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Thursday, September 12, 2024

CMSS Board Highlight: Eden Tekle

Meet Eden Tekle, one of the newest members of CMSS’ Board of Directors. Eden is the Managing Member/Head of People at Comprehensive Construction Solutions, a Minority/Women-Owned Business that provides facilities management, precision pipe fabrication, HVAC, and more. In this role, Eden develops and executes operational strategies, working closely with VPs, providing leadership to staff, and overseeing field team members.

With more than 14 years of human resources experience, Eden brings valuable insight and energy to the CMSS Board. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management and a Master of Arts in Gerontology. Eden has known the CMSS system and community for years, having volunteered and worked at CMSS early in her career. We were excited to ask her about her career, her work with CMSS, and what she looks forward to.

Q: You began your career with CMSS after volunteering as a high schooler. Can you tell us what brought you to volunteer at CMSS and about your experience working here in HR?

In my high school, all students were required to complete 40 hours of community service. My best friend’s mother was familiar with CMSS and thought that volunteering with older adults would be a good experience for my friend and me. While I had not really thought about working with older adults before that experience, I found the volunteering so enjoyable that I applied for a weekend position at CMSS while I was finishing high school. At that time, I worked as an Activity Aid spending time with residents on the weekends and facilitating engaging activities for them. Throughout college, I continued to work at CMSS during summer and winter breaks. I transitioned from working directly with the residents to assisting in more administrative roles supporting the admissions, human resources, and social work teams. After I finished college, I applied to and was hired for the role of Human Resources Assistant, and then I was promoted to the HR Director role. These two HR roles at CMSS taught me how much I enjoy working with people and supporting them in their employment.

Q: Your academic background in Gerontology and your career in the aging space provide a unique perspective. What common misunderstandings or misconceptions do you think the public has about aging and aging services?

I think the most common misunderstanding or misconception is that there is only one type of service that exists for older adults – nursing homes. Of course, long-term skilled care is one type of service that exists for older adults, but as we know at CMSS, there are a variety of services and programs available for the aging population. Even seniors who are independent and living alone may find that certain services and programs can enhance their lives – like home care or having a friendly visitor. Often times people don’t think of these types of programs when they hear “aging services.”

Q: You have had a dynamic career and worked in various industries. Can you share a little about your career path and what you’ve learned working across many fields?

Part of what drew me to a career in HR was that it allows me to work in many different industries and gain a variety of experiences. I am proud to say I have taken advantage of that benefit in the field. After CMSS, I worked for Sodexo, supporting facilities management for Chicago Public Schools. Then, I started a position with Canon Business Process Services, where I supported business process services for law firms and insurance companies in the Midwest. Later I worked at Omnicell and Treehouse Foods. Currently, I am the Managing Partner/Head of People of Comprehensive Construction Solutions (CCS), which is a mechanical and sewer cleaning company started in 2017.

Q: Which of your previous roles has best prepared you for your current position with Comprehensive Construction Solutions?

My role with Sodexo definitely prepared me for my current role since I was exposed to facilities management.

Q: We greatly appreciate your leadership on our Board. Could you share which CMSS programs and initiatives you are most enthusiastic about and what you are eagerly anticipating for the organization?

I am most excited about seeing how CMSS continues to evolve its programs and services to meet the needs of older adults. I enjoy working with organizations as they evolve with industry changes and I am eagerly anticipating the growth of CMSS. It is exciting to join the Board and I look forward to being part of serving aging adults in the Chicagoland area.

Q: We know no one is all business, all the time.  How do you enjoy spending your free time?

I enjoy learning about financial and real estate growth. In my free time, I like traveling, bicycling, and binge-watching any action-packed Netflix series.

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