Joanne Thomson Appointed New CEO of Benevilla
Benevilla has announced the appointment of Joanne Thomson as their new President/CEO. She will assume responsibilities on 10/29/2016 and will succeed Michelle Dionisio who is stepping down in order to retire after 25 years with the esteemed, west valley social services organization.
Thomson has been part of the Benevilla team for 9 years, beginning in February of 2007 as a Day Center Supervisor before being promoted to the Senior Director of Education and Enrichment and then to the Vice President of Program Operations, a position which she holds now.
During her current role, Thomson defined strategy and business plans for the re-imaged Life Enrichment Programs and obtained a grant with the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust for $300,000 to help with the transformation. She has developed and managed over $6,000,000 in budgets for program operations and ensured compliance with Department of Health Services, Veterans Administration, Department of Economic Security, Area Agency on Aging, Arizona Department of Transportation and CARF.
In addition to these accomplishments, Joanne Thomson is also responsible for all of Benevilla’s programs that directly serve the community including the six Benevilla Day Programs, Home Delivered Meals, CARES resource program, Wirtzie’s preschool and the Family Resource Center.
“Joanne has been a natural leader since she began at Benevilla, at that time known as Interfaith Services,” says Michelle Dionisio, current Benevilla CEO and President. “Her heart for the people we serve has always been the thing that shines through in all she does. Joanne never forgets to stop and consider how a decision will affect those we serve. Even under pressure, our mission is always front and center in her mind and heart. Joanne will continue to be a wonderful leader at Benevilla and her commitment to quality and service made her the perfect candidate for this role.”
Thomson’s passion for serving others began in college when she had the opportunity to work for a nonprofit organization called Camp Ronald McDonald. This positive experience led Thomson to a degree in Recreation Therapy and a career working with people with physical disabilities and other physical and emotional challenges.
Throughout her work history, Thomson has worked with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Dementia, Stroke Survivors, Parkinson’s, and various other disabilities.
“Joanne has a heart for this work,” says Jane Willis, Benevilla Board Chair. “After receiving over 250 applications and interviewing some really great candidates, Joanne’s spirit just stood out. It was a unanimous decision by our Board of Directors to offer the position to her and we all look forward to working with Joanne as we move forward into this next phase of Benevilla’s lifecycle.”
Started by the community and for the community in 1981, Benevilla is a not-for-profit human services agency dedicated to enhancing the lives of West Valley residents by providing care services for older adults, intellectually disabled adults, children, and families. For more information on services and volunteer opportunities, call 623-584-4999 or visit www.benevilla.org.