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The Celebration Continues

Today we get to honor the managers from our Chaparral, Furness, and Newport homes.

Thank you to all our managers for everything you do for Phoenix! We could not do this without you!

Kim Guderjan — Chaparral House

Kim was meant to work here at Phoenix! As one of our longer-standing Program Managers, she certainly has made a   name for herself at Chaparral House. Kim first started in 1995 as Program Coordinator at Chaparral House. After over 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 knew she was called to do this work.

Kim has built such a strong bond with the guys at Chaparral House, they’re almost like family to her! She always comes up with so many fun and unique ideas tailored to their tastes, whether that be going to the pumpkin patch or a new arts and craft project. And she isn’t afraid to join David on the dance floor! Kim’s happy demeanor is so contagious, you can’t help but smile when she’s around! 

“I want to tell you about my wonderful manager and great boss Kim...Not only is she doing her office duties, but she also is doing direct care with our guys during her office time,” said Direct Support Professional Laurie Case. “When she does have time off, like on the weekends, she is still there for the families and is available if we need help. If the staff could, we would give her a gold medal for all of her achievements. Way to go Kim you are the best!”

Thank you, Kim, for everything you do!

Sarah Boone — Newport House

Sarah has been with Phoenix for years. She joined us in 2014 as a DSP at Drexel House, then transitioned to the House Supervisor at Furness House, and most recently landed the Program Manager position at Newport House in 2019.

Thanks to her hard work and determination, she has climbed the ladder here to become a successful manager. Sarah has been a gift for Newport House and has worked countless hours working direct care, filling in on overnights as needed, coordinating staff training, managing appointments, and so much more. Sarah wears many hats at Newport House and has really taken the time and the effort to make the house feel like a home for the individuals who live at Newport.

“There is never a time when I walk into the house and don't laugh; the energy at the home is so positive and contagious,” said Assistant Program Director Kaylee Larson. “Sarah and her staff have done wonders to work through the pandemic and the workforce crisis, and I'm not sure where we would be without her.”

Sarah is moving on to a new adventure and will be very missed at the end of the month, but she will always have a place here with her Phoenix family.

Thank you endlessly, Sarah, for all your hard work!

Lisa Plaster — Furness House

Lisa is fairly new to Phoenix, joining us in the summer of 2020, but she’s already got good experience under her belt! She started as a DSP at Ludden House, quickly transitioning into the Program Manager position at Ludden. Most recently, she’s been working as Program Manager at Furness House, but she has a special place in her heart for Ludden House.

“I saw the fire in Lisa!” said Assistant Program Director Shawna Zechmeister. “She was a go getter...She seeks out answers for her questions, she is a great team player and also does very well on her own, she takes initiative as needed, and wears her heart on her sleeve.”

Lisa is a very strong advocate for the individuals and treats everyone as an individual. Her famous words that she tells all staff and individuals, "The world is your oyster, you can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do."  Lisa gives everyone tools for their tool belt to do the best job they can.

Lisa has acknowledged staff on Mother’s Day and other holidays. She makes every holiday special for the individuals. She has helped them advocate and participate in the Madd Hatters group. Lisa has also come in on her days off to assure that an individual gets to go to his parent’s house. She even offered to take an individual home from another site outside of Furness and Ludden. These are just a few things Lisa has done for the individuals and the staff, but the list is endless!

Lisa currently is helping at Furness House, but has a special place in her heart for the Ludden House. She has always said she will do whatever needs to be done for the individuals that live in the Phoenix homes.  

Thank you for all you do Lisa! We greatly appreciate it!

Shirlena Wilson — Furness House

Shirlena joined Phoenix as a DSP at Furness Home in 2018 and has certainly made a mark on the individuals in the home! Just this year, she started helping with the managerial duties in the home as well as she co-manages the home with Lisa.

Right from the get-go, Shirlena has outdone herself—she never calls in late, works double shifts, and always stays after her scheduled shift to help out. There have been many times, she’s helped train 3-4 new staff members at the same time and stayed overtime to do so! Not only that, but Shirlena graciously volunteered to quarantine with an individual we support, should we have a positive COVID case in the home. For her to put her life on the line for them is unbelievable!

Shirlena is exceptional at maintaining relationships within the home. At Furness House, three of the individuals who live there are sisters. Shirlena sets up weekly calls with their sisters through FaceTime. “Patty and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to bring some sense of normalcy to our sisters' lives with our Sunday hootenannies,” said sister Liz. Because of Shirlena, these three sisters were able to virtually attend Disability Services Day at the Capitol this year with their sister, Liz – continuing a tradition of nearly 10 years!

And she’s not the only family member to rave about Shirlena! Another family member continues to give praise about Shirlena at least three times a week! Shirlena was nominated for an award from our trade association this year and you can clearly see why!

Thank you Shirlena for your excellent work at Furness House!