Team Member Spotlight: Kris Froehlich - Penn-Mar

Team Member Spotlight: Kris Froehlich

Posted on June 23, 2024

Each month, we highlight a “behind-the-scenes” team member whose work supports our mission, but whose face you might not often see on our social media pages.

We’re excited to help you get to know our innovative team and the complex work we do.

So, tune in for our #TeamMemberSpotlight, where our team members share in their own words a bit about themselves!

Kris smiling for headshotWhat is your job title? Support Team Manager (Supported Living Focus)

How long have you been with Penn-Mar? I will be celebrating 36 years in October!

How did you get connected with Penn-Mar? I worked for Change Inc., and we merged with Penn-Mar.

What was your previous work experience prior to Penn-Mar and how did it prepare you for your current role? I was just 22 years old when I started working for Change, Inc. Prior to that, I worked for a Residential Agency while I was in college. That role prepared me for working in this field as a career, but also taught me so many life skills.

What does your work entail? My work includes supporting people to live their best life. This includes the people we support, their families, and the staff that work so hard. I spend a lot of time scheduling staff, monitoring budgets for each person we support, and collaborating with my teammates. I just started a new role which is to help people explore residential living options. I’ve been involved with supported living for many years, so I am so excited that Penn-Mar is interested in expanding this as an option for people.

What’s an average day like for you? No day is the same which works well for me. I like the variety.

What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite moments are when we see someone trying something new and achieving their goals. Mainly, because I know everyone works so hard to see progress. It is so rewarding to see their hard work paying off. Another favorite is when I hear a DSP say, “I love my job”. I love that for them and feel proud that I must be doing something right.

What’s one thing you wish people realized about your job? There is never enough time in the day to accomplish the goals. It takes so much prioritizing and reminding myself that I am only one person.

In another life, your career path is . . . I would have loved to be a middle school guidance counselor. Most teenagers are really good kids who are trying to figure out where they fit in. It is a crucial time in their life when some understanding and guidance is beneficial.

Why is Penn-Mar’s mission important to you? How can we go wrong when we are trying to help people live their best life? It looks different for each person, and we must meet them where they are. Penn-Mar is invested in helping employees have a good work life too. I am passionate about the way we support DSPs in their crucial role.

What’s one thing you wished the general public knew about people with IDD? Supporting people with IDD is a great employment opportunity for the right person. It does require training, a good work ethic, and the right mindset, but I think people may underestimate the talent they already possess.

What is your favorite quote or mantra? Make a difference where and when you can.

Any hidden talents or fun facts someone wouldn’t know about you? I’m in a stage of my life where I want to overcome fears and be more adventurous. I had big plans to sky dive but lost my courage. I was proud that I tried Zip Lining in Harpers Ferry. I quickly learned that overcoming the height factor was important but slowing down and stopping to avoid hitting the tree was equally important. I got back on a ski lift and walked across a glass bridge that was 150 feet up. I need a plan for what comes next.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, you’d visit . . .Any place with a beautiful view, sunshine, and water.

In your spare time, you’ll be found . . . Spending time with my family, gardening, or checking out vintage shops. I will admit that I get a lot of satisfaction from cleaning and organizing too.

A book, movie, TV show, sports team, etc. you love: Book: Help Thanks Wow-The Three Essential Prayers- This book was given to me about 10 years ago from a close friend. It’s been part of my spiritual journey to show gratitude, be mindful of the beauty around us, and to pause and ask for help when needed. Sports Team: Cleveland Browns

Something fun, interesting, or meaningful about yourself: Married to Kevin for 35 years, Mom of three sons (32, 30, 16), and Grammy to Ellie James (5)

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