After four years of planning, United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago and Seguin Services became one large agency with a staff of over 600 serving thousands of children and adults with disabilities.
UCP Seguin Greater Chicago is the name of the organization. Their headquarters is in Cicero. The president and CEO, John Voit came from Seguin Services.
"Both of us have come together quite nicely in understanding one another and moving the organization forward," Voit said.
The merger created an organization with a $36 million budget, Voit said.
"The past Seguin was about $27 million and the addition of another $8 million through UCP, and a little of growth that we have now been able to accomplish," Voit said.
Since the merge, more programs are available. Peggy Childs is executive vice president of programs. Prior to the changes, she was executive vice president and COO at UCP.
"To me, the beauty of this merger is that we have programs that go through the school side We have a program that works on helping young people transition to adult services and once you've in adult services we have programs from residential, day support senior programs case management recreation," said Childs.
Voit said the biggest challenge for them is name changing.
"The problem with changing your name is you've got to be able to publicize and market the new name, and that costs a lot of money to do. So we're not ready to spend our money just yet on that avenue. We really want to concentrate on growing our current services and putting our money where our families are going to need the additional services," Voit said.
Although the merging of two organizations was a long process, it has proven to be a winner. Voit said he is surprised no other similar agencies have contacted them about following their lead.
"Maybe there aren't a lot of organizations that can come together like this. If there's a crisis, perhaps there's going to be more financial primarily, perhaps there's going to be more consideration going into these kinds of models in the future," Voit said.