We’re excited to be sharing a new series: Meet the PMs! Our Program Managers are the unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes who have one of the toughest – and most important – jobs within our organization. We’re looking forward to you all getting to know them and their work a bit better, so tune in on social media for #MeetThePMs!
Get to know Autumn Cover!
Why did you become a PM? It has been a lifelong goal of mine to be a Program Manager. I have been in the IDD field for 18 years. I started with Penn-Mar in 2007 as a Senior Residential Assistant at the Respite Program in PA. I left the organization and then came back shortly thereafter in 2008 as the Residential Supervisor at Respite. In 2013, I promoted to the Program Manager role. I really enjoy having this level of involvement in the organization. I love working with the various team members and individuals in my pod and supporting each persons’ unique talents and abilities. I have the pleasure of working with so many talented managers, supervisors, DSPs, and individuals. Every day is a new learning experience for me. The job is never boring!
Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? The mission is important to me because I have watched so many people experience personal and professional growth over the years in my role as a Program Manager, both team members and individuals alike. Seeing goals be obtained, promotions be awarded, community jobs created, etc. has been the most rewarding aspect. We transform lives into living for everyone.
What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? Being a Program Manager is much more than the typical 9-5 that people assume. Our time clock never stops, and it is so much more than an “office job.” We are a jack-of-all-trades in this role, whether it’s handling medication calls after hours, doing direct care, going to the hospital, handling staffing/scheduling situations on the weekends, working through crises, etc. Our roles encompass much more than processing paperwork.
What’s one thing you wished people knew about people with IDD? Individuals with IDD are just like you and I; they have dreams and aspirations for personal growth like any one of us.
Favorite food? I will never turn down a nicely cooked steak or crab legs!
Any hidden talents or fun facts someone wouldn’t know about you? I love to take pictures, particularly nature shots whenever I travel.
When COVID-19 is over, the first place you’d like to travel to is . . . I would love to go to Ireland! I have been eager to travel abroad, but I love travel regardless (as long as I don’t have to drive—I prefer to fly). When pandemic settles, I would like to travel to more scenic places where I can hike and experience different cultures.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I can be found spending time with my family and friends. My husband and I enjoy taking our daughters camping, hiking, and spending time with them outside. I also enjoy watching a good movie or reading a good book.
What are you watching lately? I love watching comedian specials. My newest favorite is Hannah Gadsby, an Australian comedienne who is on the Autism Spectrum. I also enjoy watching thriller/horror movies.