Dan Tarrence, Franklin Energy EVP, Joins the Mind Shift Board of Directors

Mind Shift is pleased to announce the addition of Dan Tarrence, Executive Vice President of Franklin Energy, to its board of directors.

Dan’s skill, knowledge and talent as an executive and business person, along with his passion for finding viable solutions for the growing social concern of adults with autism spectrum disorder, make him the perfect person to represent and spear head Mind Shift’s introduction into the Greater Milwaukee region.

As Executive Vice President of Franklin Energy, Dan manages the end-to-end implementation of services for clients across the country and has been a leader in Energy Efficiency since 1990. He was recently awarded The Association of Energy Service Professionals’  2017 “Industry Leader Award”.

“I am excited to be part of bringing Mind Shift operations to Southeastern Wisconsin. By tapping into Mind Shift’s proven model and existing infrastructure, our region will benefit from a quick start-up and ability to deliver a detail oriented, focused, and loyal workforce to area businesses this year.  Mind Shift will be a great asset in our region for creating jobs for those talented people on the autism spectrum and helping companies be more productive,” said Tarrence in response to his election to the Mind Shift Board of Directors.

Tim Hanson, Board Chair and Founder of Mind Shift, commented,  “Since 2010, we've had dozens of requests to expand Mind Shift into other cities.  When we consider expanding, we look for partners who have solid business experience, a heart for supporting people on the autism spectrum, and access to customers.  Dan checks all the boxes.  He's a seasoned, successful business owner.  He knows how to grow and operate a business.  His son is on the autism spectrum.  He lives in Milwaukee, a city needing skilled, dedicated, loyal workers (like Mind Shift employees).  Dan is a great fit for Mind Shift, and a strong addition to our board”.

Mind Shift is a non-profit company that is dedicated to helping businesses leverage the strengths of people on the autism spectrum in detail-oriented work. With operations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and the Fargo area, Mind Shift is now targeting the summer of 2017 to begin operations in the Milwaukee area.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Cortnee Jensen at 541-817-9023 or cortnee.jensen@mindshift.works.

Mind Shift Announces Partnership with Anthem


Anthem has joined the ranks of companies that have brought on workers with autism to do precise, repetitive jobs.

The mega-insurer is in the process of centralizing its data quality and cleansing functions, and needed workers its Minnetonka, Minnesota, office. Patrick McIntyre, senior vice president of healthcare analytics, contacted Mind Shift, a Minneapolis organization that trains adults on the autism spectrum for specialized work that others might not enjoy. Read full story here.

Dog IDs Partners With Mind Shift

dogIDs is company focused on creating better products for the dogs they adore using innovative, cutting edge technology. But their innovative spirit isn't reserved for just their products. When their wildly successful product line created a need to grow their staff in a market with a significant labor shortage, dogIDS was able to think beyond the traditional labor pool and chose to capitalize on a frequently untapped resource. They have added a skilled individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to their team through a strategic partnership with Mind Shift.

"Our partnership with Mind Shift has resulted in our pack being stronger, our output being greater, and our days being more fun," says James Whirlwind Soldier, dogIDs Director of Business Operations. "Ian is a great edition to our team! We are thankful that this opportunity exists, and look forward to continuing the relationship."

"We are thrilled to have DogID's as a business partner," says Executive Director, Tony Thomann. "They are a company focused on giving their employees the most inclusive environment possible. That makes for a great fit for our Specialist, Ian, and a great partnership to give people on the autism spectrum ways to join a great team. Also, they love dogs! And we do, too!"

dogIDs was founded in Fargo in 2005 by Clint and Lori Howitz in the basement of their home with the purpose of improving the lives of dogs. They do this by manufacturing and supplying the most unique personalized products for dogs on the market. They are driven to do this because they are passionate about dogs and believe that they deserve nothing but the best.

Read the rest of the Mind Shift news letter here!

In the Media

Schoenberg's Generous Donation

Schoenberg Family Invests $50,000 in Specialisterne

"Lorance (Larry) and Nellie Schoenberg served for decades in ministry and have a heart for ensuring that all people have the opportunity to utilize their gifts and talents. They spent many years working and raising their family in North Dakota. Although they now reside in Washington, they still feel a strong sense of community within our area.

Recently, during an FM Area Foundation meeting, I had the honor of meeting the Schoenberg family and sharing with them the work of Specialisterne. Larry and Nellie shared with us the story of their son, now an adult, who is on the autism spectrum. They spoke of his talents and their many attempts to have those abilities recognized by society.

According to Larry, "God intended us to enjoy life, not just endure it. For autistic people, there is often so little enjoyment. It is so important to bring joy to them and part of that is providing them with meaningful work. Specialisterne does just that, provide meaningful employment."

Specialisterne's commitment to changing the world of work and providing meaningful employment to those on the autism spectrum prompted the Schoenberg family to donate $50,000 to help see that vision come to fruition. Their contribution, combined with that of others in our community and the support of the Anne Carlsen Center, has enabled us to move toward our goal of fiscal self-sufficiency.

To the Schoenberg family and to all who have supported our work, thank you."
-Cortnee Jensen, Director of Community Relations and Development

Eide Bailly Partnership

Eide Bailly Capitalizes on Specialized Talent

Eide Bailly is a Top 25 CPA and business advisory firm in the nation with 27 offices in 12 states. Reaching that level of excellence requires innovation, vision and the ability to recruit and retain top-tier talent. Facing both a booming economy and a labor shortage in Fargo, N.D., Eide Bailly once again led the industry by capitalizing on a frequently untapped resource: They added skilled individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to their team through a strategic partnership with Specialisterne.“We are in the business of talent; our talent is why our clients continue to turn to us to address their business challenges,” says Scott Kost, Eide Bailly Principal & Director of Technology Consulting. "Partnership with Specialisterne has provided a creative solution to build upon that talent by enabling individuals with autism to showcase their unique skills and make a positive impact on both our team and the success of our clients’ business.”

According to Specialisterne's Executive Director, Tony Thomann, "having a partnership with Eide Bailly is a tremendous honor. Their reputation as an exceptional employer and ethical business is well-known. Their desire to find a place for people with ASD in their workforce shows their commitment to doing good business and to doing good."

Eide Bailly offers a wide variety of strategic services and solutions to enable businesses to grow and succeed. The Technology Consulting practice is driven to help clients find a better way and realize the extraordinary potential in the marketplace today. Their knowledge, passion, and experience transforms the way organizations are doing business, through collaboration with their clients and the leveraging of technology to drive business forward.


In Great Spirits

October 13th        


Studio 222

222 North Broadway, Fargo

"Between Prohibition and the mafia, a Speakeasy is a dangerous and thrilling place to be in the 1920's. If you ain't on the list, fuhgeddabout it. We got the good stuff; whiskey, wine, gin and jazz. Willing to take the risk, grab a ticket and get on the list!

Tickets: $50 in advance, $60 at the door
Tickets are available at:

Proceeds support the work of Specialisterne Midwest.