Rise

STORY #45 – KEVIN ARRIAZA

Posted on Dec 19, 2016
Being the “rock star” and quick learner that he is, it didn’t take Kevin Arriaza very long to find his way around and through the miles of hallways in the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in downtown Minneapolis — which is a good thing because

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STORY #44 – JUDY

Posted on Dec 12, 2016
For someone who had worked most of her adult life, Judy was simply not ready to sit home idle after retiring in 2012. Instead, she chose to attend Rise’s Adult Day Program at the Emma B. Howe Northtown Family YMCA in Coon Rapids three days

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STORY #43-JOHN FLEAGLE

Posted on Dec 05, 2016
Living up to his nickname at HOM Furniture, “Hercules,” is hard work, literally – but John Fleagle gives it everything he’s got every day.
As one of the first to join the crew when Rise established a workplace partnership with HOM Furniture in Coon Rapids

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STORY #42 – BRIDGET ZWACK

Posted on Nov 28, 2016
Armed with a freshly earned two-year degree in medical coding and health information management from St. Paul College, plus almost eight years of clerical administrative work at Cummins Power Generation, Bridget Zwack is ready to take the next step on her career path.
After graduating

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STORY #41 – RUDY REYES

Posted on Nov 22, 2016
 
Although he says that working with others is the best part of his job at Pentair in Anoka, Rudy Reyes also says he enjoys the solitude of working in the company’s cafeteria and dishroom every Tuesday where he cleans and washes dishes.
“I get

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STORY #40 – EDDIE RIDGE

Posted on Nov 14, 2016
 
As Eddie Ridge approaches his 64th birthday in January, he is still as committed to his work as he was when he first started at Rise in January 1974.
“I can’t even think about retirement yet – I like working too much,” he said

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STORY #39 – LAKEISHA SQUALLS

Posted on Nov 07, 2016
 
With more than 240 stores located in eight Midwestern states, people are excited about the new Hy-Vee grocery stores now opening in Minnesota communities. One of the newest stores is located in Brooklyn Park and LaKeisha Squalls was among the first employees to be

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STORY #38 – TOM CHRISTOFFEL

Posted on Nov 01, 2016
Walmart stores nationwide are proud to hire great people who are excited about working together as a team to serve their customers. That’s just what Tom Christoffel was looking for in a job when he applied and was hired for a maintenance position at the Walmart

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STORY #37 – ALLISON DUKEK

Posted on Oct 24, 2016
Beaming with confidence, Allison Dukek is excited to be moving forward with the next phase of her career. She is working with Placement Specialist Sandy Pelava to polish up her resume in preparation for her upcoming job search.
Currently Allison is working as a data entry

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STORY #36 – CHAR JOHNSON

Posted on Oct 17, 2016
 
Char Johnson has a soft spot for senior citizens so she truly enjoys her job as a dietary aide at GracePointe Crossing Presbyterian Homes & Services in Cambridge where she has worked since August 2015.
“I really love the residents,” said Char sitting at

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STORY #35 – TOM QUINN

Posted on Oct 10, 2016
 
“I just wanted to have some fun, but the evening ended very badly,” Tom remembered.
As a member of a speakers’ panel made up of people in Rise’s Connections program for people who have brain injuries, Tom has talked to area high school students

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STORY #34 – STACIE DZIEDZIC

Posted on Oct 03, 2016
 
With a smile that lights up her face, Stacie Dziedzic’s enthusiastic and cheerful personality make her a great team member among those who work at Cummins Power Generation in Fridley.
“I’m really grateful for this job,” said Stacie. “Cummins is an awesome place to

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STORY #33 – DON LIND

Posted on Sep 26, 2016
 
Rise workers and team members were saddened by the recent death of Don Lind, who passed away September 2 at the age of 84.
Working at Rise was Don’s “retirement job.” He was a custodian at the University of Minnesota from 1967 to 1993.

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STORY #32 – RACHEL E.

Posted on Sep 19, 2016
 
Rachel Elmstrand was proud to be one of the thousands of direct support professionals (DSP) that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recognized last week with a special proclamation for the essential work they do to assist people with disabilities lead meaningful lives.
She has worked

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STORY #31 – LISA NOWLIN

Posted on Sep 12, 2016
 
Having raised thousands of dollars over the past several years for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance’s annual Walk for Thought, Lisa Nowlin is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to collecting pledges. Always polite and appreciative, she nonetheless is determined to

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STORY# 30 – MEE THAO

Posted on Sep 06, 2016
 
Mee Thao was only eleven years old when her parents and three sisters made the long trek from Laos to live in Minnesota in 1978. Despite the tremendous changes in culture and climate, Mee’s family happily embraced their new home here and did well.

