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MobilityWorks of Albany Presented with the Ralph Braun Signature Award for Second Straight Year

Our MobilityWorks of Albany Team
Dean Pells (center) and the MobilityWorks of Albany Team with Brian Harper of BraunAbility (left).

MobilityWorks Albany New York Store Among the Highest in Customer Satisfaction in the USA

Each year, the Ralph Braun Signature Award is presented to only a handful of BraunAbiliy dealerships with the highest average customer satisfaction rates in the country — based on independent survey results from the previous year. It is our honor to report that our MobilityWorks of Albany (NY) store was presented with this distinguished award for the SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR – and the HIGHEST scores in the Northeast Region.

Congratulations to General Manager Dean Pells and the rest of our Albany Team, as they continue to provide world class customer service year round!

Go to the Albany store web page to learn more and meet the team.

Mobility Legend Ralph Braun Leaves a Legacy of Helping People to Regain Their Independence

Ralph Braun was a caring and humble individual who always had time for his employees and customers.

Ralph Braun (1940 – 2013)

Most people in the United States don’t know who Ralph Braun is, but for thousands of disabled people and to those who live in the small town of Winamac Indiana, he is a true legend. If you’ve ever been on a bus or shuttle van with a wheelchair lift, chances are that it was made by The Braun Corporation. His vision, wisdom, and the perseverance to overcome the challenges of his own disability, resulted in the availability of wheelchair lifts and accessible minivans worldwide.

As a young man, Ralph decided to build his own electric scooter out of spare parts and whatever tools he could find in his parents garage. He later called it “Frankenstein”. He would drive his scooter on the road from his parent’s house to work every day, rain or shine, where he was quality control manager for an auto parts manufacturer. When others learned about his invention and wanted him to build more scooters, he decided to create Save-a-Step Manufacturing to build the first production-made motorized scooter – all while still working a full-time job.

When the auto parts factory had to be moved farther away, he needed to transport himself and the scooter in order to keep working. With this challenge and his ingenuity, the first Braun wheelchair lift and postal truck van was born in 1966. Four years later, in 1970, he made a lift for traditional full-size vans. With injured soldiers coming home from the Viet-Nam war, his lift business continued to grow and eventually became a full-time passion. In 1972, The Braun Corporation was created.

It wasn’t until 1991 that The Braun Corporation introduced its first wheelchair accessible minivan. The ramp conversion of a Dodge Grand Caravan was the start of today’s popular BraunAbility Entervan – and the lowered floor accessible minivan industry as we know it today.

Thanks to Ralph Braun, the disabled community has more options to ride in a vehicle of their choice. They now have the ability to go where they want to go, when they want to go. Thousands of Braun wheelchair lifts are being used around the world in both commercial vans and personal-use consumer vehicles. Thousands more minivans are being used by individuals with automated and manual fold-out ramps – for wheelchairs and scooters.

The MobilityWorks family has truly lost a friend who will never be forgotten. No one has had such a profound impact on the disabled community’s ability to travel — and the lives of so many families. Ralph surrounded himself with a leadership team at The Braun Corporation that will continue his vision and passion for helping the customer. We are proud to be a partner with the company he started from those very humble beginnings. He leaves with us a legacy of helping countless people to regain their independence. We will miss him greatly.

Note: Ralph Braun’s book “Rise Above” tells his inspirational life story. Available through Amazon.com, sales proceeds help to raise funds for The Ralph Braun Foundation.

Operation PAVE: Providing Vocational and Employment Help for Our Heroes

Paving Access for Veterans Employment (PAVE)

The theme of Operation PAVE is “Changing Lives, Building Futures One Veteran at a Time”. It is a unique public-private partnership with Paralyzed Veterans of America and the private sector to find meaningful employment for wounded veterans.

PAVE provides one-on-one vocational assistance and support to all veterans and their families, as well as assistance to employers committed to hiring veterans. Working with government and business leaders throughout the country, PAVE counselors work with rehabilitation teams to help newly injured veterans get back into society.

Operation PAVE Video

Partners for Life

Professional PAVE counselors engage many of their clients for the first time at the hospital bedside – long before they are thinking about economic self-sufficiency and finding employment. Working from offices in the VA Medical Centers, the counselors become involved with every detail of the veteran’s progression — from the time they return home to long after they have finished rehab and left the hospital. They often use the term “partners for life”. Counselors find the injured veterans jobs, internships, volunteer positions and training opportunities. They also help veterans to understand and apply for all of the benefits they are entitled to through the Veterans Administration.

Those of us at MobilityWorks who serve our veterans with mobility consultations and equipment installation are truly blessed to meet these wonderful individuals who risked their lives for our freedom. Visit our Veterans Assistance page for additional information about adaptive equipment grants and contact information for local VA offices.

