Elaine Nichols: A Beacon of Support at Cedar Lake

Elaine Nichols: A Beacon of Support at Cedar Lake

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In the bustling world of Cedar Lake, where every employee plays a vital role in supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Elaine Nichols stands out as a guiding light. For the last five years, Elaine has become an integral part of Cedar Lake’s community, embodying the values of empathy, dedication, and unwavering support.

Elaine’s journey at Cedar Lake began in April 2019 when she joined as a Training Coordinator. Her responsibilities included building training programs for employees, instructional design, and teaching classes both in person and online. During the challenging times brought by on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Elaine spearheaded the transition to online training through the Sharepoint site, ensuring that night shift team members could access classes conveniently. This initiative not only showcased Elaine’s adaptability but also highlighted her commitment to the well-being of Cedar Lake’s workforce.

Evolving Role at Cedar Lake

Over the years, Elaine’s role evolved, leading her to become the HR Manager in December 2021, eventually assuming the position of Interim Director of HR before officially taking the helm in 2023. With a rich background encompassing various facets of human resources, including onboarding, payroll, scheduling, employee relations, and training and development, Elaine found her true passion in training and development and employee relations. She thrives on being a touchpoint for employees, connecting with them to provide support and foster a positive work experience.

Elaine’s empathy and dedication were put to the test during the fall of 2021 when Cedar Lake faced a staffing crisis in the dietary department. Stepping up without hesitation, Elaine volunteered to manage the department while simultaneously fulfilling her HR duties. Her experience in running commercial kitchens proved invaluable as she tackled the challenges of recruiting, scheduling, inventory management, and supporting the cooks. Through her hands-on approach and compassionate leadership, Elaine not only stabilized the department but also built trust and relationships across Cedar Lake’s various facilities.

In Elaine Nichols, Cedar Lake has discovered more than just a Director of Human Resources; she embodies the heart and soul of the organization – a true support at Cedar Lake.