 1, 2021

Long time Graul’s Employee Robert Zerance shares why he loves his job and how he has grown in the role.

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Megan Holt: Forging a Pathway to Employment

Posted on September 1, 2021

Megan, 23, from Eldersburg, Maryland, is on track to one day securing a job and experiencing the rewards of earning a paycheck. Meanwhile, though, she’s putting her skills to work, and learning new ones, volunteering two days a week at The Opus Community Music School and Visiting Angels, a provider of home care services for seniors.

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August 2021 HEART Winners

Posted on August 20, 2021

The Penn-Mar HEART Award program recognizes team members whose passion and performance leave the mark of their own legacy through exceptional demonstrations of Honesty, Excellence, Advocacy, Respect, and Teamwork.

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Team Member Spotlight: Tina Chan Sweenie

Posted on August 12, 2021

Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages. This month, we interviewed Tina Chan Sweenie, Manager of Volunteer and Donor Engagement.

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Generosity of Donors Shared in Carroll County Times

Posted on August 11, 2021

Penn-Mar would not be around today if it were not for the incredible generosity of our donors and supporters. Recently, Penn-Mar was thrilled to receive a $1 million endowment from Carroll County residents Mike and Dawn Zgorksi. The result is the Zgorski Family Endowment for…

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Creating Opportunities for Employment Success

Posted on July 23, 2021

Belonging and purpose help to give our lives meaning. When we belong and where there is acceptance and inclusion from the people in our lives, from our families and friends to our co-workers, we feel a sense of security, support and identity.

For the men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who Penn-Mar supports through its Customized Employment (CE) program, belonging is one of the main drivers of their career goals, according to Penn-Mar Career Counselors Anthony Bubczyk, Tonya Stonesifer and Tricia Zeltwanger.

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A Memorable Evening Among the Stars

Posted on July 21, 2021

By Stephanie Aspey, Penn-Mar Gala Auction Chair The 29th Annual Penn-Mar Gala & 40th Anniversary Celebration held June 5th was truly one for the record books. Because of pandemic safety issues, we were restricted to having only 330 guests in attendance – as opposed to…

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Penn-Mar Consulting and TransCen Awarded $150,000 Contract to Provide Technical Assistance to Five Community Service Providers

Posted on June 23, 2021

By Michael F. Shriver, Director Penn-Mar Consulting & Kevin Walker, Penn-Mar Consulting, Business Development Director Those of us working at the Consulting arm of Penn-Mar Human Services are delighted to report that we, and our partner TransCen, were recently awarded a $150,000 contract from The Maryland Developmental…

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Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Selects Penn-Mar Human Services and TransCen Inc. to Provide Transformational Assistance to Community Service Providers

Posted on May 28, 2021

BALTIMORE — May 25, 2021 — The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council (Council) today announced that it has selected Penn-Mar Human Services and TransCen Inc. to conduct a 17-month demonstration project to provide technical assistance and affect organizational change to five community service providers licensed, certified, or approved by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)….

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Adam Dodd: Getting Back to Work

Posted on May 27, 2021

Adam Dodd is ready to jump back into the workforce, and chances are, with COVID restrictions easing, the economy slowly rebounding, and daily life returning to some normality, he will land his dream job soon. A Penn-Mar resident since 2002, Adam, 40, has begun actively…

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Team Member Spotlight: Mark Swift

Posted on April 23, 2021

Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages. We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do. So, tune…

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A Veteran DSP with a Bold Vision for the Future: DSP Shawn Fuller

Posted on April 16, 2021

Shawn Fuller got his start in the human services field over thirty years ago. As he says, “For most of the time I’ve worked in this field I’ve chosen to be in direct support. Only about 20% of my time has ever been spent supervising…

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Come as You Are to Host Penn-Mar’s “Party in Place” Gala Opportunity | By Jackie Summers, Senior Director of Development

Posted on April 15, 2021

Last year the Penn-Mar Gala was held just days before the country went into lockdown due to the COVID pandemic. Well, the stars are aligning in our favor once again as we prepare to host our 29th Annual Gala & 40th Anniversary Celebration at the…

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A Dream Employee | By Andrew Bergamaschi, Co-Founder & COO of Maryland Print House

Posted on April 15, 2021

Jordan Ketterman is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. As a production assistant, he is a crucial member of the team at Maryland Print House, a screen-printing company based in Manchester, Carroll County. My partners and I founded the company in December 2017….

