To support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with love and understanding, embracing and honoring their differences and assisting them to be active, contributing citizens so that others may benefit from their gifts and abilities.
Our Core Values
Innovation and Quality
In the fall of 2002, Donald and Leanne Negley began to develop and shape what would become the foundation of what we know today as Rural Living Environments. They decided to focus on the needs of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities by providing innovative residential services. They signed a lease for the first residential site in January 2003 and received their first Adult Foster Care License the following July.
Today, Rural Living Environments, Inc., serves people in many different areas of support: Supported Living Services (group homes), In-home Family Support, Independent Living Skills, Supported Employment Services, Special Transportation Services and, in late 2016, they added Crisis/Respite Services.
Serving people from around the State of Minnesota:
- 21 clients in six AFC sites
- 6 independent living clients in leasing/renting five Babbitt area properties
- Supporting 9 people working with various community employers
- Revenue of more than $2,200,000.00 and a staff of more than 70
We would like to take a moment to recognize our Direct Support Professionals who every day provide the care to the individuals we support. Without their dedication and continuing efforts, there would be no company. They are the reason we continue to grow and have the high degree of respect within our industry.
Would you like to join our team? Click here to apply for employment with Rural Living Environments and its subsidiaries.
Heidi Hansen started her career in human services more than 20 years ago working as DSP for both Minnesota State Operated Community Services (MSCOS) before joining RLE. Later she joined the team at Range Area Vocational Supports (the MSCOS day training and habilitation program in Virginia). During that time, she earned a degree in Indian studies from Vermilion Community College and later graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Psychology. Recently, Ms. Hansen held the position as Chemical Dependency Counselor for Arrowhead Treatment Center.
Corey Musel joined the RLE team in 2009 as a DSP, has served as the Designated Coordinator at the Birch Home, and as the Designed Manager, providing oversight and management over several AFC sites (Aspen Home, Fir Home, and six of the ILS sites) and has been involved in maintenance of all RLE properties. Mr. Musel continues to work towards his Bachelor’s Degree in his spare time.
Prior to joining the RLE team, Mr. Musel worked for both electrical and plumbing contractors as well as the yard manager at the local lumber yard. Today, Mr. Musel serves as DM over the Fir Home and is in charge of all company property assets and vehicles as the Property Manager.
Crisis / Respite
Aaron Kaercher has been with RLE since 2016 and served first as a DSP, then moved into the position of DM for the new Crisis/Respite program, providing oversight for the residential site and working to develop an outreach program. He brings valuable experience from his days as Area Supervisor for Mental Health, Mental Health Practitioner, and Day Training Specialist, serving for more than 10 years with Gerard of Minnesota. In addition, he worked as contract Mental Health Practitioner for more than four years with adolescents in the area of Day Training for Freeborn County before moving to the Northland.
Mr. Kaercher is a very talented musician and very much enjoys his music. So do we! It is just one of the many gifts that he can bring when serving our clients.
Michael Maxson joined the RLE team in 2007 as a DSP and has served in various human service capacities inside and outside the RLE company, through some of the company’s largest expansions, understanding real growing pains. He brings with him over 15 years experience in human services, including eight years with Minnesota State-Operated Community Services. Michael’s passion for the individuals he serves earned him the 2012 NADSP/DSPAM Direct Support Professional of the Year.
Currently, he serves as DM, providing oversight and management on AFC site, the Birch home, and heading up the company’s Supported Employment Services, where he will help develop relationships with business owners and tools suited to determine our clients’ abilities, desires and skills, areas in which Mr. Maxson has shown much promise with RAVs.
Don Negley has been the CEO / CFO since the company’s inception. He continues to focus on the company’s possible avenues of expansion, streamlining operations through technological tools and overall business efficiencies. He has worked in a wide variety of capacities with different companies and in varying industries, including a number of manufacturing startup companies with a primary career focus of directing sales and marketing of new and developing products. In 2012 Mr. Negley was presented with the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development’s Labo Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for his efforts in business development.
Shelley Sundberg has been with Rural Living Environments since September 2010 and serves as the company’s Financial Administrator. Her expertise is in a wide variety of areas, including accounts payable, billing, cash flow management, and insurance oversight, and many other tasks that keep the company functioning and organized. Shelley has served previously as claims processor Blue Cross / Blue Shield, office administrator for a legal and insurance firm, and customer service rep for a lending institution financial administrator.
Sandy Jaeger has been with the company since the summer of 2016 and serves as one of the company’s Financial Administrators. We were fortunate to attract Sandy back to work after a brief retirement as the Director of Claims and Customer Service processing for Blue Cross / Blue Shield in the Aurora and Virginia offices. Sandy has served in many varied capacities and complements her counterpart (Shelley Sundberg). RLE is very, very fortunate to have these two talented people in the financial department.
Barb Dimich has been with RLE since May 2015. If we had to name a utility person, it would be Barb. She has filled the roles of Financial Administrative Assistant, Transportation Coordinator, Office Manager, Purchasing Agent, and HR Coordinator. She has always done what is asked of her and has been there day in and day out accepting the challenges. Ms. Dimich spent her years prior to RLE as Author and as a 911 operator for the greater metro area of Minnesota.