Her 6th grade teacher wrote on her report card that she was “a bit of a social butterfly”. Well, in her mind, she just liked people.
“I always knew I had to do something with people,” Nicole Workman explained.
Today, Workman is director of communications for the Marion County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD).
“I have always known that the work I do has to have a deeper meaning and purpose,” she added. “I discovered this at MCBDD and am honored to meet the people we serve. It is gratifying to know that I help tell the stories of those in our community who often have no voice.
Nicole (Evans) Workman grew up in “little old Galleon, Ohio” and loved “every minute of it.” She graduated from Galion High School in 1991, Ohio State in 1995 with a journalism degree, then with three young children “and lots of stuff to juggle with a full-time job,” she earned a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University in 2012.
“As an undergraduate student, I really had no idea what I wanted to do,” she recalls. “But I told my advisor I had to stay away from math and science. She mentioned journalism and it seemed like a perfect fit – and it was. I enjoy learning about other people’s stories and telling them in a (hopefully) compelling way.
She worked at Marion Technical College for a while. In fact, she said, “I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, all in marketing and communications. She will soon be celebrating her fifth birthday at MCBDD.
“Nikki’s contribution to the world of SD is immeasurable,” said Gary Branson, MCBDD board member and executive director of the Marion Public Library. “She gives voice to extraordinary people and families who are neglected or ignored. It’s just amazing and he’s a great person to have on our team.
“I like what I do!” Workman responded. “The ultimate goal is to create an environment where those we serve find true friendships and love within their own neighborhoods, schools and churches. I have watched Marion grow in love and support for the MCBDD since I have been here and it is the most rewarding feeling I have ever had.
“My kids tell me that I cry more since I got this job,” she added. ” They’re right. The people I meet and the stories I hear make me see things that I haven’t seen until now. I see a bluer sky. I hear soothing winds. I breathe. I listen. I am learning. I know those we serve, and their families, don’t want to be heroes or inspirations, but to me they are. They changed me.
“If you get to know a person with a disability, they will change you too,” she said. “They will make you a better human. “
“I am so blessed and proud to be a part of the MCBDD,” she concluded. “Those we serve have definitely stolen a piece of my heart, and I’m so proud to know every person I meet. “
The Marion County Developmental Disorders Board is located at 2387 Harding Highway East in Marion. For more information call 740-387-1035 or log in marioncountydd.org.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focused on people and their jobs, whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people taking ordinary jobs and making them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected]