How’s it going, Julie Alleman? “It’s day five, and I’m having a blast!”
Alleman, who is succeeding Bill Benson as executive director of CADES, enjoys the luxury of having her predecessor show her the ropes. “It’s hard to fill Bill’s shoes, but at least the shoes are still here! He will be here through the summer, and it is so good to have a Sherpa.”
Alleman, an alumna of Franklin & Marshall College who has an MSS from Bryn Mawr, commutes daily from Oxford in southern Chester County. “Fifty minutes is just the right amount of driving to clear my head. And it’s much better than commuting to Germantown, as I did previously.”
The Germantown job was as chief operating officer of Green Street School and Services, the latest line in a 20-year resume of nonprofit administration experience in education, residential communities and provision of services to those with developmental disabilities.
She has overseen a number of organizations which, like CADES, have multipronged operations. She has experience in agency expansion, operational and fiscal strategic planning, human resources and compliance.
What does Alleman bring to CADES? “I’ve worked in special education and with special needs communities through my entire career, always pushing against the presumption that mediocrity is acceptable. My previous experiences have prepared me to lead — and taught me to lead — with new practices.”
Julie Alleman looks forward to a greater integration of the CADES community of clients and students into the wider communities of Swarthmore and Delaware County. These interactions will increase individuals’ empathy for one another, Alleman says. “And realizing the capabilities of your neighbors can make all of our jobs easier.”