We’re excited to introduce Lori Poppen as the new Regional Site Director in our Northern Region. Lori takes over for Lisa Pieper, who recently retired as the Regional Vice President of the Northern Region.
A native of Arthur, Illinois, Lori, obtained a BA in Psychology from Milliken University and MS in Applied Family Studies at Northern Illinois University. Lori began working at Children’s Home & Aid in 1990 as a Clinical Case Manager in the Early Prevention in the Community (EPIC) Program. After her son was born in 1992, Lori became a part-time Case Manager until 2007 when she took over as Supervisor of the EPIC Program. Since then she’s served as both Program Manager and Director of Clinical Services before taking over leadership of the Northern Region in August.
As the Regional Site Director, Lori is responsible for day-to-day building operations and oversees a number of programs that serve the Rockford community, including child welfare and family support services. She also leads community outreach initiatives, working with external partners and representing Children’s Home & Aid in workgroups. “Something that we as an agency do very well is recognize and respond to the needs of the communities we serve,” Lori says. “In Rockford in particular, we’re proud to be part of an innovative pilot program to help families recover from substance abuse—we truly do go where the need is greatest.”
Something that Lori is most proud of is the impact that Children’s Home & Aid has had on the future of social work. “In my almost 30 years at Children’s Home & Aid, a highlight of my time has been to be part of our amazing internship program,” Lori recalls. “So many of the interns who came here to learn have gone on to work at the agency—all are great clinicians now. That says a lot about our reputation and ability to prepare caseworkers to continue the incredible work that we’ve been doing for the past 135 years.”
Now for a few fun facts about Lori:
- Lori and her husband recently celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary and have two sons, ages 26 and 23.
- Her favorite vacation spot is Sanibel, Florida.
- In her spare time, Lori enjoys reading, playing recreational volleyball and walking her dog, Eddy.
- Lori grew up in a small town in Central Illinois with a large Amish community.
- The quote “One person can make a difference and everyone should try,” hangs in Lori’s office and inspires her to do what she can each day to strengthen the children and families we serve.