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Celebrating Our Incredible Team on National Employee Appreciation Day

national employee appreciation day

March 5th, 2021 is National Employee Appreciation Day and here at KVC Nebraska, we have one of the most dedicated and passionate groups of professionals in the industry. Together, we create a tight-knit and inclusive culture that helps everyone do well and do better. And this culture is not something our team takes lightly, especially in an industry with high turnover and a unique set of challenges. Our team tackles some of the most challenging yet important work out there.

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This National Employee Appreciation Day, we’re proud to highlight the work we’ve undertaken in the past year to make our organization one that shows appreciation for, engages with and celebrates our amazing employees! Through the implementation of the renowned Gallup Q12 survey—an employee engagement survey evaluating 12 actionable workplace elements—we were able to increase employee engagement 20 percent in seven months and continually improve our employees’ experiences. 

National Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday in March every year. This holiday focuses attention on employees and offers an opportunity for companies and organizations to recognize their teams’ hard work. We love honoring our team so National Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect holiday for us! This National Employee Appreciation Day, meet a few members of our amazing team and learn more about why they love working at KVC Nebraska!

Meet Some of Our Leadership Team!

Ashley Brown, KVC Nebraska President

kvc nebraska careers

From serving as a foster care supervisor, service area director, vice president, and now as president, Ashley works hard to ensure the services and support we provide are as effective as possible. In her current role, she works with the executive team of our parent organization, KVC Health Systems, her fellow KVC Nebraska team members, community stakeholders and partners in upholding KVC’s mission—to enrich and enhance the lives of Nebraska families and individuals. This includes finding new ways to increase KVC’s impact. This includes ensuring the services we provide meet high-quality standards and are sustainable. 

When Ashley joined our team in 2009, she was immediately drawn to the way KVC approaches working with kids and families, with an eye toward innovation. “My experience since has been nothing short of incredible. The opportunities I’ve had to positively impact our communities and develop and grow as a social worker and professional are countless. I’m so grateful,” Ashley said.

Ashley finds any positive impact, big or small, on individuals, families, or communities to be the most rewarding aspect of her job. She loves working with people and having a hand in helping Nebraskans live happier, healthier, and safer lives.

“While KVC Nebraska is a part of a much larger health system, our caring, compassionate, close-knit family keeps me committed and engaged. What also keeps me at KVC is the people. The people I have the privilege of working with and the people we serve. This work is hard. We bear witness to hard things and we enter people’s lives often at some of the hardest times. It’s the day-to-day experience I have of compassion, hope, trust and stability that keeps me showing up!”

Theresa Goley, Director of Permanency

employee appreciation dayTheresa has been with KVC Nebraska for a decade! She started in 2009 as the Office of Juvenile Services Director for a case management contract that concluded in 2012. She returned in 2014 as the Southeast Service Area Permanency Director and has been with us ever since. In her current role of Permanency Director, she is responsible for the oversight, expansion, and quality programming of our foster care program. This includes ensuring interventions align with evidence-based practice, working to ensure budgetary goals are met, ensuring KVC policies along with DHHS regulations are implemented department-wide, setting and monitoring progress toward department outcome goals, and hiring and retaining engaged and qualified team members.

Theresa enjoys working with her fellow teammates and describes them as incredible and passionate about helping kids and families. 

“KVC is home to me. The people I work with are like family and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I know the people I work with care about me and I care about them. The work KVC does is so important and I feel as though we approach the work in a different way than some other organizations. KVC is willing to take risks when it’s the right thing for kids and families. We have high standards and nothing less than excellent service delivery is sufficient.”

Meet Some of Our Administrative Staff!

Maggie Dworak, Administrative Assistant

employee appreciation dayMaggie has been with KVC for 11 years, serving as an administrative assistant. She works closely with our leadership team, sits on multiple committees and provides quality assurance. She’s the go-to person for any office need, handling anything to do with files or documentation. 

The most rewarding aspect of her job is helping her fellow teammates so they can do their jobs well. She loves seeing positive outcomes as she supports the team!

“KVC Nebraska has become a family. The support I receive from coworkers and my leadership team, in addition to the opportunity for professional growth, are unmatched from any other job I’ve had. The flexibility is amazing! I’m challenged every day and allowed to use my strengths and do what I do best. I believe heart and soul in KVC’s mission.”

