About Meridian Services

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Meridian Services!

Meridian Services has served people with disabilities, those with mental health issues, the elderly and their families for a quarter of a century. Currently our Case Management Department serves approximately 2,500 elderly, 1,500 people with mental health issues and more than 1,000 persons with developmental disabilities.

We are proud of our history of providing services of the highest quality, a quality that has been recognized by those we serve and for which our company has received international accreditation.

We invite you to learn more about us! Please take the opportunity to review our philosophy of service, upon which our company is built, as stated in our Vision and Mission statements and in our Code of Ethics.

We believe that our experience, our quality, and our company’s principals make us an excellent choice as you seek a service provider.

We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about our company and our services and look forward to working with you!

Our Leadership Team

Angela Cavalier

Angela Cavalier

Executive Administrator

Executive Administrator

Angela Cavalier

Angela is the Executive Administrator for the Zenith Services’ Employment and Day Services, various Meridian Services’ residential programs, Little Stars Kids Club, and In-Home Services. Angela also coordinates employee volunteer engagement for Headwaters Relief Organization.

Education
Angela received her Bachelors of Science at the University of Minnesota. Angela has a degree in Service Coordination for individuals with Intellectual and developmental disabilities with a concentration in Management and Psychology.

 

Experience
Angela began her career in social services with Meridian Services in 1998 as a Program Counselor at Silver Lake, in New Brighton. She was employed by Homeward Bound, Incorporated as a Lead Counselor and at Community Involvement Programs as a Program Manager and later, Residential Director overseeing operations at five SLS homes and a 6-bed ICF/MR. Angela returned to Zenith Services and Meridian Services in 2004 as a Program Administrator. She became the Executive Administrator for program services in 2010. Angela believes that high standards of care and commitment to excellence are what make Meridian and Zenith Services stand apart from other organizations.

Personal
Angela and her family live in Minnetrista. She enjoys baking, running and yoga. Angela loves to travel and experience new things. She is actively involved in Headwaters Relief Organization. Angela has a passion for service and has worked with local and international organizations to improve conditions for women and children around the world.

Personal Statement
Angela's philosophy about working in human services is to provide the highest quality services to the people served and their families. She believes that in order to provide quality services, a commitment must first be made to ensuring those individuals working directly with the consumers are trained and respected as professionals. Angela believes that our front line staff are the key to providing quality services.

Her favorite quote is from Mother Theresa. “Give, but give until it hurts.”

    Jenny Schraut

    Jennifer Schraut

    Executive Administrator

    Executive Administrator

    Jennifer is the Executive Administrator for the Residential Program Services.

    Jenny Schraut

    Education
    Jennifer’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. Jennifer’s education at the University was in Psychology and Communications. Jennifer continues to receive training in her field as well as business management.

    Experience
    Jennifer began working for Meridian Services as a Program Counselor at one of Meridian’s residential sites over ten years ago. She continued to work with the company and has been the Program Manager of our Silver Lake group home, Program Director of Residential Services, Program Administrator of the Residential Services until her current position as an Executive Administrator. Jennifer also owns a restaurant business in Saint Cloud with her husband.

    Personal
    Jennifer and her husband Adam, reside in Twin Cities area along with their son and daughter. Jennifer enjoys traveling, attending and participating in sporting activities, spending time outdoors, and being with friends and family. She continues to participate in our Headwaters Organization and is very proud of the work the company has accomplished for people needing assistance. Jennifer and many people who participate in Headwaters believe “gutting” is not for everyone but is a skill that should not be taken for granted. Jennifer also continues to be a volunteer for the Red Cross.

    Personal Statement
    Jennifer’s goal for Meridian Services Organization is to ensure the best care for our clients, being available around the clock as advocates and providers for any and all needs that our clients may have. She also endeavors to create a strong work team where each team member strives to make every home we run the best family environment, allowing independence to all our clients.  Jennifer and her team enjoy bringing people together and creating a positive and fun environment. She believes one of the responsibilities in her current position is to create and maintain a strong Program Team filled with a diverse group of team members on all levels, free to express ideas and implement those ideas to improve everyone’s quality of life. Jennifer continues to be amazed by the skills of her team members and the talents of the people that we serve, often teaching her new things.

