About Orion ISO

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

Executive Administrator / 763-450-6752

Erin Huldeen

Erin is a Exectutive 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 Sun 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.

    Lara Trujillo

    Lara Trujillo

    Program Administrator / 763-450-5041

    Lara Trujillo

    Lara is the Program Administrator for ISO Coordinator with Orion Associates.

    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!”

      Zach Garcia

      Zach Garcia

      ISO Director / 763-452-1763

      Zach Garcia

      Zach is an ISO Director with Orion Associates.

      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.

        Amara Penske

        Amara Penske

        Personal Support Manager / 763-450-5043

        Amara Penske

        Amara is the Personal Supports Manager 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.

          Missy Schraut

          Missy Schraut

          ISO Coordinator / 763-450-5055

          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.

            alex team photo

            Alexander Gerchak

            ISO Coordinator / 612-400-6703


            Alexander is a Coordinator for Orion ISO with Orion Associates.

            Education

            Alexander graduated cum laude from Hamline University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Theatre ArtsAlexander graduated cum laude from Hamline University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Theatre Arts.

            Experience

            Prior to joining Orion Associates, Alexander served as an administrative intern for the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2013. He has also done political campaign work for numerous campaigns within the past five years.

            Personal

            Alexander has been heavily involved in the performance arts for the majority of his life, having taken part in countless productions in a variety of roles, as a musician, actor, dancer and technician. He intends to pursue future projects as a writer and director, for stage and screen. Alexander also enjoys a suite of clichés that others seem to enjoy, such as walking outside, spending time with friends, and watching that one TV show that’s really popular right now.

            Personal Statement

            “Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

            - Kurt Vonnegut

              Dustin Harris

              Dustin Harris

              ISO Coordinator / 763-450-7904

              Dustin is a Coordinator for Orion ISO with Orion Associates.

              Education

              Dustin graduated from Ashford University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.  Since living in Minnesota, he has obtained his P.O.S.T certification which is required to become Law Enforcement.

              Experience

              While never actually working in the human service field, he strives to do the best that he can in every aspect of the job. He is excited to continue to learn more about the human services field and helping people with disabilities.

              Personal

              Dustin is originally from Newnan, GA but moved to Sacramento, CA at age 16. After graduating high school, he joined the Marine Corps, where he served for 8 years and 9 months, and got out in July 2012. During his time in the Marine he took on many rolls, one of which was Licensing NCO/ Clerk.  In July of 2015 he moved from San Diego, CA to Maple Grove, MN with his family.

              Dustin enjoys watching his two sons, Joshua and Bryson play their respective sports and coaching both during football season. Dustin have coached football on the youth level for 5 years which includes Flag and Tackle football levels. He also enjoys getting out on the lake and fishing.

              Personal Statement

              “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

              -Vince Lombardi

                Emily Milius

                ISO Coordinator / 763-452-1797

                Emily is an ISO Coordinator for Orion Associates.

                Education

                Emily received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota.

                Experience

                Emily’s passion for serving those with special needs began when she was young helping her mom at work with the adaptive bowling team. Emily worked her way through college as support staff for multiple families and after graduating worked as a Program Manager for group homes in the Twin Cities and at an adult day program. Emily also spent 5 years in the financial industry.

                Personal

                Emily enjoys being outdoors in all capacities: hiking, kayaking, winter snow walks, running by the chain of lakes, and more. She also likes spending time with friends playing board games, roller skating, binge watching the newest hit show, and traveling, especially to Denver to visit family.

                Personal Statement

                “I like to encourage people to realize that any action is a good action if it's proactive and there is positive intent behind it.”

                -Michael J. Fox

                  Paige McKenzie

                  ISO Coordinator / 763-450-5044

                  9Paige is an ISO Coordinator for  Orion Associates.

                  Education

                  Paige graduated with her Bachelors’ Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Northwest Missouri State University.  She is currently pursuing her Masters’ Degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Public Policy and Urban Development. Paige is also currently working on obtaining her Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certificationPaige graduated with her Bachelors’ Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Northwest Missouri State University.  She is currently pursuing her Masters’ Degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Public Policy and Urban Development. Paige is also currently working on obtaining her Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certification.

                  Experience

                  Prior to joining the ISO Coordinator team with Orion Associates, Paige worked for Meridian  and prior Paige worked as a Program Coordinator for the Youth Community Out Reach programs for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Dane County.  During college, she interned at Saint Mary's Care Center and for Golden Living Center as a Therapeutic Recreation program developer.  While attending NMSU, Paige held the secretary chair for the Health, Physical Education, Recreation Association (HPERA), in which she helped develop and Adult Day Care program for the Maryville, MO metropolitian area.

                  Personal

                  Paige's kids have paws.  Her four-year-old quirky farm cat, Nala Bear, has behaviors resembling those of an energetic Australian Shepard.  On the weekends you're likely to see Paige walking the shores of Calhoun with her cat...yes, on a leash!  Her hobbies include working on a small Etsy business selling travel bags, blogging about local music, and playing volleyball three times a week.  Paige's interests revolved around recreational activities, traveling, volunteering with Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, and community out-reach programs.  Her family is a huge contributing factor as to why she has found herself working and volunteering in the health and human services field.  Paige's sister, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and developmental disabilities, has driven her to provide inclusive opportunities for all individuals living with disadvantages.

                  Personal Statement129

                  "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and gives strength to the body and soul."

                  - John Muir

                   

                    Jeff Erickson

                    ISO Coordinator / 612-400-6416

                    Jeff is an ISO Coordinator for  Orion Associates.

                    Education

                    Jeff graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with Bachelor's Degrees in Computer Science and French.

                    Experience

                    Throughout and since college, Jeff has spent several years working with people with disabilities, including working for two years as a Behavioral Therapist with the Minnesota Autism Center .


                    Personal

                    Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and pets.  His hobbies include gaming, piano, watching horror movies and terrible reality shows, and taking the stage in local theatre productions.

                    Personal Statement

                    “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

                    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

                     

                      Kimberly Nelson

                      ISO Coordinator / 763-450-5011

                      Kimberly is an ISO Coordinator for  Orion Associates.

                      Education

                      Kimberly graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelors' in Human Services and a minor in Psychology. Kimberly hopes to further her education with a Masters' in Social Work.

                      Experience

                      Kimberly began her work in social services as an Adoption Specialist with Webster-Cantrell. Kimberly remained there for four years until relocating from Illinois to Minnesota where she began her work at Orion Associates. Kimberly was involved in several social service positions and internships throughout her undergraduate years, as well.

                      Personal

                      In her free time, Kimberly enjoys adventures with her fiance and their dogs. She also enjoys crafting, dancing, and watching Netflix.

                      Personal Statement

                      "Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

                      -Winnie the Pooh

                        Jasmine Rose

                        ISO Coordinator / 763-450-5055


                        Jasmine is an ISO Coordinator for  Orion Associates.

                        Education

                        Jasmine is currently working towards her B.A. in Communications.

                        Experience

                        Prior to joining the ISO Coordinator team with Orion Associates, Jasmine has had 15 years of Customer Service experience. Starting in retail and restaurants Jasmine worked her way into being a Sr. Lead for Customer Service in a fast past call center. Jasmine comes to Orion as a tenacious problem solver, one who knows how to provide an excellent experience for the clients she works with.

                        Personal

                        In Jasmine's free time, she likes to take her three kids on adventurers at parks and nature reserves. Jasmine spends a lot of time studying and when she isn't studying or taking care of her kids she likes to sit as a family and watch a movie.

                        Personal Statement

                        "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

                          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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