Working together. Growing together. The Newsletter of AccessAbility, Inc. Spring 2006 AccessAbility Provides More Immediate Work Thanks to Customers Like SalonQuest By Lisa Lundmark AAI Sales and Marketing Manager Working with SalonQuest has been a great experience for everyone involved at both companies. AccessAbility provides an increasing amount of training and immediate work for people. SalonQuest benefits from fast turn-around times, quality processes and a flexible, limitless labor force. Mai’s Hard Work SalonQuest is located in Ohio and has SalonQuest promotional items are packaged by workers at AccessAbility. Pays Off been a customer of AccessAbility’s In 2005, AccessAbility packaged a Packaging and Assembly Division total of 116,173 units of varied sizes An AAI Success Story since 2003. They create, manufacture for SalonQuest. This also represented By Teresa Tillson and distribute hair care products to 14,381 full-time equivalent hours of AAI Development Officer salons around the country. Under the work and immediate work for 34 brand name Aquage, SalonQuest different people. Mai Lee Vang’s best Christmas offers shampoos, conditioners, sprays present last year was a permanent On behalf of everyone at AccessAbility, and gels, pastes and mists for the job. She started work right after we salute SalonQuest for its valuable best in hair care. the holiday, performing data entry business and wonderful team of people. and document preparation for Logistically, it makes sense for National Business Systems. It has SalonQuest to have AccessAbility been over three months now, and perform the packaging of its she is still delighted. promotional sets, large sales kits and other specialty configurations, because NBS is a friendly company, we are located near its contract filler according to Mai. She is part of and we are a centralized distribution a large internal group that does point to their U.S. sites. Competitively, data entry, prepares documents AccessAbility’s responsiveness and by removing staples, and notes history of on-time delivery have and scans them into an electronic created value-added service as the Mai Lee Vang, continued on page 3 supply and demand of Aquage products fluctuates and grows. In only three years, SalonQuest has become one of AccessAbility’s top five customers. This is good news for people who want the work experience needed to Zamzam slides a band around bottles to create provide for their families and twin packs for a SalonQuest “get one free” become financially independent. promotion. Inside … Jackie Welle, Employee of the Year • AAI investor Jason Beaber • Dancing at AAI Page 2 Message from the President AccessAbility’s Investments are Paying Off Dear Friends of AccessAbility, I get a great feeling seeing AccessAbility’s investments pay off in real benefits to the people we serve. Our Evening Stars recreation project, an expansion of our socially active Day Training and Habilitation program, kicked off with a Rock ‘n’ Roll dance in March. Workers in our Business Service Division gained experience on new automated packaging and labeling equipment, Jackie Welle including an RF Sealer, a machine that uses radio President Barbara Arnold Employee of the Year 2005 frequency waves to seal plastic packages. And AAI SecureDocssm, our document conversion and destruction business, created new opportunities “Dedicated,” “Easy to work with,” for many. “Patient,” “Willing to stretch herself For example, our investments in AAI SecureDocs resulted in sales that into any role,” “Always going the almost doubled last year. As I write this, nearly 40 people are hard at work extra mile”… People are quick to in two shifts to complete an important contract with the State of Minnesota praise Jackie Welle, AccessAbility’s to prepare, scan, index and archive paper records dating back to the 1800s. 2005 Employee of the Year. Jackie AAI SecureDocs has completed contracts with private businesses and feder- herself is modest and quiet about her al and state governments. We have learned from our experiences, our achievements. This may be what makes successes and our mistakes, and we hope to double sales again this year. her such a successful case manager. More important are the people who work at AAI SecureDocs. Individuals Take a client we’ll call Mark. He comes from our Extended Employment program earned an average wage of $9.01 to Jackie’s office when he needs to last year — high in comparison to what is usually available to people with regain his composure. Transitions are disabilities and severe barriers to employment. Many, like Mai Lee Vang difficult for anyone, says AAI President (see story on page 1), gain skills at AAI SecureDocs that are in high demand Barbara Arnold. “For people with and will help them advance in the workplace. disabilities, they can be overwhelming.” Mark has always had trouble managing People are