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From left, Christopher Upton's parents, Brian and Stephanie Upton, bought Adult Tendercare Center last year.
SBJ file
From left, Christopher Upton's parents, Brian and Stephanie Upton, bought Adult Tendercare Center last year.

Adult Tendercare Center director accepts position at Abilities First

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The director of Adult Tendercare Center is exiting for a role with Abilities First.

Christopher Upton has been hired by Abilities First as director of vocational services, according to posts shared to the Facebook page of Adult Tendercare Center, a for-profit, state-licensed care center for adults with disabilities.

Upton, whose parents, Brian and Stephanie Upton, bought Adult Tendercare Center last year from his grandmother, Clarene Shepherd, said he's leaving the organization after six years at the helm and more than a decade of employment.

"I love each and every one of our folks and the friendships I have made here are ones that will last forever," Christopher Upton said in a Facebook post.

A separate post shared to Adult Tendercare Center's Facebook page indicates Brian Upton would take a day-to-day role in the organization as his son exits.

"It's not overstated to say he has been the glue that held Adult Tendercare Center in place for the past several years, making it possible for us to serve our community with distinction and excellence," Brian Upton said of Christopher in a Facebook post. "While his amazing heart for our clients and their families can never be replaced, we are excited to continue serving to meet the needs of our community, continuing to look for ways to expand and improve along the way."

Christopher Upton said his new role at Abilities First, a Springfield-based nonprofit that helps people with disabilities find employment opportunities, would "allow me to make a wider impact in the community that I love and serve more people in our corner of the world."

"This company does amazing work, and this job is the stuff dreams are made of," he said.

At Adult Tendercare Center, Shepherd took over ownership in the early 1990s from her parents, Dr. Clarence Ketch and his wife, Virginia, according to past reporting. The Ketches founded Adult Tendercare Center in 1988.

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