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NRVCS Staff Spotlights: Day 4

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New River Valley Community Services (NRVCS) is observing “Employee Appreciation Week” October 25 – 29 in celebration of our dedicated team of professionals. Throughout this week, we will be introducing you to some of our amazing staff.

Below are our featured “Staff Spotlights” for Thursday, October 28:

H. SMITH (they/them)
Position: Clinician
Department: New Horizons Crisis Stabilization
Years at NRVCS: I have worked for the agency since June 2020.

Please share a little about your background:
I am originally from West Virginia, but now live in Christiansburg, VA. I went to West Virginia University for my B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, and went to Virginia Tech for my M.A.Ed. in Counselor Education. Prior to my work in NRVCS, I have served in many counseling organizations on local, state, and national levels. For example, I served as the Technology Chair of Virginia’s Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling. Furthermore, I was nominated for and served as the national Emerging Leader of the American Counseling Association’s Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling. Throughout my schooling, I have had the opportunity to work for Mount Regis Center, Intercept Health, and Upward Bound at Virginia Tech to name a few.

Why did you choose this particular career/job?
Growing up in West Virginia enabled me to internalize the urgency to be a part of a career in rural areas, much like SWVA, that serve marginalized and underserved populations in mental health. West Virginia and SWVA alike struggle with high occurrences of mental health issues, and often times a lack of adequate resources. I wanted to not only be a part of building a better network of resources, but also show our underserved populations that folks of diverse identities are able to and are even encouraged to be leaders in this field.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is seeing a positive change in our clients in such a short amount of time. New Horizons typically serves clients anywhere from 3-7 days on average, and seeing our clients start to build on their resilience through our interventions brings me hope.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I have my own photography business, mainly doing freelance work. I have been contracted through sports leagues in the past to take their individual and team pictures!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy being outside, doing activities such as kayaking, hiking, and playing with my two dogs. I also love art and photography.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying you would like to share?
“Hold your beliefs lightly.”



JENNA KIRTNER

Position: Community Support Professional
Department: PSR (Psychosocial Rehabilitation)
Years at NRVCS: Almost 3 years

Please share a little about your background:
I grew up in Northern Virginia but have lived in the NRV for over 16 years. I graduated from Radford University in 2018 and started at NRVCS shortly after.

Why did you choose this particular career/job?
I made a transition into PSR after COVID affected our community. Working with PSR has helped me to understand how our community members have been affected by this pandemic. I transitioned from working with children to working with adults and each job has taught me how the world is viewed within different age ranges.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is seeing my clients implement coping strategies on their own and the progress I can see forming within their mindset each day. It’s pretty awesome to see the progress they make in front of me each day.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I’m a huge baseball fan and my son currently plays for Virginia Tech. I love baseball in general, but cheer for the Hokies and Nationals!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
You can pretty much find me spending time with my three dogs (two Pit Bulls and a Maltese/Jack Russel mix) walking with them in the summer, and spending time with my spouse and son. I also love to read crime thrillers.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying you would like to share?
“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” – Harold S. Kushner



LISA STAFFORD
Position: Resident Care Supervisor
Department: Fairview Home
Years at NRVCS: 3 years

Please share a little about your background:
I have lived in Giles County all my life. I have 2 beautiful daughters and a grandson. I have been a nurse 24 yrs and was a CNA for 9 years. I worked for Carilion Family Medicine in Giles for 17 ½ yrs. I have done travel nursing and worked at Pulaski Hospital for a few yrs.           

Why did you choose this particular career/job?
I started working at Fairview part-time and absolutely loved it here and then decided to become a full-time employee. The residents and staff are wonderful to work with.  

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
The amazing people that I get to work with every day. I love my job and everyone that I get to work with.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I love to find new back roads to travel especially in places like North Carolina and Tennessee.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Spending time with my family, especially my grandson.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying you would like to share?
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela



ASHLEY SURBER-TAYLOR
Position: Case Manager
Department: ACT (Assertive Community Treatment)
Years at NRVCS: 9 1/2 years

Please share a little about your background:
I am from Pulaski, Virginia – born and raised – and continue to reside in Pulaski. I received a bachelor’s in Behavioral Sciences from Bluefield College (now Bluefield University) in 2007.

Why did you choose this particular career/job?
I grew up with an uncle that had a disability and observed the barriers that my grandmother continued to experience while trying to care for him.  This made me want to explore and help others find resources available to them.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
Knowing that you have made some type of an impact on someone else’s life.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I own over 50 pair of shoes and most of these are tennis shoes.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoying watching sports, playing volleyball, being in the sun, and spending time with close family and friends.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying you would like to share?
I always try to remember to “Let Go and Let God.”


PREVIOUS “STAFF SPOTLIGHT” POSTS:
– Monday, October 25
– Tuesday, October 26
Wednesday, October 27

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