Tune in today as Lance, Rob and Adrian interview Kathryn Gerhards with Rise Services.
Kathryn was born and raised in Portland Oregon. She has a BA in Psychology, with a minor in American Language Studies. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked in non-profits providing supports to underserved communities. Join us in part 3 of a 3 part series.

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ROI Disclosures

Episode 55 Transcript

Guest Kathryn Gerhards 3 of 3

Adrian  00:02

Hello future millionaires and welcome back to the get rich slow podcast. We are your hosts, Adrian Shermer, Rob Delavan and Lance Johnson. Good morning, gentlemen.

Rob Delavan  00:12

Was that a lot?

Adrian  00:13

Why don’t I do that sometimes?

Rob Delavan  00:17                              

That’s your journey.

Adrian  00:25

We are joined today again by Kathryn. Kathryn, thanks so much for your time. Episode three of three. We’ve had a ton of fun getting to learn a little bit about what you do. For our listeners, you can find us on Apple podcast, Spotify, audible Amazon music, we’re on YouTube, a number of other streaming services as well. As I said today, Kathryn Gerhards, Rise Services Inc. is the company she works for, fantastic nonprofit. Kathryn was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She’s got a BA in Psychology with a minor in American Sign Language and since graduating in 2012, she has worked for nonprofits providing supports to underserved communities. Yesterday, we learned all about what Kathryn and Rise is doing right now as they are actively working to rebuild the group of employees that they had before COVID, put a big notch and everything. Today, we’re going to learn more about what’s ahead for Kathryn and Rise.

Rob Delavan  01:34

So, let’s kick it off. Kathryn, what are your three biggest goals right now?

Kathryn Gerhards  01:41

I would say my first goal is a personal goal. My hope is to be able to buy a house this year and give my dogs the life that they deserve. He saw one of them, but I do have to. So, that’s my underlying what drives me every day. I need a bigger yard.

Rob Delavan  01:57

[Cross Talk], gotcha. You’re chaos person, right?

Kathryn Gerhards  02:08

Yes, I am. I tell them all the time, they need to start pulling their weight around here, get a job. But for work, I guess my biggest goals right now are to have all the individuals that want services staff. So, that’s a huge goal. Because there isn’t a limit for people with developmental disabilities, we’re not going to like serve them all. That’s not a thing but I would love to get back up to having 100 or 1000 staff, we have about 1000 individual staffed pre COVID. So, I’d love to get back up there. So, that’s one of our big goals and we talked about this a little bit in our last podcast, but just really being a household name. So, having people know Rise services, what that is, knowing what a direct support professional is, and having that acronym as synonymous with a CNA, or just having that be something that people know about and all of those things are my goals for life right now.

Rob Delavan  03:12

If I remember correctly, about 650 employees at the moment. So, you got to hire another 350 people. That’s all, no big deal. Right?

Kathryn Gerhards  03:20

Yeah. Just to get to where we were pre COVID?

Rob Delavan  03:26

For a year. What would the stretch goal once you hit 1000? Where would you start to get to the point where you’re fully staffed?

Kathryn Gerhards  03:37

Oh, maybe like 1200. But if we got to that point, then we probably just open another office and tap into another community. So, we have eight offices across the state. But we’re not in every state or not in every city in every state. So, the potential is pretty unlimited. This as long as we have the support of the staff to get it done.

Rob Delavan  04:05

Okay, so, just little tiny goals here. No big deal, right? Easy peasy, easy cheese. You’re incredible.

Adrian 04:18

Alright, so, then the follow up question is inevitable. Who should we contact you with? Who should we be on the lookout for in the communities that we’re in?

