About Orion ISO

 

Orion ISO Coordinators

Founded in May 2001, we are a part of a unique family of organizations that has served individuals with disabilities and the elderly in Minnesota.

Orion ISO was one of the first providers of self-directed services in Minnesota. Founder Marya Hage created related company Meridian Services in St. Cloud, Minnesota to help serve those with disabilities. We understand that when an individual or family member has a disability, they should receive the best services possible no matter where they reside. The ability to keep loved ones at home, to hire family, friends and neighbors who live close by, and to “manage” the services independently make self-directed service an excellent option.

We’re earning high praise for customer services satisfaction.

More than 99% of respondents in the latest Customer Satisfaction Survey were either satisfied or very satisfied with our overall services. The findings show Orion ISO received more than a 95% satisfaction rate for reporting, payroll and expense reimbursement. This survey polled those served by Orion ISO in 13 areas of customer service including courteousness, online capabilities, timeliness of payroll and expense reimbursement, reporting, overall communication and others.

Customer satisfaction is the ultimate measure of how well we’re doing, and of our commitment to excellence. We’re using this feedback to make even more service improvements.

State of Minnesota

Orion ISO provides services to all populations regardless of language, culture, location, or ability.

Orion ISO provides services in 29 counties throughout Minnesota, including 21 greater Minnesota counties. We are dedicated to ensuring that all those served receive quality, personal services where the challenges of geography may make it difficult for traditional service providers to provide and retain good staff.

We also provide financial management services including fiscal intermediary services nationally via our related organization Morning Sun Financial Services. Our mission is to provide the highest quality of services possible. Our philosophy as an organization is based on customer satisfaction and committed to the principles of self-determination.

Our services are user friendly, straightforward and personal. Our role is to relieve families of administrative stress so they can focus on what’s important: providing the best possible care for their loved one. Our coordinators meet face-to-face with those they serve, wherever in the state they may live.

Our diverse and talented team of employees brings experience in the fields of:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Human Services
  • Education

Our technology makes self-directed services easier to use, especially for those living in rural areas. Online capabilities expedite processes for families, including completing timesheets, submitting expenses, training employees and accessing paperwork.

You make our life easier because of the care your employees take to ensure that the process runs smoothly and accurately. Thank you!

Our Leadership Team

Erin Huldeen

Erin Huldeen

Program Administrator

Erin Huldeen

Erin is a Program Administrator and is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the company’s Consumer Directed Programs, which includes Orion Intermediary Services Organization (ISO) and Morning Star Financial Services.

Education

Erin’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a certificate in African Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Personal

Erin has worked for Orion Associates and Meridian Services since 2002. Prior to her role as Program Administrator, she worked as a Coordinator with Orion ISO and as Program Director and Program Manager with Meridian Services. Erin is also a Certified Support Planner, a member of the MN-CCD Self Direction Work Group, and runs the Meridian Services Consumer Advocacy Group. These positions have given Erin a diverse background in social services and provide her with a consumer-centered approach to working with those she serves.

Erin resides in Maple Grove where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Her interests include running, swimming, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Personal Statement

Erin believes there is a strong relationship between providing quality services and putting the consumers’ needs first. She feels it is essential for all employees to know and understand each consumer on a unique and individual level and to understand each person’s individual needs and strengths. Erin believes the consumers we serve should always be the focus regardless of what position one may have in the company. She feels that all employees should be compassionate, patient and empathetic toward those we serve.

    Missy Schraut

    Missy Schraut

    ISO Coordinator

    Missy Schraut

    Missy is an ISO Coordinator with Orion Associates. She is responsible for helping to support consumers and families in managing their Consumer Directed Community Support portion of their waiver and grant services.

    Education

    Missy’s education includes a certificate in accounting from Rasmussen Business School and obtaining a Bachelors of Arts in History, with an emphasis in American Studies, and a minor in Anthropology.

    Experience

    Joining Orion Associates in 1999, Missy was initially hired to work in the company’s Accounting Department, processing payroll. During Consumer Directed Community Support’s significant growth in 2001, she added expense reimbursement and tracking waiver dollars to her job description. As the program continued to grow, so has Missy’s involvement with Orion ISO, leading to her current position as an ISO Coordinator.

    Personal

    Missy and her husband Jeff, reside in Sartell, along with their two young daughters, Bailey and Gracie, and their dog Nanook. She loves spending time working in her garden, scrapbooking, cooking, baking, and spending time with her family and friends.

    Personal Statement

    Missy is very grateful for the opportunities that she has be given while working with Orion Associates.
    She believes that one of the best benefits of working at Orion has been the people that she has worked with. Although Missy’s role has changed many times since she began, she has remained dedicated to her job and to Orion’s mission and vision. It has been wonderful to see the impact that we can have on others, when often times we feel we are only “just doing our job.” Missy believes that it is her diverse background, including both her work and educational training, that makes her an asset to both the organization and to those she serves.
    It is her goal to help those who utilize our services to live their life to the fullest.

