Meet the CSS Staff
I have been working in the rehabilitation field since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983 with a BS in psychology. Since then, I have been very lucky to have worked with, and learned from, numerous leaders and innovators in our field, including my business partner Joanne Ellis. Joanne and I met in graduate school at VCU and we often reflect on how we came up with the idea to start CSS to serve folks who were without the supports they needed to succeed in the workforce. To this day, I remain very passionate about creating new services where they are needed and I take great pride in the fact that our staff help our customers each and every day to establish and meet their personal employment goals.
I have been working in the field of disabilities services since 1983. I started in the field as a teacher and administrator working with transitioning students with special needs. From that experience I moved directly into training rehabilitation professionals, individuals with disabilities and family members on the topic of Social Security. I helped professionals and individuals understand the benefits of knowing how the system works so they could work and achieve a greater level of economic self-sufficiency. In 1993, I partnered with another colleague in the field to start our own Supported Employment Company. The initial vision behind the formation of our company was to assist individuals who were underserved in the rehab service delivery system. We started out with 2 employees serving a small geographical area to an organization of 55 employees, serving a large geographical area across the state of Virginia. My passion for this work has been fueled over the years by seeing the direct correlation between providing the right types of supports to individuals so they can achieve their vocational goals increase their self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life.
Denise Callahan brings a diverse background in healthcare and in advocating for people with disabilities. With a B.S. in Health Information Management, she worked for an Acute Care Health System in Florida as the Director of Medical Records and Quality Assurance. Transitioning into the supplier side of the business, Denise served as a Senior Support Consultant/Project Manager for Spectrum Healthcare Solutions in Florida, providing application support to hospital main frame clients and Physician Practice Management Systems. After the birth of her youngest child, who was born with a cognitive disability, she subcontracted with the State of Illinois’s Department of Health and Human Services, providing coordination of early intervention services for families with children ages, birth to three. Upon moving to Virginia, she continued to advocate for people with disabilities, by serving for many years, and ultimately Chairing, the Special Education Advisory Committee for Henrico County. She has also served as a parent representative on multiple ad hoc committees for the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Department of Health and Human Services. She and her husband actively participate in the Virginia Special Olympics at both the state and local level.
Denise’s role within the organization is one of Quality Assurance Coordinator, with the specific responsibility of maintaining the CaseWorks data base and providing guidance, support and development of its use administratively and throughout the regions CSS serves.
Although I entered the field of supported employment fairly recently, I have had an interest in the field of disability all my life. It all started with my dad. He was born in 1905 with a disability. My dad was middle aged when I came along and died when I was very young. Mom wanted me to know him so she raised me with stories about him. A lot of those stories had to do with him overcoming obstacles caused by the societal prejudices of the time against people with disabilities. Those stories influenced the course of my life. In 1970, I graduated with a BA in Special Education. For over twenty years I worked with children with and without disabilities from high school age to preschooler in Head Start. Then a life changing event occurred, my husband of 28 years died. It made me think about my own life and what did I want to do with the rest of it. I got out of teaching and returned to college after thirty years. I graduated from VCU with a MS in Rehabilitative Counseling. It has been 100 years since my dad’s birth and great strides have been made to embrace people with disabilities thanks in great part to the Americans with Disability Act. There is still much to be done and I am proud to do my part to advocate for people with disabilities and to help others overcome obstacles so they can achieve their goals.
Janelle Martin is a graduate of James Madison University in Virginia. There Janelle majored in Communication Studies, with emphasis on Public Health. Janelle comes to CSS with professional experience in business development and professional development. As a Recruiter, Janelle developed a large network of employers and candidates, placing over 40 professionals in the Richmond, VA marketplace. Janelle believes that all people are equal and deserving of an opportunity for employment. It is her mission to use her abilities, experiences and education to provide individuals with the tools and support necessary to make the most of their opportunity and lead fulfilling lives.
I am a recent addition to the Career Support Systems team. I am originally from Fredericksburg and have been living in Richmond since 2003. I received my B.S. from the University of New Hampshire, and my M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University. I have a background in technical recruiting, marketing, and event planning. I have always enjoyed working with people, and am looking forward to helping others and my community.
