Thursday, May 31, 2018

Remembering Clara

In late April, we said goodbye to a dear friend who lived at Imagine!’s Foothills Group Home.

Clara Genner, 94, died peacefully in her sleep, and her roommates and care givers at Foothills put together some thoughts to reflect on Clara’s well lived life.

Tavio (roommate): I miss her. She’ll be good up in heaven with God. She is up there with the angels and probably thinking about us. 

Aneta (roommate): I miss her. She always seemed to care about everybody else.

Barbara (roommate): She was a very good person. 

Sarah (care giver): It was truly amazing for me to see all of the people who cared about and loved Clara come together at the end of her life to support and honor her. She impacted so many lives. One of my favorite memories of Clara was when she told me about peeling potatoes at the restaurant she used to work at. I’d never heard her talk about this before. She was the first person with a disability to be hired by a Longmont employer, which is written on an old newspaper clipping in her bedroom. What an inspiration! I miss her curiosity about others. She always asked me about my living situation and my family by saying: “do you live by yourself?” and “do you have a mommy and daddy?”. She warmed my heart when she would call me “honey” and tell me that she loved me. She had such a big heart and so much love to share with this world. She was always so strong and stayed that way all the way to the end. She will be dearly missed. Rest in peace Clara “Darling Rose” Genner.

Chelsea (care giver): She was loved by all seven of her roommates. She’s been with Imagine! for a long time. She loved dogs. She loved asking people about their dogs, kittens, and children. Her favorite color was pink. She was really active in her church, she believed in God and Jesus. She was a lovely human, feisty, genuine. She was just so deeply cared about, and she so deeply cared about other people.

We gathered as a house for a "Celebration of Clara’s Life." We shared fond memories from the most joyous to hard times as well. We shared what Clara has taught us about life. We all laughed when we remembered how thoroughly she enjoyed her gummy fruit snacks. All staff agreed that Clara has taught us about patience. She taught us the importance of speaking your mind and saying exactly what it is that you want/need. She was a teacher to us all.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero - LeAnne Woodward

Congratulations to LeAnne Woodward on being selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero!

LeAnne has been with Imagine! for 13 years. Supervisors and managers have the following to say about her:

“LeAnne cares about those living on their own who have significant difficulties, and especially advocates well for those clients.”

“Imagine! Case Management has benefitted for having LeAnne for many years now.”

“Around the holidays last year, LeAnne posted a really uplifting blurb on Facebook about why she is a Case Manager and how much it made her day to drive around and drop Holiday Giving gifts off to her families. It was inspiring and it gave readers a look into the life of a Case Manager.” 

Way to go, LeAnne!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Innovations Super Hero of the Month - Chris Black

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Chris Black, who is a Residential Counselor at the Foothills Group Home.

Chris was nominated by his supervisor and assistant supervisor, who wrote:

We’d like to nominate Chris Black for the Super Hero of the Month. He’s our newest staff member, and a stellar addition to the team. Throughout the training process he’s been diligent in letting me know his training hours, and keeping me updated on where he is with all of the required training. He stepped in right off the bat with a person-centered approach, and a clear compassion for serving people. He has asked brilliant questions throughout the training process, and continues to bring details most people don’t mention, as well as suggestions to my and the assistant supervisor's attention. We are so lucky to have him here as part of our team, and I feel like he will make a huge impact on the quality of life of the residents, the flow of the house, and even the administrative side of it all. I’d really like him to be aware of our appreciation of his hard work so far and be recognized for it. 

 Additionally, he works hard and is able to prioritize tasks efficiently at Foothills. There is a lot to learn and he is definitely a fast learner! I’m impressed by his skills at working with challenging behaviors. He is naturally person-centered, positive, curious, and a great employee. I enjoy working with him, and I hope he sticks around for a long time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Happy Feet!

Participants of Imagine!’s Out & About adult program set a goal to walk a 5k, and spent all spring training for it. Every Thursday morning, the activity was catered to training and preparing for the race.

On the final Thursday before race day, they dedicated the activity to hosting a car wash and raising funds to pay for the registration fees. Bringing in over $350, their fundraising efforts paid for nearly the full cost.

Race day was a blast! It was a rainy and muddy morning, but everyone accomplished their goal. The event was full of smiles, hard work, rain jackets, pizza, slimy mud, and lots of fun! Congratulations to all the racers for crossing the finish line!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Imagine! Artists' Work on Display at ArtWalk Longmont

You are invited to join talented artists from Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source program on Saturday, May 19, during ArtWalk Longmont, a free arts festival in downtown Longmont. Join them if you can!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Submitted by Britt McWilliams

Recently, Imagine!’s LDG members had the opportunity to attend the WILD Summit, along with the Human Resources Department and a few other Imagine! employees. Here, we heard from several keynote speakers and panelists about how women can break through (two words) barriers and perceptions that prevent them from moving into leadership roles in organizations.

