Today’s post written by Sara Croft features Harold Tenbarge, who joined the Easterseals Crossroads Board of Directors in 2013. Since then, he has become an advocate for people with disabilities, an active volunteer, and advances the mission of Crossroads Industrial Services.
Current occupation: Senior Director of Global Procurement at Eli Lilly and Company
Educational background: Chemistry, Southern Indiana University
Hometown: Although originally from Evansville, IN, I have lived in Indianapolis now over 30+ years, so Indianapolis is “home”.
How did you first become introduced to Easterseals Crossroads?
My daughter, while going to college, has been providing respite care for a couple of years for a young 3-year-old boy who has autism and I saw how she has made such an impact on his life and his family’s. I came to really understand how this offer of care and support truly impacts people’s lives. I thought, then, I wanted to do more to provide support in the community, and was looking for the best way to do so.
I was first introduced to Easterseals Crossroads by Paula Whitfield Taylor, a Lilly colleague, who has been serving on the Board of Directors for a number of years. Paula shared with me an overview of all the services provided by Crossroads and how many people’s lives are impacted by the organizations offerings and capabilities.
I then met with Jim Vento, President of Crossroads at the time, and Curtiss Quirin, Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services (CIS) to learn more about the organization. With my background in Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Procurement, I saw a great opportunity to work with CIS to support the mission of the group.
What has been your most memorable experience as a board member?
Yes, of course, doing work to further the mission of the Crossroads and CIS organization is always gratifying, and to work with the Board of Directors to support the needs of the community create memorable experiences, but I have to say, working side by side with the staff at Crossroads Document Services (CDS), actually getting to know the people doing the work and seeing how committed they are and how important their jobs are to them is truly amazing. For me, that creates motivation to want to do more and more to support all our efforts at Crossroads!
As the committee chair, how do you see your experience lending to the success of Crossroads Industrial Services?
First, CIS have an amazingly talented staff that is committed to the success of the organization. I see the greater potential of CIS/CDS to grow the work that we can do, grow the employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and to generate greater revenues that can be reinvested to provide more services to the community at large.
I have been blessed with great experiences and learning during my Lilly career in manufacturing, supply chain, and procurement, that I hope I can leverage and share these experiences and learning, to support the staff at CIS to meet our growth objectives.
How has Easterseals Crossroads impacted your ability to advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities?
I am a firm believer that support occurs one person at a time, one need being meet at a time. Through my experiences as a member of the Board of Directors of Crossroads, I have a much deeper understanding of the magnitude of the needs across our community, and an appreciation of the ability of Crossroads to serve these needs. Our organization focuses on services for the community with disabilities, but does so with a focus on the “ability” of each person served. As I have become to understand that philosophy, it is very motivating to advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities.