Meet our Staff
Owner / Executive Director
I have supported people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1980. My original plan was to be a school teacher and I was actively pursuing that career/degree. I vividly remember sitting in one of my classes watching a film about people with disabilities. It was one of those rare moments in life when you just know, without a doubt, what you are supposed to do. I left the class, walked down to the counseling office and changed my major. I knew I wanted to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree in both rehabilitation and related services and psychology. I have also completed some course work towards my master’s degree in business administration.
I began my career the minute I stepped out of college (1980) as a direct care staff in an intermediate care facility supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Within a short time, I was promoted to a program manager position, supervising the direct care staff and maintaining some of my direct services to individuals as well. I was then promoted to an administrative role in the same facility. In this administrative role, I missed direct care services; however, I had a greater voice in the overall care that was being provided at this facility. After three years, I opted to leave this facility setting and was hired as a program coordinator for a community based agency, where I developed and coordinated programmatic services for several communities. This was a far better philosophical match for me, as I was a firm believer in community based settings and individualized supports. Within a year, I was promoted to executive director of this company's Denver-based program. I remained in this position for the next thirteen years. During those years, I was honored to also assist the company with certain regional responsibilities on an as-needed basis. These were crucial years in my career, as many of us in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities worked diligently with deinstitutionalization. It was simply a joy to assist people to leave institutional settings and be successful in community based programs.
During these same years, specifically 1990, I developed Community Support Services, Inc. The specifics of the development of Community Support Services, Inc. will be found throughout this website.
Throughout my career, I have received numerous management and service awards, including National Certificates of Excellence for Outstanding Manager. In addition, the years are filled with many certifications and trainings including Outcome Based Performance Measures and Essential Lifestyle Planning. My training in Essential Lifestyle Planning includes certification as a facilitator. In 1997, I was the executive director of an agency of which I led my team through an accreditation preparation process which resulted in the honor of receiving the 'Three Year Accreditation with Honors/Award of Excellence' from the Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports with People with Disabilities.
When people ask me about eventual retirement plans, I tell them the thought of retiring some day breaks my heart! I want to do everything I can possibly do to ensure that people with developmental disabilities live fulfilling, satisfactory and happy lives! When I wrote our agency’s philosophy, specifically: “Providing opportunities for people to grow, learn, experience and enjoy life”, it came from my heart. It is simply a joy to provide supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I learn something new from the people we support, each and every day!
This is my passion. It is what I love to do!
THE ADVOCACY SERVICES DEPARTMENT STAFF
Hello, my name is Teresa Ceccato. I am the Advocacy Director at Community Support Services, Inc. I am happy to have recently joined Community Support Services Inc in January 2017. I have a bachelor’s degree in special education and elementary education. I had spent five years in New York state as a special education teacher for junior high and elementary students. I then spent three years as a special education teacher for the ARC Day Treatment Program for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and went on to spend an additional three years in a residential management at UCP for twelve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while supervising fifteen direct care support staff. I then moved to Colorado and worked as a residential director for Bethpage, overseeing three group home settings and a caseload of host homes and apartments, serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For the past 18 years, I was a service coordinator at Rocky Mountain Human Services CCB, specializing in the foster care transition process, transitioning foster care individuals who had an intellectual developmental disability into Comprehensive Residential Services. I did extensive work enrolling people into different waiver programs as well as working with regional centers, nursing homes, Denver Human Social Services, mental health hospitals and residential treatment facilities in assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Comprehensive Residential Services.
I really enjoy meeting people, and listening about a person’s life, the journey that they have had and what new and positive journeys they will encounter next in their life. I believe it is important to build a relationship with people and be a team player. I am very passionate about my work and the people who I work with. I really love what I do and enjoy spending time with people who have Intellectual disabilities. I knew at very early age this was something that I wanted to do. It has been a rewarding journey for me to see people’s lives become filled with happiness and to live life to their dreams. I am truly blessed.
Hello! My name is Tawnya Jarman and I am a Mentoring and Monitoring Coordinator for Community Support Services, Inc. I began my career with CSSI in December of 2015 as a quality life mentor and continue to provide direct care services in my dual role of mentoring and monitoring. I moved to Colorado from Illinois in August of 2015 to finish my schooling at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. I received a degree in therapeutic recreation after completing an internship with Apex Park and Recreation District in Arvada. There I implemented a hula hooping class for individuals with disabilities. I have also been able to teach hula hooping to the people we support at CSSI for one of our monthly events!
