Michael Sack lets his ‘fingers do the talking,’ writing about mobility, accessibility issues — and SPORTS!
This past February, the ‘Minne-SNOW-ta’ metro area saw its snowiest month in history. Though some people may appreciate its white, glistening beauty, many people focus on the slick roads, lengthy commutes, and snow-covered walkways it causes.
Michael Sack knows firsthand that these sidewalks and curb cuts can become “impassable” for
The Centre’s members and employees appreciate Rick’s good work, reliability
The New Richmond Area Centre is a busy place located in the heart of this Wisconsin town. An inclusive, nonprofit organization serving the St. Croix Valley area since 2009, The Centre (as it’s known locally) has 6,000 members of all ages who enjoy a wide range of health and fitness
Ubah takes it day by day, step by step to build a new life
Even though her favorite Ohio State Buckeyes were not vying for a NCAA basketball championship at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis this March, Ubah Mohamud was nonetheless thrilled to be working for Whelan Event Staffing at the Final Four games.
In addition to that coveted job assignment, Ubah also worked
Denise admires ARCH’s mission, finds work interesting
Throughout her career in office support positions at Rise, Denise Coppess has always kept her sights set on working for a great company out in the community one day.
In her position as a financial office support staff at ARCH Language Network in Little Canada, Denise feels like she has
Austin’s years of running with his dad pay off when he qualifies for USA team
Austin Hackley has been running with his dad Bob since he was a young boy; they even completed the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon together. But little could he have imagined that someday he would represent the United States at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in the United
Pat’s new-found career changes her life in many ways
After experiencing a moderate cognitive disorder, Pat Valentine thought her working days were over. An administrative executive assistant for 40-some years, she was no longer able to do her job and began receiving disability benefits. Pat moved from the state of Washington to Minnesota to be closer to her sister.
Jesse Skare puts his values to work at The Estates in Rush City
When Jesse Skare sat down with Rise Employment Consultant Michelle Thompson to discuss his next career move, she asked him about his work values and how important they were to him. Jesse was clear that he valued having a real purpose by helping others, being able to express his talents
Crystal connects with her clients, offers compassionate care
With aspirations of being a registered nurse some day, Crystal Peterson feels that she “was born to serve. God put it in my heart to do this job.”
As a direct caregiver for Compassionate Health Care, Crystal provides home care for seven elderly people who want to live in their
Lauren’s determination pays off with two great jobs!
By Michael L. Sack
Growing up in Mapleton, a small town in south central Minnesota, Lauren Ireland enjoyed school and having fun with her friends, but was not really sure what she wanted to do in the future. Today, after a long journey, Lauren is grateful to have two good
Sheila Morales enjoys fast-pace job at MSP Terminal 1’s Caribou Coffee
Although people moving through Terminal 1 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport are often on their way to a fun (and at this time of year, WARM!) destination, there can still be a lot of stress in traveling. Sheila Morales and her teammates at the Caribou Coffee shop do their very
Jeremy’s art featured at Minneapolis American Indian Center
Jeremy Pomani is one of two featured artists whose 19 original art will be on display through February 8 at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. His work appears with another local artist, Tamara Aupaumut. A special reception was held November 16.
Jeremy took an art class in high school and
Generous co-workers surprise Jaron with a new set of Fat Bike wheels
Minnesota is well-known for its extremes in seasonal climates – hot and humid in the summer and C-O-L-D in the winter. But neither end of the weather spectrum keeps Jaron Garland from riding his bike to Werner Electric’s distribution center in Cottage Grove where he does both maintenance work and
Nathaniel enjoys big job at small brewery in Hudson
It was a busy, fun night before at the Hop and Barrel Brewing Co., located in the heart of Hudson, Wisconsin. Bright and early, Nathaniel Johnson is hard at work getting the taproom cleaned up and ready to go for today’s guests. Co-Owners Justin Terbeest and Brian Priefer appreciate his
Clayton proud of the precision work he does at Meier Tool & Engineering
Employees at Meier Tool & Engineering, Inc.’s manufacturing plant in Anoka are proud of the custom tooling design, validation, and manufacturing work they do primarily for the medical and defense / aerospace industries. Managing upward of 250 different contracted parts, their work is innovative, precise, and of the highest quality.
