National Disability Provider Vista Care’s Raymona Conn and Mike Row Recipients of 2024 Direct Support Professional of the Year Award

Article Publish On: 
April 3, 2024

Article Written By: Hannah Frey

Sheboygan, Wisconsin, April 3, 2024 - ANCOR, the leading voice in Washington for community-based disability services providers, has announced that Raymona Conn of Wisconsin and Mike Row of South Dakota, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) at Vista Care, have been named recipients of the 2024 DSPs of the year. Raymona and Mike join 53 other honorees in the 2024 edition of ANCOR’s annual Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards program. This year’s awards gamered a record-breaking 492 nominations.

Since 2007, ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year awards recognize outstanding Direct Support Professionals who deliver long-term services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The awards celebrate the important role DSPs play in ensuring people with I/DD have what they need to thrive and be included in the community. These awards also seek to raise awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis.

Inadequate investments in this essential workforce have led to a decades-long severe shortage of DSPs, which has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and has accelerated into a crisis that threatens access to critically needed services.

“Each year, we are seeing more nominations, and more compelling nominations, for ANCOR’s DSP of the Year Awards,” said Diane Beastrom, president of ANCOR’s Board of Directors and Vice President of transition for Ohio-based I Am Boundless. “I cannot think of more deserving professionals to honor, as they truly exemplify what it means to see, appreciate and value the people we are fortunate enough to support.”

Barbara Merrill, Chief Executive Officer for ANCOR, added: “DSPs really and truly do it all, and it’s no exaggeration to say that this year’s of class of honorees deliver transformative and sometimes life-saving supports to the people who accept their services. People like Raymona and Mike and all 55 of the 2024 honorees are perfect reminders of why ANCOR works tirelessly to advocate on behalf of the direct support workforce and the incredible work our DSPs do to support people in community.”

Raymona has made a remarkable impact from day one. Her desire to learn and her ambition to provide the best care possible for the individuals she supports is like no other. Raymona is a quiet leader who leads by example as a DSP. She knows that leaders do not run away when difficulties arise, but they rise to the occasion and shine a light so that others can see that the mission persists in spite of challenges. The light shines when Raymona is providing care, and she has cast a bright beam of motivation, encouragement, and the modeling of DSP excellence for her peers.

Mike’s consistent and utmost effort has made a lasting effect on each and every individual he has supported. Mike’s compassion as a DSP is evident through his unwavering commitment to making each individual he serves a top priority. He approaches his work with a positivity that radiates through every interaction, and a warm smile graces his face as he provides support. He is an exceptional individual who genuinely cares about the well-being and happiness of those he serves.

The awards ceremony where Raymona, Mike, and the other 2024 honorees to be recognized will take place in Santa Fe, N.M., on Wednesday, April 10 at 8:30 am MDT during ANCOR Connect ’24, the association’s annual conference. Members of the press interested in attending the awards presentation should contact Sean Luechtefeld, ANCOR’s vice president for membership and communications, at or 571.207.9108.

About ANCOR:

For more than 50 years, the American Network of Community Options and Resources ( has been a leading advocate for the critical role service providers play in enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As a national nonprofit trade association, ANCOR exists to advance the ability of its nearly 2,500 member organizations to support people with I/DD to fully participate in their communities.

About Vista Care:

Vista Care is a leading provider of Home and Community-Based (HCBS) services as well as other supportive services including behavioral health services, clinical services, recovery services, and representative payee services. Headquartered in Sheboygan, WI, Vista Care provides services and supports in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. For more information about Vista Care and its services, please visit, like our Facebook Page, and follow us on LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

For additional information about this announcement or Vista Care, please contact Vista Care’s corporate office at