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About Exceptional Opportunities, Inc.
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Exceptional Opportunities' Mission is to care for all people through:

Commitment- We will remember our primary focus is the individuals we serve.
We will be advocates for individuals with disabilities as without them we would have no purpose.

Acceptance- We will display unconditional acceptance to all individuals we serve and work with realizing that each has unique gifts, talents, and challenges.

Respect- We will respect the privacy, dignity and individualism of everyone we serve and work with. We strive to enrich the lives of both those we serve and employ.

Excellence- In everything we do, we must do it with the utmost care and commitment to excellence.  The safety and rights of the individuals we serve is always our foremost concern. 

Exceptional Opportunities, Inc.’s services are built upon a basic philosophy which maximizes human potential, individuality, growth, self realization and independence. Considering each individual’s unique abilities and changing needs, we hold that a human life is most satisfactory when the person enjoys a sense of self-identity and self-esteem, can sustain family ties and friendships, is challenged, is creative, is growing through learning and new experiences, learning to solve problems commensurate with his or her talents, enjoy life as much as possible, and is being prepared to lead a meaningful life in the community.
Board of Directors FY 2023
Following is a list of each Director and their term

Lynn Jenson, President

Judy Junkermeier, Vice President

Judy Haag, Secretary

Dennis Homes, Immediate 
Past President

Bob Christian, Second
Past President

W. A. Renger

Brien Rindone

Rebecca Lewis

Judy Weber

2022 - 2027

2019 - 2024

2020 - 2025

2019 - 2024

2019 - 2024

2018 - 2023

2019 - 2024

2021 - 2026

2021 - 2026

Administrative Staff Roster 2023

Erin Schmidt, Executive Director

Kim Theesfeld, Financial Director

Wendy Harms, Director of Supported Community Living

Joe Taylor, Director of Supported Community Living

Lisa Bartolo, Director of Employee Development and 
Quality Improvement

Kristal Theesfeld, Director of Community Living and Employment

Dennis Schuttler, Maintenance Supervisor

An accumulation of efforts on the part of many concerned parents who were a part of the Kossuth County Association for Retarded Citizens, and dedicated volunteers between 1967-1970, resulted in the incorporation of Exceptional Opportunities on May 13, 1970, as a private, not-for-profit (501c3) organization to serve children and adults with intellectually disabilities. These pioneers in services for children and adults with disabilities worked tirelessly for their loved ones to have educational, work and educational services. Starting as a pre-school for children with disabilities, Exceptional Opportunities, Inc. has continued to grow in Burt, Iowa, the small town with a big heart.  

Today, nearly 100 individuals with intellectually disabilities are served with respect and excellence. A team of nearly 175 employees provide the services and supports needed with acceptance for each individual’s abilities, and commitment to help each person reach their dreams.  

The current management and employee team continue with a similar strong resolve of the founders of Exceptional Opportunities, in the pursuit of helping people with disabilities live life to the fullest.

Services provided today include three homes licensed by the Department of Inspections and Appeals as Intermediate Care Facilities for Intellectually Disabilities (ICF/ID).  
Exceptional Opportunities, Inc.  Historic Time Table

1967    Talks began on some type of services for children with disabilities
1969    Peter Pan Preschool began with five children
1970    Articles of Incorporation signed - Exceptional Opportunities, Inc. began
1972    Helping Hand Activity Center in Burt began serving adults
1974    Shepherds Cottage (Foster Care Facility opened)21 children
1976    School addition attached to Shepherds Cottage
1981    Exceptional Opportunities Adult Residential built in Burt - 30 teens / adults
1984    New Work Activity Center constructed
1986    Exceptional Treasures opened in Algona
1988    West Side Apartments built / opened in Algona - 8 apts - 15 people
1889    Exceptional Treasures moved to new location
1992    Shepherd Cottage changed license to ICF/MR and downsized to 15 residents 
1992    Residential Home purchased for four women in Algona
2003    Home & Community Based home opened in Algona
2003    EOI Adult Facility downsized to two homes for 12 people each
2003    Home & Community Based home for 4 individuals purchased on Fair St. Algona
2004    Duplex built on Williams Street, Algona homes for 4 men & 4 women
2004    Administrative Offices built in Burt
2005    Home & Community Based home for 4 opened on N. Woodworth
2005    Branch office built in Algona
2007    Addition to Exceptional Industries
             Greenhouse built at Exceptional Industries
             Quality Assurance become focus due to Federal mandates
2008    Exceptional Industries received ninth consecutive 3 year accreditation.
2009    EOI School closed.
2010    EOI Celebrates 40th Anniversary
2010    EOI begins conversion to electronic documentation
2011    EOI South, East and West ICF Homes receive deficiency-free surveys from DIA two  
                     consecutive years
2014    Exceptional Industries receives tenth consecutive 3 year CARF accreditation 
             and second consecutive accreditation without recommendations
2015    EOI transitions four women from ICF/ID to new home on Eastland Drive
2016    Iowa Medicaid transitions to Managed Care, EOI contracts with all organizations
            Closure of Exceptional Industries and push to Community Employment and community-based                   Day Habilitation program "without walls"
             South ICF/ID Home closed and people transitioned to East and West ICF/ID Homes
2017     EOI transitions four men from ICF/ID to new home on Diamond Drive
2019     Reduced the census of East and West ICF/ID Homes
2020     Decision made to discontinue ICF/ID Services and transition to Home and Community Based                   Services in the community
             Remaining 14 people in ICF/ID Services transition to new homes in the community on Eastland               Circle, Richardson Court, and Finn Drive

Click for full history description of Exceptional Opportunities, Inc.

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Director W.A. 'Bucky' Renger and his daughter, Terese

(Supported Community Living