Steve Tschacher - President 612-788-3998 ext 1050 • 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
Sharilyn Wipf - Financial Services Administrator 612-788-3998 ext 1060 • 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 1090 • 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 1020 • 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.
Jodi Feldbruegge - Director of In-Home Support Services 612-788-3998 ext 1130 • 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 Director of In-Home Services.
- 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.
Nicola Opine - SLS Director 612-788-3998 ext 1190 • 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 🙂
Michelle Ryan - SLS Director 612-788-3998 ext 3180 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? Sept 2021.
- How long in this field? Since I was 18…. not doing the math.
- Education? Early Childhood Ed.
- Why this field of work? Started at 18 and love this field, including all of the challenging moments. My job is never the same day to day. There are a lot of “AH HA” moments and some tears. But the “AH Ha” moments out weigh the tears.
- Interests? Camping, Going to the National Parks, I have been to over 10 in the last few years with plans of visiting more! Traveling( as a side gig I work for Hammer Travel, where we take adults with disabilities on preset trips) My newest interest is Kayaking.
- Favorite food? Steak on the grill
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? Spiderman would, he’d put him in his web thingy. Don’t really know either of these.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? Was in High School in the 80’s didn’t watch them. 70’s was The Jettsons.
- Favorite Shape? Round, it keeps going and going ….
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself. I collect wine when on vacation instead of your typical T Shirts.
Garrett Tschacher - Recruiting Director 612-788-3998 ext 2180 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? – I started working as a seasonal maintenance worker in the summer of 2015 while I was still in school.
- How long in this field? – I have been working with individuals with disabilities since 2015.
- Education? – I graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul with a double major in both Philosophy and Biblical Theological Studies
- Why this field of work? – I have always enjoyed helping people and being able to assist others in living their best possible lives. This line of work is/has been very fulfilling, and at the end of the day it does not even feel like “work.”
- Interests? – Video games (specifically 2d platformers), Reading, Breweries, My family
- Favorite food?- I will eat anything, but if we are talking over all favorite it would probably have to be pizza. Now, that may seem like a lame answer but allow me to explain. Everyone can agree that there is good and bad pizza; however, there is no kind of pizza that is disgusting. Think about it. Good pizza is amazing, and even “bad” pizza is still pretty alright. Plus, you could literally put anything on a circle of bread/crust and call it a pizza. It is a very versatile delicacy.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – While Spider-Man is my all-time favorite superhero I gotta give this one to Batman. Spider-Man is great and does have some amazing powers, but Batman is a genius/detective/martial arts master with the resources of a billionaire to back him up. Sorry Spidey, it breaks my heart, but you would lose.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? – Dragon Ball
- Favorite Shape? -Dodecahedron
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself? – I intentionally try to look as dumb/ugly as possible for my diver’s license pictures.
Liam Carrington - Director of Financial and Office Services 612-788-3998 ext 1110 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? – May 2017 in a maintenance role. April 2022 in an office role.
- How long in this field? – New to working in this field but I have been around it since 2017.
- Education? – Business Finance Degree with a Healthcare Endorsement from Bethel University.
- Why this field of work? – I have had many friends work in this industry and have gotten to know some of the nicest people I’ve ever met through this industry. I have loved the aspect of working in Finance while also being able to get to know the people we serve on a personal level.
- Interests? – Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, road trips, working out, playing tennis and basketball, video games, and meeting new people/trying new things!
- Favorite food?- Toss up between blackened salmon, chicken alfredo, and finally, Jack’s Pizza.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – Spiderman, Batman wants to be able to fly but he has to use technology to do it. Spiderman can practically fly by using his webs which is something money cannot buy.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? – I was born in the 90s so I am more in tune with cartoons in the 90s or 00s. I would choose SpongeBob as my favorite cartoon.
- Favorite Shape? – A triangle, the strongest and most balanced shape.
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself? – During the Covid lockdown, I worked out a lot to try and dunk a basketball on a full-size hoop. I was able to dunk a small ball and will try to dunk a basketball in the future. I can also fold my right ear inside out.
Elena Loma - Program Manager 612-788-3998 ext 1120 • Email
- How long at PKT – Started at PKT back in June 2018.
- How long in this field – I have been working in group homes since 2016.
- Education – I graduated high school and worked myself up to the position I am now.
- Why this field of work – Working in group homes are one of the most rewarding fields I’ve ever worked in being there for people that needs someone the most and just making their days easier is what I care the most in this field and that what keeps me going.
- Interests – I love the outdoors, camping, hiking, road trips and explore new places.
- 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 – I’m a big foodie which means I love to try new foods and restaurants but my go to would be Pho.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – Haha if Batman and Spider-Man ever battled I’ll have to pick my boy spidey Batman can’t move like Spider-Man.
- Favorite 80’s cartoon – Tom and Jerry was always my go to toon when I was younger.
- Favorite shape – My favorite shape I’ll say a circle, it’s simple but also hard to make a perfect circle, not everyone can do one and that’s so cool about it.
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself? -One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m into anime, I love the Demon Slayer and the One Piece manga.
Katie Fordyce - In-Home Support Services Manager 612-788-3998 ext 2155 • 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 Support Services Manager 612-788-3998 ext 2152 • 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.
David Quinn - In Home Support Services Manager 612-788-3998 ext 3154 • Email
- When did you start with PKT?- I stared with PKT during the summer of 2022.
- How long in this field? – I started working with special needs adults in 2022, though I taught English to special needs children in Japan from 2019-2022.
- Education? – I have my bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and CELTA certification from Cambridge University.
- Why this field of work? – I wanted to find work in a field where I could see how my actions were positively impacting the people around me. I really enjoyed working with my students in Japan, so I’m glad I have the opportunity to work in a similar situation here!
- Interests? -Playing the guitjo (google it!), cooking dishes from around the world, studying history, and tabletop gaming.
- Favorite food? -Ebi Chili, a Japanese version of a Chinese dish with a half English name! It’s shrimp in chili sauce.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? -Batman.He could build gadgets to copy each of spiderman’s powers and still have his utility belt full of tools left over.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? –Dragon Ball Z was the only 80’s cartoon left on TV by the time I was growing up.
- Favorite Shape?- Definitely an icosahedron.
- One thing that nobody knows?- I can name almost every Pokémon that came out before 2019.
Duane Sundblad - Maintenance Manager 612-788-3998 ext 1510 • 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