Our DSP this week is Robert. He works at our Powell house up in Big Lake and has been with us almost 24 years. And to top it off, his wife Vashti has been with us that long, too. They are a power couple, who together have cared for others for decades.

With his beloved family.

Robert has a kind and gentle demeanor and a laugh that brings every room he is in to life. He knows the likes and dislikes of the people he supports and does everything he can to make their lives better and more fulfilling. One of the people he helps is a mover and a shaker and always on the move. So, he keeps her busy and they have lots of fun adventures together. Another likes car rides to relax, so after a long day if there is an errand to be run, they hit the road for a drive. He can tell you who people root for when watching sports, what they like to eat, and what will make them smile.

At work with Carl.

Julie Oachs, Program Manager, says, “Robert is hard-working and extremely dependable. Robert has an incredible upbeat personality and brings fun into work every day. His smile lights up any room he is in.” Adding, “He is dedicated to the people we serve and to the Powell Team. He goes above and beyond to ensure that the people are able to attend the variety of events they are interested in. An all-around great guy!” It’s pretty clear the question is, who wouldn’t want to work with him?

With his wife, Vashti.

Congrats, Robert, we are grateful for your dedication and obvious kindness. Thank you for being so wonderful, we appreciate you.



Number of years: 23 years and 8 Months with Living Well

Hobbies/Interest:  Work, Party, Church, Watching Sports.

Education: High School Diploma, Associate Degree in Accounting, and Medical Assistant.

Job Experience/History: I have extensive experience working with people with disabilities—passing medication, taking vitals, accompanying people on medical appoints, caring for wounds, etc.

Favorite Part of the job: Accomplishing things that bring the people here joy throughout the day by doing things with them that will make them happy. Once they are happy, it makes my shift easy.

What is your motivation for coming to work: The caring staff and the people served by my Program Manager and my coworkers. We work as a team of family caring for each other. The people we serve have become part of us and the livelihood of my family.

What made you apply: My brother and his wife used to work for the company when the name was Dakota Communities, Inc. He explained to my wife and I that it was a good company to work for and we applied at the same time. I was then working with the Salvation Army Shelter.

What makes you stay: The directions in which the company is heading in terms of the treatment of the people served and staff.

What would you tell people interested in joining the team: First of all, I will tell them how long I have been with the company, secondly, I will let them know that it is a place for advancement and incentives.

When not at work what do you like to do for fun: When not at work, I work around the house, watch sports, participate in church activities, travel with the family, and party with my wife.

Do you volunteer in your community or school: I volunteer at church with the Knights of Columbus and the Knights of St. John International, with Feed My Staving Children, and cleaning the Anoka Fair Grounds. Also handing out Tootsie Rolls to businesses in the communities to raise money for Special Olympics and other organizations in need.




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 for sponsorship opportunities.