Cornerstone Valley believes that every member on our team is vital to our mission: helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive in Community.
Cornerstone acknowledges the mission-critical role of our direct care staff in caring for our individuals. We believe in rewarding the dedication and hard work of our direct care staff by providing opportunities for professional growth and advancement. We are pleased to note that several members of our management team previously served as direct care staff.
ADMINISTRATIVE & SUPPORT STAFF
Teresa Smith has been our accountant since our inception. She holds an Associates in Accounting and is licensed as an Enrolled Agent to practice before the IRS in all things tax related, for both business and personal taxes. She is thrilled to play a part in caring for the ID/DD population. Although she does not care for our individuals on a personal level, she works hard to assure that accounting goes smoothly, so house managers and support staff have a timely paycheck and all our bills are paid.
“None of us is as smart as all of us.” —Ken Blanchart
Wynter’s career in social work began at a 24-hour provider agency, where she worked for five years and held a variety of positions. She then served as a County case manager for four years, and an adult and child foster care licensor for two years before coming to Cornerstone Valley. Wynter has worked with the ID/DD population in a variety of settings, including their place of employment, community integration, and their personal homes. She has provided direct care and participated in individualized outings. Wynter joined Cornerstone Valley in 2019 as our Services Director, which morphed into her current role as Associate Director.
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
Kevin earned a degree in Business from University of California at Merced.
Kevin has 10 years of experience in the ID/DD field, providing a range of executive support for Operations, Budgeting, Marketing, Employment, Human Resources and Administration. Kevin joined Cornerstone Valley in 2020 as our Operations Manager working from our Salem, OR headquarters. One way Kevin makes a difference for our individuals is assisting them with job placements in their communities.
When you see the Southern Cross for the first time you understand now why you came this way ‘Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from is so small but it’s as big as the promise, the promise of a comin’ day.”
LeAnne grew up around family members with autism. She also credits a fellow high school student with down’s syndrome, whose positive outlook changed her perspective on life and inspired her choice of career. As a senior, LeAnne worked in the school’s Developmental Learning Center assisting clients with special needs. At the age of 18, she became a Direct Support Professional and has been in the field ever since. She has taken clients to the Great Wolf Lodge, the fair, and out to eat—and taught a client how to grocery shop. LeAnne joined Cornerstone Valley in 2017, working as a Direct Support Professional at our Sequoia house. She became Sequoia’s House Manager in 2019. LeAnne is now transitioning into the role of Interim Services Manager.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Ali Barresi began working in the ID/DD field as a Direct Support Professional in 2004. She quickly discovered she loved the intensity of the learning required and became an Oregon Interventions Systems instructor and a behavior specialist in 2006. From that point, she provided person-centered planning and Positive Behavior Support consultation and training to provider organizations, foster homes, DSPs, personal support workers, and families of children and adults with developmental disabilities. She also developed curricula and mentored other prospective behavior professionals to increase capacity in Oregon. Ali landed at Cornerstone Valley in 2020 and is excited to know and support our amazingly cool individuals, their staff, our management and behavior professional teams, and the ID/DD field in Oregon as a whole.
“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”—Thich Nhat Hanh
Rudy’s education at Central Michigan University began in the arts with a Major in Dance and Movement Studies and then continued in Community Development with a focus on Health Sciences. Growing up with a family member with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rudy wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and started working with ID/DD populations. She has worked in different areas of the I/DD field as a Direct Support Professional and Personal Support Worker, Program Manager, Oregon Intervention Instructor, Behavior Professional, Guardian and advocate for the last 16 years. An avid cyclist, Rudy biked 4,136 miles from Rhode Island to San Francisco in order to raise money and awareness for affordable housing. She has also helped build three homes for Habitat for Humanity. Rudy joined Cornerstone Valley in 2021 and serves our individuals in our Cedar, Douglas, Sequoia, and Willow homes.
“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”― Franz Kafka
Behavior Support Professional
Sara earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology at the University of Oregon in 2012.
Sara’s prior background was in Hospice Care and worked as support staff for elderly adults with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Sara joined Cornerstone Valley in 2018 and helped our younger individuals engage in the community by visiting the local library, fire station and attending community events such as Movies in the Park. In 2020, she stepped into the role of House Manager for our youth facility, Willow Home. Sarah has recently transitioned into the role of Behavior Support Professional.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
Braden Fuszek is an Interim Behavior Professional. He has spent the last four years working towards his bachelor’s degree in psychology, as well as playing football at Western Oregon University! While in school Braden was also working as a DSP for three years in numerous homes at Cornerstone Valley. He also stepped in as a House Manager temporarily for a few months! Braden has resided in the Monmouth/Independence area for most of his life and has been highly involved with youth sports programs as a coach and referee, he has also coached at the high school level. In Braden’s free time he enjoys fly fishing, weightlifting, golfing, going to concerts/festivals, and traveling.
“To appreciate the sun, you gotta know what rain is.” – J. Cole
Executive Director, Co-Founder
Nick worked at a 24-hour ID/DD agency while pursuing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business at Western Oregon University. Nick spent four years working as a Direct Support Professional and became a strong advocate for the individuals in his care, ensuring they had access to education, signing them up for Special Olympics, securing employment and expanding opportunities for self-employment. Nick spent an additional year working as a house manager, then became a Polk County caseworker for ID/DD individuals. In his final year as a caseworker, Nick guided families through the eligibility process to receive county and state Developmental Disability Services. After earning his MBA from Corban University, Nick and his wife, Carly, started Cornerstone Valley in 2013. Nick has volunteered at Special Olympics for basketball and track & field, has served Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, and organized events for inner city children at low-income schools. Nick also serves on the leadership team of his church.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others.” —Mahatma Ghandi
Before college, Carly worked as a CNA at Kittias Valley Community Hospital. She then became a Direct Support Professional for four years while earning her degree in Community Health from Western Oregon University. Carly assisted individuals in their homes and worked in vocational and other day programs that taught life skills to adults with ID/DD. She supported individuals with extensive medical needs and a range of mental and behavioral health challenges. Carly became a certified trainer for First Aid, CPR and other health safety courses, and trained employees working in the ID/DD field. Carly Carly co-founded Cornerstone Valley with her husband, Nick, in 2013. Carly served as Associate Director, where she recruited and hired employees, managed employee benefits and shaped workplace culture. She also ensured Cornerstone maintained federal, state and field-specific compliance. Carly simultaneously served as Cornerstone’s in-house certified Behavior Support Professional for the first four years, and became an OIS (Oregon Intervention System) Instructor, advocating for positive behavior support to those with developmental disabilities. During her time at Cornerstone, Carly has inspired staff to be passionate, creative and invested in the care they provide. With Cornerstone’s growth and many capable staff on our team, Carly has recently stepped away from her active role and enjoys the position of prayer warrior and cheerleader for this team that she describes as, “truly selfless and dedicated.”