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We are VIP

Founded in 1967

“There are no words of praise or thanks that I can say to show or tell you how much we appreciate the love, warmth, care, and guidance VIP Industries provided to my sister, Mary Jane.  She had the best life over the last 45 years! She was so very happy with her home, work and self-worth that everyone at VIP helped her achieve.  Thank you so much for the daily work you do out of love.”  - Theresa and Del Elfrink


Our Mission Goal


To introduce and support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to a progression of employment services through training, socialization and personal growth opportunities. 


Everyone should have the opportunity to find purpose and success in the employment environment of their choice.

Our Founder


Hilary F. Schmittzehe

Founder and Father

The We are VIP partnership is four non for profit organizations collaborating to better serve individuals and the families of those with developmental disabilities. Each organization has their own board of directors and 501(c)3 status.

The partnership allows us to provide services for the entire life of an individual with intellectual or developmental disabilities. 


The organizations benefit from the We Are VIP collaboration by eliminating any duplication of services and by sharing administrative expenses. The shared resources reduces the costs of providing programs, care and services for those that choose any of one our organizations for assistance. The seamless collaboration is so smooth an individual may not even realize they are being served by multiple agencies. When they choose to, they simply take advantage of what is being offered.


Individuals and families or guardians that choose to participate with any of our organizations benefit from the We Are VIP collaboration as it provides increased opportunities to participate in programs, events, services and work that improve the quality of life for the individual. Our shared belief and unique mission to make every person with developmental disabilities feel like a Very Important Person drives all that we do. Please contact us to see how we might best support you and your family by calling 573-334-9661. We are happy to discuss other opportunities outside of the We Are VIP collaboration if your needs aren't something that one of the organizations might best meet.


Each of the partners are members of Missouri Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (MO AID), a state advocacy and information organization for individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and guardians. 

We were founded by the father of two developmentally disabled. According to the Association of Persons with Developmental Disabilities: 

Hilary F. Schmittzehe faithfully served persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. 


When asked what kept him motivated, he simply stated: 

"seeing the smiles on the faces of the individuals we serve is my motivation." 

Hilary Schmittzehe has left his indelible mark upon all who have witnessed his remarkable work on behalf of people throughout our region, beginning with his very own children. He loved them all the same. Endlessly. 

Her world was limited to where we went and our friends. Her world is bigger now." 

                                                 - Janet Lakner, sister


Our Value System

We are Community

Founded in 1967 by parents and other concerned individuals, the agency has served nearly 2,600 individuals and their families from Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Scott and Stoddard counties in Missouri. By providing a lifetime of high-quality services, family support, and advocacy, our WE ARE VIP mission can truly help makea. difference to an adult, child, or family. our services are designed to maximize choice and support people as they build quality lives within our community and as our neighbors. 

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