Steve Tschacher - President 612-788-3998 ext 105 • Email
- How long at PKT – 22 years
- How long in this field – 26 years
- Education – Undergrad degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies from University of Northwestern – Saint Paul.
- Why this field of work – I truly see it as a privilege to work alongside people who have special needs in different areas. The best part of my day is when I can be with the people we serve! I am greatly blessed by each one of our clients and having the opportunity to provide them a home, good staff, access to activities, and be a part of helping them achieve their dreams and desires is the best “job” someone could ever possibly hope for!
- Interests – Coach baseball, work-out, dinner dates with Kathleen, going to cabin to cut down trees and hand split the wood.
- Favorite food – Pizza at Psycho Suzi’s.
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Super Friends
Pat Matt - Human Resources Director 612-788-3998 ext 104 • Email
- How long at PKT – Hired as HR Director in 2009.
- How long in this field – Since the 70’s when both of my children developed rare (at that time) disabilities.
- Education – Business and Human Resources.
- Why this field of work – Passion for advocacy.
- Interests – I like to invest my time in exploring new technologies.
- Favorite food – Is Diet Mountain Dew a food?
- One thing that nobody knows – I was married and bought my first house at age 17 (still same spouse, different house).
Sharilyn Wipf - Director of Financial Services 612-788-3998 ext 106 • Email
- How long at PKT – 10 years
- How long in this field – 10 years
- Education – BS Degree in Psychology from North Central University.
- Why this field of work – I enjoy being able to use my talents and knowledge to benefit other people.
- Interests – Crossword puzzles, walks, going to MN Twins games.
- Favorite food – Thai or popcorn
- One thing that nobody knows – I can say the alphabet backwards.
Matt Wahl - Director 612-788-3998 ext 109 • Email
- How long at PKT – My first stint at PKT started the summer of 2009 and lasted for five years. I left PKT and gained some experience on the vocational side of things for about a year and returned back to PKT the Fall of 2015.
- How long in this field – I have been working with adults with disabilities for ten years, starting with a small residential provider providing direct care for a group of four gentlemen. I then expanded my experience to work with the St. Louis Park School District as a paraprofessional in their Transition Program. I then came across PKT and started as a House Coordinator of the White House. After several months I was promoted into a Director role. I then took the small hiatus and have now returned.
- Education – I graduated from Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, then spent a year at August College in Sioux Falls before returning back to the cities to complete my AA at Normandale.
- Why this field of work – Having worked in various facets and different sections of this field, I have found that I really have a passion for working with people. If you ask anyone in the field about their favorite part of the job, it often comes down to the real connections and relationships that they make with the people we serve. Though the field can be challenging at times I find connecting with people so refreshing and rewarding. The people we serve are some of the most resilient, strong and real people I know. It is truly a gift that they allow us into their lives.
- Interests – In my spare time I really enjoy doing all things with my family. My wife and I have three kids and two dogs. We enjoy doing anything outside and keep busy running the kids to Soccer, Hockey, Dance and Sunday School. We also enjoy doing DIY projects around the house and watching each and every period of Wild Hockey!
- Favorite food – I am a big fan of anything Italian, but more specifically Lasagna!
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – This one barely makes the 80’s cut off – Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers. I have fond memories of running around the house singing “Chi Chi Chi Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers…”
Jennifer Johnson - SLS Director 612-788-3998 ext 115 • Email
- How long at PKT – 11+ years
- How long in this field – 18 years
- Education – BA Degree in Psychology.
- Why this field of work – I entered this field because my uncle had autism and when I was younger I would care for him and help my grandmother. Out of that relationship grew my passion for clients. I love this line of work because I get to help people grow and achieve their dreams.
- Interests – Running, Zumba, gardening, bowling, playing softball. I spend as much time as possible with my two adorable sons and coach their T-ball teams with my husband.
- Favorite food – Lasagna
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Gem and the Holograms
Duane Sundblad - SLS Director 612-788-3998 ext 114 • Email
- How long at PKT – 7 years
- How long in this field – 23 years
- Education – High school grad, Army AIT School Supply, Machine Gunner, Nursing school, 15 years with troubled youth.
- Why this field of work – I enjoy working with people and being able to make a small difference in their day to day lives.
- Interests – Golfing, flea marketing, hiking, going to all sporting events, sky diving.
- Favorite food – Any type of wild game.
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Tasmanian Devil
Katie Fordyce - Program Manager 612-788-3998 ext 155 • Email
- How long at PKT – 18 years
- How long in this field – 20 years
- Education – All my years of hard work.
- Why this field of work – With my first job in this field, I had very little understanding what a caregiver job entailed. At 20 I thought it was a good opportunity so I took an overnight position. I learned many different things as I took on new positions. I came to PKT as I needed to work closer to home. Over my years here I have found great joy in caring for my clients and learning all sorts of different things. I really enjoy being able to help others be independent and in charge of their life.
