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  • Written by Ethan Dahlquist

Consumer Spotlight: Dave "Davie" Hageman

Pictured: (L-R) CHOICE Employment Services Owner and CEO Carrie Dahlquist and CHOICE’s 1st Consumer Dave Hageman.

CHOICE Employment Services is very proud to spotlight the first person to take a chance on our agency, Dave Hageman. Dave trusted that we would provide quality employment services and be there to advocate for him and his needs, and since 2012 that is exactly what we’ve been doing. Dave is turning 70 years old this year in October and is still in great shape, walks to work, and is coming up on his 5 year work anniversary at the same job! Dave currently works as a dishwasher at Decorah’s Pizza Ranch and has been working there since September of 2013. He is very upbeat and always greets people with a smile.

Dave has many interests which help to keep him busy throughout the year. One of his favorite things to do is care for his garden consisting of many vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes, and walnuts; Each of which he loves to hand deliver to his friends around town. Dave works very hard to maintain his garden and is quite generous to those who know him, as you never know when he might stop by with a bag of vegetables and to ask “How’s it going?” Not only does Dave work around 20 hours a week at Pizza ranch, but he also does some seasonal side work mowing lawns and weed wacking.

CHOICE would like to thank Pizza Ranch and their staff for including, accepting, and supporting Dave in the workspace, as this has allowed him to find his “work family.” Pizza Ranch has been an excellent example within the Decorah community on inclusion and diversity, are always open minded, and find the strengths in everybody who works there. In addition to the natural supports Dave has in the workplace, the various members of CHOICE’s team who have worked with him over the years have also been a significant part of helping Dave to find success in community employment.

Dave Hageman and CHOICE owner and CEO Carrie Dahlquist have a longstanding friendship and connection dating back to the start of CHOICE, when Carrie took a chance starting a company that she thought could help others, and Dave put his faith in a new business owner whom he believed in.

CHOICE Employment Services was started in 2012 to help adults with disabilities access and maintain competitive employment within or near the area in which they reside. We are an organization devoted to improving the quality of life for adult individuals with disabilities through individualized employment services. The ultimate goal is to assist our consumers with obtaining and sustaining competitive employment that matches their skills, interests, and abilities. We, at CHOICE, are committed to advancing our country's Employment First Initiatives and promoting diversity and inclusion within the communities in which we all live.

At CHOICE, we strive to make a difference for our consumers, our stakeholders, our staff and our community each and every day. All our services are consumer-driven. We not only believe in the importance of giving our consumer's a choice, but we also believe in giving them a voice. Through our services, our agency assists our consumers in realizing dreams that are common to all; to live life with a sense of purpose, value and meaning.

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