The Wood Lane Spotlight is posted every “Featured Friday” on our Facebook, Instagram and website. This is our way of putting the spotlight on the people who make the mission of the Wood County Board of DD possible: Direct Support Professionals, Board employees, and the people we serve!
If you know of a Wood County Board employee or person served who exemplifies our mission through their work or interactions with others in the community, we invite you to complete the nomination form below and send it in to Hilary Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Highlight: Jenny Bailey
Today for our #FeaturedFriday, we’re putting the spotlight on the amazing Jenny Bailey. Jenny recently celebrated her 2nd “workiversary” here at Wood County Board of DD in March and while her official title is “Vehicle Operator”, she is truly a “jack-of-all-trades” on campus. She’ll try to tell you she’s a master-of-none but don’t be fooled, in addition to driving buses, she also subs as a cook in the cafeteria and as an instructor aid in the classrooms as needed and does a fantastic job wherever she is.
Originally hailing from Lima, OH, Jenny grew up in a large family—she has 7 brothers and 4 sisters—and “the best parents a child could ever wish for!”. Her parents also raised 3 of her mom’s siblings. She and her best friend have been friends since they were 5 and still hang out and have lots of fun together. If you talk with Jenny, you’ll quickly learn that her family, especially her children and grandchildren, mean everything to her. She has 4 grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Adrian, Acaiden, and Avaya, and affectionately refers to them as “my grands” because of how grand and precious they are to her. She loves spending time with them and making their time together as fun and memorable as possible.
When she’s not with her grandkids, Jenny enjoys dancing, hanging out with her friends, anything outdoors, and traveling with her sister. Together they have been to Ireland twice, Iceland, Canada, and have driven through or visited 38 of the 50 states in the U.S and hope to see them all. She LOVES music and says it is a great influence in her life. She has a very eclectic taste, but her favorite is rock. A few years ago, she won backstage passes and front row tickets to see her favorite bands Shinedown and Godsmack and took her surprised and very excited granddaughter for her birthday! She says “we got the royal treatment from Shinedown…and it was a night we will never forget!”
When asked what the best part of working at Wood County Board of DD is, Jenny said, “I love the kids that I get to work with and the staff! It is so nice to work at a place that makes you feel valued and appreciated, and I feel that here.” Jenny, we are so grateful for all that you do to help support, empower, and inspire our community!
Staff Highlight: Kristin Fisher
Today on our #FeaturedFriday, we’re putting the spotlight on the one and only Kristin Fisher! Kristin has worked at the Wood County Board of DD for 11 years as an administrative assistant. Kristin works in the school building and loves interacting with the students when they stop in the front office. She has a way of putting others at ease with her friendly demeanor and iconic, “Good morning, Wood Lane!” when answering the phones.
Kristin is involved with Wood Lane activities including AKtion Club, Special Olympics, Venturing Crew, and other recreation outings. An avid animal lover, you may find her volunteering out at the Wood County Humane Society and playing with the pups. Kristin also has three dogs of her own, Copper, Angel, and Roxy. She is an on-the-go kind of girl and has been to some amazing places including Turks and Caicos, and St. Lucia! Even with a stay-at-home order in place, Kristin still doesn’t slow down. She says she has been keeping busy with virtual work meetings and rec activities. She has also been trying to get in some form of exercise each day and connect with friends and co-workers through video chat.
When asked what the best part of working for Wood County Board of DD is, Kristin said, “I love my co-workers and meeting new friends!” Kristin, the feeling is mutual! We love you and are so glad you are a part of our Wood Lane family—it just wouldn’t be the same without you!
DSP of the Month: Barb Wise
Our DSP of the Month is Bard Wise! Many may also recognize her as “Grandma Barb”. For the past 5 years, Barb has worked as a DSP for C&J TenderHeart, an agency provider which provides Homemaker Personal Care supports to many individuals with intense needs.
Grandma Barb has always gone above and beyond to provide exemplary services for individuals served. During the current COVID19 pandemic, Barb has continued to support individuals in their homes even assisting during quarantines. She offers emotional and physical supports and helps alleviate anxieties of the people she serves and her coworkers. This is just one example of the many wonderful gifts Barb shares!
Most days, you will find Barb advocating for individuals at medical and psychiatric appointments and then on the sidelines of Special Olympic events, being everyone’s biggest cheerleader! Barb is not only a team player within the agency, but also when working with the County Board. Barb is the first to rearrange her schedule to attend as many team meetings as possible, and the first to directly reach out to the service coordinators of those she serves if she feels their needs are not being met!
We cannot thank you enough Grandma Barb for everything that you do for the clients you work with! Your love, support, and advocacy surely does not go unnoticed!