My name is Wayne Pearson. I am an Enclave Supervisor and I oversee 6 workers under a contract with Pizza Hut. We work 5 days per week placing advertising door hangers in local neighborhoods. It’s a great advertising tool to get more people to buy pizza from Pizza Hut.
I have been working in Human Services for over twenty years helping with people with disabilities.
My name is Jen Kessler. I have been with CSS since Feb. of 2005 as an Administrative Office Assistant. I moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia 3 years ago with my 23 year old son, Corey, who has a disability. Before moving to VA, I worked for 14 years as a Production Supervisor in a sheltered workshop for individuals with disabilities. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, 4-wheeling and taking care of my pets, 4 cats and 1 cockatiel.
I am Amy Janssen and have worked as an employment consultant in the Central region since July 2007. I graduated from VCU with a degree in Mass Communications and worked as a graphic artist in the advertising and marketing department at the Circuit City Stores corporate headquarters in Richmond for over 14 years. With this job, I guess you could say I’m still in a marketing position of sorts, only marketing our customers and their tremendous talents and capabilities is a lot more fun and definitely more rewarding!
I am fairly new to the SE field and came to this position as a result of some volunteer work I had previously done with my church at a group home in Tennessee serving adults with special needs.
That experience gave me an opportunity to work with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met and ultimately gave me the desire to pursue a career in human services. I am grateful to have the opportunity to help so many people achieve their life goals and succeed in realizing their dreams for themselves. I recently got married and relocated to the Tappahannock area and am looking forward to serving the Warsaw area in addition to maintaining my current caseload in the Richmond metro area.
I have been working for CSS as an Employment Consultant since March of 2010. I graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a BA in Sociology. I have a experience working with Non-Profit Organizations and working in restaurants, where I most enjoyed training new employees. I have always had a desire to help others and feel lucky that I am able to do so every day with CSS.
I am Stephanie Carter, Regional Manager for the Blue Ridge Region of Career Support Systems, Inc. The area covered under my supervision is: Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Covington, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Farmville, and all surrounding counties. I began my career with CSS as Employment Consultant June 2006; I worked a year as a consultant and then became Regional Manager for the area. I also work part time as Vocational Case Manager with the Family Outreach Program at the Shenandoah Valley Department of Social Services. I have worked that employment program since the beginning of the grant in 2008. Eventually, Career Support was written into the grant to serve the individuals that participated with the Family Outreach Program/View Program
I hold an Associates Degree in Mental Health and Human Services and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Mary Baldwin College.
Together we work hard to make each person self-sufficient and independent.
My heart and soul is based on serving individuals with employment barriers. Everyone has something they are good at: It is my job to find it and then market it!
I have been working for Career Support Systems since July 06. Prior to my employment here, I have served as a substitute school teacher in Montgomery County, Business Director for a multi purpose center for the Salvation Army in Minneapolis, MN., an Associate Pastor for a church in Chicago, IL., and an Eligibility Worker for the Radford Social Services. In addition to working with CSS, I presently serve as a Pastor in Lyndhurst, VA. I have been married to my wife Darlene for 25 years and have two daughters, Danielle (husband Tony and daughter Zariyah) and Adrian. YES, I'm a Grandpa! My wife and I currently reside in Christiansburg.
I have been working as an Employment Consultant for Career Support Systems since November 2009, with the Blue Ridge Team.
I was born and raised in New Jersey but came to Virginia in 1999. I live in Waynesboro, have 3 children, Bridget, Michael and Joel and one new grandson, Elias.
I have an extensive background in Customer Service and have always enjoyed knowing I was able to help someone in some way. Supported Employment is a new field for me and I am already finding that this is, by far, the most rewarding. I served as Customer Service Supervisor for many years for an art supply manufacturer in New Jersey. In moving to Virginia I was the call center manager for CellONE, a local wireless company in Staunton. I have met some great people in this new position, have learned so much and look forward to my future with Career Support.
