I earned my BS in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I also earned a Graduate Certificate in Supported Employment and School to Work Transition from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I love to continue my learning opportunities by participating in the Duke University Non-Profit Management Studies Program and attend various trainings to stay abreast of best practices in the IDD field.
My original intention was to work with children in the juvenile justice system. However, I took a “temporary” position as a direct care staff when Blue Ridge Homes opened in Swannanoa, NC. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had found my calling in life.
I have held several positions with the company over the last 30 years including Recreation Specialist and Shift Supervisor for residential services. I spent most of my career in Vocational Services, holding various positions along the way. It was in those positions that I began contract procurement activities to provide paid work opportunities to the people served; implemented ICF Waiver Services in the Vocational Department; initiated the first Supported Employment opportunities for Blue Ridge residents; expanded services by opening 3 additional Day Program sites; and obtained CARF Accreditation for the department. I was chosen to take on the title of Chief Operations Officer as part of the 2015 affiliation agreement between the two organizations.
I believe that my best training has come from the individuals I have worked 1:1 with for many years. I love to get to know the people we serve on an individual basis and believe that success in this field really is about relationships and learning about people’s hopes and dreams.
I currently live in Weaverville with my partner and our two children. Together, we provided foster care services for several years to children with and without disabilities. This phase of my life ended with the adoption of our last foster child. Now life is about raising children (including 2 dogs and a cat), attending school functions, being a cheer mom, basketball mom, and sneaking in a good book or a Netflix binge whenever possible.