02/28/2013 02:47 pm ET Updated Apr 30, 2013

Bayaud Staff Member: Passion Meets Purpose

By Amanda Straw, Operations Manager

When I moved to Denver three years ago, I was looking to take on a new career path and start making a difference in my community. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the non-profit sector and Denver offered a plethora of choices. When I stumbled across a posting for a production assistant with Bayaud Enterprises, I was intrigued. After finding out more about Bayaud and the services they provide, I was hooked. Once I made it through the interview process and was hired on for my experience in production and background in vocational rehabilitation, I was ready to hit the ground running. What I didn't expect was the support, challenges, excitement, grace and decency I found within the family that is Bayaud Enterprises.
Every day I work in our scanning production environment and have recently taken on new responsibilities in making the program successful. Although I manage the day-to-day operations and sales of the department, rehab is my passion! Watching someone who has a belief that they are useless complete a project is very satisfying. I get the opportunity to work with folks from all walks of life and numerous barriers to employment. Each day I learn something new about myself, and I am challenged to use my imagination and creativity to help others succeed.

Bayaud Enterprises strives to put people back in the workplace and provide support for those with special needs. I have referred many of my consumers to Bayaud's General Officr Skills Training program for computer training which has given them new knowledge and confidence in their clerical abilities. Many people find relief in working with our Resource Navigators. They provide access to and information on a multitude of services that help people navigate through their daily lives. Some folks need transportation access while others are looking for child care services. Sometimes the biggest barrier to employment is getting the other aspects of life in order to make time and energy for work.

Bayaud Enterprises has a rich history in the Denver community and part of my job is to expose our programs and services to those in the private and corporate world through our scanning sales. I love when I'm talking to a customer and they light up when they hear we are a non-profit organization. I am running across customer after customer who praise the work we do and express their desire to work with us and spread the word about or mission and services.
The part that makes working for Bayaud so enjoyable is by far the people. Our senior managers group has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the rehab world and I am inspired to see all that talent working together in one place. I am able to bounce ideas off of anyone in the organization and receive feedback on my ideas. It is not very often that you can walk into your executive director's office just to say hi and are greeted with a smile and genuine interest in your life. I feel supported by those around me and am excited to see how Bayaud moves and grows as we move into another year.

You can support Amanda and Bayaud Enterprises by making a contribution at