Reiman retires after 35 years of advocacy

Longtime DAC Board member Paul Reiman is presented with a retirement cake by Mary Kiel with his son, Rick, and wife, Jean, nearby. After more than 30 years, Reiman has decided to step down from the board.

Longtime DAC Board member Paul Reiman is presented with a retirement cake by Mary Kiel with his son, Rick, and wife, Jean, nearby. After more than 30 years, Reiman has decided to step down from the board.

As a former baker and business owner of Paul’s Bakery, a real estate savvy entrepreneur who owns the Mobile Manor, a husband and a father, Paul Reiman has worn many hats. This past week he decided it was time to take off one of those hats that Reiman has donned for so long he had a hard time remembering just when he put it on.

It took a little investigating and a bit of math, but between fellow longtime members of the Mille Lacs County Developmental Achievement Center Board and the combined memories of former Director Fred Hoffman and friends, it was determined that Reiman served staff and clients for nearly 35 years before deciding it was time to retire.

Fellow board members and DAC clients and staff gathered last week to wish Reiman well and thank him for his decades of advocacy, support and service.

Reiman said his efforts on the board were inspired by his own experience with the developmentally disabled.

“We have a son who has Down syndrome,” Reiman said. “I would have been interested in it (the board)anyway, but that made me specially interested.”

Reiman’s son Rick, along with his mother and Reiman’s wife, Jean, were right beside him during his retirement party.

“The DAC has given him an opportunity to work and it gives him time away from his apartment to feel like he’s party of society,” Reiman said.
Mary Fehring, who has served on the DAC board nearly, but not quite as, long as Reiman, said his legacy of advocacy for the disabled will continue long after he’s stepped down.

“We always felt secure because he knew the board business so well,” Fehring said. “He was the gentle, strong man of the board who knew what he was doing.”

Sitting under a banner that proclaimed March 28 as “Paul Reiman Day,” surrounded by friends, DAC board members and staff, the modest Reiman exclaimed, “I’ve never had this much attention before.” But the camaraderie and smiling faces were something he’d come to expect from the organization.

“It’s just like home here — always welcome,” he said.  “It’s hard to give it up. It’s been such a part of my life.”

For the full story, see the Thursday, April 4 print edition of the Times.

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