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Staff Spot­light: Hon­or­ing KYC’s Longest Employ­ee Relationship

Waynes 40th

In 1980, Wayne Jozwiak walked into Elk Grove-Schaum­burg Town­ship Men­tal Health Ser­vices, the newest hire of a small agency of about 70 staff with a brand new build­ing on the cor­ner of Nerge and Rohlwing Road in Elk Grove Vil­lage. Pro­vid­ing out­pa­tient ther­a­py to youth, adults, and fam­i­lies, it was a small, close­ly knit team of clin­i­cians with a spark of antic­i­pa­tion and growth after a suc­cess­ful decade of ser­vice to the community.

Every­thing was new” explained Wayne, and it was excit­ing to be part of some­thing at its begin­ning.” Just a few years lat­er, the agency would change its name to Ken­neth Young Center. 

Wayne’s role with­in the orga­ni­za­tion grew, start­ing as an out­pa­tient ther­a­pist for youth and then tran­si­tion­ing to pro­vid­ing cri­sis sup­port to indi­vid­u­als expe­ri­enc­ing psy­chi­atric emer­gen­cies in the 90s. Wayne was pro­mot­ed to work as a senior clin­i­cian, super­vis­ing oth­er ther­a­pists as the team con­tin­ued to grow, build­ing strong inter­per­son­al bonds between team mem­bers – many of whom also stayed at KYC for decades of service.

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Our staff is incred­i­ble and invest­ed in the help­ing pro­fes­sion’,” explained Wayne.

When KYC opened its res­i­den­tial liv­ing pro­gram, Wayne was at the helm, ready to take on new chal­lenges and estab­lish new ser­vice areas that would meet the needs of the clients he’d ded­i­cat­ed him­self to supporting. 

For years, he was the Man­ag­er of Adult Ser­vices, over­see­ing all of the clin­i­cal pro­grams pro­vid­ing sup­port to adults. By this point in his KYC career, the brand new build­ing in Elk Grove where he start­ed had been added onto twice, and mul­ti­ple teams estab­lished addi­tion­al off­site offices as the agency con­tin­ued to grow. 

Seniors was off­site. PSR was off­site. SASS was off­site. There was no room!” shared Wayne with a smile. And yet even now, our hay day is yet to come.”

For decades, the slen­der, tall gen­tle­man known for his warm per­son­al­i­ty, quick wit, wise advice, ear­ly morn­ing cup of cof­fee, and music that always drifts into the hall­way from his office as he sips that ear­ly morn­ing cup of cof­fee, jug­gled mul­ti­ple roles while lead­ing with a smile. He knew every staff person’s name and put clients at ease with his gen­tle demeanor. He played on the staff soft­ball team and attend­ed KYC’s din­ner dances and fash­ion shows, and even has illu­mi­nat­ing sto­ries of attend­ing fel­low staff mem­bers’ wed­dings and fam­i­ly gath­er­ings as a fix­ture in the lives of his teammates.

Want­i­ng to spend more time with fam­i­ly, Wayne attempt­ed to retire in 2008, but after a few months, it became clear his time with KYC wasn’t done yet.

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Although retire­ment had plen­ty of perks, Wayne missed being of ser­vice to oth­ers and the com­mu­ni­ty he had built at KYC. He returned to the agency part-time, fill­ing a vacan­cy on the Old­er Adults’ CHOIC­ES Team, vis­it­ing old­er adults as they dis­charged from hos­pi­tals to com­plete screen­ing ques­tion­naires and assist with tran­si­tion planning. 

I was thrilled to have Wayne on our team!” shared KYC’s Direc­tor of Old­er Adult Ser­vices, Crissy Castil­lo. He knew every­thing about KYC and every­one on the team…he didn’t start [his KYC career] on the OA [Old­er Adults] Team, but now I hon­est­ly don’t know what we’d do with­out him!”

More than five years after com­ing out of retire­ment, Wayne now flex­es between part-time and full-time roles as client needs evolve and staffing changes. In Novem­ber 2020, he cel­e­brat­ed his 40th anniver­sary with KYC, offi­cial­ly mak­ing him the longest tenured staff per­son in KYC’s history.

KYC is lucky to have ded­i­cat­ed staff with long-tenures of ser­vice to the agency. No one embod­ies that com­mit­ment and care for oth­ers more than Wayne. He ensures every per­son he encoun­ters feels val­ued, heard, sup­port­ed, and empow­ered. I’m proud to cel­e­brate him and rec­og­nize his incred­i­ble ser­vice to our com­mu­ni­ty” said KYC’s CEO, Grace Hong Duffin. 

You don’t know any­thing until you learn it” said Wayne. Your kind­ness will be for­ward­ed to oth­ers and that impact is our responsibility.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions and thank you, Wayne, for 40 years of ser­vice and count­ing. Cheers to many, many more.

KYC 50 Logos 50 GLD BRST

As part of KYC's 50th anniversary celebration, we're honored to highlight all that Wayne has done to help us reach this milestone as a #KYC50For50 spotlight.


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