WHO WE ARE
Beth Gallagher is the founder, owner and CEO of Life Works. Life Works was founded in 2004. Her work with people with developmental disabilities began just weeks after graduating from California State University, Chico in 1986 with degrees in Child Development and Psychology. Beth has spent the past 3 decades creating unique and specific support strategies for individuals who have been underserved within the developmental disability system. She shares her gift of curiosity when thinking “what more is possible?” for the stakeholders of Life Works. How can we create opportunities for him to contribute? How can community benefit from his gifts?
Because Beth has chosen to work with people that have been historically under-served or misrepresented, she has spent a great deal of time studying methods of design and strategy that allow people to be heard and understood as individuals. Beth is the co-creator of the planning method called Liberty Plan used as a facilitation tool for individuals, groups, families and agencies. Beth also collaborated with Kirk Hinkleman to write Intentional Teaming: Shifting Organizational Culture. This book takes a look at initiatives to appreciate the unique gifts of the people providing direct support.
Collaboration is entrenched in Beth's personal philosophy as well as the philosophy of Life Works. When asked what her mission is Beth says, "My hope for Life Works is that we can team with people to achieve unique, customized and fully realized lives. We want to do this one person at a time in a way that makes particular sense to that person."
Kirk Hinkleman is the Associate Director of Life Works. Having worked in the human services field since 1998, Kirk has a wide range of experience working with people with unique and challenging support needs. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001, with a degree in Sociology, Kirk shifted his career focus to working with adults looking to live fully inclusive, independent lives in the community. Kirk met his now business partner and co-creator of awesome, Beth Gallagher, in 2007. The pairing has proven to be dynamic every step of the way. Kirk is committed to dismantling archaic structures, systems and thinking as it pertains to people who experience disabilities finding valued social roles in neighborhoods. Kirk is convinced that we need to view people through a citizen-centered lens if we what we are looking for is real, lasting and sustainable relationships with people.
Co-author (along with Beth Gallagher) of “Intentional Teaming: Shifting Organizational Culture”, and Co-Creator of Liberty Plan, Kirk is committed to realizing the highest potential in people while asking Beth Mount’s question “What More Is Possible?” When asked about his mission, Kirk says: “We need to shatter the walls our culture and society create that preclude us from making simple human connections with each other in the community and in our neighborhoods. I’m particularly fascinated with the idea of kinship and love. It is my hope, with our foundation of looking at all people as viable, contributive citizens living in community, we are able to embrace to the idea that we all inherently belong to one another. Love should drive the path we walk...we are all human, and thusly, all deserve love, dignity and respect.”
Joy Boe has over 10 years of experience working in social services in many capacities. A personal interest in Art has lead her to participate in the disability rights movement as a volunteer and student. Over the last 7 years, advocacy has played a large part in the development of her new initiative, giving misunderstood individuals a fair chance to participate in real inclusive settings and work alongside her as an equal. She hopes to dismiss stereotypes by helping citizens explore their unique gifts, and connect people of all abilities to opportunities in their own neighborhood. She believes Life Works commitment to people through the highs and lows of their lives is the highest form of service to be achieved.
My name is Lamika Thomas and I have worked for Life Works since September 2011. I have had the honor and privilege of working with a great team and with great people. I have had a passion for helping others since I was two years old. I graduated from Earlham College with a Bachelor's of Art in Psychology in 2003 and graduated with my Master's of Social Work from The Ohio State University in 2005. My journey started in my master's degree program, where I was provided an opportunity to intern in a residential treatment facility. From that internship, developed a career and passion that continues to this day. My biggest joy is changing the lives of individuals; supporting families and individuals to live effective and healthy lives in the their “own” homes and within their “own” community. Many people I encounter would characterize me as dedicated, sympathetic, great personality, but most of all committed. There have been bumps and bruises along my journey, but one thing always remains consistent, 100% will always be given because this is not just a career, but a part of my life
Amy Davis has worked in the social services field for nearly a decade. She graduated at the top of her class (Magna Cum Laude) with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. She has a vast amount of experience working with people with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities. Amy’s social service experience includes being a resource counselor, job coach, youth assistant for the blind, and a K-12 special education teacher. Her compassion, patience, work ethic advocacy skills and love of helping people has proven to be an asset when it comes to working with people that have been marginalized. She is excited to start her career with Life Works and is looking forward to the rewards and challenges that lie ahead.
Jody Hinkleman has been working in the field since 1998. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001 with a Bachelor of Art in Psychology. She always knew that she wanted to work in a field that focused on helping others but she was not sure exactly where that was going to lead her. While attending the University of California, Santa Barbara she was introduced to the field of Special Education. She went on to get her Masters in Special Education and a Teaching Credential in Early Childhood Special Education. She also had an opportunity to live in a home with two men who were a part of the Supported Living community in Santa Barbara. Jody was lucky to be able to live with these two men and experience the beauty of Santa Barbara with them for a couple of years. Since college Jody has worked in classrooms and homes helping children to reach their full potential. Now she is excited to be able work at Life Works, helping out behind the scenes. When asked why Jody chose to work at Life Works she responded, ͞I love being able to come to work with people who are passionate about community and helping everyone to reach their full potential. We all need support in different ways and it makes me happy knowing that we are able to provide that in our community.͟