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National Volunteer Month: Q&A with Lee Carrion, Advocate & Parent

Posted on April 9, 2021

April is National Volunteer Month, and we’re excited to share some Q&As featuring our Volunteer Advocates. Tina Chan Sweenie, our Manager of Volunteer and Donor Engagement, caught up with some of Penn-Mar’s incredible advocates to learn a little bit about them and why they’re so…

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National Volunteer Month: Q&A with Bryan Barry, Self-Advocate

Posted on April 9, 2021

April is National Volunteer Month, and we’re excited to share some Q&As featuring our Volunteer Advocates. Tina Chan Sweenie, our Manager of Volunteer and Donor Engagement, caught up with some of Penn-Mar’s incredible advocates to learn a little bit about them and why they’re so…

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National Volunteer Month: Q&A with Kelsey Franklin, Self-Advocate & Nancy Simpson, Advocate & Parent

Posted on April 9, 2021

April is National Volunteer Month, and we’re excited to share some Q&As featuring our Volunteer Advocates. Tina Chan Sweenie, our Manager of Volunteer and Donor Engagement, caught up with some of Penn-Mar’s incredible advocates to learn a little bit about them and why they’re so…

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April 2021 HEART Award Winners

Posted on April 8, 2021

The Penn-Mar HEART Committee is proud to announce our most recent round of HEART Award winners! The Penn-Mar HEART Award program recognizes team members whose passion and performance leave the mark of their own legacy through exceptional demonstrations of Honesty, Excellence, Advocacy, Respect, and Team…

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Retaining Key Employees Requires a Ladder to Opportunity

Posted on April 7, 2021

Regardless of the industry, employee retainment can be a constant challenge companies – and the pandemic only made things worse. For Penn-Mar, our support for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) is directly tied to our fantastic team of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Without…

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Writer’s Workshop: Our Original Story, “The Adventures of Mimi and Fafa”

Posted on April 1, 2021

As many of you know, COVID-19 led us to launch some exciting and engaging Virtual Supports. One of them, a Writer’s Workshop, is hard at work learning about story development and character building. To exercise these skills and get the creative juices flowing, we’ve started…

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A Mother’s Hope for All Support Professionals and Children with Disabilities | by Kathleen McMahon, Penn-Mar Parent & Advocate

Posted on March 29, 2021

I often describe our family as “unique,” but in so many ways we are just like many other families. As the mother of a son and daughter, I had to juggle career and family when David and Kara were born, so I put my job…

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Team Member Spotlight: Sonja Schmidt

Posted on March 26, 2021

Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages. We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do. So, tune…

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Meet Our PMAC Steering Committee: Denise Coil

Posted on March 16, 2021

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to highlight some of our advocates, who’ve helped spread awareness and advocated for inclusion and equity for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. Each week this month we’ll be highlighting a different Penn-Mar Advocacy…

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DSP Donna Kiberenge: Life of the Party with a Heart of Gold

Posted on March 8, 2021

Donna Kiberenge (she recently married; Penn-Mar friends may recognize her more readily as Donna Redmond), is guaranteed to be the life of the party. A Residential Supervisor who has been with Penn-Mar for 5 years, she brightens any room she walks into, and can genuinely…

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Meet Our PMAC Steering Committee: Claudia Summerson

Posted on March 5, 2021

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to highlight some of our advocates, who’ve helped spread awareness and advocated for inclusion and equity for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. Each week this month we’ll be highlighting a different Penn-Mar Advocacy…

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Meet Our PMAC Steering Committee: Robert Suggs

Posted on March 5, 2021

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to highlight some of our advocates, who’ve helped spread awareness and advocated for inclusion and equity for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. Each week this month we’ll be highlighting a different Penn-Mar Advocacy…

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Meet Our PMAC Steering Committee: Victoria Minkowski

Posted on March 5, 2021

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to highlight some of our advocates, who’ve helped spread awareness and advocated for inclusion and equity for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. Each week this month we’ll be highlighting a different Penn-Mar Advocacy…

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Rachel Dowling: Sharing Life and Living More

Posted on March 3, 2021

Rachel Dowling doesn’t mince her words when asked what it is she likes about having a job. Her immediate response: “The money!” Until Rachel, 45, who was born with intellectual disabilities, joined Penn-Mar’s Day Program, and took up residence with Mim and Bill Barnes through…

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Team Member Spotlight: Stacy Latchaw

Posted on February 19, 2021

Each month, we’re highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages. We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do. Tune in…

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So Many Jobs. So Many Opportunities to Grow. | By Rhonda L. Morano, Maryland Quality & Day Program Manager

Posted on February 12, 2021

Greg Miller, our CEO, loves to tease me by telling me I have had the most titles (nine) and offices of anyone at Penn-Mar. That’s what happens when you’ve been with an organization for 32 years that has the well-deserved reputation for constantly innovating its…

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DSP MaryAnn Mann: Why This Work Is So Rewarding

Posted on February 3, 2021

MaryAnn Mann is the kind of person who will always take a deep breath and get the job done. No matter what life throws at her, she tackles it with grit and grace, and above all – a deep, intense desire to help people. Fortunately…

