Riemersma Receives State Award

Sheldon, Iowa — An employee of a Sheldon facility has won a state award.

Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon says that Bob Riemersma has been named the 2019 recipient of the Iowa APSE Professional Award. Iowa APSE is the state chapter of the National Association of People Supporting Employment First, which is a part of a movement to deliver meaningful employment, fair wages, and career advancement for people with disabilities.

Reimersma was nominated by the Cabinet and Managers at VNU.

Their submission says that Riemersma has been with Village Northwest Unlimited (VNU) for almost 40 years and has always worked in the vocational setting. They say his biggest accomplishment has been his ability to transition his skills of being a Job Coach from a Sheltered Work environment to the Community Work environment. He has done a tremendous job with this transition and has helped over 25 individuals to be successfully employed in the community.

In 2018, Riemersma was recognized as VNU’s staff person of the year in large part due to his success in transitioning to a successful community program. Riemersma is able to see the abilities of each person he works with and then customize the tasks for that person to help them be as successful as possible. They say that Riemersma says failure is not an option and he will do everything he can to support those he works with.

The submission goes on to say that Riemersma is great at communicating the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals he supports to other team members so that the team can work together to ensure the success of the people being supported. Riemersma gets great joy in helping to build the job skills of those he supports. His ultimate goal is to build their confidence in hopes that they can be more independent and functional in their work.

Riemersma received the award at a ceremony in Des Moines on Tuesday, September 17.

Photo courtesy Village Northwest Unlimited. Caption: Left: Catlin Curry, IA APSE Board Member, Right: Bob Riemersma


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