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Above & Beyond: Meet Liz Anstead & Ashley Ritzheimer – Staff Members & Volunteers at Access: Supports for Living

It’s no secret that staff across our network go above and beyond providing supports to people across the greater Hudson Valley.

But did you know many members of our staff are also dedicated volunteers, pitching in to support the agency’s mission and the Access: Supports for Living Foundation?

Meet Liz Anstead, Behavioral Clinician for our Developmental Disability programs and Ashley Ritzheimer, Supported Housing Case Manager. These two women are next-level in their commitment to the people they support and the whole agency.

“I love what I do and what Access stands for”.

When Liz isn’t making music (she can play multiple musical instruments including flute, piano, and bass), leading music therapy groups, or pitching in for our Mobile Mental Health and Urgent Care programs, she somehow finds the time to support our Foundation events. After her program was recognized at a past gala event, Liz was so honored to celebrate the people in her program that she volunteered as subsequent galas. And that’s not all, at the request of a staff member she highly respects (Patti Archiere, Events & Advancement Director), she began volunteering at other events, including our annual Picnic in the Park. Whether it’s working registration, driving individuals to these events, or even face-painting, Liz is excited to show up for the organization however she can.

“I love this organization and my coworkers. It’s been an incredible journey”.

A newer employee to Access’ Golden Ridge program, Ashley is a self-proclaimed “Access cheerleader.” Hired in early 2020, Ashley helps support people with significant mental illness and housing insecurity attain and keep housing. In her role, Ashley has been there to celebrate the major achievements of program participants. She was there when one program participant got married and another become a U.S. citizen. And in an effort to avoid getting sucked entirely into her own department, Ashley works hard to contribute to the larger organization. She trains all new Developmental Disabilities program staff in Human Rights each Monday, is a Compliance Ambassador and on the Compliance Department’s Training subcommittee, is participating in this year’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mentorship program, is a member of the Employee Recognition Committee and a member of our C.A.R.E. Committee. A champion of one of her role models, Access’ Senior Associate of Employee Engagement, Rachel Tarr, Ashley jumps into whatever she can to support the people throughout Access that continue to inspire her.

Access is proud of Liz and Ashley, and we thank them for their tremendous dedication to our mission.