Employee Spotlight: Andrea Lewis, Unit Supervisor & Steve Truss, Shift Coordinator Apex

Norris had a difficult time choosing just ONE great employee for our spotlight so we chose two!! Meet our great leaders…

Andrea Lewis, Unit Supervisor (Authored by: Brittni Liebhauser, Clinician)

Andrea joined the Norris team a little over a year ago and worked initially with the clinical team. She brought years of experience and wisdom working with youth in the corrections system and fits in seamlessly with her peers on campus. Within minutes of meeting her, you can tell that Andrea is very passionate about this work and builds incredible relationships with those around her. She loves watching the kids succeed and encouraging them through difficult times. Andrea is transitioning to a new role within the agency in February, which is very exciting for her, though the clinical team will be sad to lose her fun energy in ‘the hallway’. Please enjoy getting to know our January 2019 Employee Spotlight, Andrea Lewis!!

What is your favorite Norris memory?

I love the “little moments” with kids and families. Car rides with kids to the airport, or home, for discharge, taking kids to a local DJ class and seeing their faces light up in awe, kids and families who make me laugh.

What is your favorite song of all time?

Anything by Prince

What was the last gift that you gave to someone?

Spoiling my daughters at Christmas this year.

What were you like in high school?

I was super quiet and shy but also rebellious and somewhat of a follower.

If you received enough money to never need to work again, what would you spend your time doing?

First and foremost I would spend more time with my girls. I would mentor as many kids in the system as possible and I would travel.

What is your favorite food to prepare (or eat)?

Anything that’s quick and easy in a crock pot. Roast beef, chicken, italian sausage…

When was the last time you traveled somewhere new?

I very impulsively booked a cruise with a friend in October. It was the first time I’d been to Miami, on a cruise or in the Bahamas.

How do you spend your free time?

I spend time with my girls, shopping or hanging out. I watch a lot of sports, binge watch Netflix series and attend basketball games at my high school alma mater, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Greek Freak there to watch his little brother.

What is your most useless talent?

I can balance dice in weird ways (please see Andrea for more details) and I love taking pictures and decorating spaces.

Who would play you in the Lifetime original movie of your teen years?

Molly Ringwald

What is the best advice that you have been given from staff when you started working here?

Someone told me that there are snakes and a snapping turtle at the pond. So I guess that’s advice to stay on alert when I’m down there.

What would be your best advice for new staff at Norris?

Always remember that it’s all about the kids.

What are you most proud of? Professionally? Personally?

Professionally, I am proud of my ability to connect with kids and families and of all the relationships I’ve built over the years with other professionals. Personally, I’m really proud of my girls. They’ve been through some ups and downs and turned out pretty great.

Steve Truss, Shift Coordinator APEX (Authored by: Alex Gigot, Training & Coaching Coordinator)

I have had the opportunity to work with Steve through my entire career.  Steve and I have spent much time together discussing youth, their hardships and struggles and how to best support them.  Through this process Steve has helped me to grow professionally and personally. I can remember discussing a difficult client with Steve early on in my time here at Norris.  I was throwing out all sorts of complicated hypotheses as to why this particular youth was so hard to reach and Steve hit me back with a, “he likes basketball, why don’t you talk to him about basketball?” A solution so simple, that seemed so far out of reach at the beginning of our conversation now became the focus of my return to the unit. I waited for my opportunity to engage with the kid and asked him, “Who’s better MJ or LeBron?”  Now, I don’t remember what his answer was but I do remember the connection that the youth and I formed that day over something so simple as basketball, a connection that remained throughout his time here at Norris. That connection would not have formed if it wasn’t for Steve’s simple suggestion.  Steve has filled multiple roles here at Norris, currently as Shift Coordinator on the APEX and previously served in the role as 2nd Shift Coordinator. Steve has ushered in and mentored many people into the field and into our culture. Steve’s career long contributions to Norris cannot be overstated.

I asked Steve to answer a few questions to about himself and his time here at Norris. Thank you Steve for sharing!

How long have you worked at Norris?  What position did you start in? What positions have you been in?

I have been at Norris 17 years. I started as a Youth Care Worker. I have been a Cottage Manager, which is now called Unit Supervisor. I have been the 2nd shift Campus Manager and also the 2nd shift Coordinator. I am currently the Apex unit Shift Coordinator.

What is your favorite Norris memory?

I have a lot of memories but one that stood out was this particular client first day, The client wandered off and was found in the raspberry tree across from Admin, eating blackberries. The berries had ripen and left a purple ring around his mouth for almost a week. He ate so many berries and tried denying he never ate any.

Where would your younger self think you would be at your current age?

On a yacht retired, fishing and fine dining.

What is your favorite food to prepare (or eat)?

My favorite food is crab , lobster and like to prepare salmon on the grill.

How do you spend your free time?

Family, friends, shopping and making small projects with wood and metal.

What is your most useless talent?


What is the best advice that you have been given from staff when you started working here?

To be a leader you have to be able to accept corrective criticism.

What would be your best advice for new staff at Norris?

Be a real person and think about how you would want to be treated.

Stay tuned for more Norris Employee Spotlights coming soon!! If you are interested in employment with Norris, please visit our “Join Our Team” page on our website.