In January, Cassi Danzl celebrated her 5-year anniversary at Housing Assistance by taking on a new challenge as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). It’s just the latest step in her career growth after joining the agency in 2017 as our Director of Family and Individual Services before being named our Senior VP of Programs and Client Services last year.
Prior to coming to Housing Assistance, Danzl was the center director for Arbour Community Services’ outpatient mental health clinic in West Yarmouth, where she worked with Walter Phinney, who served as our COO from July 2016 until the end of December.
“Walter is very good about having an organizational approach to making changes and management decisions,” said Danzl about what she has gleaned from Phinney, who is currently assisting our HR department on a part-time basis while working toward becoming a licensed mental health counselor.
In her new role, Danzl is taking a holistic approach to both the agency’s strategic planning efforts as well as its entire operations, including our client-centered programs, leased housing services, Housing Community Education Center (HCEC), case management, homeless prevention, and family shelters.
Since arriving here over five years ago – she and CEO Alisa Magnotta started on the same day – Danzl has been impressed with “the excellent team of people we have working here who are mission-based and community-oriented. And there is always a very high level of innovation happening here where we’re trying to impact the region and our community in a positive way.”
Having come from the medical world – Danzl is a certified mental health counselor – she understands how critical housing is from a health perspective. “A lot of what has happened in the last 5 to 10 years is there has been so much more research about housing as a social determinant of health,” she said. “People’s housing circumstances have such a huge ripple effect across so many facets of their lives.”
She was excited for the opportunity to expand her responsibilities in an organization that is having such a positive impact in that equation while making new strides under Magnotta’s tenure. “One of the things I’ve really learned from Alisa is the importance of innovation and thinking outside the box and trying to get in front of things so we can be proactive and not reactionary,” she said. “I continue to be impressed with our ability to zig and zag to make sure we’re providing our essential services to the community while being cognizant of the pandemic and people’s health and safety.”