Patty McMurtry has served on the Alternatives, Inc. Board of Trustees since the year 2000. During her lengthy tenure, Patty has given of her time and talent in innumerable ways, all of which has directly impacted the individuals served by Alternatives. Patty holds the position of Secretary for the Board of Trustees. She is the Board Liaison to the Corporate Compliance Committee, was Co-Chair of the 2023 Gala Committee, and she serves as a member of the agency’s Resource Development Committee, ADTI Housing Corporation Board, Pension Committee, and several other fundraising event committees. Patty’s level of engagement with the organization is, in many ways, second to none.
Patty and her late husband were introduced to Alternatives by a friend and neighbor. The couple attended several fundraising events throughout Alternatives’ early years, and Patty’s late husband even became involved as chair of the agency’s largest fundraising event, the Dignity Gala, in the 1980’s. When Patty retired from her career as Regional Manager, Sales and Operations with Lab Corp, she increased her involvement with Alternatives by joining the Resource Development Committee. Her contributions were quickly evident to board members, and Patty was nominated for a seat on the full board. Patty’s professional background, along with her community connections, attention to detail, high ethical standards, and much more, made her an enormous asset to Alternatives. As the agency experienced multiple challenging transitions in which corporate compliance, and overall good business sense, were essential to ensuring quality services for the hundreds of individuals served, Patty’s positive impact at Alternatives increased exponentially.
Patty approaches all that she does on behalf of Alternatives with the needs of the agency’s clients in the forefront. One could argue that some of Patty’s most valuable contributions have been those approached quietly and without pomp and circumstance. Patty has “adopted” residential programs, whereby she has spent quality time getting to know clients and staff alike, which has further deepened her knowledge of the needs of those served by Alternatives, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those with mental illness as a whole, and it has provided valuable information in her capacity as a trustee. Patty has participated in countless Board Site Visits over the years, as well as events, such as client/family picnics and holiday awards dinners. In her “adoptive” role of a group home located in Alexandria Township, Patty sat and talked with each resident, with the goal of learning about their rich lives and interests, and she later gifted each of them with a t-shirt, demonstrating her appreciation for their stories. One of the men, for example, received a shirt that featured a pineapple, because Patty was so intrigued and moved by his experience as a roadie for musician Johnny Pineapple, which took him all over the U.S. and to several other countries. The genuine interest Patty has taken in the lives of the people Alternatives serves helps to provide context when she guides the organization along its path to achieving its mission.
Many of Patty’s admirable personal traits have benefitted Alternatives and the people the agency serves. Patty has innate knack for effectively representing Alternatives to the community, and for communicating the agency’s challenges and accomplishments to stakeholders. She is known among staff and peers for her friendly and gentle nature, which she often demonstrates when sharing information about Alternatives with people she meets throughout her community. Patty keeps Alternatives, and the needs of the agency’s clients, in the forefront of everything she does, whether she is at an Alternatives’ event/meeting or not. Patty’s ability to garner interest and support from others has helped the agency to raise thousands of dollars throughout the past two decades and more, all of which has been directed to improve the lives of hundreds of individuals served.
Patty shared that she is happy to have the time to devote to Alternatives. She said, “I have never been as involved with an organization as I am with Alternatives, but I do so because the organization is so well-run, with its quality and compassionate staff, and so I can help the individuals we serve to have full and happy lives.”