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The Arc Minnesota 2023 Annual Leader Awards

Celebrate with us on May 13th!

Join us in celebrating the recipients of The Arc Minnesota 2023 Annual Leader Awards at our 2023 Annual Meeting! These individuals and organizations are being recognized for their commitment and passion towards our mission and we thank all of the wonderful volunteers that have so graciously donated their time to The Arc Minnesota and Arc’s Value Village. Learn more about all of our award recipients below or visit our blog! 

Learn more about our 2023 Leader Awards recipients!

Orange Background with Lee Ann Erikson smiling. Text reads: Lee Ann Erickson. Mission and Vision. Thanks to The Arc, our two adult sons with disabilities are living the dream. They own their own home, hire their staff and receive all the support they need. I will always appreciate the employment opportunity to work for The Arc. Together we made so many lives better. I look forward to watching this great organization continue.Orange Background with photo of Jillian Nelson. Text reads: Jillian Nelson. Human and Civil Rights. Thank you so much for this honor- As an Autistic adult, it is a privilege to get to do this work for my community everyday. I see the disability community as one of the most vibrant communities with so much to offer the world when we remove barriers. I hope we can continue moving forward towards equity and dismantling systemic ableism and Systemic racism to improve the quality of life for everyone. This work will not be done until we all have equal human and civil rights. Purple background with Ultimate Sustainability Logo. Text reads: Ultimate Sustainability Benjamin Benson. Community Recognition. Ultimate Sustainability is grateful to have a partnership with Arc's Value Village and is delighted to receive this award. The lives of the participants within our group have been enriched through the work that is offered each week. We have seen great strides in focus and accomplishment of tasks from each of our participants as they have volunteered. The opportunity that Arc's Value Village provides for our population is invaluable, and we are pleased to help out week after week. Thank you. Orange Background with photo of Eva Johnson smiling. Text reads: Eva Johnson. Community Recognition. Thank you for providing a rich and welcoming environment for students to practice employment skills. Students are provided with the opportunity to gain confidence and comfort in a retail setting while practicing a wide range of employment skills. These include following supervisor directions, staying focused at work, understanding the importance of speed and accuracy and so much more. Volunteering with Arc is an invaluable experience. Arc Value Village is a classroom in the community.Yellow background with photo of Fatima Molas, Maren Christenson and two other people smiling. Text reads: Multicultural Autism Action Network Fatima Molas and Maren Christenson. Disability and Racial Justice. The Multicultural Autism Action Network is honored to receive this award. We are so appreciative of our partnership with The Arc Minnesota serving the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families in our diverse communities. We look forward to continued work together towards meeting our shared goals of disability justice. Blue background with photo of Melissa Paulson smiling. Text reads: Bloomington Transition Center Melissa Paulsen. Community Recognition. I love the collaboration of sharing resources and tools between the school and Arc Value Village so employees can experience success. Arc Value Village's support of employees creates a sense of belonging and inclusion, recognizes their accomplishments, and celebrates the value they bring to the organization. Blue background with United Cloud logo. Text reads: United Cloud. Equity and Belonging. Thank you, The Arc Minnesota, for making us smile by honoring us with your Community Recognition Award for Equity and Belonging. We have gotten to know many of your staff members as they have taken our Somali Language and Culture classes. (They are starting up again in May if anyone wants to participate!) The mission of your work throughout our state is so needed - systems were built with certain people in mind, but rarely do systems, at their core, concern themselves with the most marginalized folks in mind. Thank you for standing up and speaking up for social change - our state is better because of your passion! Yellow Background with photo of Randall Oldenburg and Anne Redetzke smiling. Text reads: Randall Oldenburg. Intern Leader of the Year. When I arrived at The Arc Minnesota, I was a man in deep need of connection and purpose. The Arc gave me all I was seeking, and so much more. The person I am now is not the same person who came to you all last September. Winning this award is proof that the pride I've cultivated inside myself is having a real influence on those around me, and that's the best recognition I have ever received. To Anne Redetzke, Michelle Theisen, Paris Gatlin, and the many other incredible people who have shaped me into a confident, competent, and passionate Advocate: You will always have a fierce friend and ally in me. I care more deeply for you all than I can express. Purple background with Shelly McFadyen Rohe smiling. Text reads: Shelly McFadyen Rohe. Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination. Thank you very much. I’m touched and honored by this recognition. Sometimes advocacy work can be slow and frustrating. I do this work because it matters; disabled lives matter. To borrow a phrase from Rev. Teresa Soto, “All of us need all of us to make it.” May we all live into these words.