Meet Pam Carey

Pam Carey is the Executive Director at the Center of Hope. She’s been with the Center for 12 ½ years. We asked Pam to share some of her thoughts about the time she has been at the Center.
Please describe your role at the Center. To oversee the Center as a whole. We need to always be available to participant needs and wants by trying to think outside of the box – the participants are our WHY! Also, to support the growth of our staff and provide an engaging supportive work environment.
Why did you choose this field? It really just happened, as I was looking for a new position. The majority of my career I have worked in non-profits. Right out of college, I worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters as a case manager.
A few years into my career I moved to San Diego. At that time, I thought human resources had similar qualities as in my case manager position. I applied for both case manager and human resources recruiting positions. I was hired at the only for-profit company I worked at, as a recruiter.
A couple years into that position my father became very ill, so I came back to Illinois for a few months to spend my time with him. Then, I went back to San Diego and worked at South Bay Community Services, a non-profit, as their Human Resources Director.
Several years later once my husband and I had our first child, we spent most of our off time back in Illinois. We decided it was more practical to be by both of our families, so we ended up in Sycamore, Illinois. When I started to look for a position, the Center was hiring a part-time Human Resources Director. After my first interview, I knew it was the place for me to continue.
Over several years I worked with the director’s team and the Executive Director very closely. At the time, when Carm Herman (former Executive Director) decided to retire, we discussed if the Executive Director role was of interest. I obviously said yes, it is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in working at the Center?  Take a chance. You will feel welcomed and needed every day!  Every day may not be easy but it is well worth the success that we see in each and every participant. You will feel that you have purpose as a staff. We all need that in our lives.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years? There have been so many especially the last couple of years, which we had no real control. However, through it all we have gained great strides in choices and opportunities for participants. We have very dedicated staff that continue to choose to come to the Center each and every day!
What keeps you at the Center? I am very fortunate that I truly look forward to being a part of all that the Center offers and I love what I do.
Anything else you’d like us to know? There is always something new to learn from and grow from staff and participants.

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