I have always felt a calling to serve others and I find it very fulfilling to work with the people support, seeing them learn new skills, reach their goals, and have fun! Some of my hobbies include hiking, camping, hula hooping, cooking, and gardening. I strive to incorporate those passions into the work I do every day with the people we support, while encouraging them to pursue and enjoy their own passions!
THE INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES DEPARTMENT STAFF
Independent Living Services Director
My name is Ada Elkhahi and I am the Director of Independent Living Services here at Community Support Services, Inc. I have a masters degree in social work from Arizona State University. I am TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified. I have had a career in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for the past seven years which includes child welfare and most recently, supporting adults with developmental disabilities here at Community Support Services, Inc. Prior to this, my career entailed twenty years in social services with various focuses including incest, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and adoptions. In addition, I started a sexual assault hotline for Spanish speaking women in Phoenix, Arizona and was part of a team of women who found the necessary financial resources and ultimately opened up the first battered women’s shelter in Phoenix, Arizona. I also truly enjoyed teaching English to adults from Russia in Boston, Massachusetts.
I am enjoying the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. I enjoy seeing the fruit of our work in the progress made by the people we support. I truly enjoy supporting and spending time with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and being around other people who work in this profession. When asked what I find most rewarding in my profession, I find that the simple kindness and honesty displayed by so many of the people we support as they strive to be the best they can be is most refreshing and uplifting!
Assistant Director of
Independent Living Services
My name is Shannon Clark and I am the Independent Living Services Coordinator at Community Support Services. I started at CSSI as a Quality Life Mentor, then moved my way up to my current position. I moved to Colorado from Massachusetts in the fall of 2016. I attended college at University of Massachusetts Boston, and after that I started working as an assistant site-manager for Berkshire County ARC. At BCArc I was managing a group home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I really enjoyed my time with ARC and the relationships I built with the people I supported, so when I moved across the country there was no doubt that I wanted to stay in this field.
My passion for this work comes from my sister, who has developmental disabilities. Growing up with her, advocating for her and watching her progress into the independent woman she is today gave me the desire to help others do the same. The most rewarding part of my job is spending time with the men and women we support and seeing their independence progress every day. Being a part of helping someone live their life to his or her fullest potential is truly rewarding and makes me look forward to coming to work every day here at Community Support Services.
THE QUALITY ASSURANCE DEPARTMENT STAFF
Quality Assurance Director
My current position is the Quality Assurance Director. I have worked in the field now for 19 years. I graduated from the University of Colorado-Denver with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I started out doing direct care as a residential counselor in a group home, and then was promoted to residential manager, and managed the Apartment Program for 13 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From there I was promoted to Direct Services Coordinator. I was also a Host Home Provider for a year.
I have chosen this field to work in simply because I find it to a rewarding and fulfilling field to work in. I value being able to work with a great team of people and to share ideas and insight that ensures that the people we serve have a quality life. What I find most rewarding about working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities is that when I am able to assist a person to first realize their potential for success no matter how great or small it may be, and then to see them reach that goal, it truly warms my heart, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of helping someone realize their potential.
My name is Julie Stump and I am a Programmatic Coordinator for Community Support Services, Inc. I have worked in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities field since 2009, and have found it to be very rewarding in countless ways. I am a college student at The Community College of Denver where I am finishing my degree in human services with an emphasis in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. I started at CSSI first as a volunteer in 2009, and then joined CSSI as a quality life mentor in 2010. In 2013 I assumed the role as Finance Assistant while continuing to provide direct care services, and in 2018 began my current position as Programmatic Coordinator. I have very much enjoyed learning about the various departments at CSSI and find that I am able to provide well rounded services because of it.
Over the years I have really enjoyed observing the people we support learn new skills, take part in the activities that they love, and overall live their lives to the fullest! I have also been able to gain many meaningful relationships with the people we support, as well as our staff members in the duration of my time with CSSI. I knew at a very young age that helping other people was what I was meant to do, and I have been very fortunate to be able to carry out my passion with Community Support Services.
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT STAFF
I have worked in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for 32 years and have been a part of the CSSI team since 1998. My experience began while I was in high school when I worked at an institution in Nebraska providing direct care to people with disabilities. When community based programs emerged in the early 1980s, the institution that I worked for expanded its services to community based programs in other states. I transferred to Denver, working for the newly expanded community based program for the next 14 years. I received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and corrections from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Every day is a new challenge and no two days are alike. It is so rewarding to see the people that we support continue to grow and enjoy life.
