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October 29, 2020

CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Reunited in the Kitchen

By Kimberly Tharpe

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Nicholas Segafredo has a passion for learning to cook. Segafredo’s culinary journey began more than seven years ago when he was offered a job as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. He liked the job and wanted to learn more about cooking. Luckily, the restaurant’s Manager, Mark Clutter, saw a lot of potential and began to train Segafredo on how to prepare different menu items. Segafredo learned quickly under Clutter’s kind and   patient management style and loved training on all the kitchen equipment. Segafredo worked hard, listened, and took his job seriously. The restaurant closed and that job ended. Segafredo went on to another job in maintenance work. “Nick did a great job, but it wasn’t his passion. His dream was to become a restaurant cook and Nick never stopped mentioning his time at the restaurant,” says his job coach, Jeff Weikert.

Fast forward seven years and it turns out that Segafredo’s former boss, Mark Clutter, has been looking for the opportunity to work with him again. When Clutter bought his own restaurant, Beach Castle Burgers in Fort Walton Beach, he went looking to rehire Segafredo. Due to COVID restaurant restrictions, this took some time, but Segafredo is now back with Clutter and is busy learning more about the burger business. Clutter says “I love Nick. I would hire five of him. He is reliable, always in a good mood, and he is easy to teach.” About his job, Segafredo says “I love my job and I am happy to be working in the restaurant business again with my boss, Mark. My co-workers are nice and funny too.”

Segafredo, who has a disability, receives services from Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). October is Disability Employment Awareness Month and APD is highlighting working Floridians with disabilities during the month.

When Segafredo is not working, he is a husband to his high school sweetheart, and they are very busy raising their two children. “They get a little help from Segafredo’s parents and grandparents, but they do a great job in the parenting department,” says Weikert.

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).