Roger’s a valued employee at Kohl’s
Roger Samsa grew up in the small town of Oconto, Wisconsin, and moved to Cambridge in north central Minnesota in 2013 to be closer to his siblings. After three years of living with his brother, Roger was eager to move out on his own as well as enter the workforce.
Alice assists others learn the ropes as a McDonald’s crew trainer
There aren’t too many places in America busier than a McDonald’s restaurant at noontime. And the one located on West Orleans St. in Stillwater, just a few miles from the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, is certainly no exception.
Alice Kane handles the steady stream of hungry customers with welcoming and friendly efficiency.
Charlie retires after 40-plus years of working hard
Charlie Frye has his first official day of retirement on July 2 already planned out: he’s going to relax out by his backyard pool and maybe jump into the hot tub. Aahhhh….
Wait – what – RETIRE? Charlie’s retiring?
This quiet, hard-working, steadfast guy is not one much for big
Jenny loves signing/singing with Wingspan’s Glee Club
Being a fun and vivacious young woman, it’s no surprise that Jenny Eickhoff loves to sign / sing and perform with Wingspan Life Resource’s Glee Club. Of the 20 or so members, she is the only one who is Deaf and interprets songs with American Sign Language (ASL).
Nikki discovers better process for assembling Pentair parts
As one of the hard-working team members at Pentair’s production facility in New Brighton, Nikki gives it her best efforts every day to meet production and quality requirements.
But when assembling nozzles used in tractors proved to be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process, Nikki figured out a different way
Jaime Richards advocates for herself at work and at home
Jaime Richards always seemed to know just what she wanted and then advocate for herself to reach her goals.
Jaime first started working in Rise’s Day Training and Habilitation Sensory Support program in 2014 and very soon afterward began defining her career path.
Following her interest in computers, Jaime started
LeeAnne realizes “it’s never too late to start over with your life”
It’s a toss-up as to what is the best thing about LeeAnne Brown’s job as a teacher’s aide — working with “the best people on the planet” — OR — caring for “pure, innocent little babies who depend on you and connect with you in a wonderful way.”
Mike brings his solid work ethic to the job every day
Working between 50 and 65 hours a week may sound grueling to most people. But driving a commercial truck in the Twin Cities metro area is a great job that Mike Jones is grateful to have and really enjoys. Mike has faced significant personal obstacles and tragedies throughout his life. […]
Mata enjoys her Starbucks job and extra coffee ‘perks’
Little did Mata Sisomnuk dream that when she was hired as a cafe attendant within a few short months, she’d be learning to brew coffee at Starbucks! For a lover of specialty coffees even before she went to work for the country’s largest coffee house chain, this was beyond her […]
Darnell cooks up good food and good times at Boys & Girls Club
Having had many years of some really hard times, Darnell Jones can now confidently say that she feels she went through all of it for a reason. Despite her many “bumps and turns,” Darnell believes it all served a purpose for bringing her where she is today. For more than […]
Heather and Deb honored for creative, collaborative pieces in two prestigious Twin Cities art events
Artists Heather Barber and H. (Heather) Leigh were the proud recipients of the Bill Murray Choice Award in the CoLab project at The Show Gallery Lowertown. The award was presented at the exhibit’s opening reception in downtown St. Paul on December 9. Each year, photos of pieces in the CoLab […]
Matt strikes a good balance and finds career success at Hy-Vee
Admittedly, Matt Monson has had a lot of jobs since he started working at the age of 13: machinist, pizza deliverer, carpet and flooring installer, carpenter, medical device assembler, to name just a few. But there is something special about Job #27 that he feels this may be a good […]
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 to improve […]
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 in Pennsylvania, […]
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. He was […]
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 Polly likes […]
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 Park, Erik […]
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 major obstacles […]
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