Introducing Karen Zangerle, our Widmer Wish Hero
Congratulations to Karen Zangerle, Executive Director of PATH Inc. in Bloomington, Ill, who is the official 2013 Widmer Wish: Highlighting Heroes winner!
Congratulations to Karen Zangerle, Executive Director of PATH Inc. in Bloomington, Ill, who has been announced the official 2013 Widmer Wish: Highlighting Heroes winner!
PATH Inc. Crisis Center is a nonprofit agency that has grown into a community resource people turn to when they are seeking help in any type of human services.
Since Karen started in 1985, PATH has grown from receiving 15,000 calls to more than 90,000 calls every year. During that time Karen re-designed the training program, receiving national best practice awards for it, and growing the number of volunteers from around 30 to almost 120 today.
In 2005, Karen was promoted to Executive Director of PATH. Over the last 27 years as community needs have emerged, Karen has led PATH in adding services for senior citizens and the homeless, as well as leading the agency in becoming the first call center in the STATE to provide 2-1-1 services. While she oversees the organization, her favorite job at PATH is working the phone lines when time permits.
Upon submitting an entry for this year’s Widmer Wish: Highlighting Heroes $20,000 office furniture award, Karen says she never imagined actually winning.
“I was not expecting to win. I never have won anything of this nature. We were in a manager’s meeting and I hear a knock at the door and see two guys who I’ve never seen holidng balloons. And I thought ‘What is this?’ And they said, ‘We’re from Widmer Interiors and you have won the $20,000 of office furniture!’ I know that I squeeled very loudly and said the thing everybody says: ‘I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it!’ It was very special — a moment I will never forget,” said Zangerle.
“I really was shocked because I figured there’s so many agency directors out there that do fabulous work. The application was put in and out of my mind. I did not think about it or dwell on it. But then to win it, I was really humbled by it. Truly honored, thinking ‘They picked me?!’ That was a really nice to receive for the work I’ve done over the years in the community,” said Zangerle.
“This idea for Widmer Wish is outstanding. The fact that Widmer supports the idea and carries it on shows that Widmer is a people business … definitely a people business. You may be in the furniture business, but I think the people come first!” said Zangerle.
The new PATH office is set to be complete by mid-August. We will be releasing a 2013 Widmer Wish Video upon completion. Make sure to stay tuned for the before and after shots of the PATH office!
Thanks again to all ours sponsors, judges, and candidates who made this possible and who serve our community so diligently. We appreciate each one of you!