Our DSP this week is Shelley. On November 11, she will celebrate a whopping 33 years with Living Well, and we cannot imagine even one of those years without her. She is dedicated beyond measure and has a soft spot for helping people—and feeding them, too. Shelley spends many holidays with the Maryland house, where you will find her every Thanksgiving making a traditional dinner with all the fixings, and on New Years when she and the crew over there make homemade lasagna. She takes the time to nourish both bellies and relationships, and we are grateful for her above and beyond approach to her work.

Julie, Jim, Krista and Shelley at the 2022 Gala.

Living Well Therapy Services Coordinator, Julie Jacob, who has worked with Shelley often over the years, has this to say, “Shelley works lots of extra shifts on weekends in addition to her full-time asleep position at Maryland, all while maintaining a full-time professional position at MN Health clinics.” Adding, “She exemplifies excellence with her dedication to the individuals by making special meals on the weekends and holidays as she considers them an extension of her family.”

Krista and Shelley.

Both Julie and Shelly have been with Living Well over three decades, and they make our mission possible with their incredible dedication to the people they work with and support. We are lucky to have Shelley on board as her presence is calming to the people at the home and is appreciated by the staff as well.

Shelley and Betsy.

Rod Carlson, COO, has also known Shelley the entire time she has been with the company. He says, “Shelley works very hard at establishing relationships with the people she supports and their families. And she is committed to helping people truly live their best lives.” Karen Pate, one of Living Well’s founders, agrees, “I remember the very first time I met Shelley when she came to work in the Blue Unit of Dakota’s Children. She was with Betsy, and they were getting to know each other. As it turned out Shelley was an amazing and loving caregiver.” Karen tenderly adds, “But she was more than that, she was Betsy’s friend. She came to our cabin many times to help us take care of Betsy, but she came as Betsy’s friend.” Betsy, one of the first people to call Living Well home, and Shelley were nearly the same age when Shelley started and knowing that they became such good friends means a lot to Karen as she considers their friendship a true blessing.

Laura, Betsy and Shelley.

Shelley, everyone here at Living Well is grateful for the joy and friendship you bring to the job. Thank you for making room for us in your busy life, and for the way you approach caregiving with kindness, inclusion, and friendship. Congrats, Shelley.






Number of years/months with Living Well: 33 years this November.

Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, running, and reading.

Education: BA in secondary education, Master’s in Business Communication.

Job Experience/History: Have worked at multiple homes over the years and all of the shifts. I currently work the sleep shift at Maryland house and pick up other shifts on weekends when I can.

Favorite part of the job: Experiencing life with people served by Living Well.

Favorite or craziest work story: Too many to count! Favorites would be all of the vacations we went on over the years: a cruise, a spa, Colorado, St. Louis, cabins up north….

What is your motivation for coming to work: The people I serve.

What made you apply: Answered an ad in the paper as I finished college in the middle of a school year. I taught full-time the next fall.

What made you stay: The people and the mission!

What would you tell people interested in joining the team: You will benefit from supporting others. The people we serve have so many life lessons to share!

When not at work what do you like to do for fun: I work full-time for UMPhysicians managing clinics at the University and Maple Grove. When I am not at either job, I like to cook, run, read, and spend time with friends and family!

Do you volunteer in your community or school: I volunteer with Patti, a woman once served through Customized Services. She now lives in a group home operated by another company.

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.