Vadis is pleased to announce that our Pierce County Employer of the year for 2014 is GardenSphere in Tacoma!
GardenSphere is a small, all organic specialty gardening store located in the Proctor District of Tacoma. The owners, Travis and Gabe Valbert, have one regular, full time staff named Lisa. When approached regarding the possibility of hiring Francine, they weren’t sure they had enough work to keep her busy even a few hours a week. On the day of the interview Francine was so nervous, she walked out of the shop as soon as she saw Travis and Gabe. Everyone wanted to see if the position would work for Francine, and she started her job almost two years ago.
Since then, Francine has begun to master several tasks that she used to require help to accomplish. Her sweeping is becoming more effective and Francine is now able to sort price tags on her own and put them where they belong. But Francine has brought many other changes to GardenSphere! The entire team has embraced Francine and loves to make her feel a part of the team. Every payday, her paycheck is in an envelope labeled “Employee of the Month.” Lisa confessed to Vadis that she actually changed her hours to make sure she was there on the shifts that Francine works.
Gabe, Travis and Lisa have also helped Vadis by helping us to hire new staff. They allow potential hires to visit and ask questions about working with individuals with disabiltiies.
GardenSphere is more than an employer of someone with a disability; they are truly invested in the mission of Vadis, which they have shown with their love of Francine. For that reason, we are proud to honor Gabe, Travis and Lisa with Vadis’ Employer of the Year honor for 2014!