TECH’s Vice-President of Support and Services Set to Retire
Aurie Wornkey, Vice-President of Supports and Services, retires March 31, 2022.
After 35 years of service, Aurie Wornkey, Vice-President of Support and Services for TECH, will retire at the end of this month. Wornkey has been an integral part of the TECH leadership team for well over 20 years and has had a remarkable career with the agency.
“Aurie has been the heart and soul of TECH. Her passion, knowledge, and advocacy efforts for those we serve is unmatched. Aurie has given of herself for 35 years and she will be greatly missed, however, we are excited for her as she begins another chapter of her life,” said Brenda Maxey, President and CEO of TECH. “TECH is a family, you never really leave family.”
“TECH was my first professional job. I have never worked anywhere else for 35 years. We have so many wonderful staff and people in leadership roles here at TECH. They bring magnificent energy and a passion, heart, and commitment to further lead this organization that will grow it even more into the future. TECH needs that,” says Wornkey. She went on to say, “A person can recognize when it’s time for them to step back and allow other people to move forward. It seemed like a good time for me to do that. I’m looking forward to spending my free time with my husband and being a grandma.”
Angela Penner, long-time TECH, Inc. employee, has been promoted to Director of Supports and Services and will assume the responsibilities for the oversight of TECH’s Residential Services, Health Services, Adult Life Skills, and Service Coordination/Health Home Programs. “I have watched Angela grow over the 16 years that she has been here. She has taken on several leadership projects that have allowed her to shine in her skills. She is ready for the next step in her career and I’m glad to see her transition into my role. She will do wonderful things for the organization,” says Wornkey.
“I’m really going to miss all the people – my co-workers and the people we serve. When you come to the same place to work every day, everyone becomes a part of your family. These are people that are in your life every day. You get to know them, their family, and their stories – those are relationships that I cherish. I will be forever thankful for those memories,” says Wornkey.
A Remarkable Career
Wornkey’s career at TECH began in 1987 when she was hired as the Workshop Supervisor. “I started with TECH after doing week observation with the agency the summer before, and a three-month internship Spring semester. TECH had just gotten the Dillons contract for the Work Center, which created a new position, and I really liked this work,” says Wornkey. She started with TECH as the first Dillons supervisor that we had with that contract.
Wornkey knew she wanted to be more involved in the daily lives of the clients and a Case Management position came open and she moved into that role having been TECH’s Vocational Evaluator/Work Adjustment Specialist for several years. Her first leadership role with the agency came shortly after that. In 1995, Wornkey became the Information Specialist, overseeing TECH’s service coordinators.
In 1999, Brenda Maxey was promoted to President/CEO of TECH and Wornkey applied for and received the Director of Services position that Maxey held. She had responsibility for Service Coordinators, Health Services, Staff Trainers, and some Administrative Services. Several years later, she also assumed responsibility for TECH’s Residential Services and in 2011, she became a Vice-President of the organization.
When asked about her greatest accomplishments during her time at TECH, Wornkey recalls the construction of The Link, the TECH Art Studio and Art Gallery as well as One Care Kansas Health Homes. “TECH is the only intellectual and developmentally disabled provider in Kansas that is doing that (One Care Kansas Health Homes). It was a year-long process to put in place and required us to be creative and develop several community partnerships to fulfill the requirements. The program meets a significant need and I’m really proud of our efforts on this project,” says Wornkey.
As she looks back on her fondest memories with TECH, she can’t help but think back to TECH’s annual Client Recognition Night. Wornkey said, “Even on hard days or hard weeks, no matter what mood you are in upon entering the doors of Client Recognition Night, you instantly feel joyful. Being there, being a part of that event always bring back full circle why you are here and the importance of the work that we do.”
Wornkey’s retirement date is set for March 31, 2022.
Please join us as we host a card shower to celebrate Aurie’s 35 years with TECH. Cards and letters of congratulations may be sent to Aurie Wornkey, TECH, PO Box 399, Hutchinson, KS 67504-0399.
About TECH: TECH has been serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Hutchinson area since 1973. Our mission is to assist individuals with disabilities of all ages live full and productive lives through advocacy, supports, and education. For more information, visit www.TECHinc.org.