Archive for August, 2008
Representing Therap isn’t a hard job to do. In the case of the Re-Inventing Quality Conference, held this week in the beautiful harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, people come to my “office” not because they want a piece of chocolate or a squeegee ball…nope…people visit the Therap exhibit to actually learn more about what we do and how we can help their business get better.
This week, Warren and I spent a few days attending sessions and talking to A LOT of people. Some of our Therap family members stopped by to say hello or…to seek out Justin. Some of these folks included; Nina (OR); Camille (FL), Brett (OR), Larry (KY), and a bunch of Delaware folks.
Warren and Kari Amidon, Education and Foundation Director with ANCOR, facilitated a simulation game that was a great success. Way to go you two!
A HUGE Congratulations to Nancy Weiss for her excellent work to pull off an enormous conference that totaled over 700 people. What a terrific job. This is why the lady is one of my mentors. She is just an amazing leader.
Next up for this Therapite, some serious Kansas time. I’ll be at my office in SE Kansas until the end of August and then meet up with my friend and colleague, Brett Turner and the Adult Learning Systems of Oregon team to do a bit of training. I’ll also get a bit of R&R with Molly Turner over the holiday. Should be fun!
Next week the boys begin school. This summer has flown by. Hunt begins high school and Connor becomes a 6th grader. Gee whiz, its crazy how time flies!
Enjoy the pics. This was a great experience.
BIG kuddos to Nancy Weiss and the Leadership Institute planning committee for an awesome day of organizational planning with Elizabeth Vasquez and the evening dinner cruise around the Baltimore Harbor. What a terrific day.
High points for this Therapite…well…there are a few:
1) So many of my Institute friends arrived and we got to hang out all afternoon and into the evening.
2) The “Giff” arrived! (That’s all that needs to be said)
3) Sue Swenson, Nancy Weiss, Lynne Seagle, Patty Scott, Steve Eidelman.
4) The crabcakes on the dinner cruise
6) All of the special participation during our skit. Brett, you were the best Pat Sajak I could have asked for. Wanda..your sound effects were vavoom! Cinda, Carol, and Phil, you were the greatest game show contestants that the Institute has ever had! David…wow, you can hold a cue card! Oh…Jason…you made the best “space” ever!
(Hey Lynne, thanks for the dance!)
I’m here at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel for the National Leadership Institute Reunion today. Tomorrow begins the Re-Inventing Quality Conference where Therap has taken the distinctive position as the primary sponsor of the event.
I got into Baltimore a day early in order to assist with preparations and found that I was sharing the hotel with hundreds of people here for the 2008 Otakon Festival.
Imagine a Star Wars convention with Asian Anime characters and you have a perfect picture of what is happening in downtown Baltimore with literally hundreds of young people. It is AWESOME. They are having a ball and a few of them let me join in the fun yesterday.
Brett and Cindy (two of my Leadership Alumni siblings) arrived later in the day and we ventured over to the harbor for a nice seafood dinner.
Check out these cool costumes. Most of the kids make them themselves. I was just in awe of the details that went into their characters. Super COOL.
Okay, its official, this Therapite turned 41…or… I enjoyed the 2nd anniversary of my 39th birthday. I have yet to decide the direction I’m taking with this.
Either way, it was a very special day filled with phone calls, cards, and wishes from all the people in my life that love me. It was AWESOME!
A few stand-outs that I want to acknowledge…Connor, that orange M&M was the cutest card I’ve ever seen. Hunt, what you wrote in your card was the sweetest thing a mom could read. Allison, the screaming banshee card had me rolling. Brian, your card, well…hummmm…it was cute! Susan, thanks for the early morning B-day call. Amy, you are a fabulous sister and one of my best friends. Thanks for the adorable new charm for my bracelet. Dad and Kate, your love and support means so much to me. Thank you for my card and my special gift.
Next party…well, in a matter of hours I’ll meet up with my bud Brett, my other hero Giff, Nancy, Patty, Lynn, Steve and so many other friends for more celebrating in Baltimore, MD. just before the Re-Inventing Quality Conference.
I had the pleasure of spending my day with one of our Missouri agencies this week. Jhan Hurn (Executive Director) and his fabulous team, took Tuesday to expand their knowledge of Therap applications to include Training Management and Person Centered Support Planning (ISP). We also took some time to do a bit of Provider Administration work.
A big Thank You to my Therap sis – Allison – for joining us during the morning session so that we could pick her brain about TMS set-up.
Jahn and Brian, thank you for all of your Therap enthusiasm! Its awesome to work with agencies that KNOW quality and seek all opportunities to be outstanding service providers. I look forward to working with both of you!
Want to Know about This Therap User?
Community Support Services of Missouri has been serving persons with disabilities since 1978. Their organization has a rich history of making opportunities happen!
CSS services are tailored to the specific needs of the people they support. The agency strives to provide the type and amount of service each individual needs to be as independent as possible.
Their vision – to “provide opportunities for individual growth and acceptance of all people. A great community awaits where all are encouraged and celebrated in their uniqueness. In partnership
with families, guardians, friends and funding agencies, we empower persons to live life to their fullest expectations.”
