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Hass on board as CCSI executive director

Ana Anthony/Daily Globe Jeri Hass is shown at her CCSI office in downtown Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- Growing up in Washington, Jeri Hass moved to the Midwest in pursuit of a college degree. Some 30 years later, she is now the executive director for Client Community Services Inc. (CCSI)

Hass, the newest employee at CCSI, brings with her 30 years of experience in the human services field. She took the helm of CCSI April 9 after 16 years of service at Hope Haven, in Rock Valley, Iowa.

"I love the human services field," she said. "There are a lot of challenges, but a lot of rewards."

Hass' job scope at CCSI differs slightly from that at Hope Haven. Previously, she managed smaller, more specific areas of human services. Her most recent experience was as a residential manager for licensed settings in four homes.

"While the actual services we provide aren't different, being executive director is different because I'm responsible for the whole program," she said.

CCSI manages 14 group homes -- 10 in Minnesota, two in Iowa -- with approximately 175 employees.

Along with embracing more responsibilities, Hass added that regulations for the provision of human services in Minnesota vary widely from what she was accustomed to in Iowa.

"Minnesota is very medical-modeled," she explained. "Like for the waivered services programs, there are three different set of regulations to follow. In Iowa, you have one."

Since assuming her new job, Hass has focused on two priorities -- learning about the state regulations and CCSI programming, and working with the board members on the expansion of new and current ventures.

"With the budget cuts in Minnesota, it is really affecting how we can provide services to individuals with disabilities," she said. "We continue to provide quality care regardless of funding from the state, but it makes it difficult to provide with less funding."

A day-in-a-life of a new executive director includes surveying all 14 CCSI facilities and providing reviews to the board of directors on any needs necessary, working with budgets and managing staff.

"I've been very welcomed by the agency and they've done a great job helping me as I learn," she said.

Hass currently resides in George, Iowa, but is hoping to move to Worthington in June. She enjoys the various amenities available in Worthington.

"George has a small grocery store but there are no big places to shop, so this is a great change," she said.

Hass earned her bachelor's degree in social work from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. After graduation, she got married, started a family and lived in Iowa, Kansas and North Carolina before moving back to George.

"After high school I wanted to get away from home, of course, and Orange City was 1,500 miles away," she said with a laugh.

Hass has two children, John and Rebecca, both of whom live in Iowa.