Meet our Team!
Residential Engagement Specialist, with VOA for 1 year
Milton Butler is a Residential Engagement Specialist at Hope Hall and just celebrated his 1-year anniversary with VOA. Milton is inspired by his supervisor Stephanie Eddington for her dedication to the residents they serve and also her team. If Milton could be anyone for a week, he would be superman so he could save money on gas because he would fly to work and because he loves helping people. When Milton is not at work, his happy place is at home with his kids and family. Fun fact – Milton has recorded 8 hip hop albums!
Maintenance Technician, with VOA for 8 years
Michael Anthony has been with VOA for 8 years! Michael is proud to work at VOA because s because the people at VOA genuinely care about each other personally and work together as a team. If he had to describe VOA in 3 words it would be teamwork, change, and fairness. He is inspired by the residents and loves being able to help them every day. Michael believes he has grown a lot and is moving in a great direction in life since he started working at VOA. Michael’s happy place is going fishing with his daughter and watching the water.
HR Assistant, with VOA for 1 year
Jenny is approaching her 1-year work anniversary with VOA Illinois! If she had to describe VOA in 3 words it would be hope, generosity, and aspiration. Jenny is inspired by the front line, service workers at VOA who are giving their all to help those in need. Jenny has enjoyed being able to be a part of serving so many different populations from veterans to the elderly to youth in foster care. Jenny is inspired by Vera Wang, “she pursued her passion to become a fashion designer at the age of 40. Her story shows that it is never too late to chase your dreams.”
Therapist and Parenting Coach, with VOA for 7 years
Vanessa Baie is the Therapist and Parenting coach on the Foster Care team and has been with VOA for 7 years. The VOA value Vanessa connect with the most is Faith because she believes in the individual strengths and capacity for change in all people. Vanessa’s favorite client success story is that one of her clients is working hard to have their 7 children return home to their care. This client has been successful in working toward their goals and will hopefully be reunited with their family in a few months. Vanessa says, “I have been working with this client for nearly 2 years. It has shown me the power of the therapeutic relationship and reinforced my passion for working in our clinical department.” Vanessa is a cancer survivor and says, “while this was the hardest thing I ever went through, it ignited in me a new zest for life.” Her motto is, you get what you give- so give good!
Outreach Coordinator, with VOA for 1 year
Patrick Daniels has been an Outreach Coordinator with VOA for a year. If he had to describe VOA in three words it would be; community, committed, and spiritual. The VOA value he connects with the most is integrity. Patrick demonstrates integrity in his work daily. His favorite memory was when VOA partnered with Imagine Englewood IF for a Halloween party. “A parent approached me, she stated that her son appreciated the fact that I let him use the DJ equipment to play Michael Jackson. She mentioned that her son is autistic and she had not seen him enjoy himself or engage with people in over 12 months. That story touched my heart. It lets me know that we are having an impact on the community.” His life motto is Grind Hard!
Property Manager, with VOA for 5 years
Yolanda Santiago has been with VOA for 5 years. Yolanda has held multiple roles at the organization and is currently the Property Manager at our Hope Manor I property. The VOA value she connects with the most is teamwork because the people at work who inspire her are her teammates. Her motto in life is “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken”. When Yolanda is not at Hope Manor I, her happy place is at home with her family.
Senior Property Manager, with VOA for 8 years
Elissa Besterwitch has been with VOA for 8.5 years! Elissa is proud to work at VOA because she knows she is working to serve those who are most vulnerable and she is constantly encouraged by the dedication and teamwork of her co-workers. Her goal has always been, “that Balsam Terrace & Spruce Manor would be a happy, safe, engaging place to live, inspiring the people we serve to live their best life”. Her work motto is: being positive in a negative situation is not naive. It's leadership. Elissa’s happy place is traveling with her family because it has left her with some of her most cherished memories.