AccessAbility’s most important investment. Through Mai Lee and his emotions, and as he moved from others like her, we are investing in the economic and social strength of the work to retirement last year, he had a Twin Cities community. Every person who succeeds makes us all stronger. difficult time. Jackie helped Mark feel Thanks for investing along with us. safe, and his outbursts became fewer. Now Mark comes to her office just to visit. Working with someone like Mark When the ACE Red Hat Society parade goers, one of the ladies was is not easy, even for seasoned case formed last year, Jackie made it heard to say, “This was the best night managers. Jackie never lost her calm something special. She devised silly of my life.” in the presence of Mark’s emotions. games to raise money, took the Congratulations, Jackie. We know you ladies to pick out their own red hats, How did a woman just three years are only getting started. and led in creating the Red Hat out of college gain such prestige at Society entry in AccessAbility? Like a quiet stream, the Northeast Jackie just keeps moving to where she Minneapolis is going. An internship to complete Parade. Imagine her social work degree at the eight elderly University of St. Thomas brought ladies — many Jackie to AccessAbility three years in wheelchairs ago. Her case manager duties — and all in red advocacy, paperwork, interdisciplinary hats and big team coordination, creating and grins — atop developing work and leisure activities a parade float. — would certainly keep her busy. After waving Jackie regularly does more. at over 10,000 Jackie Welle, 2005 Employee of the Year, with Rebecca in her red hat. Page 3 AAI Wishlist AccessAbility at Work VOLUNTEERS NEEDED • Spring gardeners • A Red Hat Society partner group • State Fair outing (August 2006) • The Evening Stars program To volunteer, call Laura Hollinger at 612-331-5958 or e-mail email@example.com. IN-KIND ITEMS Faduma parks, shuttles and cleans rental cars • Newer, good quality at the Minneapolis Airport. She is thrilled with microwaves the permanent job she found with help from • Book binder Fuad performs precision metal assembly at AccessAbility. • Televisions (19” to 29”) for one of AccessAbility’s community work sites. classrooms Chue Lee works • DVD/video players at Steven’s • Heavy duty popcorn popper Fabrics in • Kodak photo printer Northeast Minneapolis, • Craft supplies for scrapbooking where he cuts and paints INDUSTRIAL QUALITY ITEMS window shades. • Laminator AccessAbility helped Chue find his job and SPONSORS FOR EVENTS he has been AND PROGRAMS successfully Lavinia takes a break from AccessAbility’s • Evening Stars events employed janitorial crew to help package Whirl-a-Style • Horticulture program since 2001. products. • Red Hat Society • AAI entry in Northeast neighborhood parade Mai Lee Vang, continued from page 1 businesses, and these jobs pay a good format. When asked what she brings living wage.” CAPITAL INVESTMENTS • A 1–2 ton cargo or cube van to her job, Mai Lee says, “I’m a hard Mai is special because she has gone • Standing fork lift worker, independent and reliable. I’ll through a lot personally to achieve • Replacement file server do anything they tell me to do.” community employment, according to • 15 lunchroom chairs Heather Lutz of AccessAbility. “I have At AccessAbility Mai Lee worked at • Pneumatic hand tools always been impressed with Mai’s AAI SecureDocssm. She was referred to • Defibrillator (2) determination to meet her goals. We AAI through her caseworker at might be quick to say that Mai has Rehabilitation Services, which collabo- If you want to consider helping been successful despite the obstacles rated with AAI by helping Mai search AAI with any of these items, that she has faced, but it might be and apply for permanent jobs. Mai call Teresa Tillson at 612-331-5958 more accurate to say that those gained skills and work history at AAI or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org obstacles have helped Mai become that were not available through her the determined, professional young previous internships. “AAI helped me woman that she is today.” speed up on my 10-key entry,” she says. “They also told me what the Mai is proud of herself for having a job work environment would look like. and working hard. Her physical and speech disabilities are not a barrier to AccessAbility President Barbara Arnold the work she does. Asked what she says Mai Lee Vang’s story illustrates wants to achieve in the next two years, why AAI invested in expanding the Working Together, Mai says she would like to learn more AAI SecureDocs document conversion Growing Together, and more and one day become a line business two years ago. “Computer Changing Futures. lead. Then she grins. “Maybe I could skills to do data entry and document buy a car.” scanning are in demand by many Page 4 2005 St. Louis Park