Allies Honors Second Graduating Class of the New Horizons Essential Managerial Skills Program

Allies was pleased to honor the second graduating class of the New Horizons Essential Managerial Skills Program at an event at the administrative office on February 10th. Eighteen employees were recognized for their successful completion of the program, which aims to provide Allies’ managers with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively work with Community Support Staff (CSS). The program also supports managers in developing facilitative and influential relationships with these staff members; and promotes their competency in teaching and guiding community support staff in their roles.

The program was spearheaded by Ricky Alfaro, Allies’ Training and Development Specialist, who continues to lead the program. Ricky remarked, “I am so proud of our latest graduates. I am happy to help celebrate all of their hard work in the training sessions and how much they have grown. Not only did they gain valuable information, but I learned from them as well. Together we shared knowledge, experiences and supported each other. I am confident that the program will help them become better and stronger managers, lead staff more effectively, and that in turn will enhance service to those we serve.”

New Horizons is comprised of 12 modules, with each module defining a core set of competencies based on best practices within human services. Each module features an introductory page containing learning objectives and key terms, and a list of skills and tasks to perform. As program participants learn, they role play, demonstrating procedures and how they would manage various situations.

The program covers a wide range of topics that support managers in excelling in their roles, communicating with others and maintaining their own well-being. Topic areas include an introduction to managerial and communication styles, problem-solving, time management, delegation, diversity, documentation, preventing harassment in the workplace, trauma-informed care and more. In addition, modules teach managers about motivation, coping with difficult people and managing work-related stress. 

Jaime White, an Allies’ Day Program Manager, was one of this year’s New Horizons participants. She said, “It is a really fabulous program and I was thrilled to participate. I learned a lot of helpful information and it was awesome to share this experience with other managers. We were able to workshop the various concepts, share common struggles, as well as our solutions and achievements. It will definitely help us to be better managers, which will benefit our staff and the individuals we care for as well.”

Keleen Simpson, a Support Manager in one of Allies’ group homes, also found the program to be a rewarding experience. Keleen said, “The program was very inspiring to me and I looked forward to attending the sessions each week. It was not just a classroom, but also a safe haven for managers to learn, be vulnerable, problem solve, give advice and lend compassion to each other. It really brought staff together and connected us; and gave us a feeling of being part of a family. I am going to recommend the program to my Assistant Managers in the future.”

At the graduation event, Mike Haggerty, Allies’ President and CEO, congratulated all of the participants for taking advantage of the opportunity to continue their education and create a positive culture for themselves and their staff. He said, “You have the power to create a culture within your own working environment, whether that is a group home or day program, that is engaging, motivating and encourages open communication. Your leadership is very important as it positions staff to be successful in the common goal of your program.” Mike also encouraged the graduates to continue to look for opportunities such as these to further their personal and professional growth.

Ricky agreed with these sentiments, saying, “Remember that graduation is not the end, it’s the beginning.” At the event’s conclusion, each graduate received a certificate of completion and then enjoyed a celebratory luncheon.

Visit “Allies NJ” on Facebook to view more photos of our graduates and the event.
Congratulations to the second graduating class of the New Horizons Essential Managerial Skills Program!
Anthony Visco, Support Manager
Darias Williams, Director of Quality Assurance
Diane Matthie, Asst. Director of Residential Supports
Doris Ojukwu, Program Manager
Jaime White, Day Program Manager
Jean Salomon, Support Manager
Jennifer Novak, Program Manager
Kathleen Gai, Support Manager
Keleen Simpson, Support Manager
Kerdija Gai, Support Manager
Margeaux Castiglioni, Support Manager
Mohamed Jalloh, Support Manager
Nicole Maria Romero, Support Manager
Stephanie Coston, Support Manager
Tina Berry, Program Manager
Tina Hammond, Director of Quality Assurance
Trinase Huntington, Director of Quality Assurance
Yolanda Powell, Support Manager

New Horizons graduates


Allies, Inc. is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, meaningful employment and recreational activities to people with special needs in the communities of their choice. To learn more, visit

Contact: Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications, Allies, Inc.
Cell: 609-508-6181