Person Served: Brandyn Broshious
It’s time for another #FeaturedFriday, and this week we’re putting the spotlight on…drum roll please…Brandyn Broshious!
Anyone who knows Brandyn know he’s easy-going and loves to have fun. He is a member of AKtion Club and is very active in Wood County Special Olympics Basketball, Volleyball, Flag Football, and Softball. Truly an athlete, Brandyn is also amazing at Zumba! Did you know he’s been doing Zumba for 9 years and aspires to be a Zumba instructor?? I think we’d all enjoy being in your class, Brandyn!
In addition to his busy sports schedule, Brandyn has also been working at All About the Kids in Bowling Green for almost a year now. He assists the teachers when needed and makes sure the facility stays clean. He says the best part about working there is getting to know the kids and playing with them.
In his free time, Brandyn enjoys playing video games, watching T.V., and hanging out with his friends Jordan, Zach, and Elena. During the summer he also likes going on bike rides. Ever the thrill-seeker, Brandyn likes to visit Cedar Point and ride the roller coasters. He’s also a big fan of Halloween and going to the haunted houses at HalloWeekends.
When asked if there’s anything else he’d like to share with the community, Brandyn said, “Go Wildcats!!” Brandyn, we’re so glad you’re a part of the Wood Lane family. You contribute so much positivity and kindness, and we can’t imagine our community without you!!
Person Served: Zach Parcher
If you are looking for a person who has significant goals and knows what it takes to achieve his goals, look no further than Zach Parcher. This week our #FeaturedFriday spotlight is on Zach Parcher.
Not only does Zach have goals, but he is quite motivated to achieve his goals. One major goal that Zach has been working toward is finding a permanent full-time job with benefits. He knows that through hard work and by putting himself out there so people can see that he has what it takes to be a good employee, these efforts will have a positive impact on helping him to achieve this goal.
For the past two years, Zach has been participating in the Wood Lane Apprentice program with the WL Maintenance Department. The program was designed to prepare participants for full time employment. During his time in the program, Zach has acquired skills used by electricians and plumbers. He has learned about snow removal and how to use a snowplow, how to work a chain saw, and to use other tools.
“The skills I have learned I can use for other jobs in the future. I think the apprentice program is a successful program. I have enjoyed it and I have learned a lot”, says Zach. As for his goals for future employment, Zach shared that he would love to be full time in the job that he has now.
Another goal that Zach is working on is improving his cooking skills and his daily living skills. “I am learning how to make my Mom’s homemade Mac and Cheese”. Some of his favorite things to prepare are grilled hamburgers and spaghetti, although he admitted that he does not yet know how to make his Mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce and the store-bought jar version does just fine for now. Additional skills he is learning include how to take care of his money, go grocery shopping, cleaning and doing laundry, and learning to be out on his own.
Zach is a skilled athlete and an avid sports fan. He is active in Special Olympics Sports including Volleyball, Basketball, Softball, Golf, Flag Football and Bowling.
During his spare time, he is a Volunteer at Wood Lane School, enjoys playing golf, hanging out with his friends, and playing video games every once and a while. He also enjoys going to the beach in North Carolina. This year he joined Best Buddies.
Recently Zach strengthened his advocacy skills during his trip to the Ohio Statehouse for DD Advocacy Day. “I got to speak with my legislators Senator Gavarone and Representative Ghanbari and talk with them about important topics. I shared with them the importance of increasing Special Olympics opportunities so that there are more sports and more people participating. We talked about the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities and for people who use a wheelchair. I also told them about the WL Apprentice program and how it is preparing me for employment. I enjoyed that trip to Columbus.”
While Zach knows the importance of taking action to achieve his goals, he also recognizes that his family is a good support system for him. “They are pushing me to be who I can be and they strongly support me in the things that I choose to do and want to do.”
Zach definitely recognizes that goal setting is the cornerstone of personal success. More importantly, he understands that applying hard work to his goals will propel him to achieve his goals. We are grateful for Zach, his leadership, and the positive energy that he contributes to the Wood Lane CommUNITY!
Staff Highlight: Danielle Perkins
This week, our #FeaturedFriday spotlight is on Danielle Perkins. It is said that the things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling. Danielle Perkins recognized at a young age that she had a passion for working with children. Following her dreams meant that becoming an educator was the only profession that made sense for her to pursue.
The WCBDD is grateful that Danielle honored that deep belief and answered the call! Danielle currently serves as the Coordinator of our Early Intervention department. Her professional path began at Bowling Green State University where she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been at WCBDD for nine years and her professional experiences includes opportunities to work with children in classroom, hospital and home- based settings.
“I love the variety that my job brings”, Danielle said reflecting on her favorite part about working at the WCBDD. “I enjoy meeting and working with a variety of children and families each with unique strengths, needs, and experiences. I enjoy the variety of people I work alongside and learn from (co-workers, departments, and agencies). I enjoy the day to day variety of being in the office and out and about in our community…every day is different!”
