Open Arms Care Awards

It’s a pleasure to reward and recognize the employees who have dedicated themselves to the Open Arms Care mission and vision, and to the clients we serve. We congratulate all of our winners, and invite you to meet just a few of the special people on our team.

See a photo gallery of winners below.

Making a Positive Difference Award

This award is an annual recognition of significant contributions which make a positive difference in the lives of clients we serve.


  • Individual activities and actions which contribute significantly in providing the best possible client support and services
  • Nominee demonstrates cooperation and support for clients and fellow colleagues
  • Uses resources wisely in support of the Open Arms Care mission
  • Actions demonstrate respect for people and preservation of the dignity of those we serve, as well as their colleagues
  • Conducts all activities with integrity


2008 • Lori Howard • Chattanooga

2009 • Tesfa Fesseha • Nashville

2010 • Nikki Miszkiel • Knoxville

2010 • Sharron Dennis • Nashville

2012 • Fran Gibson • Knoxville

2013 • Morgan Carmickel • Knoxville

2014 • Dorothy Ramtahal • Memphis

[]-3889271431_5Crystal Apple Award

The Crystal Apple Award recognizes the person, who through training or role modeling, has made a positive difference in the skill development of colleagues.


  • The scope and nature of the training activity is taken into consideration
  • Preparation and presentation of the training activity
  • Program success
    • Relevancy of training
    • Results of training
    • Effectiveness and The Difference made

Creative Commons “Straights Celebrate” by
GollyGforce is licensed under CC BY 3.0


2008 • Karie Spangler • Chattanooga

2009 • Jamie Kryter • Knoxville

2010 • KaRae Frierson • Nashville

2010 • Tonya Green • Memphis

2012 • Franklin Dunbar • Nashville

2013 • Robin Liner • Chattanooga

Dee Dee Grimes Crystal Apple Award 2014

Dee Dee Grimes, 2014 Crystal Apple Award

2014 • Dee Dee Grimes • Nashville

The Regas Award

Given in memory of Andy Regas, founding member of Open Arms Care, this award recognizes an outstanding Direct Support Professional who has demonstrated empathy and patience, while providing superior coaching and individualized care to those they serve.


  • Proactive in client development and Individual Service Plan
  • Provides active treatment and training
  • Ensures the health, safety and security of clients
  • Regularly demonstrates professionalism in the workplace and in the community
  • Demonstrates care and respect for clients
  • Client advocate


2008 • Cherry Mathe-Roy • Knoxville

2009 • Koren Moore • Chattanooga

2010 • Antonette Gady • Memphis

2011 • Judy Hughes • Chattanooga

2012 • Nancy Stotts • Chattanooga

2013 • Minilik Belay • Nashville

Amanda Robarge Regas 2014 NAS

Amanda Robarge, 2014 Regas Award

2014 • Amanda Robarge • Nashville

Andrew Regas retired from Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company, Georgia Division, after a 38 year career in various engineering activities. Through his association with a physically handicapped Lockheed employee, Mr. Regas became acutely aware of the needs of disabled and disadvantaged persons. As a result, he became very active in community service through his association with Kiwanis International. He also brought attention to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and other community service programs catering to the needs of disadvantaged persons. While serving as President of his Kiwanis club for the 1987-1988 term, he stressed the need for, and directed the club’s activities toward an increased level of community service to disadvantages persons, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Tower, a home for low-income seniors citizens.

His compassion and advocacy are a cornerstone of the direct care standards on which Open Arms Care was founded. We thank him for his powerful gift and insight, which Open Arms Care holds dear these 25 years later.

[]-3958637561_5The Excellence in Nursing Award

This recognition is for the Nursing Professional who has demonstrated empathy and patience while providing superior, individualized care to those they serve.


Creative Commons “bit of bokeh” by
Anthony Kelly is licensed under CC BY 3.0



  • Exhibits excellence in nursing practice
  • Develops and implements personalized plan of care to meet the unique needs of all clients served
  • Excels in demonstrating client-centered care
  • Serves as a role model of professional practice for peers and new staff members
  • Contributes positively to the professional practice environment of Open Arms Care
  • Ensures health, safety and security of clients


2012 • Minnie Tate • Knoxville

2014 • Trudi Brack • Chattanooga


Open Arms Care takes safety for clients and employees very seriously. Our commitment to quality is unwavering. Each year a city operation is recognized for their commitment to providing an environment which fosters standards we highly value.


2002 • Chattanooga/Nashville

2003 • Nashville

2004 • Memphis

2005 • Nashville

2006 • Nashville

2007 • Nashville

2008 • Memphis

2009 • Nashville

2010 • Nashville

2013 • Knoxville

2014 • Nashville

Employee of the Year – Nashville city operations

Alphredo Gatherite 2013 EOY NAS

Alphredo Gatherite, Nashville 2013 Employee of the Year

Wuale Piagbo NAS 2012 EOY cropped

Wuale Piagbo Nashville 2012 Employee of the Year

Employee of the Month – Knoxville city operations

Knoxville EOM January 2014 Mary Parris photo

Mary Parris, January, 2014

Knoxville EOM February 2014 Natalie Peck photo

Natalie Peck, February, 2014

Knoxville EOM March 2014 Ike Dalton photo

Ike Dalton, March, 2014








Knoxville EOM April 2014 Aida Diaz Garcia photo

Aida Diaz Garcia, April, 2014

Knoxville EOM May 2014 Kim Jones photo

Kim Jones, May, 2014

Knoxville EOM June 2014 Shauni Warnack photo

Shauni Warnack, June, 2014








Knoxville EOM July 2014 Jamaal Gary photo

Jamaal Gary, July, 2014

8) AUGUST - Minnie Tate

Minnie Tate, August, 2014

9) SEPT - Cindy Allison

Cindy Allison, September, 2014








10) OCT - Shawannah McClain

Shawannah McClain, October, 2014

11) NOV - Delmar Carroll

Delmar Carroll, November, 2014