It’s often said that time flies when you’re having fun. Perhaps that’s why for Koreene Bannerman it seems like only yesterday that she began her career with Epic Opportunities.
Bannerman has been with Epic Opportunities since the summer of 2001, when she first joined the organization as a Disability Support Worker. Nearly 17 years later, Bannerman’s commitment and passion for helping others remains as strong as ever.
“With this job there’s something different every day. That’s what makes going to work exciting, because I’m doing something different every day,” she says.
“For me, I really like the connections I make with people. I work with a lot of great people, from my team to the coordinators to the people we serve. It’s like our own little community. You don’t get that with a lot of jobs.”
Helping others has been a big part of Bannerman’s professional life for some time. Prior to joining Epic Opportunities, she spent several years working in the childcare field. After taking some time off to devote more of her energies to helping raise her three sons (Terrik, Jayden and Corbin), she decided to return to work and was intrigued by the possibilities offered by support work after noticing a job ad in a local newspaper.
While she has worked in a number of different roles since joining Epic Opportunities, including a stint as a manager, Bannerman says it’s the opportunity to work one-on-one with people – including co-workers, the people they support and their families – that she enjoys most about being a DSW.
“They are all such great people you get to work with, the people we support but also the people who have been part of the organization over the years,” she says. “We have such great families and a great support team. Those things make your job so much easier.”
Manager Charlene Pruden has worked with Bannerman for the past seven years and says one of her strengths is her ability to develop relationships with others.
“She’s very warm and friendly. People gravitate towards her. She’s just this down to earth person who can talk to people,” says Pruden, adding Bannerman has become a mentor for many of her co-workers.
“She’s also very calm. I’ve never seen her stressed about anything. She always has her thoughts together. When people are upset she can talk to them and help them get back on track.”
One of the rewarding aspects of having been with Epic Opportunities for so long, Bannerman says, has been witnessing first-hand how the organization has grown over the years and the way it continues to examine how it can best deliver the services it provides.
“Organizations have got to be able to change with the times and I think Epic has been able to do that,” she adds.
When she’s not working, Bannerman enjoys spending time with family. She and her husband Brian have one grandchild, Shane, and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of another in May. She also enjoys swimming and recently took up hot yoga.