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Manager Appreciation Week Continues

Join me in thanking two more of our Program Managers, one of our Float Program Managers, and two of our Assistant Program Directors!

Today, we’re going to recognize two more of our managers in the south region, one of our Float Program Managers, and a couple Assistant Program Directors. We’ll start with Program Manager Dede Muimba from Eric’s House!

Dede Muimba - Eric's House & Nursing Team

Dede is the life of the party! Every time Dede is around, you can’t help but laugh. She lights up the room and brings so much energy to any room she  enters! Dede started at Phoenix as a Direct Support Professional at Eric’s House in 2014. No more than 9 months later, she was promoted to Program Manager of the house, and she’s been there ever since! These days, she’s also juggling being a part-time nurse for Phoenix, in addition to her Program Manager role.

Dede is the queen at planning fun activities! She’s helped plan activities for both Eric’s House and companywide. Everything from spa days to concerts to fun trips with the gals from Eric’s House. Even the most mundane of things, she will make it fun! Every year, she helps the gals fundraise so they can take a special trip. In the past, they’ve gone up north, taken a train ride in the fall, and visited South Dakota (pictured).

Not only that, but she’s built phenomenal relationships with the family members! She’s encouraged many family members of Eric’s House to participate in several of our events, including our 5K Made in the Shade Walk. She made such an impact that one of the family members recruits 15-20 other family members each year to participate in this walk with his daughter. And that all started because of Dede’s dedication to the house!

Thank you, Dede, for making Eric’s House such a memorable place to live!

Michelle Tinsley - Foss & Suburban Homes

Michelle’s path to Phoenix certainly was not what she expected, but we are so glad she is here! Michelle came to Phoenix in 2015 after 15 years of experience in retail and just starting nursing school. 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. Not only did she become Program Manager of one home, but she became Program Manager for two homes! Our Eric and Suburban homes. Enjoying the challenge, she recently became Program Manager for Foss House instead, all while continuing to manage Suburban House.

If anyone likes a challenge, it’s Michelle! “Michelle has really grown,” Dede Muimba, co-manager with Michelle when she worked at 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.”

Thank you, Michelle, for being so versatile and helping out wherever you can!

Jen Gottschling - Float Program Manager

We’d like to thank Float Program Manager Jen Gottschling, who’s been helping out at Janet Court and Drexel Court most recently. 

Jen certainly is not a stranger here, as she has played various roles over the years. She joined us in 2016 as a Direct Support Professional at Drexel House, and shortly thereafter, became Program Manager of the home. Since then, she’s also been Program Manager of our former Afton House, Scheduling Coordinator, and now is a Float Program Manager! Not only that, but she’s also been helping fill any open beds we have by responding to inquiries and giving tours.

If there’s a house in need, Jen is there to help! Being a former manager there, Jen has built such a special bond with the guys at Drexel House. Take Mike for example. Jen and Mike love going to Minnesota Twins games, out to dinner at Red Lobster, and going to the zoo – which is not far from Drexel House.

More recently, Jen reminisced about a day she spent with Mike at the house that she’ll always remember! “We were at Drexel House recently sitting on the patio, and it was the first day I had seen him after a long time. As we were sitting there, he said, ‘I love you and missed you!’ and asked me to take a picture. How could I say no to that?” It’s the little moments like these, she’ll always remember!

Thank you, Jen, for all you do and jumping in whenever needed!

Kim Phillips - Assistant Program Director

Now we want to take time to thank one of our Assistant Program Directors, Kim Phillips! When Kim joined The Phoenix Residence 30 years ago this month, little did she know, she’d end up making this her lifelong career! Over time, it became clear this is where she was supposed to be!

Kim joined Phoenix in 1992 as an overnight support professional at English House; she was just 18 years old at the time. Shortly thereafter, another house down the street opened (Centerville) and she jumped at the opportunity to become the House Supervisor. After several years, she became the Program Manager of Centerville House in 2003, managing that home for many years. When the Assistant Program Director (APD) position of the north group opened up in 2019, Kim jumped on board and has been in that position ever since! As an APD, she oversees our Caswell, Centerville, English, and Lydia homes.

Not only is she packed with knowledge from her 30 years of experience, but she’s always there to volunteer at all our fundraising events, especially our Gertens Plant Sale. If there’s something you need, you can be sure Kim will get it done!

As you can imagine, she’s met some pretty incredible people and built countless relationships over the years. One of her favorite memories was attending a baseball game she went to with Aaron from Centerville House many years ago. “It was such a beautiful day,” she recalled. “Aaron loved going to baseball games and bowling before COVID hit.” One of the sweet memories she’ll never forget!

Thank you, Kim, for so many dedicated years of service here at Phoenix!

Agye Agyeman-Prempeh

Finally, we’d like to finish the day by recognizing another one of our Assistant Program Directors (APD), Agye Agyeman-Prempeh! 

Agye is still fairly new to Phoenix, being a part of the wave of APDs we hired this year, but that hasn’t stopped him from succeeding in his new position! Agye joined us in January of 2022 as Assistant Program Director of several of our Community Waiver Sites, including Chaparral, Clinton, Drexel, and Eric’s—of which he supervises these Program Managers.

Despite him only being here a short time, that hasn’t stopped him from getting to know the individuals in the homes. Take for example, Deborah from Clinton House. One day he visited Clinton House recently and performed his routinized weekly check-ins. When he was there, he checked-in on Deborah.

“When I asked to take a photo with her, her face just beamed!” Agye recalled. “Deborah and I have a special and wonderful bond. I believe she really likes the respect I give her, for always being so positive, and showing her I care.”

And we can’t forget about his charisma! His heart is in the right place, and he’s always one of the first to volunteer wherever he can—this was evident at this year’s Russ Douglas Phoenix Golf Classic.

Thank you Agye for stepping right in and leading our Program Managers by example!

Thank you to all for your leadership!