MacDonald Training Center

Conscious Business: Empowering People with Disabilities

Written by Beatrice Wedd, NYC-based writer & editor

Unit Nutrition is proud to warehouse with The MacDonald Training Center (MTC), and support their vision for a better, more innovative and inclusive future. Every time you order a Unit product, the box is assembled, packed, and shipped by an MTC employee, supporting someone with a cognitive or physical disability to lead the life that they not only chose, but also deserve. 

MTC, a non-profit in Florida, offers person-centered training with job placement, innovative programs and community and life skill services for adults with many challenges––like hearing impairments or other physical and cognitive disabilities.

Chatting to their development coordinator, Libby Barnes, we were humbled by the rich and vibrant history of the foundation, dating back into the early 1950’s; it’s progressive and fearless founder, Jay Clifford MacDonald; their phenomenal achievements (like receiving their first-ever Congressional Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy) and their position as an innovative, enriching, and truly one-of-a-kind center. 

MacDonald Training Center

Sitting down with our own founder, Julia Bechtolsheimer, we discussed the partnership between MTC and Unit Nutrition, and heard her views on the importance of creating a conscious business that gives back. From the get go, Bechtolsheimer saw starting a company as an opportunity to make a positive impact. And she maintains the belief that every business, be it large or small, has an obligation to serve their community and the environment. 

Originally, she had a long, long list of warehouses to visit all across the country, but her mind was made up upon discovering MTC. She chose the center because everyone deserves the opportunity to work and to contribute something meaningful to society. On her first tour of the center, Bechtolsheimer was taken to the art gallery displaying work created in MTC art classes––an important means of expression for their verbally challenged members. She fell in love with a painting entitled Field of Dreams by Paul Woodman, and it now hangs in her home office, serving as a daily reminder of her “why” after a particularly long week.