Kathryn Gerhards  04:26

Yeah, that’s a great question. So, I would love to have a conversation with anyone who is interested in just what nonprofits do. A really cool thing about getting to know all of you guys is that you’re all in the for-profit space. I’ve been asked so many questions about, but what is a nonprofit and what does that look like? So, people who are just genuinely curious about nonprofit work, I feel like your kind of in one world or the other. So, I’m happy to just talk about what that would look like. I would also love to talk to me Anybody who hates working retail, I talked about a kid last week who was quitting my job tomorrow, I hate retail, I want to do something different. I don’t know what that is like, who loves working in retail? I don’t know, not me, it was not my jam. So, anyone who is like feeling like they’re stuck in a reel to reel, tape, reel, retail, there we go. I’m trying to get world and wants to change wants to know what else is out there, I’d be happy to talk to them. Young professionals who are maybe deciding between for profit nonprofits, or just like what do I do when I graduate from college, I’d be happy to talk to those folks and then just another group of people that I would love to talk to you or people who might be interesting and interested in fostering. So, they are always looking at the statistics, there’s probably like, this is probably wrong. So, don’t quote me. But I think there’s like 50,000 people in Oregon who need foster parents, and about 10,000 people providing a service and so, the need is huge. So, if people are interested, what would it look like to foster, if that’s something that they’re interested in adults, maybe empty nesters who are just looking for a way to get some more support around what it would look like to open their heart and home to somebody with disabilities, I’d be happy to have that connection as well. So, just a few folks in the world, I’d be happy to talk to you.

Rob Delavan  06:35

So, I’ll throw this to Lance is a little bit of a follow up. But I’m thinking in my head like specific examples. So, sports clubs trying to target kids that are right at that 18, you want to catch them instead of going in and working at the mall, making slurpees or I don’t know, whatever you do in retail officer. This concept of, okay, my kids are in swim team, and there’s a bunch of kids that are right on that cutting edge. Maybe out groups like church, youth groups of the graduating kids every year, just trying to figure out like, Lance, this is this is me, you’ve been mentoring me for the last basically decade to think geometrically. Can you throw maybe some examples out there, could we get instead of interviewing one person at a time, can I introduce you to the youth pastor at a big church that’s graduating 100 or 200 kids, you see where I’m going with this?

Kathryn Gerhards  07:53

Yeah, definitely. I’m just trying to think of options that you haven’t already said. We are really like a word of mouth. That’s definitely an interesting thought of, how do we get in front of people with more influence versus just like one or two people? One or two people are great. But what would that look like? That’s definitely getting my wheels spinning a little bit more.

Lance Johnson  08:15

Oh, that’s where the profit, nonprofit changes guidelines is you’re part of, you’re part of the community through the state service. So, it exists where the funding comes from taxpayers’ dollars that are being utilized and divvied up right for profit, is they look at it and say, okay, well, we’re profits. So, how do we get out there and maximize? Social media, podcasting, website, design, all those things, those marketing ideas, which is what you’re really talking about is how do you market the company. So, the fact that Rise, you don’t really hear about you don’t see a billboard, you don’t such and such, but yet, there’s a huge demand and need. I think, if I was a business consulting coming in, and looking at reset, I would sit there and say, the only thing that stopped you is to get your employees paid more. They’re going to talk more about, and there’s a fine line, a balancing act there because it costs taxpayers money for the benefits. But then how do we do all those things you would do as a for profit organization and how do we help you expand the word of mouth other than word of mouth? There’s other things so that there are more interviews happening on a week to week basis, that there’s already a demand out there for those services. I think that that’d be a great conversation to have with the owners of the company. I bet there’s a bunch of things you could be doing that really put you more on the map across Oregon and other states. How do we help you do that and that’s the difference between nonprofit versus profit we have to feed our kids, based on that the marketing that we do to bring business in. We don’t have a state funded account. So, that would be fun and interesting to do.

Adrian 10:36

I even posed the question here, Rob and Lance, you guys both hire a number of different employees. How much more impressed would you be if you had a young person come in, and it said, I worked for rise services, nonprofit, taking care of people in need, versus I worked at Wetzel’s pretzels at the mall. No offence, I’m a German, I love pretzels. But it’s an interesting thing to put on your resume, even if that’s not the career path for you. So, I think it’s great that you’re reaching out to young people, because I think it’s a stepping stone, if it’s that job while you’re in college, even because it sounds like part time is very feasible. What a cool way to spend that spare time you’ve got and make that bit of whatever it is your money. Maybe it’s something a little more ethical, but yeah.

Lance Johnson  11:26

All right, Kathrynne, here’s always the interesting questions like the interview question. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Kathryn Gerhards  11:35

We talked about this in episode two, I’ve set so many goals for myself, just like day to day, week to week, and the five-year plan was just really tough for me. I realized one of my goals is to create a dream board because I don’t know where I’m going with all of this energy that I have to do things. But in five years, I will be 37 and I don’t even know what the world is going to look like in five years, like we were talking about coming out of COVID. Everything is changing. dynamics are changing. I want to buy a house, have another dog maybe, we talked about that.

