We were all certainly excited when DSP Katie Whiteford was awarded MOHR’s 2020 Direct Support Professional of the Year for the Twin Cities metro area! But Rise had also nominated three other OUTSTANDING people for consideration for this prestigious statewide honor. While they didn’t win this year, they are TRULY WINNER in our Rise eyes!!
Jennifer Sawyer (left) is an occupational communication specialist with Rise’s DTH Sensory Support Unit. The people she serves are Deaf, hard of hearing or DeafBlind in addition to having development/intellectual disabilities; most have never had experience working in the community.
Jennifer is always looking for ways to assist people in leading their best lives and advocating for the intensive, customized services they require. Her Rise team members and the people she supports find her to be dedicated, persistent, and truly amazing.
Jebb Anderson has many skills in his ‘tool belt’ and plenty of passion for Rise’s mission which enables him to provide support in a variety of ways. As someone who has a wide range of work skills in different business environments, Jebb is able to go where he is needed most that day in Rise’s DTH department. His float role ensures that even when team members are absent, Rise can keep community sites open and fulfill our commitments to our business partners and the people we serve.
Jebb is a positive, high-energy guy and when Rise is setting up new community work sites (especially naturally supported sites), Jebb is an innovative job trainer and gifted at setting the tone for a great work environment right from the start. Jebb’s strengths in production and building rapport with new business partners make him a great liaison and representative to Rise’s community business partners.
Melissa Pavek (right) is a compassionate professional who is always looking for new opportunities for each person to hone their skills and expand their employment opportunities. She has worked as a DSP for more than 12 years at several Rise community work sites.
At each business location, Melissa was instrumental in establishing and maintaining a successful business partnership between Rise and our customers as well as ensuring that each person served received the customized training and support necessary to be successful on the job and live a quality life.
This article appears in the September 2020 issue of the Rise Reporter.