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TVS Programs Receive Highest Mark on 2023 CARF Audit

TVS Programs Receive Highest Mark on 2023 CARF Audit

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TVS recently received a 3-year Accreditation from CARF, International. The accreditation is an indication of TVS’ dedication and commitment to improving the lives of the individuals we serve in our group homes, day programs, and employment services. TVS was reviewed against 1,126 Quality Standards. At that end of the review, there were no recommendations! Now that is something to be proud of!  According to CARF, an accreditation report that identifies no recommendations is achieved in only 3 percent of CARF surveys.

“What an accomplishment,” said Program Director Carla Hill. “This achievement by TVS is the result of many caring and dedicated Direct Support Professionals and Supervisors who believe that helping individuals have the lives they choose is good for the individuals and the community.”

At TVS, CARF evaluates our employment supports, job development, group homes, INTERACT, and Life Skills. The CARF accreditation is an acknowledgement of quality and TVS has been proudly accredited since 1984!

Want to know more about our CARF accreditation?
Click here to view our TVS Programs Monthly Newsletter, In The Loop!

TVS and Dover Foods Expand Capabilities & Capacity with New Machines

TVS and Dover Foods Expand Capabilities & Capacity with New Machines

Party Animal - acrylic on wood uses abstract lines and colors to create a fun and colorful cow sticking out its tongue.

To continue meeting demands of current and new customers, TVS & Dover Foods has expanded capabilities and capacity with new machines and quality equipment.  

TVS has installed and launched a single serve cup line. This exciting new capability allows us to package baking mixes into preformed cups, fill the specified volumes, and apply a heat seal film as a lid. Cup sizes range 2-6oz with up to 40 CPM, and the equipment can be utilized for either gluten-free or conventional products.

Dover Foods has been investing in upgrading machinery and new quality measures. The upgraded machines include a Triangle pillow-bag machine and a Triangle stand-up pouch machine. The stand-up pouches have more than doubled production rates from 10 bags a minute to 50 bags per minute!

A case erector was also installed. It was originally used at TVS but repurposed for Dover. This installation replaces manual labor of packaging cases at the end of the stand-up pouch machine. Quality has also seen a growth in new features. A new video jet lot coding has added new capabilities for printing and multi-lot formats. As well as new metal detectors at the end of both the pillow and stand-up pouch machines. Lastly, SpeeDee branded control check weighers were added to both the Triangle machines to control the weight per fill. They also have the ability to self correct 6-7 per minute.

All the new equipment and upgrades will continue producing Mountain Maid, American Quality Foods,  and other products for TVS and Dover Foods costumers.

Lynn Brewer Celebrates 15 Years at TVS!

Lynn Brewer Celebrates 15 Years at TVS!

“Lynn is a master manager, planner, arranger, and always with the individual in mind. Person-centered is how she lives her life,” says TVS Programs Director Carla Hill. “She treats every individual with dignity and respect, helping everyone she supports to speak for themselves.”

Lynn Brewer is celebrating her 15th anniversary at TVS. She does a little bit of everything as the Residential Coordinator including staffing the group homes, handling any maintenance needs, and making sure services and needs for all the individuals are met including doctor appointments and other necessary engagements.

 “She is so awesome. She takes me to all my appointments and hangs out at the house. We have peppermint tea together,” said resident Laura Newton.

“One of my favorite things actually happened during the pandemic. I would take everyone out one at a time; to go and do whatever they wanted,” reflects Lynn. “The residents were always together, and this gave them a little break from that, and I was able to learn what everyone loved to do, one-on-one.”

“She knows how to find places to have fun,” Carla says with a smile. “From train and boat rides, to musicals, 3D movies, Special Olympic Games, and more – if a resident wants an experience, Lynn does everything she can to find an opportunity.”

There have been around 6 or 7 beach trips over the past few years. Both Lynn and the residents remember the beach trips. “Going to Surf City!” said resident Taylor Love excitedly, when asked what fun things he and Lynn have done. “She is funny. We make funny faces back at each other.”

Lynn has always worked in services. When she was first hired at TVS, she was working with individuals on the production line before being asked to help with residential administration. Lynn took over the Tanjer House Group Home in 2008 and a year later the Fisher Road Group Home was established, later followed by Individual Supported Living. 

“I remember saying, ‘I want to work there one day,’” said Lynn about TVS. “I am thankful and grateful to do what I do and to do it here, with all the support. My favorite part of this job is about being an advocate for the individuals we serve.”

