Glen Tibbitts, an Ohio State University graduate and resident of Delaware, Ohio, for 22 years, has joined UCH as director of IT services. Born in Boston, Glen attended elementary and high school in Marion, Ohio, and St. Joseph, Michigan. Glen holds a bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs with a concentration in statistics. He worked in government for more than 20 years, serving a local developmental disabilities board. Glen has moved from serving one vulnerable population to a new one — older adults.
“I bring a new set of eyes to lead the technology department while keeping our core values at the forefront of my mind,” Glen said. “I believe in empowering staff by seeking their input on projects, hardware and software evaluation and recommendations to move the company forward. This management technique makes us all come together as a team. It helps us brainstorm what is best for UCH as a whole and how we can become trendsetters or early adopters of new technology.”
Assistive technology has boomed to provide better care for older adults living independently in their homes. “Assistive technology continues to make advances in the realm of senior living,” Glen added. “To separate UCH from our competitors, we need to study how this technology can be implemented in a way that is beneficial to the entire organization, while keeping costs in mind and focusing on the importance of UCH’s vision, mission and core values to enhance lives.”
UCH has been progressive to pilot up-and-coming technology to help individuals become more connected to friends and loved ones while staying in tune with the numerous events at UCH locations.
“Along with these leaps in technology, Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) and a stronger cloud presence will reduce operational expenses while increasing uptime, raising productivity and significantly reducing waste,” Glen said.
A solid trouble-ticketing system is also in place as a critical component of IT, Glen said. The ticketing system is efficient and allows UCH to be proactive to issues that may arise, such as failing systems and pieces of mission-critical software that could need the focus of the IT team.
Glen said UCH also recognizes the positive impact and cost savings that voiceover internet protocol (VOIP) phones bring to the company.
MEET THE SUPERHERO TEAM
Help Desk Technician Jared Erb has been with UCH for over two years. He provides onsite support for all network equipment and remote support for all housing communities. He works with vendors for networking and computer appliance needs. Jared also troubleshoots and fixes problematic equipment and network errors.
A 2007 graduate of Marietta High School, Jared graduated from the Washington County Career Center computer graphics program and completed the Microsoft Technical Associate program.
“My favorite part of my job is the equipment I get to set up and the problems I research and figure out how to fix,” Jared said. “It is always challenging and I get to work with experienced IT professionals who I learn from every day.”
Chrissi Golden, corporate IT services assistant, has worked for United Church Homes for over six years, including stints in Accounts Payable and Advancement departments. Her role includes managing the company’s cellular phone and other major accounts. She contributes to decisions around mobile device management to keep UCH data compliant with numerous regulations.
Chrissi orders equipment and supplies for the IT department, promotes stewardship by reviewing accounts to assure United Church Homes gets the best pricing available and maintains vendor relationships.
Chrissi said her favorite part of her job is knowing the team together can make a difference in residents’ lives.
Tom Lee is an IT technician for United Church Homes. He has worked for UCH for over 38 years in a variety of roles, including Grounds, Maintenance and Environmental Services.
Tom provides end-user support throughout the organization. When visiting the communities, he enjoys seeing the staff provide love and care to residents and guests.
“The compassion and respect our staff have is heartwarming,” Tom said. “We are truly blessed by the number of great staff members UCH has.”
Susanne Starner, UCH’s IT applications coordinator, has been with United Church Homes for 29 years. When she started, UCH was using a large mainframe system, a system that filled the current computer room. “It was very loud and produced a lot of heat,” Susanne said. “Everyone had large CRT computer terminals on their desks. We programmed the software for Payroll, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Budgeting, Fixed Assets, General Ledger and Gift Planning (now Advancement) in-house.”
Susanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in business from Ashland University and is a Microsoft-certified professional. She also has an associate of applied business in data processing technology with a microcomputer concentration from Marion Technical College.
Technology changes often and continues to evolve at a fast pace. Most applications are now housed in the cloud. Cellphones are more powerful than the mainframe used 29 years ago. Laptops have become smaller and lighter and are used much more frequently. Cybersecurity and secured protected healthcare information, while implementing data warehousing strategies, are critical roles for the IT department as the team troubleshoots across the miles visiting communities personally and remotely to provide IT support.
As technology evolves, it continues to impact new services and programming for older adults. United Church Homes is at the forefront of change and innovation using technology as one resource.