COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES, INC
creates opportunities for
Growing, Learning, Experiencing and Enjoying Life
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 Robin Stiff. I am honored to be part of such an authentically caring and serving agency. As of this January 2023, I am excited to begin my new position as CSSI Monitoring Manager.
I remain focused on ensuring that each person we serve receives the support, time, love, and relevant tools they can use to grow, learn, experience, and enjoy life. I have over 25 years experience in outcome based social services. I look to what is working and brainstorm quick and effective solutions for those things that are not.
Through the lens of looking for what is right; I support, encourage, as well as teach those families that serve as Host Home Providers, Family Care Givers, and even some that are part of our Independent Living Services. I work as one of a team for those we serve to meet their reported desired goals in life.
THE INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES DEPARTMENT STAFF
Independent Living Services
I have been working in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities field for over 5 years and currently work as the Director of Independent Living Services for Community Support Services, Inc. I have a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Some of my previous experience includes working for a Park and Recreation District as well as for a day program. My career with CSSI began in 2015 providing direct care services as a Mentoring Coordinator. In 2017, I was promoted into the dual role of Mentoring & Monitoring Coordinator, in which I conducted routine monitoring visits with the people we support in their homes, while continuing to provide direct care services. Since then, I have held other roles in the agency working as a manager in both the Advocacy Department and the Independent Living Services Department until beginning my current role as the Director of Independent Living Services. With my background in Therapeutic Recreation, I have been very involved in our Monthly Events and Mountain Retreats and have also facilitated a Hula Hooping event with the people we support.
I have always felt a calling to serve others and I have found that working in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to be very rewarding. Holding different positions and roles at CSSI over the years has not only given me the opportunity to gain a range of experience, but also the opportunity to gain many meaningful relationships with the people we support and our team. It has been a rewarding journey for me to observe the people we support use and expand their independence, learn new skills, and live their own fulfilling lives the way they choose.
Manager of Independent Living Services
(photo coming soon)
My name is Lydia Casaus and I’m the manager of Independent Living Services. I started at CSSI as a part time Mentor Coordinator, in which I worked side by side the people we support. I quickly gained a lot of passion towards this career field and found it very rewarding. I loved the idea of helping individuals grow and supporting them on every step towards their life goals. I have brought new ideas and always work diligently to help improve the lives the people we support. Having the opportunity to develop so many meaningful relationships with the people who we support have been truly a blessing and inspirational. Although I am new to this career field, I am always ready to listen to the people we support and help create a change.
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 be 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.
Associate Director of Quality Assurance
Hello, I am Nicki Smith, the Associate Director of Quality Assurance for Community Support Services, Inc. I have a long history with CSSI since I was a teenager. My parents were Host Home Providers for CSSI and I really enjoy helping others. So I soon became a Host Home provider myself from 2003-2011. During this time, I also worked part time for another agency as a staff taking individuals out into the community as a mentor. I worked with adults and children for a couple of years.
In 2011 when I stopped being a HHP for CSSI, I actually became the Medical Coordinator. I held that role until July 2015, when I needed to take some time away to focus on my family needs and home life. I have 4 kiddos, 3 boys and 1 girl!
During this time that I was working at CSSI, I became a Host Home Provider for another Agency caring for a lady who was previously with CSSI and under the care of my parents for over 15 years. I was her HHP until March 2020 when she went home to Heaven to watch over us!!
I have an associate degree and have worked hard to be knowledgeable in my position. My passion is working with individuals with development and intellectual disabilities and also working in the medical field. Maybe one day I will become a doctor or something similar.
Quality Assurance Manager
I have worked for CSSI for over 22 years and have 33 years of experience in the field of intellectual and physical disabilities. I have held several positions in direct service, finance department and quality assurance. Over this time I have developed some long-time friendships with many of the people we support and their families. I have also worked as a teacher for several years in early childhood education. I have a Nursing diploma, a BA in Psychology, a Colorado Teacher License and a master's degree in ECE.
Biography and photo coming soon!
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 Manager 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 Finance Manager 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 Yvonne Hernandez and I’m a Human Resource Manager at Community Support Services, Inc. I’m a native of Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver in 2018 earning a degree in Human Development and Family Relations.
I was introduced to this field through a friend. However, I knew I always wanted to work with people in a meaningful way and when given the chance I took it. I began my work here at CSSI as a Mentoring Coordinator in 2019. I loved the direct care, and I was able to really dive in and build relationships with those we support.
Then in 2020 I was promoted to Human Resource Manager. I have given a wonderful opportunity to continue to learn and grow. This brings me much joy to work with those who all have that same mindset.
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 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.