Letter From Our Co-Founder
I met David William Tresch when I worked at the Western State School and Hospital in 1964. David was 9 years old, and I was 19. He was a beautiful child with curly blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a gorgeous smile that melted my heart. I didn’t realize it then, but the day we met was the real beginning of Verland.
David first smiled at me about six months later, and I saw an angel smiling at me—like a parent might feel when they see their newborn smile for the first time. It became apparent to me that if I could help make David smile, I could do more for him and his friends. At that moment, I knew I wanted a career working with children in the Intellectual Disability (ID) field. The day that David smiled at me was the start of a very special relationship that has endured for almost 57 years.
“I wanted a career working with children in the Intellectual Disability field. The day that David smiled at me was the start of a very special relationship that has endured for almost 57 years.”
— Carol Mitchell
In January 2018, I transitioned leadership of Verland to its second President and CEO – William “Bill” F. Harriger, a terrific and capable man. Prior to that transition, Bill served as Verland’s Chief Operating Officer for four years.
During his tenure, Bill faithfully continued Verland’s mission of emphasizing Love, Dignity, and Respect for Verland clients, their families, and the Verland staff.
In August 2023, we welcomed our current President, Leland Sapp, as the third CEO in Verland’s nearly 45-year history. Leland has dedicated his career to serving strong, faith-based, and mission-driven organizations.
Leland has deep experience in our unique caregiving setting and brings a person-centered approach to caring for the well-being of both employees and residents. He has a proven track record of successfully operating and growing multi-location programs for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.
I was blessed to have had the honor of serving Verland’s residents and our staff for over 45 years. While it wasn’t without its challenges, God always brought us through. I pray that I have made a real difference, not only in David’s life but also in the lives of his family, his friends, and our staff. I could not be more pleased with Bill’s success in continuing the quality of service that has marked more than four decades of support for persons with disabilities.
I thank everyone who has mentored me and donated their time, treasures, and talents to our God-given Verland mission.
God bless us all,
Carol B. Mitchel