Making it Work – The Old East Village Grocer

Making It Work by Paul Seale

Making It Work StoryThough every career must end, a job well done may leave a legacy that benefits people for years to come. Take the case of Vicki Mayer, now retired as executive director of ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities.

Having dedicated years to the agency, Vicki made sure that her work would keep changing lives and making an impact on the community. Her vision became the Old East Village Grocer, a social enterprise that serves as a live classroom where individuals gain the skills they need to be included in the workforce.

The Old East Village Grocer was founded on Vicki’s core values. “I believe in diversity, inclusion, and love for people, and I expect others to respect differences,” Vicki says. You can find these values reflected in the store every day, both in the way staff welcome the members of a diverse community and in the way they tailor job-training to the needs of each individual client. As her ATN colleague Jill Tozzo says, “Our clients – sometimes for the first time –always feel seen and heard here.”

Although Vicki will miss her work, she’s not worried about leaving. She says she believes in the “dedicated board of directors and amazing staff” she recruited and trained. For Vicki, “The store will be a success when it becomes the destination for the community and when every client is able to find employment.” Her plan for the future is to spend more time with her family, read for pleasure, and take her dogs for long walks. And, of course, to shop at the Old East Village Grocer. We know that when she does – when anyone does – they will find a testament to the values and extraordinary career of Vicki Mayer.