Human Rights Award Tom and backgrounds in St. Louis Park. The Maureen Marolt Marolts have advocated for better of St. Louis Park community services for people with were presented developmental disabilities, supporting with the 2005 good public transportation as critical St. Louis Park to people with disabilities before the Human Rights state legislature. Award. They Everyone at AAI is proud of Tom and were honored for making outstanding Maureen’s community involvement. contributions toward increasing the AAI continues to coach Maureen in understanding and cooperation her job at PetSmart. between people of different Development Officer Teresa Evening Stars Dance the Night Away Tillson At the kick-off event of the new To register, call 612-331-5958 ext. 147 Teresa Tillson joined AAI as Evening Stars program, an overflow and leave a message, including name, Development Officer in November crowd danced to the live music of address, zip code, phone, and the 2005. She was previously Director Make Mama Proud. Excited consumers activity name and date. Registration of Annual Fund at Scholarship talked about the dance all week and deadline is one week in advance of America’s Minneapolis office. brought along friends and family to each activity date. Please mail payment enjoy the evening. upon registration. Registration is not Building on an already successful needed for dances. grant program, Teresa will help Evening Stars, the brainchild of AAI’s AccessAbility increase donations Amy Jones and Betsy Halcomb, Upcoming Evening Stars Programs from individuals and prepare for responds to an overwhelming number Tuesday, April 25, Bingo ($5) an expected capital campaign to of requests for fun evening activities. Friday, April 28, ’50s Dance ($5) expand the building, purchase The evening activities are low cost Thursday, May 4, Arts and crafts ($5) capital equipment and establish and open to AccessAbility participants Friday, May 5, Movie ($3) an endowment. and their friends. Friday, May 19, Spring Dance ($5) Tuesday, May 23, Bingo ($5) Previous Development Manager Theresa Biggerstaff has been promoted to Director of Operations, overseeing all business services at AccessAbility. Teresa is enjoying getting to know the staff and clients of AAI and all our extended circle of friends and supporters. Leah and Lori at AccessAbility’s Evening Stars dance. Upcoming Events Saturday, June 3, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Consumer Appreciation Day Tuesday, June 20, 6:30 p.m. Northeast Minneapolis Parade August 2006 — Rock and Roll variety band Make Watch for date and details! Mama Proud volunteered to launch Annual State Fair Outing the Evening Stars program. Lead singer Lisa Lundmark is also AAI’s Thursday, Sept. 14, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Sales and Marketing Manager AccessAbility Annual Open House Barbara Arnold and Cheri are all smiles on the dance floor. (www.makemamaproud.com). Page 5 Thanks! Jason Beaber Invests in AccessAbility 2005 CORNERSTONE DONORS Jason Beaber is clear other problems. AAI is there to build TO OUR $1,000+ INITIATIVE about what he values. job skills so people can compete in Barbara and Robert Arnold “Giving in general is the marketplace on the same footing Jason Beaber a part of who I am, a as everyone else. Employment is a Terrance Brown fundamental part of basic need, though people usually Patrick and Paula Foley being Jason Beaber.” don’t think of it in the same category Daniel Komarek One of his gifts is as food. A paycheck is a source of Pat and Doug Strachan participation as an pride and accomplishment and none Barry McCullough AAI monthly donor AccessAbility of us can get enough of pride and Jason Beaber investor. accomplishment.” David Ellis Jason worked at AccessAbility while For Jason, monthly deductions are attending graduate school in counseling a simple and convenient way to give psychology. When he accepted a a gift of importance. “Monthly You Can Help management position at US Bank, he deduction is not something I miss continued to contribute to AAI. The from my paycheck. Break it down to INDIVIDUAL GIFTS MAKE people, both consumers and staff, are monthly payments and it is a more A BIG DIFFERENCE what attracted and keeps Jason with palatable number. At the end of the In five short years, investments in AAI. They were a positive group to year, it adds up to be significant new programs and equipment work around. According to Jason, “It amounts of money.” have grown AccessAbility from an is already so difficult to find gainful, organization that supports 340 to Thank you, Jason, for your dedicated meaningful employment even without one that supports 700 people. support for AccessAbility. Individuals have more options for work and the opportunity to earn more income than just a few years ago, according to Barbara Arnold, Monthly Deduction Makes Gifts Easy President of