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Talent Tribute: Imani Ortiz

Our Talent Tribute Monthly Feature is designed to celebrate the phenomenal staff that serve our Members.

With an impressive decade-long VALLEYLIFE career, Imani Ortiz has become a notable face within the Residential Department. Before acquiring her most recent title of Program Manager in January of this year, Imani started at VALLEYLIFE in 2013 as a Direct Support Professional II (DSP II) and quickly began to see her career progress. She was named Supervisor of VALLEYLIFE’s Evergreen group home in 2014 and was again promoted to Senior Supervisor in 2017. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she briefly left VALLEYLIFE for a year before returning to reclaim her prior role of Evergreen group home Supervisor in 2021. Just two years after her return, she was again promoted to Assistant Program Manager in 2023. Born and raised in San Diego, Imani moved to Arizona in 2011 in search of a more sustainable cost of living. After spending some time working for Wells Fargo, Imani developed a desire to build a career that allowed her to make a significant difference in the lives of others. She shifted into the caregiving field after securing a role at Tungland Corporation, which she held for several years before joining VALLEYLIFE. Outside of VALLEYLIFE, Imani is a dedicated mother to her three children and loves sports, specifically basketball and volleyball.

We asked Imani a few questions to learn more about her experience at VALLEYLIFE.

1. How would you describe your ideal day at VALLEYLIFE?

My Ideal day would definitely be busy and very eventful. I initially like to reach out and touch bases with my Senior Assistant Supervisors and Supervisors just to see what’s going on with their day, if I’m needed, and where I can lend a helping hand.


2. What has your time at VALLEYLIFE taught you over the years?

My time at VALLEYLIFE has taught me patience. I have learned to take a step back and remind myself that everyone doesn’t think the same way I do, and they don’t process things the same way I do. Not only has my time at VALLEYLIFE made me more patient with individuals, but it also has made me more compassionate and more empathetic to certain situations.


3. Can you tell us what you enjoy most about interacting with Members?

Although I primarily interact with staff, I still have times when I interact with Members because I am very hands-on and help out at the group homes. The part I enjoy most is being able to advocate for our Members.


4. What skills or qualities do you think are most important for success in your position?

I’d say you’d have to be able to communicate, you’d need time management skills, and you’d need to be able to multitask to be successful in my role.


5. Lastly, what do you hope to accomplish or learn in your future at VALLEYLIFE?

My goal for my career at VALLEYLIFE is really just to leave my mark. Whenever my name is mentioned, I want people to know that they can count on me and that I was always dependable. As I continue to move forward, I hope to continue to be the best I can be in whatever position I’m in.

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