December Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month Gold Medallion

December Employee of the Month

January 31, 2017

Each month, Melwood recognizes outstanding employees for their exemplary work and dedication. The following Melwood employees were selected as our “December Employees of the Month”:


Direct Support Professional

Julia (Julie ) SmithRecreation Administrative Manager (Nanjemoy). With multiple changes occurring over the recent months at the Recreation Center, Julie has remained positive and professional. She has taken care of all the billing, payroll, invoices, and enrollment for programs and handles any other needs as they arise. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will find it. Julie is willing to step up and take on additional roles, as well as work additional hours. Even on her days off, she is still working. Julie is part of the Community Services roundtable team and gives positive feedback on seeking ways to increase participation for the camp.


Grounds Maintenance

Gabrielle DeLeon, Landscape Worker (HUD).  Gabrielleis a long-time employee with Melwood. He works independently at the HUD contract site and, most of the time, maintains the grounds of the building on his own. He is a hard worker and dedicated employee.


Other Facilities Maintenance Employee/Contract Site Manager

Michelle Gardner, Staff Accountant (Ft Meade). Michele has been with the FGGM Total FacilityManagement Contract at Ft. Meade since July 2011.  She has grown with the contract from the initial start-up, tackling many issues along the way in the Business Office to where the contract is successful today.  Michele is a dedicated, hard-working employee.  She is extremely efficient, organized and accurate in her daily work.  Her knowledge of the early years of the contract have benefitted both Melwood and the US Government.  Michele is highly respected by both her colleagues and the US Government staff at Ft. Meade.   Michele is a valuable asset to this contract.


Custodial Employee

Rita Neal Johnson, Custodial Worker (Secret Service). Rita is a “get up and go” employee. She initiates holiday events and keeps the camaraderie in the department. She puts smiles on employees’ faces and gets them to want to participate in holiday events. Rita has been with Melwood for over 20 years and that alone speaks volumes. Rita is dependable, efficient, and unfailingly punctual. She has a willingness to take on difficult projects and has impressed her fellow coworkers for many years.


Shared Service Employee Nominations

Jake Cheezum, Field Support Technician (Dower House). Jake has been a pleasure to work with here at Melwood.  Jake is always friendly and has proven to be an advocate for the people we serve.  Jake has, on more than one occasion, demonstrated that he will go above and beyond to help those who are having IT issues.  During the holidays, he went to each office to proactively see if he could help; he put out quite a few fires. During the office moves, he kept it all together and made light work of the many and varied tasks.  He also handled change well.  He approaches his work with a smile, and is truly committed to getting the job done.

About Melwood

Melwood is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people with disabilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,500 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit

Media Inquiries

Jewelyn Cosgrove
Vice President of Government and Public Relations
O: 240-846-3952
[email protected]


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