      Tommy Nixon

      ISO Coordinator

      Tommy is an ISO Coordinator with Orion Associates.

      Education

      Tommy graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a degree emphasizing Criminology, Sociology, and Psychology. While in school, he was a member of a community service organization, interned at the public defender’s office, and was a teaching assistant. Tommy was recognized with several academic awards and received an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Project Grant for his time in Honduras.

      Experience

      Tommy has previously worked with adolescents struggling with mental illness and chemical dependency. He has worked direct care, activity and living skills coordination, shift supervision, on-call supervision, and case management. Tommy facilitated regular educational and therapeutic processing groups, created treatment plans, and maintained contacts and licensing requirements.

      Personal

      Tommy enjoys traveling, photography, biking, running, swimming, and camping. He regularly plays tennis, racquetball, and several musical instruments. With his wife, he enjoys going to museums, concerts, the gym, yoga, Russian Kettlebell, cooking, and hanging out at home. Tommy is an avid reader and can frequently be found at coffee shops. He is a part of a very big family and enjoys spending time with them whenever he can.

      Personal Statement

      “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self”
      Ernest Hemingway

        Lara Trujillo

        Lara Trujillo

        ISO Coordinator

        Lara Trujillo

        Lara is an ISO Coordinator with Orion Associates, working with Orion ISO families.

        Education

        Originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lara received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, with Classroom, Choral and Instrumental Certification.  Lara continued with her graduate work in Music Education at the University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul.

        Experience

        Lara has had more than ten years experience in education.
        A former Minnesota public school teacher, she worked with dozens of children with a range of physical and developmental disabilities as well as behavioral issues, helping to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of Individual Education Plans into the mainstream curriculum and classroom.  With Orion ISO, Lara helps to support consumers and families in managing their waiver and grant services.

        Personal

        Away from the office, Lara sings professionally with a variety of local musical and theatrical companies including engagements with Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Theater Latte Da, the History Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Skylark Opera and Minnesota Opera.  Lara has also performed recently with The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, New Breath Productions, Teatro Del Pueblo and Bloomington Civic Theatre.  Lara and her husband, Stephen, live in Edina,
        along with their three daughters, Lyndsay, Madeleine and Maya, and their son, Liam.

        Personal Statement

        Although now working in the human services field, Lara continues to strive to be an educator for families
        and communities, as well as consumers, to ensure that they have the information and tools to be strong
        and knowledgeable advocates for themselves and their loved ones.
        To quote Schoolhouse Rock …”Knowledge is power!”

          Kathy Muench

          Kathleen Muench

          Iso Coordinator

          Kathy Muench

          Kathleen is a Family Coordinator for Orion ISO.

          Education

          Kathleen attended Minnesota State University, Mankato and the University of Minnesota for three years, before taking a break from her studies to get married and start a family.  When time allowed she would take classes in Art studies.  In 2008, Kathleen returned to school, full time, at Hennepin Technical College, where she earned her Associates Degree in Accounting.

          Professional Experience

          Kathleen worked at various small banks, ran a small daycare and cleaning business from 1981 to 2007 while raising her children.
          She always enjoyed working with numbers and developing a good relationship with all of her customers.

          Personal

          Kathleen dated her husband, Joe, while attending college for three years, before getting married in 1981. They moved to Washington state and began a life with many transfers associated with Joe’s job. We experienced many wonderful opportunities exploring the United States, from coast to coast. They have two sons; Ryne and Tyler, along with Tyler’s orange tabby cat, Milo.  Family is her number one priority and spending time together is a complete joy.  Outside of work, Kathleen enjoys bass fishing, painting, watching movies with her family on weekends and best of all long walks with Joe.  The cold winter nights are usually working out at the gym with Joe.  Kathleen dislikes the cold weather but loves Minnesota anyway.

          Personal Statement

          Kathleen is very thankful for the opportunity to apply her knowledge gained from her studies, work experience and life in general.  She is very fortunate to be able to work with the wonderful group of employees at Orion Associates. Kathleen looks forward to a bright future working for a company with such compassion for others.

            Amara Penske

            Amara Penske

            ISO Coordinator

            Amara Penske

            Amara is a Coordinator with Orion ISO.

            Education

            Amara attended Redwood Valley High School in Redwood Falls, MN. She has her CNA and TMA certifications from Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN.

            Experience

            Amara has worked in the medical field since she was sixteen, in nursing homes and as a home health aide. Amara was hired as a Direct Care staff for Meridian Services in August of 2010. She was offered an Administrative Assistant position for Orion Associates at the Golden Valley office in November of 2011, later being promoted to the position of HR Specialist.

            Personal

            Amara resides in Brooklyn Park with her fiancé, Matt, and their son, Ivan. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, and traveling to southwest Minnesota to spend time with family and friends!

            Personal Statement

            Amara is very enthusiastic about her work in the Human Resources Department. She strives to improve processes to get employees hired quickly and working for our families. Amara enjoys building strong working relationships with the families we serve and with her coworkers. She looks forward to learning and growing professionally in the social services field.

