Steve Tschacher - President 612-788-3998 ext 105 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since 1994
- How long in this field – 28 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
Jennifer Johnson - Administrator of Client Services & Licensing 612-788-3998 ext 115 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since 2005
- How long in this field – 20 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
Sharilyn Wipf - Financial Services Administrator 612-788-3998 ext 106 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since 2006
- How long in this field – 12 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 - Administrator of Operations & Development 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 twelve 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…”
Karin Heitzman - Human Resources Administrator 612-788-3998 ext 120 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? April 1, 2019
- How long in this field? That is a tricky question! I have 4 years of employment with “Human Resources” in my title however, knowing the field, I have done aspects of HR for 10+ years.
- Education? I earned my degree in Education and minors in Psychology and Athletic Coaching from Bethel College.
- Why this field of work? I love being a part of the people side of business. Being able to be on a team that has such a beautiful purpose and mission is very fulfilling.
- Interests? My husband and our 3 kids and whatever they are doing Photography (I have my own small business shooting events, weddings, portraits) Singing (Choirs and worship teams) any kind of competition that I can jump into. (volleyball, golf, yard games, card games, spontaneous challenges and shenanigans…) any chance to hang with friends.
- Favorite food? Favorite is such a limiting word. Que Viet eggrolls, Benihana fried rice with shrimp sauce, Ginza’s Snow Mountain sushi roll, Mavericks jalapeño wontons, Borough’s cheeseburger, Punch Pizza, FRESH McDonalds French Fries, Serum’s wings, My Brother’s cheesy potatoes, My dad’s pickles, My mom’s tuna salad, Tracy’s Swedish butter cookies – to name a few. DM me for a complete list ????
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why Bats eat Spiders. So… However, SpongeBob would defeat them both simply with his kindness and pure good.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? I feel like the 80’s was a sad time in cartoon history. My siblings are older than me so I followed them and stuck with the classics like Looney Tunes and the Flintstones. If I am forced to pick, I will argue that The Super Friends qualify as an 80’s cartoon and go with that one.
- Favorite Shape? Princess Cut Diamond
- One thing that nobody knows: How does anyone know that Humpty Dumpty was an egg? Nobody knows that! But I think you meant something people don’t know about me. I’ve always wanted to be an auto mechanic.
Laura Rybicki - Senior Director of Scheduling and Quality Assurance/QDDP 612-788-3998 • 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
Jodi Feldbruegge - Director of In-Home Support Services 612-788-3998 ext 213 • Email
- How long at PKT – I have worked with PKT since 2010. I started as a lead staff on the group home side of PKT and worked my way up to my current position as In-Home Services Manager.
- How long in this field – I have worked in the field for 20 years.
- Education – I went to college at St. Cate’s and studied Nursing and Psychology.
- Why this field of work – While putting myself through college a friend I met would tell me stories about how she worked with intellectually disabled adults and I thought it sounded like something rewarding. I fell in love with my job the first month in and never looked back.
- Interests – In my spare time I like to spend time with my grandchildren. I love to travel; would like to make it to all 50 states while I’m young enough to enjoy it. I enjoy live music and live comedy.
- Favorite food – My favorite food is the classic spaghetti with meatballs.
- Favorite shape – Diamond. Because it was my favorite suit when playing card games with my dad when I was young.
Elisabeth Teichroew - Director of Financial and Respite Services 612-788-3998 ext 108 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? September 2019
- How long in this field? 3 months ????
- Education? Tabor College in Hillsboro Kansas along with University of Kansas; majored in biology and pre-med
- Why this field of work? I am excited to be a part of PKT because they care about making each client’s day to day living and long term plans a reality in the most special way. They care about the total person from physical needs to medical care and emotional stability. They treat each person as a special individual.
- Interests? Coffee, conversations with good friends, reading, exploring new places, organizing, traveling
- Favorite food? Thai food
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? Obviously Batman already lost a bet considering he wears his underwear on top of his pants.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? I don’t know any 80s cartoons
- Favorite Shape? Octahedron
- One thing that nobody knows um…. In general? The glue on Israeli postage stamps is kosher.
Zac Russell - SLS Director 612-788-3998 x 112 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? I started working at PKT and the end of June 2020.
- How long in this field? I first started working in Human Services in 2012 as a direct support professional.
- Education? Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.
- Why this field of work? I’d be hard pressed to find a better field. Human Services provides a special kind of variety that keeps every day, week, month, and year feeling new and exciting. Beyond the work environment, the relationships you build, progress you witness, and activities you get enjoy really make this a rewarding field.
- Interests? Hunting, kayaking, hiking, patios, or open windows, I love the outdoors. I also enjoy playing video games and board games.
