RCS Empowers, Inc.

About Us

Our Story

A History Dedicated to Empowering Individuals

RCS provides an array of services to children and adults with disabilities including Birth to Three, Day Services, After Hours Special Events, and Employment Services which can include job exploration, preparation, placement, and job coaching.

Hundreds of local businesses have hired employees through RCS. These employees are filling needs and create a positive impact on their companies.

RCS Packaging, Assembly and Fulfillment services are highly regarded for our responsiveness, flexibility and quick turnaround. We are a cost-effective solution to outsourcing. We guarantee quality results.

A Look At The Past

RCS Timeline & History

Founded in 1955 when a group of concerned citizens identified a need in Sheboygan County to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. Fast forward to modern day, the mission of the organization remains true to its foundation: RCS empowers individuals with disabilities and special needs so they may work, live, and function with dignity and respect.

1955

A group of concerned citizens established classes for young adults with disabilities.

1958

Lincoln Avenue home purchased and “Opportunity Center” provides academic, vocational and recreational activities.

1967

Charles A. Kiley appointed Executive Director.

1969

 The Opportunity Center purchases the former Hayssen Manufacturing plant at 1305 St. Clair Avenue and changes its name to The Rehabilitation Center of Sheboygan, Inc.

1971

Frances Reiss Hall on Huron Avenue opens as a foster care home for adults with mental illness.

1973

Ron Van Rooyen promoted to Executive Director.

1976

Early Intervention Program (EIP) begins providing services to children from birth to three years of age.

1977

 Ella Klemme Hall, a community based residential facility, was constructed at N. 13th Street and Geele Avenue through a bequest from Ella Klemme. It replaced the Frances Reiss Hall.

1980

929 Niagara Avenue apartments constructed for people with chronic mental illness through funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

1982

First RCS Play,“Something Special”, is performed for staff and participants.

1983

RCS purchases Larson Plywood at N. 15th Street and Geele Avenue and production expands to the new North Plant facility.

1986

RCS purchases Mid-Co Packaging Co. establishing RCS Packaging

1987

Community employment services began through a matching grant from Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

1994

RCS Packaging celebrated achieving over $1 million in sales.

1998

Land is purchased on N. 38th Street to construct new Ella Klemme Home for 4 individuals.

2002

First Employment Services Employer Recognition Luncheon held to honor area employers who support the employment of individuals with disabilities.

2007

Agency changes name from Rehabilitation Center of Sheboygan, Inc. to RCS Empowers, Inc.

 

2008

RCS purchases Plastics Engineering Plant at 1607 Geele Avenue to be able to merge to a one campus location.

2010

Packaging operation moves into new facility on Geele Avenue after Phase I renovation project. 

2012

Administrative, Employment Services and Day Services move to new facility on Geele Avenue after Phase II renovation completed.

2015

Individual Placement & Support (IPS) program developed for individuals with serious mental health needs using an outcomes focused approach.

2015

Calumet Square property purchased for additional RCS expansion opportunities.

2017

Martha VandeLeest named President of RCS Empowers.

2017

Construction begins for RCS Trailside Park to enhance outdoor environment for individuals with disabilities.

2018

"Shine On", an annual RCS community supported fundraising event, began to provide community awareness and showcase RCS services.

2018

RCS creates new Front Atrium resulting in added welcoming social spaces for everyone.

2018

Team RCS wins the Movers & Shakers Champion and People’s Choice Awards

2020

 RCS develops virtual programming called “RCS Connects” to service individuals with disabilities who cannot attend in person.

2021

RCS installed 75” screen televisions and web cameras to provide needed technology as part of rebuilding programs after COVID-19.

Our Team

The People Behind RCS

  • Leadership Team
  • Board of Directors
  • Endowment Board

Martha VandeLeest

President/CEO

Monica Senkbeil

Senior Vice President – HR & Administration

Lynn Justinger

Human Services Manager

Nathaniel VandeLeest

Business Services Manager

Angie Buechel

Human Services Operations Manager

Eric Cox

Business Services Operations Manager

Andrew Bubb

Systems Administrator

Josh Senkbeil

HR Administrator

Jody Merenick

Public Relations Manager

David Gass

Board Chairman, Secretary
Rohde Dales LLP
Managing Partner

Jon Rost

Board Vice Chairman
Innovation Applied LLC
Principal

Jim Van Alstine

RCS Empowers Board Treasurer

John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Chief Financial Officer

Beth Borgen

Lakeland University
 President

Aaron Brault

Sheboygan County
Director of Planning and Conservation

Rick Carr

PW Stoelting LLC
Retired,
Vice President
of Sales and Marketing

Kris Dirkse

Erin Hills Golf Course
Chief Financial Officer

Lindsay Harrison-Eirich

Engaged Marketing Co.
Owner

Blake Hendry

Georgia Pacific LLC Environmental Health
and Safety Manager

Brian Henne

Bemis Manufacturing Company
Product Development Engineer

Tim Kaker

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sheboygan County
Retired, Executive Director

Dave Kettler

PW Stoelting LLC
Retired, Director
of Human Resources

Ken King

Family Services & Consumer Credit Counseling
Retired, Executive Director

Doug Pelletiere

Sargento Foods, Inc. Executive Vice President – Human Resources

James Potter

Rockline Industries, Inc.
Corporate Controller-Wisconsin

Lori Tews

Kohler Company
Employee Relations Manager

Gerry Loth

Board President

H.C. Denison Co.
Retired, Registered Representative

Martha VandeLeest

Board Secretary/ Treasurer
RCS Empowers, Inc.
President – CEO

John Eddy

Community Bank and Trust
Retired – Senior Vice President

Ann Doro

U.S. Bank 
Wealth Management Associate

Don Hammond

Mersberger Financial Group, Inc.
Executive Vice President – Director of Employer Plan Services – Financial Advisor

Steve Harrison

Old Wisconsin Sausage Company
Vice President – General Manager

Mike Molepske

Bank First National
CEO

Tom Schueller

Community Bank & Trust
Retired President

Andrew Wilson

U.S. Bank
Vice President – Senior Portfolio Manager

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