Genell Restivo has worked at Victor for the past 32 years. When asked what has kept her there so long she said it comes down to two things, the work and the people. Victor has always been a mission driven organization dedicated to helping children and families. The quality of work that Victor does has always drawn Genell in and kept her engaged. Having coworkers that are equally engaged in the mission and supportive of one another is the other major element of her longevity with the company and ultimately the success of the organization.
Genell worked for 28 years in the residential side of things. Working with youth in short-term residential therapeutic programs she developed a passion for helping kids. Genell then transitioned to the community side of things for 3 years, and was promoted to Regional Director last October. Genell maintains her passion for the work. Quoting another Regional Director she said "It's super hard work, but it's super important work."
The Best Days at Work Are...
When Genell first started with Victor, her best days were when she felt like she helped make a difference in a child's life. As she has moved up in the organization and stepped out of the role of directly providing services, her focus has shifted to managing and supporting those who do. Over the last 5 years in her leadership roles as Clinical Supervisor, Program Director and now Regional Director, her best days at work have become when she connects with and supports an employee so that they can be successful. "When the people I support find a reason to come back and work another day, that's a great day."
Top 2 Goals This Year
Genell has so many goals and objectives, both short-term and long-term. But when pressed, she narrowed her priorities down to two. For the remainder of this year, she has one goal for her community programs and one goal for her residential programs.
Community Programs: Empower, train and support her new Executive Directors to be the best that they can be.
Residential Programs: Get involved at the state and county level with the Continuum of Care Reform that's currently happening in California. She wants to know exactly what's going on and have a voice in the process so that Victor can continue to provide the best service possible.
Commitment to the Mission During Disasters
Over the past three years, Santa Rosa, Chico and Redding have all experienced major disasters. The Tubbs fire destroyed parts of Santa Rosa; the Carr Fire devastated the Redding area; the Camp Fire all but wiped Paradise off the map and greatly affected Chico. Not long after that, Redding got hit with one of the most intense snow storms it's had in years and many were left without power. Throughout all of these tragedies one thing remained constant: the selfless actions of Victor employees striving to help others when they themselves were at risk.
Residential programs had to be relocated on short notice and many staff lost access to their own homes. The quality of the employees at Victor shined through in these situations. Employees who had been evacuated or had even lost their homes entirely, were coming together to take care of kids and families in these communities, because that's who they are. Genell used a quote she hears frequently around the office, "We are ordinary people who do extraordinary things." That's something that can be said of every Victor employee. Whether the staff is dealing with major natural disasters or just the daily challenge of improving people's lives, the stakes are high and the work is daunting, but still they persevere.
As Genell approaches the anniversary of her first year as Regional Director, she is optimistic and ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. She continues to build up new leaders inside the organization, supporting them and grooming them for both professional and personal growth. At Victor, the two go hand-in-hand.
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