First Place AZ Welcomes Executive Director to Groundbreaking Residential Property in Phoenix

Posted By on May 13, 2019
Nancy Ottman, Executive Director

First Place AZ recently hired Nancy Ottmann, who brings 25 years of leadership experience in health and wellness and resort operations, to serve as the executive director of First Place-Phoenix, a groundbreaking residential property for adults with autism and other neuro-diversities.

Ottmann previously served as general manager of the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center in Scottsdale, where she successfully impacted the center’s membership growth and community program operations. She also served as executive director of Red Mountain Resort and Spa for 10 years in Ivins, Utah. 

“With a proven track record at shepherding large, complex organizations, Nancy is the right person to lead our mixed-use property and multidisciplinary team,” said Denise D. Resnik, First Place founder, president and CEO. “Equally important, Nancy has a big heart for special populations and is committed to helping us advance First Place-Phoenix as a pioneering, supportive housing community and national model.”

First Place-Phoenix is a new, 81,000-square-foot, $15.5 million residential property in the heart of the city at 3001 N. Third Street for residents with autism and other different abilities. Ushering in a new era of housing options for special populations, First Place is combining apartments, the Transition Academy residential life skills program and the Global Leadership Institute to advance more independent and community-integrated living options. In addition to 55 apartments, First Place–Phoenix has a sports pool, culinary teaching kitchen, community center, health and wellness center and a suite of supports for residents.

As executive director, Ottmann is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the physical property, in addition to directing supports and programs for residents, collaborating with local employers and community partners, gathering feedback from families, tracking quality outcome of residents, and strategic planning. She oversees 27 staff members who have expertise in the areas of program development and community integration, vocational coordination, property management, maintenance, housekeeping and overall program support. The recruiting firm All About People led the executive search. 

“I am passionate about serving in a leadership role for a community where relationships are built, quality of life and independence are supported and an enriching environment is offered,” says Ottmann. “It is a privilege to work at First Place with a team dedicated to making a difference in the lives of individuals with autism and other neuro-diversities, providing families with greater peace of mind.”

Ottmann has a bachelor’s degree in special education from Ball State University in Indiana. She has been a licensed emergency medical technician and advanced exercise specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine Association. She is also a certified respiratory therapist and is an accomplished athlete, having completed the IRONMAN Triathlon and over 70 marathons.

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