Lynn’s fun and caring nature started with her first job at Disney World while she completed high school and before transferring to Greensboro College to pursue a teaching degree in Special Education. “In my senior year I realized that I didn’t want to teach,” said Lynn. “I realized that when these individuals grow up, they will still need services.”

She added a minor in Social Work before graduating in 1982. It was during this time that she also met her husband, Terry, at choir practice. They have been married for 37 years and have two children.

In college, Lynn worked in the residential field and started at Transylvania Association for Disabled Citizens, Inc (TADC) after moving to Brevard. She continued her career as the Activities Director at College Walk and as the United Cerebral Palsy Manager until she welcomed her first daughter.

At TVS, Lynn is dedicated to, “making their lives normal by helping them live the life they want to lead.”

Being Person-centered is an aspect of all the TVS Programs. “Lynn is the most understanding and thoughtful person, she always truly cares about each of us,” said residential DSP Carolyn Trapp. “She has a way of seeing things outside the box. I’m just so glad she has been with TVS for 15 years. She is the best supervisor ever, and a very good friend.”

When not at TVS, Lynn and Terry are very active in the AVL City Church helping with the music and hospitality. She also enjoys reading books and traveling to see her children in Georgia or Seattle. “I have great friends and a great husband. We try to laugh a lot and survive being married,” laughs Lynn. “It’s a simple life, but a life I love.”

Reflecting on the last 15 years at TVS she says, “I am always amazed by how little I know and how much I am still learning. I hope to stay humble and able to learn.”

 

 

Celebrating Michelle’s 15th Anniversary at TVS

Celebrating Michelle’s 15th Anniversary at TVS

Michelle Ekeanyanwu is celebrating her 15th anniversary at TVS. However, her career at TVS well before 15 years ago, in 1993. “I worked production folding boxes for DuPont before being promoted to a Material Handler,” she reflects. “I started at TVS because I needed flexible hours. I was a stay-at-home mom with children in daycare. It was important to have a job that could fit into my life.”

Michelle came back to TVS again in 2000, once again working in production and as a machine operator. In 2008, Michelle returned briefly to production before being promoted to quality. She said, “Quality lets my abilities shine!”

As a level II Quality Technician, her responsibilities include checking labels, lot codes, pallet movements, and production counts to ensure the product meets and exceeds the customer expectations. “My favorite part of the job is catching the little things that might be otherwise missed,” she said. “I want to be here and do a good job – it feels good.”

“Ever since I have known Michelle, she has been a hard worker. She has great attention to detail and is at the top of all our protocols,” reflects Quality Director Dan Fisher. “She is always asking good questions and bringing up other thought-provoking ideas.”

One of Michelle’s favorite parts of the job is the SQF (Safe, Quality, Food) Sensor Evaluation Panel. At different points throughout the year, Michelle bakes a panel of products such as pancakes or biscuits and bakes another panel of the products with intentional mistakes such as including mushroom powder or adding extra leavening. “The best reaction was when I offered Jeni Welch an intentionally messed up biscuit,” laughs Michelle. “She was so shocked that I was going to give her something bad on purpose.”

As TVS has grown, so has Michelle. Over the past few years, she has focused on Dietary Supplements. “I am proud that I have learned all the quality aspects of encapsulation,” Michelle said. “This line was very different from our other areas and had huge packets of paperwork to fill out. I was really determined to learn and perfect this area.”

She has also obtained numerous certifications to continue advancing her career and expertise.

“I am so proud of Michelle’s hard work and growth, especially in the dietary supplement side of our business,” said Quality Manager John Safi. “In the last two years we have produced over 160 million capsules and 1.5 million jars and canisters of dietary supplements and Michelle has been the lead on overseeing quality inspections for our new automated lines. I look forward to seeing her grow at TVS for many more years.”

Michelle’s world of high quality continues to her home. She recently purchased a home and applies her quality skills to inspect the house. “I am so much happier with how TVS is moving forward with business and employee care – both at TVS and at home,” she said. “It is because of TVS that I was able to purchase a home.”

When not caring for her new home or cutting the grass, Michelle enjoys photography and taking weekend trips with her kids for short getaways.

It’s not always about working at TVS. Michelle reflects on Christmas parties with Santa Claus and bringing her children to other work events.

