Leadership Committee Member Bios

 


Mark Melanson, Executive Director 

Mark is originally from the North Shore Area of MA. He has been working with people with disabilities since 1985 and has an Associate’s Degree in Human Services specializing in Counseling Psychology. In the span of his career he has worked in institutions, group homes, and finally 1:1 inclusionary and fully integrated settings. He has worked in a variety of domains in this field including Direct Care, Physical Therapy, Recreational Therapy, Adult Day Programs, Inclusion Specialist, Family Support, Intensive Family Support, Respite Care worker, Community Services based programs and in Non Profit Senior Management positions. 


Deborah Callahan, President 

Founder, Networx Supported Living Services

Deborah Callahan was born and raised in Massachusetts. She graduated from Westfield State College with a bachelors degree, and from Fitchburg State College with a Masters degree in Education.  She has now been providing support to people with developmental disabilities for over twenty years, beginning as a teacher for students with Autism on Cape Cod.  Since relocating to San Diego, she has provided services through two supported living agencies before founding Networx.  Networx is a small supported living agency dedicated to serving individuals with complex support needs. 


Kevin Rath, Vice President 

Executive Director, Manos Home Care

Kevin Rath is the founder and executive director of Manos Home Care, an employee-owned company with 1,400 direct care staff providing respite and personal assistance to 1,300 people with disabilities in the San Francisco East Bay. In addition to CSLN activities, Kevin is actively involved in several disability service associations, and is the California Respite Association’s representative for the Lanterman Coalition. He has developed several financial models for wage and benefit cost reimbursements, which have been used to inform allocation structures for service providers in the DDS system. Kevin is currently overseeing the development of a cost reporting web site for implementing the July 1st 2016 rate increase for the DDS system. The web site is based on Manos’ thirty-year history of internal software development for its operations. Kevin is also a Ca Supported Living Network Board Member.


Rebecca LaBoriel, Secretary 

Program Director, STEP, Inc.


Rebecca had been with Jay Nolan Community Services in Mission Hills for over 12 years.  A Southern California native, Rebecca holds a B. S. in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from California State University, Northridge (CSUN).  While at CSUN, she worked as a counselor/advisor in the disabilities office, to educate others about autism.  Rebecca began her work at JNCS as a direct support staff member in the Supported Living department.  She then transferred as a Case Manager for Supported Employment as well as working as the day program staff.  She returned to Supported Living to accept the position of Community Support Supervisor and soon she accepted the position of Director of Supported Living.  While she held her position as a Community Supported Supervisor she became a roommate to an individual with disabilities.  She has been a roommate for over 10 years.  In 2005, Rebecca received her Masters Degree in Counseling from CSUN.  Rebecca has concurrently been a Director on several crisis hotlines as well as being an active volunteer and presenter for several humanitarian and animal rights organizations. She has been a part of the Board of Directors since 2006 and is a Co-Director for the Membership Committee for CSLN.


Kristoffel van de Burgt, Treasurer 

Director, Creative Support Alternatives

Kristoffel van de Burgt serves as Director of Creative Support Alternatives in San Diego, CA.  He has worked for Creative Support Alternatives in multiple roles (serving as Support Facilitator, Community Living Coordinator, Associate Director, and Director) since September 2000. Kristoffel received his Masters Degree in Accounting from San Diego State University and his Bachelors Degree in History from Rutgers University. He is the current acting Chair of the San Diego Supported Living Vendor Coalition.

Prior to working with Creative Support Alternatives, he worked for a New Jersey-based non-profit organization as a Direct Support Specialist in a group home setting for people with developmental disabilities. While starting his work with Creative Support Alternatives, he also filled the role of Live-In Companion for three years. Kristoffel later worked for two years as an Accounting Associate with a local San Diego accounting firm where he honed his financial management skills.  Through collaboration with Interwork Institute, he functioned as Director of a person-driven planning grant project, known as “Take Charge!”

 
 


Jacquie Dillard-Foss 

CEO and Executive Director, S.T.E.P. Inc.

Jacquie has been a part of the CSLN Board of Directors since 1996. She has served with Carol McKinney as Co-Chair of the Network. She currently serves with Carol as Co-Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee. In 2009 she represented CSLN on the Budget Advisory Group for the state of California, and has also been a Provider Representative for ACRC, Alta California Regional Center. STEP has been providing SLS since 1994. Currently, STEP serves 165 consumers in SLS with a majority receiving 24/7 support. STEP has 500 employees and has worked diligently to provide a comprehensive benefits package to the employees of the agency. STEP specializes in serving folks that are Deaf and/or Deaf/Blind.

Over 125 of STEP's employees are Deaf and they provide the support to their Deaf and/or Deaf/Blind consumers. STEP has made a concerted effort to focus on its Vision and Values in all of its training. STEP is proud of its Human Resource Department, and has become proficient in labor laws, IHSS issues and Workers Compensation. STEP also provides a Supervisor Training Course to ensure its staff have the tools they need to meet the needs of consumers while still having a full understanding of the labor laws.



Beth Gallagher 

Founder, Life Works

Beth is the owner of Life Works. Life Works was founded in 2004 after Beth moved to San Diego from Chico, CA. Her work with people with developmental disabilities began just weeks after graduating from California State University, Chico in 1986 with degrees in Child Development and Psychology. While for over 2 decades her emphasis has been on creating personalized services, she began her career operating group homes for persons with behavioral support needs and/or medical concerns. The vast majority of her career has been focused on creating unique support situations for individuals with severe reputations. Because Beth has chosen to work with people that have been historically under-served, she has spent a great deal of time studying person centered planning methods that allow people to be heard and understood as individuals. Beth is a strong proponent of collaborative endeavors geared towards creating dynamic opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Beth has served on the California Supported Living Network for over 10 years and is a past Co-Chair of the organization.


Carol McKinney 

Co-Founder, Harmony Home, Associated

Carol is the co-founder and Executive Director of Harmony Home, Associated.  She began working with people with developmental disabilities in 1976 when she was a high school volunteer in a Special Day Class.  It was during that time Carol realized her lifework would be to advocate and provide services to people with developmental disabilities.  Carol's plan was to teach; however, while working her way through college as an aide in a Special Day Class she realized the classroom was not for her; the community was where she wanted to be.  Harmony Home was co-founded in 1982, originally to provide residential services.  In 1990, Harmony Home started providing Independent Living Services.  In 1994, Harmony Home participated in the Community Supported Living Arrangement (CSLA) pilot project and began providing SLS in 1996.  Currently, Harmony Home supports approximately 300 people. Carol served as co-chair of CSLN, with Jacquie Dillard-Foss, for four years, and currently continues working with Jacquie as Governmental Affairs Co-Chair.  Carol’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis on Special Education, from San Francisco State University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from St. Mary’s College.


 

California Support Living Network Contact Info

Membership
Kristoffel van de Burgt, Membership Chair

Training
Beth Gallagher, Training Co-Chair

Conference
Mark Melanson, Conference Coordinator

General Questions
Rebecca LaBoriel, Secretary 

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