nimboIP donates new phone system to LIFEDesigns ($20,000)

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March 7, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LIFEDesigns receives $20,076 donation from nimboIP to upgrade technology equipment. nimboIP a business to business Managed Service Provider of telecommunications and information technology solutions with a history of serving companies in Indiana since 1989 made an in-kind donation to LIFEDesigns early this year of equipment and labor to install a new business phone system. LIFEDesigns is a human services non-profit organization in Bloomington, IN providing staffing and support services to people with disabilities across several counties.

LIFEDesigns, as many businesses do, needs reliable and innovative information technology equipment and services to ensure their mission is being met and customers are receiving quality services. LIFEDesigns has been using nimboIP services for about 8 years and has been very satisfied with the relationship. LIFEDesigns Information Technology Director Jeremiah Rieke states, “We have a very good working relationship with nimboIP, they have demonstrated superior support and service, and have a very competitive hardware and support package. Whenever we’ve needed support, their response has been instantaneous; they know if we’re having problems even before we know.”

nimboIP’s business owners have a commitment to support the communities they are a part of. Their headquarters are in Indianapolis with offices in Bloomington, and Schereville, IN. Recently, it came time for LIFEDesigns to upgrade the technology equipment, and in line with their mission to make it simple and affordable for their customers to do business with nimboIP while mitigating risk and adopting new technologies, the owners decided to donate all of their time, material and equipment to upgrade and consolidate LIFEDesigns phone system for a total value of $20,076. Their decision was also based on their desire to help support LIFEDesigns outreach to people who have a need for disability supports and services. Please help LIFEDesigns extend our greatest thanks to nimboIP in supporting our mission and programs.

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a divers and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew and Monroe Counties.

About nimboIP: Our unique Business Class voice platform allows companies to integrate their office telephone system with mobile employees, multiple locations, and meets the demands of a 24/7/365 workforce. Our 100% performance guarantee, 90 day trial period, no equipment to purchase and no contracts to sign simplify the buying journey. Our support is always live, and local. Services offered include Managed Voice, Microsoft Business 365, Video Conferencing, Video Surveillance, Network Designs and Management, Disaster Recovery, Network Procurement, and more. Visit www.nimboip.com or call us for anything at (800) 293-2127.

Contact: Russell Bonanno, CEO (800) 875-9615 | rbonanno@lifedesignsinc.org

Baxter International Foundation awards grant to LIFEDesigns for LIFE Mentor Volunteer program development

LIFEDesigns Media Contact
Stephanie Shelton, CDO 800-875-9615
sshelton@lifedesignsinc.org

Baxter Media Contact
William Rader, (224) 948-5353
media@baxter.com

LIFEDESIGNS RECEIVES BAXTER INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION GRANT FOR LIFE MENTOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., November 20, 2017 – A more than $75,000 grant from the Baxter International Foundation will fund the development of a one-on-one mentor volunteer program at LIFEDesigns. The grant will support a program to recruit volunteers in and around Bloomington, IN, to mentor people with disabilities.

Baxter’s Bloomington facility also will partner with LIFEDesigns and encourage social involvement by their employees to benefit the community. Pre-screened volunteers will be paired with one customer of LIFEDesigns and guided through a process to encourage social growth and the development of natural relationships between people with disabilities and other community members. This program will be focused on improving holistic health for both the volunteers and LIFEDesigns customers involved in the program.

“Baxter is committed to supporting awareness and respect for those living with disabilities, advancing inclusion in our communities, and engaging employees through volunteerism,” said Stacey Eisen, President of the Baxter International Foundation and Senior Vice President, Global Communications, Baxter International Inc.  “To that end, we are pleased to support LIFEDesigns’ volunteer mentor program focused on empowering people living with disabilities to make healthy lifestyle choices and develop meaningful mentor-mentee relationships.”

The grant will fund the “LIFE Mentor Volunteer Program,” which is in its early stages of development. LIFEDesigns is hiring a full time “Community Connector” to lead the development of the program through implementation. The program will use best practices of existing mentorship volunteer programs, and focus the first volunteer pairings with customers who generally don’t have anyone in their lives to help support them.

“Inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities is a primary goal of LIFEDesigns. We are grateful for this partnership and the grant award from Baxter, which allows customers to develop natural friendships and focuses on improving their health and wellness,” said Vonnie Peischl, LIFEDesigns board President. “We welcome volunteers who may be interested in making new friends with customers of LIFEDesigns.”

There will be further announcements with new updates and details as the program is developed. Anyone interested in getting involved in this program should contact volunteer@lifedesignsinc.org.

About LIFEDesigns

LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a diverse and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.

About Baxter and Baxter International Foundation

Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving and sustaining lives and creating healthier communities. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. The company focuses on three core areas including improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting impact in Baxter’s communities. Baxter International Foundation supports initiatives and organizations that make a positive, lasting impact on increasing access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and underserved. For more information, please visit www.baxter.com

NEW Week of Chocolate T-Shirt Design Drawing Contest!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LIFEDesigns holds T-Shirt contest for their annual Week of Chocolate.

Every February LIFEDesigns hosts a community-wide festival for all of Bloomington known as The Week of Chocolate. The Week of Chocolate gives local nonprofit organizations an opportunity to spread awareness about their causes while also bringing the community together with a sweet touch of chocolate.

This year, LIFEDesigns will be printing and selling t-shirts as a part of the Week of Chocolate. Since the Week of Chocolate is a community event, we want the whole community to be involved. We are holding a t-shirt contest open to all artists in the community, including students. The design should be focused on The Week of Chocolate but the artist can add their creativity to make it unique and their own design. The juried winning design will be featured on the front of all t-shirts, celebrating our signature events.

