Opportunity Enterprises is excited to announce Valerie Thill as its new Chief Program Officer. Thill will be serving on the executive team and her leadership will ensure the quality of OE’s programs that serve over 1,100 children and adults with developmental disabilities in Northwest Indiana.
Ellen DeMartinis, CEO, is thrilled to have Thill as part of the agency’s executive team.
“Valerie has been with us for 11 years and her experience is of great value to us. We are incredibly excited,” said DeMartinis.
Thill started her career at OE as a Program Specialist and shortly after transitioned into the role of Senior Director of Social Services, where she maintained relationships with various departments, state officials, families and employees of OE for the past 9 years. Thill said her favorite part of being a director was managing day to day responsibilities and interacting with different departments, such as nursing, curriculum, residential and direct service programming.
As Chief Program Officer, Thill’s most significant responsibility is to ensure the quality of the programs offered at OE that meet the educational, vocational and residential needs of the individuals participating.
“Program participants are always reaching new goals and taking advantage of the services that are available through programming,” she said. “Over the years I have seen so many success stories first hand. I hope to continue those successes by administering and promoting good communication with directors of each program.”
According to Thill, program participants are learning new skills every day, when doctors said they would never walk or talk. Because of the services that are provided, participants are able to engage in various activities within programming, and have built meaningful relationships within the agency. OE’s mission rings true, as many participants have demonstrated independence and self-sufficiency. Thill said employees are always celebrating accomplishments, whether they are big or small.
“It sounds cliché, but everyone is here for the same reason. The participants are who have kept me and other employees here for so many years. You just can’t have a bad day at OE. Even when you think you are not feeling well, you are able to walk through our buildings and experience the positivity of the participants,” she said.
Thill said OE is always striving to make positive changes in staff and programming to give participants the best care and services to help them be more independent.
“OE is on a good path and we are moving forward,” she said. “We strive to be positive at all times for our participants, employees and the community.”