PAULDING — On Thursday morning, the Paulding County Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD) heard from Ohio Department of DD director Jeff Davis.

Davis has held a number of different developmental disabilities-related positions in his career before being appointed to his present position by Gov. Mike DeWine.

He was welcomed by Paulding County board superintendent James Stripe, who noted, “I have had the privilege of knowing Jeff for many years and recognize his dedication to making a positive difference for individuals with developmental disabilities.”

“We are a very human system,” Davis told the crowd during his speech. “We’re working hard (with) how we interact with others. What I love is a system that has an inherent kindness to it. There’s nothing but love in the way we do things.”

Davis spoke of treating all people with dignity, noting “what we say matters.”

He also dealt with the importance of the provider in dealing with those who need help to get along, noting that he appreciates all the people who assist those with developmental disabilities and recognizes the need to bring more such people into the field.

“I believe that what you do... defines you. You’re touching (the lives of) everybody from birth to retirement,” he told the crowd.

He mentioned his own concerns with mental health budgets and insurance and spoke of the need to treat all people with respect, believing that sometimes people can be more condescending than they intend.

“How do we really want to be thought of?” he asked. “We can do some remarkable things here.”

Davis closed by noting that the greatest compliment he could receive is when someone refers to a specific person or entire department as being very positive to work with.

The meeting closed with a brief question-and-answer period from members of the crowd, followed by a luncheon.

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