Among the afternoon speakers was Vernice “Flygirl” Armour; America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. Vernice’s inspiring and action packed speech emboldened her audience to reframe our thoughts about obstacles in our personal and professional lives. She noted that when she asks elementary-school-aged children if they thought they could perform a task well, nearly all hands would shoot up. This is not the case with adults that she presents to. She then asked the audience, “When did not knowing how become a game stopper?”

Elaborating on earlier presenters’ key points, Vernice declared that everything we’ve experienced in the past has an application in the present. “The detour is the path”. Obstacles are going to happen. It’s how we navigate them that matters.

Vernice encouraged her audience to stop asking ourselves “what if?” and instead “get gutsy” by making bold moves outside of our comfort zones. She later tested whether we were listening by offering up one copy of her book, From Zero to Breakthrough. When asked if we wanted a copy, nearly everyone in the audience raised their hands. Some people even stood up out of their chairs, but the one person who walked up to the stage and grabbed the book was the grand prize winner.

So, ask yourselves what Vernice asked her audience. What is your why? Why are you here? What is your personal incentive, your “million dollars”? What gutsy moves can you make in order to overcome your own obstacles?

Imagine! employees getting gutsy with Vernice “Flygirl” Armour

Food for thought: 

  • Women in the United States earn almost 60% of undergraduate degrees and 60% of Master’s degrees. 
  • Women earn 38% of MBAs and 48% of specialized Master’s degrees 
  • Women account for 47% of the U.S. labor force and 49% of the college-educated workforce
  • Women hold almost 52% of professional level jobs 
Yet, despite these numbers: 

  • Women make up only 25% of executive level and senior-level officials and managers, hold only 20% of board seats, and are less than 6% of CEOs.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CU Students Support Imagine!

Thanks to University of Colorado Leadership Studies Minor students Mackenzie Arena, Soren Fuchs, Lindsey Allen, Brooke Bower, and Jonah Yaden for their hard work on a Leadership Challenge Project to help support Imagine!’s Out & About department in their efforts to promote active community involvement for people who experience cognitive and developmental disabilities. The presented to the Out & About team last Friday, and their fresh insight and thoughtful suggestions were very well received.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Imagine! Early Intervention Rockstar

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize So Rosenblum as this month’s Rockstar.

After the retirement of a longtime Imagine! employee, So has really stepped up to the plate in taking over the position. She has done a great job at navigating the admin team and having this transition be as smooth as possible. Her calm demeanor sets an example for everyone. She has truly been a Rock Star!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Imagine! Leadership Development Group Update

Submitted by Jeff Rodarti

Last month, we attended the second class in the Great Leaders Series at the Mountain States Employers Council with Jan Baller. Jan introduced us to the DiSC assessment, which explores four distinct work styles: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.

Dominance- direct, results-oriented, firm, strong-willed, forceful

Influence- outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, lively

Steadiness- even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, tactful

Conscientiousness- analytical, reserved, precise, private, systematic[1]

Each style is equally valuable, and many people’s work behaviors are a blend of the four styles. And different circumstances, such as life experiences and education can impact and influence one’s own work style. Essentially, DiSC is a tool that helps us to better understand our own work style as well as how we relate to the work styles of others. Prior to the class, we each took a survey regarding our behavior in the workplace and in team settings. Jan provided us each with our own personalized reports based on our survey responses, detailing our DiSC profiles.

My profile, according to the assessment, happens to be a blend of steadiness and influence (Si). Without publicly psychoanalyzing myself, I found that I resonated with much of the narrative behind the Si style and priorities: loyalty, working behind the scenes, sincerity, optimism, and teamwork. 

Moreover, the assessment included an analysis of the motivators and stressors for each of our work styles as well as how individuals with different styles tend to interact with one another. In my case, motivators include collaboration, making a positive difference in others’ lives, initiating change, and getting people involved. Stressors include saying no, dealing with angry folks, and moderating what is often a quick work pace. As a group, the LDG found that we represented each of the four styles. 

Team cohesion is, in part, defined by how well each team members works with one another. The DiSC assessment provides a language for understanding that dynamic. Of course, no assessment or tool can ever fully capture our individual behaviors and styles. Still, the DiSC is a useful tool, helping us to practice more awareness around our own behaviors and priorities, how our styles work with others, and where our limitations may be found.

[1] Everything DiSC Workplace, John Wiley, 2012