Dick Gloede, Executive Director of Shelby County Community Services (SCCS), was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF). The award was received in Springfield on September 28, 2005. IARF is a trade association for rehabilitation professionals. In IARF’s 30 year history they have presented this award only five times.

Gloede is married to Julie Gloede, a retired school teacher for the Shelbyville school systems. He and Julie have four sons.

Gloede took over the reins as Executive Director of SCCS in June, 1982. For the past 23 years he has dedicated his life to the advancement, provision, and care for people with disabilities. His dedication to the expansion of services has helped make SCCS one of the largest employers in Shelby County with an annual budget of $12 million dollars. Almost 98 percent of that amount is generated from grants, fee-for service and other for-profit SCCS businesses.

Gloede, who is well known for his passion to “fly under the radar” and to always try to defer praise and recognition to his staff, was caught completely off-guard.

“I had no idea any consideration was given to this agency or myself,” said Gloede. “This is given to the staff and volunteers, and all those other people such as Dick Tolly who started this and had the vision, not to me. Those are the people who really deserve the credit.”

Janet S. Stover, the Executive Director of IARF, who presented the award, said Gloede’s nomination is unique in a couple of ways.

“First of all, the nomination for this award is usually generated from their agency, however, Dick’s (Gloede) nomination was generated by his peers,” said Stover. “His peers have recognized Dick’s commitment to his community and his clients.”

Stover went on to say Gloede’s peers recognized his indomitable spirit about getting things done.

“From my perspective there are many obstacles to providing services to clients and Dick never lets that get him down,” continued Stover. “He encourages his staff to be innovative.”

Gloede refers to his staff, which now numbers approximately 150 people, as guardian angels.

“There is a long standing tradition that the staff has established of putting the client above themselves,” continued Gloede. “They always put the client first, and if they don’t they will hear about it.”

Gloede sees his job as supporting the staff with whatever they need to do the job.

“The job of the board and myself is to find out what they need, and get them what they need to get the job done,” continued Gloede.

Judy Donald has served Gloede as his Administrative Assistant for many years and has worked with Gloede since he came to the agency.

“Dick is not an 8 to 5 person but one who doesn’t stop until the job is complete,” said Donald. “In working with Dick I know the struggle it has been through the years to continue to provide quality services to our consumers. It is through Dick’s leadership and commitment that SCCS is what it is today.”

Gloede and his board of directors have been instrumental in working to establish outside businesses that are for profit to help offset the costs of the agency. One great example is the new Kidney Dialysis Center in Shelbyville. Prior to the opening of the Shelbyville facility, anyone who needed kidney dialysis had to travel to Decatur to receive this treatment. Many people thought it was not possible to have a facility in Shelbyville, but not Gloede and other concerned citizens such as Gary Young.

“First thing you know, it (Dialysis Center) became a reality,” said Young. “So, as far as I am concerned I don’t think Shelbyville has a better friend than Dick Gloede. And there are so many things he does, that he will tell you, ‘don’t share this’. That is just one of the things Dick has done for this county.”

Gloede is quick to acknowledge the help and support he has received from local businesses in the community such as International Paper and IHI Turbo America Co.

“We really appreciate their commitment to our agency,” said Gloede.

Shelbyville Mayor Gary Crowder appreciates Gloede’s contributions to the community.

“I think Mr. Gloede is an outstanding individual who always has the community’s interest at heart,” said Crowder. “I think this award is something that has been needed for a long time, and I congratulate him.”

Now what is next for SCCS? Gloede indicated he has several projects in the works. Among those projects are an expansion to the program area, a leisure recreation area, and two or three more service field business activities.

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