When a good leader leaves a company, finding someone to fill those shoes, even temporarily, can be a struggle. At Paladin, Inc, however, they had just the right person to fill those Interim President shoes with Kim Latchford.
A 23-year veteran at Paladin, Latchford worked her way up from Direct Support Professional to Director and Vice President of Participant Services. Throughout her long career, she has held roles like Case Manager, Intake Specialist, and Habilitation Manager. Having held varied positions has given Latchford a unique perspective on the company that she can bring with her into her new role as Interim President.
“I have been fortunate enough to have served in many different roles within the organization,” said Latchford. “These experiences have given me insight and understanding of how we can best serve our community as a whole.”
It is Latchford’s passion for working within the Human Services field for more than 30 years that has given her the strength and determination to remain and thrive at Paladin for more than two decades.
“When I was working in Home Healthcare, I worked with a 17-year-old individual with a disability. This experience was eye-opening and changed my perspective on life. I realized that we often take our abilities for granted, and at that time, I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life... I wanted to help people reach their full potential,” Latchford said. “After 30 years, I have never looked back. I am able to help others in many different ways and be a witness to their success stories. It warms my heart, and I am fortunate to be a part of such an amazing organization.”
For Latchford, it is the clients, employees, and mission at Paladin that she most enjoys.
“I truly love the fact that Paladin is a mission-driven organization. Seeing the participants excel in their personal goals is an awesome success story to witness and be a part of,” said Latchford. “Paladin’s biggest asset is its employees-direct service to the leadership team. They are dedicated, invested, and passionate about what they do and who they serve. This is how we help our children and participants achieve their highest potential.”
The supervisors Latchford has had throughout her years at Paladin have helped to prepare her to take on this important new role.
“I’d have to thank all of my past superiors. They are the leaders who believed and challenged me which has resulted in my position today,” she said.
Latchford also thanks her parents and grandparents for their positive influence in her life, preparing her for her successes at work.
“My parents and grandmother have influenced me to always be myself, try my best, and keep my head up regardless of the challenges I face in life,” said Latchford. “It wasn’t until I lost my mother at age 17 that I began to realize how these words of wisdom would impact me in my personal and professional life then and now.”
Latchford has watched Paladin grow into a vital service within the La Porte and Lake counties.
“Providing support and programs to children, persons with disabilities, and seniors is essential for our community,” she said. “Without such support, children may not have access to accessible child care, early learning experiences, and meaningful accommodations (children’s waiver). Persons with disabilities and seniors may have limited transportation options, resources, and experiences.”
With respect for the past leaders, Latchford is looking forward to stepping into her new role and leading Paladin during this transitional time, taking her own advice for professional success.
“Continue to always try your personal and professional best on every task you are given.”
For more information on Paladin, Inc, visit their website: http://www.paladin.care/.