      Leann Thompson

      Leann Thompson

      Executive Administrator

      Executive Administrator
      Leann Thompson

      Leann is the Executive Administrator of Meridian Services’ Case Management Department.  Her main responsibility is to ensure the organization is providing the highest quality services to those individuals and families Meridian serves and that it is done within the budgetary guidelines that have been established by the counties.  Leann is currently a member of the Zenith Services and Meridian Services Boards.  Leann is also a member of the following professional organizations/committees:

      Region 10 Board Delegate for the Minnesota Social Service Association; National Association of Social Workers; Medica Advisory Committee for Minnesota Senior Care Programs; Pinnacle Services, Inc. Human Rights Committee; DHS Committee ~ Seniors and People with Disabilities in Managed Care; Hennepin County Council on DD Employment and DT&H Services.

      Leann attended Mankato State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with a minor in psychology.  In addition she has a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management at Concordia University, Saint Paul.

      Leann was employed at the Saint Peter Regional Treatment Center during high school and college.  After college Leann worked at an Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded where she served as Unit Director for twelve individuals with severe to profound developmental disabilities and high medical needs.  She feels this experience gave her a greater appreciation for the services that Meridian Services provides.  Leann believes the individual care and attention that  Meridian Services’ consumers receive makes a tremendous difference in their ability to be independent and access the community in the most effective and normalized way.  She began her work at Meridian Services as a Program Manager.  Leann was promoted to Program Director, Program Administrator and subsequently to the position of Executive Administrator.  Over the years Leann has been involved with almost all of the organization’s projects and programs.

      Leann lives in Maple Grove with her daughter Sophie, and son Elliot.  She is devoted to spending time with her family and has a passion for the outdoors.  Leann enjoys bike riding, walking/hiking, gardening and volunteering.  She feels that one of her greatest achievements was twice completing the Minnesota to Chicago AIDS Ride, now called the Red Ribbon Ride.

      Leann’s philosophy about working in the field of developmental disabilities is to provide the highest quality services to individuals and their families.  She believes that services need to be provided in creative ways in order to help to keep those we serve in the community as long as it is possible and appropriate.  Leann firmly believes that Meridian Services provides such services, and she is greatly honored to be a part of the organization’s team.  Leann’s passion in working for Meridian Services includes having been able to have many different careers within one agency.  Meridian Services is on the cutting edge of many new ventures and there is always room and encouragement to expand one’s interests within the agency to serve both  current clients and the community at large.  Leann is also passionate about volunteering within her own community and other communities within the state and county.  Headwaters Relief Organization offers a way to do this.  She truly appreciates the fact that volunteerism is now a part of the fabric of who we are as a company.

        Ginny Benson

        Ginny Benson

        Program Administrator

        Program Administrator

        Ginny Benson

        Ginny is the Program Administrator for a portion of Meridian Services’ Residential Services.

        Education
        Ginny attended the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Psychology, with a minor in Family Social Science.

        Experience
        Ginny began her career with Meridian Services in February 2009. She started working every other weekend at the Golden Hills Specialized Services in Golden Valley. Ginny then began working between Golden Hills, Hampshire South, and Bassett Creek to fill a full time position. She took a full time position at Golden Hills and then was promoted to Program Manager of Golden Hills in November 2010, to Program Director in November of 2011 and then to Program Administrator in August 2012. She has gained much insight into the field and has learned a lot in her short time with Meridian Services.

        Personal
        Ginny lives in Brooklyn Park with her dog, Winston. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, shopping, going to the cabin, playing with her dog and spending time outside.

        Personal Statement
        Live every day to the fullest with no regrets.

          Ruth DesJarlais

          Ruth Desjarlais

          Program Administrator

          Program Administrator
          Ruth DesJarlaisRuth is a Program Administrator for Meridian Services, overseeing the Bayport, Calhoun, Northwood, Riverside, Timber Crest, and Woodridge programs.

          Education
          Ruth attended Pillsbury College in Owatonna, Minnesota, where her studies focused on Graphic Design.

          Experience
          Ruth began working in social services while attending college in Owatonna. She realized her passion for working with those in need during that time. Ruth worked at Our Homes South, Incorporated, working overnights with an adult with Downs syndrome. After moving back to Minneapolis, Ruth sought a job at Meridian Services where she was hired as a full-time direct care staff person at Bassett Creek SLS. She was promoted to Program Manager of Bassett Creek in June 2008, was promoted to Floating Program Manager in April 2013, and was promoted to Floating Program Director in December 2013.

          Personal
          Ruth currently resides in Blaine with her best friend. She enjoys reading, going to movies, playing and listening to music, and spending time with her family and friends. Ruth also enjoys traveling to seek new adventures.

          Personal Statement
          Ruth is thankful for the opportunities given to her by Meridian Services. She believes that is important to help adults with disabilities to maintain their independence. Ruth enjoys her role as a Floating Program Director, being able to serve a variety of consumers and getting to know some amazing staff along the way. She strives to ensure that her consumers receive the highest quality of care that each deserves.

