Chris Ames thought he’d be a saxophone player. He studied music at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire before making a last-minute switch to Business Communications his senior year. That was his entree into human resources where he’s made his living for the past few decades.
Throughout his school years he befriended several classmates who had disabilities. With a twinkle in his eye, he recalls bonding with one high school friend, David. They both enjoyed football and would often watch a game together. Chris also disliked the way other students treated David and respected how he handled it. However, it is his step-grandson Kevin who has an intellectual disability with whom he has connected so closely.
Kevin works in the cafeteria at a Phoenix-area high school and has recently taken a second job at Cardinal’s stadium working with the events staff. Both jobs include serving, bussing tables and the like. But Kevin has his sights set on the back of the house action. Kevin loves to cook! He is working toward turning his passion into a paycheck. Because another thing Kevin loves is payday!
Payday is something Chris can relate to. As part of his responsibilities as H.R. Administrator, Chris makes sure the staff at Raising Special Kids gets paid. He has jokingly described himself as “everybody’s favorite person twice a month,” and he’s not wrong!
Chris first became familiar with our organization because of his friendship with Anna Burgmann, the office manager. He had a basic idea of the work being done by our staff but soon realized the unique culture at Raising Special Kids and broad scope of the work we do to help families.
“I had no idea what to expect on my first day. This organization is amazing. I’m behind the scenes and I am astounded at the number of things going on to help families every day. I never miss a chance to share information about the services we provide to families.”
Raising Special Kids is fortunate to have skilled staff members like Chris to support the work we do for Arizona families.