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STORY #29 – WYMAN GROENKE

Posted on Aug 29, 2016
 
“It can sometimes be hard, but change also brings new opportunities,” Wyman Groenke wisely reminded the other members of Rise’s Self-Advocacy Council when they voted to change its name from the Consumer Advisory Council to better reflect their mission.
Wyman has been an active member

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STORY #28 – NICK CARLSON

Posted on Aug 22, 2016
 
It takes good organizational skills, a solid work ethic, and motivation to be able to juggle two part-time jobs – and that’s just what Nick Carlson has to make him successful.
Fortunately for Nick, the two companies are located only blocks apart in Coon

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STORY #27 – DUSTIN TRUDEAU

Posted on Aug 15, 2016
 
When Dustin Trudeau was diagnosed with a brain tumor at only 19 months old, doctors gave his mother Karen little hope for his recovery. In fact, few children had survived such an aggressive cancer and his oncologist had suggested giving up on treatment.
But Dustin

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STORY #26 – PATTY WELSCH

Posted on Aug 08, 2016
 
At age 65, Patty Welsch is like millions of Americans transitioning to retirement.
After having worked on recycling and light janitorial tasks for about 15 years through Rise’s Community Integration Program (CIP) in Anoka, Patty was one of the first people to move to

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STORY #25 – STEVEN SOLYNTJES

Posted on Jul 25, 2016
 
With his eyes set on eventually having a career in horticulture, Steven Solyntjes finds that working at Rise is a great way to hone his work skills and gain valuable work experience.
A recent graduate of Hennepin Technical College’s Greenhouse Technician Program, Steven worked at

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STORY #24 – ROCKY BREDERSON

Posted on Jul 19, 2016
 
For Rocky Brodersen, it’s all about the journey – literally!
A biking enthusiast, Rocky enjoys pedaling his way around the Twin Cities on the many miles of bike trails. He also rides a moped.
“My philosophy is that I’ll go wherever my wheels and

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STORY #23 – ROSEMARIE DIETRICH

Posted on Jul 11, 2016
 
“We work together here like a family – we look out for each other and really get along,” said Rosemarie Dietrich proudly of her team at American Converters (Amcon) in Fridley.
In her 21st year of working with Rise, Rosemarie has developed into a

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STORY #22 – JENNY JOHNSON

Posted on Jun 27, 2016
 
“I’m good at all my jobs,” said Jenny Johnson proudly. “I like to accomplish a good day’s work everyday.”
Jenny, who is 47, has been working at Rise since 1989 after completing her education at #916 Vocational Technical School in White Bear Lake. Over

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STORY #21 – JOE JEPSON

Posted on Jun 24, 2016
 
Summer movies have been released to theatres across the country and the AMC Coon Rapids 16 Theatre is a busy place. With 16 screens, it’s one of the best places to watch the latest show from the comfort of a leather reclining seat.
 

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STORY #20 – JUSTIN STRANTZ

Posted on Jun 13, 2016
 
Busy doesn’t begin to describe Justin Strantz’s days at Rise’s Community Integration Program (CIP) in Anoka. With a ready smile and a penchant for helping others, Justin always seems to be on the go — whether he is working on production and recycling contracts

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STORY #19 – SHARON WOOD

Posted on Jun 06, 2016
 
Surrounded by the many friends she has made over the years, Sharon Wood celebrated the 25th anniversary of her coming to Rise’s Adult Day Program in Golden Valley on May 31 with a little party. With sincere affection, they presented Sharon with fresh flowers, handmade

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STORY #18 – EMILY WARD

Posted on May 31, 2016
 
“My hard work and determination have helped lead me where I am today,” said Emily Ward proudly. “I have an independent job where I love going to work and working with a team of great people who are there for me.”
After trying out

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STORY #17 – JAN PERSON

Posted on May 23, 2016
 
Retirements are often a bittersweet event, both for the retiree as well as his or her co-workers and associates. And so it is for those of us bidding a profoundly grateful farewell to Jan Person, who has served as the Day Training and Habilitation (DTH)

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STORY #16 – LUCINDA ANDERSON

Posted on May 16, 2016
 
Kicking off Rise’s first-ever Celebrate Talent show on May 3 was none other than Lucinda Anderson who sang a beautiful rendition of In the Good Ol’ Summertime, made popular by Judy Garland many years ago. It was a special song for Lucinda as her dad would often

