Awards and Honors

2021 Employees of the Year

Nominated by their peers, Employees of the Year candidates exemplify CJE’s core values of respect, advocacy, compassion, intention, innovation, and accountability. Congratulations to:

Chuck Puchmelter, Adult Day Services (ADS) Transportation Driver

Chuck Puchmelter

Chuck was on the frontlines during the pandemic, providing transportation to the store and medical appointments during the ever-evolving situation. During this time, he also delivered meals to seniors isolated in the community. Our most vulnerable clients knew they could count on Chuck even during tough and uncertain times. Thank you, Chuck, for your devotion to our CJE values! Chuck and his wife, married 43 years, live near Midway. He’s an avid fisherman. His reaction:

“I’ve never won something like this. Anyone can win a raffle, but this...I was speechless! I drove for Home-Delivered Meals during the pandemic, and always wore masks and gloves, took temperatures—anything for safety. If I was taking a new client to ADS, I’d try to break the ice and ask how they were doing. If it was my first day, I know I’d be nervous, so I try to make them feel welcome. I believe in treating people with respect.”


Diana Diaz, Housekeeper at Robineau Residence

Diana Diaz

Diana embodies and enlivens each workday with CJE’s values of Respect, Compassion, and Dignity. Over the years, when snowstorms paralyzed the city, Diana has braved impassable roads to get to work by 6:30 am. She is also the eyes and ears of management, keeping up with the changing needs of residents. Diana takes on extra duties if asked, knowing that a meticulous standard of cleanliness keeps our residents healthy. Diana is most deserving of this award, and we greatly appreciate her commitment to CJE and Robineau residents. Thank you, Diana. Diana, who is the mother of two, reacted to the award:

“I had already received a few nominations in the past, but I had never won. Then out of the blue, I received a phone call from CJE’s President Dan Fagin congratulating me on my selection for this award. It was amazing! I was totally surprised. I will do anything for the people here. I am always there for my residents…they are like my family.”


Terri LoCoco, Payroll Manager

Terri LoCoco

Terri has been dedicated to her position since Day One! It’s a very demanding and important role. Terri runs the Payroll Department solo and always goes above and beyond getting the payroll completed in a timely manner. Accuracy is also extremely important to Terri. There are times Terri would give up her evenings, weekends, and holidays to make sure every staff member is paid on time. Terri is always willing to advise staff regarding changes to deductions, and she stays current with new tax laws that will affect our paychecks. We are so grateful for her dedication and commitment to our financial well-being. Thank you, Terri, for doing an amazing job, 365 days a year. Terri, born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, resides in Gurnee. She has work at CJE for almost 10 years. Her reaction:

“The award is a nice thing to get. It’s a great program. But, you know, I’m dependent on every single employee to do what they do to make it all work. To give you an idea about this job, I scheduled a booster shot recently, but then I realized that I might have a reaction to it. So, I rescheduled my appointment until after payroll because I couldn’t take the chance that I’d be sick. I’ve scheduled my vacations around payroll! It is what it is.”