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FOCUS ON A Newsletter by ODC, Inc.


On January 1, 2017, ODC and Community Industries Corporation (CIC) made it official… we are now one organization! Welcome!


IN GREAT COMPANY One of Trudi Sturm’s employees recently surprised her by saying, “This is the best job I’ve ever had!” Trudi almost cried. “Oh, thank you so much!” Trudi said in reply. “You really have no idea how much you’re helping us and helping our business!” Trudi is the manager of Jennings & Company, a “go-to” establishment in Wisconsin Rapids specializing in gourmet burgers and craft beers. The inspiring comment came from one of four ODC candidates hired by the “pub and grill” in 2016. About three years ago, Jennings & Company hired an individual through ODC Employment Services that has been, according to Trudi, “a great employee, and I wouldn’t give him up for anything!” “ODC picked the perfect staff person for us then,” she said, “so when we had problems staffing other positions, we immediately contacted ODC.” “What I love about everyone that we hire through ODC is that they want to work!” she said. “They are so eager and so hard working… they want to be a part of something.” Trudi hopes that all employers know about the ODC services available to them because, as she says, “I see help wanted signs everywhere!” “ODC is so good at placing people where they will do well,” she said. “Once again, we got some really excellent employees through ODC. They’re hard working, dependable, loyal… very, very good people.”

Taylor is Jennings & Company’s most recent hire through ODC. She is one of four individuals hired by the restaurant through ODC Employment Services in 2016!

“ODC is so good at placing people where they will do well... we got some really excellent employees through ODC. They’re hard working, dependable, loyal… very, very good people.” - Trudi Sturm, Manager at Jennings & Company

Empowering People With Disabilites To Achieve

Administrative Office 1191 Huntington Avenue Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494 715-424-2712 2406 East 21st Street Marshfield, WI 54449 715-387-1161 Community Industries Corporation 41 Park Ridge Drive Stevens Point, WI 54481 715-344-4563





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Opportunity Development Centers

CONGRATS TO OUR 2016 AWARD RECIPIENTS! Perseverance. Courage. Hope. Faith. These are words used to characterize each of ODC’s 2016 Personal Achievement Award recipients, who were honored at an annual awards dinner on December 8th. For over 50 years, ODC has empowered people with disabilities to achieve their goals, helping them to get a job, keep a job, and contribute to their communities in both work and life. Each year, three Personal Achievement Award recipients are chosen from the over 500 individuals served by the agency annually. “ODC has created a ‘formula’ for achievement,” said Pam Ross, ODC President, “that includes opportunity, support and personal effort. ODC can provide the opportunity and support, but personal effort is the key, and the reason that these award


recipients were selected.”



Opportunity Development Centers

“All of the recipients have accepted the challenges they face,” said Ross, “and pushed forward with a ‘try and try again’ attitude. They have added so much value to their families, their circle of

2017-18 Board of Directors Jeff Meyers - Chairperson

friends, their places of employment and their communities.”

WoodTrust Bank

Gary Cumley - Vice-Chairperson Barbara Friedrich - Secretary Lori Gropp - Treasurer Marshfield Clinic

Sue Anderson Associated Bank

Brenda Dillenburg

Mid-State Technical College

Jeff Micke

Sherri Galle-Teske Jeff Hill

Gene Hill Construction

Cindy Kiesling

Labor Education & Training Center

Josh Linn

Marshfield High School

Diane Meissner

High Street Salon, Spa & Travel

Tammy Salewski

Ron’s Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Nan Taylor

Aspirus Riverview Hospital & Clinics

Marcia Tepp

UW-Stevens Point

Allen Thurber

Renaissance Learning

Make a gift! 715-818-6451


Opportunity Development Centers, Inc.


Ben Tauschek – Marshfield Area “What can I do next?” Those are words that are often heard from Ben by his employers and those for whom he volunteers. And everyone agrees… Ben is a real stand-out!


Ben has worked at Hillers True Value for 20 years with, as Ben’s joke goes, “another 80 to go!” According to Phil and Jill Hiller, he always goes above and beyond Tauschek expectations despite several barriers related to his autism. He has a positive, strong work ethic, stays focused and works diligently on all of his duties, even tending to those outside of his responsibilities without being asked. Everyone agrees that Ben also has a big heart! He volunteers at St. John’s Catholic Church and the Marshfield Public Library, where Rob Schultz, Circulation Services Supervisor, supervises his activities. According to Schultz, Ben donated his time just about every day as the library moved to its new location. “Ben scrubbed shelves until they looked like different shelves,” said Schultz. “He toiled away in the basement for hours! He did all of the hard work that needed doing and then asked, ‘What can I do next?’” “It means a lot to see people like Ben who show appreciation of the library with the valuable gift of time… their gift of work,” said Schultz. “Ben is a valuable member of the Marshfield community.”


Jeff Micke – Wisconsin Rapids Area Jeff is a very humble man. When told that he was a recipient of the Personal Achievement Award, his response was one of disbelief… “Really?”, he said. When Jeff came to ODC, he was in a very dark place. His challenges were many, and had worsened over the previous 10 years.

Empowering People With Disabilites To Achieve

But Jeff is a tremendous individual who just needed the encouragement to trust again - in himself and others - and to accept the support and opportunities that were offered. Jeff ’s accomplishments during his six years working with ODC have been remarkable. He has a very strong work ethic and takes pride in his work… he is seen as one of ODC’s most dependable and flexible workers! He now enjoys his coworkers as well, sharing jokes and initiating conversations. “Witnessing Jeff ’s transformation has been a true gift for those who support him,” said Monica Barnhart, ODC Service Coordinator. “When we think of ODC’s mission, we think of Jeff… he has truly been empowered to achieve his work and life goals.”


Trista Wolff – Northwoods Area Trista felt very alone and trusted no one when she came to ODC. She had no self-confidence or sense of self-worth, and she was sure she was a failure. Her anxiety consumed her life, and she was fearful of interacting with people. With the support of ODC staff and a deep-down determination, Trista gained confidence. She found out that people believe in her. When Trista started a temporary job at the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce, she began to blossom. She proved herself to be a quick learner and hard worker, and was soon hired as a permanent employee. She is now able to complete any task her employer gives her, and is able to face people without fear or anxiety.

Trista Wolff

“Trista is a perfect example of what can be achieved with opportunity, support and the desire to succeed,” said Sandy Ewan, ODC Employment Coordinator.


Opportunity Development Centers, Inc. 1191 Huntington Avenue Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

To order:


Custom Orders / Questions - Please email us with your contact info, phone number and request!

ODC’s wood division has rolled out a new product line – custom wood décor! Signs are made of unfinished ¾” thick MDF (medium density fiberboard), and each sign can be customized with paints, stains and your own personal flair OR just leave as is. They are perfect for any home, and make great gifts! ODC has predesigned signs in their online shop - so order today! Make sure to check back with us often, as we’ll be introducing new items on a regular basis. For custom orders, please contact customer service by sending an email to with your contact information and phone number.

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2017 Winter: Focus on Ability  

Focus on Ability is a quarterly newsletter published by ODC.

2017 Winter: Focus on Ability  

Focus on Ability is a quarterly newsletter published by ODC.


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