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What “Work Family” Truly Means: Good Memories from the LSG Staff Retreat

Aug 14 2023 - 4 minutes read - by Aaron Kelly Anderson
If you’re reading this, you probably know something of how LSG has several professionals assigned at various locations across New Mexico. Our staff runs the gamut of disability services: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work, and so forth—but there’s a good chance you knew that as well. But did you also know that 50+ individuals are employed by LSG?
Two months ago, the official members of the UNTAPPED team, including myself, got to deliver a presentation about our mission and initiatives to about that number of our LSG colleagues. We spoke on what the UNTAPPED program strives to accomplish for diverseABLED workers across the state, but we also got to include our personal notes of gratitude. For my section, I knew I couldn’t leave out the story of how Colin (one of our OTs and the de facto founder of UNTAPPED) approached me at Flying Star Café over a year ago and informed me about LSG. In contrast to that elevator pitch I had to quickly rehearse for the job fair back in May, I felt loads of comfort and warmth as I related that story to the audience and communicated my sincere thanks to the awesome human beings like Colin that I have met throughout the past year.
A breakout group for SLPs. (photo by Vianka Chavez-Villa)
A breakout group for SLPs. (photo by Vianka Chavez-Villa)
It was a fascinating coincidence that Colin and I encountered each other at Flying Star in the first place, in fact. He approached me during one of my shifts in March or April 2022, having recognized me from several years ago when we met at UNM. There was even a little bit of happenstance with how I ended up working at that location, so it still feels like one of those odd series of events that seemed innocuous at first but led me to one of the most fulfilling opportunities of my life. That moment led me on an intricate journey of getting to know the up-and-coming nonprofit known as LSG & Associates and its burgeoning supported employment team UNTAPPED. Even today, I feel like my excitement increases every time I join a team meeting or dive into a new project.
I won a couple prizes during the drawings! (photo by Vianka Chavez-Villa)
I won a couple prizes during the drawings! (photo by Vianka Chavez-Villa)
Though our presentation at the retreat was a great opportunity to promote the UNTAPPED movement, it was of course not the only activity going on that day. It was just one portion of the LSG staff retreat that took place on June 9th and 10th at the Enchanted Falls Event Center, just a few blocks away from our main office here in Albuquerque. We had several orders of business to cover, like reviewing the updated website and listening to an online presentation for the Avail program. Later in the second day, we divided into breakout groups for the various fields represented in LSG: speech pathologists, behavioral technicians, and more. But the staff evened out those orders of business with engaging games and other activities, like a group competition to design a new banner for the website and the relay-race game where you balance a ping-pong ball on a spoon.
All in all, that feeling of comfort I mentioned before was very palpable even when I first arrived at the venue and greeted my colleagues. Later in that first day, our “Chief Excitement Officer” Theresa snapped a few photos of me for one of the activities, and in those pics, I am all smiles. “Family” is a tricky term to use when discussing your work environment, but as I reflect on my experience at the retreat, I am completely confident that I have discovered a nurturing “work family.” As I reflect on an entire year as a community liaison with LSG, I see my connection with them lasting for many years to come.
Told ya I was all smiles! (photo by Theresa Lucero)
Told ya I was all smiles! (photo by Theresa Lucero)
Until the next story,
Aaron Kelly Anderson
a.k.a. “A PhD on the Spectrum”

Greetings from Dr. Anderson!

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Hello, everybody! I’m so glad you’ve chosen to visit this blog today. My name is Dr. Aaron Kelly Anderson, a.k.a. “A PhD on the Spectrum.” I graduated in 2021 with my doctorate from the Organization, Information & Learning Sciences program (OILS) at the University of New Mexico, specializing in storytelling and organizations. That last detail is particularly vital, as now I find myself in a position where the unique stories of individuals with diverseABILITIES are at the heart of what my colleagues and I do.
Take a look at the video below for an introduction into my diverseABILITY journey on the autism spectrum and where it’s led me today.
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LSG & Associates Inc

10320 Cottonwood Park NW, Suite A.
Albuquerque, NM 87114