Member Spotlight: Kristine
Meet Kristine. Having worked in the field since she was very young, she has a passion for helping people with disabilities find employment. Known for her contagious enthusiasm when people make connections, she full-heartedly believes that collaboration is key. We’re so fortunate to have her as a member of the Employment Network!
What kind of work do you do? Where do you work at?
Kristine the Corporate Director of Employment and Community Life Engagement at Bethesda Lutheran Communities headquartered in Watertown, WI. In an easier way, she explains that she oversees the employment and day programs for Bethesda. They operate in 13 states throughout the country and have been in existence since 1904. She joined Bethesda a little over a year ago after spending 33 years in the public education world, most recently as a transition teacher in Watertown. She has spent most of her life working in this field going back to when she was 11 years old when she started volunteering at St. Coletta’s in Jefferson, WI. “The list of what I have done is long such as respite provider, emergency foster parent, conference speaker and so on but basically, doing this type of work is my life’s work and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she says.
Tell us some good news: what’s the most exciting thing happening for you or for people with disabilities who want to work?
Kristine is very excited for the movement of Employment First and the journey ahead as we give everyone the same opportunity for employment in their communities. They are in the process of moving this forward with their employment services at Bethesda which they call “Career Connections.” She feels like it’s definitely time to pull down the roadblocks of having to prove to be ready for employment just because you have a disability. Her passion can sometimes be overwhelming in her job and she’s often known to clap in meetings because she gets so excited by all that can be done to connect people to their communities. She thinks it is very important in today’s world to have providers/agencies collaborate together and share ideas. She believes that we all learn so much from each other and we are moving forward for the same mission. She’s interested in getting more involved in the Employment First movement and being a part of committees and organizations that believe in opening the opportunities for everyone.
What message would you like to share with the members of the Employment Network?
Kristine says that, “together, we can do so much for those we are honored to support.”
What’s your dream vacation?
Kristine would love to go on a cruise someday.
What are some of your hobbies?
Kristine doesn’t really have any true hobbies right now because she’s on the road a lot. When she is home, she just likes to relax.
***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.