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Phoenix Celebrates Manager Appreciation Week

This week we are taking time to honor our Program Managers, by recognizing each of them with a story on our website and social media. Read on to learn more about our first four managers.

Happy Manager Appreciation Week! This week we are so excited to celebrate our managers and all they do for Phoenix! Today we'll start the week by highlighting the managers from our Afton, Carver, Caswell, and Centerville homes. But be sure to check back for the others every day this week! Thank you to all our managers for everything you do for Phoenix!! We could not do this without you!!

Carol Metzger — Afton House

Carol has had quite the task of taking on management at Afton House, which is our newest Phoenix program. Carol stepped in less than two years after we acquired Afton House, and the changes and impact she has had on the house is immeasurable. She joined Phoenix in 2016 as a DSP at Carver House, over time transitioned over to a DSP at Afton House, and finally took over as Program Manager in 2020.

Carol brings such a light and joy to the house whenever she walks in the door; there is no disputing the love that her individuals have for her. There is also no way to measure the love that Carol has for her residents. She has helped one individual start her own art business by helping her sell her paintings, she has worked endless hours to support the health of a very fragile member of the Afton crew, and has supported the dreams and goals for all who live in the home.

“Carol truly leads with her heart and you can feel it in everything that she does at the home,” said Assistant Program Director Kaylee Larson. “I remember first approaching Carol about applying for the manager position at Afton and bugging her nonstop about it. I couldn't be happier that our efforts turned into the love and joy you feel at Afton every time you walk in.”

Afton is a house full of busy bodies, and between all her commitments, Carol still finds the time to ensure that all the needs and wants of the home are met. To Carol, without you, Afton would not be the same and for that, we give you all our appreciation! Thank you for all you do Carol!

Karen Miller — Carver House

Karen hasn't been here long, but she's already made her mark here at Phoenix! She was hired as the Program Manager at Howard House just over a year and a half ago, but has since then switched over to Program Manager at Carver and has already made such an impact on the program.

Carver House is known as our Autism home, and Karen has transformed that program in such a short amount of time. Before Karen took over, we had started developing our Autism program, but Karen came in and brought it to a whole new level! She and her husband James worked tirelessly at securing many of the items used in the room, including the personalized sensory wall panels and many storage options. She even donated some of the items out of the goodness of her heart. Now, the Sensory Room is a comfortable place for everyone to enjoy for years to come. To read more about the transformation of the Sensory Room, visit this story on our website.  

Karen works really hard at making Carver House feel like home for those who live there, while also encouraging them to have fun. She brightened up the backyard with plants, and even did a fun photoshoot with the individuals who live at Carver House! She’s always coming up with fun new ideas, and she excels at keeping the leadership team updated with weekly updates and photos from the week.

Thank you Karen for all you’re doing at Carver House!

Tiffany Wright — Caswell House

Tiffany joined Caswell House in 2016 as a DSP and a few years later, became Program Manager of the house in 2019. As soon as Tiffany stepped into the Program Manager role, she was very eager to participate in Phoenix activities. She signed the individuals up for Music Therapy with the other houses and attended our annual Made in the Shade 5K walk—all within her first couple of months.

She's built excellent relationships with her staff and the individuals she supports along the way. “She has a good rapport with her staff...they’re her friends, but she’s also not afraid to call them out on something they may need to work on,” said Assistant Program Director Kim Phillips. For example, just the other day, she invited one of her coworkers over to a nearby park to barbecue just out of the goodness of her heart.

Tiffany’s dedication to Phoenix does not go unnoticed. “She is so real and one of the most heartfelt people I know,” said Kim. "She always tries to take care of things on her own, but she’s not afraid to ask questions or ask for clarification when she needs it. She’s an excellent problem solver."

Thank you for everything you do Tiffany!

Sandy Gustafson — Centerville House

Sandy has stepped into the position of Program Manager at Centerville House so well. She joined Phoenix in 2017 as a DSP at Centerville, and eventually transitioned into Program Manager of the home in 2020.

She is excellent at making the house feel like a home. Over the last year, she has organized the home to a whole other level. She’s picked out pictures to hang on the wall, organized the spices and canned goods on racks, and made the house way more functional and welcoming. “All the little additions really cheer up the home,” said Assistant Program Director Kim Phillips.

Not only that, but she’s built excellent relationships with the other homes. On any random day, you can see her bringing doughnuts over or sending care packages to a nearby home. “That’s just who she is,” said Kim Phillips. “She’s not one to share about all the good things she’s doing; she just does it out of the goodness of her heart.”

We appreciate everything you do, Sandy! Thank you!