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: 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!