Bill Schwartz, MRCIâ€™s new Vice President of Metro Programs, will oversee the Chaska, Rosemount and Shakopee locations; Schwartz worked for 25 years in St. Paul at an organization similar to MRCI.
In his new position, Schwartz will super-vise MRCI locations in Chaska, Shakopee, and Rosemount. He is also charged with helping to grow the programs, build business relationships, and increase community awareness about MRCI. Schwartz comes to MRCI after working 25 years for Midway Training Services (MTS) in St. Paul.
Schwartzâ€™s new office is located at MRCI-Rosemount, approximately three miles from his home. Heâ€™s been active in the Rosemount and Apple Valley communities for years, serving on the Dakota County Community Transition Interagency Committee, coaching the Eastview Youth Track Team, and volunteering with the Heart Safe Community Initiative â€“ a program about which Schwartz is passionate. â€œIn May of 2009, I was pulling out of my driveway with my kids, and I went into cardiac arrest â€“ my heart stopped beating and I just slumped over,â€ said Schwartz, who then crashed his car into a neighborâ€™s home. â€œOne of my kids took the phone out of my pocket and dialed 911, the others ran and got a neighbor who is a nurse.â€ The nurse was able to start CPR on Schwartz â€“ saving his life. Now, Schwartz has been fitted for a device that monitors his heartbeat, providing electric shocks when necessary. The Heart Safe Community Initiativeâ€™s goal is to train 1/3 of the residents in Dakota County in hands-only CPR to help save the lives of people who go into cardiac arrest. In recent months, Schwartz has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and on local television stations, telling his story and promoting the initiative.
Last week, Schwartz said his goal was to meet with as many MRCI staff members as possible. He said heâ€™s excited about his new position. â€œWorking in this field has been more than a career for me,â€ said Swartz, who graduated from Hamline University and worked for the State of Minnesota as a behavioral analyst before joining MTS in 1986. â€œIâ€™ve been working with people with disabilities for 40 years â€“ I started out pushing wheelchairs at the State Regional Center in Faribault as a kid. I love helping people succeed.â€