Staff Spotlight: Melissa Crouse, Professional Relations Officer, New York Area
Melissa Crouse represents Origins as the Professional Relations Officer in the New York metropolitan area, which includes: the five boroughs of NYC, New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island and Connecticut. Before joining Origins in 2015 Melissa worked in the NYC regional office for a prominent treatment organization in a variety of Development, Marketing and Community Engagement roles. Melissa’s professional focus and responsibilities have included Marketing and also identifying, cultivating and soliciting Major Gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals throughout the New York metropolitan area. The strategic business and philanthropic partnerships Melissa built with individuals and institutions not only strengthened the bottom line but also allowed individuals to access quality residential addiction treatment via scholarship funds.
What brought you to Origins?
After working for another organization in New York for almost 8 years, first as a Development Officer and then Business Development Officer, I accepted a position as the Director of Development at a university in NYC. I was not at the university long when I received a call from former colleagues who had gone to work for Origins. They believed in Origins and I believed in them, so when they suggested that I represent Origins in NYC. I was absolutely thrilled to hear from them and delighted to join them at Origins.
If there were only one thing you could tell us about working within your specialty area, what would it be?
My role as a Professional Relations Officer is to pursue opportunities for the long-term growth and health of Origins. I build and maintain new relationships in the NY market with any individual or organization that has the potential to influence an admission, or create new business for Origins. I view myself as a facilitator; I strive to serve as a supportive resource and an adjunct to the treatment process for the referents, families and OBH admissions and clinical teams.
Ultimately, Business Development is about relationships and customer service. My first priority is to accommodate the needs of the referral source. It is my job to ensure that the referents from NY experience a smooth admissions process, are engaged in the aftercare planning and that OBH reciprocates with referrals. This aspect of my job is incredibly easy because OBH has the most talented, compassionate and committed professionals in the field, and I am proud to call them my colleagues and friends.
What have you learned through your experience working in treatment?
Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I have learned that this is profoundly true for not only the families we serve, but also for me both professionally and personally. When we have been brought to our knees by this disease and forced to become oriented through the lens of a new set of eyes, we gain a new capacity for empathy and understanding that is unique to those of us rocked by addiction. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to provide a safe space and support for families navigating through the challenges of their experience.
Do you hold any credentials or certifications, or do you participate in any other professional activities outside of work?
I have a Bachelors of Science in Journalism and Sociology from West Virginia University. I am a co-chair of (WAAT) The Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment, in NYC. I am a member of Women in Development, NY, (WIDNY). I have recently volunteered to help launch a capital campaign at my local library and I have volunteered on a few local Boards to support my kids’ schools and athletics.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any pets or engage in special hobbies?
I feel lucky to be from New York, there is so much to do. My family and I spend a lot of time in the parks and museums of NYC, but we also like to spend time, hiking and skiing up in the Berkshires. My absolute favorite hours are spent listening to my kids play their instruments and on the sidelines of my kids’ soccer, football and lacrosse games.