Concordance recently welcomed Lee Holmes as Chief Administrative Officer and Dr. Tiph Jones as Executive Vice President, Head of Education & Employment. As new hires on our executive team, we wanted to catch up with them both and ask Why Concordance? Check out their answers below to see what drew them to our organization and their plans for the future!
What about Concordance’s mission drew you to our organization?
Lee: I saw first-hand the impact Concordance was having on participants while working as the HR Manager at Triad Manufacturing. Triad has been a Concordance hiring partner for two and a half years. In that time, I saw so many Concordance participants excel in the workplace, not only because of their increased self-worth, but also because of the support they were receiving at Concordance. Observing the drive and determination in participants’ behavior and work ethic – especially on their faces – was and still is a glorious thing to witness.
Tiph: I was drawn to Concordance’s pursuit of equity and community transformation through our mission. The part of our mission that spoke most to me was “holistic, integrated, evidence-informed” because that gets to the crux of issues around reducing reincarceration. I was excited about the opportunity to be a part of an organization that was designed to not just reduce reincarceration but also to change people’s lives. I was drawn to the possibility of impacting that magnitude of change.
What does out tagline “Healing Equity Hope” mean to you?
Tiph: The first time I went to Concordance’s website, the tagline drew me in. Concise, but so rich. Leading with healing is key to the success of our participants. Healing is the foundation of hope, because we can’t begin to see the possibility of our future without dealing with the pain of our past. Without healing, equity, and hope, how can we get to joyful, abundant, and purposeful living?iven up on them and to trust that Concordance, and others, will be there for them even when they stumble or fall.
Lee: Healing – To assist with recovery in body, mind, and spirit. Offering our participants tools to understand that they can start moving forward and progress with the support we provide. Equity – Help participants realize that opportunities are out there for them that they might not have thought possible and prove to others that they are not the person they once were, that they have changed and want to be a contributing member of their community. Hope – To believe in themselves when others may have given up on them and to trust that Concordance, and others, will be there for them even when they stumble or fall.
How has your background or prior experiences prepared you for your current role?
Lee: I believe that my family, business, military, and life experiences have given me the tools I need to assist Concordance in achieving our mission. My work and military roles were always subject to change due to the human elements involved so being able to adjust and regroup when plans don’t go as expected is something that I have learned to do well over the years. Plan for the best but be ready for anything.
Tiph: I grew up in Baltimore. It’s home to some amazingly talented people who are caught in a cycle of historical exclusion and limited resources. In 2005, when I started working with children of justice-involved parents, I did not know much about mass incarceration, but I was determined to find ways that I could help. Over the years, I went from researching the problems within our country’s “justice” system to addressing workforce barriers for the justice-involved. All these passion-fueled efforts have led me to this position and have shaped the lens through which I do the work. My personal and professional backgrounds both give me the awareness and compassion needed for success in this role at Concordance.
In your current role, how do you hope to impact the organization over the next year?
Lee: Where do I start? There are so many things that are on the agenda but the most impactful item I see is ensuring that our next Concordance Center is opened, with others slated to open or opening. Along with that would be the successful launch of our behavioral health practice software system. These two achievements will set us up for future growth and allow us to reach our strategic goals.
Tiph: In the next year, I hope to continue moving the mission forward by building a robust and scalable education program at Concordance. It’s no secret that I am passionate about using education as a major tool for workforce development. Our participants are an untapped resource for employers, so I’m interested in building bridges to local and national employers through short-term education and upskilling opportunities. I’m also excited to create industry specific “ladders” and profiles to impact participant career trajectories and give them hope about their Next jobs.