AccessAbility. Giving a meaningful gift to AccessAbility in the mission has moti- As with any growing organization just got easier. Using an automatic bank vated me to contribute AccessAbility needs support to draft or your Visa or MasterCard, AAI for many years. Now, as help bridge the gap between the can arrange an automatic monthly a member of the board, initial cost of investments and contribution for any amount you choose. I find it extremely established revenue. Our most “For many people, a monthly payment important to contribute important source of extra income is the best way to give an important a meaningful amount, Board Treasurer is contributions from our friends, gift to support AccessAbility,” according which I do so through Pat Foley family members and supporters. to Fund Development Officer Teresa continuous monthly payments.” Tillson. “Just $20 or $50 a month adds Board Chair Pat Strachan and her “Major credit cards and recurring bank up to a $240 or $600 a year, a bigger husband increased their personal drafts are the most convenient way gift than many people can give all at pledge last year. “It feels good to for AAI to accept automatic monthly once. At $84 a month, giving $1,000 support something that is making gifts from individuals,” says AAI a year becomes possible for many.” a difference for so many people. Controller Doug Anderson. “The donor AccessAbility can depend on Board member Pat Foley makes his pays a regular monthly amount and contributions to fund programs like gift by monthly payment. “My belief AAI is able to count on the income.” Evening Stars and to buy equipment to help people get work experience Yes, I pledge an important gift to help others join the community of work. to find a living wage job.” Name __________________________________________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________________________ Gifts from individuals are an Working Together, ________________________________________________________________________________________ important source of income for Growing Together, Changing Futures. Phone __________________________________________________________________________________ AccessAbility, adds Arnold. “Grant EACH MONTH I pledge: - OR - I am making a single gift of: income is often restricted to a $100____ $84____ $50____ $25____ $15____ Other_______ $1,000___ $500___ $250___ $100___ $50___ Other______ for a total of 12 x $______________ = $______________ I want my gift to celebrate: specific purchase. AccessAbility _____ Enclosed is a cancelled check or deposit slip - OR - _____ In memory _____ In honor _____ Occasion of can spend unrestricted gifts where _____ Please bill my credit card monthly for 12 months ________________________________________________________ _____ Visa _____ MasterCard Exp. Date ______________ _____ I want my gift to be anonymous they are most needed to take Credit Card Number ____________________________________ _____ I would like to include AccessAbility in my will advantage of new opportunities.” Name on Card __________________________________________ _____ My employer ______________________ will match this gift Please make checks payable to AccessAbility, Inc., 360 Hoover Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413-2940 Working together. Growing together. The Newsletter of AccessAbility, Inc. Spring 2006 612-331-5958 v/tty Non-Profit Org. 612-331-2448 fax PRESORTED E-mail: email@example.com STANDARD Web site: www.accessability.org U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 3429 Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MPLS, MN AccessAbility provides immediate 360 Hoover St. NE work opportunities for adults with Minneapolis, MN 55413 barriers to employment and a broad choice of services to meet individual long-term needs. Populations we serve include people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and unemployed or underemployed individuals. For questions about our newsletter, contact Teresa Tillson at ttillson@ accessability.org or 612-331-5958. Please forward all address changes to our Development Department. Our Mission To provide opportunities for self- sufficiency for people with barriers to employment and community inclusion. Our Best Customers Come From Referrals Board of Directors Pat Strachan Chair, Castle Rock Associates Do You Know Anyone Paul Harry Vice Chair, Integral Advisors Who Could Benefit From Bruce Groves Secretary, First Universalist Church Our Quality Services? Pat Foley Treasurer, Merrill Communications, LLC Packaging? Shredding? Barbara Arnold President, AccessAbility, Inc. ly? Leander Hallgren Retired, Honeywell Assemb Scanning ? Dr. Ken Hampton ry? Mailing Hampton Psychological Consultants Mohamed Jibrell Da ta Ent ? Hennepin County Human Resources Lisa Taylor If so, please tell them to call the Retired, Courage Center Sales Department today, 612-331-5958!