Jennifer is an Employment Consultant for the Blue Ridge area. She specifically serves the Lynchburg and Farmville area. Jennifer has over seven years experience in the Human Service field and she also brings an extensive business and customer service background to the organization. Jennifer is truly passionate when it comes to helping others understand and reach their potential
My name is Betsy Martin. I live in Waynesboro with my husband Charlie and 4 chihuahuas. I have 3 grown children, Richard, Victoria and Olivia. I have been with Career Support since June ’10 and although I have a long work history in the pharmaceutical field, I worked for Shenandoah Valley Department of Social Services from 2003 to 2005. It was a great experience with Human Services and I think it has given me an advantage in this current career choice. I enjoy being able to assist others in their endeavors in their lives and since being employed is such an empowering thing for them, it gives me great satisfaction to know I was able to help others attain their goals. I am looking forward to a long successful career!
I have been working with individuals with disabilities since 2001 and particularly enjoy working with individuals with mental illness and/ or emotional disorders. Observing customers reach life goals through employment motivates me to continue to work hard on their behalf and to help develop more opportunities within the community for future customers. I currently have a B.S. degree in Human Services Counseling with a minor in Psychology from Old Dominion University and hope to obtain my M.Ed in the very near future.
My name is Melissa Mullins and I have lived in the beautiful moutains of the SWVA region my entire life. I am a graduate from MECC and have a long list in my job history. I believe being in different work environments has helped as a thriving employment consultant. I have developed close ties with the staff, counselors, and customers. There is no better job than helping people in my community and seeing their success. By far this is the best job I have ever had!
My name is Thomas Routh. My background is in manufacturing. I have 24 years of experience in various operations. I work as an enclave supervisor in the far southwest region in janitorial services. We have 12 workers at Central Presbyterian Church in Bristol Virginia working 5 days a week. All our workers are making minimum wage and are really adding value to our janitorial services for this region of the state.
I am Sara Tolley, Regional Manger for the Roanoke Region. I began working for CSS in March 2005 as an employment consultant. I am a Roanoke native. I graduated from Salem High School and Radford University. I work with a wonderful staff of 5 employment consultants everyday to help our Customers fulfill their goals to become employed. I feel blessed and honored everyday to work with and for so many wonderful people- consumers, co-workers, employees, employers, counselors, and the list goes on!
I am a new addition to the Career Support Systems Team. I am from Roanoke, Virginia and have lived here my entire life. I have a background in Human Resources Management. I believe every Employer wants to retain qualified employees and match them to jobs for which they are best suited. My background in recruiting, interviewing and hiring new staff will help me provide this connection. I enjoy helping people and providing an exceptional service to my community.
Hi! I am Anna and I started working with Career Support Systems in November 2009. Prior to my employment here, I worked with troubled teens as a teaching parent, teaching social skills and independent living skills to troubled teen boys. Working as an Employment Consultant allows me to continue with my passion for serving families in the community. There is no greater satisfaction than assisting someone in achieving their goals of employment via hard work and dedication. Personally, I view every consumer that successfully achieves employment as an ending of a cycle of unemployment which has inexplicable effects on their own families, our local community and society as a whole.
I am a native of North Carolina but moved to Virginia in November 2009. I graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a B.S. in Human Services with a minor in Criminal Justice. I plan to continue my education by seeking a Master’s Degree in Social Work in the near future. I enjoy learning and continue to do so everyday working with consumers in the Tri-Cities area. It is truly an honor to work with a company which is solely dedicated to enabling people to make better lives for themselves.
My name is Craig Henderson and I started with Career Support Systems in May of 2010. I was born in New Jersey but grew up in Ohio. I served in the United States Marine Corp including a one year tour in Cuba. Before working with Career Support, I worked with disadvantaged youth and their families for ten years in a number of capacities including teaching independent living and employment skills. I learned that through teaching these skills, you can change not only one life, but break cycles of poverty and abuse for generations. I have brought that passion and knowledge to Career Support Systems and hope to continue learning and developing the skills I need to work to change the lives of the disadvantaged in a positive way.