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Johnson succeeds Sirois at Hope Association
RUMFORD- Catherine Johnson of Mexico has been appointed as Executive Director of Hope Association. She succeeds long-time director Joe Sirois.
Johnson noted, “Something about this became my passion. Hope and the River Valley is really where my heart is.”
“I am absolutely delighted that Catherine Johnson will succeed me as executive director of Hope Association,” noted Sirois. “The board members could not have made a better choice for the next leader of the association. She really knows what this work is all about. Catherine brings a lot of talent and expertise in the field of developmental disabilities as she moves to the desk of the executive director. She is very intelligent and she knows the key players in the field of developmental disabilities and is able to communicate with them to the best interests of the association.”
Of the position of the social services network, Sirois noted, “I believe that the future, certainly the next couple of years, will be very difficult for social service providers. I have absolutely no doubt that Catherine is the best possible person to lead our association through whatever difficulties lay ahead. In a 2008 employee evaluation, I wrote, 'In an environment of constant change and stress, Catherine provides stability and an unwavering focus on service.' That is as true today as it was then.”
Sirois noted of his work with Hope Association, “Working for Hope Association has been one of the highlights of my life both because of the association’s long and proud history of service to our community and because of the many wonderful people whom I have come to know.”
Johnson graduated from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington and received a Computer Applications degree from Andover College in Portland. She immediately began working for the Lee Group in Auburn.
She began work with Pottle Hill/Twarg Center in McFalls, which provided day services to individuals with mental retardation (MR), where she worked as the Executive Assistant for five years under Bill McCoy.
Wanting to be closer to her parents in Weld, she discovered Hope Association and was hired as the financial coordinator and realized the need for housing for those she worked for and opened My County Home, a five-bed boarding home in Dixfield. 10 years later she also assumed the residential director responsibilities and received her Business Management degree from Kaplan University.
She holds a Residential Care Administers license, serves on the River Valley Chamber of Commerce Board, is a member of the Eagles and has assumed a role as a new Rotarian.
Personal interests include hiking with the local Peak-a-Week club, scrapping, walking, reading, camping, and cooking. Johnson is very proud of her three children; Courtney, Cowen and Jamie and resides with her life partner Dale Lavorgna in Mexico.