Rise Team Member Spotlight: John Watters

May 8, 2019

John Watters Team Spotlight

With an intuitive knack for understanding others, John Watters has built his 19-year career with Rise around seeing people for who they really are. As a program supervisor at Rise New Richmond, John leads a team of thirteen people, including nine direct support professionals and four drivers. 

John’s primary responsibilities are ensuring employees are set up to succeed, supporting work floor production, overseeing all aspects of transportation at the site, and other supervisory related tasks, such as budget management. 

When asked what he enjoys about Rise, a few things come to John’s mind. “I love the people we serve. It’s a place they can come to work five days a week, feel great, and earn a living. I also really like working in the area I live. I enjoy the rural setting and relationships in the community. I want to stress how fortunate I am to have a really good, high-quality team.” 

It’s a team that has entry-level positions similar to the one he held as a recent college graduate. After earning a sociology degree from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in 1996, John served people with disabilities in a residential setting. That experience eventually led him to a community integration facilitator position with Rise (formerly ESR), where his role involved making connections in the community. After that, he was a community employment consultant, then Interim Stillwater site supervisor and community jobs supervisor before transitioning into his current role in New Richmond five years ago. 

“I like where I’m at,” said John. “I’ve been here 19 years and am grateful to have had the opportunity to advance and change things up over the years.”  

John also likes where he is at outside of work with the recent purchase of a new home. When he is not busy with house projects, John enjoys traveling and living an outdoor life during Wisconsin summers – camping, kayaking and hiking. 

“I like supporting people,” John added. “At Rise you get to assist people every day.” 

Rise is honored to have dedicated individuals like John helping us move our mission forward.