Long Term Dedication
February 6, 2019
By Morgan Schumacher, HR Coordinator
How many years do you think you want to put into your job before retirement? 15, 30, 60? Many of us can’t even begin to dream of retirement (Oh, the thoughts of lying on a Florida beach!), and then there are some of us who aren’t even thinking about retirement because that would mean slowing down. Ida Seckler and Cheryl Eversole are two of Siffrin’s longest tenured employees/staff who have advanced through the ranks to become Managers of Supervised Living. Both with unique starts and minds, but in the end, they share the same drive and passions to help those with disabilities live happy and fulfilled lives.
With the most years of service in our Mahoning Regional Office, Ida Seckler began working at Siffrin in 2006. She found a Siffrin job posting online and decided to come into the Mahoning office to apply. She wasn’t quite sure what she was looking for, but she wanted something different. Ida emigrated with her family from the Philippines when she was 13. She went to college at Kent State University where she studied nutrition and dietetics. She then went to nursing school at Youngstown State University but decided that it was not for her. She felt her calling was somewhere else. She started as a Direct Support Professional Substitute in the homes, then moved to working as a full time Floater, then a Home Coordinator, then to Manager of Employment Support, and finally to her current position as Manager of Supervised Living.
When asking Ida what was difficult about working in this field, she was very honest about having to always learn new things and staying on top of all the changes and updates. It’s also hard to watch the individuals you have become close with and cared for go through illnesses or tough times. “They become a second family to you,” she says. Through her many years with Siffrin, she has plenty of happy memories, but one that really sticks out to her is being able to take our individuals to Disney…twice! “It was a great moment in their lives, and I got to be a part of it!”
Ida loves to shop and travel with her husband. She is very dedicated and a joy to have around the office. Her consistent hard work can be seen as an inspiration to her co-workers that no matter how life starts out, the ending can be very rewarding and fulfilling.
In the Stark County office, Cheryl Eversole is one of Siffrin’s longest serving employees; in March of 2019, she will have been with us for 37 years! Her dedication to our mission is best described by her own life experience and unwavering commitment to those with disabilities. Cheryl can’t really remember how she found Siffrin. At first she wanted to start her own group home after working in a nursing home, and she thought that this might have been a good start. She began working as a Direct Support Professional Substitute, then on to a Home Manager (things are structured a little different now than when she began) and now, she is Manager of Supervised Living.
Cheryl came from parents who were first-generation Americans, she has a sister who was born with a disability, and at the time it was common for families to send their loved ones away for treatment but not in Cheryl’s family. They worked to keep their family together and ensure that her sister was always treated like every other child. “You take care of your family,” her mother would say. This idea of love and care for all was deeply ingrained in Cheryl early on. From a young age, she would advocate and stand up for others, and to this day, this is what she does.
In her personal life she loves to travel and has seen 48 of the 50 states -- only Alaska and Hawaii left! She is also Massillon Tigers Football’s number one fan. Out of 42 seasons, she has missed only 8 games. “If they go, I go,” she says referring to when she travels for away games. She is also a loving mother of 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
Cheryl has seen a lot of changes in her time working in this field: the closing of Apple Creek Developmental Center, changing laws, and rights of the disabled becoming more clear and respected. With tears in her eyes, she talked about some of the disheartening things she has witnessed regarding people with disabilities. However, in the same breath she was able to talk about the amazing progress that has happened over the years. She says her family and her faith are important to her as is keeping her outspoken, rebellious ways, and always being an advocate making those lives around her happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
Both Ida and Cheryl echoed the same sentiment when asked what they wanted to see in the future for not only themselves, but for Siffrin. They both want to see growth and serving more persons with disabilities. Ida wants to continue learning and growing within the company, and Cheryl has never had a goal other than hitting 40 years which she is pretty close to achieving. Siffrin is very fortunate to have these two driven and passionate people on the side of the individuals we serve. We really respect and value what assets they are to us. We hope to have them for as long as we can because energy like theirs is hard to match. Thank you, Ida and Cheryl, for everything you do.