After 10 years as The Independence Center’s (The IC’s) chief executive officer, Patricia Yeager, Ph.D., has announced she will retire from the organization effective November 1, 2021. At that time, Indy Frazee, currently The IC’s home health administrator, will assume the role of CEO.
Yeager, who has a hearing disability, has spent her entire career promoting and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. She served as the executive director of the Denver Center for Independent Living from 1989-1991, held the same position for the Access Center of San Diego from 1992-1997, and again for the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers from 1997-2005. She moved back to Colorado in 2006 to complete her Ph.D. in rehabilitation administration and in 2011, was offered the job of CEO at The Independence Center.
In the years since joining The IC, Yeager has been instrumental in modernizing the organization, expanding the services and supports it offers to people with disabilities, and growing its reputation as a trusted resource within the community and beyond. Under her leadership, The IC has worked with city, state, and business leaders to improve their understanding of disability and how they approach accessibility. From advocating for Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliance within the city, to insisting on inclusion in emergency preparations, to providing health care providers with accessible medical equipment, Yeager has helped change Southern Colorado’s social and physical landscape for people with disabilities.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as The IC’s CEO. I’m so proud of the work the staff and I have done over the last decade to help people with disabilities create the lives they want to live. But I believe now is the right time for me to retire,” she said. “The IC is on solid footing and positioned for future growth and success. Our board and senior leadership team have a solid vision that will help guide The IC for years to come. Most importantly, I have great confidence in Indy’s ability to take the organization to the next level. After working closely with her over the last seven years, I know that she has both the skillset and the passion for our mission that is so necessary in this position.”
Upon Yeager’s recommendation, and after an interview last June, the organization’s board of directors unanimously selected Frazee as chief executive officer. Frazee joined The IC in 2014 as its chief financial officer, where she built a responsive and efficient accounting, information technology, and facilities team. In 2018, she took on the role of home health administrator, once again building a solid, cohesive team that provides crucial in-home health care services to area residents. Under her leadership, the team was able to continue providing the same high-quality care and service throughout the unprecedented health care crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most recently, before joining The IC, Frazee served as the director of finance for Goodwill of Colorado for six years, where she was instrumental in shaping the strategic plan for the organization. Prior to that, she was the investment operations manager, treasurer, and secretary of Mountain Asset Management. Frazee holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Colorado State University and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.
“I’m excited and humbled to have the opportunity to lead The IC into the future and I look forward to building on Patricia’s legacy,” Frazee said. “It is important to me that we continue to grow our mission and look for ways to expand our message and reach. By providing critical supports and services to people with disabilities, while also advocating for change on both a local and national level, our goal will be to focus on the unique abilities of our community, so that all are known, valued and included.”
Patricia Yeager, CEO of The IC, and Indy Frazee, incoming CEO