Fountain House is thrilled to welcome our three new Executive Fellows – Bethany Vukusic, Francesco Baglioni, and Jenny Erdman! The three fellows come from clubhouses in Michigan, Italy, and Iowa, respectively. The Executive Fellowship prepares new clubhouse directors to succeed anywhere in the world, and equips them with the requisite organizational and programmatic knowledge and skill sets.
Bethany Vukusic of the Lakeshore Clubhouse
Bethany has been the clubhouse Director of Lakeshore Clubhouse in Holland, Michigan for the past four years, and has been working at Lakeshore Clubhouse for over eight years. After getting her BSW degree, Bethany became a clubhouse generalist in her town. While a generalist, Bethany obtained her MSW degree, and upon graduating was offered the position of Director. Bethany has had a growing involvement in the Clubhouse, Michigan Coalition, has served on the steering committee to help plan the state’s annual clubhouse conference, been involved in the revision of the state Medicaid provider manual, and attended Colleague Training. Under her guidance, the Lakeshore Clubhouse has gone through its first accreditation. The Lakeshore Clubhouse’s employment program has grown from nearly non-existent to thriving and they’ve seen many members graduate from college. Bethany also teaches an MSW Field Education Seminar course at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, where she is able to help shape the next generation of social workers.
Francesco Baglioni of Club Itaca
Francesco has been working all around the world in the non-profit sector since he graduated with a law degree in Italy. He has done civil service for the diocese of Milan, and has traveled to Bangladesh with local missions. Francesco has also worked at the NGO Humana and was given the opportunity to spend time in Malawi and Mozambique in AIDS prevention programs and vocational schools. After working at Humana, Francesco was hired to start and act as the director the first clubhouse in Italy in November of 2004, under Progetto Itaca. The first clubhouse in Italy, Club Itaca in Milan, was established in May of 2005. Under their guidance, four other clubhouses have been created in Italy to date. Francesco was originally trained at Fountain House in New York 11 years ago, and also partook in a three-week training course in London in 2007. Francesco is excited for the Fellowship, as he believes that it is now a delicate and opportune time of potential growth for the five clubhouses that were originally created out of Club Itaca.
Jenny Erdman of the Passageway Clubhouse
Jenny, Executive Director of Passageway Clubhouse in Iowa, first encountered the clubhouse model when she was a graduate student at Drake University. The former Executive Director of Passageway had come to a graduate class of Jenny’s and discussed the clubhouse. Jenny was immediately interested, and eventually completed a 600-hour internship at Passageway Clubhouse. After 15 years in the Human Services field, working with those with severe mental illness, Jenny believes that the clubhouse model is the most effective. Jenny believes that the philosophy of the clubhouse model is in line with her personal beliefs in the importance of relationships, work, and how we treat others. In Jenny’s first year there, Passageway Clubhouse went through accreditation, and Passageway is still the only accredited clubhouse in Iowa. Jenny has now been the Executive Director of Passageway Clubhouse for a year and three months, and the clubhouse has recently moved to a new location.