Rise served four people when we opened our doors in August 1971. Ted Brown, Kathleen Schuldt, Bruce Johnson and Robert Lehn. Ted Brown was 19 years old and fresh out of school. He was ready to work. Now at nearly 70 years old, Brown is Rise’s longest person served and the only living member the group who received services when we opened.
Brown had worked part-time until the pandemic of 2020. Over the years he has worked for dozens of Twin Cities businesses, including Federal Premium Ammunition, a meditation center, Shapco, Red Lobster, Liberty Carton and Faribault Foods. As an experienced Rise worker, Brown says he enjoys giving new employees advice.
“[I tell them to] stay out of trouble, keep working hard and earn a paycheck to save up money to get something very, very important!” he says.
Brown is also an accomplished musician who has played keyboard and sang with the band, The Windjammers, for many years. His musical highlight was performing in 1989 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Very Special Arts. He said it was the thrill of a lifetime.