BATH -- Associate of the Year Michelle Schlesing manages Star Enterprises, which employs more than 60 associates who work in the community.
Schlesing, who has worked for the agency for more than 17 years, says that she likes making a difference in lives of the people we support. “They have changed my life. If your heart is not in it, then it’s not the job for you,” Michelle says.
As a grandmother to five, Schlesing says that family is the most important thing but it’s the people we support who motivate her.
“When I first applied at a job fair, I knew I wanted to work (at the Arc of Steuben) for a long time. I’ve never thought about leaving,” Schlesing said.
Star Enterprises, formerly known as Steuben Janitorial Services, offers a variety of services but Schlesing is hoping to expand the businesses. She was nominated for the Associate of the Year Award because she has been steadily increasing business for Star Enterprises.
A large part of Schlesing’s focus is to develop new community relationships to create expansion opportunities, like the enclave where employees bottle wine at a local winery. The enclave has been so successful that she hired extra people to complete an order of 887,000 bottles in an 11 week timeline.
“Changing our name to Star Enterprises will open up more opportunities for us,” she said. “We want to maintain the success we have while finding new opportunities.”
Recently, Schlesing hired Erica Spears as the new manager for the Arc Way Café. Managing the café is a new experience for Schlesing but she’s up for the challenge. Schlesing plans to work with Erica to update the menu to offer new, healthier options.
In everything that she does, Schlesing values open communication and says that it’s important that associates know they can talk to her.
“I’m a people person and I like to focus on their strong points. I don’t dwell on the bad things and my door is always open,” says Schlesing.
Visit www.arcofsteuben.org to learn more about Star Enterprises. You can also visit the Arc of Steuben on Facebook where photos and stories from all departments are posted regularly.
The Arc of Steuben currently provides services to more than 950 people in Steuben and surrounding counties. Services include job-readiness training, community employment, residential, transportation and in-home services. For more information, visit www.arcofsteuben.org.