2020 Spirit of the Community Awards, NAFI Rhode Island, CT, and NY

December 27, 2020

NAFI celebrates the amazing work its employees do for their communities in an awards ceremony each year recognizing those who go above and beyond the call of duty. This year, the ceremony had to be conducted remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

NAFI’s Normative Community Approach creates a culture where people work together to achieve individual and community successes. We have come to think of this phenomenon of working together toward a greater mission as the “Spirit of the Community.”

In addition to the Spirit of the Community honor, awards this year include the Award of Excellence, Rookie of the Year, and the Executive Director’s Choice Award.

Lynn Bishop, Executive Director of NAFI CT, also leads operations in Rhode Island and New York. Winners for the cluster are listed below.

The Spirit of the Community Award recognizes individuals who exemplify this dedication to the greater good of their community, NAFI and beyond, throughout the year.

 2020 Spirit of the Community Award Winners

  • Danielle Kleczkowski: NAFI Connecticut
  • Karen Cox: NAFI Rhode Island
  • Tyler Jansen: NAFI New York
Spirit of the Community Award NAFI
Danielle Kleczkowski, Karen Cox, and Tyler Jansen


The Award of Excellence is presented to someone who serves as an example of superior performance in their agency, having made significant accomplishments during the year. Recipients are recognized for exemplary leadership, innovation, or initiative.

2020 Award of Excellence Winners

2020 Award of Excellence Winners NAFI CT, RI, NY
Giselle Lopez, Katie Eldredge, Greg Williams, and Maggie Zielenski


  • Giselle Lopez: NAFI Connecticut
  • Katie Eldredge: NAFI Connecticut
  • Greg Williams: NAFI Connecticut
  • Maggie Zielenski: NAFI New York
  • Marisely Rodriguez: NAFI New York
  • Joshley Credo: NAFI Rhode Island
  • Tracy Rave: NAFI Rhode Island
2020 Award of Excellence Winners NAFI CT, RI, NY
Marisely Rodriguez, Joshley Credo, and Tracy Rave


The Rookie of the Year award is presented to someone who has worked for the agency for less than one year, but has already made a notable mark on their program, having shown great enthusiasm for their job and a commitment to professional growth.

2020 Rookie of the Year Winners

  • Ninoshka Martinez: NAFI Connecticut
  • Angelina Falzone: NAFI New York
  • Tamami Okano: NAFI Rhode Island
Rookie of the Year Award, NAFI CT, RI, NY
Ninoshka Martinez, Angelina Falzone, and Tamami Okano


Each year, the agency’s Executive Director selects one individual to receive the Executive Director’s Choice Award. It recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact on the organization based both on performance of job responsibilities as well as contributions to the overall mission, goals, and values of NAFI.

2020 Executive Director’s Choice Award Winner
Jennifer Raphael-Guzman

2020 Executive Director’s Choice Award Winner, NAFI CT, RI, NY
Jennifer Raphael-Guzman

Reflecting on the growth and change Jennifer has displayed as a NAFI Rhode Island program director, it is no surprise she is the recipient of the Executive Director’s Choice Award. She exemplifies the term director-driven, knowing when to role-model, when to delegate, and when to make changes in programming when she sees that the team can do better. Jen is positive and calm. Given that each day is different and nothing is for certain, Jen’s team can always rely on the fact that Jen will find the silver lining and be there to find creative solutions. Never once does she take credit or look for a pat on the back, but rather is thankful and appreciative of the hard work she sees her colleagues putting in. The NAFI Rhode Island residential team is lucky to have the benefit of such a committed and driven director to collaborate with. Jen is a true leader for all those she encounters, encouraging everyone to be their best and succeed.


NAFI is a multi service agency that provides programming, consultation and individual life support services to youth, families, and adults in a variety of settings. Core services include foster care, developmental services, residential treatment, and in-home services and consultations.

To learn more, call NAFI NY at (401) 921-8700 or see the website at www.nafiri.org,