Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty was not just looking for a job when she came to Medina Creative Housing. She was looking for a place that could help her physically disabled brother and autistic nephew and be a place of support and encouragement for her family.
She had taken some time off from her professional career to raise her son but was ready to jump back into her work. She had passion, creativity and a strong level of commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. But she quickly learned that while Medina Creative Housing shared much of her enthusiasm, it was an organization that was lacking in vision. There was no strategic plan in place to best meet the needs of Medina County’s disabled population.
After becoming executive director, DePasquale-Hagerty spent time with stakeholders of these services in an effort to find out what was working, what wasn’t working and what could be done to make it better. She was surprised to learn that many of the homes that were intended to provide disabled adults with independent residences were not very accessible to people with disabilities.
So she launched an effort to change that and ended up making an amazing difference.
“I’ve been on the board for six years,” says Michael Carlson, president of the board of Medina Creative Housing. “When I started, we had one employee: Dianne. Now we have 55 employees and a budget in excess of $1 million. This is a testimony to her energy, enthusiasm and dedication to providing housing to a population in our county that, in the past, wasn’t served.”
DePasquale-Hagerty has helped change the way society views people with disabilities. Instead of viewing them as a drain on community resources, she is building a model where people see that disabled individuals can give back to the community.
HOW TO REACH: Medina Creative Housing, (330) 591-4434 or www.medinacreativehousing.com