In Flight, Inc. Honors Some Exemplary Employees

RED HOOK – In Flight, Inc., a distinguished non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Hudson Valley & Capital Region, proudly celebrated the outstanding contributions of its employees at its recent annual Holiday Party. The event not only recognized the exceptional dedication of current staff members but also paid heartfelt tribute to two departed colleagues through the presentation of commemorative awards.

The first award, the Star of Excellence Award In Memory of Bonnie Hoeft, was bestowed upon Bill Powers, a devoted facilities worker whose unwavering commitment to excellence embodies the spirit of the late Bonnie Hoeft. As the Chief Financial Officer of In Flight from August 2012 until her passing in May of 2019, Bonnie Hoeft left an indelible mark on the organization with her exceptional leadership, professional integrity, and unwavering support for her colleagues’ growth and success.

Matthew Bateman, CEO of In Flight, expressed his admiration for Bonnie, stating, “Bonnie is one of the people I never want to forget because she got us where we are, so in her honor, we decided to create an award that reflects her caring and unwavering commitment to the organization.” Dr. Sarah Branham, Vice President of Clinical Services, nominated Bill Powers for the award, describing him as “the most delightful person” and a shining example of professional excellence.

The second award, the Heart of a DSP Award, in Memory of Jon Thomas Tolbert who passed in 2023, was presented to Dan Lewis, in recognition of his embodiment of the principles and characteristics exemplified by the late Jon Thomas Tolbert. Jon, a dedicated Direct Support Professional (DSP) at In Flight, exemplified the values of person-centered services, integrity, positive relationships, and active participation in society throughout his tenure.

Jon’s legacy lives on through the award, which honors DSPs who demonstrate a similar commitment to serving others with compassion and dedication. Dr. Branham commended Dan Lewis, the recipient of this year’s award, stating, “Anyone who knows Dan Lewis, knows he will do anything for our guys.”

Upon receiving their awards, both Bill Powers and Dan Lewis expressed heartfelt gratitude to their colleagues and the organization. Bill Powers humbly thanked everyone for the honor, while Dan Lewis acknowledged the individuals supported by In Flight, stating, “My experiences help me to connect with you guys, I appreciate you guys very much, and this award is for you guys.”

The awards ceremony, held at In Flight’s annual Holiday Party, served as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of exemplary individuals within the organization’s community. For more information about the award recipients and to watch the award presentation, please visit

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