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STORY#15 – BOB JOHNSON

Posted on Apr 18, 2016
 
It was with great sadness that friends and family paid their last respects to Robert (Bob) Johnson on April 30. Bob died of natural causes at the age of 61 after living a full and joy-filled life.
The youngest of eight children, Bob had

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STORY #14 – JOHN CRAMER

Posted on Apr 18, 2016
 
Having worked as a data entry clerk for Rise’s Data Ability program for the past 15 years, John Cramer has certainly developed some tech-savvy over the years. He not only uses a customized computer for work, but his DynaVox communication device enables John to

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STORY #13 – PETER FETTIG

Posted on Apr 11, 2016
 
The Chick-fil-A kitchen in Bloomington is bustling with activity as employees fill customers’ breakfast orders and prepare for the hundreds of lunch and dinner guests who will stop in throughout the day for a great meal. Steadfast and focused on his food prep work in

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STORY #12 – JAMES WHITE

Posted on Apr 04, 2016
 
Over the past 30 years that James White Jr. has worked at Rise, the list of community businesses where he has worked numbers close to 20. That’s not to imply that James can’t hold down a job – quite the contrary! He just likes

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STORY #11 – KELLY HOFF

Posted on Mar 28, 2016
 
It has to be one of the busiest commercial warehouses in town – and Kelly Hoff is among the many hard-working team members at HOM Furniture in Coon Rapids who help keep operations rolling. She is one of about eight workers from Rise’s Community Integration

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STORY #10 – LIZ

Posted on Mar 14, 2016
 
As the saying goes, ‘There’s no place like home.’ And Liz is appreciative of having a cozy apartment filled with photos of family, expressions of her faith, and a tropical fish tank. Dusty, Liz’s 17-year-old black cat, is contentedly perched in her tower keeping

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STORY #9 – ROBIN ANDERSON

Posted on Mar 07, 2016
 
Robin Anderson has a sparkle in her eyes and a smile that can warm the whole room. She has worked at Creative Partnerships North in Crystal for ten years and still exhibits bountiful passion for her job.
Robin has a very rare condition that

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STORY # 8 – PERRY IACONO

Posted on Feb 22, 2016
 
Co-workers and well-wishers filled the room to help Perry Iacono celebrate his retirement after a most successful 27-year career at Medtronic’s Energy & Component Center facility in Brooklyn Center.
Over his many years at Medtronic, Perry has worked in various departments throughout the massive production complex,

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STORY #7 – CARIN ANDERSON

Posted on Feb 15, 2016
 
At age 65, Carin Anderson says she has no plans to retire. “I like working too much; I’ll just keep on going for now,” she added.
Carin started at Rise soon after it opened in the early 1970s. She was one of the first

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STORY #6 – CORY FRANK

Posted on Feb 08, 2016
 
Having worked at several different kinds of jobs in retail, automotive, production, and grocery venues, Cory Frank seems to have found just the right place for him — Crooners Lounge and Supper Club in Fridley. It’s a relatively new restaurant which features great food

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STORY #5 – JAMES THIEMANN

Posted on Feb 03, 2016
 
James Thiemann was a 25-year-old high school English and speech teacher and basketball coach when he suffered a cardiac arrest while running in 2011. Doctors gave him less than a 1 percent chance of surviving. But through his tremendous grit and determination, James is

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STORY #4 – LATOYA BROWN

Posted on Jan 25, 2016
 
Latoya Brown wouldn’t let her past limit her today.
Latoya first learned of Rise’s Pathways welfare-to-work programs in 2015 when she went to Hennepin County Social Services for assistance with employment and housing support for her and her family. Having been incarcerated, she needed

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STORY #3 – LAURIE ZSCHOKKE

Posted on Jan 18, 2016
 
As Rise transitions to a new computerized payroll system, Laurie Zschokke has her work cut out for her. A data entry clerk with Rise’s DataAbility team since 2001, Laurie has enjoyed the challenge of learning an entirely new process for ensuring Rise Transportation staff get paid

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STORY #2 – TED BROWN

Posted on Jan 12, 2016
 
When Rise opened its doors for business on August 2, 1971, Ted Brown was one of the first four people to come to work. (The other three — Kathleen Schuldt, Bruce Johnson, and Robert Lehn are now deceased.) Ted was 19 years old and

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STORY #1 – CHESTER AND GLADYS TOLLEFSON OF ANOKA

Posted on Jan 12, 2016
 
The seeds for Rise were sown by Chester and Gladys Tollefson of Anoka, whose son Loring was born in 1955 with intellectual disabilities. Chet wondered, “Wouldn’t it be great if…?!”
Wouldn’t it be great if Loring could go to work when he was finished

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