I vividly recall the day in 2006 when I met with the mother of a high school student with a disability and talked about our vision to develop a business to employ people with autism and other developmental disabilities. This was the start of an amazing and bold effort led by a small group of parents who believed in the work potential of all individuals with disabilities. In the early years of the journey to create multiple business “ventures,” we experienced both wild exhilaration and crashing disappointment. Perhaps not atypical for a new business! At times the learning curve was steep, but the level of perseverance and belief in the dream remained steady. We continue to recognize the importance of developing and nurturing businesses that are not only sustainable and profitable, but structured in a manner that focuses on our employees’ needs, skills, preferences, talents, and unique contribution to the workplace. I believe this is core to the mission of Extraordinary Ventures.
Extraordinary Ventures continues to grow, evolve, and be enriched by many intelligent, creative, and progressive people with and without disabilities. It is a place unto itself, yet significantly integral to the community at large. It is a hybrid work environment that ensures a place of belonging for its employees and values work activity that is competitive, integrated, and meaningful. I am deeply fortunate to have been part of Extraordinary Ventures as a board member since its inception over ten years ago!