Jennifer Warren, Billing Specialist

employee appreciation dayJennifer joined KVC in 2010, serving as an Aftercare Supervisor, and going on to serve in four other roles before becoming our Administrative Billing Specialist. She feels this role is the perfect fit for her. She’s able to use her strengths and talents to make sure her teammates focus on the families they serve rather than administrative things like payments or other behind-the-scenes work. 

Like Maggie, Jennifer notes that all aspects of her job are gratifying. Through her careful oversight, she contributes to the smooth operation of KVC’s internal processes and successful relations with contractors. 

“At KVC Nebraska, I truly feel that our team is a connected family. At the end of the day, we all support each other and we’re always willing to help each other out. I haven’t experienced that in many workplaces prior to KVC. This feeling of connection is what lays the foundation for engagement with my team, coworkers, job duties and workplace.”

Meet a Member of Our Foster Care Team!

Kelli Anderson, Admissions Liaison 

employee appreciation dayKelli has been with us for 10.5 years and currently serves as an Admissions Liaison. Every day, she works in collaboration with contract agencies to find placements for children and teens who need safe, loving foster homes while their families work to overcome obstacles. 

She finds supporting families the most rewarding part of her job because she believes families are the foundation for society. Helping kids and families in any capacity is worthwhile and fulfilling for Kelli. 

I enjoy working for KVC because there are always challenges ready for me to solve. I’ve held a variety of positions and often work in various roles to help where I can. We here at the Lincoln office are like a family, and this includes our foster families and the children we work with. We believe in all things family!

Meet A Few of Our Shared Living Employees!

Alicia Villescas, Assessment & Support Specialist

employee appreciation dayAlicia has been with us for three and a half years and currently serves as an Assessment Specialist. She works with people with developmental disabilities and youth in foster care to complete Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs). These assessments help identify additional supports and services individuals can utilize in order to improve their quality of life and reduce placement disruption.

Alicia enjoys creating client-specific recommendations that help improve their quality of life. Being able to directly advocate for clients and their needs is the most rewarding aspect of her job.

“[KVC’s tagline ‘we all need connection’] emphasizes the importance of human connectedness to maintain our emotional and physical health through meaningful relationships with others. That’s why I’m grateful for KVC and why I love my job.

Bryson Mansfield, Shared Living Specialist

employee appreciation dayBryson joined our team about two years ago as a Shared Living Specialist. He provides 24/7 support and guidance to clients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their care teams, including Shared Living providers. Our providers open their homes to clients to teach them social and independent living skills. They also help them form strong community relationships.

Bryson has 18 years of experience in the developmental disabilities field and joined KVC after fitting right in with the team. Bryson finds it most rewarding when a client reaches a goal they had been working hard to achieve. 

“Everyone in the office [is] so welcoming and helpful.”

Meet a Member of Our In-Home Services Team!

Larissa Dowe, Outpatient Therapy Supervising Practitioner 

kvc nebraska careersLarissa has worked for KVC for about five and a half years total, currently serving as Outpatient Therapy Supervising Practitioner. She provides clinical consultation to her team, supports her staff’s needs and serves families directly through our PACT program. She chose to work here because she felt like KVC Nebraska offered her the chance to be a part of something greater. Larissa loves how willing the leadership team is to listen to what employees have to say and make changes based on the feedback they receive. 

Larissa finds observing growth and happiness in the families she serves highly rewarding. She loves when families who utilize KVC’s services move toward accomplishing their goals, and as she says, “re-discover their love for each other.” She also enjoys seeing her own team members excel in their jobs serving clients. 

KVC is FUN! Staff here know how to have a good time and enjoy connecting with others. Potlucks, games, challenges, parties, and jokes are all up my alley and a requirement anywhere I work. Ultimately, I chose KVC because of the work we do and our mission. I believe that everyone deserves help regardless of their background and at KVC I am able to do that.”

About KVC Nebraska

KVC Nebraska is a private, nonprofit organization that provides a variety of programs and services to meet the diverse needs of youth, families and adults throughout Nebraska. We offer foster carehome-based support for people with disabilitiesintensive in-home preservation and reunificationbehavioral health therapy, educational support and substance use evaluation services to over a thousand children, families and adults every year.

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