40 Under Forty: Coralee Goni

2013-02-01T00:00:00Z 40 Under Forty: Coralee Goni The Billings Gazette

Once you jump on the Green Bay Packers bandwagon, there’s no turning back.

Coralee Goni took the plunge when she married her high school sweetheart, Cameron, 12 years ago. She has remained an avid Packer Backer through the best of times — the magical 2011 championship season — and bitter disappointments like the Pack's playoff losses to the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012.

The Gonis have made the pilgrimage to several games in Green Bay, and they have watched their heroes arrive at the stadium through the window at Curly's Pub at Lambeau Field. They own a Packer helmet autographed by Brett Favre, and they’re shareholders in the team. Green Bay Packers Inc. has been a publicly owned, nonprofit organization since 1923, an ownership arrangement that’s unique in professional sports.

When she’s not rooting for the Packers, Goni works hard at Rimrock Foundation where she is operations manager. Billings is fortunate to be home to Rimrock Foundation, which helps people deal with a broad range of addictive behaviors and co-occurring disorders such as mental heath issues, she said.

Once, after she had expressed an interest in working for Rimrock Foundation, Goni was told she didn’t have a chance of working there, and it had nothing to do with her support for the Packers.

“They said I was too nice,” she said.

Describe how you got where you are in your work today.

Attending college at MSUB, I supported a family member during family week at Rimrock Foundation and made the decision that this was an organization I wanted to be a part of. In 2001, I started in the admissions department and was given an opportunity to head up the Truancy Project program with Billings School District 2. From this program grew a full continuum of adolescent services, including day treatment, separate residential houses for boys and girls, and school-based counselors in the local high schools. Rimrock Foundation went from treating approximately 80 teens each year to serving more than 1,000 through all of the programs. As Rimrock Foundation’s opportunities grew, I was able to gain experience in supervision of several departments. Over the years I developed an interest in administration and returned to school to obtain my MBA in health care administration and quickly began learning the administrative ropes. When the outgoing COO resigned in August 2012, I was offered the opportunity to move into the clinical director position. None of my successes would have been possible without the support, encouragement and opportunities given to me by my colleagues.

What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business?

Dealing with the changing trends and needs of clients. ... Knowing what is going to be stable in our field and what is going to be gone in a year and making sure we are offering the most current and effective treatment available.

What did you learn from that challenge?

That if you make a mistake, you need to be swift in correcting it. Don’t be afraid to try something new, but be alert enough to know when it isn’t working.

If you could make one positive change in Billings, what would it be?

I would support the residents of Billings to be more tolerant of each other; just respecting each other’s right to have a space in this world.

Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job?

I measure success in three ways.

The clients we serve: Are we improving overall quality of life, physically, spiritually, mentally and socially? Not only through long-term sobriety, but by improving family relationships and an individual’s impact on society.

Through growing and empowering our employees: Working in the human services field takes its toll, and it’s imperative that the staff at Rimrock Foundation feel respected and empowered to be the best that they can be in their contribution to the organization.

How we are viewed by our field: Rimrock Foundation should be viewed by our colleagues as being a leader in addiction treatment. Stable, but able to move quickly with new opportunities.

Which living person do you most admire?

My grandfather. Born in 1920, he has experienced the life I only read about in history books. Although he has the means to do otherwise, he chooses a humble life, using his finances to help others follow their dreams.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Being someone who my parents can be proud of.

I’m happiest when I’m…

With my family.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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