CATS' Staff Spotlight applauds employees who merit special recognition for their contributions to their departments and to this organization.
Position: Medical Billing Specialist
About Tara: Two years ago Tara started filing in the record room. She moved on to data entry and most recently was promoted to medical billing specialist in the outpatient department. Tara continues to do filing in addition to her other responsibilities proving that you can take the person out of the file room, but you can’t take filing away from the person. Tara also frequently shares her story of hope and recovery on CATS behalf at a variety of events. Tara is being recognized for her excellent work. She, along with other staff being recognized will be treated to lunch and will be entered into a drawing for something special to celebrate being honored. Read on to learn a little bit more about her.
1. What was your response to learning you were chosen for recognition? That it was cool. That hard works pays off.
2. What is your motivation for working at CATS? As a former 2x client I credit CATS for saving my life. I want to give something back in return. Even though I don’t work directly with clients, I know how important the behinds-the-scenes work is.
3. What is the best thing about your job? I’ve never been happier at a job. Everyone is willing to help and lend a hand.
4. What is the worst thing about your job? I hate getting in early!
5. What is something that most people probably don’t realize about your job? Whatever they have to do, I have to do 200 times over. For every note they write, I have to do it 200 times because we have 200 clients whose every service needs entered.
6. What is one thing that could improve your job? Clinical staff turning in their notes on a timely basis!
7. What is your professional goal? To unseat Marybeth Adams and run the department (jokingly said. I think.)
8. What’s new? I’m a newlywed.
9. Favorite food? Pizza! (said with a smile), but I’m on a diet (said with a frown)
10. Favorite movie? Old School
11. Favorite album? Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”
12. Any personal goals you’d like to share? I want to have a child and to move out to the suburbs.
13. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at CATS? Cooking, especially Italian and Mexican. I attend two 12-step meetings a week and enjoy sponsoring girls. Watching movies. Spending time with my nephews. Shopping.
Position: Men’s Residential (A/B) Counselor
About Whitney: Please join me in saluting Whitney Grimes who is being recognized for her excellent work. Whitney has been at CATS for four years. She started at CATS as an intern and is now a trusted member of the clinical treatment team. Whitney has a PCC (Professional Clinical Counselor). She earned a Master’s degree in order to sit for her license which allows her to practice independently. She is working on her “S”. When she gets that she will be able to supervise newly licensed counselors who are working on their independent licenses.
1. What attracted you to this field? My family has drug and alcohol problems. In fact, my uncle just passed away from liver disease related to alcoholism. He drank his whole life.
2. What about CATS specifically? I like the flexibility; that I can focus on substance abuse and mental health. I like that CATS takes a holistic approach to treatment. It’s not just 12-steps or just CBT.
3. What Is your favorite part of your job? Working with the clients, having individual sessions with them. It’s not just talking about the rules and what’s broken (referencing the weekly community meetings of which those are the biggest topics of discussion). Veronica (RA Supervisor) and Kalani (A/B Lead RA) have taken over most of the discipline and sanctions. I appreciate this because I can focus on counseling.
4.What is your least favorite part of your job? The community meetings (reference my note in favorite part above to understand why). I’m still learning to find a balance between the clinical and criminal justice sides of things.
5. Do you have any professional goals? Focusing on the clinical aspect of working with clients. I want to get my “S”.
6. Does this mean there is a supervisor position in your future? Maybe. I’m more open to it now than I was.
7. Is there anything you’d like to share on a personal note? My other passion is fitness and nutrition. I coach a boot camp, a full body strength training with cardio in a community environment at Quail Hollow and Core Cleveland in Westlake. I have a dog named Kip. He’s a chorkie. He’s a beast, not a tea cup kind of dog!
8. Favorite food? Donuts. In case you’re wondering, yes, she sees it too. We had a good laugh at the irony of fitness and nutrition coach’s favorite food being donuts.
9. Favorite movie? Star Wars. The original is best. Yes, she will be seeing “The Last Jedi” opening weekend.
10. Favorite TV show? The Office (American Version). Michael Scott is the best!
11. Favorite musical artist? Britney Spears. I have to see her in Vegas before she leaves.
12. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Going to my husband’s family in Cuyahoga Falls. I’m making the vegetables. I always make the vegetables! (I guess they don’t know about the donut thing).
Position: Women’s Residential Counselor
About Kristie: Please join me in saluting Kristie Colley who is being recognized for her excellent work. Kristie has been at CATS for four and a half years. She is a valuable part of her clinical team. Kristie has a LSW (Licensed Social Worker). She earned a Bachelor’s degree in order to sit for her license.
1. What attracted you to this field? I started working in substance abuse and that’s what my internship was. I left it for a while and worked in mental health only to find that I hated it! I returned to AOD [as in she returned to work in the field, not a return to using Alcohol and Other Drugs] and started at CATS.
2. What about CATS specifically? I like my co-workers. We make a great team! I like that I can mostly make my own schedule. I like the clients.
3. What is your favorite part of your job? Seeing change in the clients. It’s very rewarding.
4. What is your least favorite part of your job? Probably the money. Said with both a hearty laugh and the quiet resignation that reflects an understanding of the frequent rewarding, but rarely lucrative world of non-profit social services. Employee turnover. I like stability and structure.
5. Do you have any professional goals? To get my LCDC II (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor).
I asked Kristie what she would do if given the chance to call the shots. She laughed and said “I don’t know. That’s why I don’t want to get the LISW (independent license); I don’t like making those kind of decisions!”