Danielle lives in Findlay with her husband, Chad, their son Cohen, who is 13, and their daughter Zoe, who is 9. She enjoys watching movies, eating ice cream, and attending sporting and music events with her family and friends. When not working she can be found on the sidelines and in the audience at her children’s events and volunteering with their schools. Danielle serves on the steering committee for Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Findlay Race and she also coaches her daughter’s soccer team.
Danielle brings an incredible variety of attributes and skills to her work, including intelligence, empathy, problem-solving, the delightful way that she interacts with all people, and a “get it done” approach to projects and tasks.
When asked to comment on what she has learned in her current role she said, “My position has taught me the importance of relationships. I have had the privilege of celebrating great successes and firsts with families, as well as sharing in heartbreaks such as the death of a child or a challenging diagnosis. I am fortunate to work with a team that supports each other during all these highs and lows that life and work throw at us.”
The truth is, the children of Wood County and the WCBDD are truly the fortunate ones. Thank you, Danielle, for honoring your passion and sharing your gifts, and for making a difference in people’s lives you touch!
Person Served: Ethan Sayler
This week’s #FeaturedFriday focus is on Ethan Sayler! Ethan, aged 15, is a freshman at BGHS, and is someone who can definitely be described as a fun-loving guy! But did you know that Ethan has a love for animals too? His pets include two guinea pigs, two hermit crabs, and various fish. Makes me wonder if this guy will become a veterinarian when he gets older?!?!
In addition to his pets, Ethan’s family consists of his Mom and Dad, two sisters, Hannah and Grace, and his brother Grant. He and his family are very actively involved with helping and supporting local food pantries.
Right now, much of Ethan’s focus and energy is spent on trying to keep up on his schoolwork. He is a member of 4H and is working on planting seeds to grow for his vegetable garden project.
During his free time, Ethan enjoys fishing, hanging out with his friend Trent, and going on Facebook. His hobbies include Bowling, and he was a member of the Bobcat bowling team. He also plays hockey for the Black Swamp Ice Frogs.
At Wood Lane, Ethan participates in the Recreation program activities and Special Olympics. He is looking forward to joining the Venturing Crew soon. Since he is still in high school, he doesn’t have a job but he does help his neighbors with their yard work, like grass mowing, pulling weeds, and shoveling snow.
Ethan wanted to be sure to give a shout out to Special Olympics: “I would like to say I really miss my coaches Zach and Jacob and give a shout out to all my friends, like Trent, Brandon, Larry, Zach, Dennis, Anne, Kim, George and many other friends I miss”.
Thank you, Ethan, for being the amazing young man that you are, and for all of the FUN, the kindness and the caring that you contribute to the Wood Lane CommUNITY!
Staff Highlight: Kathy Mangas
This week on our #FeaturedFriday, we’re putting the spotlight on Kathy Mangas, a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at Wood Lane School. Kathy got her start at Wood County Board of DD in 1989, originally working in the same position but with Adult Services through Wood Lane Industries and Wood Lane Residential. She moved over to the school 20 years ago, and just recently celebrated her 30th year at Wood County Board of DD!
Kathy and her husband Jeff have been married for almost 27 years and have three children. Benjamin is 22 and graduated from BGSU last year and will be getting married soon! They also have twin daughters, Jenna and Jessica, both freshmen at Ohio State. Kathy and her husband spent a lot of time watching cheerleading events, basketball and gymnastics when their kids were in school and are now adjusting to being “empty nesters”. In her spare time, you may find Kathy reading, spending time outside in the summer, and taking family vacations to her parent’s cottage in Canada.
A dedicated employee, Kathy is known by her co-workers for being reliable and consistent. She is great about knowing her schedule and sticking with it, which is helpful for the kids she works with. She’s also very handy and can problem-solve to successfully fix most equipment, whether it’s a wheelchair wheel or a walker. She’s very knowledgeable about OT and is adept at thinking outside the box to find creative solutions to help the kids she works with reach and exceed their goals.
When asked what her favorite part of working at Wood County Board of DD is, Kathy said, “the best part of working here is the daily interactions I have with students and staff. I enjoy the challenges and rewards each day brings. I feel fortunate to be part of a team that supports and assists our students to be successful every day.”
It’s easy to see that Kathy exemplifies what it means to support, empower, and inspire people and we know how lucky we are to have her!