              Zach Garica

              ISO Coordinator

              Zach Garcia

              Zach works as a Family Coordinator for Orion ISO.

              Education

              Zach received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater and Music from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 2011.

              Experience

              Zach’s expertise lies in non-profit programming and administration. He has worked extensively with youth performing arts organizations across the Midwest. Zach previously worked in the Human Resources department with Orion Associates prior to moving to Orion ISO.

              Personal

              Zach is a local professional actor and vocalist in the Twin Cities in addition to working with Orion Associates. He has worked as an arts educator and artistic director of youth arts organizations across the Midwest. Zach originally hails from the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. He enjoys theatre, music, kayaking, running, and the outdoors.

              Personal Statement

              If you commit to something, do it passionately, without question, and without regrets.

                kelli mcnevin

                Kelli McNevin

                ISO Coordinator

                kelli mcnevinKelli is an ISO Coordinator for Orion ISO with Orion Associates.

                Education

                Kelli’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from University of Minnesota, Mankato and a Master’s of Arts degree in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  In addition, Kelli obtained licensure as a Licensed Psychological Practitioner in March 2002.

                Experience

                Kelli began working as a Vocational Coordinator with Access to Employment while preparing for her licensure examinations.  As a Licensed Psychological Practitioner, she then worked as a Primary Counselor for Omegon, Incorporated, providing therapy services for adolescents aged twelve to eighteen who have major mental health issues along with chemical abuse problems in a dually-licensured facility.  In addition to role as a Primary Counselor, Kelli added the role of an On-Call Supervisor and became member of the Management Accountability Team (M.A.T.).

                She became one of three valuable members of the M.A.T. assisting in the overall management of the Omegon Program.  As a M.A.T. member, she was involved in every aspect of a client’s treatment from first interview all the way to the completion of aftercare.  In March of 2007, Kelli began working at Meridian Services as a Program Manager for In-Home Services and Supervised Visitations.

                In October of 2007, Kelli moved into the role as a Program Manager for Guardianship Services, as well as Conservatorship, on behalf of Meridian Services. Upon the dissolution of that program, Kelli is now transferring her vast skillset to work as an ISO Coordinator!

                Personal

                Kelli and her husband, Todd, reside in Montrose, along with their Dachshund, Ginger and two cats, Oscar and Felix.  Kelli and her husband enjoy spending time being outdoors, working on home projects and landscaping their backyard.

                Personal Statement

                Kelli believes in providing a non-judgmental compassionate approach that is centered on the individual understanding their feelings while discovering what barriers may exist that limit their full potential.

                  Amy Richter

                  Amy Richter

                  ISO Coordinator

                  Amy RichterAmy is a Coordinator for Orion ISO with Orion Associates.

                  Education 

                  Amy graduated from Rasmussen College with an Associates’ Degree in Health Information Management. She graduated from Hopkins High School.

                  Experience

                  Amy has been working in accounting for almost ten years, and in billing for eleven!  She is self-motivated, always willing to learn, and loves challenges. The positions that excite her are those that carry the wearing of many hats.  Amy lived and taught over-seas in Asia from 2000-2004.

                  Personal

                  In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She currently has Jaxon, the cat, Bruiser and Roxi, the dogs, Mila, the fish, and Chip and Kristine, her chickens.  She would love nothing more than to have a hobby farm.  Amy loves the outdoors, working out, camping, and hiking.  She is very into studying heritage and theology.

                    Our Philosophy and Mission

                    hands with flowerOrion ISO is deeply committed to the principles of self-determination. We provide outstanding financial and technical support for the individuals and families we serve without influencing their choices. We maintain strong partnerships by consistently providing responsive, flexible and accurate fiscal intermediary services.

                    Orion ISO provides the highest quality, personal service. We measure the quality of our services not only by the satisfaction of those we serve but also by the increase in meaningful supports in people’s lives.

                    Principles of Self Determination

                    • Orion ISO is one the largest and oldest providers of Self-Directed Services in state of Minnesota. We are deeply committed to the principals of Self Determination and to the implementation of Self-Directed Services.Freedom to live a meaningful life
                    • Authority over money needed for support
                    • Support to organize resources in ways that are life-enhancing and meaningful
                    • Responsibility for the wise use of public dollars
                    • Confirmation of leadership by self advocates

                    About Self-Directed Services

                    famly with kids and dogUnder self-directed services, those we serve receive an individualized budget and each client decides how to use those funds. Orion ISO individuals select, schedule and supervise their own employees and often employ those they know best including family and trusted friends. They also may purchase other goods and services such as adaptive equipment, training and modifications.

                    Orion ISO works with many programs and service options and our role as a Minnesota fiscal agent may vary. Some of our responsibilities as a fiscal intermediary may include:

                    • Employer setup
                    • Budgets
                    • Payroll
                    • Expense reimbursement
                    • Human resources support
                    • Billing and Reporting
                    • Service usage monitoring
                    • Private pay for services

                    Please visit our other websites for a full listing of our services:

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