Third career’s a charm in Red Wing

She’s versatile, she’s new, she figures things out and brings a wealth of experience to ProAct in Red Wing.

“It’s very fun. I wish I would have thought about this type of career decades ago,” said direct service professional Cheri Anderson. After some 40 years working, this is her third field.

Anderson supervises participants in the skills training area and fills in tracking contract work in the office. She owned a printing business for 20 years and worked for 20 more in insurance before that.

A Red Wing native since 1970, her first exposure to ProAct was almost 40 years ago while serving on a committee for the local United Way. Anderson visited ProAct in the early 80s, and remembers getting a tour from Sally Ogren, who is now the director.

The DSP said ProAct is different than other workplaces. Everyday is something new and she’s adjusted to being on staff versus managing an entire operation. “Everybody has their thing. They know it well,” said Anderson. “It all comes together. Boy, I tell you it works.”
In the skills training area, she said there’s no competition and everyone has her back, which is very rewarding.

Anderson said she hopes that others will learn more about what happens at ProAct. Every participant has his or her own personality, she explains, and staff know them well. “It’s really great fun. I’ve never had more fun at work than I have here,” she said.

If more people understood how valuable ProAct is, it would receive more funding, Anderson explains.