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What Gifts Can You Share to Support People with Disabilities? | by David Stang, Penn-Mar Supporter & Friend

Posted on February 2, 2021

For nearly 13 years I would drive some 1,250 miles round-trip from my home in Louisville, KY to visit my brother Murray at his Penn-Mar community home in Maryland. I tried to make the trip at least once a month to stay connected to my…

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Virtual Employment Supports: The Sky’s the Limit

Posted on January 29, 2021

How do you make the best of a bad situation? One answer is you adapt creatively. In the last ten months, Penn-Mar Westminster’s Customized Employment (CE) team made lemonade out of a sackful of lemons. The sweet success of the team’s Virtual Employment Supports program,…

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Team Member Spotlight: Dean Pearson

Posted on January 21, 2021

Each month, we’ll be highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages. We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do. Tune…

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Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Posted on January 8, 2021

As Manager of Volunteer Engagement, Tina Chan Sweenie is tasked with finding corporations looking for meaningful employee service projects or specific program donation opportunities. Hired in January 2020 to formalize the organization’s volunteer effort, she was only two months into the job when the pandemic…

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Landing a Sweet Job

Posted on November 24, 2020

Not unlike Charlie Bucket in Roald Dahl’s classic children’s fantasy novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Penn-Mar resident Mervin Kearse found his “golden ticket” to a job opportunity with Wolfgang Confectioners in York County, Pa. It’s been a sweet job in more ways than one….

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Changing the World One Person at a Time: DSP Destinee Alston

Posted on November 24, 2020

Destinee Alston has been a Direct Support Professional for 5 years, and spent nearly 3 of them at Penn-Mar. She’s a Residential Supervisor who was promoted to the role just 2 weeks prior to the pandemic. She’s also the kind of person you want to…

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Posted on November 17, 2020

Team Member Spotlight: Lisa Heim Each month, we’ll be highlighting a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages. We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the…

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Posted on November 3, 2020

Introducing our HEART Award Winners – November 2020 The Penn-Mar HEART Committee is proud to announce our most recent round of HEART Award winners! The Penn-Mar HEART Award program recognizes team members whose passion and performance leave the mark of their own legacy through exceptional…

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Guest Columnists: Rita Arnett & Lisa Hartley | Battling Alzheimer’s With Education

Posted on October 20, 2020

On October 24th the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held in York, PA with the goal of raising $212,000 locally to be used for Alzheimer’s care, support, research and ultimately, a cure. For us, this disease is personal. It has taken the life…

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Taking “Essential” Pride in Work Through the Pandemic

Posted on October 15, 2020

Love is in the air at the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill on Roosevelt Avenue in York, Pa. You might call it a “Blizzard” of love, which for 30-year-old Trisha Conley all started on Valentine’s Day of last year, and is still going strong. Staying…

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Making a Difference Every Day: Meet Christen Rystedt

Posted on September 29, 2020

When Christen Rystedt decided to become a Direct Support Professional (DSP) roughly 10 months ago, no one could have imagined just how much all our lives would change thanks to the Coronavirus. DSP Christen Rystedt & Gwyn love exploring new places together. A career as…

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David Lindauer: One of the Team

Posted on September 18, 2020

David, 43, began his job search through Penn-Mar’s Customized Employment program in 2011. Through the program’s Exploration & Discovery process he worked with career counselors and job developers to pinpoint his skills, talents, and career goals, and help unleash his potential.

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Self-Employment: A Virtual Success Story

Posted on August 28, 2020

Derek Hamburg was all set to launch his sports podcast this fall, when it was recently announced that the Big 10 Conference would be postponed. Because of this, Hamburg’s Huddle, Derek’s podcast, dedicated entirely to Maryland college sports, has been temporarily sidelined. Sarah O’Keefe proudly…

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Helping People Visualize and Live Their Dreams

Posted on August 6, 2020

At Penn-Mar we talk a lot about the power of transformation. Our tagline, “Transforming life into living,” speaks to our mission to do whatever it takes to help the people we support live interesting, meaningful, self-directed lives. And while it all sounds noble and inspirational,…

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Virtual Supports Are a Game Changer

Posted on August 6, 2020

When COVID-19 upended all our lives and forced us to stay at home, Penn-Mar Human Services took it all in stride. Our Customized Employment team immediately implemented remote employment supports – and it’s yielded incredible results. “Of course, it was challenging at first,” said Tori…

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Penn-Mar Human Services Launches a New Consulting Division

Posted on August 6, 2020

On July 1st, 2020 Penn-Mar launched our Consulting Division. Mike Shriver serves as the Director along with Kevin Walker, Director of Employment services. While we have been providing consulting support to several partner organizations over the past 4 years, we have decided to formally create…

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