Associate Director

Brent Hewey has been a vital part of CCS for more than a quarter century. “I started October first of 1998,” he still remembers, “as a Community Inclusion Facilitator (a role now known as DSP).” He later served as a Service Coordinator, and advanced through several managerial roles and titles to now serve as Associate Director. Brent has witnessed, and contributed to, CCS’ continued evolution, growth and development.

“Then, we were still known as CVS – Champlain Vocational Services – and were in the process of closing the sheltered workshop,” Brent said. “Getting folks really integrated into the community more, whether for community supports or employment supports. The workshop was still in full swing, but you’d see folks’ paychecks and it was pennies. It wasn’t gainful employment.”

“I think this really when CCS’ specialized focus towards employment really took off,” Brent said, “and I was hired to support the work of transitioning away from the sheltered workshop and toward supporting people to find gainful employment.” Of course, through its Way2Work program, CCS has gone on to receive national and international recognition for that approach.

While CCS direct supports are highly personalized, Brent sees (and has overseen) much change in how organizations such as CCS communicate, manage, and evaluate their work. “Computers, email, were newish to human services in 1998,” he said, “and actually using them even newer.” That changed rapidly overtime, and handwritten processes gave way to electronic tools and increasingly complex systems from integrated phone and email systems, in-house to ultimately cloud-based data servers, adoption of Electronic Health Records, and so much more. Brent was on point for CCS for all of these and often “the answer to all questions” as the rest of the team learned.

“I have a love-hate relationship with it all,” he admits of the change. “There are efficiencies and benefits, but something can get lost in the translation if you spend too much time and emphasis on counting the beans,” he said, noting it can mean the difference between “having – or missing – a nice little face-to-face conversation to see how someone is really doing.”

“I think what is beautiful, which I personally don’t always get the opportunity to do, is to work with our folks one-on-one,” Brent said. “But luckily, and what I think is still beautiful, is the chance to see the relationships our direct support staff, our case managers forge with our clients – and that hasn’t changed.

That’s why he feels at home after 25-plus years. He eve lives on the Ft. Ethan Allen campus (“I love my work commute,” he joked). “What keeps me here, frankly is, is that it’s good work and I get to work with great people. You can’t underestimate that.”