~In This Issue~August 2014
Celebrating Fifty Years | Karen Herrera
U of M Crew Cheers 20 Years
Client Award Ceremonies Recognize Milestones
Two New Directors Join Leadership Team
Recent Donor Listing
Quick Links

Like us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter

 View our profile on LinkedIn 

View our photos on flickr

 View our videos on YouTube 
We partner with:
Zimmer | Madich is a full service advertising design firm who has been in business for over 15 years. A very diverse client base keeps creative fresh and impactful. From branding, product launches, web sites, advertising and trade shows, Zimmer | Madich excels at taking complex and technical information and turning it into compelling creative that meets the needs of the target audience.

Please choose to support our partners with your spending dollars! 
We value your feedback. Please let us know how we can improve this newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future articles or content, contact  
Marketing & Communications Coordinator Emberly Hermann-Johnson via email at 
We seek your referrals! 
Help us continue to find meaningful work for the clients at Merrick by suggesting business partners who might be interested in hiring a client or a work crew. Send referrals to Executive Director John Wayne Barker at:
CRC logo
Take the Virtual Tour
Check out the Virtual Tour
now live on Merrick's website!
Quick Links
Please share our story with your network!  
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View our profile on LinkedIn

View our photos on flickr

View our videos on YouTube 


Click here for event info and sponsorship registration
Let's Celebrate 
Is it really August all ready? This year is flying by. We have much to look forward to this fall as we kick off our 50th anniversary celebration year with the Golden Gala on the 10th of  October, followed by an unveiling of a new donor recognition wall in the lobby at our main program site in Vadnais Heights. Development & Communications Director Karen Herrera shares more details in her column below. We salute the U of M work crew celebrating 20 years of service this month, along with several clients earning service awards at our annual client awards ceremony. With the ushering in of 245D, the MN Department of Human Services (DHS) new licensing requirements, we have made several changes to our leadership structure. Read the details below. As always our mission to empower adults with disabilities guides our work. We have much to celebrate. Won't you join us? 

Members of the Shooting Stars Self-Advocacy group
enjoying an ice cream social. 
Celebrating Fifty Years by Karen Herrera

October 1st of this year will mark the beginning of Merrick's 50th anniversary celebrations. Over the years, Merrick has grown from providing recreational activities for fifteen adults with intellectual or development disabilities in St. Paul to being a premier provider of day training and habilitations services to over 375 adults in the Northeastern Twin Cities.

We have met such great success with the support of hundreds of employer and business partners, countless volunteers, and the many clients and families whom we have served with pride. At our gala on October 10th we will recognize fifty of the contributors to our success as "Shining Stars." I hope you will join us to congratulate them and show your support of Merrick as we begin our next fifty years of empowering adults with disabilities. Invitations will be mailed in early September, and individual seating and sponsorships can be purchased on our website.


In December we will unveil our donor wall in the foyer of the 3210 Labore building. We look forward to recognizing the supporters who helped build Merrick into the industry leader it is today. The wall will be a permanent reminder to all of what can be accomplished when we put our resources together.


Next summer we will continue to enhance our building's physical presence with additional client "photos on canvas" and an additional panel added to our timeline in the main hallway. We look forward to these daily visual reminders of the importance of our work and the individuality of clients at Merrick, and I invite you for a tour. I'd be happy to walk you through the building and introduce you to some of our "Shining Stars" - the clients at Merrick. You can reach me by phone at 651-789-6202 or email me at

U of M crew cheers twenty years on the job
Staff Ellen Otto (left) and four of the hardworking U of M crew members pose for a photo in Merrick's greenhouse. 
From a connection made through the mother of a client two decades ago, this month we celebrate a twenty-year partnership between the University of Minnesota and Merrick, Inc. The U of M work crew typically consists of eight clients along with key support staff over the years. Support Service Staff Ellen Otto has been with the crew for 14 of those 20 years.


The crew is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting planting containers in the greenhouse on the St. Paul U of M campus; they occasionally work in outdoor areas as well. Some on the crew have specific tasks they oversee such as John who sorts and places the plant stakes after they have been disinfected. When asked about her job, crew member Sara proclaimed, "I love my job!"


Celebrating this twenty year partnership is a great reminder that our community connections truly sustain our work of empowering adults with disabilities. Way to go David, John, Eric, Sara, Juan, Brian, and Christina!

