Dec 29, 2020

Thank you, Alice

On behalf of the entire HCDDS community – staff, advocates, people served, families, providers, and community partners – we thank Alice Pavey for her lifetime of service to people with disabilities. Since her time volunteering at a summer camp as a teenager, through her work at the state and other county boards, to her nine years of leadership at HCDDS, Alice has worked to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. It’s notable that, as a leader today, she continues to refer back to the relationships she built in her early career. Anyone who has worked with her has likely listened to her speak with passion about our mission and the people we support.

Alice, we’re deeply thankful for your leadership and everything you’ve done to leave HCDDS in a strong position to continue its mission with effectiveness, innovation, and the highest level of quality.

As superintendent, Alice prioritized families and advocacy work. She sat on the Ohio Self Determination Association board, where she actively supported efforts to promote self-determination for advocates throughout the state.  In Hamilton County, Alice introduced and championed Project STIR as a way for advocates to find and strengthen their voices.  She leaves a legacy of listening to the people we serve and empowering them to speak up.

“Alice was always committed to the people served by HCDDS. She was very involved in and supportive of advocacy work, whether offering rides to Columbus or serving as an original board member of the Ohio Self Determination Association. We’ll miss Alice and wish her all the best in retirement!”
          - James Harley, advocate          

During her tenure as superintendent, the system of supporting people with DD across Ohio underwent major changes, including the growing use of Medicaid waivers to fund services, the overhaul of the waiting list system, and the transition out of managing adult centers. On top of these changes, Alice also successfully managed the agency’s finances as we navigated the long economic recovery following the 2008 financial crisis. Alice guided HCDDS through a long list of accomplishments, both large and small, that are improving the lives of people with DD in our community. As a result of Alice’s leadership, we are in a strong position for the future.

When we selected Alice as our superintendent, we couldn’t foresee the external forces that would soon affect our agency. But her thoughtful leadership was exactly what we needed to navigate the many significant changes to the way we operate. Facing what seemed at the time to be insurmountable challenges, her calm, collaborative, and compassionate response led to solutions that put us ahead of the curve and in a stable financial situation – all while maintaining the high-quality services expected from HCDDS. We couldn’t have made a better choice to lead our agency, and I know we are certainly better for it. Alice’s leadership will have lasting marks on HCDDS and everyone touched by its people and programs. It has been a tremendous pleasure working with Alice, and we will all miss her.
          - Nestor Melnyk, HCDDS Board President

While Alice likely expected a quiet final year before her retirement, 2020 has been particularly tumultuous because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been fortunate for Alice’s leadership and experience this year as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Throughout the pandemic, Alice has prioritized the safety of the people we serve, our staff, and our provider community. She’s made difficult decisions and worked to ensure we continue to provide essential support in new ways that reduce risk. Throughout the year, Alice continued to look ahead, planning for innovations that will allow us to provide better services in the future and safeguarding our finances so we’ll be prepared when the pandemic finally ends.

“Every so often people come into your life who are able to make a profound impact. Alice Pavey was one of those people for me. Not only in my life but, in fact, my entire family’s life.”
          -  David O’Brien, father of triplets who have autism

Alice, we’re thankful for your excellent stewardship of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services. Your leadership skills along with your kind attitude and warm personality have been the perfect match for our agency. Congratulations on your well-earned retirement!
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