“I remember a celebration of life for Tamara Meadows years ago,” she says with a smile. “We released balloons in the back field to honor her life, and one of the balloons got caught in a tree. It was able to get itself free, just like Tamara’s dedication and hard work in real life. I remember thinking, ‘What other company would stop the day to celebrate life?’”

Looking into the future, Michelle hopes to see quality have a stronger presence in other departments and to keep perfecting, or home in on, what each product needs.

“My advice after 15 years at TVS is, hang in there. TVS gives you the ability to do more, move jobs, and use your abilities,” Michelle says. “I am very happy to be here.”

TVS Reaches 365 Days of Safety!

TVS Reaches 365 Days of Safety!

For the first time in three years, TVS is celebrating 365 days without a lost time accident! “I just want to give a big thank you to everybody,” said Safety and Security Manager Jackie Compton. “It takes every single person to reach a goal such as this.”

To say thank you, TVS provided all employees with a pizza lunch the first week of May.

“We’ve been under construction in the administration area and out on the work floor for several months,” reflects Compton. “This has created limited walkways and forklift aisles but communication between pedestrians, forklift operators, and construction workers has been incredible.”

Looking ahead, TVS is aiming to surpass their longest safety record of 474 days in July. We look forward to another celebration!

TVS Employee Specialist Katie Pace Retires

TVS Employee Specialist Katie Pace Retires

“To be successful at job development, an Employment Specialist must be able to use skills and experience as well as, have a creative imagination. They must be able to imagine individuals who may not appear to have the capability to perform certain tasks completing those tasks,” said TVS Program Director Carla Hill. “This is Katie’s gift.”

After 8 years at TVS and a lifetime of working for adults with disabilities, Katie Pace has retired! “Katie accepts individuals where they are and gently guided them to where they wanted to be,” reflected Carla.  “She never wants to give up; always asking herself, what can be done to help make this person successful.” Katie is described by coworkers as selfless, humble, loving and accepting.

“The best part of the job has been watching people grow from a ‘child-like’ place to having adult conversations. All because they are being treated as an adult in their professional setting,” said Katie. “I love being able to be a part of their development and growth.”

Her career began in Tucson, Arizona working with adults on Medicaid while pursuing a nursing degree. “This job made me realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life,” reflects Katie. “I changed my major from nursing and didn’t look back!”

Shortly after moving to Brevard in 1987, Katie met a neighbor who worked at TVS. “She talked to me about TVS and what they were doing for adults with disabilities, I thought, ‘I don’t care what the job is, I want to work there.’” Later that year, Katie began her TVS career as a production worker building boxes for DuPont before working in the cafeteria and filling in gaps with one-on-one services after an unexpected death of a fellow employee.

“It was God intervening,” she said. “From buying the home on Cedar Mountain, having a neighbor who worked in the field of my gift, being able to help when a tragedy hit, and finally being pushed to gain my degree.”

In 1989, Katie left TVS to complete her degree in Special Education with a specialization in Learning Disabilities from Western Carolina University. During this time, Katie worked for different group homes around the area to best accommodate the school-work schedules. It was during her education that Katie, “fell in love with the younger generation through teaching.”

She completed her degree and taught in local elementaries schools for three years before opening her own company, Plans For Life. “Plans For Life became one of the best case-management agencies in North Carolina,” said Carla. “I think Katie would say that the most rewarding part was making things better for the individuals she supported.”

Unfortunately, case-management, that had been privatized was moved back to the state operated LME/MCO system and Katie had to close the doors. “We had a group home, direct care services, 300 plus clients, and 40 employees that served Transylvania, Asheville, and Hendersonville,” reflected Katie.

In 2014, she returned to TVS. “TVS was meant to be a part of my life,” she said. “I am so glad that God made TVS such a big part of my world and for its ability to enhance the lives of people who need a helping hand and support. I never want to see the mission change.”

As an Employment Specialist at TVS, Katie would go out and find employment opportunities for individuals, educate the client about the job, help with the interview, and with any monetary needs to get the individuals into work.

“Katie came into my life at the end of my senior year in high school. She was instrumental in her guidance and encouragement to apply for the position I currently have here at TVS,” said TVS Life Skills Direct Support Professional (DSP) Maddy Shannon. “It was the best decision, and it is thanks to her support and encouragement.”

On a final note, Katie said, “You really have to care and respect the people you are working with and for, that’s what makes all the difference in the lives we touch.”