Close the Gap Spotlight: Michelle Tinsley

Spotlight on one of our amazing program managers and all the great work she is doing here!

You wouldn’t be able to tell by her demeanor, but Program Manager Michelle Tinsley is crushing her new position as a  Program Manager of our Eric’s and Suburban homes. She’s calm, cool and collected, but likes to challenge herself too.

“I’m loving it. I’m liking the change and making my own schedule,” said Michelle about her new position. “Making sure the residents are getting everything they need.”

Michelle came to Phoenix in 2015 after 15 years of experience in retail and just starting nursing school. “I just needed a change and to do something new,” said Michelle. So, she started as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Eric’s House, working exclusively 1-on-1 with Julie. In 2016, she transferred to our Howard House as House Supervisor, eventually making her way back to Eric’s House when she finished nursing school in 2019.

After graduation, she approached Phoenix with a desire to learn more and do more. Not only did she become Program Manager of one home, but she became Program Manager for two homes! Our Eric and Suburban homes.

Becoming a Manager

 “Michelle has really grown,” Dede Muimba, co-manager of Eric’s House. “When she started as a DSP, she wasn’t sure a supervisor role was what she wanted. But she’s really shining in her role and stepping out of her comfort zone...She’s been very hands-on and ready to learn from the beginning.”

Dede shared a prime example of this. “Last year, we hosted a party for one of the resident’s birthdays. I told her, ‘I want you to take the lead.’ At first, she was a bit hesitant, but the moment I stepped away, she took over. She came out of her bubble, and she made sure the families and residents were taken care of.”

But she didn’t stop there. She continues to challenge herself every day. She’s always picking up shifts at other homes and helping wherever she can. Most recently, she’s also worked at our Foss, Furness, Howard, and Viking homes—all the while being a mother to five children and grandmother to eleven!

“The hardest part about being a manager is making sure you stay on top of annuals and everything else,” said Michelle. “But the most important thing I’ve learned from this position is about good communication. Without it, everything would fall apart.

Her managerial position is only a small fraction of why she loves it here at Phoenix. “It’s the people,” said Michelle about the individuals she supports. “It’s like a family member you haven’t seen in a while – they’re always happy to see you. It’s a warm feeling.” She also contributes her success to the moral support she’s received from Phoenix as an organization. “It’s a good company,” said Michelle. “They will always help you when needed, whether you need someone to talk to or help you financially, they are there.”

As far as the future goes, the sky is the limit for Michelle. She sees herself staying right where she’s at for the foreseeable future. Thank you, Michelle, for all you’ve done for Phoenix! We are so lucky to have you!