we are so pleased and excited to welcome our new Executive Director Tonya leon
“MY PASSION IS ENSURING ALL INDIVIDUALS UNDER MY ADMINISTRATION ARE TREATED WITH COMPASSION AND RESPECT WHILE PRESERVING THEIR DIGNITY AND PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE TO THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL.” TONYA LEON
Tonya is the Executive Director of Buckeye Community Services (BCS), a private not for profit agency located in Jackson, Ohio. BCS provides care for individuals with intellectual disabilities all throughout Southeastern Ohio with a staff of 400 Direct Support Professionals. Prior to her employment at BCS, Tonya was Director of Programming at a large, multi-state rehabilitation community located in Ann Arbor, MI, where she led a diverse team of Clinicians, Directors, Residential Coordinators, and direct care staff as they cared for clients dealing with the challenges of intellectual, traumatic, or ischemic brain conditions.
Tonya’s life mission is providing all her clients, regardless of diagnosis, the best opportunity to attain their highest level of independence possible and to live fulfilling lives. Tonya draws from personal experience and has always felt a special bond with individuals with intellectual disabilities as she grew up with family members with such conditions. Throughout her 21 years of experience, Tonya has earned a reputation of being a fierce clients’ advocate (playfully dubbed “protector of the weak” by her peers).
Tonya recognizes that to deliver the best care possible it is imperative for everyone involved to engage and reach their assigned clients at a personal level. Only then can caretakers understand what and how to effectively provide compassionate care. She firmly believes that understanding the motivations, frustrations, and goals of our clients can produce a strong caretaker-client bond that results in more patient, empathetic and personalized care.
Beyond being a robust clients’ advocate, Tonya also possesses exceptional business acumen developed across years of Executive-level experience in large, multimillion-dollar, multi-state agencies. Likewise, she has proven ability for expanding markets, creating new sources of revenue, grant-writing and management, and business acquisitions. Tonya is also well-versed on tracking the political pulse and engaging legislators on issues important to our industry.
Tonya is a visionary leader with her eye on innovation and growth. She is also considered a very experienced supervisor with exceptional servant leadership skills. Since early in her career, Tonya has been consistently praised and respected by her supervisors, company management, clients, guardians, and her staff alike, and has proudly worn the title of “firm-but fair” throughout her career. Tonya’s most important belief is to lead-by-example. She also prides herself on developing highly effective teams while creating and maintaining a positive organizational culture.
Being a servant leader comes natural to Tonya as she has worked and understands the needs and challenges of all echelons of the DD field. Beginning as a direct care worker, she worked her way up the ranks soon becoming a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional and later attaining a Regional Director/Business Area Executive position for a residential services company where she supervised over 600 staff members and managed a multimillion-dollar a year budget in support of 200 clients. Tonya continued her climb, serving as Senior Executive for several years, never losing her compassion or sight of who she ultimately serves the clients. Along the way, Tonya amassed copious amounts of regulatory, financial, and managerial knowledge and experience. Her intimate understanding of the DD field and attention-to-detail were well demonstrated during her time as Quality Assurance Specialists and Internal Auditor.
Tonya’s vision for Buckeye Community Services includes expanding services, locations, and reach, as well as making the company the highest quality provider of DD services in the state and beyond.
On a personal note, Tonya is a Certified Police Officer for the state of Ohio where she was born and raised. She is currently commissioned in the city of Wellston. She is also a veteran from the U.S. Army where she served as a Supply Specialist. She has an educational background in Criminal Justice and Social Work. Tonya lives with her husband Juan, a veterinarian and Air Force veteran, and has three young and active children, Preston (11), Landon (8), and Aleah (5).
“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” ― Bill Bennot
Buckeye Community services is a private not for profit agency that was established in 1977. We have provided more than 41 years of service to people who have developmental disabilities in Southeastern Ohio. We serve 190 individuals in Jackson, Gallia, Meigs, Athens, Hocking, Vinton, and Pike counties. We recently added Ross county for Employment Related Services. We are proud to employ more than 400 Direct Support Professionals. We continually strive to provide and maintain the best possible services for our consumers in a caring and person centered environment.