It’s not unusual for Minnesota’s corporate leaders to get recognition for their volunteer work. But Joe Reis, CEO of Coldwell Banker Burnet, received an unusual award recently — for 23 years of escorting developmentally disabled to and from his Medina church. And more.
Roughly every other Sunday, Reis and his wife, Kathy, drive to Minnetonka to pick up Mickey and Mark, and then to Plymouth to get Sarah. They’re the current folks who need a lift.
They then head to Holy Name Church, attend mass, and stay for coffee and conversation.
But Reis’ volunteerism doesn’t end when he drops his riders off at home. He and his wife attend parties and other events at his church for people with developmental disabilities, as well as functions by Hammer Residences, the Wayzata-based nonprofit that provides housing for them.
Several years ago, Reis also began serving on Hammer’s board of directors.
“It’s a fabulous organization that helps people with developmental disabilities experience life to the fullest,’’ said Reis.
Volunteering for 20 years has introduced him to new people and new experiences that he might never have had in the corporate world, he said.
“It has made my life, and my families’ life, more rewarding and fulfilling,’ said Reis.
Last month, Reis and his wife received the Hammer Community Partner Award in recognition of the years of service that blended with the growth of their family.
Reis said that for his three daughters, going to Christmas parties, barbecues and charity 5Ks with resdients of the Hammer homes was part of growing up. It demystified development disabilities for them, he said.
Two now live outstate, but youngest daughter Gina now does video work for the nonprofit, which houses 200-some disabled people in the west metro.
Reis received the award at the annual fundraiser last week of Hammer Residences, which marked its 90th anniversary. Said Reis: “This award is a nice acknowledgment. But it’s really about the good work of Hammer.’’
Jean Hopfensperger 612 673-4511