- Interests – Seeking different recipes to cook, reading, especially historical mysteries. A few hobbies are stained glass, canning and writing. I also help the abandoned and feral cats in my neighborhood.
- Favorite food – Thai as I love the freshness and complex flavors of the dishes.
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Smurf’s as they had a catchy tune, great comedy, an evil wizard and his cat, and of course Smurfette! I was an 80’s kid so I had a great childhood full of memories and adventures!
Laura Rybicki - Program Manager 612-788-3998 ext 159 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since November 2012
- How long in this field – Since 1991
- Education – I graduated with a degree in Psychology from St. Cloud State University.
- Why this field of work – What started as a part time job when I got out of college until I could find my real job, turned into a full time job, and 20 some years later I’m still doing this. I have worked with the most amazing people, learning much more than I ever thought possible. Being able to be part of someone’s life and helping them achieve success is extremely rewarding. I can’t think of anything else that would be as rewarding of a career.
- Interests – I love to read and garden. I have two basketball players in the house so traveling to tournaments keeps me busy. Cooking and baking are things that I love to do on the weekends when I’m home.
- Favorite food – Some of the Mexican food my mom would make as a kid; Potato Tacoquitos and Chilaquiles.
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Looney Tunes
Joel Kalle - Program Manager 612-788-3998 ext 154 • Email
- How long at PKT – Hired October 31, 2016
- How long in this field – I have been in this field since 2007 and I love it.
- Education – Seven years Primary School, Five years Secondary School, Two years High School, One year University of Yaoundé, all in Cameroon W. Africa. Four years B.S. Criminal Justice; University of Houston, Houston Texas, 1993.
- Why this field of work – If like me one likes humanity in her full gamut, working with this population is an endless joy. While compliance issues, “paperwork” and a varied coworker population can be challenging at times, the satisfaction one gets interacting with people served is priceless. It is not in every profession that one gets instant satisfaction and yes gratification about the results of your work. It is pleasing to see that our work makes such (sometimes) immediate difference in the lives of people entrusted to our care and their families. There is never a dull moment; one meets many people, not just people served and their families but other care providers.
- Interests – I like spending time with my two girls eleven and twelve, clean up at home, surf the net (mostly Facebook and community e-groups), and go to the gym, which regrettably I don’t get to do as often as I would like.
- Something that nobody knows – I have cried watching old movies, old stories, and even old cartoons. Also, the first time I visited London, I asked to visit Newgate Prison thanks to an old image of the place burned into my childhood memory by Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.
- Favorite food – Fufu and stock fish soup (a west African dish).
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Nnnnnone!!!
- Favorite shape – Round. I have long associated that shape with a soccer ball. I have loved soccer since I was hardly knee high to a grasshopper, so … yes, round.
Nicola Opine - Program Manager 612-788-3998 ext 153 • Email
- How long at PKT – I joined the PKT team in September 2012.
- How long in this field – After 10 years of working as a CNA with individuals with dementia, it was an exciting transition to provide care for adults with disabilities, which I have been doing since 2012.
- Education – Northcote College, Century College
- Why this field of work – My first job was as a volunteer when I was at high school, working with a 6 year old boy who had severe brain damage and was on a program to try and improve his quality of life. This required 12 hour days of repetitive stimulation that was provided by volunteers 7 days a week. This was the start of a lifelong career of caring for others in all aspects from maternity to hospice, but I never forgot how rewarding that smile was from a young boy when he achieved something that was great to him. Now working with people with disabilities again, I get to see that same look of satisfaction and those special smiles that only being in this line of work can bring.
- Interests – Like to travel, especially to New Zealand to see my children and grand babies. My three dogs keep me pretty busy, along with a cat who is boss in our home. When I have spare time in summer, I like to garden or get out on my motorcycle and enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
- Favorite food – Chocolate … what else is there? (I can be bribed with chocolate)
- Who would win in battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – Neither, cause Catwoman would take them both out 🙂
Ron Katzenmaier - Maintenance Director
- How long at PKT – 12 years
- How long in this field – 18 years
- Education – Wilson High School, St. Paul, Firefighter 1, Community College courses.
- Why this field of work – Enjoy working with my hands, built my own house.
- Interests – Involved with the fire department, and enjoy trains, radio control helicopters, and keep active as a Pro Wrestling Promoter.
- Favorite food – Turkey dinner
- Favorite shape – Circle as it has no end.
Karl Johnson - Maintenance Manager
- How long at PKT – Since 2007
- How long in this field – Since being hired in 2007, I took a year and half break and recently came back.
- Education – Bloomington Jefferson High School.
- Why this field of work – I like to help people by taking them out in the community, helping them with their life skills, and maintaining the homes they live in.
- Interests – Bowling, playing softball, fish, camp, garden and coach T-ball for my 2 boys.
- Favorite food – Barbecue ribs
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Flintstones