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Reflecting on 2020: Thankfulness, Lessons Learned, and Hope for the Future

Nov 24, 2020

In reflecting on 2020, it’s no secret that the year brought significant challenges to everyone. At People Incorporated, it was also a time for growth and learning. Asked to reflect on the positive impact and change that has come from a year filled with adversity, here is what People Incorporated’s executive leadership team shared:

“We’ve been able to backfill cancelled appointments with telemedicine appointments. That means that people are getting to talk to our providers sooner, and cancelled appointments don’t mean lost opportunities.”

– Jim Olson, CFO


“We’ve had very low rates of COVID infection at our programs – our staff have been agile and creative in keeping everyone safe.”

– Wendy Waddell, COO


“There was a common goal of pushing forward that required us to act urgently and honestly. We were the leader in paying emergency pay recognizing the heroes. We identified mistakes swiftly, corrected course and came together to find solutions for PPE, IT solutions to keep staff working remotely, and operational savvy to keep programs open. We led with great empathy, and intelligence. I know we’ll come out stronger.”

– Karen Kaplan, VP of Human Resources


“Our work has been at the intersection of flexibility, adaptability, and innovation, but you can’t do any of those things if you don’t have people willing to do it. Our team really stepped up. Also, by being more remote, we became much more intentional about communication. We couldn’t default to ‘I’ll tell them when I run into them,’ so it forced us to build our communication muscles as an agency.”

– Mike Turpin, General Counsel


“Our team has been supporting each other in incredible ways. They’re like a team of Sherpas- climbing Mt. Everest in a snowstorm. When one person runs out of oxygen or needs someone to pick up their pack, another is there to help. We might be climbing through this individually, but we’re working as a team. People are taking on new or extra work, learning new skills, and finding ways to help. It’s more than getting it done – it’s the attitude. There has been leadership at every level of this organization. We’ve been ‘find a way to make it happen’ people.”

I’m also humbled by the level of trust from our community – from the donations, little notes, calls to
see how we’re faring – as leaders we need that support, and it has never been more visible. It’s clear that you as donors don’t just care about us – you trust us.”

– Jill Wiedemann-West, CEO


“Everyone has been impacted this year in numerous ways, and amidst all this turmoil and chaos, People
Incorporated has continued to serve our clients and communities, while also striving to remain healthy and productive for themselves and their families. They are frontline heroes, and I am genuinely grateful for all their efforts to serve. People Incorporated has demonstrated its true character and resiliency during these unprecedented times.”

– Ken Duncan, Board Chair


Find this story and more in our Fall 2020 InTouch newsletter.