CEO Dennis Allen has grown Hattie Larlham from a small operation to a large, multifaceted organization, meeting new challenges with innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to expand the company’s mission of caring for people with developmental disabilities.
As care improves, people with developmental disabilities are living longer, healthier lives, resulting in additional educational and socialization needs. Allen has led Hattie Larlham in creating social enterprises to employee people with developmental disabilities, providing them with skills, job experience and confidence to succeed in the work force. The latest social enterprise undertaken by the company is Hattie’s Garden, launched in January of this year. The gardening vocational program expands Hattie Larlham’s vocational training options into the realm of sustainable agriculture and also expands its services to people with autism.
Among the other social enterprises started under Allen’s leadership to employ and train people with developmental disabilities are Hattie Larlham Doggie Day Care & Boarding, a cage-free pet boarding operation offering training in animal care; Hattie’s Café & Gifts, a chain of nine local coffee shops; Creative Arts, a program facilitating artistic expression; and Hattie’s Vending Co., a vending company that services 79 machines in Akron and surrounding areas.
Allen’s dedication of vision has propelled Hattie Larlham to new heights. He has helped substantially grow the operating budget and scope of services of the organization in the last 23 years, taking the organization from a $7 million annual budget to a $32 million budget. The number of people Hattie Larlham can extend care to has also expanded under Allen’s direction, from 180 families receiving care when he started to more than 1,500 children and adults currently. Allen has significantly enhanced the organization’s ability to innovatively improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
How to reach: Hattie Larlham, (330) 274-2272 or www.hattielarlham.org