Wingspan’s Board of Directors announces the promotion of Therese Davis to Executive Director effective January 4, 2016. Her 39-year career with Wingspan began in 1977, and she has been an integral part of the organization’s growth and programming expansion in service to adults with developmental and other disabilities. As Wingspan’s former Chief Operations Officer, her responsibilities have included direction and oversight for 24 group homes in the Residential Program, the In-Home Program for those living with family or independently, the Three Directions Program for adults with disabilities looking for work, volunteer opportunities or social interaction, and oversight of a number of peer support programs. Therese has also directed the efforts of “ Tsev Laus Kaj Siab”—the first-of-its-kind culturally-specific day center for Hmong adults which Wingspan pioneered in 2001. In addition to Human Resources responsibilities and training oversight for some 170+ full-time, part-time and on-call employees, Therese’s new role will encompass responsibility for Finance, Resource Development, and Board Recruitment. Although her degree in Human Services informs her work, it is her depth of one-on-one experience in serving adults with disabilities, combined with her connection to families, case managers, and social workers, physicians and therapists, that has made her one of the disability community’s most ardent advocates—both for those being served and for direct support professionals. Therese looks forward to utilizing her insights, expertise and passion for the mission to lead Wingspan Life Resources in bold directions aimed at optimizing support, nurturing well-being and independence, and expanding services including respite care for families.
Chris Thorson received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Augsburg College and a Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certificate from Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). A strong advocate for mission driven, nonprofit work for the past 22 years and dedicated Human Resources professional for 16 of those years, he involves himself in the pride of providing human resource services to staff members who provide the critical services to people in need.
Frank Merrill joined Wingspan Life Resources in 1987. He has served as House Coordinator and Program Director over the past 29 years. He provides oversight of the Residential and In-Home Programs and ensures that State, County and Federal licensing guidelines are met.
The Program Directors have diverse backgrounds and experience but all have at least 20 years experience at Wingspan Life Resources.The Program Directors provide direction and leadership to the individual homes, In Home Services and the Three Directions Program.
Pam Carlson joined Wingspan Life Resources in 2001. She is responsible for the IT/Computer support for the entire organization, supervision of maintenance staff and maintenance functions, vendor relationships, and the Volunteer Program. Pam has a B.A. in Business Management.
Darolyn joined Wingspan Life Resources in February, 2012. She directs organizational fundraising activities including grant writing and proposals for individual, corporate and foundation giving, manages annual giving campaigns and donor relations, and also coordinates Wingspan’s key events such as the Power of Love Gala, Made in the Shade Walk, Run & Roll, and other fundraising events. Darolyn is also responsible for public and media relations and helps to create newsletters and other communications pieces to promote the good work of Wingspan and the wonderful people we serve.