Steve Hobby becomes CEO at Paladin, continues to fight stigma surrounding disability

Steve Hobby becomes CEO at Paladin, continues to fight stigma surrounding disability

After he completed his schooling at Indiana University and Purdue University, graduating with a degree in psychology, CEO of Paladin Steve Hobby became a house manager for REM (now Mentor) company in Indianapolis in 1996. After being able to work with people who had intellectual and developmental disabilities through that position, Hobby knew that he had found the right field for him.

“I got into the field not really knowing what it was about, but I took the job fresh out of college,” Hobby said. “What I found very quickly is the folks that we work with are just so fun to be around and have taught me so much over the years in the perspective of life. A lot of the folks that we work with are very satisfied and happy with their lives, which is just a great perspective. I fell in love with the field.”

In 1998, Hobby moved to La Porte and worked for Dungarvin as Program Director. He later became Area Director, Director of Development, and then Senior Director. When Hobby discovered an opportunity open up at Paladin, which was closer to home, Hobby decided to apply.

Hobby became the CEO of Paladin in February this year and was quickly impressed by the staff’s commitment to the people it served.

“I really enjoy the agency, I really enjoy the people and everybody I’ve been working with,” he said. “They’re dedicated to the field, they’re dedicated to the folks we serve.”

After having worked at Dungarvin for nearly 23 years and within the field for nearly 25 years, being able to find a job where he was able to continue to improve the livelihood of those with mental and developmental disabilities while working closer to home was a welcome change. 

His longevity in the field has opened his eyes to some of the challenges that the people he works with and cares about have to face on a regular basis. He wants to open the eyes of others to the wonderful qualities he has found within these individuals so they can better understand and relate to them.

“From a community standpoint, one thing that I think is great is when I first started in the field in ‘96, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be walking through the store with someone I was working with, and I’d see a mother grab her children and shoo them away,” Hobby said. “There was this stigma over it. I think that through this work and showing that these people are people - they have passion, dreams, hopes - who see things in a different light. We want to continue to provide support and make the folks that we work with more comfortable and the folks in the community more comfortable.”

As CEO of Paladin, Hobby has found that compared to previous positions, he has more freedom to make decisions and implement them more quickly, which excites him for the future. Another positive aspect of the job is that he is able to interact with people more than he could in his previous position. 

“In my other role as a senior director, I didn’t have a lot of contact with the folks we work with, and here I’m in the day program. I run into folks I’ve worked with in the past and have been able to meet new people. I’m really excited to be here and see what we can do as far as the services we provide and where we can go in the future.”

Outside of improving the lives of the people he works with, Hobby enjoys hunting deer and riding his motorcycle with his wife, Stephanie. He also enjoys woodworking projects, including making frames or boxes for the signs his wife creates.

To discover more about the work being done at Paladin, visit