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We think of our clients as family. Our staff members are passionate about making a difference and fulfilling our mission. Our staff embodies our core values while meeting the individual needs of each of our clients on a daily basis.
I joined the staff of Echoing Hills February 1, 2002. I was hired as Dietary Director for Echoing Meadows in Athens. I transferred to echoingCONNECTIONS in March of 2015 as Director of Adult Services. I remained over Dietary until Echoing Meadows downsized into smaller group homes in 2017. I also take care of some administrative functions when the administrative assistant is out of office, payroll being the main one.
I have lived in Athens County all of my life, graduated from Ohio University with a BS in Human and Consumer Sciences, with my major being Food Service Management, and a minor in business. When I first applied for the position at the end of 2001 when I saw it in the paper, I had no idea what Echoing Hills was, or the impact it would have on my life. I had never really been around anyone with a disability until I was employed by EHVI. At first I was nervous, like most new employees would be, but I soon felt welcomed into a family of 36 AMAZING people. Every day I learned more about the individuals and what they could do and could accomplish, but I have also learned so much about myself over the years. I have never considered what I do on a daily basis as “work” or a “job”. I love going to work each day as it is never the same…I am always greeted with a smile, “I missed you”, just genuine love and appreciation. I am amazed daily by the accomplishments, the generosity, the simplicity and purity. The love and trust that is given to us by those that we serve is exciting to experience, yet very hard to find the right word to explain.
I have four children, three daughters and a son. Michala, my oldest (21), is a FT DSP at our Harner Group home. She loves her horses and dogs and photography. Hannah, who is 17, is my athletic enthusiast. She started out volunteering for us at echoingCONNECTIONS on her breaks from school and is now a PT DSP at our Altamonte and University Estates group homes. Chloe, who is almost 13, has spent her last summer break volunteering as well. Chloe enjoys drawing, painting and most recently joined the drama program at school. My son, Zachary, is 6 and loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lightening McQueen and Minecraft. The kids and their variety of interests keep my husband, Greg and I very busy.
In my free time, I bake and decorate cakes for friends and family. During one of my internships I worked in a retail deli/bakery setting and taught myself to decorate. I am probably my own toughest critic, but I have several families who keep returning and recommending me, and I have only had to refuse one person’s request since 1997, a wedding very near my son’s due date, that was a risk I was not willing to take on such a huge life event for a couple. I enjoy all types of music and can turn just about any car ride into a concert. I also enjoy catching a movie date and sharing popcorn with my husband if time allows. Our favorite vacation spots are Sandbridge Beach in Virginia, or Gatlinburg, TN area for some time in the mountains. We have hopes of traveling out west one day when time allows us to take all of that in.
When I walked into Echoing Meadows 17 years ago, I never dreamed that my life would have been impacted as it has been. The relationships that I have made over the years, not only with the individuals we serve, but their family members, has been rewarding beyond measure. I am so proud of my girls and the paths that they have taken in their lives. I am honored that those that I work with have opened up their hearts and trusted me and my family to be a part of their lives. And most importantly, my experiences have shown me that nothing is impossible! One of my favorite passages, Matthew 17:20 “For truly, I say to you, If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
© 2017 by Echoing Hills