History of Hacienda – The 1980s

The 1980s was pivotal for Hacienda, as changes in regulations and the introduction of new regulations meant that Hacienda would need to invest in new capital and expand Hacienda to meet those changes.

Ilene Butler, our founder, struggled with the regulatory pressures that took her away from helping the children firsthand. This pressure also took a toll on her health and she made the decision to transition into a less stressful life in order to recuperate her health and allow the organization to grow. During this transition, Ilene adopted two of her foster children, Lupe and Ronnie—both are alive today and reside in Texas. However, Ilene’s health continued to decline. She struggled with medical complications and diabetes, and passed away in July of 1995.

Karen Sullivan, was hired as the executive director during the transition and led the organization for ten years. Regulatory changes and financial challenges continued to plague Hacienda as it grew. In 1981, Tom Pomeroy, a local businessman with a successful insurance agency joined the Board of Directors.

Through Tom’s leadership, a new board of experienced business leaders changed the program’s financial challenges into viable business models.

Tom has served on Hacienda’s Board for thirty-six years and often cites hiring Bill Timmons as CEO, in 1989 as his best business decision for Hacienda. Bill Timmons continues to lead the organization and will celebrate twenty-eight years of service this July.

During this decade, Hacienda became the first and only privately owned state licensed Intermediate Care Facility for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ICF-ID). Hacienda opened two group homes and introduced an Early Intervention program for children with developmental delays. This responsive approach to meeting unmet community needs drives Hacienda today.

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