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CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Clean Team Champ

By Kimberly Tharpe

SEBRING, FL – Mark Rieke does an exceptional job as a Maintenance Associate at the local Walmart in Sebring. Rieke’s primary responsibility as part of Walmart’s “Clean Team” is to ensure that the aisles are free of debris and safe for all store customers. Rieke also assists with restocking supplies in the restrooms and storing the cleaning supplies in their proper places.

The Arc-Ridge Area Director of Employment Services Mike Martino, who also serves as Rieke’s job coach, says, “Mark has a strong work ethic. During his seven years of employment at Walmart he has demonstrated that he not only can complete his duties each day, but he takes every safety precaution to make sure the customers have a safe place to do their shopping.” Mark enjoys communicating with customers and assisting them in locating an item in the store while doing his job. He likes to be around people and his co-workers enjoy his good-natured attitude and company during his breaks in the lunchroom. “Mark is well liked by his coworkers and respected by his supervisor for his hard work and dedication to Walmart and the customers he serves,” says Martino. Rieke has many positive attributes that make him a valued employee. On top of really caring about Walmart customers, he has excellent time management skills and is very thorough in his assigned duties. He is the kind of employee any company would be lucky to have on staff.

Rieke, who has a traumatic brain injury and a developmental disability, receives services from Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).

Rieke loves his job at Walmart and is looking forward to adding more responsibilities to his current duties. Rieke says, “I am proud to have the employment opportunity at Walmart and feel like a valued co-worker and employee. I see another five years or so with Walmart and who knows what adventure will come after that.”

On a personal note, Rieke’s parents are very proud of him and his accomplishments. They support his employment and they help with the logistics of his job. They offer a great deal of assistance with his work schedule and they provide his transportation to and from work. His dad, Wally Rieke, says, “Everywhere we go someone knows my son and greets him by name.” Mark loves to chat with his customers and enjoys being friendly to all.

When not at work Rieke likes sports. He likes watching TV sports but loves to be active. He is into weightlifting, biking, and exercising at the YMCA. Rieke, who lives alone, loves to mow his lawn. His mom is teaching him a little about gardening, and he is excited to talk about his success growing pineapples. Rieke also attends church with his parents and really loves a family vacation.

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).