Lance Johnson  12:19

A third dog?

Kathryn Gerhards  12:22

Yeah, they all need help but what I can say is like, I am open to opportunities, and I’m open to growing in a way and it’s so hard for me to picture because this is where I’m going, then I would just be tunnel vision to that place and that’s not where I am. I’m open to learning and growing. I’m open to a world in five years, that is something that I can’t imagine yet because maybe it doesn’t exist, or maybe I haven’t landed in the right spot to get me there. I don’t know, not having a plan feels pretty freeing to me. But I want to be doing something with my life working in a field that inspires me, whatever that looks like. So, helping people, having the opportunity to be creative, learning new things, all of those things are values that I value to be repetitive in a day to day. So, it’s going to be something I’m going to be somewhere cool in five years, I just don’t necessarily know what that’s going to look like,

Rob Delavan  13:37

You’re already doing that you’re making an impact. So, that’s what’s interesting. Lance is all about having that dream, and what’s that dream? Yeah, there you go. He’s pointing to it. For those of you that are watching on YouTube, he’s about having the dream and then how do you actually transform that dream into a goal and its basically metrics right? You put a line in the sand? Lance, am I saying this right. So, maybe you can finish your analogy.

Adrian  14:09

You are brilliant at the basic’s methodology here.

Lance Johnson  14:11

Well, yeah, I often say, what’s the difference between a dream and a goal. When you’re walking down the Sands of time, and the day you draw a line in the sand that you want your dream to be reality is the day it becomes a goal. If you have no timeframe, the dreams just say in this euphoria type utopia, that it never really takes fruition or take shape because you never really set yourself with a specific timeframe of reaching that. But the day you decide I’m going to have this by then, is the day and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just a day you made your dream a goal and it becomes more of a reality the day you put a timeline on it.

Rob Delavan  15:05

I’ll go back to Kathryn, I know you’re already doing it. So, that’s what’s cool and you are making those, those big chunk steps. You even if it means adding to your PAC, and buying a house, and going through all of that process, it’s going to be fun to watch. That’s all I got to say. It’s not every day that we get a chance to talk to a woman of your power, so to speak. That’s like, whoa, you’re doing awesome things. So, thank you for sharing that with us.

Kathryn Gerhards  15:43

Yeah, thank you for having me.

Adrian 15:47

Thank you to our audience for joining us again, for another episode of the get rich, slow podcast. Kathryn Gerhards is her name, Rise services is the company that she is part of. Kathryn, where can we find you and where can we send our friends, family members, members of various groups that were part of and part of our community that might benefit from becoming part of this team?

Kathryn Gerhards  16:06

Definitely. So, our office in the Portland metro area, if you are in the Portland metro area, we have offices all across the state, but our office just moved and we do walk in Wednesdays. So, any Wednesday, anybody can drop by our office and get interviewed on the spot and learn more about rise services. So, the address is 7100 Southwest Hampton Street, and that suite 126 in Tigard. So, any Wednesday, if you want to stop by and send your friends that would be that’d be awesome. Or if you want to have more of an informal conversation, you can reach me by email. It’s Kathryng@Riseservices inc.org or you can text or call me at 503-345-8001.

Adrian  16:51

That wraps us up for episode three of three with Kathryn at Rise services. Rise services inc.org as their site, check them out. Obviously, they’ve got walking opportunities as well. If someone wants to come and take a look at what a career might look like in this field, you can reach our respective sites and contact us directly Adrian, Robin Lance all in the show notes, links right through our website and we’ve got a few upcoming events as well. You can check those out at ROI-fa.com/events. I know some of the big ones we’ve got coming or on August 20. We’ve got our summer bash and there’s some photos with Santa in Lake Oswego office November 12. There’s also a number of events in between, though there’s always sip and mingle events. We do some featuring of local businesses and different what do we have in this educational moments that we’ve worked into it recently that I really like. You can learn a lot and Kathryn, you said there’s an event coming up for you as well.

Kathryn Gerhards  17:59

Yeah, we’re going to be doing a fundraiser in the Tigard area in September. So, keep an eye out for more details about that.

Adrian  18:09

Yep, check out their site. Check out their socials as the details unfold on that. Thank you again to our audience and we’ll catch you next week on the get rich live podcast.

Rob Delavan  18:16

Awesome. Thank you, guys.

Kathryn Gerhards  18:18

Thank you.

Adrian  18:19

Thank you.

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