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CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Setting the Bar High

By Tim Brown

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Mingdee Hou is a porter at The Florida Bar, an organization recognized by the state as a 2020 Exceptional Employer Award winner. Hou's duties include cleaning and sanitizing the building, which have become critical during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hou says he particularly enjoys changing batteries in hand sanitizers and paper towel dispensers. “I like getting out of the house every day and earning a paycheck.”

Hou is only 22 but believes he has already landed his dream job. He is determined to live independently and is saving money to move out on his own one day. He has also learned to ride the city bus and is now working toward getting his driver's license. He has willingly and enthusiastically taken on changes in job duties and is eager to please his supervisor and coworkers.

“I’ve known Mingdee for years and I have never seen him as happy or as self-assured as he is now. He is proud of the work that he does, and he loves the folks that he works with. I have truly never met a more hardworking or determined young man,” Job Coach Abby Hallett said.

Hou's supervisor Rhett Frisbie says he appreciates Mingdee’s work ethic and diligence in performing his job responsibilities. “He has been an important part of the Facilities Management Team by assisting in cleaning and sanitizing The Florida Bar’s office environment during the day, thereby helping protect staff by reducing the chance of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Mingdee is such a pleasure to have that his coworkers hope he will be a part of their team for many years to come.”

His coworkers also admire the smile on his face from the moment he clocks in until the moment he clocks out. Hou says he has gained confidence and has been welcomed with open arms. “I love it here. They treat me like family and take care of you.”

In his spare time, Hou enjoys video games and has even built a gaming computer with one of his coworkers.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).