BRIDGING THE GAP
Eli’s Village Blog Introduction, Dr. Kathy Matthews, our new Vice President of Family Support & Services Planning at James River Wealth Advisors
Eli’s Village Blog Introduction, Dr. Kathy Matthews, our new Vice President of Family Support & Services Planning at James River Wealth Advisors, focusing on government benefits and community resources for those with disabilities
I first came to know Eli’s Village when I attended a focus group early on in their development. During the meeting, I heard Chuck describe the building space we were in as a kind of “family office.” As I listened, I wondered what a family office could look like? Most of us try to keep family and office (or work) separated. Family-work balance is a struggle for most of us, one that often leaves us feeling guilty for letting one of those facets down, one way or the other. Toward the end of the meeting, Heather, an amazing woman assigned to provide care to little Eli, invited me to come see his nursery. I knew that Eli came with his mom to work but like most of us, I figured that meant bringing him in briefly and trying to work while he slept in his stroller perhaps. But that was not the case at all. What I saw instead was an office that had been converted into a nursery. In this nursery were not only toys and the normal essentials, but items for therapy. I was amazed. Not only was Eli here in the office, but he was thriving here. In most places, office space is at a premium. The fact that this group of professionals made a decision to create such a space tugged at my heart. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I wanted in.
This is where I began to make a more formal connection to Eli’s Village. Chuck, Kristin and others are focused on family. When I talk with them, I hear them say; we care, we understand, and we are here to help you. As I think about my own future as a parent of a child with autism, I am grateful to be a part of an organization dedicated to supporting families. This is what brought me to Eli’s Village and I hope the idea of a “family office” becomes the new normal for as many companies as possible moving forward.
Kathy Matthews BIO
Dr. Kathy Matthews grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She completed her Master’s and PhD at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York where she also taught students with special needs from early intervention through high school. She returned to Richmond as an administrator at The Faison Center, helping to provide services to children, adults and families impacted by autism. She maintains a part-time role at The Faison Center in their outreach efforts, teaches adjunct courses at the University of Virginia, and also works at Longwood University in the College of Education and Human Services. She specializes in teaching using Applied Behavior Analysis and is a Licensed Behavior Analyst. Outside of her professional obligations, she and her husband live in Powhatan County with their two incredible little boys and two obnoxious, adorable dogs.
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