Jim Grasberger, Director of Finance and Development, has over 35 years of experience working in administration for organizations providing support services and housing for individuals with disabilities. Jim has been involved in different facets of administration including financial management, grant writing, housing project development and fundraising. Jim has also worked as an independent consultant for non-profit organizations in the areas of federal, state and private funding to develop housing and rent subsidies for individuals with disabilities and the homeless. Starting at Employment Options in 1994, Jim is currently part of the Leadership Team and responsible for the organization’s budget development and fiscal management. Along with his financial responsibilities Jim is also involved in strategic planning, grant writing and fundraising. Jim is an active member of the Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Balance of State Continuum of Care for homeless individuals with disabilities and manages the Mass Balance of State funding at Advocates, Inc. Residents of Ashland, Jim and his wife Rhonda are the proud parents of three daughters.CLOSE
Wearing many different hats, Liz oversees the day-to-day operations of Employment Options, which includes a clubhouse, an evidence-based social model for those living with mental illness, a transportation social enterprise, and a strong workforce development initiative.
Liz's background is in the communications arena, and she has worked throughout different high-tech industries as Communications Director. She entered the non-profit arena after returning to the workforce from being a stay-at-home mom. Her background allows her to be creative and strategic in order to maximize programs and services to the clients while sharing success stories on many different platforms.
Liz holds two degrees in Marketing Communications as well as a certificate in Non-Profit Management. Liz is mom to three children and is heavily involved in her husband's bakery, Nothing Bundt Cakes.
Shannon has over 20 years of senior management experience in the non-profit sector. She began her career at Community Health Link in Worcester in 1998. She held various leadership roles, supporting adults with mental health conditions and addiction. She joined the Employment Options team in 2006. She is skilled in maintaining flexibility, resourcefulness and an entrepreneurial spirit. Shannon is strong at developing strategic partners and stakeholders within the community to enhance the existing programs that serve individuals with mental health conditions. She ensures ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance, fundraising, communications and systems. Shannon has volunteered on numerous non-profit boards and organizations throughout her career. Shannon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Elms College. Shannon and her husband, Mark, live in Millbury and have an 11 year old daughter, Julia.CLOSE
Our programs demonstrate that people with mental illness can and do lead productive, happy lives. We offer people living with mental illness opportunities for friendship, employment, housing, and education.
A working community is at the heart of our Clubhouse program. By working together, individuals with mental health conditions regain confidence, learn new skills, and make progress towards achieving their goals. This opportunity to be a part of a successful working community is restorative and builds dignity and self-sufficiency.
Our goal is to ensure every young adult we touch through our Clubhouse program, receive the skills and support necessary to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Recovery from mental illness is possible. We assist individuals as they work to reclaim a sense of self-worth, self-sufficiency and can rediscover their natural abilities and talents. We do this through a collaborative approach, offering employment, education, housing and recovery opportunities that are critical to one’s success.
When a parent is struggling with a mental health issue, their relationships with family members may be damaged or strained, but family support programs can make all of the difference in their recovery journey. We offer family coaching which includes, educating family members on mental health, assistance in navigating the state mental health system and facilitating parenting support groups, all which can benefit the family as a whole.
Mental health conditions impact people in various ways. Some people with mental health conditions may never stop working; others find that their condition interrupts their career, and still others may be able to do only limited work. We are fully committed to breaking down employment barriers, so our membership can continue to accomplish their hopes, dreams and aspirations through our Workforce Development programs.
To start the process of becoming a member, please fill out a Membership Application and set up an appointment to tour our facility.
Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters for helping us reach our fundraising goal and for making the 2021 Hope Virtual Gala a night full of triumph and hope! If you would still like to donate, please click below.
From our award-winning chef, professionally trained, enthusiastic staff, and memorable cuisine, Catering Options is redefining dining in the Metro West. We provide professional training and work experience to unemployed and underemployed individuals with a passion for food.
To place an order, please email catering(at)employmentoptions.org or call 508-485-5051 ext 232
"Last weekend my husband threw me a ‘Covid friendly’ 40th birthday catered by Catering Options. The food was not only delicious but the presentation was like nothing I have seen before. In this difficult time of uncertainty, my guests felt 100% comfortable at the party due to the fact that the food was wrapped in cute individual packaging. Taco dip cups with baggies of chips, veggies and dip cups, and charcuterie cups were such a hit! We also had amazing sliders and chicken skewers. Everyone kept asking where the food was from! I highly recommend using Employment Options/Catering Options for any catering needs. The food is great and their mission even more impressive. Thanks to their entire staff for making my day perfect!"
- Lauren S. (Medway, MA)
Executive Chef, Rich Nowak
We are working diligently with our staff, outside agencies and healthcare professionals to reopen the clubhouse safely. This will take some careful planning to adjust our onsite program since we work together side-by-side. We will strengthen our program and develop safe, efficient and creative ways to continue our important work.
The foundation of who we are has never wavered during this time. We are proud of our program, staff and the way everyone has remained connected.
• We have delivered over 2,500 healthy meals to individuals and families
• We are "touching" over 140 people per day
• We have sent 500 care packages and Activity Packs
• We are transporting members to work and medical appointments
• We have assisted members to obtain and retain employment at The Home Depot, Walmart and CVS
We were also one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000-$500,000 through Cummings Foundation's $20 Million Grant Program. We were chosen from a total of 738 applicants through a competitive review process.
"The Cummings Foundation has been a strong partner for Employment Options over the past five years. This grant gives us the opportunity to thoughtfully grow our existing catering business, which in turn will empower our members to improve their mental health through meaningful employment," said Shannon Leary, Executive Director of Employment Options. "Our mission is to expand culinary training opportunities over the next three years to reach over 200 people affected by mental health challenges."
Board of Directors: Lori Favata Robert Sousa, Bing Yeo, Elizabeth Baldelli, Karen Donaldson, Sherrill P. Cline, Dori S. Hutchinson, and Mary Rapa
This year gave us plenty of things we didn’t choose.
But we get to choose how it ends. This season, choose to give Hope and all the good that comes with it.
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