In 2019, PCG launched a quarterly employee recognition program called the EPIC Awards to share the work of employees who exemplify the four tenets that define PCG’s ethos—Entrepreneurial Spirit, Passion, Impact, and Community. This week, we are announcing the recipients of PCG’s EPIC Award in recognition of Community, which reflects winners who consistently strive to be diverse and inclusive, working with and as part of our client communities to serve them wherever they go.
Two winners were selected from a worthy field of nominees, which reflected the strong community ethic of PCG and its employees. The inaugural Community award goes to Dave DeNicolais and to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) group of Stacey Priest, Gabrielle Russ, Kacie Schlegel, and Sarah Sparks. Their work embodies the spirit of the Employee Compact. This Community award exemplifies their integrity and their devotion to the PCG community and the people we serve.
Dave DeNicolais (remote, Raleigh) was nominated for the EPIC Award for Community by Tony Curatola and Tom Kapusta, who cited his long and successful history of community and charity engagement.
The PCG Community
Dave has been an active member of the Health team’s Diversity & Inclusion Council since May 2019, where he has demonstrated a commitment to building equality and equity in the workplace. As a council member, he has contributed to two high-priority areas: supporting general diversity/inclusion training for all and creating a robust diversity/inclusion recruitment strategy. Dave has also been an active participant in PCG Cares.
A Leader at Home
Dave has been a longtime volunteer around his local community. Recently, he has been engaged in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, working with crafters and donors to make over 1000 care packages for local healthcare workers. The Smiling While Sending Hope initiative supports healthcare workers by supplying masks, headbands, stickers, and hand sanitizer—meeting essential needs while also lifting spirits. Dave has utilized his own restaurant (Bella Italia Pizzeria) to assemble and transport these care packages; he also feeds anyone who helps or serves as a frontline worker. The initiative has gained momentum and exceeded its donation and fundraising goals.
“Dave is very community-oriented. I was happy to help when he approached me about promoting the Smiling While Sending Hope initiative to create care packages for local healthcare workers in the Raleigh/Durham area. He is living the PCG Cares mission through this program; I know he will exceed his 1000-package goal!”
“Ever since he joined PCG, Dave has been very enthusiastic about and involved in community-oriented initiatives—and is regularly the first one to jump on a volunteering opportunity with our clients (e.g., TennCare), PCG Cares, Health PA and the D&I Council, and local communities. Fingers crossed for Smiling While Sending Hope!”
Court Appointed Special Advocates
Stacey Priest, Gabrielle Russ, Kacie Schlegel, and Sarah Sparks
The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) group—Stacey Priest (Remote, PA), Gabrielle Russ (Little Rock), Kacie Schlegel (Indianapolis), and Sarah Sparks (Indianapolis)—was nominated by Katie Bright for their tireless work giving back to foster children in their communities.
Work as Advocates
CASAs are trained community volunteers who work for local agencies that provide representation for foster children. These cases involve children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect—children who need extra support from their communities. The primary goal of a CASA is to be a caring volunteer and act as an advocate on behalf of children who are especially in need of help.
Stacey, Gabrielle, Kacie, and Sarah have been working with their local CASA agencies throughout 2019 and 2020. They have worked tirelessly for the children they have been paired with, consistently advocating for their needs and best interests. Each of these winners has taken their personal time to give back to the children and families that PCG serves through our work with state and county child welfare agencies. These children and families have greatly benefited from the care and support of Stacey, Gabrielle, Kacie, and Sarah. Their work has led to incredible successes, including reuniting children with their birth parents and children successfully being adopted. Above all, their work has allowed these children to feel loved and supported by a caring individual when they are unable to return to their homes.
“Stacey, Sarah, Kacie, and Gabrielle have all given their time and energy to support children suffering from the immense trauma of being removed from their parents’ homes. They have supported children, lent a listening ear to foster parents and birth parents, and offered recommendations to child welfare social workers, judges, and attorneys. Their work as CASAs has inspired other staff at PCG to become CASA volunteers in their communities. They have inspired our PCG team to further give back to our communities especially those that we closely work with.”
“The children who receive CASA services need a CASA volunteer who will advocate for their behalf and work to understand what is best for them. This is the only person involved in a case who is tasked exclusively with advocating for the child. Stacey, Sarah, Kacie, and Gabrielle are doing an extraordinary thing by making this connection to these children. It is hard work, emotionally demanding and requires exceptional judgement. I am very proud that these women on our team are giving back to the children in their community in this way.”
Dave and the CASA group’s compassion and support for the people around them show a true commitment to community, making them all worthy EPIC winners. Congratulations to Dave, Stacey, Gabrielle, Kacie, and Sarah on this well-deserved recognition!