Pathways Welcomes Exude, Inc. Executive as New Board Member
Michelle Tepper loves helping people. Helping clients get their needs met is one of her favorite parts of working as the Director of Strategic Relationships at Exude,Inc, and people are the reason that, three months ago, she became part of our Board of Directors at Pathways.
Exude is a consulting company with a unique goal; “To change lives for people who change the world.” A few years ago, as Pathways was going through a rapid growth spurt, we reached out to Exude for support with our healthcare insurance and human resources department, and they fulfilled their mission; “Our mission is to support yours.” If your organization is interested in supporting Pathways’ mission, reach out to us here to find ways we can partner.
“Myself and our founder & CEO, Marcos Lopez, arrived at Pathways,” Michelle recalls, “and we were expecting to just meet with Chris Simiriglia and maybe one other person. From the minute we walked in, we were welcomed by everyone, from staff on the elevator to the clients. It was unbelievable.”
In lieu of a simple conversation, Pathways CEO, Chris Simiriglia, invited Michelle and Marcos to sit down with a participant and hear his story. “Right away, we were won over by the passion and mission Pathways was there to do,” Michelle says. “Pretty much at that moment I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of professionally and personally.”
Michelle believes having the right HR and employee resources allows employees to thrive. “HR is the crust of the organization,” she says. “They’re the first and usually the last people that employees interact with. It’s the person who will share the culture and the mission. That human capital - the people and the culture is what will make or break your company.”
Michelle gets to help build the culture both with client organizations and within Exude itself. A few years ago, she invited Ken Wilson, a Certified Peer Specialist at Pathways, to speak at Exude to demonstrate the amazing impact that Exude’s work can have.
Ken shared his incredible story, which was recently highlighted on WGAL and has been profiled on our blog here. “His journey is so incredible,” Michelle says. “I got to tell our staff, ‘this is our client. This is the work we do.’ It was powerful.”
Exude continues to be an excellent partner for Pathways to this day, both through their consultation work and through donating to support our participants. They were a big supporter of the Philadelphia Furniture Bank’s Chair Affair earlier this summer. “Exude wants us to be involved,” Michelle says, highlighting that they give opportunities for staff to volunteer and support their communities.
Ever since that first meeting, Michelle has also looked for ways to stay connected with us, and just joined our board earlier this year. “I talked to a lot of organizations," she says, "and with Pathways I felt that what they were doing was incredible, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Working with Pathways has given Michelle a new perspective on issues of homelessness. “From the minute that I was in there for that first meeting, it truly made me look at homeless people very differently.” Michelle knows first-hand that every person who spends time on the streets has a story worth telling.
Just as Michelle is drawn to supporting people, Pathways benefits from an incredible community of support. If your organization is looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of people stepping out of homelessness, let’s find a way to partner!
About the Author
Becca DeWhitt is an MBA candidate at Temple University. She is passionate about creating a world where everyone's experience and perspective is valued, and sees story-telling as a powerful tool to that end.