5 questions with…Brandy Gerdes-Schutz

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Nov 15
Coley Bergren, Social Media Specialist
Dungarvin National Central Office


For the past three years, Compass Career Solutions, a Dungarvin Company, has been led by Senior Director Brandy Gerdes-Schutz. After trying a few different career paths, Brandy says she almost “stumbled into this industry beginning as a job coach.” She has since spent the last 21 years building her expertise in this industry. Read more about how her love of helping others took her places more than she ever imagined in ‘5 Questions with…Brandy Gerdes-Schutz:’


1. Why do you have a passion for this work – how so?

I got a BS in math and thought I wanted to be a math teacher until I tried it out and discovered that was not the job for me! After exploring different jobs, I stumbled into this industry beginning as a job coach 21 years ago. I have always loved helping people and as soon as I started doing this work, I knew it was something that I always wanted to do. Helping people overcome barriers to achieving employment or housing can seem so trivial to an outsider, but seeing and experiencing the life-changing difference it can make for an individual is incredible, and worth all the hard work. As I have developed my career in this field, I’ve discovered the passion for mentoring and developing leaders in this field. It takes heart and perseverance and tenacity to do the work our employees do every day, and it takes the same heart, perseverance, and tenacity to manage the work as well. Finding the balance between motivating employees to provide excellent service and running a successful program can be challenging and I love that I get to support leaders in doing this each day. Collectively we help individuals achieve their goals and I personally have the privilege to help develop leaders in this field to achieve their own goals.

2. What would you most like to see happen in your state to better serve people with disabilities?

I would like more businesses in Washington to see the incredible value that workers with disabilities bring to the workforce.

3. Who are your heroes in life and why?

My mom. My mom has been through so much more in her life than one person should ever experience. She turned trauma into resilience and suffering into learning in a way that amazes me. She is my hero and my example. I’ve learned from her to gracefully face life head-on. Through practicing grace and tenacity, we become better versions of ourselves. Through humility and resilience, we can achieve more than we could have imagined. I’ve learned from her that grace and strength live in imperfection and that it might not be comfortable at times, but it is always worth the effort.

4. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming who I am now. :) It took me time and exploration to figure out what I wanted to do in a career and what would be the best path for me as an adult. I have a career I love, working in a field with passionate people doing great things for people; I have a wonderful family; and in the last few years my husband and I moved to a place where we can do some minor farming – we have goats and chickens and a huge garden. I’ve learned to garden, can food, and take care of farm animals. My husband and I enjoy working on our property and taking care of our little farm. I love the life I’m living, and I’ve worked hard to get here!

5. What do you most value about the Dungarvin/Compass team with whom you work?

Their love for their work and dedication to the success of the people we serve. Our Compass employees work tirelessly to make sure that we are doing everything we can to support people in employment and housing. I’m very lucky to be a part of this passionate and dedicated group of people!






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