I was going to title this blog “Kansas Girl Takes a Bite of the Big Apple and LOVES it!” but I thought that was too long. Its true, I took on NYC, at least a few streets of Manhattan and I was memorized. This city is all that everyone who visits, says that it is.
The moment I stepped off the train into Grand Central Station and walked out onto the street I could feel this city’s energy. Nothing quite compares and despite being a person of…well… not so few words, I can’t even describe it.
I had several new friends along with me. Nina (Arc of Washington State), Barry (Arc of Louisiana), Tony..of course (Arc of California), Tim (Arc of San Francisco), Cindy (Arc of Minnesota), and Ron (Arc of Texas and a National ARC Board member).
We took to the city with excitement and a desire to find a diner called Stages Deli. We were told “that” was the place to eat. A landmark in Manhattan for the past 70 years, we were determined to find it and experience the magic of the joint.
Along the way I made a few friends…of course. I met a purse vendor (got a great deal on a new purse…just in time for my B-day this Friday!!) I met some NYC cops, and a weird guy with a really odd hairdo (yeah I know, as if I wouldn’t meet weird people in NYC). Honestly, most everyone looked like a Kansan to me. The atmosphere was a whole lot more busy than any place I’ve ever been. People don’t stop moving… not for a second. But it was so COOL!
Enjoy my pics. I took a whole lot of them. These are just a few.
Barry strikes a pose like the Sagittarius
Barry Meyer waits with me for the train
This is for Kara, she loves the critters
Made it to Stages Deli. Can you believe how big the Cheesecake is?
Yep, got IN the STREET for this shot. Isn’t it AWESOME!
From the moment we drove into the Bronx, until I eased my way out of that stadium… for the last time in my life … this was all about history. Its an incredible thing to experience a moment that you KNOW will never happen again.
Yankee Stadium had its first inaugural game in 1923, playing against Hunter’s favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. There are names that are as recognized as any in history who have graced the Yankees dugout and taken a run across that field. Greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, and Reggie Jackson. To sit in my bleacher seat, munching on my Cracker Jacks and taking in that history, simply can’t be described. It was just a moment in my life that I won’t forget.
Our NCE Leadership crew had a great time, despite the Yanks losing to the Angels in the 9th inning after a game of double zeros all night long. There were a few good plays and I got to spend the evening with Derek Jeter and A-Rod so, not a loss at all in my book.
Enjoy my pics of the game and our ARC crew. We all had a great time!
A-Rod up to bat
This year’s National Conference of Executives of The Arc is shaping up to be a very dynamic conversation about the future of our industry and coming together on what needs to be happening in our communities.
The focus of the conference is Change, Challenge and Opportunity on the Horizon and the place where its coming together is the Crown Plaza Hotel in White Plains, NY.
I’ve been thrilled with the warm response that Therap has received. We have several new and old friends here. One such friend, and Leadership Institute sister, Sadie Spada and Arc of the Adirondacks Executive Director, Les Parker, spent quite a bit of time with me discussing the attributes of Therap and infrastructure challenges that agencies face. (FYI Cass, we do miss you, but hey, someone has to run the agency when Les and Sadie are hangin’ with me in NY). I promise to get to the Adirondacks before the first deep freeze.
I’ve had some fun conversations with the California ARCs. These guys are terrific to “network” with. We found (well, Tim Hornbecker, ED of the Arc of San Francisco, is actually a regular) a really cool joint called Nick’s. We had a few beverages, enjoyed a lot of funny stories and it’s been a pleasure making new west coast friends.
Gene Barnes, President of the Arc of the Ozarks, and a neighbor of mine over in Missouri, is here with Phillip Fellwock, Director of their Renovations Program. Phil is presenting on Community-Based approaches to serving individuals with dual diagnoses. He has done some amazing work with people that having significant challenges.
I also got to hear from Beth Mount. She is well respected in the state of New York and across the country for her work on developing REAL Person Centered Support Plans. Beth has helped countless agencies to modify conditions in order to generate innovation and lead to deep changes in people’s lives despite incredible physical and cognitive challenges.
A big thank you to my friend, Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of the Arc of Massachusetts, for all of the positive support of Therap and connecting me with so many ARC directors. You are awesome!
Okay…Gotta go catch up with the my ARC friends to see the Yankees beat the Angels and find an autographed baseball I promised to bring back home.
More to come….
Its all about baby-steps…as I flew into the Westchester airport in White Plains, New York yesterday I can only say that if you ever want to get a grasp of what real wealth is, fly over this county. Yes, even Hillary Clinton lives here. It is truly a sight to behold. There are houses that my entire town could fit inside.
For a Kansas girl I have to say that I am still taking in all of the beauty of this area. The trees are abundant and White Plains, NY is clean and simply an elegant community.
Currently I am about 30 miles from “the city”. I’ll get to experience that tonight when I go with the California Arc contingent to the Yankees game.
More to come!
One of the best parts of my job is working with diverse agencies across our nation helping them to improve on the quality of their services through the use of Therap. Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation, located in Wichita, KS. is one agency that is always looking for ways to set the bar higher.
CPRF, has been a Therap customer since 2007. Sue Elmer and her merry band of Therap users spent the morning expanding their knowledge of the Therap applications.
Up next for this enthusiastic group…how to write awesome Person Centered Support plans using Therap. I’ll see you and your team in August Miss Sue!