MUSCATINE, Iowa–As an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, Marc Hines took a direct care position working with people with disabilities because he needed a job with the flexibility to let him go to school full time. Though he had little prior experience with people with disabilities, he soon realized the work had many rewards for him. He recalled: “I fell in love with the job and with the guys I was serving. It was immediately rewarding and instructive. I began learning, and continue to learn to this day, something about the human condition I hadn’t experienced.”
Following his graduation, Hines worked for Systems Unlimited in Iowa City, which serves people with disabilities. During his tenure there, he held numerous roles, including a direct care provider, a supervisor for a supported living home, a coordinator for employment services, and the co-leader of the supported living division. As he put it, “I haven’t done it all, but I’ve dabbled in a lot.”
After working for Systems Unlimited, Hines spent five years with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Department of Psychiatry, assisting people diagnosed with both intellectual disabilities and mental illness. He found the experience instructive, as it gave him new insights into how to help people facing a variety of challenges.
As much as Hines enjoyed working with the psychiatry department, he knew he wanted to get back to his first passion of serving people with disabilities in a more community focused setting. When he saw that Crossroads needed a new CEO, he took the opportunity to apply and quickly found the organization offered a good match for him. “As the interview process moved forward and I met more people within the organization, I became more and more convinced that this was a perfect fit,” he shared. “Previous CEOs have done an exceptional job at setting up the agency for growth. The leadership team and all the staff members I’ve met are committed to the agency. I can’t ask for much more.”
Now that Hines has started as Crossroads’ CEO, he looks forward to working with its current staff and clients to determine areas of improvement and opportunities for growth to focus on. “I have ideas, but I’m just as interested in the ideas the team has and what I hear from the people we serve,” he stated.
In the weeks and months ahead, Hines embraces, “getting to know the people we serve and finding the best ways to give them the chance to live the lives they want.” By returning to an organization working directly with people with disabilities, Hines most looks forward to the positive impact Crossroads can have on people every day. “I’m here to be a part of something important and essentially human,” he emphasized. “Aside from my wife, this work is the love of my life.” Hines also pleasantly anticipates the work of getting to know the wider Muscatine Community and seeing how Crossroads can make a positive impact on it.