Staff Highlight: Tricia Peters
This week on our #FeaturedFriday, we’re highlighting Tricia Peters! Tricia will be celebrating 30 years with Wood Co. Board of DD this spring, and throughout her time here she has held several jobs. She got her start teaching individuals daily living skills on the weekends. From there, she worked as a Job Developer/Employment Specialist and then as a Service Coordinator. In November of 2019, she became an Employment Navigator and now works with students as they transition from school to the world of work. Tricia has had an amazing career with us and was honored at the National APSE Convention in Alabama. She also received the Best Practices in Supported Employment Award.
When she’s not working, you may find Tricia and her significant other Jason camping near wineries and golf courses, and spending time at their cottage. Tricia is also very family-oriented and enjoys spending time with her children. Her son Haiden is 26 and has a business of his own, Veteran Tree and Landscape LLC, is married to his wife Erin, and has a white German Shepherd named Opie. Her daughter Aubrey is 22 and a senior marketing major at BGSU. She and her significant other, Tom have Hank, a Black Lab
Tricia contributes so much positivity to Wood County Board of DD, and when asked what the best part of working here was, she answered, “Meeting new people and being able to empower individuals to improve their lives”.
Empowering those we serve is truly something Tricia excels at, as her co-workers said, “Trisha is a great advocate and support for those she serves. She has been with the Board for many years, and her passion, dedication, and experience have been invaluable as we develop our Transition Team.” Tricia, thank you so much for supporting, empowering, and inspiring our community! Be sure to thank Tricia for all that she does when you see her or drop a comment down below!
DSP of the Month: Missy Toney
Our DSP of the Month for March is Missy Toney! Missy has been working with people with disabilities for over 20 years and she is truly a gem. When employed with the county board, she was instrumental in making the Out and Abouters a unique success enabling people who would have otherwise not been able to get into the community, to have meaningful and engaging experiences. She sets standards for individuals receiving Vocational Habilitation and Group Employment so that they are prepared for Community Employment. Recently one of our staff members needed to take an extended leave and Missy stepped up to assist with our CJS crew. She is highly respected by her peers and is quick to help anyone in need. During her own time, she picks up individuals and makes sure that their holidays are filled and worthwhile, often inviting them to her own family functions.
Student Highlight: Drew Tokar
Our #FeaturedFriday this week is the one and only Drew Tokar! Drew is a senior at Wood Lane School and was recently nominated for Student of the Month from the Wood Co. Educational Service Center.
Drew is a good listener and loves music! He always rises to the occasion and demonstrates perseverance when faced with adversity. He is very active and swims, bowls, and participates in challenger baseball. When he’s at school he often helps bring things to the office when needed and enjoys technology and playing games with his classmates on the computer. He also has a blast doing exercise classes in the gym.
He is currently involved with vocational exploration and does custodial work as he prepares for his next steps. He is also busy visiting several other programs he may participate with in the future.
Drew, we are so proud of you and excited to see what the future holds for you! Go Wildcats!
Staff Highlight: Kim Paxton
Woohoo, it’s time for another #FeaturedFriday, and this week we’re putting the spotlight on the one and only Kim Paxton….better known as Kim Possible around here!
Kim has worked at Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities since 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. Throughout her time here she’s learned how to do many different tasks related to her job including creating ISP letters for monthly meetings and putting data into the computer system. She enjoys coming into work each day and is grateful for the support she receives from her co-workers.
Family is important to Kim—she has 3 siblings and 11 nieces and nephews. She’s also very adventurous and has traveled as far as Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world! When she’s not traveling, you may find Kim at a People First or AKtion Club meeting. She is also involved in Special Olympics and Venturing Crew.
Kim is a compassionate employee and friend who is never too busy to ask someone how they’re doing. She remembers the things that are important to you and is always willing to lend a helping hand. When asked what the best part of working at Wood County Board of DD is, she said, “Wood Lane is like a big family. The staff is amazing and very supportive!” She also wanted to be sure to give a shout out to “mama Kendall” for being the “best supervisor!
Kim, you are a part of what makes the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities so wonderful, and we are grateful for the work you do! Thank you for working to better our community and supporting, empowering, and inspiring others.
Staff Highlight: Danielle Galbraith
It’s time for another #FeaturedFriday and today, we’re putting the spotlight on Danielle Galbraith, an amazing employee here at Wood County Board of DD. Danielle just recently celebrated her 10th year at Wood Lane and we are so glad to have her on our team!
Danielle began her career in 2006 as a DSP at WLRS. After working there for a few years, she made the move to Wood County Board of DD in 2009 as a sub employee. A year later she was hired as a full-time Production Specialist and since then has held various positions including Job Coach, Service Coordinator, and most recently a Behavior Support Specialist.
