20 or so questions with…is our employee spotlight blog series where we get up-close and personal (and have some fun) with our favorite team members at CA Human Services. Next up in this series is 20 Questions with Tammy. Talk about “living the CA Way”, Tammy’s calming demeanor and laser focus on driving the mission is invaluable! As Director of Mission Tammy is part of the Leadership team and oversees our Programs and Training Departments, as well as our Annual Conference. We hope you enjoy reading and getting to know a bit more about our incredible teammate Tammy.
1.Tammy, how long have you worked at CA Human Services/How has your career grown since joining the organization?
I joined CA in August of 2015 as an administrative assistant. I loved CA’s mission and their initiatives. During my 6 years, I have learned so much about Autism and Developmental Delays. CA has also patiently strengthened my leadership skills.
2.What problems do you solve at CA?
My job is about filling gaps in current systems. That may mean that we build a model program for others to replicate or it may mean that we advocate for systems changes. We hone our focus so that we can accomplish things faster and move on to filling the next gap.
3.What do you like most about your job, what compels you to stay at CA?
CA’s staff culture is a key part of why I get up to go to work at CA each day. I am surrounded by individuals that are passionate about CA’s Core Values and not satisfied unless we are making great changes happen across the Commonwealth
4.What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
Actively listening to others. I have learned that having teams that consist of multiple perspectives and skills help keep us on the right track.
5. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I love to read. I listen to audiobooks on the way into work and back home each day, just so I can get more reading in. I also like fishing (let me know if you know a great place to fish!) and I like to garden.
6. What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?
I have my C-Card and am a certified Scuba Diver. I have been scuba diving at Ginnie Springs, Homosassa with the Manatees, The Devil’s Den, Rawlings Quarry, Nassau, San Juan and a couple of wrecks off the coast of North Carolina.
7. Where’s your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is White Lake, NC. It’s a little town that surrounds a 6 mile round lake. The sandy beaches are white and the water is pretty clear. It’s a little known place, so it’s normally has a laid back atmosphere.
8. What is your motto or personal mantra?
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
9. If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Now that I have seen Hamilton, I have a few questions for him.
10. What three words would you use to describe CA Human Services?
Advocate; Game-Changer, Passionate
11. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Books! I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t read.
12. What tv show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love?
Dexter, I actually can’t wait for it to come back out. I’ve lived too long with out this show.
13. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Invisibility – I think I would like to see what pranks I could do. lol
14. What kind of pet do you have and how did you choose to name it?
I have two cats: Jedi and Gabby. Jedi because I was in my Star Wars phase back then and Gabby after Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewife (don’t judge, lol)
15. What is your go-to music?
I like some of the older bands like from Creed, Maroon 5 and Matchbox 20.
16. What is something you learned in the last week?
The first iPhone wasn’t made by Apple. Apple’s iphone came out about 22 days after the first iphone and there was a trademark infringement lawsuit.
17. What characteristic do you admire most in others?
Honesty. I think if people cold me more honest, there would be more people with integrity, respect for others, and clearer understanding.
18. What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Retire and explore the US in an RV. That’s my retirement plan (so far to go . . . ), but I want to see the biggest ball of yarn, the loneLongaber basket building, alligator alley, etc. All the weird little places.
19. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Steak and mashed potatoes as long as they are cooked properly. Steak medium and homemade mashed potatoes with little potato chunks.
20. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Believe it or not, I always wanted to be a “secretary” and type and file.
CA Human Services has been Advocating, Enabling, and Creating Change for over 25 years. The organization looks vastly different from our humble beginnings. We do systems change work here at CA. What that means is growth and change are constantly happening here. And, if growth and change are happening, that means we are actualizing our mission.
It is because of people like Tammy that we are able to do the work we do. Today our focus at CA is on the gaps for neurodiverse individuals aged 14 to 35, their caregivers and those providers who serve them. CA also focuses on ensuring information and resources for autism and other developmental disabilities are easily found and accessible for all Virginians. Our focus includes support services, training, and activism. Autism touches individuals from every race, culture, socioeconomic status, and regardless of gender. Thus, CA aims to ensure everyone is seen, heard, and represented.
If you’ve been touched by our services or know someone who could benefit from them, please contact us and let us know. We do the work we do because it is needed. But, we can’t do it without the support of others. Please consider donating to support our work.