We sit down with longtime friends and coworkers, Becky Newton and Ellen DiResta, to ask them about their recent promotions to Director of Operations and Director of Business Development. In the interview below, they share about their personal and professional growth within Transcend, and the bond they formed as sisters in recovery and work! From clients of our program, to managers of our women’s houses, to leaders on the corporate team, their commitment to helping others and ambition to advance the treatment industry is inspiring!
Q: What was your first role with Transcend, and what is your role now?
Ellen: My first role was as a part time driver. Soon after, I became the assistant program director of the Harvard House, and then the Program Director of the Holmby house to launch our Verve program for women. I am now the Director of Client and Business Development.
Becky: I started as a part time driver in 2011, and am currently the Director of Operations.
Q: How has your experience managing the houses aid you in your current position?
Ellen: My experience as a program director with TRC took my understanding of compassion to a new level. It allowed me to be a part of someone else’s journey which I am eternally grateful for. The work our clients take part in is powerful and takes a tremendous amount of courage. I feel very lucky to be a witness of those seeking help and peace in their life, and it allows me to share about our program from a deeper place of understanding and authenticity.
Becky: My experience working in the women’s houses for 6 years gave me a deep understanding of our program inside and out. Working with hundreds of women over the years has allowed me to experience treatment through a variety of perspectives. Each individuals treatment goals, and needs, are different. I learned how to adapt our program to create a unique recovery experience for each woman. With that hands on training, I feel that I truly understand what it is that our clients are looking for in their treatment experience.
Q: Even though you’re working in the corporate office now, how does your current role allow you to continue to have a positive impact on our clients’ recovery?
Ellen: While I miss working directly with women in the houses, I feel very fortunate to be in position that allows me to reach a wider range of individuals. I love learning about other programs, and bringing people together who share the same passion for helping others. Community is the backbone of what Transcend is all about. I have always said, ” that belief in community doesn’t end with our clients”. It reigns true to our staff, and other individuals in our field.
Becky: Having started in the houses, I approach my current position with a commitment to ensure our current program directors are supported and equipped to provide the highest quality of care for our clients. So now that I’m in our corporate office, I work collaboratively with the house staff and clients to facilitate a positive and supportive experience throughout all of our houses. So conversely, now that I have the opportunity to help oversee both our men’s and women’s houses, I feel even more connected to the work we do and our clients across Transcend.
Q: You guys are pretty well-known around here for your close friendship! What first drew you to the other?
Ellen: What first drew me to Becky was her realness, sense of humor, and drive she displays in not only working with others, but applying those same principals to life. She practices what she preaches, knows who she is, and would never pretend to be something she is not. That is so refreshing. There are no words to express the amount of respect I have for her.
Becky: Ellen is the kind of girl who will have your back no matter what. She’ll literally laugh at anything so she makes me feel much funnier than I probably am! She’s just easy to be around. Her commitment to her own personal growth and development is not only admirable, but motivating for those around her. She’s the real deal. Not to mention, she makes a great lunch date.
Q: What do you think the other’s greatest strength is, and how have you seen that allow her to grow professionally?
Ellen: Becky has this amazing ability to see the good in people. I have watched her work with some of the toughest clients in the most extreme circumstances. She wont give up on anyone, because there were people that never gave up on her. She will swear by that, and I always hear her voice in my head saying that when faced with a tough case. Her work ethic and determination has taken her to a place where she now gets to lead our program directors to display the same level of patience and guidance for our clients on a nationwide level.
Becky: Ellen is extremely passionate about the work she does. I don’t think she ever puts her phone down. She cares deeply about our clients and really believes in our program. Watching Ellen grow personally and professionally over the last 3 years has been a privilege. Her dedication to the field and helping others is inspiring. There is no one better suited for the role of Director of Business Development. She’s the Stevie Nicks of treatment.