Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Honoring Mark Emery

After 35 years of service, Imagine! CEO Mark Emery is retiring from his position at the end of this month.

Mark’s work at Imagine! began at the end of 1983. Over the course of the following decades, he held eight different positions of increasing responsibility, with the ninth culminating as Chief Executive Officer. Innovation was in Mark’s DNA. Whether he was leading a team, participating in the process of program development, or working with the State of Colorado, Boulder and Broomfield counties to secure funding, the work Imagine! is doing today was often shaped by Mark’s leadership. His accomplishments have significantly and positively impacted people with intellectual disabilities, families, employees, and the community at large, in many ways, including:

  • The establishment, in 1984, of one of the earliest community-based supported employment programs in the United States. 
  • Early adoption of cell phones for vocational and day service employees to allow people receiving services to move seamlessly and unobtrusively through their communities. 
  • The development of a program which provides community-based services within a therapeutic framework in response to the request of community members with disabilities and family members who care for those with disabilities. 
  • Use of unmarked vehicles for transporting people receiving services, in order to de-stigmatize the individuals in services and instead subtly focus on shared aspects of humanity. 
  • The creation of a program for individuals on the Autism Spectrum and their families where they could select their own providers through an online store rather than use a traditional Case Management model. 
  • A pilot program where individuals served by Imagine! and their families could research provider agencies and the services they provide online. 
  • A pilot program where remote monitoring was utilized to allow individuals with intellectual disabilities to live independently while still promoting their safety. 
  • The creation a potential solution to the labor crisis facing intellectual disabilities services across the nation by designing an app which takes an Uber-style approach to employee recruiting. 
It’s no easy task to honor someone who’s given so much, but the Imagine! Board of Directors, the Imagine! Foundation Board of Directors, and the Imagine! Executive Team have come up with a way we think is very fitting. We’ve decided to rename the Imagine! Foothills Group Home in his honor. Going forward, it will be called the Mark Emery Foothills Group Home.

Congratulations, Mark, an thank you for all you have done to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. We will honor your legacy by continuing to build upon it!

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