Together We Can Breakout Session: Self-Employment or Corporate Employment: Which is Best for You?

March 30, 2023

postsecondary transition breakout session:

Finding a job is a challenge for many people with disabilities. Some families choose to go into business together. Others seek out employers who believe in inclusive work practices. Participants at this session will learn about both options from people who have lived it, understand how to get started networking, and connect with other Iowa families going through the same thing.


Zachary Bogaczyk, Self-Advocate

Zachary graduated in May 2022 earning his high school diploma after completing the Senior Plus program at Waukee High School. He always had a strong desire and motivation to work after completing high school and enjoyed a wide array of intersnhips while honing his employment skills. Even though Zacahary lives with Prader-Willi Syndrome.Mary Jankowski, MA, LMHC, LMSW, Business Owner & Parent

Mary Jankowski, MA, LMHC, LMSW, Business Owner & Parent

Mary Jankowski has been a licensed mental health counselor for 37 years and in July of 2020 opened Iowa’s first cat café. Mary has a daughter who has disabilities and one of the goals of the business was to employ individuals with disabilities who might not otherwise have a chance to be a part of the work force. Coffee Cats currently has 4 employees/volunteers who have physical or other disabilities. Mary has lived in West Des Moines for 32 years and was a member of the ASK board of directors for 9 years. She lives with her husband, Dean Brooks. Her daughter, Emily Schwarz, lives a few blocks away in a group home managed by Mainstream Living.


Kay Marcel, Parent Advocate

Kay has two sons. Her younger son, Joel, is the impetus for her advocacy for disability service systems to deliver individualized, person-centered supports that provide opportunities for people like her son to exercise self-determination, be independent, productive, and integrated and included in all aspects of community life. She has served on the Iowa Olmstead Consumer Task Force and is currently a member of the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Community-Based Services Redesign Steering Committee. Kay moved to Urbandale with her husband and Joel in 2014 to be closer to their older son/brother and his family. Kay enjoys biking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Joel Marcel, Self-Advocate

Joel was born in south Louisiana and lived there until he moved to Urbandale with his family in 2014. Joel has been employed throughout his adult life and obtained his dream job in 2021 when he was hired to work at Coffee Cats in West Des Moines Valley Junction. Joel enjoyes listening to country music, watching movies and being with his family and friends. he enjoys participating in the Best Buddies Citizen Program at Sammons Financial; attending exercise classes at Can Play; and attending weekly cooking classes at GiGi's Playhouse. He loves animals and especially his cat Smokey, and the cats at Coffee Cats.


Bill Stumpf, LPN & Parent Advocate

Bill Stumpf lives in Dubuque Iowa with his son Kyle. He is a graduate of Northeast Iowa Community College. Bill retired in 2021 after 15 years as a licensed practical nurse at an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities in Dubuque. Prior to pursuing nursing, Bill was employed in a paper manufacturing facility for 30 years. He has two adult daughters and one adult son. He also has two granddaughters and five grandsons. He became active in disability advocacy shortly after his son Kyle, who has Down syndrome was born in 1990. He has been active with numerous local, state, and national organizations over the years. including Family Voices, the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council and. He currently serves as board secretary for Disability Rights Iowa, the Association for People Supporting Employment First (APSE), the Iowa Guardianship Conservatorship Association, and the Iowa Coalition for Integration and Employment. Bill is also a member of the Dubuque County Disabilities Council. Along with Kyle, Bill advocates for voting rights, access to voting for people with disabilities, Guardianship/Conservatorship in Iowa, healthcare reform, and competitive integrated employment. In 2019 Bill was the recipient of the Iowa Association of People Supporting Employment First ( APSE ). Advocacy award and in 2020 was the recipient of National APSE’s Public Policy Award for his grassroots efforts supporting the employment first movement.

Kyle Stumpf, Self-Advocate

Kyle Stumpf is 33 years old and lives in Dubuque Iowa. He graduated from Dubuque Hempstead High School in 2009. After graduation he was employed in a sheltered work environment in a segregated setting at sub minimum wage. He worked in that setting for approximately four years. In 2014 he was hired at Papa Johns Pizza in Dubuque. He has been employed there for eight years. He loves his job! He is making above minimum wage and has been saving money in his ABLE account for future independence and financial security. Kyle has two sisters and seven nieces and nephews who he sees on a regular basis. He is also a very active participant in the community. Kyle is also a member of the Dubuque County Disabilities Council. He also has been a member of the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). On weekdays while not working, Kyle attends a Day Habilitation Program at Hills and Dales in Dubuque. This program allows him to volunteer at many local organizations including the Public Library. Kyle enjoys live music, dancing, and swimming. Kyle loves to travel. He volunteers his time and participates in many events and recreational activities throughout the Community. In 2008 Kyle received the Hills and Dales Community Services Honor Award. He became active in Dubuques Miracle League in 2021 and in 2022 was selected to represent the local league at the Miracle League National All Star Series in Murfreesboro Tennessee. During the lead up to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses he attended many presidential candidate events with his Dad telling his story and encouraging them to support disability rights especially competitive integrated employment. In October 2019 he participated in a legislative briefing in Washington D.C. to tell his story and advocate to end the practice of paying sub minimum wage for people with disabilities.


Curt Sills, Assistant Vice President of Convenience Stores at HyVee Inc.

Curt grew up Corning Iowa and graduated high school in 1990.He attended Southwestern Community College and holds a Bachelor degree in marketing from Iowa State University.Curt has worked for HyVee for 34 years holding practically every position at the store.In 2013, he moved into management of HyVee’s emerging fuel station market beginning with a store in Waukee.Ten years down the road, Curt has held various positions at the corporate office, and declares he has truly found his home in the leadership of convenience stores.Curt lives in Johnston and has one daughter who is a Freshman at Iowa State University and is his pride and joy.


This breakout session is sponsored in part by Coffee Cats of West Des Moines & Hy-Vee Fast and Fresh.