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This Week We Celebrate Our Managers

Today we thank the managers from our Douglas, Drexel, Lydia, and Viking homes.

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

Ashley Sharp — Douglas House

Ashley has been working for Phoenix since she was just 16 years old, starting out as a volunteer and eventually transitioning to a DSP at Douglas House in 2016. In the last year, she’s sported other titles at the house: Team Lead and now Program Manager.

“I have had the pleasure of watching Ashley continue to grow in her leadership over the years and it has been an absolute joy to be able to support her in that,” said Assistant Program Director Kaylee Larson.

Ashley could tell you pretty much anything and everything about the folks that live at Douglas House, anywhere from their likes and dislikes to stories about their childhood days. There is usually a fight about once a week over which of the individuals gets to work with Ashley and have her helping them for that shift - she is a fan favorite of the guys and gals!

While she is still new to management, Ashley has managed to make huge strides in her time here at Douglas and continues to devote much of her time and life to the house. For that, we are forever thankful and so lucky to have her here with us!

Thank you for your leadership at Douglas House, Ashley!

Asha Christensen — Drexel Court

Asha truly is one of the most authentic and real people you will ever meet. If you need an honest opinion or someone to talk to, she is the one to go to. If something needs to get done, you know you can count on her. She will stay true to her word!

Asha has worked at several Phoenix homes before landing here at Drexel Court. She joined Phoenix in the summer of 2015 as a 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!

She’s built such an incredible bond with the guys at Drexel Court and their families. She’s said on multiple occasions, “The guys are the reason I am here.” It’s clear the relationships she’s built are solid and the guys really appreciate all she does for them.

She is great at setting up activities and celebrating all the little moments. She makes sure to never miss a birthday and always hosts a party with friends and family (pre-Covid). She keeps everything in check at Drexel House—always keeping guys’ interests top of mind. The guys at Drexel House love doing arts and crafts and spending time on the deck, so Asha loves barbecuing for them as much as she can. She’s set up many fun activities and trips out of the home, including to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and on a trip to Disneyland in California (pre-Covid). She’s also spent time on our Recreation Committee, helping planning activities for all the Phoenix homes.

Thank you Asha for all you do! You’ve made such an impact on the guys at Drexel Court!

DeMarcus Taylor — Lydia House

Demarcus is truly one of the most kind-hearted people you will ever meet. He is so genuine and really has a passion for what he does. He’s one of the friendliest and most positive people you will ever meet,     and he gets along with everyone! He is always so calm and collected and doesn’t get worked up easily—which is a great trait to have as a manager. He’s always available for questions, even if he’s busy. And if he doesn’t know an answer, he makes sure to find it for you!

DeMarcus first got his start at Phoenix in 2013 as House Supervisor at Newport House. A couple of years later, he transitioned to Program Manager at Lydia House and has been there ever since!

Since transitioning to Lydia House, DeMarcus has built excellent relationships with the family members and vendors we work with. We’ve received excellent feedback from family members about the top-notch care he is providing and his excellent communication with them. They have pointed out how patient he was with them when their loved one moved into Phoenix. As our doctor, Dr. Rossmiller concluded, “You hit a gold mine with him!”

Thank you for your excellent leadership at Lydia House, DeMarcus!

Veronica Keys — Viking House

Veronica is a strong leader, and we are so glad she is here with us at Viking House. Veronica has been with us for several years, but recently took over as Program Manager at Viking House this year after the former manager retired. Prior to Viking House, she worked as House Supervisor and Program Manager at Howard House, before transitioning over to a DSP at Viking House and eventually into the Program Manager role.

Veronica works many hours to assure that the needs are met for the individuals at Viking House. She lives by, "I'm only a phone call away." The staff has called her many times for guidance, and she comes to the house physically to support them as needed. Veronica also calls the house to check in and see how everyone is doing on her days off. 

She works hard to assure that individuals’ birthdays do not go missed and makes it a special day for them. She finds out what they want to do and makes plans to go out into the community. Many of the ladies at Viking House like to hang out with her in her office and some of them are her shadows throughout the day. Veronica treats each of the individuals as a person and sees beyond their disabilities. She talks with them as adults – not as children – and respects them for who they are.

“Veronica is a fighter! She stands for what she feels is right and never gives up,” said Assistant Program Manager Shawna Zechmeister. “She has stuck through difficult times while working at Phoenix and has worked in many positions at many homes. I think Veronica has found where she belongs at Viking House and continues to grow in her position.”

Thank you Veronica for all you do! We appreciate you!