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Phoenix Celebrates Manager Appreciation Week

This week we are taking time to honor our all our managers, and thank them for all they do! Read on to learn more about our first five managers!

Happy Manager Appreciation Week! We are dedicating this week to our amazing managers here at Phoenix. We wouldn’t be able to do this without them leading the way, so to all of you, THANK YOU! As part of the week’s festivities, we’ll be recognizing each of our managers and assistant program directors with a story on social media and the website. Be sure to check back each day for new stories!

Today, we’ll start out with our managers in the south and southeast groups. First up, Karen Miller from Carver House!

Karen Miller - Carver House 

Karen joined Phoenix right before the influx of the pandemic hit in January of 2020—but that hasn’t stopped her from shining here as a Program Manager! She started out as Program Manager at Howard House, but shortly switched over to Carver House and has really made a mark on everyone there!

A Favorite Memory of Karen’s:

Hanging out in the cozy backyard they have at Carver House! “One of Laurel’s favorite summer pastimes has been swinging on the backyard swing. She would independently propel herself outside and slap the cushions to see if they were wet. If they weren’t, she would come find me and ask me to swing. We love making funny faces while we swing and listening to the Beach Boys or Michael Jackson.”

Thank you Karen for all you’ve done to make Carver House a home!

 Ashley Sharp - Douglas House

Ashley is certainly no stranger to Phoenix. Her mom worked here while she was growing up, so it’s no surprise she followed in her footsteps! Ashley has been working for Phoenix since she was just 16 years old, starting out as a volunteer and eventually transitioning to a Direct Support Professional at Douglas House in 2016. Since then, she’s sported other titles at the house: Team Lead and Program Manager. In April of 2021, she took over as Program Manager at the home.

Ashley loves joking around with Bill, one of the individuals at Douglas House. One of her favorite memories is a recent party they had for him at the house. Bill could not stop laughing and everyone had such a great time!

Thank you Ashley for keeping the laughter going at Douglas House!

Carol Metzger - Newport House

Carol could not be more supportive! She will help wherever she is needed, which we are so grateful for! Case in point, Carol has worked at several of our homes over the years and has exceled everywhere she’s been!

She joined Phoenix in 2016 as a Direct Support Professional at Carver House. Over time, she began working at Afton House, eventually, taking over as Program Manager of the home. When we terminated services at our former Afton House, Carol quickly jumped in and joined the Newport team as Program Manager this past fall.

And Carol has already made quite an impression at Newport House! Her and Sarah love rocking out to KQRS. “Music from our generation,” as she puts it. Some of their favorite bands are Journey, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. They rock out to music at least once a week, many times when they are driving in the van together. “We both love of singing at the top of our lungs, and don’t care that everybody looks at us as they pass.”

Thank you Carol sharing your passions with Newport House!

Kim Guderjan - Chaparral House 

If there’s any house who loves a good party, it’s Chaparral House – including Program Manager Kim Guderjan! As one of our longer standing managers, she’s certainly seen a lot in her time here at Phoenix.

Kim first started in 1995 as Program Coordinator at Chaparral House. After a decade, she left the organization, but not for long! She came back a year later and returned right back to where she left off! She became Program Manager of the house in January of 2019—and has been there ever since!

Some of her favorite memories include dancing it up on the dance floor at many Phoenix parties throughout the years. She is notorious for going all out for our Halloween parties, and the folks at Chaparral House love joining her! One of her favorite recent memories was this past May when she brought Angela to Prom through Project Explore! Kim said Angela had so much fun and she NEVER misses a dance!

Thank you Kim for all the fun you bring to Chaparral House!

Asha Christensen - Drexel Court

“I do it all for the guys. They are the reason I am here.” That is Asha motto. 

And Asha does just that when planning out activities for the guys at Drexel House! She joined Phoenix in the 2015 as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Eric’s House, and then worked at Clinton House before becoming Program Manager at Drexel Court in 2019. But she certainly has found her spot here!

A Favorite Memory of Asha’s:

“In 2019, DSP DeMarco and I brought Mike to California. We stayed in Woodland Hills, went to Disneyland, the LA Zoo, drove down Hollywood Boulevard, visited the Santa Monica Pier, and had a bonfire every night. Mike loved going to Benihana’s, In-N-Out Burger, and Jack in the Box...We had so much! We all wore our ears home.”

She’s already planning their next vacation and the guys can not wait! Thank you for bringing these guys on so many adventures, Asha!

Thank you managers for all you are doing!