Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Karlene Marlowe

Central NY DDRO
Karlene Marlowe

POSITION: Social Work Assistant III


Karlene Marlowe is called the “dream” employee and coworker, which was why she was honored as the Central New York DDRO Employee of the Year.

“She is extremely hardworking, responsible, smart and dedicated to the work she does,” says Maria Lemmerman, Developmental Disabilities Program Specialist I, the person who nominated Karlene. “She is bright, capable and energetic.

“Karlene has exceptional communication skills. On a regular basis, she patiently addresses questions from people she supports and families who may be confused and upset regarding services for themselves or their loved ones,” Lemmerman continues. “She is also just as caring when assisting care managers and providers with their questions.”

Lemmerman says Karlene has expertise in many areas, such as creating Excel spreadsheets to help with data collection. She also is the person the team goes to when they have technical issues with their computers and printers. 

“Karlene,” Lemmerman adds, “is also caring of her coworkers. She plays a lead role in planning the birthday luncheons for coworkers having a birthday or celebrating some other happy occasion.”

Karlene is a new mother and although her daughter has had some significant health issues that have kept Karlene out of the office, Lemmerman says Karlene makes juggling a career and motherhood look easy.

“In addition, she recently completed the requirements for her social work license,” Lemmerman continues. “Karlene comes to work every day with a smile on her face, even when we know she has a lot on her plate, and probably had very little sleep the night before.

Lemmerman provides examples of Karlene’s dedication. “When I first started my position in the Regional Office and got to know Karlene as a member of our team, I was immediately amazed by her abilities and work ethic,” says Lemmerman. “Karlene is extremely conscientious. Because I was so new, when she was going out on maternity leave, she took the time to write up extensive and detailed descriptions of her job duties so that we could carry on and keep things going while she was out.

“Karlene always goes above and beyond in her job duties as the Waiver/CCO liaison for the CNY Regional Office,” Lemmerman adds. “This past year she took on a huge Waiver Disenrollment Project for our district that was assigned by Central Office. This involved contacting more than 150 individuals and their families to re-engage them with the waiver services.

“This was an enormous commitment of time and energy,” Lemmerman says. “Karlene didn’t bat an eyelash as she diligently and successfully went to work on this project. With Karlene at the helm, CNY successfully completed the project on time, even given the enormous size of the district.”