Meet Apple's VP of Operations - Karen Donorfio

A long way up? I never saw it that way. I certainly didn’t wake up one day and think that I wanted to be the Vice President of Operations for a chain of skilled nursing facilities. In reality, I woke up one day in third grade after my vacation to Disney World and said “I’m going to be an animator, draw Disney characters and work at MGM Studios (now known as Hollywood Studios).” No one told me I couldn’t do that but I guess I realized that the glamorous vision of working in a Disney Park meant that you actually had to be pretty artistic.

As an undergraduate in the Business School at UCONN, I did know that the only way to know what you want to be when you grow up is to actually experience the reality of the job. That is how I ended up calling different nursing homes looking for a job and finally landed as a receptionist at Jefferson House. Thankfully they understood that I wanted to learn everything there was to know. That’s why when Kent Gilbert, the CFO asked me to do the morning census and I replied “what’s a census” they didn’t give up on me. Within a matter of months, I was working in the Business Office billing Medicare and Medicaid and answering questions from Dept of Public Health about demand bills. Soon after that, I completed my exams and thought I was ready to be an Administrator. From nursing facilities with ventilator units to nursing facilities in receivership, I started to understand that it would never be easy. I started in 2012 as the Administrator at Apple Rehab Farmington Valley before rising to the challenge of a Regional VP role at the corporate office. Moving with the ever evolving industry and corporate change, I soon became the Vice President of Operations at Apple Rehab. It wasn’t a dream; it wasn’t a goal; it was just right. Every day when I wake up I don’t think about what I have to do. I look at what I have the opportunity to do every day and I thank the people along the way that gave me the opportunities that got me to a place that just feels right.

Kayla Foley