Direct support professionals make a difference, are honored 

ARRM, an association representing more than 200 direct care providers and supporting service providers for people with disabilities in Minnesota, […]

President Jeff Bradley presents the ARRM Cares Award to Michelle Voigt

ARRM, an association representing more than 200 direct care providers and supporting service providers for people with disabilities in Minnesota, is proud to recognize six direct service professionals (DSPs) with the ARRM Cares Award. The award is given annually to honor the top care workers in the state. 

Award winners have significantly enhanced the life of a person, or persons, whom they support, and demonstrate an outstanding level of professional integrity, creative and person-centered service, and ability to connect their clients with family and community support networks, called “natural supports.” 

Like all DSPs, ARRM Cares honorees perform a diverse array of job functions, from healthy lifestyle support to employment assistance to health care. Award winners represent the highest standard of quality. 

Association members nominate their top DSPs for the ARRM Cares Award, from which winners are selected by a committee of member representatives. In 2022, 178 nominations were received, from every corner of the state. 

The 2022 ARRM Cares winners are: 

Sarah Clay, Sevita – REM Ramsey 

Julie Jacob, Living Well Disability Services 

Denise Kohls, Presbyterian Family Foundation 

Elise Lakin, CCRI 

Jackie Poldoski, DRCC 

Michelle Voigt, Thrive Behavioral Network 

Lakin and Poldoski are winners of in the ARRM Cares Rising Star Award category. The Rising Star Award was created in 2021 and is specifically reserved for direct support professionals with three years or less of service. 

“The past few years have been incredibly challenging for direct support professionals and the people they support. Throughout it all, these incredible DSPs showed an inspiring level of commitment, drive, and compassion in every aspect of their work. They represent the gold standard in direct care,” said ARRM President Stacy Roe. 

Each ARRM Cares winner was recognized at an event hosted by their employer throughout September. 

The six winners were chosen from a field of finalists. They are Katie Hensel, EON Inc.; Stacy Jaycox, CCRI; Keith Johnson, Accord; Douglas Myster, Lakes Homes and Program Development; Pam Norman. Hammer Residences/Northeast Residences; and Jaylynn Yonker, Harry Meyering Center. These nominees have given three or more years of services. 

Rising Star nominees are Sam Franta, TLC of Duluth Inc.; Logan Her, ACR Homes Inc.; and Hallie Nupdal, CCRI. 

ARRM also honored Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) as the recipient of the ARRM President’s Award for Legislative Leadership. 

Throughout his time in state government, Abeler has been an unyielding advocate for people with disabilities and the workforce that support them. His commitment to working across the political divide to put the needs of Minnesota’s most vulnerable first is the gold standard in public service.  

ARRM is the Association of Residential Resources of Minnesota, a nonprofit association of more than 200 provider organizations, businesses and advocates. Members are dedicated to leading the advancement of home and community-based services supporting people living with disabilities in their pursuit of meaningful lives.