As Evergreen Service Provider’s Executive Assistant, Deanne Gardner is the glue that holds things together and the gear that keeps things turning. Her work is integral to Evergreen’s processes from onboarding new Individuals into their residential program for people living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), to assisting the Host Home Providers (HHP) with whom those Individuals eventually reside.
Deanne shares that no day is the same. The diversity of the work she does keeps things interesting and provides opportunities for ongoing learning.
She often helps review requests submitted by Community Centered Boards (CCBs) on behalf of families or Individuals who are exploring IDD residential options. Her objective is to understand the specific needs of an Individual so that they can be matched with the perfect HHP and an environment in which they can thrive. That sometimes involves contacting a resource person at a CCB to learn about the history of the Individual. She ensures that each person’s Medicaid and Social Security benefits are current and provide eligibility for services, and processes Medicaid billing.
Once an Individual is living in a host home, Deanne helps support the HHPs by checking in with them to make sure their needs are met. She may help with set up of onboarding paperwork in Evergreen’s online Therap documentation system, maintaining communications with the Individual’s guardians, or with respite care. Deanne also provides administrative support to Evergreen’s Executive Director and staff and is the voice you’ll hear on the other end of the phone if you call the office.
Deanne has been with Evergreen more than eight years. Prior to joining the nonprofit, she worked for 17 years as an executive assistant for national credit reporting agency, Transunion, after attending college with an emphasis on accounting. She then took ten years off to raise her children. For 12 years she donated her time as a girl scout leader, often heading up fundraising activities to earn money to go towards trips for the scouts. When her kids headed for college, Deanne found Evergreen. Executive Director, Barbara Myers shared that “she is great at her job. We are fortunate to have her on our team!”
Originally from California, Deanne moved to Colorado 30 years ago when she got married. She maintains her Orange County connection by visiting her mother and a daughter several times a year, making sure to get a dose of beach and palm trees while she’s there. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Cali – also from California – who is “such a joy” and comes to work with her every day.
Deanne shared that the most rewarding aspect of her work with Evergreen is getting to know the Host Home Providers and supporting them in any way she can. She appreciates the role she fills to ensure they have what they need so that all Evergreen Service Providers’ Individuals have a safe, nurturing place to live and an environment in which they can thrive.