Shari Walker reached her one-year anniversary with The Planning Council earlier this January 2024. As a Respite Support Specialist, Shari connects Navy families that have children with special needs (aka Exceptional Family Member) with specialized childcare providers equipped to meet each families’ unique specifications. The families can receive up to 40 hours a month of childcare for their EFM.

Every quarter, Shari observes each families’ childcare visit and witnesses first hand how the Respite Program has provided relief to mothers with depression and created space for siblings of an EFM to receive undivided attention. These testimonials are tangible proof of making a difference and improving lives.

One year ago, the scales of work life came into balance for Shari when she was able to bring her previous experience and knowledge to TPC. This encompassed case manager positions working with individuals limited intellectually and individuals deemed incapacitated. TPC offered a burnout-free, structured administrative position for a respectable program addressing an identified community issue.

Shari is organized and a perfectionist striving to meet expectations. She does not deviate from the guidelines and procedures relayed to her. Hence, she provides her colleagues, families, and providers with consistency and dependability. Though Shari has a steep learning curve, she is eager and prepared to know every aspect of the Respite Program and to continue to be the valuable employee she already is.

The photo provided is from Shari’s time as a co-owner with her husband of box truck business from 2019-2022. Her entrepreneurial adventure is more evidence of Shari’s motivation, hard work, adaptability, and problem-solving skills that she brings to TPC and Navy families.

Shari is married with four children (ages 3, 6, 7, and 8). She and her family enjoy the space and safety provided by the country life. Shari had a cake and cookie decorating hobby, but now aspires to learn how to cultivate her own fruit, vegetable, and herb garden. If you have any tips or tricks, please send them Shari’s way.