For Employers

If you have any information about vocational training, internships or job openings for veterans who may have some physical or mental challenges as a result of their service, please call Operation PAVE at 1-800-424-8200 or write to Joan Haskins at joanh@pva.org. Operation PAVE is funded entirely through private donations and provided free of charge to veterans and employers.

Visit Operation PAVE

MobilityWorks Now Serving Central and Northern California with Nor-Cal Mobility

Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno and Chico added to locations
The addition of Nor-Cal’s four locations brings the total number of MobilityWorks California showrooms to seven. Our Van Nuys and Pasadena locations serve the Los Angeles County, Ventura County and Orange County areas to the south.

It was less than a year ago that we were announcing our expansion into southeastern states with the merger of HDS Vans and MobilityWorks. This past week we made another big announcement with the acquisition of Nor-Cal Mobility in the state of California.

Nor-Cal has four locations, including: Burlingame; Chico; Fresno; and Sacramento. Burlingame is only minutes away from the San Francisco International airport, Chico is in northern California, Fresno is in the central area of the state, and Sacramento is northeast of Oakland. All four will complement our existing Santa Clara showroom and rental center in the south bay area near San Jose.

We are very excited about the prospects of serving clients in these new areas and with welcoming the Nor-Cal Mobility Staff to our expanding family. This growth is evidence of MobilityWorks’ commitment to provide the disabled community with quality products and solutions.

“The success of the company is due to hiring good people that can help our clients with making the right decision” said Bill Koeblitz, MobilityWorks President/CEO.

“In our business, you have to take a special interest in really getting to know people on a very personal level,” added Mr. Koeblitz. “We’re always concerned with matching the vehicle or lift to their personal travel needs.” All of the MobilityWorks locations feature new and used wheelchair vans for sale, representing BraunAbility and VMI minivan conversions. Consumer and commercial van customers can also get NMEDA QAP certified repair and maintenance service with a 24/7 emergency helpline. If any current Nor-Cal Mobility clients have a specific concern or situation they would like to discuss with our executive team, please contact us at ask@mobilityworks.com.

MobilityWorks & Nor-Cal Mobility Showrooms

Chico
1300 Nord Ave.
Chico, CA 95926

Fresno
120 N. Diamond Street,
Fresno, CA 93701

Pasadena
325 N. Altadena Drive
Pasadena CA 91107

Sacramento
3127 Fite Circle, Suite B
Sacramento, CA 95827

San Francisco
890 Cowan Road, Suite B
Burlingame, CA 94010

San Jose
1245 Laurelwood Rd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Van Nuys
7720 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91405-1018

NOTE: Nor-Cal Vans, a sister company that converts full-size vans for commercial use, is not part of the acquisition. The conversion van company will continue to be operated by owner/operator Ken Karasinski.

MobilityWorks of Atlanta Becomes Donation Site for Friends of Disabled Adults and Children

Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) is a non-profit organization providing over $10 million annually in refurbished home medical equipment and supplies to the disabled community. They recently announced a partnership with local beverage distributor Eagle Rock Distributing Company to utilize Eagle Rock’s delivery trucks to pick up and deliver donated items.

Donated equipment is a key part of the FODAC program to help improve the quality of life for thousands of individuals. FODAC is a statewide and national provider of home health care equipment — mobility aids and daily living devices for people with disabilities and the newly injured. The donations include wheelchairs, walkers and other used home medical equipment that people need to be mobile and independent.

“The opportunity to utilize our location in helping FODAC is great,” said David Guillory, General Manager at the MobilityWorks of Atlanta store. “Having wheelchairs and other used medical equipment being dropped off here helps the community and brings more awareness to accessibility issues. We’re happy to be helping their mission.”

Atlanta Georgia MobilityWorks is a drop off location for FODAC
Workers load home medical equipment donations destined for FODAC and those in need of mobility equipment. Photo courtesy of Lizbeth Dison.

Eagle Rock drivers working the route between the company’s Dalton office and the Stone Mountain office will stop at MobilityWorks (located in Marietta, GA) and pick up donations to deliver to FODAC’s warehouse in Stone Mountain. Their truck routes cover the entire Atlanta metro area and will often have partial loads.

“We are pleased to partner with Eagle Rock to support the companies, like Mobility Works, who have offered to be donation sites for used HME,” stated Chris Brand, president of FODAC. “We hope that the success of this program will inspire other companies to offer their truck routes so that we can extend the reach of our donation sites.”

Editor’s note: This story originated from the Stone Mountain-Lithonia Patch, written by Lizbeth Dison. Used with permission.

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