We <3 Our Clients: Shining the light on good people doing good things

Stacy Martz, Executive Director of PLAN of Southwest Ohio

While most of the world’s employers are grasping for strategies to survive ‘The Great Resignation,’ Stacy Martz is celebrating 22 years as PLAN of Southwest Ohio’s Executive Director and leads a team of employees who’ve been with the organization for the long haul.

She credits PLAN’s phenomenal track record of retaining talented team members with the meaningful work that the organization provides to the community. For example, PLAN offers estate planning, family surrogacy, and recreational programming for adults with mental illnesses, brain injuries, and developmental disabilities.

“There are always parts of an individual’s care plan where families pinch-hit to cover the gaps in services. That’s the role that we try to play. We’re about continuity over time and providing consistent, reliable support to individuals. We really know our clients,” shares Stacy.

It’s the meaningful work and the client relationships that keep her team committed to the organization. “It’s a joy and a privilege to not just interact with somebody in a way that fixes a problem and then moves on, but to really build a relationship,” she explains.

At the same time, Stacy knows that her team faces heavy work that can be emotionally draining. Therefore, as a leader, she is fully committed to flexibility. “If someone calls and tells me that they need to take a mental health day, the first thing I do is congratulate them for prioritizing their needs. Then I grant them the time they need.” Stacy’s openness to flexibility is a strategy that creates a nurturing work environment, which in turn leads to successful programming for PLAN’s clients.

PLAN embraces a beautiful yet simple philosophy: “Walk with that person on their journey.”

It’s a message that Stacy embraces wholeheartedly. “The reason I’m still here after 22 years is that I get so much back from people. They’re wise. They’re sage. They all have some extraordinary circumstances that I can’t even imagine overcoming. They’re strong and honest people, and they teach me a lot.”

With relationship-building at the core of how PLAN provides its services, Stacy finds satisfaction in her daily work. “Every day looks different,” she says. “Ironically, it’s not always a job you can plan for. That keeps it exciting because every day is new – sometimes it can be anxiety-inducing, but that’s life.”

PLAN is committed to supporting its clients through whatever it is they’re going through. “It’s not about changing the trajectory of their life. It’s about simply being there for them.”

It’s an intimate job that cultivates close bonds with those they serve. When Stacy thinks about young professionals looking to enter the field, she stresses, “It’s important work. It’s not work that is generally rewarded by society, but it’s extremely satisfying.”

Her team of seasoned colleagues would undoubtedly agree.

PLAN is a privately funded organization, relying on fees for service and donations to drive their programming in the community.

Support PLAN of Southwest Ohio by attending their Autumn Evening Extravaganza on Thursday, September 30th, from 6-10 pm at Little Miami Brewing Company. Tickets are available for purchase online.