Danielle is married to her best friend, Juston, and together they have four beautiful children Tianna (13), Jayla (8), Jacoby (7), and Jessa (5). Danielle and Juston are very involved in their community softball program and oversee the Elmwood Spring Softball Program for grades 3-8. They also coach one of the teams and put on a two-day winter softball clinic for all Elmwood Elementary and Middle School. That’s not all though! Danielle also recently started coaching volleyball for Elmwood 3rd and 4th graders and is a member of the Village of Wayne’s Welcoming Committee—a committee that organizes family-friendly events in the community.
When asked about the best part of working for Wood County Board of DD, Danielle said, “there are many ‘best parts’ of working here, but one I hope to be remembered for is by positively making a difference in the lives of others! It is a VERY rewarding feeling to see how doing something little can truly make such a positive and influential impact on the people we serve and their families!”
Danielle, you add so much positivity and encouragement to the Wood County Board of DD, and we are grateful for all that you do for the community!
DSP of the Month: Tracy Swartz
Our DSP of the Month for February is Tracy Swartz! Tracy was nominated by Jen Graf (WLRS, Retired) and Tina Wilson (WLRS).
Tracy has worked for WLRS for 33 years and is a great asset to the WLRS team. She goes above and beyond with every individual she works with and has always done all that she can to best support them. She is also incredibly supportive of her co-workers, taking the time to listen when needed and making everyone’s day better. Tracy stands out as a DSP because when all fails, she can be depended on to get what needs to be done, done.
Cindy Minnick, WLRS Support Service Manager, shared “I would like to add that Tracy is also a wonderful resource and trainer for her peers. She makes sure that they have all the information they need when they are learning the job, and this continues after they have completed training. She makes sure they know where and how they can get support. She also makes us laugh and makes sure we have fun at work! I appreciate her very much!”
Outside of work, Tracy likes to read all kinds of books, but she really enjoys self-help books. She also likes to spend time with her neighbors and tend to her garden in the summer. Tracy is always up for spending time with friends, but she does enjoy her solitude.
Tracy, we are so thankful for all the work you do! Your work makes a difference in the lives of so many people within our community, and we appreciate your commitment to supporting, empowering, and inspiring those within Wood County.
Person Served: Nick Woods
This week we’re excited to announce our #FeaturedFriday is…Nick Woods!
Nick is an avid superhero fan, and Batman is one of his favorites. You may have guessed that he loves watching superhero movies, but he also enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, going to the movie theater and working out at home or the BG Community Center.
Nick currently works at the Heritage Inn Nursing Home in Bowling Green as a member of the housekeeping department. He is responsible for cleaning residents’ rooms. Nick loves his job, his coworkers, and interacting with the residents.
Ally, Nick’s service coordinator, describes Nick as a guy who always works to better himself, and consistently identifies goals for himself and works to see them come to fruition. Over the past year, one of these goals has been to get his driver’s license. Nick has worked very diligently towards this goal, practicing and completing many driver’s training hours with Capabilities. It looks like Nick’s hard work and dedication paid off because just a few weeks ago he took his driving exam and passed! We think this is a huge cause for celebration!
Now that he has his license, he is saving money to purchase his own Honda Civic to get around. He is also currently working on his next goal of moving into an apartment with his roommate, Marshal. Nick LOVES dogs of all breeds and sizes, and his long-term goal is to eventually get his own dog and would really love a Husky.
Wow, Nick! We think you are unstoppable when you set your mind to something. Seeing you work towards your goals and achieve them is an inspiration for all of us, and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.
Person Served: Sean Pierce
This week we are highlighting Sean Pierce. Sean is a guy who likes adventure and this trait has motivated him to be very involved with Scouting and Wood Lane’s Venturing Crew 352! Some of his favorite activities with Venturing Crew are camping, geo mapping, and helping wildlife.
Not only is Sean an accomplished Scout, he also lives his life very closely to one of the teachings of Scouting– “Do a good turn daily.” When asked about his goals, Sean said “I’m focusing on having a better life and helping people. Whenever I’m needed, I’ll help!”
Sean also actively participates in the Recreation activities that are offered each month and enjoys going out to eat and seeing plays and musicals. During his spare time, Sean likes to watch tv, go to the movies, play Wii games and help his mom. “I am very social”, says Sean. “I like to spend time with my family and friends”.
Sean is employed at Heritage Corner as a dishwasher. Knowing Sean’s background as a Scout, it is not surprising to learn that he has a strong work ethic. “I am recognized as a hard worker” by my co-workers, says Sean.
Sean’s personal goals include improving his social skills and working on eliminating his self-talk.
You have probably already gathered that Sean is a fine young man with many interests. When asked if there is anything else that he would like to share with the Wood Lane community he said “I’d like to wish everyone a happy day! I’d like everyone to have a better life and to see more people smile”.
Sean, we are so grateful to know you. Thank you for being the consummate Scout that you are– for sharing your cheery smile, providing a helping hand to others, and for your contributions to making the world a better place!
