Epic employees earn statewide recognition

Epic Enterprise staff recognized by MHC

The Minnesota Habilitation Coalition (MHC) recently awarded special recognition to Epic Enterprise employees Gary Schelin (at left in photo) and Jennifer Turner. Schelin, a job coach, was given the Employment Service Award while Turner, in-house manager, earned the Enrichment Focus Award. The awards were given during the MHC annual meeting held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum earlier this summer.

"We’re thrilled that Epic employees received the only two Minnesota Habilitation Coalition awards given to Greater Minnesota workers," says Linda Hibbard, executive director of Epic. "Jenn and Gary are exemplary staff members who really focus on the needs of the people we serve."

Schelin, one of Epic's most experienced staff members, was cited for the compassion, patience, and care he shows the disabled adults who make up the crew he directs at Oakridge Assisted Living. He also serves as an adult role model for his crew members and other Epic clients, and is especially respected for his knowledge of behavior management and ability to address and resolve workplace and relationship issues.

Turner was cited for her unique ability to notice and celebrate positive developments among Epic's clients — a group that includes varying degrees of physically and mentally challenged adults. Such developments might include a client giggling for the first time or someone grasping an object that would normally be pushed away. Turner also is effective at addressing tense situations directly and working with clients to avoid confrontations.

The nonprofit Epic Enterprise is licensed by the State of Minnesota to serve adults with disabilities. It was created in 1976 as part of Laura Baker Services and became independent 20 years later. It has since grown to serve more than 100 adults, ages 20–68, in Rice County and the surrounding area. Sixty-five percent of Epic's clients work in the community for a variety of area businesses. The remaining 35 percent participate in Epic's Life Enrichment Program, where participants create art and music, and volunteer.