VNU Awards 2015 Outstanding Employee of the Year Awards

Sheldon, Iowa–The 19th Annual Outstanding Employee of the Year Awards were recently presented at Village Northwest Unlimited. This year’s recipients are Deb Doornenbal and Deb Middle. Staff members are nominated by their peers, and nominations are reviewed by a committee of former award recipients. Deb Middle and Deb Doornenbal were each presented with a plaque and monetary gift by Barry Whitsell, President & CEO, and Brian Robyn, Director of Human Resources.

Deb Doornenbal began her career as a high school student working in an on campus home. From there she worked as a PE Instructor, known today as an Exercise & Wellness Instructor. Deb worked in this role until the birth of her first child. After a few years away from the Village, Deb returned as the Volunteer Coordinator. In 2001, Deb took on the role of Community Skills Manager at the 705 8th Street Waiver home and she continues in this role today. This year Deb celebrated her 35th year of service to the Village.

Deb demonstrates the Village’s mission of purpose, privacy and dignity by her constant commitment to improving the lives of the individuals she serves. She is dedicated to supporting and guiding others to enhance their independence and individual growth. She strives to offer choices which initiate the development of new skills for the residents, leading towards greater independence. Deb advocates with both compassion and concern for individuals served by the Village.

Deb Middle started her career at the Village in 2007 as a Barista at Fantasia where she worked for nearly a year before becoming an Exercise and Wellness Instructor at the Center in 2008. Deb continues in this role today. Deb serves as one of the Special Olympics coaches for the Village Panthers. Her Panthers teams have represented VNU at state and national competitions in basketball, softball, volleyball, bowling and track and field.

Deb demonstrates the Village’s mission of purpose, privacy and dignity by challenging all individuals to do their best in everything they do. Deb demonstrates a desire to improve the lives of others by helping those we serve improve their health through exercise. She helps them to be successful by praising, guiding and inspiring them. Deb started the Special Olympics Recognition Program to recognize all athletes for their accomplishments throughout the year. She understands that you get better results with praise and compliments rather than criticism.

Village Northwest Unlimited is nationally recognized as one of the premier providers of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and autism. Village Northwest Unlimited builds successful lives for 180 individuals by providing opportunities and choices in residential, vocational and social programs while fulfilling its mission of providing Purpose, Privacy and Dignity for All People.