About Us

The Center For Independence is a community support provider in east-central South Dakota. We’re all about meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities in a way that promotes choice and encourages independence.

We truely believe our world is a better place when individuals are given the opportunity to live, work, serve, and experience friendship in their own community.

Clayton came to the Center for Independence when he was 19 years old after spending 5 years in a children’s hospital. It was then that he began looking for an opportunity to earn some extra money. A friend offered to loan Clayton some vending machines so he could try starting his own business. Clayton’s team at the Center helped him develop a business plan complete with business cards, a sales tax license, and a handful of clients. Before long “Clayton Werdel’s Candies” was a success!

The Center was able to help five young men move from a fully supported apartment setting into a home that they share. Because of the mutual support they provide each other, the cooperative living allows them greater independence and less staff assistance.

Jay was given the opportunity to start his own pet walking and care business. His team at the Center helped him acquire business cards and posters to promote his work. Jay has found enjoyment and added income as he works with pets.

Board Of Directors

Jerry Mencke


Rhonda Hanson

Vice President

Dr. Bruce Wintle


Tom Baszler

Steve Charron

Scott Cordts

Andrew Kremin

Lori Wehlander

Doug Kludt

Wanda Barthelman

Bessie Willemssen