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“Just Hanging”…40 Year Employee Betty McClamb Receives Service Recognition at People Inc.


By Bradford Watts, Community Relations Coordinator, People Inc.

When I arrived at the Day Habilitation program on Main Street in Buffalo, I was welcomed and greeted by all and especially Ms. Betty McClamb, whome I affectionately said "Hi Ms. Betty, how are you?" She replied, "I‘m good, just hanging Brad, it’s a beautiful day!"

Ms. McClamb has seen many beautiful days at People Inc. Since 1972, when she completed training with the Department of Mental Health she was hired as a community worker at the agency formally called Services for the Mentally Retard of Erie County (or SMREC). She recalls the office being on the corner of Main and Hertel, and that 13 people worked there as intake specialists. She said, "…at that time we were a referral agency." She recalled that a move to Hertel and Parkside was where the agency really started growing under the direction of Dr. Ted Johnson. Ms. McClamb said,"…we now had a Developmental Activity Center and served six "clients," as they were called back then…I knew this was the place for me when Dr. Johnson conducted a personal interview with all the staff and said something to me that I will never forget. He said, "When everything has been tried, realize you are not a miracle worker, you are a person just like anyone else and those you work with will not always be what you want them to be, but what matters is that you/we accept them /us for who they/we are." This was the turning point that made her passion ignite.

By the time People Inc. was relocated to Central Park Plaza in the 80’s, approximately 20 people were receiving services, and the agency grew, directors changed, more families/individuals began receiving services and the agency continued to grow in employees, services, sites and mission. Ms. McClamb stated, "I have met some interesting, inspiring, courageous and wonderful people." She credits Dr. James M. Boles, current President and CEO’s vision for People Inc., currently serving 10,000 individuals, families and seniors with services all over Western New York.

Over the years, Ms. McClamb not only witnessed the growth of People Inc., but also raised two daughters over that time, got to see Cher (yes, the famous singer) visiting the Parkside/Hertel neighborhood, saw Ella Fitzgerald perform in a benefit show for People Inc. and so many other wonderful memories. Ms. McClamb wants new and older employees to remember, "It’s not about the personal goal that you/employee expect of an individual, but what the individual is willing to achieve as their own personal outcome." She wants everyone to know that she has always felt this incredible energy, as well as a synergy in her job and says, "Patience is the key!"

Ms. McClamb stated that she has retirement on the horizon, and credits many other members of her family that worked 40 years or more at their professions. In conclusion of the interview, Ms. Betty smiles as she so intrinsically does … paused and said, "...Just to see the people, parents, families and employees come in here, grow with skills and progress in so many personal areas of achievement is simply wonderful…I have met some interesting people." If you have or do ever meet "Ms. Betty," I’m sure you will love "just hanging" with her as much as we all have!

Click here to read the article in the Buffalo Criterion.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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