I have been involved in information and referral since 1996 when I went to work for Casa de Amigos in Midland, TX. The I&R program we operated in those days was a small program - it "grew up" to become 2-1-1 Texas Permian Basin by 2002. While at Casa, my official title was Assistant Director. I wore many hats, though: Director of I&R Services, Director of Program Services (for the agency), Grant Writer, Media Liaison, Special Event Planner, IT Director (I'm an accidental techie - scary!), and just about anything else that they asked me to do.
I moved in 2006 to the Greater Houston area where I assumed the role of I&R Coordinator with United Way of Greater Houston with the 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. In 2007 (or was it 2008?), my job title changed to I&R Manager - and I added some new duties...but I still kept the old ones too. My responsibilities included overall operations of the 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE call center, supervising key department personnel, training and department communications, grant writer (not nearly as many grants as in my Casa days, though), AIRS Accreditation standards oversight/implementation...and a few other duties I can't remember right now. My position has changed recently. I am now the Manager for Quality Assurance and Training and oversee the resource database also.
I have developed trainings on a wide range of call specialist training topics, management topics, and community collaboration topics. I grew into my training responsibilities as a result of the work that I did at Casa for 10 years & have been honing those skills and learning from other great I&R trainers every day. I have presented at numerous AIRS and local Texas AIRS (TAIRS) conferences over the years. I also provide training to agencies in the Greater Houston area upon request. I write curriculum for not only our center, but for the full 2-1-1 Texas Network. I also develop e-learning training material that we share (as a 2-1-1 Network in Texas) through our e-learning portal (Relias Learning).
I'm not all work (although my family might argue that point). I am a freelance writer in my "spare" time. My work has appeared in print and online publications such as 9-1-1 Magazine, Social Work Today, County (published by the Texas Association of Counties), ePregnancy, Today's Caregiver (www.caregiver.com), the TAIRS member newsletter/website - one time I counted the number of published articles I had out there & I quit counting at 60 when I decided that the number wasn't really meaningful to me. It is more important to me that what I write and is eventually published with my name is helpful to a person or organization and through it they are able to make some type of measurable change in their lives.
I also spend too much time crocheting - you name it & I can crochet it. If there's not a pattern for it, I'll develop one. I've got more yarn in my house than most stores have in inventory.
In late 2016, I joined the unenviable ranks of widow when my husband of almost 24 years passed away. I have three awesome children plus one great teenager we took in during her high school years. The three girls have graduated from high school, gone onto college, gotten jobs and moved out. I have two grandsons who are simply delightful. My youngest child, the only boy, is still at home and in high school. Oddly enough, when the girls left, their pets stayed behind...I have three dogs and a cat who all beg for attention each day. If you think I'm busy at work, you've got to see how I manage at home!