Client award ceremonies recognize milestones

At two ceremonies this August, Merrick recognized 58 clients for their years of service. This year, Cathy E., surrounded by siblings, extended family, and housemates was recognized as the longest serving client, with 35 years at Merrick. 

The dual award ceremonies are a  highlight of the year for
many clients and staff

All recipients had a moment in the spotlight with recognition and applause as Valerie Boettcher, the facilitator of the event and our Independent Services Work Procurement Manager, read a personalized narrative about the gifts each client bring to Merrick. Many family members, friends, house staff and Merrick employees were on hand to share in the celebration.

Once again, Linda Studley from LS Original Photography captured the pride of each client with a formal portrait after receiving their award. Linda has learned the names of many of the clients and has developed a familiar relaxed connection with them in hopes of getting a great photo. Thank you to Linda for sharing her time and talents in this celebration for the past thirteen years. 

Special acknowledgements to Valerie for all the preparation work on the event and to her exceptional "assistant", our receptionist, Dorin Cimbura, who prepared the invitations, the certificates, and even the roses handed out to each of the recipients.

Congratulations to all 58 clients who received an award this year. We are very proud to have been a part of your journey thus far.  

Two new Directors join leadership team
With the ushering in of the new 245D licensing rule issued by the Department of Human Services comes changes to our program leadership structure. On July 1, Dede Hauck (28 years at Merrick) and Robin Mallek (21 years at Merrick) officially began their duties as Program Directors. Previous Program Director Colleen Timbers is  transitioning to her new role as Program Training & Resource Director. Read all the Director Team bios online at www.merrickinc.org/director-bios.html 
New Program Directors Dede Hauck (left) and Robin Mallek

Another management structure change comes with the new title "Program Support Manager". This position that will focus on managing Support Service Staff and daily program operations. Another position created called "Program Plan Coordinator" focuses on the case management tasks required by 245D


We now begin the process of filling support staff positions vacated with these promotions and we encourage you to refer friends and family members that might be interested in full and/or part-time positions. Visit the job openings section of our website for more info: www.merrickinc.org/index.php/job-openings


With beginnings, also comes endings, July 1 marked new terrain for Merrick with Finance & Development Director Mike Greenbaum transitioning to his new role as Executive Director of our partner nonprofit Newtrax. Merrick's IT manager Mel Schroyer also joined Newtrax on July 1. Mike and Mel both still office at Merrick's 3210 location while waiting for the new Newtrax headquarters location to be finalized. Both will remain connected to Merrick through their work at Newtrax. 

Executive Director John Wayne Barker said, "We have entered into this labyrinth of change forced by 245D, it is now up to us to take a deep breath, unite together, and find our way knowing that at the center of our journey lies our mission of empowering adults with disabilities. Keeping our focus on the clients will help unite us and keep us strong through these transitions."  

Thank you to our recent donors! 
Julie Brown and Dr. Jones Adkins 
Diane Anderson 
Judy and John Aronson 
Melody Baker 
Peg Barker 
Jerry and Lynn Baxter 
Lucille Bryant-Little 
Kelly Cammack 
Kathy Davis 
Patrick Delaney 
Lavonne Dement 
Charlotte and Paul Donahue 
Georgia Duncan 
Allen and Barbara Erickson 
Barry and Ginny Evans 
William Ewert 
Marlys Ferguson 
Alan and Beth Ferguson 
Bill and Romelle Gangl 
Kristofer Gangl 
H.B. Fuller Company Foundation 
Cathy and Wayne Hamilton 
Tim and Heather Harding 
Karen and Cadex Herrera 
Diane and Tom Hovey 
Knights of Columbus of Lino Lakes-Council #9905 

William A. Kruschel 
 Lake Area Bank 
Bill and Cheryl Langevin 
Michelle Law 
Eileen LeClair 
Scott and Anne Lingle 
LeRoy and Jo Lundblad 
Len de Llano and Wayne Matesky 
Joseph  McDermott 
Myles P. McDonough 
Jeanne and Donald Murphy 
 Ohio National Financial Services- Joe Murphy 
Melinda Oosten 
William Perry 
Barbara Peterson 
Carole Pfaff 
 Principal Financial 
Connie Schmidt 
Roland and Mandanah Spadino 
Matt Spadino 
 St. Paul Nazareth of the Knights of Columbus - Council #4021 
Gerry and Debra Urban 
Cynthia Verhey 
John and JoAnne Westley 

art bar horizontal
Thank you for your continued support of Merrick, Inc.