Pay it Forward Honoree

Quality Living Systems CEO earns award

Max Well Therapy owner Jill Maxwell presents Denise Butts with a massage gift basket. Butts was chosen as the latest recipient of Max Well’s Pay it Forward program.

Max Well Therapy owner Jill Maxwell presents Denise Butts with a massage gift basket. Butts was chosen as the latest recipient of Max Well’s Pay it Forward program.

FLINT TWP. — A regular day for Denise Butts of Flint is getting up early, checking on her disabled brothers then heading off to work as the CEO of Flint-based Quality Living Systems (QLS). That may not seem remarkable, but to the six dozen intellectually disabled adults that are thriving in the community thanks to her vision, it means everything.

Max Well Therapy has chosen Butts as this month’s Pay it Forward honoree, according to a press release.

QLS is a non-profit management company that works in partnership with other agencies to provide services to adults with intellectual disabilities. They provide assisted living, apartment living, and independent housing along with training and education on basic life skills, allowing each individual to function as independently as possible in the community.

Involved with QLS for over 28 years, Butts is no stranger to helping others. Her brothers Ron, 66, and Lindsay, 63, both suffer from severe hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), rendering them both blind and deaf. Growing up, her parents never made an issue out of the boys’ disabilities, but made sure they were included in family activities and treated the same as their siblings. Nevertheless, Butts has always looked out for them and assisted in helping them adapt.

Today, Ron and Lindsay are benefiting from this family inclusion policy as they are thriving and living life to the fullest. They live together in a house adapted to fit their needs. Butts checks on them regularly, but they are able to live as independently as possible, thanks in part to QLS.

“I have admired the work Denise is doing with both QLS and her brothers for quite some time now,” says Jill Maxwell, owner of Max Well Therapy. “I see her bring Lindsay into the clinic for his therapy and she talks excitedly about her work at Quality Living Systems. She deserves recognition for all the work she does in the community.”

Married 41 years, Butts is the proud mother of two and grandmother of three precious children. She enjoys the outdoors and spends her free time walking, bicycling, and traveling the world. She has visited over 40 countries and isn’t planning to slow down.

Next up for Butts is realizing her vision of the development of a new program for the senior population.

“As the population ages, their medical needs grow,” Butt said. “I want to see them maintain their independence as safely as possible.”

Meanwhile, Butts works tirelessly to make sure those who need her services are given the attention and resources they need.

“Everybody matters and I want to be a voice for them,” she said.

To learn more about Butts and QLS by visit online at

Max Well’s Pay it Forward program recognizes individuals in the community who selflessly give their time and attention to others. Each month one winner receives a one hour massage from the skilled therapists on staff, a certificate of recognition and the appreciation of the community they serve.

Max Well is currently taking nominations for future recipients.. Mail nominations to 1397 S. Linden Rd. Flint, MI 48532; email to, or fax to 810-230-8799.

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