Dave M.

Dave has been with our agency for over two decades and continues to rise to new challenges.

Dave, like so many of our success stories, started out in the dish rooms. Since the mid-1980s, Challenge’s Contract Staffing program has been creating long-term, community-based job opportunities by meeting the dining and dishwashing needs of three of the area’s largest employers: Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Wegmans. Each year, Challenge’s crews deliver thousands of shifts and wash nearly ten million dishes.

For many years, Dave was a dedicated member of this busy enterprise, rotating around all five campus facilities according to their variable staffing needs.

Recently, Dave decided he was ready for a change of scene and pursued a more guest-facing position at the Longview retirement community.

Says Ryan Notarpole, Dave’s Employment Specialist, “I might have coached Dave really intensively for the first week, but then he just ran with it. He’s done a bang-up job. He’s made a lot of friends here, he’s counted on, and he is a real advocate for other Challenge participants. I really enjoy working with Dave.”

When asked what he likes about his new position at Longview, Dave replies, “It’s the residents. I like interacting with them. They’ll always stop and ask how I’m doing. I even helped one lady put ornaments on her tree last Christmas!”

In addition to flourishing in his new role, Dave is experiencing the great joys and tribulations of new homeownership: he and his girlfriend bought a house in the hamlet of Beaver Dams and have been working to fix it up.

Outside of work and household responsibilities, Dave is a die-hard fan of the Ithaca College Bombers, often seen sporting his well-worn blue and gold cap and jersey in the stands of just about any home game. “Hockey, volleyball, basketball—anything I can understand, I watch!”