About Us

Ascend Services, Inc., is a private, not-for-profit [501(c)(3)] charitable organization. We develop our support services to inspire and empower individuals to ascend towards their personal and vocational goals by connecting them to resources within our community. It is our goal to create fuller, more vibrant lives for the people with whom we work through the promotion of independence, learning and community integration based on the Building Full Lives Model.*



Building Full Lives is a service model that focuses on building a full schedule of life activities for each individual based on their choices. The focus is to create a pathway to employment and community involvement by learning, exploring and connecting people to their community through learning experiences, contributing and volunteering.

The history of Ascend dates back to 1957 – the year that a small group of dedicated young men began a very special wreath-making business just before the holidays. That group was headed by Bjorn (Bj) Halvorsen, who felt that differently-abled individuals should have meaningful work to facilitate them being part of the community… instead of feeling apart from it. A lot has changed over the years (even the name of the organization) to respond and adapt to the needs of the people served, but the mission remains the same. Watch this video to learn more about our history at Ascend!



Deanna Genske
Executive Director
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Dale Cayemberg
Operations Director
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Marcy Salm
Director of Financial Operations
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Aundre Owens
Recruiting & Resource Coordinator
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Marissa Fitzgerald
Building Full Lives Navigator
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Kim Rooney

Michele Ziarnik
Vice President

Chad Naidl

Sandra Hardrath

Stacey Groll
Board Member

Halvor Halversen
Board Member

Alison Petri
Board Member

Laura Fielding
Board Member

Kim Henning
Board Member

David Wage
Board Member

Keith Lyons
Board Member