HR Employee Spotlight – Daniel Dern

In the dynamic landscape of New York City, amid its bustling streets and fast-paced lifestyle, Daniel Dern, the Recruiting and Onboarding Manager at Rise Life Services (RLS), stands as a testament to empowerment, progress, and unwavering dedication. His journey began on a sweltering June day in Lefrak City.

At the age of 19, Daniel embarked on a new chapter, relocating to New York to reside with relatives and accepting a position in a group home in Lefrak City. Little did he anticipate that this decision would mark the start of a career devoted to supporting and uplifting individuals within the developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities (DDI) community.

Reflecting on his early days, Daniel recalls the significance of being warmly welcomed by his colleagues amidst the whirlwind of his first day. Their simple yet profound gesture, “Oh Dan, we have been waiting for you,” affirmed his value and contribution from the outset.

Fast forward to two years ago, when Daniel joined RLS and encountered the challenge of stabilizing and enhancing the mental health day programs, ID/DD programs and the outpatient clinic as well as all administrative and clinical support roles through extensive recruitment efforts.  Recognizing the necessity for change, Daniel spearheaded initiatives like The Rising Star and Shining Star programs, along with establishing the roundtable series, aimed at promoting employee empowerment and recognition.

In his role as a recruiter, Daniel conducts formal group interviews every Tuesday, meticulously evaluating candidates and facilitating their seamless integration into hired positions. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s diverse roles, Daniel’s firsthand experience enables him to identify candidates who align with RLS’s values and requirements.

Daniel’s impact is evident in his accomplishment of recruiting over 400 staff members during his tenure at Rise Life Services. His unwavering commitment and expertise have significantly contributed to the organization’s growth and successes, establishing him as an indispensable asset to the team.

The Rising Star Award, a cornerstone of Daniel’s initiatives, spotlights outstanding team members who exemplify RLS’s core values of inclusion, diversity, quality, dignity, and respect. This accolade, bestowed upon nominees recognized by their peers, underscores RLS’s commitment to fostering a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment.

Additionally, the forthcoming “Shining Star” award, set to reward one Rising Star with a $5,000.00 grant for professional development, demonstrates RLS’s dedication to incentivizing excellence and fostering individual growth.

What began as a gesture of recognition in Daniel’s early days has evolved into a transformative approach to employee engagement and retention at RLS. By empowering staff to actively contribute to the organization’s success, Daniel has not only addressed staffing needs but also cultivated a culture of collaboration and distinction.

As Rise Life Services continues its mission of empowering individuals with disabilities, Daniel Dern emerges as a beacon of the transformative potential of employee empowerment in driving recruitment and retention triumphs. Through his leadership and unwavering dedication, Daniel paves the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

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