IN OUR WORDS: Ohio MENTOR Program Director Inspires Colleague
By Denise Spagnola
Administrative Health Assistant, Ohio MENTOR
Each and every day, I feel fortunate to be working at the Cleveland office of Ohio MENTOR, touching the lives of children and adults in our programs. Our staff is incredibly devoted to the children and families we serve, and it is rewarding and inspiring to work with such a dedicated team. There are many aspects I love about my job, but the main reason I love being a part of the team here is working with our program director, Kristy DeVan, a truly inspirational leader.
Under Kristy’s direction, the Cleveland team operates like a well-oiled machine. Our case managers, therapists, and administrative staff constantly give their all to support therapeutic foster care and mental health in our community. We take on the kids in our programs as if they are our own, and learn from one another and work together to create positive outcomes for our clients.
At times, our office can be very chaotic and challenging. Not all of our employees come to Ohio MENTOR with a background in social work, but it is truly inspiring to see how everyone pulls together to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for our clients. “Our team is incredibly dedicated to the kids that we serve,” said Kristy. “Each and every member of our staff gives their all for our clients, every single day.”
I have never seen anyone work as hard as Kristy. She is available 24/7 for this company, our staff, the parents of the children we serve, and the children in our programs. She is an exceptional supervisor, having served in every position the office offers over her 8 year tenure at the company, including case management. Because of this, Kristy has a deep understanding of the challenges each of her staff face, and works tirelessly to recruit and retain top talent for the programs she oversees. She truly knows how to keep our group motivated; keeping us on track, praising staff when needed, and delegating when necessary. Kristy is knowledgeable, compassionate, approachable, and handles issues in an exemplary manner.
Kristy also goes above and beyond her role as Program Director by organizing foster parent appreciation luncheons, dinners, and other events for the children and families we serve. Over time, our program has grown and we have added services, offices, therapists, case managers, etc. Kristy’s commitment to the success of all of these changes, from top to bottom, continues to inspire me. She treats each child and parent that we serve with incredible attention and devotion, and her dedication amazes me and inspires me to work harder in my own role. Kristy has certainly found her true calling in leading the Cleveland and Canton teams here at Ohio MENTOR. Thank you, Kristy, for enriching the lives of the clients we serve and the employees in our office!