In the late 1980’s, Futures teamed up with the University of CT’s Center for Excellence and began to transform traditional services for individuals with disabilities and their families. The philosophy was simple – empower each individual to live life to its fullest and know the satisfaction of personal achievement. With that philosophy in mind, Futures became the first agency of its kind in Connecticut to develop and implement customized service plans for individuals with disabilities and their families.
This includes employment at our social enterprises, educational support, mentoring, transition planning, job training and placement, independent living and recreation and community volunteerism. The services we provide improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by supporting each person and their families.
Pam is a natural leader and visionary. Her passion and ability to bring creative solutions to the many challenges facing individuals with disabilities and their families speaks for itself. Pam was the first to introduce one-on-one, community-based services in Connecticut, along with the first community-based transition school approved by State Department of Education and the first incorporated social enterprises – Good Cause Gifts and The Kitchen at Futures. These achievements have earned Futures, Inc. national recognition as an innovative model for others to follow. Pam is a long-time champion of empowering individuals with disabilities to achieve their fullest potential while enlisting the support and encouragement of their families. It is evident to all who know her that Pam lives her commitment to her profession in all that she stands for and everything she does.
Lou is a veteran of non-profit human services program management whose unique ability to both conceptualize and implement innovative plans of action has placed him at the forefront of his field. His keen attention to detail and clear visualization of overall objectives result in concrete strategies for sustained success. As Associate Executive Director of Futures Inc., Lou oversees a variety of customized employment and enrichment activities, bringing a mind for business and a heart for humanity. The result is an exemplary delivery of services that advances the agency mission of empowering individuals with disabilities to live life to its fullest.
Damion Williams manages Futures’ Finance department and brings solid academic and professional experience to that position. Before joining Futures, he spent 8 years as both an Accountant and Public Housing Manager in the city of Hartford working with the Hartford Tenants Rights Federation, a non-profit agency which works as the city’s advocate for low-income public housing residents. Damion is a Hartford High graduate with an Associate Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University. He is currently completing a Master’s degree at the University of Hartford and a CPA degree.
Lacey joined the Futures team in February of 2017 and is a proud member of the administration at Futures Inc. Lacey earned a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management in 2016 and has a background in customer service industry. Her experiences help her bring a unique perspective to the HR department.
As Human Resources Manager she supports employee recognition programs, company initiatives and operations. Lacey believes that a strong business is built on team work and shared values. Her mission is to empower each individual within our organization through training and development as well as foster a collaborative team environment.
Tracey is a dependable and reliable asset to Futures Inc. Her organizational abilities and attention to detail and follow through provide individual attention to each project. Tracey has a Masters in Human Service Administration and has been part of the human service advocacy system for over 25 years. Tracey has been a part of the Futures team for over a year and continues to value and promote the mission of the organization through her work in marketing and development.
Dr. Thomas earned his Ph.D in Education Psychology from the University of Connecticut. He is certified as a School Administrator and a School Psychologist. Dr. Thomas came to the position of Education Director of Futures from an extensive background in Connecticut Special Education. He served as Special Education Director of USD #1, has taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Departments of both the University of Connecticut and the University of Hartford, and served as the chief Consultant of IEP-Direct. In this last position Dr. Thomas worked with nearly all CT Special Education Departments during the implementation of the statewide IEP Software. Dr. Thomas has also just recently returned to Futures. He helped to guide the Futures School through the initial approval as an APSEP (Approved Private Special Education Facility) by the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Orv is one of the co-founders of Futures and has been with the organization since its inception. He has over 40 years of experience as a Professor of special education, counseling, and rehabilitation at the Universities of Wisconsin and Connecticut. He has also been a certified rehabilitation counselor, and he is licensed as a psychologist. Though he has retired from these important endeavors he still shares his invaluable wisdom, knowledge and considerable experience as a member of the Board of Directors and in his current role as a part-time consulting psychologist to Futures.
Jo-Ann began her career at Futures Inc. more than twenty years ago. In that time, she has been instrumental in building the Adult Services program into the dynamic entity that exists today. As Regional Director of Adult Services, Jo-Ann works directly with consumers, families, and other team members to develop and implement individualized programs that are designed specifically for the success of each participant. She is a passionate advocate for those she serves and also provides guidance to others in need on how to navigate state systems and apply for services. A consummate team player, Jo-Ann is well-respected both within her Futures family and the human services field at large. Though she doesn’t like talking about her accomplishments, they clearly speak for themselves.
Sharon leads by example. Her compassion, outgoing personality, and high-energy nature help to make Good Cause Gifts the successful business and employment training program it is today. Most people will tell you that you simply can’t say “no” to Sharon. Her experience in human services, retail management and long-standing connections to both Berlin and New Britain are a perfect fit for the store. Sharon’s knowledge and visibility in the community help to expand outreach and in turn increases store sales volume and employment opportunities for the individuals with disabilities. Sharon sees every employee, with or without a disability, as having potential to contribute to the business and to fulfill the Good Cause Gift’s mission to give back to the community.
Mary oversees all aspects of life in The Kitchen at Futures where she not only serves up delicious treats but has also found a sweet recipe for helping the community. Chef Mary came to Futures with formal training both in Social Services and International Baking and Pastry. In The Kitchen at Futures, she has developed a highly supportive bakery program that teaches vocational and independent living skills. The student chefs gain valuable experience while baking beautiful treats, maintaining a sanitary work environment, delivering catering orders, providing excellent customer service, and handling cash – all important skills to master as students transition to competitive employment.