Back with our Meet the COG series, up next is Paula Washek!
Paula is the Benefits and Support Specialist for the COG. As the most recent hire, She was interviewed by Austin Tuttle. When asked about her prior experience, Paula said:
“Overall I have been in the field for 11 years. I started at Goodwill and worked as a DSP for their Vocational Program. During my time at Goodwill I also completed Benefits Analysis. I relocated to the Cincinnati area 10 years ago and started working at Warren County Board of DD as an Adult Service Provider for their Day Hab and Voc Hab Prorams. I quickly moved up to a Program Coordinator for the Community Employment Department and during that time provided long term supports to individuals who were employed in the community. I also completed work as an Employment Developer and as an Employment Coordinator at Warren County Board of DD. I have held my certification from Cornell University as a Certified Work Incentives Practitioner since 2016. I have experience assisting individuals and families on their path to employment and also with managing and navigating their benefits (Social Security and JFS) along the way. Now that I have relocated back to Northern Ohio, I am excited that I have the opportunity to continue working in this field at Clearwater Council of Governments.”
What was your very first job? Hostess at Berardi’s Family Kitchen in Sandusky. I started when I was a sophomore in high school and worked there all through college and after.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Go on a solo vacation. It’s quite an amazing to be 100% in control of everything that happens for your entire vacation.
What is something most people don’t know about you? I am obsessed with hot air balloons! I have loved them since I was a kid. I lived in Lebanon, OH and they flew around all the time, usually in the mornings or in the evening. One time there was one that landed right outside my office and they let us hop in for short ride!
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? A kangaroo because they fuzzy, tall, and have cute ears. I also think it would be fun be able to hop around everywhere and carry everything I need in my pouch.