Today, we’re shining a spotlight on someone truly special—Pam Westhoff! For four decades, Pam has been spreading joy, knowledge, and inspiration throughout our agency. We want to share her incredible journey, straight from the words of Pam herself and her awesome teammates.

Pam stumbled upon Community Living back in ’84 through a simple newspaper ad. Little did she know this chance encounter would kickstart a 40-year adventure. “I had some exposure to people with disabilities and wanted to work for an agency that provided services,” Pam shares. When she had her interview with Marion Lonning, she explained there was a chance she would be moving to Nashville a couple years later, but plans changed, and Community Living is so fortunate that she has stuck around a lot longer.

“The positive atmosphere is one of the things I enjoy the most,” Pam says. She also mentioned that even on tough days, her amazing team always has her back. “Most days are not challenging, and when there are challenges, they don’t last long because I have a great group of coworkers who all pitch in to problem-solve.”

Around 1987 Pam transferred from Support Services staff to Vocational Training Center staff which is now Employment Services. “I’ve had the privilege to watch how employment has gone from sheltered workshop to competitive employment. My favorite thing to do is to tell others the history of Employment Services and what is happening now in the world of employment for people with disabilities.”

Pam has been a huge part of the evolution of Employment Services and has learned a lot along the way. “My biggest takeaway is being a witness to the big and little changes in lives after employment is secured and confidence grows,” Pam says.

Pam transitioned from full time to part time in September 2023 so she has more time to do what she loves, off the clock. When she’s not spreading joy at work, you’ll find her spending time with her daughter and three wonderful grandkids. “Now I have the time to enjoy memberships at the Rec Plex and the Y where I work out, swim, and take yoga classes. I also have more time to help at my church.”

Pam’s teammates have nothing but love and admiration for her. Her impact is felt far and wide, has touched so many people. Thank you, Pam, for 40 amazing years with Community Living!

From The Employment Team:

“I have learned so much from Pam. Pam has a ton knowledge in all areas due to her experience which has benefited all of us. Pam is so enjoyable to work with, so I am glad she will remain in Employment Services as a part-time employee. Pam has the gift of giving honest feedback to our team, as well as clients, which has created a reputation of being a “stickler”; however, well respected. I have big shoes to fill in BEST! Thank you for being you, Pam!” – Brittany Kroll

“Pam has been an incredible asset to the team and has taught me many things working with her. I am always amazed at the stories Pam has to tell and the input she brings to the table! I value her opinion and thoughts on all our programs, and she is always a go-to for sticky or obscure situations that I have not encountered before. Pam has ample knowledge and experience which has been a blessing to our agency and the Employment Program. I am glad she is not leaving because I know there is so much more the team and I can learn from her!” – Dory Estes

“Pam is so amazing and so fun to be around. She never fails to make you laugh and any question you have she is happy to answer.” – Gabrielle Oehmke

“Pam has taught me how to work hard and have fun doing so. She is a “tough cookie” and expects the best from everyone. Pam is a legend!” – Abbigail Harper

“Pam, you have been such a big asset to Employment Services. Your dedication to our services and clients is so admirable. I really value you as a person and colleague. I am so blessed to have been able to work alongside you as your co-worker and as your supervisor. There have been so many challenges we have tackled together over the years, and you have been my rock and “go to” many times in my career. I always knew I could count on you and have honest conversations (even the hard ones) and our relationship would be solid. Thank you for believing in me, even when I didn’t. Thank you for being patient with me and holding me accountable as a leader. The impact you have made these last 39 years has left a mark on so many individuals and you should be so proud. Community Living and the world truly is a better place because of you. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done, and I hope you know how much you are respected and loved. Enjoy this next chapter—I cannot think of anyone that deserves it more.” – Jamie Roderique