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October 2019 Issue

Carm Herman retires from Center of Hope

by Barbara Olson Center of Hope | Jul 08, 2019

Carm Herman, executive director for Barbara Olson Center of Hope, retired after 23 years. Tom McNamara, mayor of Rockford, proclaimed June 28 as Carm Herman Day.

I asked Carm for some final thoughts.

Why did you choose to come to Center of Hope? I was doing behavior management consulting and the executive director asked for my help with some new individuals who had just started at the Center.

What kept you here for so many years? The participants. I have known some of them all their lives because I had worked at a local children’s home before coming to the Center. So, in a way, I feel I helped raise some of our folks.

What inspires you about working at the Center? The participants have always inspired me. To see how hard they work to gain independence is amazing. Nothing really gets them down. They have such a positive outlook on life and come every day with smiles on their faces. It inspires me to work harder to find the supports they need to be successful.

What will you remember most about your time here? I think starting our sensory programs for individuals with autism was amazing. The change in these individuals was remarkable. I feel with the help of our occupational therapist, Theresa Oster, we did therapies that were not being done for adults. The schools tend to stop therapies when kids with special needs enter high school. It’s unfortunate because our folks don’t stop learning at a certain age. They need supports for lifelong success.

What will you miss the most? Everyone at the Center, participants, my families, Board of Directors, staff – we are a close knit group. Very diverse and strong.

And what are you looking forward to in your retirement? I am hoping to work part-time and travel as much as I can.

Thanks, Carm, for all you’ve done for the Center of Hope over the past 23 years. We will miss you and wish you the best in retirement.

Quarterly Print Notes of Hope Newsletter - Spring 2019 Issue