I find my work as the Finance Coordinator very rewarding and fulfilling. I started working here at CSSI in May of 2008 and that is the same time I stared working professionally in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. However, from the time of my niece’s birth in 2003, I have learned about and helped to support someone with a disability, as she was born with lack of eyesight. My sister-in-law taught me how best to care for and support my niece.
While I am new to the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, I have 9 years of experience in banking and finance. My background and training has been valuable in my current position. I love working with numbers, balancing debits and credits, and fulfilling my responsibilities at CSSI. I work with a great staff at CSSI. It’s been very satisfying getting to know the people we support and assisting people with special needs.
My name is Janice Cooper and I’m a Mentoring and Finance Coordinator at Community Support Services, Inc. I’m a native of Colorado and attended the University of Colorado – Denver, earning a business degree in 1993. I’ve raised my children here and can’t imagine a better place to live!
I was introduced to this field through a dear friend with disabilities, and the natural supportive relationship that developed between us. I realized that I might have a positive impact on the lives of others in a similar way, and knew it was time for a career shift.
I am blessed to work with the amazing people we support both in the field as a Quality Life Mentor and in the office as a Finance Coordinator. I strive to find ways that I can contribute to their quality of life and love to see the wonderful results!
THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT STAFF
Deonfreya "Dee" Perry-Hill
Human Resources Director
My name is Deonfreya Perry-Hill, best known as “Dee”. I am the Human Resources Director here at Community Support Services, Inc. I have over 20 years of experience in the corporate arena and have held positions in management and various other positions throughout my career. I have been with CSSI and in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities since 2009 and have been promoted to several positions within the company over those years, ranging from working in the field as a quality life mentor and as a lead quality life mentor doing direct care and training and as the Independent Living Services coordinator, mentoring and supervising our quality life mentors.
I find that working in this field with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities has brought me great joy, knowing that I am making a difference in their lives, I love watching the people we support grow, live, learn, experience and enjoy their lives to the fullest.
Human Resources Manager
My name is Marthe Esther Woodard, I am better known as Esther. I am the HR Coordinator here at Community Support Services, Inc. I have over 10 years experience in the human resources field. My background stems from an Assistant Director to a daycare to an HR Assistant to a foster care agency. While working within the daycare and foster care realm, I have been able to work with and support people with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. Though my background is mostly children I am excited to start this new chapter with CSSI working with adults.
I am new to the state of Colorado, and have been here since August 2018. Having worked and lived with people with disabilities, I always strive to find companies that serve a positive purpose and contribute to helping others grow and reach their best selves. I look forward to many years with CSSI, making a positive contribution to the people we support.
My name is Ida Perry and I am the Administrative Assistant at Community Support Services, Inc. I have held this position for the past eight years and will likely be the one to greet you when you visit or phone our office. I retired from the telecommunications field where I held various managerial positions for twenty-one years. These years included interfacing and supervising people in various departments of the company. I completed college course work from Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee as well as college credit hours through my career in the telecommunications field.
I really enjoy working with everyone in my current position. I find it especially rewarding when I observe the orchestration of plans for the enhancement of quality services for the people we support.
My name is Shedrick Wicks and I am an Office Assistant. I have worked here at Community Support Services, Inc. since 1998. I like the people I work with and I like helping the office with shredding and cleaning. I like putting in a hard day’s work here at Community Support Services, Inc.
My name is Blair Tasher and I have been part of the CSSI family for
17 years. For the past 6 years, I have worked in the CIE Program
here at CSSI, as a Shredding Technician. I love my job and the
positive feedback I receive for my work performance. I have many
friends here who make you feel like family.
My name is Colleen Klaus and I am the Filing Assistant for Community Support Services, Inc. I have worked here since 2015! I like my job here at Community Support a lot better than the other jobs I’ve worked before. I am responsible for filing documents, scanning documents in to the computer, purging papers from the books and I also assist each department with whatever they may need help with. I really like working here because everyone allows me to help and I have a lot of responsibility and I’m very good at my job and I make people laugh. My quality life mentor assisted me with setting up my own website in 2016 to showcase my artwork. I am now the proud business owner of ColleenKlausArt. I love my staff, and the people that I work with here at Community Support Services and I do want to retire from here.