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
Jennifer Johnson - Administrator of Client Services & Licensing 612-788-3998 ext 1015 • 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 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.
Laura Rybicki - Senior Director of Scheduling and Quality Assurance/QDDP 612-788-3998 ext 1170 • 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 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 🙂
Chris Bastyr - SLS Director 612-788-3998 ext 2120 • 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.
Alana Fisher - Program Manager 612-788-3998 ext 3170 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? – Since 2018
- How long in this field? – 3 years, but grew up around it as my mom worked in Group homes and IHS
- Education? – North High(2015) High school
- Why this field of work? – I love helping people with things they need help with. I also love learning new things and also like teaching people new things
- Interests? – Coloring my hair, Tanning, going on walks love scrolling through tik tok.
- Favorite food?- Pickles and Chinese food.
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – I mean Spiderman would totally win because he can just shoot some webs and just get away.
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? I don’t have one but my favorite show when I was younger was blues clues.
- Favorite Shape? Square
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself? – My dad has MS
Michelle Ryan - Program Manager 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.
TK Mehlhaff - Program Manager 612-446-4618 (Text Only) • Email
- When did you start with PKT? Actually I started 2017, then came down with stage four cancer, had to resign and focus to heal and came back Fall of 2021! I’m back better than ever!
- How long have you worked in this field? I will say since 2003
- Education? Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and MA in Social Work
- Why this field of work? I have passion to help people and make difference in their lives, pay it forward! Especially when it comes to people with disabilities, I want them to have same access like I grew up with and don’t want them to have their language/culture/voice deprived.
- Interests? Volleyball, cooking, wine
- Favorite food? Chinese, gluten free food, and of course French fries all the way!
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? Spiderman, have spider sense to know what’s coming
- Favorite 80’s Cartoon? Digimon Digital Monsters
- Favorite Shape? Triquetra
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself. I am wine certified specialist
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 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.
Gabe Fleming - In-Home Support Services Manager 612-788-3998 ext 2160 • Email
- When did you start with PKT? – April 21,2021
- How long in this field? – 5 years and counting!
- Education? – Currently going to school for my bachelors in Accounting.
- Why this field of work?– I have been doing this since I was 19 years old, I just simply fell in love with it!
- Interests?- I love traveling, escape rooms, thrift shopping, and I sew a few times a year.
- Favorite food? – Chimichangas
- Who would win in a battle, Batman or Spiderman? Why? – I have no clue.
- Favorite 80’s television show? – Star Trek: Next Generation.
- Favorite Shape? – Triquetra
- One thing that nobody knows about yourself? – Pre-covid, I worked part-time in the performing industry!
Karl Johnson - Maintenance Manager 612-788-3998 ext 1500 • Email
- 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 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