The artistic designs need to be one color and can take up the entire front of the shirt. The size will generally be a printable area of 10” w x 12” h.  The winning design will feature the artist’s name and signature and will receive a prize of $100 in the form of a Visa cash card as well as a free t-shirt with their design. Artist’s can submit their entries via email to art@lifedesignsinc.org by midnight, December 5, 2017. All designs should be submitted as a high resolution PDF. The artist should also include their name, phone, mailing address, and a brief explanation about how their design best represents “The Week of Chocolate” and LIFEDesigns.

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a diverse and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.

Contact: Stephanie Shelton, CDO (800) 875-9615 | sshelton@lifedesignsinc.org

LIFEDesigns hires new CEO Russell Bonanno

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LIFEDesigns extends a warm welcome to Russell Bonanno to fill the role of CEO as Susan Rinne retires November 11, 2017. LIFEDesigns’ Board invites the community to share this warm welcome with Russell as he becomes acquainted with Bloomington, IN.

Susan Rinne, LIFEDesigns CEO for the last 18 years, is a community leader who has dedicated her career towards righting social injustices specifically for people with disabilities. She has not only improved the lives of people with disabilities and made LIFEDesigns one of the most well-respected, successful non-profit agencies supporting people with disabilities in the state, but also made the entire community a better and more welcoming place. As she leaves, and Russell takes on this new role, he will provide the leadership that LIFEDesigns needs as the agency continually strives to improve services and community opportunities for people with disabilities. Russell states, “For more than 30 years, LIFEDesigns has provided innovative, community-based services designed in partnership with their customers and in collaboration with community members. It is an honor to be able to work with such a forward thinking Board and dedicated staff to continue and expand upon this history.”

Russell comes to LIFEDesigns from his most recent roles: Director of The Autism Program of Illinois, and non-profit consultant. Much of Russell’s background includes experience with policy and advocacy. He also has a strong background in marketing and program evaluation. He has been a member of the Illinois Autism Task Force, the Governor’s Health Care Reform Implementation Workgroup on Workforce Development, The Arc of Illinois, and the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics conference committees. He has experience in securing two federal grants to improve libraries accessibility to and services for individuals with autism and their families.

Vonnie Peischl, LIFEDesigns Board Chair states, “The Board is very happy that Russell Bonanno has accepted the CEO position at LIFEDesigns. We believe with his interdisciplinary background, along with his commitment to supporting people with disabilities to be independent in their communities, he is an excellent choice to lead our agency in the coming years.” There will be more information to come and a welcoming reception in the coming months. At this time we want to thank Susan Rinne for her leadership, and extend our hands to Russell as takes on the role of CEO and leads LIFEDesigns into the next phase of our journey to build inclusive communities.

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a diverse and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.

LIFEDesigns receives funding for Wheelchair Accessible Van

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LIFEDesigns purchased a wheelchair accessible transport van last fall, thanks to funding received from the City of Bloomington’s Jack Hopkins Social Services Fund, Smithville Charitable Foundation, and Bloomington’s Sunrise Rotary Club. This van now provides access to the community for about 140 people living in and around Monroe County. We expect this van will last for about 8 to 10 years, and over that time will meet the needs of over 180 people.

LIFEDesigns supports our customers to use public transportation when it is available to them, however people who live in rural areas, and want to travel at times or to locations where accessible transportation is not available are able to use this van to get where they need to go. This van has helped people get to work on time, visit family that lives out of town, and have access to community amenities they would not have otherwise been able to travel to.

Thank you so much to our grantors for this vehicle that has really made a difference in so many people’s lives!

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LIFEDesigns Welcomes New Chief Financial Officer

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APRIL 24, 2017:  Nancy Crandall has been CFO for LIFEDesigns for the past 19 years. Her leadership has been invaluable to the organization’s success in achieving their mission of partnering with people of all ages and abilities to lead meaningful and active lives. Since she joined (then Options for Better Living) in October 1998, she has been responsible for guiding LIFEDesigns to a Four-fold increase in revenues, positive net incomes for all but 3 of those years, a 50% increase in salary per employee, and 19 years of positive audit results. She has retired and will definitely be missed. Her legacy, however, leaves LIFEDesigns with a solid foundation and some truly great staff.

LIFEDesigns welcomed Cathy Martin, CPA on April 24, 2017 to fill the role of Chief Financial Officer at LIFEDesigns. Cathy comes to us with 12 years of nonprofit accounting and more than that operating her own accounting business. She is adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech teaching nonprofit accounting. She has been a lifelong resident of the Bloomington area, and a graduate of Indiana University.

A quote from Cathy about joining LIFEDesigns, “I am very excited to become a part of the LIFEDesigns team!  I hope that my non-profit and accounting experience will help me to continue the outstanding fiscal leadership and further support the mission of the organization.”

Susan Rinne, LIFEDesigns CEO states, “Thank you to Nancy for all her work over the past 19 years. We are so pleased to build a strong financial foundation for the agency. As we move forward, we are certain Cathy will continue her tradition of excellence and help us as we tackle the tough issues that will face us in the future.”

About LIFEDesigns: LIFEDesigns believes that everyone deserves a home, job among their peers, and access to the community they live in. Everyone has abilities and deserves the opportunity to be valued for their contributions. Everyone deserves the opportunity to meet and make friends and to live in a divers and welcoming community. The agency exists to provide the support and opportunities that people with disabilities need to achieve their goals. LIFEDesigns is a United Way Member Agency in Bartholomew, Lawrence, and Monroe Counties.

Contact: Susan Rinne, CEO 800-875-9615 | srinne@lifedesignsinc.org