HCO Services Director, Paula Krage, retired from our organization earlier this month. As a member of our Management team with a long history of supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, she has helped change the way that the Winona community has embraced people of all abilities.
Paula Krage started working for HCO in 1983. For the past 37 years, she has been a long-time advocate for those we serve and has been instrumental in supporting individuals as they build self-advocacy skills through HCO’s Grassroots Advocacy Task Force. Paula is also known for her talents as a mentor. Over the years, she has supervised countless student interns and employees across all levels of our agency as they learn, gain new abilities, and work to achieve their career goals. Paula’s advisory skills, charisma, and natural ability to help those we serve to find their voice will be greatly missed.
In speaking about her retirement, Paula recently shared, “It has been truly heartwarming to witness the growth of each person that I have had the pleasure of supporting during my tenure with Home and Community Options. There are so many memories that I have to take with me, and I will look back on each fondly and with great appreciation.”
It is always difficult to say goodbye as long-time colleagues retire from the agency. They have grown to be close confidants, friends, and even members of our families over the years. Paula will always have a special place in our hearts and be an important part of HCO’s history. We are forever grateful for her contributions to our organization these past 37 years.
Yet, with change also comes opportunity. In the past few years, several members of our Management Team have neared retirement age and Home and Community Options has been planning for the transition. Three years ago, the HCO Management Team established a training curriculum to begin mentoring up-and-coming leaders throughout our organization. With 27 members currently comprising our leadership team, eighteen have been with HCO for over 10 years (ten of which have been with HCO for over 20 years). With a strong mix of experience and new, fresh ideas, we are excited to continue to cultivate these amazing employees as they help grow, change, and shape HCO for future generations.
All of us at HCO wish Paula our heartfelt congratulations as she begins the next exciting chapter of her life. Thank you, Paula, for the years of dedication and service you’ve shown to HCO. You have achieved a great many things in your work to further HCO’s mission over the years, and you will be greatly missed.
Suzanne Horstman, Executive Director
Home and Community Options, Inc.
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