Client Success: Rhonda Kottusch

Central client Rhonda Kottusch shows off the certificate she received from Gibson Energy.
Central client Rhonda Kottusch shows off the certificate she received from Gibson Energy.

Central Team client Rhonda Kottusch has much to be proud of. After starting as an administrative assistant with Gibson Energy in 2006, she has recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with the company.

Working two days a week, Kottusch takes care of duties such as refilling paper in the printers and copiers around the office, stocking supplies in the locker rooms and mail rooms, and delivers mail around the building.

In her daily work, Kottusch uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to speak with her co-workers. Her AAC device is a tablet with a touchscreen where she can select messages to be read by a digital voice. Outside of work, she uses her device for social interaction in the community, which has enhanced her quality of life.

Described as almost always smiling and having a positive attitude, Kottusch’s coworkers value the effort and dedication she puts in at the office each day.

When not working, Kottusch likes to stay busy by being involved in sports, music, and drumming classes.

DDRC’s First Computer Literacy Course Completed

After partnering with Bow Valley College to provide a computer literacy course to DDRC clients, we are pleased to announce that our first class of six has graduated.

The 12-week course covered topics such as basic computer functions, using the Internet, digital literacy, online safety, and commonly used computer programs. The course’s aim was to provide clients with computer literacy skills to help them accomplish their employment-related goals.

Graduates were given a tour of Bow Valley College, and attended a celebration where they received completion certificates. Congratulations! We look forward to continuing our partnership with Bow Valley.



So Long 2016, Welcome 2017

Happy New Year! The beginning of a year can often be both a time for reflection, and a time for planning for the future. We wanted to see what some of the staff and clients around the office were focusing on in early 2017; here’s what they had to say:

Maria M., Client Services Coordinator
Maria M., Client Services Coordinator

The best part of 2016 was that I applied for a position with the [Client Services Coordinators] team, and I got hired. That was my highlight. I am very happy to be here. I was a Community Resource Worker prior to coming into this position, so it is something different, but something challenging I think. I feel I’m heading in the right direction for 2017.”
– Maria M., Client Services Coordinator

Adam C., PACE Team Client
Adam C., PACE Team Client

I had some highlights in 2016. Presenting at the Inclusion Awards in September was one. I am looking forward to getting my driver’s license in 2017. Also, I’m hoping to get a job by the spring.”
– Adam C., PACE Team Client

Jessica L., PACE Team CRW
Jessica L., PACE Team CRW

The Holiday Open House was a great experience. Very fun. I got to work with one of our clients serving vegetables. I am looking forward to seeing great changes with each of the clients here as they learn and grow, and just having new adventures.”
– Jessica L., Community Resource Worker


Cieran R., PACE Team Client
Cieran R., PACE Team Client

I joined Toastmasters, and I think that it is a really good place for me to be. I’ve gotten pretty good at  it [public speaking]. I am mostly looking forward to working on writing creatively. I like writing stories.”
– Cieran R., PACE Team Client


PACE Wraps for a Cause

During the holidays, a number of clients on our PACE Team had the opportunity to volunteer for Cystic Fibrosis Canada as gift wrappers. Once customers were done purchasing gifts for their friends and family members, they brought the goodies up to the booth to be wrapped by our client volunteers.

According to Whitney Stout, the PACE Community Resource Worker who helped organize this opportunity, each shopper donates an average of $8.00 per present wrapped. This fundraiser takes place each year at Market Mall, South Centre Mall, and Chinook Mall.

Here are three of our clients in action:

Client Success: Eileen McLachlan

South Team client Eileen McLaughlin is recognized by her manager at Canyon Meadows GoodLife Fitness.
South Team client Eileen McLachlan is recognized by her manager at Canyon Meadows GoodLife Fitness.

South Team client Eileen McLachlan is celebrating a proud anniversary this year; she has just reached her 12th year as an employee with GoodLife Fitness.

In her role at the Canyon Meadows location, McLachlan is described as diligent, positive, and enthusiastic when it comes to her work.

Kelsi Foreman, general manager at the gym, has worked alongside McLachlan for the past year, and said she feels it is “an honour” to be her co-worker.

“She is a light in our club,” Foreman said. ” I have seen so much growth in her ability and willingness to learn and adapt. Our club would not be the same without her.”

Community Resource Worker Diwani Tan Aparis said that working with McLachlan is fun and fulfilling. “I admire her desire and love for work,” she said.

“Her positive attitude, dedication, and hard work have garnered her lots of praise.”

Client Success: Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside shows off his selections for Chapter's "Staff Picks" table.
Stephen Whiteside shows off his selections for Chapters’ “Staff Picks” table.

Not everyone gets to work at their dream job, but South Team client Stephen Whiteside has been in his dream job for nearly two decades.

As an avid reader, working at Chapters was a natural fit for Whiteside, who has been at the Macleod Trail location for about 18 years now. Recently, he hosted his own “Staff Picks” table, where Chapters employees get to select a number of their favourite books, and put them out on a table as a recommendation to customers. Some of the selections from Whiteside include parts of the series for Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Star Trek. He said that he hopes readers who visit the store will enjoy these books as much as he did.

During his breaks and after his shift, it is not unusual to find Whiteside browsing the store to find his next title for the “Staff Picks” table.