This Action Alert Requires Your Immediate Action!

The U.S. Senate Health Care bill is expected to come to a vote by next Friday, June 30, with NO debate, NO amendments, and NO committee hearings.  The bill, which was drafted by just 13 Republican Senators behind closed doors, includes major cuts to Medicaid.  Group homes, Supported Employment, Day Services programs, Sheltered Workshop services and many other programs that serve adults with disabilities are paid for with Medicaid dollars. Medicaid dollars pay for IRIS and Managed Care organizations as well.  With cuts to Medicaid, you or your loved one could lose their job, their support services, and their home!

This is serious and we are at the critical stage.                                                                                 
It is on all of us who care about services for adults with disabilities to push back and demand that the Senate do its job in public for all to see and reject any health care bill that has not been fully vetted. 

Reach out to your Senator(s) and tell them to vote NO.


1.    On the Internet:  Go to

Fill in all the blanks (your name, email, address, zip, etc.)  and press “SUBMIT” and you will automatically send a letter to Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin telling them to VOTE NO against Medicaid Cuts.

2.    Call your Senators’ offices 

Senator Johnson’s Washington office: (202) 224-5323

Tammy Baldwin’s Washington Office:  (202) 224-5653

Leave a message telling them to VOTE NO against Medicaid Cuts that will Hurt Services to People with a Disability






RCS Empowers, Inc. announces President’s Retirement and Successor

RCS Empowers, Inc. Board of Directors today announced that Ron Van Rooyen will retire as President on April 28, 2017. The Board of Directors has elected Martha VandeLeest, as part of a two-year succession plan, to be the company’s next President, effective the end of April. VandeLeest currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer.
Van Rooyen began his work with RCS as assistant director in 1969, was named executive director in 1973, and was elected president in August of 1983. “Ron’s vision has led to significant growth and success during his 47 years at RCS by leading an exceptional management team in the delivery of Employment, Community and Business Services,” said Karri Neils, Board Chair. “Under his leadership, the company has established a strong business model to be financially sound and has expanded operations by orchestrating a move to a single campus of services at the Geele Avenue headquarters. While Ron will certainly be missed, I am equally as confident in the leadership of Martha VandeLeest as she assumes the role of President. Martha has served as Chief Financial Officer for the last two years. Her excellent performance in this role, vast business experience, and her financial acumen will serve RCS well in the years ahead.”
Van Rooyen noted, “It has been an honor to be a part of this great organization alongside our dedicated employees, Board members, and workers. RCS Empowers, Inc. has a 61-year history of providing “state of the art” Day Services, Prevocational Services, Employment Services, Birth to Three Services and Business Services, as well as empowering individuals in Sheboygan County. I am extremely humbled and proud of our accomplishments.”
VandeLeest is an alumnus of Lakeland College with a degree in Accounting and the University of Wisconsin-Madison – School of Business where she completed her Executive MBA. “It is truly an honor to be elected as the next President of RCS Empowers, Inc.,” said VandeLeest. “This is a remarkable organization made up of inspired employees dedicated to providing services and empowering individuals with disabilities to achieve their goals. It has been a pleasure to work with Ron over the past two years, and I look forward to leading the organization with this legacy of excellence. In the past two years, we have streamlined operations and processes and are well positioned for continued future growth with unlimited opportunities in the years to come.”

RCS Volunteer Receives Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award


RCS volunteer, Marge Sonnenburg, personifies the “Spirit of Giving” through her selfless dedication to helping others. It was no surprise to the staff and participants at RCS when she received the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award at the Spirit of Sheboygan County Volunteer Awards this year. Sonnenburg has been volunteering at RCS Empowers, Inc. for 30+ years!

Sonnenburg first started volunteering in Vivian Bienert’s Drama Groups when Vivian started the RCS play over 30 years ago. Since that time, Sonnenburg has volunteered in many classrooms over the years and has assisted with sewing play costumes and prom dresses. She is now 91 years old and does not drive anymore. Sonnenburg takes the city bus to come to RCS on Thursday afternoons to help RCS Art Therapy classes. Sonnenburg has helped with this class for seven years, even during the winter months, rain or shine. She is truly committed to helping others.

Sonnenburg has embraced what art therapy can give the participants, especially the power of creativity and choice. The class enjoys hearing Sonnenburg’s view on life because of her wealth of wisdom and life experience. She shares her bits of wisdom that participants can use in their daily life, such as, “Life is too short, so be kind to each other.”

At RCS Empowers, our mission statement is, “To empower individuals with disabilities & special needs so that they may work, live and function with dignity and respect.” Sonnenburg empowers our participants through her kindness and wisdom. Whether it’s helping out during the RCS Empowers plays, the art shows, the Art Therapy groups, or daily living, Sonnenburg always lends a caring ear, smiling face, and kind heart to those who need it the most.

Birth to Three program had 100% compliance in their State of Wisconsin review…

Congratulations to the RCS Birth to Three Staff: Sheila Sprang, Deb Binversie, Stacy Grusznski, and April Sabel.

The State of Wisconsin completed a review and found that they had 100% compliance in providing services to infants, toddlers, and families in need of Birth to Three Services. The Birth to Three Program has standards that need to be met including the length of time from referral to service, timeframes for service provision, reporting requirements, and other quality measures.  

This is a great reflection on our staff and the superb services they provide. We are very proud of you!