Rebecca Hage Thomley, our organization’s Chief Executive Officer, was recognized by Finance & Commerce newspaper as a 2011 “Minnesotan on the Move,” at an event sponsored by MidCountry Bank and Finance & Commerce newspaper, on April 7, 2011.

Rebecca Hage Thomley was recognized for our organization’s phenomenal growth and development under her administration. She was also recognized for her volunteer values, both as an individual working with the American Red Cross and the American Psychological Association and for her leadership with Headwaters Relief Organization’s ongoing volunteer efforts.

Casey Selix, Acting Managing Editor of Finance & Commerce newspaper states that “the 2011 winners of Finance & Commerce’s Minnesotans on the Move awards come from many creative corners of our economy and public life. They’re inventors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, nonprofit and trade-group leaders, a form gubernatorial candidate, and the new chairwoman of the Metropolitan Council. Our 40 honorees include some Minnesotans who have made headlines and are expected to make more news in new roles.”

The text of the newspaper’s article about Rebecca Hage Thomley is as follows:

Rebecca S. Hage Thomley, CEO, Orion Associates
By Anna Pratt

It is an understatement to say that Rebecca S. Hage-Thomley gives real meaning to the phrase “human services”.

As chief executive of the management Services Company Orion Associates, Thomley has built a culture actively committed to care and volunteerism that reflects her own personal belief in work, service and education.

With a doctorate in clinical psychology (one of the six degrees and counting), Thomley has a long history of work in the human services field at every level- from live-in staff member to chief executive officer.

In 2000, Thomley joined the family business Orion when her father died. Since then, the organization has grown seven times over and now comprises four companies, including Meridian, the social service agency her mother founded. She still maintains a part-time private therapy practice in addition to her chief executive duties and her long list of volunteer efforts.

Thomley has worked with the Red Cross Stress Team and the American Psychological Association, but her greatest contribution is the Headwater Relief Foundation which grew out of a trip with Orion colleagues to New Orleans’ Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. The non-profit has grown from that relief-effort trip into a 600 volunteer organization assisting in numerous efforts in the U.S and Haiti.

Many of Headwaters’ volunteers are employees of Orion, where Thomley has instilled her personal commitment to service in a very real way. Employees receive paid time off to do volunteer work, and in the past two years, 90 percent of Orion staff members have volunteered for a variety of organizations and causes.

In volunteer efforts, corporate titles fall away; Thomley works shoulder-to-shoulder with others, providing services to orphans in Haiti or physically rebuilding a mental health center in New Orleans.

Of her accomplishments, Thomley says “Really blessed” by the opportunities she has been given- ones she has not been afraid to peruse.

“If there’s something I want to see happen, I am pretty dogged,” Thomley says. ˜I don’t give up. I’m not afraid of challenges.”

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