We’d like you to meet — David Schwartz
The Dalles House Restaurant and Lounge in St. Croix Falls has been an upscale, favorite dining location for generations of Wisconsinites and Minnesotans alike. It features classic American cuisine with a fun twist from the past. Those who work there are proud to carry on its long traditions of great
Juliana proud to be earning her way in America
When Juliana Korkor moved from Ghana to the United States with her extended family in May 2016, she was determined to make a good life for herself in this new country. Despite having only an eighth-grade education and never having worked before, Juliana, who is 24, was motivated
Randy’s career is ‘going to the dogs’ which he finds fun and truly rewarding
Opening the door to Woof Central in Richfield, one is greeted with the cacophony from dogs of all sizes, breeds, and barking abilities. About 75 dogs a day go there for doggie day care, boarding, training, and/or grooming.
Having grown up on a farm with lots of animals
Chad has the drive to continually better himself
It goes without saying that not many people have Hollywood movie roles or Calvin Klein modeling gigs on their resume, but Chad Dmytryszyn does. As a young child actor, Chad had bit roles in movies like Animal House and Sixteen Candles, and the TV hit show Miami Vice.
We’d Like You to Meet…Polly Philblad
When Polly Philblad walks in the door to work at the Kwik Trip station in Brooklyn Park, her co-workers are happy to see her. Polly, a part-time retail helper, works to keep the store nice for its hundreds of daily customers.
The job can be physically demanding, but
Initiative could be Erik Selseth’s middle name!
Initiative could be Erik Selseth’s middle name! (It’s not–it’s Nelson.) A quietly confident guy, he is comfortable speaking up for what he needs and wants to do to keep his career moving forward.
After working for nine years with a Rise team at Liberty Carton Co. in Brooklyn
ERIC HAS MUCH TO BE PROUD OF AT THE END OF THE DAY
Posted on Sep 05, 2017
Eric really enjoys the feeling of accomplishment when creating something with his own hands. He learned his welding skills nine years ago when he was working at a heavy equipment manufacturing company in North Dakota.
During the past three years, Eric has experienced some
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET KEN JOHNSON
Posted on Aug 28, 2017
Ken Johnson is excited to put his analytical, problem-solving skills to work on different kinds of projects and help create solutions for Cummins Power Generation.
“My new position as a business analyst in the manufacturing supply chain is a great fit for me because it
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET MIKIAS TILAHUN
Posted on Jul 27, 2017
Born in Ethiopia, Mikias Tilahun attended boarding school in the United Kingdom before moving to Minnesota in 2000 where he finished high school. He started work at Rise in 2003.
Mikias is always looking to improve his work skills, and over the years, has held
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET – SARAH LAMBERT
Posted on Jun 26, 2017
Turning Sarah Lambert’s passion – her love of four-legged animals – into a business venture has resulted in Sarah’s Cat & Doggy Daycare in Fridley. She hopes to be “your best friend’s second best friend.”
With assistance from Rise’s Employment Consultant Amber Barnes and much-appreciated support
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET – ALEX BLAISDELL!
Posted on Jun 19, 2017 | Tags: |
When Rise Site Supervisor Diana Gangl was tasked with starting up a new work crew at Aggressive Industries, she knew that one of the three team members she needed to get the contract off to a great start was Alex Blaisdell. Diana knew she
BRIAN CELEBRATES HIS SILVER ANNIVERSARY AT GLS
Posted on May 17, 2017
In today’s workforce, it’s rare to find someone who reaches his or her 25th anniversary with one company. But when you love your work, are really good at it, and have great co-workers, the years on the job seem to fly by.
Brian Walsh celebrated his
IFTU HASSEN IS WORKING HARD AT NEW JOB, HONING SKILLS, MAKING FRIENDS
Posted on May 17, 2017
At just 20 years old, Iftu Hassen traveled alone from her home in Ethiopia to Minneapolis to start a new life in the United States. She was both excited for the many possibilities America held for her, but sad to leave her mother behind.
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET SHAWN LOVEJOY
Posted on May 15, 2017
With his booming voice and signature purple or pink polo shirt, Shawn Lovejoy is hard to miss in a crowd. Yet the one thing that makes Shawn stand out even more is his outgoing and uplifting personality.
“I’m basically a happy-go-lucky, positive kind of guy,” said
CORY PUTS HIS GREAT PEOPLE SKILLS TO WORK AT COBORN’S
Posted on May 08, 2017
Cory Frank’s career exploration started seven years ago when he attended a vocational skills training program at Ridgewater College in Willmar for people with disabilities. The program helped Cory hone his job skills to secure a competitive job.
During the program, he had the opportunity to
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET HILARY LOWELL
Posted on May 01, 2017
“Writing is cathartic for me,” said Hilary Lowell. “It gives me great joy to be able express myself — my feelings about people important in my life, my injury. My poetry gives me a voice.”
A well-educated and published author, Hilary suffered a traumatic
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET CHANTILLY LYNCH BY MICHAEL SACK
Posted on May 01, 2017
When Chantilly Lynch graduated from Minneapolis South High School in 1995, she was not exactly sure what she wanted to do next. To discover her job interests, Chantilly had the opportunity to train and work in several clerical jobs at community businesses through her school district’s
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET ERIK LINDMAN
Posted on Mar 27, 2017
Erik Lindman is a man on the move at Creative Partnerships North in Crystal where he has received day training and habilitation services for the past six years.
