May 13, 2021
After 40 years of employment at Epic, I will be retiring later this year. This is a bittersweet announcement for me to make because this place holds a special space in my heart. But the time has come for me to make a transition. I am totally committed to making the transition to a new executive director as smooth and as seamless as possible.
My exact end date is yet to be determined based upon when a new Executive Director can be recruited and brought up to speed. The Epic Board of Directors is already working to find a new Executive Director and I have expressed my willingness and desire to stay with the organization during the transition period. That said, the horizon is in sight so I wanted to let you know now of my plans.
I have been honored to be a part of the Epic community for these many years – first as a Music Therapy intern, then as Music Therapist, then as Assistant Director and starting in 1997 as Executive Director. I have been privileged to see Epic grow in numbers and in programming. When I became Executive Director, Epic had just become Incorporated after being a part of Laura Baker Services for 20 years. We were providing services to 51 people (five who are still a part of our services). Today, we’re serving 108 people. In 1997, we had 23 staff (three who are still employed here). Today, we have 44 staff. I have been honored to work together with an amazing group of people who have served on the staff or on Epic’s Board of Directors through the years. With the Board’s guidance, Epic has gone from renting space to building our own facility in 2011. Our programming has shifted from being centered in our building to being centered in the community. We are supporting 25 people in jobs where they are hired directly by their employer. Many more are working on Epic crews in community businesses. Every day people are volunteering and being productive community members with our support. Programming has also expanded to include creating beautiful art and experiencing the joys of making music together. I continue to be thrilled when I hear success stories from the people we support.
Throughout the years, Epic has faced significant challenges but none as difficult as the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Thankfully, we have an amazing group of employees who are shifting to new ways of providing services. As an organization we are appreciative of the financial help provided from the federal government, state government and Rice County as well as our donors. Because of this assistance, Epic remains in a healthy financial position, making this a good time to undergo this transition. There will be ample time for appropriate goodbyes as my departure date draws near. In the meantime, I look forward to our remaining time together. The Board of Directors would like to get feedback from you as they select new leadership (see survey news for link).
Thank you for the privilege of being part of this amazing Epic community! We will keep you posted as the transition progresses.