- Favorite food? I’d have to say chicken. Most of the meals I cook revolve around different ways to prepare chicken.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? Batman might lose on their first encounter, but he would come back prepared. There must be must be room on that utility belt for a spider repellent.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? thunder thunder Thunder THUNDERCATS!
- Favorite Shape? After much deliberation I decided there is something satisfying about the evenness of a simple square.
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself. I get pretty arts & crafty and have made my own pants and costumes.
Angela Hellerud - SLS Director 612-788-3998 ext 156 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? I’m the new kid on the block! I was hired at the end of October 2019
- How long in this field? I have been in the field of supporting individuals in various capacities for 30 years.
- Education? A.A. In Gender Studies. Currently working on a BA in Culturally Inclusive Studies on Trauma and Healing with a minor in Psychology.
- Why this field of work? Having grown up in a large family with genetic deafness, it is natural for me to gravitate to working in the “family business”. Supporting individuals in living their bests and most fulfilling lives is a lifetime goal.
- Interests? Motorcycling, gardening, quilting, fishing. Most anything that allows me time outdoors.
- Favorite food? I am a huge Mexican food lover although Indian foods has recently captured my interests.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Depends on how one defines “win”. Batman would win in overcoming Spider-Man but Spidey is my hero.
- Why? Spider-Man utilizes alternate forms of conflict resolution.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? That was after my time 😉
- Favorite Shape? Circular.
- One thing that nobody knows: I danced with Jimmy Carter’s mother in law on cobblestone streets in California when I was 15. She was campaigning for his second term. we also went to Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland together. I guess y’all know now!
Joel Kalle - Program Manager 612-788-3998 • 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 • 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 🙂
Chris Bastyr - In-Home Support Services Manager 612-788-3998 ext 212 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since 2001
- How long in this field – I have worked in the field for 23 years.
- Education – I graduated from Bemidji State University with a BS degree in Journalism/Mass Communications.
- Why this field of work – I remember my mom working with various people who had challenges of one sort or another in their lives. She would bring me with her when she met with them, and it made a big impression on me how my mom interacted with them, and seeing how much she cared about them and would go the extra mile to help them in any way that she could.
- Interests – In my spare time, I love spending time with my two daughters, who are 14 and 19. They are active in marching band, soccer and dance, so this can keep me going quite a bit! Hobbies and interests include spending time outdoors/hiking, camping, listening to live music, and learning about technology, then playing with that new knowledge (computers especially).
- Favorite food – My favorite food is Beef Stroganoff (the homemade style, not from a box!!).
- Who would win in battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – Batman would definitely win in battle. He has access to the ultra-superior, technology-laden bat cave and all of the toys therein, as well as multiple vehicles including The Tumbler and The Bat-Bike.
Katie Fordyce - In-Home Support Services Manager 612-788-3998 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since 1998
- 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!
Jill Manders - In Home Services Manager 612-788-3998 ext 152 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? I started with PKT in March of 2019
- How long in this field? I have been in this field for about 9 years.
- Education? I have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Winona State University.
- Why this field of work? I have known I always wanted to work with people. I like hearing people’s stories and in this field you tend to hear people’s stories. I also feel like people sometimes underestimate our clients.
- Interests? I’m kind of a history nerd and a nerd in general. I also like to travel. I am also into reading.
- Favorite food? I love Chinese food.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why?Batman! Because if he can defeat Superman with just pulling out a piece of Kryptonite, I think he can figure out how to defeat Spiderman. There is a reason why they call him the World’s Greatest Detective. That being said, I think Spiderman would put up a fight but definitely the winner of this fight would be Batman.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? Ducktales
- Favorite Shape? Trapezoid because it is a weird word.
- One thing that nobody knows? I come from a family that likes to do crafts. My dad used to do a lot of woodworking. My mom, sister and I all do various forms of quilting and needlework.
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
Duane Sundblad - Maintenance Manager 612-788-3998 ext 114 • Email
- How long at PKT – Since 2009
- 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
Veronica Wagner - Program Manager 612-788-3998 x 157 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? I started with PKT September 1st 2020.
- How long in this field? I have been in the field 11 years.
- Education? I have my Bachelors of Science in Recreation and Park Leisure Services (RPLS).
- Why this field of work? The reason I chose this career field is because I believe I am blessed to be a blessing to others. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than to be a positive impact in another human beings life.
- Interests? Interest include the Bible, dancing, health, empowering others.
- Favorite food? Favorite foods include Steak, shrimp, chicken, pasta, ice cream and fruit.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? Batman because he has robin.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? Space Jam
- Favorite Shape? Diamond
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself. I want to go to Africa.