By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Alan Obert was presented with the Williams Award at the annual Transitions of Western Illinois meeting and recognition dinner Tuesday night at the Holiday Inn in Quincy. Obert is a 12-year veteran of Transitions and coordinator of community-based services. Transitions Executive Director Mike Rein presented the award, which is named for Dr. Keith Williams, a psychiatrist who served the agency for nearly 30 years. The award is presented annually to an employee "who quietly does his or her job and whose efforts often go unnoticed." "This year's Williams Award winner is described by his peers as a strong believer in recovery and always focuses on what is best for the consumer. He is willing to pitch in whenever needed and is always professional in his work with consumers, staff and the public," Rein said. Obert, who was nominated by his peers, also was described as someone who is always available to his staff and expects no more of them than he is willing to give. "While he has a management position, he is willing to roll up his sleeves and work in the trenches. He makes a home visit when a consumer is in crisis. He will take a consumer on his caseload who is especially challenging to work with," Rein said. One of Obert's recent projects has been drafting a guide for agency standards of behavior. "He has taken this project on with great ownership and strives to model these behaviors daily in his work and interactions with co-workers," Rein said. The award always highlights the annual dinner, which recognizes staff, donors and friends of Transitions who celebrate the agency's accomplishments in the past year. The Adams County Mental Health and Retardation Association and the Transitions Foundation held their annual meetings in conjunction with Transitions. Rein introduced the chairmen of the three boards affiliated with Transitions. º Dr. Bob Reich, vice chairman of the Transitions Association Board, was recognized as Association Board Member of the Year. Reich has been on the board for eight years. In the absence of Chairman Jim Rinella, Reich introduced the Association Board and recognized Helen Cornell, who is retiring from the board after serving since 2007. Jeff Tweedell was introduced as a new member of the board. º Rich Marcolla, chairman of the Transitions Board, was thanked by Rein for his leadership. Marcolla introduced other members of the Transitions Board and named Steve Schmitt as the Transitions Board Member of the Year. Schmitt has served for three years, has served on the client services committee and will be board secretary next year. Marcolla also thanked and recognized retiring board members Terry Anastas, Maureen Kahn, Dave Reis and Dr. Richard Saalborn. Two new board members, Marcel Wagner Jr. and Bill Siebers, were introduced. º Steve Siebers, chairman of the Transitions Foundation Board, introduced members of the Foundation Board and told about its mission. Founded in 2001, the foundation provides support to Transitions' programs and services. Recognized for five years of service were Chet Dede, Jan Frageman, Matt Kroner, Janet Leebold, Jennifer Lyons, Janet Madden, Tammy Mann and Teresa Schmitz. Lauded for 10 years of service with Transitions were Arienne Arment, Tim Baker, Richie Bias, Mick Boyer, Melissa Conroy, Jane Derhake, Jeri Dufresne, Vicki Laack, Kim Long, Jamie Maas, Amy Rainbolt, Bret Shevlin, Erick Sprinkle and Nancy Weede. Recognized for 15 years of service were Beth Altmix, Jeanette Edwards, Monica Maple, Elaine McKinstry and Diana Miles. Twenty-year honorees were Rein, Karolyn Buss, Tami Cain and Laurie Morrison. Linda Schultz was recognized for 25 years of service, and Ron Prokof was recognized for 30 years.