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Employee Spotlight: Isaiah Vance

Posted on : 19 Apr 2023 | No Comments

Isaiah Vance, KANDU’s external senior client services manager, is known by co-workers for being a “tech wizard,” “job coach,” “leader,” “teammate,” “problem-solver,” and “client advocate.” Isaiah started his journey with KANDU in July 2015 as a job coach and manager in KANDU’s community employment and corporate guardianship programs, fresh out of college. Since then, he has climbed the ranks, from client services coordinator to client services manager, and most recently, to his current role where he oversees all external programs, including referrals and contract management.

“Isaiah is devoted to KANDU clients; you can easily see that KANDU is a commitment in his life. The way he builds relationships with clients is admirable. He always has a client’s best interest at heart and advocates on their behalf, so they have every chance possible to be successful. He really gets to know clients, their strengths and their struggles, so he can provide the best support,” said Debbie Bayreuther, program manager of KANDU’s community employment and daily living skills programs.

“The clients are my motivation, 100%. I love seeing our clients every day and knowing that I am doing something to better their lives is fulfilling. It’s awesome to see a client succeed and know that I was even a small part of it,” said Isaiah, who has worked with people with disabilities throughout his life. Though he wasn’t sure he would end up in this field, his previous experience coupled with KANDU’s overarching mission to provide diverse opportunities to people with disabilities made it a natural fit.  Plus, for Isaiah, it’s a natural mood boost: “I can be having the worst day and coming out to the production floor or cafeteria to talk with some of the clients can completely turn it around.” Isaiah’s commitment to KANDU’s mission and his clients has been a driving force behind his success at the organization.

“Not only is Isaiah incredible with the clients, but he has also been an amazing team member at KANDU,” said Debbie. “Isaiah has a passion for training new staff on how to be successful when working with a client. It’s those qualities that make him a great leader who is always willing to provide guidance.  He takes the time to connect with each team member to figure out the best way to support them individually,” Debbie explained. Isaiah reassures any new staff member that at the start, the amount of information you must remember can seem overwhelming: acronyms, funding sources, computer programs, diagnoses, etc. but, he says, “I tell everyone I train that all of that is teachable. What I can’t teach is compassion and the desire to support our clients. If you have those qualities, you’ll fit in just fine at KANDU.”

Julie Smith, KANDU’s client services director, also praises Isaiah’s versatility and willingness to learn about all aspects of KANDU’s operations, one of the things that makes him a great resource for new employees. “Isaiah has been involved in virtually everything at KANDU at some point.  From production to guardianship to tech-system implementations to community employment to interviewing, he has taken it upon himself to be knowledgeable about all KANDU operations.

It’s that knowledge that lays the groundwork for Isaiah’s newest role as external senior client services manager. “He excels at creating positive relationships with community organizations and businesses,” said Debbie. “He’s approachable yet confident, very easy to talk to, and he does a great job of communicating the benefits of all the programs we offer at KANDU.”

In his new role, Isaiah said he has learned more about the special place KANDU holds in the Janesville community. KANDU’s decades-long commitment to supporting people with disabilities in Rock County has reached many of our residents, “It’s very rewarding to go into the community and have people stop to tell me stories about their family member or a friend of theirs who found success and fulfillment through one of our programs,” said Isaiah.

At KANDU, we are proud to have Isaiah as a valuable member of our team. His dedication, leadership, and willingness to learn make him an asset to our clients, our organization, and the community as a whole.