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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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