Who’s in Charge Here?

Somedays I am the CEO of All Community Outreach! Other days, they just let me think I am… “They” are the other officers that I work with each day that make up the team we call “Quad.” I assure you that while I may have the ultimate responsibility, the four of us together are a powerful force with more than 50 years combined serving ACO.

Aaron Vaughn serves as ACO’s Chief Operating Officer. Today he leads our entire operations and finance departments. This includes the total renovation project of our annex and expansion. I remember Aaron as a college student, working part-time at ACO in our donation operation. Over the last decade, he went from managing our warehouse operations and processing center, then adding resale operations, and today overseeing all of our operations in every department. He is calm under pressure, is the voice of reason, brings cohesion to the team, and is fair and compassionate. Aaron is the “Playmaker” of the group, orchestrating ACO’s future and keeping it running smoothly. He is amazing.

Rhonda Ptak is the “Implementer.” It is her job to build ACO’s future with a strong community base. She has the energy and drive of three people and can juggle multiple jobs at the same time. In fact, she does just that! When Rhonda and I first worked together in fund development, we planned exciting and profitable events to raise funds for ACO programs. With her “can do” attitude, she then also jumped into the food pantry part-time to help when we needed her leadership. Like several of us, Rhonda left ACO to pursue other interests, but was led back to us at a critical time when the organization was expanding from “Allen Community Outreach” to “All …” She accepted the position of Community Development Officer and has been instrumental as we expand our reach across Collin County. As if she was not busy enough, when the resale program needed management, she agreed to take on additional responsibilities to grow the redesigned and rejuvenated resale and boutique stores. Rhonda’s tenacity, creativity and “I can do it” attitude are key to the Quad.

Michelle Clough serves as Missions Officer. I first met Michelle when she was a volunteer with our organization. We were hiring a food pantry manager when she came into my office and assured me that she wanted the position, even when I tried to talk her out of it. At the time I had no idea of the strength, compassion, and capacity this woman has to lead, organize, and implement anything that comes her way. Years later, after “retiring” then coming back as the Volunteer Director before stepping into her current role, she is the driving force of our client services team. Michelle is our “Strategist.” Without the mission and her amazing team, there would be no ACO. The rest of us are here to support them as they change the lives of families in need every day.

ACO’s amazing team spans departments. I could go on and on and describe each of our staff and their contributions and the impact they make. It takes all 45+ employees, not to mention our many volunteers, our donors, and supporters (including our Board of Directors) to do what we do and truly change lives. And I am so grateful, appreciative, and amazed by each one of them.

Let me be clear about who is really in charge… it is the families who come to us with their critical needs. It is the volunteers who work side by side with us to ensure successful programs to support those families in crisis. And it is the donors who make it fiscally possible for us to continue the vital programs and services to create a stronger, stable community.

I encourage you to call on Quad anytime you need our help, have questions about our programs or want to become more involved.

One more thing…

I am the “Game Changer” in the Quad. I bring vision and innovative ideas to the organization. Honestly, sometimes my ideas create some eye rolls from the staff, but they are open minded. Working together we sift through ideas and plans, then implement and support the programs and services that prevent hunger and homelessness by creating a path to financial stability for families in Collin County.  

These labels came from a wonderful leadership workshop that was held last fall by ACO volunteer, Peter Donovan of Top Gun Ventures with our top management team of 14. We are grateful to Peter and his team for making us better leaders and teaching us how to work with each other’s strengths and talents. We are also appreciative of his time as a volunteer in our resale store, with our client services and our staff. Thank you, Peter, for making us better leaders!



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