6. Is there anything you’d like to share on a personal note? I love animals! I’m a dog lover. I have a dog, Henry. He’s a schnoodle.
7. Favorite food? Ice cream. Mint chocolate chip. Especially from Old Stone Creamery
8. Favorite movie? Love Actually and Shutter Island.
9. Favorite TV show? The Office (American Version). Parks and Recreation (We have a delightful conversation about the magic of Li’l Sebastian)
10. Favorite musical artist? Adele. I love her!
11. Do you have any personal goals you’d like to share? I want to get another doggy.
William Maddox JR.
Position: Men’s Program Manager A/B
1. How long have you been at CATS? 4 ½ years . In my tenure: started off counseling in men’s residential. Went to the Federal BOP Program for counseling (Filled in as manager for BOP), came back to Men’s Residential as Program Manager.
2. What attracted you to this field of work? Will is in recovery himself (11 years clean as of December 14th) and he has the desire help others.
3. What about CATS specifically? The Atmosphere as a whole and how we operate as a team.
4. What is your favorite part of your job? Successful Discharges.
5. What is your least favorite part of your job? Having to address and sanction anti – social behavior and unsuccessful discharges.
6. What is something that most people probably don’t know / realize about your job? We must manage our self-care…self-care is the key to doing this job well.
7. Favorite Food / Type? Fried Chicken / Jamaican
8. Favorite Movie / TV Show? The God Father / “Luke Cage” on Netflix (He is a Marvel Super Hero).
9. Favorite Musical Artist / Genre? Don’t have a favorite artist / Smooth Jazz.
10. Is there anything you would like to share on a personal note? Humbled & Honored that my colleagues thought well of me that I was nominated for this.
10. Do you have any upcoming plans or goals (personal or professional) Plan to become an Ordained Minister in January 2018. Looking forward to obtaining my LISW. Hanging out with family for the holidays.
11. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at CATS? Being with and doing ANYTHING with my WIFE!
Position: Resident Advocate - Outpatient
1. How long have you been at CATS? 2 ½ years
2. What attracted you to this field of work? Was going to school to become a surgical tech…somehow my studies brought me in this direction. I just have a heart for people.
3. What about CATS specifically? In Recovery was homeless and sleeping in my car…one of the young ladies in recovery said…lets go put an application in at CATS. I was praying to God to have employment and the phone rang…it was Ms. Ruth and she told me to come in for an interview…here I am!
4. What is your favorite part of your job? Interacting with the clients and now I am helping facilitate groups.
5. What is your least favorite part of your job? When somebody comes in and we hear that one of our clients went out and died. It is so hard becoming involved in people’s lives one day and their gone the next.
6. What is something that most people probably don’t know / realize about your job? That you have to have compassion and empathy. So many people first starting out in treatment have many “stories to tell” about this and that…but over time we hear those stories change and individuals start taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.
7. Favorite Food / Type? Fried Chicken, Greens, Corn Bread / Obviously….Soul food
8. Favorite Movie / TV Show? The Shack / America Has Talent
9. Favorite Musical Artist / Genre? Yolanda Adams / Gospel
10. Is there anything you would like to share on a personal note? Celebrated 14 years of sobriety on November 27th. I have an Associate Degree in applied Sciences & my CDCA. That I am fearfully, beautifully, and wonderfully made.
11. Do you have any upcoming plans or goals (personal or professional)? To obtain my Master’s in Social Work. (Because) Ricki’s Pushes me…but in a good way…she believes in me and that means the world to me. Also, Ms. Veronica is my ambassador of tough love. She has our best interest at heart. I appreciate her. Looking forward to spending time with my children and 13 grandchildren…love to hear the laughter. Family is what it is all about!!!
12. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at CATS? Spending time with family ALWAYS. Watching movies at home. I’m a home body. Go to Recovery Meetings. Feeding the homeless. I LOVE going to church. She is taking applications for a husband…any takers?
Position: Resident Advocate – Men’s A
1. How long have you been at CATS? 2 years and about 9 months
2. What attracted you to this field of work? First of all, I’m in recovery and understand the pain of addition. Always wanted to help people and this place gives a great opportunity to do that.
3. What about CATS specifically? Don’t want to sound superficial, but it is the family setting that attracts me…things might not always be fair…but families are like that. So like family, learning to take the bitter with the sweet.
4. What is your favorite part of your job? When one of the clients tell me I help them…that is what it is all about!
5. What is your least favorite part of your job? The pay.
6. What is something that most people probably don’t know / realize about your job? The job is very taxing and demanding. Demands more interment / personal relationships then counselors. We have to be there and are more hands on with clients then anyone. We are often looked at as the bad guy, but we have to enforce the rules.
7. Favorite Food / Type? Shrimp / Seafood. I don't eat pork or beef.
8. Favorite Movie / TV Show? John Wick / The Good Doctor.
9. Favorite Musical Artist / Genre? Don’t have a favorite artist / Chicago Style Stepping Music
10. Is there anything you would like to share on a personal note? Been married since April 17, 2016 to Philicia. She is a County Sheriff 21 years and has brought & taken away clients from CATS often enough. I just overall love people and love helping them.
11. Do you have any upcoming plans or goals (personal or professional)? Would like to grow in the field of recovery to a CDCA-II.
12. What do you enjoy doing when you are not at CATS? Watching movies and dancing.