Erik, who will be 41 in May, is an industrious guy and loves to help with whatever he
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET LYLE WEDEBRAND
Posted on Feb 27, 2017
To say that Lyle Wedebrand has worked in a number of companies throughout his 23 years at Rise is an understatement. But unlike some people who tend to job-hop, Lyle moves around a lot because he’s good at what he does and Rise production
PIERRE & RIZIKI ARE FILLED WITH HOPE FOR A NEW LIFE IN THE U.S.
Posted on Feb 21, 2017
HAVING LIVED IN various refugee camps throughout Africa since he was a child, Pierre Gatera dreamed of offering his three children a better life – one of hope, security, and accomplishment.
Pierre’s parents escaped Burundi to Rwanda where they lived as refugees until 1994.
JOANNA’S A PERFECT FIT FOR WARNER’S STELLIAN APPLIANCE STORE
Posted on Feb 20, 2017
MOST MINNESOTANS KNOW that if they are looking to purchase home appliances, they will likely find just what they need at a Warners’ Stellian Appliance store. Family-owned since 1954, they offer quality products, installation, and service.
As an administrative assistant / receptionist at the
BRUCE HIXON BUILDS GREAT MACHINIST CAREER
Posted on Feb 20, 2017
HAVING SUCCESSFULLY worked as a machinist since 1977, Bruce Hixon was dismayed when the company he had been working for close to 25 years closed abruptly after 9/11 as the manufacturing industry began to struggle.
Skilled and motivated, Bruce had worked hard to build his
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET MARY RICHARDS
Posted on Feb 13, 2017
Just when most of her peers are thinking about retiring, Mary Richards is hoping to start a new career and is pursuing her job search in earnest.
“I’d much rather be working than at home feeling sorry for myself,” she said. “Everyone needs to
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET BRIANA BERGERON
Posted on Jan 30, 2017 | Tags: |
Briana Bergeron’s ability to quickly learn new job tasks and her solid work ethic make her a valued employee at the Taco John’s restaurant in Forest Lake where she has worked three days a week since July 2016.
Equally appreciative of
WE’D LIKE YOU TO MEET LANE MOONEY
Posted on Jan 17, 2017 | Tags: |
At the end of his work day at Rise, nothing makes Lane Mooney happier than to tinker in his make-shift work shop in the corner of Mark and Sarah Gustafson’s barn in Champlin. There, whatever has wires, lights, or electrical components – is of
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
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT AT LSG SKY CHEFS
Posted on Nov 29, 2016
WHEN NATOLI BULGA moved his family almost 8,000 miles from Ethiopia to Minnesota, his hopes were high and his dreams were big. He knew the transition to this new life would be challenging, but Natoli felt his family’s future would be brighter in the
BREANNE’S LOVE FOR CHILDREN MAKES JOB AT NICKELODEON UNIVERSE A GREAT MATCH
Posted on Nov 29, 2016
Breanne Miller was determined to find a job working with kids – one through which she could bring joy to their lives. And what a better job than as a ride operator at Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America!
Breanne was so excited
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
MIKE’S ENGAGING PERSONALITY MAKES HIM A GREAT FIT AT U.S. BANK STADIUM
Posted on Aug 29, 2016
Nearly 200,000 Minnesota Vikings fans descended upon the new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis the weekend of July 23-24 to get their first up-close look at one of the finest sports venues in the country.
Mike Hill was one of many guest experience
CUMMINS GRANT HELPS RELAUNCH KEN’S CAREER IN IT
Posted on Aug 29, 2016
In the fast-paced, ever-changing world of IT (information technology), a few years can mean monumental advancements in systems, hardware, and software.
Having left the IT workforce for three years due to mental health issues, Ken Johnson found re-entering the workforce to be a real
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
KEVIN FRANK IS A ‘ROCK STAR’ AT BEST BUY
Posted on May 25, 2016
For the past eight years, Kevin Frank has been rising early to get to the Best Buy store in Blaine to help get the sales floor cleaned and ready before customers start arriving when the doors open at 10 a.m. He faces shelves and
PATRICK ENJOYS CHALLENGING WORK AT DONALDSON CO.
Posted on May 25, 2016
The Accounts Payable department on the third floor of Donaldson Company’s world headquarters in Bloomington is filled with hard-working employees who help keep this global company operational.
Patrick Loffelmacher is a key member of Donaldson’s accounting team as he processes incoming invoices and then scans
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
LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM
Posted on Feb 23, 2016
IN HIS NATIVE COUNTRY of Somalia, Warsame Warsaali was a hard-working owner of a passenger transportation company. He also grew “the best bananas in the world,” exporting them to Europe.
When civil war erupted in 2003, Warsame’s wife and five children, who are now
JUST THE RIGHT FIT
Posted on Feb 23, 2016
“ONE OF THE THINGS I like best about working at Goodwill is that here, it’s all about recycling and reusing. And with my background in conservation, that was really important to me,” said Jody Peterson.
After earning a bachelor of science degree in natural
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