Multigenerational service: Working at Devereux runs in employee’s family
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has always been part of Renee Bowen’s life – and with good reason – at least 10 family members (including Bowen) have worked for the nonprofit since the late 1940s.
The family’s multigenerational service began with Bowen’s grandparents, LeRoy and Marguerite Bingaman, who each worked for Devereux Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. Most of their time was spent in the kitchen of Devereux Pennsylvania’s Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) Brandywine School in Glenmoore, Pa, where they rose through the ranks to become supervisors.
“The Brandywine School was known for its food because my grandmother insisted on making everything homemade,” said Bowen. “She made doughnuts, and the most fantastic soups. Everyone always wanted seconds of her soup. She and my grandfather even helped to make homemade soap for use on campus.”
In the 1990s, the school’s dining hall was officially renamed Bingaman Hall to honor the couple’s decades of dedication and service to Devereux Pennsylvania.
Fond childhood memories
Bowen’s mother, Catherine Winnemore, also worked in the kitchen at Devereux Pennsylvania’s CBHS Brandywine School, having started there in 1970.
At that time, employees’ families were allowed to visit and spend time on campus.
“I basically grew up at Devereux,” Bowen explained. “I used to love to help out in any way I could. Whenever they held banquets on campus, my sisters and I were allowed to help set up the dining hall and serve food.” In addition to picking up basic food preparation skills on campus, Bowen also learned how to swim and ride horses.
A call to service
In 2008, Bowen carried on her family’s legacy at Devereux by accepting a job working alongside her mother in the building named after her grandparents.
“Originally, I was not planning on working for Devereux because of how much time I spent on campus as a child, but then I was led to the kitchen at the Brandywine School,” Bowen shared. “My mother was thrilled! She and I worked side-by-side at Bingaman Hall until 2010, when I accepted a position in Devereux’s quality management department. Two years ago, another door opened, and I began working in the accounts receivable department.”
Fran Wagner, Devereux’s vice president of audit and compliance, has been with the organization for 30 years and fondly recalls working with Bowen, her mother, her grandmother and her aunt.
“To have at least 10 family members work for the same organization at one point or another is astounding,” said Wagner. “My recollection of the family is that they were all selfless and hard-working – dedicated to the individuals we serve and loyal to the organization as a whole.”
Bowen’s mother retired from Devereux Pennsylvania in 2012 after 40-plus years of service. Last year, Bowen celebrated her 10-year work anniversary.
“I could not be happier,” Bowen exclaimed. “I am where I was meant to be, doing what I always wanted to be doing. I love my job and my team, and am incredibly blessed to have found my way back to Devereux.”
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