“I love giving [consumers] a hard time,” Kelly smiled. “I love messing with them, it makes their day and it makes mine too.”
Kelly, known to ADEC consumers as Kellywright, came to ADEC 20 years ago as a shift supervisor at ADEC Industries. For her, it was a family affair. Her brother, Kent, was a second shift supervisor, while her mom worked at ADEC Industries during the summers. Both her husband and younger brother spent time working nights at AI.
She was working at a local pharmacy one day when her mom called to say ADEC Industries was looking for a shift supervisor. “You need to apply,” her mom said. Kelly was not unhappy with her job at the time, but after thinking it over, she decided to put in an application anyway.
For nine years, she worked at ADEC Industries with her favorite boss ever – Ann Yoder. “She’s a good boss,” Kelly said.
During Kelly’s time at ADEC Industries, she built solid relationships with consumers. Kelly fondly remembers how Jimmy Ray was the first consumer she really got to know. Over the years, she has developed several close friendships. Bill Nichols was a particularly good friend.
“I’ve never stayed for the money,” Kelly said. “I love the clients. In my house, I have a silver box filled with things from ADEC – client letters, Christmas cards, etc. Sometimes I look at that box, and I think, ‘oh, yeah, that’s why I’m here.’ There’s a sad part of that box, though. Obituaries. I’ve seen a lot. I loved Bill Nichols – he made me laugh all the time.”
Several years ago, ADEC had a “Be a Friend” program where staff members could “adopt” consumers and ensure they had fun outings and have them over for holidays. This program has long since been discontinued. Kelly’s friend was Lynn P. They would go out once a month, and Kelly would always be sure to end each outing with a stop at the gas station for a Diet Mountain Dew. Lynn would promise to wait and drink it with dinner the next night, but that drink never made it home.
After working at ADEC Industries for nine years, Kelly became the house manager at Ashley Court and stayed there for eight years. A few years ago, she saw the “Team Leader” position open at the Shoots and felt it was time for a change. However, leaving her home was very difficult.
“I loved Ashley Court,” Kelly remembers. “I made a lot of great friends there. Good friends.”
As Kelly looks back on her time at ADEC, she feels positive ADEC has changed her.
“I believe [the consumers] have taught me way more than I’ve taught them,” Kelly says. “Getting older and working here – it’s changed me. Even my husband says it’s changed me . . . I can’t imagine doing anything else. The people I’ve met through ADEC – I can’t imagine them not being in my life.”
Billy died July 5, 2014. In an article written to remember Billy’s life and time at ADEC, the following was written about Kelly and Billy’s friendship:
Kelly Wright, a team leader at the Goshen Shoots Day Service location, began working with Billy more than 19 years ago at ADEC Industries. Billy worked at AI for several years bagging parts and participating in the team-based work environment before retiring and going to the Bristol Day Service location.
“One thing people know about Bill is that he always had that water bottle with him,” Kelly shared. “I stayed [19 years] because of people like Bill that just made it worth going to work and getting to know them.”
Article by Whitney Craig | Communications Specialist
Photo by Rod Tackett | Communications Specialist