Staff Highlight: Lynne Beard
This week’s Featured Friday person says that her favorite places and things involve water, sand, and a good book. This week we are highlighting the loving, caring and creative Lynne Beard, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Children’s Services. In addition to her affinity for reading, Lynne loves to travel and after returning from an enjoyable trip, she secures their memories by creating a scrapbook with the photos and mementos collected during the trip.
Lynne and her husband Mark have been married 31 years and are raising 3 boys, Christopher (21), Nicholas (20), and Jacob (17). Both Mark and Lynne are from Pemberville, but they have lived in Perrysburg for 21 years. Lynne has a degree in Music Education from BGSU, however with the realization that she is not actually using it, she has been a long-time member of the BGSU University Choral Society and gives her the opportunity to stay connected with her love of music and singing.
Lynne’s family has had a place on Lake Erie for 35 years and now that her sons are older, she and Mark have enjoyed many weekends at the lake exploring new restaurants and entertaining friends and family. Jake, their youngest, keeps she and her husband busy with his participation in the travel lacrosse team for the past 9 years. These travel opportunities have not only allowed them to support and cheer for Jake, but also to visit different places and to connect with many other families who are also traveling with the Lacrosse team. Christopher and Nick are both at University of Toledo following their dreams and spreading their wings. Lynne is looking forward to her next big adventure in June traveling for 2 weeks with her siblings through Europe as they follow the pilgrimage of their ancestors.
Lynne began working at Wood Lane in 2011 as a Bus Aide. After the years when she stayed at home with her kids, she found this new part-time work was quite enjoyable and a great way to ease back into employment. It didn’t take long before she realized how much she loved working with persons served! In 2013, Lynne became a Vehicle Operator and drove a bus for one year before finding a position in the front office at the school where she has supported Special Olympics, Volunteers, Recreation and Community Education. She started in her current position in 2017, working with the students, families at staff at Wood Lane School.
Of her experiences here at the WCBDD, Lynne says “I have met many wonderful co-workers and built relationships with many persons served. I was given the opportunity to be trained as a Good Life Facilitator in 2013 and that experience presented opportunities to work with a wide range of employees throughout the agency. I enjoy coming to work every day because every day is different and has its own challenges. Having had four positions has given me a unique knowledge of the different departments at the WCBDD”.
Working at the WCBDD has taught Lynne many of life’s lessons. “During my 9 years here, I have learned to look at the big picture when a challenge is presented and finding solutions has become one of my favorite parts of this job. I really enjoy working on a team and collaborating on projects. Being able to adapt to change can be very difficult for some people and I have found that the acceptance of change is a strength for me, and I am trying to find ways to help those that struggle with change. My big picture is that there are many blessings to be had at the WCBDD if you open your eyes to seeing them”.
Thank you, Lynne for sharing your love, your vision, your sense of adventure, and for spreading your cheer throughout the agency–The WCBDD is so grateful to have a co-worker as kind and gracious as you!
Staff Highlight: Terrie Hunt
Today we’re putting the spotlight on Terrie Hunt, a dedicated and caring employee here at Wood County Board of DD! Terrie got her start in the DD field in March of 1994 at Sunshine Children’s home. Originally, she was planning to work there only until she could start and manage her own daycare. However, she quickly fell in love with the DD field, and still remembers telling her husband after two weeks at Sunshine that this is what she was going to do for the rest of her life.
She then began working at Wood County Board in 1996 as a sub working at the industries. She’s held many positions since then including vehicle aid, 3rd shift direct care staff, Medical Appointment Coordinator, and Employment Specialist. In 2016, she began her current position as a Service Coordinator.
Terrie and her husband Eric have been married for almost 26 years and have two beautiful children, Dylan, who is 24, and Genna, who is 23. They are a very adventurous family and every 2-3 years they enjoy planning and taking a family vacation together. They also love to ride their motorcycles, and as Terrie said, “we love to ride our Harley’s as often as we can!” When she’s not riding her motorcycle, you may find Terrie taking her dog Scarlett for long walks at Slippery Elm Trail or Side Cut Park.
Terrie is truly person-centered, and if you talk with her it quickly becomes clear that she takes great pride in her work and genuinely cares about those she supports as a Service Coordinator. When asked what the best part of working at Wood Lane is, Terrie said, “I love everything about working at the County Board as a Service Coordinator. I feel like my co-workers are an extension of my family and can truly say that I love what I do.”
Terrie has been an amazing asset to Wood County Board of DD in the 24 years she’s been here, and we are truly grateful to call her one of our own! She works diligently and is a shining example of what it looks like to support, empower, and inspire others. If you see Terrie, be sure to give her a big thanks for all that she does or leave a comment below!
