Former Resident Home Association Executive Director Brenda Whitney (left) presents the Mary O’Leary Lifetime Achievement Award to Shirley Fowler during our Annual Luncheon at Sinclair Community College.
From the time Shirley began working at Resident Home in 1978 until her retirement in 2000, she held almost every position within the agency, beginning as a Habilitation Planner and ending her career as Director of Residential Services. Whatever her position was, she was always, first and foremost, a strong and passionate advocate for the people she served, with a strong dedication to assure their safety and health. She always reminded others within RHA that the people being served should always come first – that they should be at the forefront when planning and providing any activity or program.
The Mary O’Leary Award is presented annually by Resident Home Association (RHA) to an individual who has dedicated his/her career (and much of his/her life) to passionate advocacy for people with developmental/intellectual disabilities, to a person who has consistently met the highest standards over many years of service.
Mary O’Leary was a founding member of Resident Home and a dedicated mother to her son Tim. She devoted much of her life to building services within the community for him and for others with developmental disabilities. She is a member of our Partners For Community Living John W. Pratt Society, honoring her lasting legacy to Resident Home through a generous gift from her estate, part of which helped build our Garber Road home.