ResCare Community Living Employee Stories
The ResCare Community Living team encourages and supports the professional development of our employees. We are dedicated to helping employees develop their skills and reach their career goals. Many of our organization’s leaders started out as a caregiver and have grown their careers with us. You can too!
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David Folkner, Community Living Regional President, began his career as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) where he worked as a provider for members of the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) community. He obtained his Master of Social Work degree and served Regional Vice President, Regional Director, and Executive Director for ResCare. Now he is responsible for implementing and managing policies, procedures, strategic planning, quality assurance, and financial initiatives for community living services.
“As I have moved further away from a direct support role to having a broader scope of responsibility, my activities have changed to meeting with local, state and national politicians to secure the appropriate funding and remove barriers to ensuring those we serve have access to quality mental health services,” said David. “COVID-19 has increased the reliance on telehealth services for those we support to access qualified mental health practitioners. The impact is tremendously important to those living in rural or remote settings where there are little to no available services.”
“When I began my career as a DSP, I saw the men I was working with struggle with significant psychiatric challenges,” noted David. “In part due to my advocacy, I witnessed the transformation of these young men as they started receiving the appropriate mental health services. I told myself that I would not forget these experiences as I advanced in my career.”
Anita Lewis, Regional HR Manager, joined the company in 2008 as a as a direct support professional (DSP). She’s the third of four sisters and the only one without documented special needs. She was a born caregiver who learned true empathy and tolerance from watching her mother. Additionally, she spent several summers throughout high school volunteering in special needs classrooms. Growing up with special needs sisters combined with her volunteer work taught her what was truly important – compassion, caring, and patience.
Anita has witnessed firsthand how poorly people with disabilities can be treated. She wanted to be part of ensuring the caregivers hired would treat those entrusted to our care with the respect and dignity they deserve. While she had little control over that as a DSP, she worked to become a manager, first of one home shortly after joining the company, then of several homes six months after that. That growth motivated her to take another step forward, toward human resources (HR). In her HR role, she was able to be part of the screening and placement process. She had the kind of firsthand direct care experience that is valuable to share with those interested in working with our population. Anita was also in a great position to give a real-life overview of the required tasks to candidates. She had experience working with many of our individuals, so she had insight into placing new hires appropriately.
After four years in that role, Anita was given the opportunity to expand her impact by stepping into the position she holds today. “I am challenged and motivated daily in my role and continually strive to leave my legacy so that the individuals we support receive the quality care they deserve,” she said.
Yvonne Sympson, Regional Business Office Manager, joined ResCare Community Living in 2010 as a Direct Support Professional in San Luis Obispo, CA. After deciding to pursue a career in nursing, she earned a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification. She was a CNA for about two years, and then was promoted to a CNA Supervisor. Over the years, Yvonne continued to progress her career as she became an Office Coordinator and then Business Manager.
After five years as a Business Manager, Yvonne had a need to relocate from California to Indiana for personal reasons. She was given an opportunity to continue her career with ResCare Community Living as a remote Business Office Manager and then was promoted to Regional Business Office Manager supporting the state of Indiana. She was a great fit for the role given her illustrated success in stepping up to challenges and eagerness to grow and learn new things.
Yvonne stated of her success with ResCare Community Living, “When I started with ResCare, it was never my intent to make this my career path or to stay with ResCare. I really didn’t know what opportunities could arise while working here. I wanted a job that allowed me to learn the nursing side and be able to provide for my family. What I found was amazing people, both residents and coworkers, who made my experience so much more than I could have imagined. I was given opportunities to grow and thanks to ResCare, my career path did change, but for so much more than I thought was possible.”
Tim Wiley, Executive Director of our Community Living operation in Logan, West Virginia, began working with the company in 2011 as a Behavior Support Professional and then a Service Coordinator.
He left the company in 2014 and spent three years working with the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities before returning to the company at the end of 2016 as a Program Manager. He was promoted to his current role in October 2019.
Originally from Chapmanville, West Virginia, Tim graduated from Marshall University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He earned a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Health Policy in 2014 from American Public University.
Katelyn Poff, Director of Nursing in Princeton, West Virginia, started her career with ResCare Community Living as a Direct Support Professional in February 2015, working doubles on the weekends. She switched sites and accepted a full-time second shift position while attending licensed practical nurse (LPN) school during the daytime.
After getting her license, she was offered an Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) LPN position at ResCare, which she was excited to accept and loved. She stayed in that position for three years, while attending an LPN to registered nursing (RN) program. Upon completing the RN program, she became an RN Supervisor in Princeton. Katelyn worked diligently to support the ICF program as RN Supervisor while completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the same time.
Katelyn was offered the Director of Nursing (DON) position in 2020. There, she has continued to do an outstanding job and is a true example of Leadership in Princeton!