DSP of the Month: Erin Houston
Can you believe it’s already time for the first Featured Friday of 2020?! It’s our honor to announce Erin Houston from ViaQuest Day and Employment Services as the DSP of the Month for January 2020!
Erin was nominated by Becky Balser from ViaQuest. Erin is always smiling and ensures the best support is provided for all of the people we serve. She excels at building meaningful relationships and takes the time to get to know each person on an individual, personal level. She is always so calm, cool, and collected, even when the day may not be. She doesn’t let anything get to her and if it does, she doesn’t show it.
Erin goes above and beyond and is a great asset to ViaQuest and most importantly to the ones we serve here daily. As Dylan put it, “Erin is very nice and helps me, she is like my work mom! It’s evident that she makes a difference in the lives of those she serves as well as her co-workers, and we’re so lucky to have a DSP like her in Wood County!
Staff Highlight: Jan Hehl
It’s time for another Featured Friday!
A warm, familiar and friendly face at Wood Lane School is Jan Hehl, the Lead Cook. Daily you can find her planning, preparing and serving delicious and nutritional meals—both breakfast and lunch– for our students. If you have ever watched Jan in the kitchen, you know all of her food is seasoned with love.
Cooking is a fundamental part of life for Jan as she has a strong affinity for cooking and feeding people. “Food brings people together and makes them feel good”. A joyous occasion for Jan includes cooking for and spending time with her family, especially her three grandchildren. “My eight-year-old granddaughter shares my passion for cooking, and we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together!”
One of Jan’s co-workers remembers fondly eating tortellini soup that was prepared by Jan. “It was amazing”, says Kim Vaughn. “Making soups is one of her specialties and she can make something delicious with whatever is in the house”.
Jan has worked at the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities for nineteen years. She worked for several years as a Job Coach for CES before taking her current position. Jan feels very fortunate to have a job that she loves, and she enjoys coming to work every day. She feels proud to be a part of such an awesome team of co-workers that care so passionately about individuals served, and that are so supportive of each other.
Jan has proven herself to be dedicated to her work and is a strong advocate for the students. Her job is influenced by strict regulations and she makes sure to adhere to them, all while planning and creating food that meets the students’ nutritional needs and that they enjoy eating.
Jan says of her time working here, “I have learned more from my years working for the WCBDD than anything else I have ever done. I have many great memories and stories to share!” We are grateful to Jan for her kind and caring ways and her efforts to support, empower and inspire the students of Wood Lane School.
Staff Highlight: Katie Ackenberger
This week on our Featured Friday we’re spotlighting…drumroll please…Katie Akenberger!
Katie is a service coordinator and has worked here since 2017. She got her start with us back in 2006 when she was an undergrad at BGSU. She completed some field experience hours at both Wood Lane School and Work Leads to Independence (formerly Wood Lane Industries). She began her career as an educator, and two years ago decided to apply for a position with the Wood County Board of DD because she’d experienced such joy as a college student throughout her volunteer experiences.
Katie and her husband have two dogs, Rosie and Sully, and a spunky 7-year old niece who brings a lot of energy and joy to their family. Katie’s dream is to live on a farm someday and have all kinds of animals. In her free time, you might find Katie watching Friends on Netflix, or shopping at TJ Maxx, which she is “mildly obsessed” with. She also loves reading, watching crime TV and spending time with family. She could eat Mexican food any day of the week and lives for her mid-day Coke Zero.
Katie is dedicated to the work she does, and consistently strives to ensure the people on her caseload receive the very best support and encouragement she can give. When asked what the best part of working at the Wood County Board of DD is, Katie said, “The leadership, team work and enthusiasm throughout the agency makes coming to work fun!”.
Katie you are truly an asset to the Wood County Board of DD team, and we appreciate how hard you work to support, empower, and inspire our community! Be sure to let Katie know how awesome she is when you see her, or in the comments below!
DSP of the Month: Belinda Ayala
Belinda Ayala has been a Certified Independent Provider since October 2018 and works with several people in Wood County. Belinda, or better known to the people she works with as Bo, has been nominated for DSP of the Month by Denise Jagielski, SSA.
Belinda goes above and beyond in everything that she does. She genuinely cares about the health and welfare of the people that she serves. Belinda makes herself available to people she works with and has even been known to be in touch with them on Holidays! Belinda maintains good contact with the SSAs, providing follow up and updates on the progress of outcomes. Belinda will do things with the people she serves outside of her scheduled time. Anything that is asked of Belinda, it can be certain she will get the job done! Great Job Belinda! It is a pleasure to work with Belinda and thank you for all you do!!
Julie stated, “I really like Bo and she’s fun to be around. She helps me learn how to cook and clean”, while Tara said, “I like Ms. Bo because she’s reliable, shows up on time, and does what she says she will do. She is really fun to work with too.”
