Published: August 23, 2022
Share with us your background and what brought you to Bridgewell.
I am originally from New York, but moved here in 1991. I met a girl in college, chased her to Massachusetts, married her, and we had two children. We live in Reading, MA. I’ve worked in human services since 2007, serving people all over the state, including Western MA, Greater Boston, as well as the Merrimack Valley and the North Shore.
My recent post was working as a site manager in Malden and Salem overseeing community-based day services (CBDS) and employment services for a great provider. But I was presented with this opportunity at Bridgewell, which was the natural next step that I wanted in my career. I feel well prepared, having gained great experience at my previous employers. The Director of Community Engagement role is more operations focused than roles I have held in the past. As a site manager, I was involved in both operations of the site as well as direct care. I am excited about this new challenge and focusing more on the business operations side of things.
What will you do at Bridgewell? How was it the next step in your career?
My position is Director of Community Engagement, working on the team of our Vice President of Day Habilitation and Community Engagement. I manage programs that are community focused, such as CBDS, employment, family support, and recreation. I oversee all of Bridgewell’s CBDS and employment support programs, which consist of three different contracts that we have with the Department of Developmental Services.
My career began on the client-side of human services, working in guardianship services. Since then, I have focused more on direct support work, managing services designed to improve the lives of those we serve.
This progression has given me a unique perspective as I can see the 360-degree view of an individual receiving human services support in Massachusetts and the challenges faced by both sides.
What stood out to you about Bridgewell that made you want to work there?
Human Services is a small industry, you’re aware of other providers and what they do and you generally develop your own feeling and image of what those organizations are like. With my previous employer, who is fantastic, I witnessed us hiring individuals from Bridgewell into that organization, which solidified to me that it was a great organization to work at and vice versa – some people left my previous employer to come to Bridgewell. One of the ways that I got this position was that my supervisor was someone who I had worked with in the past and who felt that I was the right person for this position.
Where do you hope to make an impact in your new role?
Anytime you come into an organization, there’s a grace period to observe how we currently operate. As someone who’s passionate about operations, I’m always trying to figure out how we can be more efficient – how we can work smarter, not harder. There are things that Bridgewell does very well. The programs I oversee specifically are a small portion of what Bridgewell does as a whole in human services. My goal is to grow our CBDS programs, employment programs, family support and recreation programs, so we can serve and support a larger number of individuals with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities.
What are you excited to do in your new role in connection with that?
I’m excited to take on the challenge of getting us to that next level, building the business so we’re able to support more people in the areas we serve. I want to try and build a very strong team approach – to have everybody gain a good
understanding of what the expectations are and what their roles and responsibilities are. And the most challenging thing for any manager or organization in human services is when you find that person who loves what they do, how do you retain them? How do you keep them interested in human services so they stay on board and grow? That’s the challenge, retention.
I’m very excited about building a good team and implementing my management style that caters to more of a work-life balance. When you’re doing your job, you’re working – and when you’re not working, you are enjoying life. If we can work more efficiently (smarter) and effectively, then we can have more time to enjoy ourselves outside of work.