Towards the end of 2020, we began to hear a constant theme around a “return to normal.” And not just at Incompass Human Services; this was something we heard nearly every day in our interactions with others. As we head into 2023, I realize that at Incompass we have flipped this narrative – in that we have “returned to not normal!”
What I mean by that is adaptability is a way of life at Incompass! Essentially, we’re working towards a new normal that is rooted in empowering the people we serve to live their best lives. When we launched the Incompass brand in 2020, all the research we did at that time led us to a crystal clear vision…” innovating to help the most vulnerable thrive.” We’re living that now!
As the CEO of Incompass Human Services, and a member of The Arc of Massachusetts Board of Directors – I have put more focus on advocacy for appropriate rates and commensurate wages this year, and that’s a theme that will continue in the year ahead. From publishing op-eds to collaborating with other human services agencies on a public awareness campaign, we need to lead the way on this initiative. We must ensure that the state adequately funds Chapter 257, which allows us to effectively operate programs and to compensate staff with a respectable living wage. We count ourselves fortunate that our staff vacancies are lower than the average and longevity is a hallmark of our Care Champion culture, but we are still struggling under the circumstances of a post-pandemic, inflationary economy.
When people in the community ask me what we do at Incompass, I’m fond of giving a simple and honest answer. That “we are empowerers!” Incompass helps people live their best lives, and we will never lose sight of that mission. Doing this work is rewarding and fulfilling in ways that are almost immeasurable. We are proud to be part of the community of human service providers and grateful for those things that make us unique in that company. Regardless of the challenges and changes around us, you will always find Incompass opening doors with open hearts.
The Incompass Human Services FY22 Annual Report has been released, and it’s a comprehensive view of the past year at our agency. As we are in the second year of our three-year strategic plan, there is so much we are accomplishing, from opening new programs to building new group homes to hiring new Care Champions!
Our CEO and Chair both share their perspectives on the year that was at Incompass, and are looking ahead to the new calendar year! We aren’t expecting a “return to normal,” like so many other organizations. Rather, we are embracing a “return to not normal” and adapting to the ever-changing environment in which we operate.
No matter what, though we will always stay true to our mission that dates back to our founding families, and this is to empower the people we serve to live their best lives. We are doing this in a number of ways, from facility-based programming to advocacy to cutting-edge VR technology. And we enjoy the support of our community, after raising over $35,000 in our very first Days of Giving campaign last year.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in a leadership position? This is what we asked two Care Champions who were recently promoted at Incompass Human Services. Kelly Trickett is joining the executive leadership team at Incompass as Chief Operating Officer. Heather Mantell is going into her second year with a notable promotion as Director of Family & Community Services.
“To be a female leader is exciting to me. Both personally and professionally, it means being the best version of me there is. It’s providing support to those around me and on my team. It’s being a team player, taking initiative, working hard, listening, making decisions, and being the driving force of change where change is needed. It’s a whole lot of things but most importantly it’s being a role model to others who want to be leaders too,” says Trickett.
Mantell echoed similar sentiments when asked what the promotion meant to her, “I hope that they can trust me and understand my commitment to them as well as the people we serve.”
Trust. Support. Mentorship. All themes that play into the bigger purpose of strengthening the Care Champion culture at Incompass. Trickett speaks on the goals she has set for herself as she steps into her new role as COO, “I want to develop trusting relationships with the care champions at Incompass, emphasize and show the importance of teamwork, and make people feel inspired and motivated to continue to do what they do best when it comes to providing the best care possible to the people we serve.”
Trickett joined the agency four years ago and has proved to have a keen eye for innovation during her time here. Mantell is relatively new to the agency, bringing a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to the programs she’s been charged with including the Brain Injury Community Center. Both women share a vision for the agency’s future, one rooted in maintaining the quality of programs while identifying opportunities for growth.
“I am so pleased that we have such talented and dedicated leaders within the organization who are capable and ready to move into new and challenging roles with us,” says Incompass Chief Executive Officer Jean Phelps.
Please join us in congratulating Kelly and Heather on their new roles!
COO Kelly Trickett, left, and Director of Family & Community Services Heather Mantell, right.
To the wonderful Direct Support Professional Care Champions at Incompass:
We are proud to join with many of our fellow human services agencies around our country to recognize the importance of our workforce during National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week.
Out of utmost admiration and respect for your work, I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize you for the immeasurable difference you make in the lives of the people you support. Your dedication has been especially noteworthy throughout the pandemic and was on full display during the visit from DDS surveyors who were conducting the recent licensing and certification review. The successes we achieve every day at Incompass occur because of the commitment of our Care Champions!
I am pleased to share that we are going to have a bit of fun celebrating this special recognition week. To begin with every weekday, in the afternoon we will randomly select two names from the pool of dedicated Direct Support Professional Care Champions to each receive a $50.00 cash prize. Stay tuned, as we will announce the winners each day. At least two of the drawings will be on Facebook Live or over zoom so that you can see the fun in real-time or as we share on social media, so watch for the announcements, and good luck! Later in the week, there will be a few more messages from members of the leadership team with other surprises for you!
On behalf of our board of directors, the executive leadership team, the program directors and managers, and assistant managers- all of us at Incompass, thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Incompass mission and the unwavering support provided throughout the year.
We were thrilled to finally welcome back our annual Talent Show as an in-person event this summer. CEO Jean Phelps noted that this was the most impressive show to date.
Each performance was remarkably cohesive with thoughtful themes, props and costumes. You can tell how much time and practice went into it.
Each year, the show is almost entirely organized by Urban Youth interns with the support of Incompass staff. The Urban Youth Collaborative Program is funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Individuals in the day program rooms decide whether they want to perform as a group or rock it solo. Either way, those in the audience can attest that it is always a joy to witness.