Chapter Update

Tuesday, July 31

2012 Emerging Leader Awards

Nina Nguyen, NASW Illinois Manager, Communications and Membership

Earlier this spring, the NASW Illinois Chapter began accepting nominations for our four annual emerging leader awards. After sifting through the nominations, this year's winners truly represent exceptional young social workers who go above and beyond the call of duty and initiating strong leadership roles within their work or agency. Please help us to recognize these outstanding individuals for their exemplary work in promoting the social work profession! An awards event honoring this year’s emerging leaders will take place later this fall at the annual NASW Illinois Chapter Leadership meeting on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at the NASW Illinois Chapter office at 404 S. Wells, 4th Floor, Chicago, Illinois. 

Congratulations to our 2012 NASW Illinois Chapter Emerging Leaders! 

Hayley Stokar (MSW, Gallaudet University; LSW) works as team leader and employment specialist for deaf and hard of hearing adults at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in Chicago, an agency that provides job development and placement, career counseling, and customized skills training and rehabilitation to help all people realize their full potential. She works on a dynamic team of vocational rehabilitation professionals and social workers who train, empower, and support job seekers with disabilities. She will begin the doctorial program at Loyola University Chicago in fall 2012. 

Hope Heotis, LCSW, is supervisor of client services at JVS and was the one who nominated Hayley for the award. Of Hayley’s work, Hope wrote: “One of Hayley’s strengths and motivations is her commitment to her clients. She embodies a great amount of empathy for her clients and will do anything in her power to assist them in reaching their goals. Due to Hayley’s hard work and commitment to the mission of the agency, the deaf and hard of hearing program at JVS has tripled in size this fiscal year! JVS has received funding to hire additional employment counselors to serve the deaf and hard of hearing communities. Hayley currently serves DuPage, Lake, Kane, and Cook Counties. Hayley has been promoted to a Team Leader position and has proven herself worthy as an emerging leader.” 

Michael B. Kocher (MSW, University of Illinois at Chicago; LCSW) is passionate about working with older adults and enjoys looking at the impact of organizational systems on service delivery and direct care providers. He is employed by the Alzheimer’s Association’s National 24/7 Helpline as team leader. In this capacity, Michael supervises both clinical and non-clinical staff, providing consultation, and ensuring quality. He is adjunct professor at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in the Gerontological Counseling Program. 

Elizbeth Gould, director of the Alzheimer’s Association, wrote the following in her nomination of Michael: “Michael demonstrates ongoing initiative and creative problem-solving in the daily operations of the Alzheimer’s Association National 24/7 Helpline. Over the past two years, the Alzheimer’s Association began a new service that allows Alzheimer’s Association chapters from anywhere in the country to transfer all of their calls to the national call center. Michael has taken a leadership role in data coordination/communication and management of technological issues in this new venture. He consistently works well with his chapter colleagues, information technology staff, vendors, and others to deliver the best possible service to persons with dementia, their family caregivers, and health care professionals. Michael was operations director with Chicago Bridge from 2009 to 2011, and he is an active participant of the Older Adults Shared Interest Group with the NASW Illinois Chapter.”

You can read more about past emerging leader recipients here

Posted on 07/31/12 at 11:01 AM


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