From the Desk of Sarah Noack, Brokerage Director, UCP Oregon
As I reflect on the past year, there were beautiful highlights and certainly many difficult lowlights.
In the spring of 2021, I could not have imagined how I would be catapulted out of my home office and into a massive undertaking—establishing a second brokerage (“UCP Mentors”) in order to take on the customers from another brokerage (“Mentor”) that was closing.
In some ways, taking on 600+ customers and starting a second brokerage was completely unfathomable to consider amidst a pandemic.
In other ways, it provided the perfect opportunity to shift focus onto something fresh and energizing.
I knew that I wanted to be a part of a safety net that could catch Mentor’s customers and employees. And I knew UCP had the organizational values and foundation to do right by folks.
What I didn’t know was how powerfully the community would come together to make that happen.
All of UCP’s existing (and new!) brokerage employees gave so much—their skills, gifts, and efforts—to make absolutely certain we were ready for our new customers.
Every single need was met with “here is what I can do.”
People stayed focused and positive even when we were overwhelmed. Problems were met with curiosity and tenacity.
And through those months, the team of former Mentor employees stepped bravely forward, responding with heart and grit and hope and determination.
When UCP Mentors opened on September 1, I felt like we had successfully landed the Millennium Falcon! I am so grateful for everyone, whether they served as Chewie, Yoda, Han, or members of the band that plays the funky music in the cantina.
Here we are four months later.
The dust is settling. And we see what lies ahead--more rebuilding, more growth, some healing, and lots more work.
But for now, I want to pause for a moment and say “three cheers” to everyone who was involved. Hooray for us all! Here is to collaboration, community, and customers! Happy New Year!
--Sarah Noack, Brokerage Director
As you may know, UCP Oregon has been offering brokerage services since 2010, under the name “UCP Connections.”
Effective September 1st, we added a second brokerage (“UCP Mentors”), in order to serve brokerage customers that had been previously served by The Mentor Network.
This is a big change; we’re now supporting 600 additional brokerage customers!
At the heart of this transition are the employees. We were able to bring over an amazing team from The Mentor Network. We also promoted several folks internally, and hired several talented, passionate new team members from outside UCP.
We also made changes at the management level. We created a new “Director of Brokerage Services” position, which will be held by UCP’s former Brokerage Director, Sarah Noack.
Tara Coen was promoted to serve as Brokerage Director for UCP Connections; Sasha Vidales (a former employee of The Mentor Network and founder of Creative Goal Solutions) was hired to serve as Brokerage Director for UCP Mentors!
We have big news!
At the beginning of June, we learned that one of our peer agencies (The Mentor Network) was closing their services in Oregon, including their brokerage services.
UCP Oregon—in partnership with Oregon’s Department of Human Services Office of IDD Services—made the decision to support 600 of Mentor Oregon’s former brokerage customers.
We’re keeping our existing brokerage ("UCP Connections"), and adding a second brokerage ("UCP Mentors") to serve the new customers.
We’re hiring additional brokerage staff, and also adding a “solid gold” team of former Mentor employees, who bring a wealth of experience, heart, and commitment to their customers. These new customers and staff joined us, effective September 1st.
UCP’s two brokerages will function as two united yet distinct entities.
We understand this change came as a surprise, and that everyone will have different feelings and thoughts. We are offering information sessions for customers affected by this change, ensuring they have the chance to ask questions and share their voices.
As time goes on, we’ll be sharing more information about this big change. But, in the meantime, we hope you’ll join us in welcoming our new customers and employees.
As you may have recently heard, UCP is growing! We’re opening a second brokerage (more info coming soon).
We're hiring for several Personal Agents (Caseload Managers) for both our existing Brokerage (UCP Connections) and our new Brokerage (UCP Mentors).
As a Personal Agent, you'll support adults who experience various intellectual/developmental disabilities.
You’ll have the chance to make a big difference every day, and be a part of a collaborative, fun, and diverse team.
UCP is growing! We’re opening a second brokerage (more info coming soon), which means that we have several exciting openings.
First up: we're hiring for two "Brokerage" Directors. One will be the Director of our long-standing Brokerage (UCP Connections), and the other will be the Director our new Brokerage (UCP Mentors).
Brokerage Directors take the lead on strategic planning, community-building, contracts, and engagement with State and local partners.
They are responsible for the effective operation of an In-Home Support Services Brokerage, including case management services, daily operations, community partnerships, financial oversight, team cohesion, and organizational structure.
These positions close on July 21st, 2021 at 5pm.
We’d like to share some more stories from the storm.
One of UCP Oregon’s Supported Living Team Leaders, Codi Parmelee, did fantastic work, driving staff to and from shifts. Thanks, Codi!
A Personal Agent from UCP’s Brokerage, Jeff Gilbert, braved the storm with our technology consultant, Jeff Couttouw, to get our servers up, with assistance from the Brokerage Director, Sarah Noack. Thanks, guys!
And so many other folks worked extra hours and dealt with treacherous driving conditions. We are so grateful for every one of you. Thank you!
What does it look like when people who experience disabilities come together to form a movement? It looks like this!
UCP is pleased to announce that we’re growing—quite a bit!
Currently, UCP Connections (our support services brokerage department) supports 251 customers, but over the next few months, Connections will grow by almost 30%, with the end goal of supporting 326 customers.