Our DSP Shoutout for this week is Nicole. She has been with Living Well for over 10 years and her dedication and enthusiasm are obvious when you meet her. Last month she was at Inver Hills for Thursday Social Club with the crew from Mary Adele and she spoke of how wonderful it is to take them out in the community and how much she enjoys her job.

At Inver Hills Community College.

Program Manager, Zach Emmons, says, “Nicole is an incredible member of the team at Mary Adele!” Adding, “Nicole helps the guys start their days on a positive and upbeat note, and she also keeps them busy throughout the day with activities, arts and crafts and outings around the neighborhood.” Zach trusts Nicole to get the job done with kindness and lead with compassion when necessary.

Living Well Nurse, Colleen Pladson LPN, who has been with the company for 43 years and knows a thing or two about the work we do, says, “Nicole is a great advocate for the people she supports. She always remains calm no matter the situation. She knows everyone well and is always willing to take people out and have fun.”

Helping out when Minnehaha Academy visited Mary Adele.

Program Manager, Jenni Zeis, has worked with Nicole often over the years and says, “Nicole is fantastic and deserves this honor. She is a hard worker who is always willing to come help fill shifts.” Jenni adds, “She is the kind of person who will jump in to help balance and create a stable environment when there is a staffing need. She does not have any problem jumping into a new home and getting right to work. Her flexibility is a huge asset.” Jenni thinks Nicole is a valued member of Living Well throughout many homes as she is dedicated to the health and safety of the people she supports.

Having fun with Jerome.

Nicole loves the people she supports and thinks the happiness that radiates from the home is apparent to all who enter. She is a busy mother with five kids at home and somehow manages to bring her full self to work every day, and it shows in the care she provides and the kindness she shares. We are so grateful for Nicole, and all of our Direct Support Professionals. Congrats, Nicole!





Number of years/months with Living Well: 10 years 3 months

Hobbies/Interests: My hobbies are being my kids taxi driver—they consume all my time.

Job Experience/History: Office Work, Bank teller.

Favorite part of the job: My favorite part of the job is coming to work and seeing the happiness I can bring to their lives. And being able to get them out in their community to enjoy the world around us.

Craziest work story: I was working at Paul’s Place and training a new staff how to run a fire drill. The alarm that we pulled came off the wall which caused the alarm to not stop going off. We were able to silence it but didn’t call the alarm company back in enough time and all of a sudden there was a knock at the door and 5 fire trucks were there ready to put out the fire that didn’t exist. After the fire department fixed the alarm, we all had a good laugh.

What is your motivation for coming to work: The great relationships I’ve gained. Being able to learn their needs and find ways to best support them and knowing that I can help them live their life to the fullest every day. I also am blessed to have such a good team of coworkers. When people come to Mary Adele they always say what a beautiful home it is and I truly believe part of that comes from the happiness that radiates around the home.

What made you apply: One of my friends worked there and told me how demanding but rewarding the job was.

What made you stay: The people we support and satisfaction of the job.

What would you tell people interested in joining the team: I would tell them that they will feel a sense of satisfaction at the end of their shift knowing they made a difference in someone’s life today. And even though it has its tough moments the good moments shine through brighter and make the job so worth it.

When not at work what do you like to do for fun: I like to spend time with my 5 kids, they keep me very busy. I really enjoy watching them compete in their sporting events.

Do you volunteer in your community or school: I do a lot of volunteering in my kids’ schools and with their sports.


Want to nominate a DSP? Please email jessica.maurer@livingwell.org to nominate a Living Well DSP. Special thanks to Miles and Cheri Cohen for their support of DSP of Week. Want to join them in underwriting our DSP Shoutout Program? Please contact Devan Heinsen at devan.heinsen@livingwell.org for sponsorship opportunities.