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Katie Welge, Managing Director of Aspire CoffeeWorks, Talks Purpose, Gifts and New Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

October 26, 2017

Who are you in a sentence or less? Optimistic. A positive person who is excited about the endless possibilities that await Aspire CoffeeWorks… and highly caffeinated.

What’s the most memorable present you’ve received? A trip to go fly fishing in Colorado with my dad. It’s one of his passions.

How do you do good? It’s a mindset you have. Throughout everything you do, every day and everyone you meet. Being open to understanding other people and their stories and how you can work together to do good and have a bigger impact.

What is your Purpose? It changes a lot. Right now it’s to raise awareness about inclusion of people with disabilities, and doing that with coffee as a conduit.

Why Aspire? It’s a phenomenal organization that is so different. They encourage, welcome and celebrate trying new things even if you fail. There is no bad idea. It’s a culture of innovation that is rare in nonprofits. I came from working with technology companies where that was a norm- having this similar philosophy is unique.

What’s your favorite part of the week? Wednesday- you’ve already accomplished a lot. Thursday and Friday are on the horizon and there’s still plenty of time to get work done.

What exciting times await you? We’re launching a brand new career academy– job training for adults with disabilities, which our corporate partners are excited about. The initial impact will be in our community through workplaces, by impacting the lives of adults with disabilities. Then the impact will be felt by those working at companies where theses adults will find careers.

When you’re not at work where can we find you? On the riverwalk in Chicago; I live nearby and it’s great to find a place where nature and the city collide. I love to go at night when it’s really peaceful.

Aspire CoffeeWorks BruceAt Aspire, adults with disabilities work side by side with employees on the Metropolis Coffee Company team.

Aspire CoffeeWorks KatieKatie and Bridget, an Aspire CoffeeWorks team member, packaging coffee at the Metropolis Coffee Company