“Tara and I are extremely GRATEFUL to have a very kind, caring, and sincere care giver in our lives.With everything she has to do within her own family, Belinda ALWAYS finds time to go the extra mile ?? This is not just a job for her, this is a way of life to her.” Crystal, Parent.
Staff Highlight: Cheryl Schroeder
We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! There sure is a lot to be thankful for, and today on our Featured Friday we’re spotlighting Cheryl Schroeder, a compassionate and dedicated employee here at the Wood County Board of DD.
Cheryl Schroeder is an Investigative Agent and has worked here for 14 years. She got her start in the DD field while attending BGSU when she worked as a DSP for Wood Lane Residential Services and later for Wood Lane Industries.
Cheryl and her husband Tom have a beautiful family that includes their daughter Audrey, an adorable Springer Spaniel named Halli, 5 barn cats and 6 chickens! Cheryl is adventurous and enjoys camping, kayaking, playing cards, and watching football with her family. She also likes trying new recipes along with her tried and true ones.
Another fun fact about Cheryl: Growing up, she participated in FFA and showed sheep, hogs, and raised chickens for a school project. This is something she has in common with her niece and nephew, who now also raise animals. She explained one of her favorite things to do is watch them show their livestock, saying “their dedication amazes me, and I love watching their progress and hearing about the awesome friendships and memories they have made!”
Cheryl is passionate about empowering the people we serve to live their lives to the fullest, and works hard to ensure that they’re happy, healthy, and well supported. It’s clear that she genuinely cares about the people she works with and loves what she does. When asked what the best part of working here is, Cheryl said, “Making a difference in the lives of not only the individuals we serve but also their support system. I know that we encourage and support individuals to reach their goals, but they truly inspire me with their commitment and dedication!”
We are so grateful for all that you do to support the people we serve, Cheryl! If you see her around town, be sure to give her a big thank you for supporting, empowering, and inspiring our community!
Person Served: Mike Nuzum
If you know Mike, you know he’s a great leader and a sports fanatic. He works hard to accomplish his goals, and he’s reached several lately that we’re excited to celebrate!
One goal Mike has worked towards over the past year is getting a good job. He’s excited to share that he reached this goal and started a new job at Best Buy in Findlay stocking shelves and loading trucks. (Way to go, Mike!!) In addition to his new job, Mike was also recently elected as President for AKtion Club and led his first meeting this past week.
Mike is always on the go, but in his free time, he enjoys playing Xbox and spending time with his fiancé Heather. He likes going out to eat with his friends, especially if it’s at Bdubs! He is active in Special Olympics and recently went to state with his flag football team, where they got second place. Now he’s looking forward to basketball season starting up.
Mike is also a member of Best Buddies and has been matched with his peer buddy Nick for the past two years. He’s grateful for their friendship, and always has fun hanging out with Nick. Mike, we think you’re INCREDIBLE and we are so proud of all your accomplishments!
Staff Spotlight: Holly Hernandez
We’re putting the spotlight on our very own Holly Hernandaz! Holly has worked at Wood County Board of DD for over 13 years as an Occupational Therapist with Early Intervention and Wood Lane School. Fun fact: she got her start here in 2006, the day after her mom retired from 25 years of being a Wood Lane employee!
In her free time, Holly enjoys a good game of golf, although she admits, “the best way to describe my skills would be ‘wildly inconsistent’!” Her husband and her love to travel, and in recent years they’ve spent quite a bit of time exploring New England since their son now lives in Connecticut.
Throughout her time at Wood County Board of DD Holly has consistently gone above and beyond to support the children and families she works with. She knows the students she works with well, and always challenges them to take the next step, giving them the supports that encourage independence. The best part of the job for Holly is the relationships, challenges, and rewards that come with working with the children and families served by Wood County Board of DD. She also likes that there is always something new to learn!
Holly is truly an invaluable team member, and we are so grateful for all that she does! If you see Holly, be sure to thank her for supporting, empowering, and inspiring our Wood County community!
DSP of the Month: Amijo Mayberry
Amijo has worked with Wood Lane Residential Services (WLRS) for 35+ years. She began working for WLRS after a friend recommended she try it while she was working in a nursing home. Throughout the years, Amijo has formed lifelong friendships with the gentlemen she works with and with their families and guardians. She always has their best interest at heart and is an incredible advocate for them. Amijo is very knowledgeable and helpful. Amijo thinks outside of the box and gives many different ways that one could get something accomplished. This gift has been key in helping the people she serves learn new things and provides them with new opportunities. Amijo works many hours to help the home run smoothly and train new staff. It is amazing to watch her “work”, although according to Amijo she isn’t finished yet. She is truly an asset to WLRS! Amijo will be greatly missed throughout the organization when she does decide to retire!