She was inspired to originally accept a position with ResCare because she grew up with an older sister who is on the autism spectrum. Katelyn shared that her sister is “the light of my life, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. We had to help take care of her and work to make sure she had everything she needed.” Katelyn continued, “One day, when my sister requires full-time around-the-clock services, ResCare will be the agency of choice for my family. I could not see my sister in anyone else’s care.”
Maranda Sampson began her career with ResCare as a Direct Support Professional (DSP), working her way up to her current role as the Regional Director of Clinical Practice for several states. Maranda lends most of her support to West Virginia, where she travels around to support operations that need assistance. She has filled in as Director of Nursing, Case Manager, DSP, and countless other roles along the way, remaining focused on fixing issues, not just finding them. She offers her expertise as a nurse, teacher, and leader, all while performing her other duties as a director.
Maranda states that her inspiration comes from “the drive and commitment of those around me to provide quality services to the individuals that we support.”
Amie Ellis, Program Manager, joined ResCare Community Living in January 2000 as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). In 2007, she was promoted to Residential Manager, and then continued to grow her career as Area Supervisor before becoming a Program Manager in 2020.
Amie builds strong bonds with her team by getting to know them. She learns their strengths and empowers them to build on those assets, motivating them to perform to their absolute best. Amie’s people-focused environment fosters growth, and she identifies direct support professionals who demonstrate leadership qualities and helps them advance their careers.
Les Parker, Regional Vice President, began his career with ResCare Community Living in 2003 as a Case Manager. Over the years, Les has advanced his career with the company taking on roles as a Program Manager, Executive Director, Regional Director, and now a Regional Vice President.
Les attributes his success to the support the company provides through professional development, training, tools, and resources. He shared that ResCare Community Living “supports career growth of individuals who demonstrate the ability and desire to grow with the organization. Due to the systems and structure at the company, by design all positions build upon themselves, therefore allowing one to be a well-rounded leader and more capable of serving our colleagues in a consistent fashion.”
Les says his favorite part of working here is “working with dedicated and passionate professionals who are focused on helping our clients live their best life striving to be the best in the business.”
Jessica Russell, Human Resource Generalist, started working with ResCare Community Living in 1999 as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). In addition to a DSP, Jessica has also been a training coordinator, quality manager, and now, HR Generalist.
In her current role, Jessica supports operations in Marion, Muncie, and Greencastle, IN. She develops relationships with employees and the people we support and offers an open door to them for any concerns. She follows processes and develops systems to improve consistency.
Jessica is passionate about the services we provide and is willing to do what it takes to work as a team. She builds the culture within her operation by developing employees and focusing on recruiting and retention while holding people accountable to allow the people we support to receive the best quality of care.
Monique Lopez, Executive Director, started with ResCare Community Living as a Director Support Professional (DSP) in 2012. As a DSP, she realized what a positive impact she had on the people she served. Monique was determined to grow and make a difference in the lives of people living with disabilities.
In 2018, she obtained her B.A. in Behavioral Science at Cal State Dominguez Hills while working full-time as a Certified Nursing Assistant at ResCare’s Hylond Home. She then went on to pursue a graduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at National University.
Monique has supported different operations through various roles within the company, including Certified Nursing Assistant, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional, and Program Manager, all of which have prepared her to excel in her current role. Her career came full circle when she was promoted to Executive Director of the ResCare CA-Central Coast operation where she started. She has developed residential homes in her area and is expanding the operation, creating services and supports for those in need.
Monique’s passion to advocate for those without a voice extends outside of work, as she is currently in the process of becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children. Monique is a strong advocate for personal and professional growth and is honored to continue to lead within a company that shares her vision.
Samantha Vidalez, Case Manager, began her career with ResCare Community living in 2013 as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). During her career with the company, she has held several roles including DSP Lead, Program Manager, and Case Manager.
Samantha demonstrates the company’s LEGACY values. She does an amazing job leading the Program Coordinators towards 100% compliance with what? in the San Angelo/El Paso, TX, operation. She is a natural-born leader who has vast knowledge in all aspects of Community Living services.
Samantha is a driven leader who is always working to ensure the team excels while maintaining compliance with policies, procedures and regulations. Through her experience in all departments, Samantha supports the program by offering invaluable ideas to facilitate processes along with coordinating for smart and efficient results. Because of her passion and dedication, the El Paso program will continue expanding while providing quality services.
Chundra Montgomery, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP), began her career with ResCare Community Living in 2006 as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). In 2020, a month after earning a bachelor’s degree, she transitioned into a QIDP position. Though she served as a valuable DSP for many years, she will continue to support our mission of helping people live their best life as she advances her career with us.
Chundra demonstrates a positive attitude with an eagerness to gain as much knowledge as possible so she can carry out her duties with a purpose and assist the men and women in her caseload. Her leadership skills foster a team approach where she and her team work together so individuals achieve their goals.
According to the State Director, “What stands out about Chundra is her desire to grow and do an exceptional job, sometimes asking if her work was satisfactory or if she could have done something better. That shows she takes a lot of pride in what she does and is a display of our LEGACY culture.”