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Dunn Center job a joy to Butler

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By Cindy Simpson

Micheale Butler is passionate about the work at Michael Dunn Center to serve people with intellectual disabilities.

“I’ve never found so much joy in a job,” she said.

She is looking forward to sharing and spreading that passion through her new role as vice president of development, public relations and quality assurance.

“When this position became available, I immediately wanted to work at Michael Dunn Center in this capacity,” Butler said.

“I think this position will suit perfectly, because I get to talk about what I love about it.”

She’s anxious to share the love she has for the work Michael Dunn does.

Butler already has a rich history with Michael Dunn. It’s not the first time she worked with or for them.

She graduated from East Tennessee State University in 2000 and began working for a home health agency in 2001.

Through that job, she was exposed to the services to people with disabilities but wanted a more hands-on experience, leaving after four years to become an independent support coordinator with a local agency.

The majority of her caseload was at Michael Dunn Center.

“From the first day I walked in the door, I knew it was a place that nurtured the goals and aspirations of people with disabilities. They gave a voice to people who sometimes otherwise didn’t have one,” Butler said.

When the company she worked for was closing, she knew she wanted to go to Michael Dunn Center and soon learned about an opening for director of human resources in 2006.

She, however, didn’t have any experience.

That didn’t matter to Roger Richmond, vice president of human resources and information technology.

“He called me the next day and told me that they would rather have someone with experience working with people with disabilities who could easily learn the HR aspect as opposed to hiring the best HR person in the world who couldn’t adapt to our environment,” Butler said in her biography.

A year later, her husband, Michael, was transferred to Virginia, and she took a job working for Muscular Dystrophy Association as the fundraising and health services coordinator.

In 2008, she got the call to serve as director of quality assurance at Michael Dunn, and she told them she’d be back in two weeks.

She said her husband supported her taking the job and only a couple of months later was able to transfer back to Tennessee.

Butler and her husband have been married since 2002.

They have two young children, William and Kate.