The VSI Staff

VSI's team of experienced and caring staff members includes specialists in areas. The leadership team includes:

Kimbal Mothershead, Executive Director
 Sherry Summers, Assistant Director Derrick Griffel, Assistant Director
 Leroy Marvel, Human Resources Manager Pat Melena, WPS Manager
LezLee Birdsong, Supported Employment Manager  Barbara Wright, Executive Administrator
Chris Best, General Manager

Randy Hylton, Executive Director of VSIVSI Executive Director Kimbal Mothershead joined VSI in 2017 after 24 years with Specialty Industries in St. Joseph.

Kimbal joined VSI as assistant executive director after serving in the St. Joseph nonprofit as marketing and projects manager. Both organizations provide employment and other opportunities for people with disabilities, something Kimbal finds important and enjoyable.

“You find out what a wonderful workforce workshops have,” he explained. “If you’re having a bad day, all you have to do is step into the shop, and you remember what you’re here for.”

Diverse Programs

VSI operates three “extended employment workshops,” two in Liberty and one in North Kansas City. VSI also has several additional programs, including “supported” employment in cooperation with community businesses. Other programs include Work and Personal Services, which helps employees who struggle to meet qualifications for workshop employment, and Program Services, which provides the individual case management—the human touch—for VSI consumers with developmental disabilities.

Workers with disabilities gain a lot from their employment. Although workshops like VSI gain half their funds from business contracts like packaging or assembly, the employees gain training and skill development that can lead to outside jobs. If the community position doesn’t work out, they can return to the familiar workshop and try again later if they want.

More Than Work

The workshop is also where these employees build friendships and social skills, join special events like award ceremonies and holiday parties. And they love their work.

“Our consumers do a great job, and they’re proud of that,” he noted. “They take pride in earning a paycheck and being able to look at their work and say, ‘I did that.’”

They’re good at their work, too. Kimbal cited a video of a woman sorting individual items, then packaging them according to detailed instructions from the contracting business. “Her hands were moving so fast they were hard to follow,” he said. “Our workers may have a disability, but they want to work and be valued just like anyone.”

The workers enjoy seeing “their” products in local stores. “They’ll tell everyone, ‘We did that.’ Or they’ll see other work and recognize flaws. Then they’ll tell you, ‘We can do better.’ They really take ownership in their work.”

People First

Supporting those employees and their choice of where to work is one of VSI’s most important jobs. “Our mission is to be here for them, so they can have a lifestyle they chose,” he explained. “That’s true of all the workshops in Missouri. In other states and Washington, D.C., they talk about the ‘Missouri Model.’ We can always improve, but this is an area where Missouri can be proud. We provide opportunities.”

Kimbal also appreciates the business side of workshops. Many business customers began as entrepreneurs and grow using workshop services as an on-call staff for special projects. This business support is often critical for small business and large corporations wanting to take on special projects without needing to add permanent staff or purchase special equipment.

“It’s fun to grow with our customers,” Kimbal concluded. “We get to work with all kinds of businesses and people. And it helps them because they can come to use as an extension of their business without adding to their staff.”

For information on VSI employment opportunities, go here.

Nationally accredited and state certified, VSI has been providing employment and other services for people with disabilities for over 50 years – and serving the business community with on-demand, flexible services and programs.

VSI services include a proven array of programs for people with disabilities and outstanding services for businesses. Read More.

VSI's Community Integrated Employment (CIE) helps people find work in the community with participating businesses. Read More.

Parents, guardians, people with disabilities and other community members interested in VSI programs are invited to schedule a tour of our facilities. Read More.

Learn how you can help enhance our services for people with disabilities. Even a small gift can change a life. Read More.

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Vocational Services, Inc. is recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The Arizona-based organization is considered the nation's leading accreditation agency for rehabilitation services. VSI has earned CARF's highest rating, a three-year accreditation.