            Katie Grosse

            Katie Grosse

            Program Administrator

            Program Administrator
            katie grosse
            Education
            Katie has her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Science from North Dakota State University.

            Experience
            Katie has a passion for serving individuals and families.

            She worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor for several years and then began work in the group home setting as a direct care staff.

            Volunteering is an important part of Katie’s life.  She is on the Board of Directors for the Pageant of Hope which is an organization benefiting girls with special needs and challenges.  Katie has also volunteered with The Missing GRACE Foundation.  Missing GRACE Foundation supports families and individuals struggling with infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss and adoption.  Katie has been involved with ambassador programs in Saint Francis, East Bethel, and at the Minneapolis Aquatennial.  Katie has recently volunteered on a few disaster relief trips with Headwaters Disaster Relief Organization.

            Personal
            Katie currently resides in Fridley, Minnesota.  She focuses her life around her family and especially enjoys spending time with her nieces, Madison and Lillian.  Katie is married to her husband Neil.  She loves traveling, watching North Dakota State University Bison football games, and relaxing with her family at their cabin on East Battle Lake in West central Minnesota.

            Personal Statement
            “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Philippians 4:13

              Kari Reinhart

              Kari Reinhart

              Program Administrator

              Program Administrator

              Kari Reinhart

              Kari is a Program Administrator with Orion Associates, responsible for the development of Mental Health Services to include individual therapy, group therapy, housing, and rehabilitative services.

              Education
              Kari’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology from St. Cloud State University and a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling-Marriage and Family Therapy. Kari has recently completed a Narrative therapy training program and has a certificate in Narrative Therapy from the Kenwood Center.

              Experience
              Kari has over a decade of experience working with people with disabilities. She began her work while she was still in High School through the school district as an aide in a Special Education Preschool program. She then continued her work with Opportunity Manor in St. Cloud while she was attending college as a Direct Care staff at one of their ICF/MR’s. Upon graduating Kari began working with Meridian Services as a Program Manager at their Logan home from there she transferred to the Aquila home. In 2001 Kari moved into a Contracted Case Management position with Meridian Services serving children and their families in Anoka County. In 2006 Kari started working with Hennepin County’s case management and providing both individual and group counseling services. She is currently working on expanding our Mental Health services through Orion Associates.

              Personal
              Kari and her husband Aaron, reside in Coon Rapids, along with their three daughters, Madelyn, Isabella, and Gabrielle. Kari enjoys gardening, reading and spending time with her family. She is active in her daughters dance company, girl scout troops, as well as their soccer and baseball teams.

              Personal Statement
              Kari enjoys the opportunities that she has with Orion Associates. Over the years her roles have changed, but she has always been able to maintain a strong working relationship with the consumers. It has been wonderful to see the impact that can be made across the various areas she has worked in. Through direct care, management, case management and administratively she has been able to see the differences that can be made in the lives of others.

                Meghan Shields

                Meghan Shields

                Program Administrator

                Program Administrator

                Meghan Shields

                Meghan is the Program Administrator responsible for the organization’s In Home Services, ILS, SILS, Respite hourly, Little Stars Kids Club and the Residential homes of Greenfields, Maple Lake, Long Prairie..

                Education
                Meghan's education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota.

                Experience
                Meghan’s professional experience begins with working for a day program, PRI, in Minneapolis. She then switched careers into Human Resources / Staffing, where she worked for Spherion for over five years as a Career Agent / Client Service Specialist. From Spherion, Meghan returned to the Human Service field as a Program Manager for In Home Services with Meridian Services. She then became a Program Director responsible for an In Home and Guardianship caseload and the Eidelweiss Respite home. In late 2005, Meghan moved into her current position as Program Administrator.

                Personal
                Meghan resides in Crystal, along with her family. Meghan enjoys camping, traveling, reading, spending time with friends and family. In college, she lived in Mexico City for a semester and took various trips throughout Mexico while she was there. She is enjoying learning to bake and cook. Meghan participates in a monthly restaurant club with college friends. She is a proud mom to a baby boy born in September 2012.

                Personal Statement
                Meghan’s goal for Meridian Services is to provide compassionate, ethical and professional services to Meridian’s consumers. She is committed to advocating for vulnerable adults and children’s rights and assists each individual in working towards their dreams and aspirations. She believes that building on the strengths and resources of each person, as well as the environment they live, will promote higher independence and happiness. Meghan is looking forward to continuing to focus on community resources and integration for each consumer Meridian serves as well as striving to assist each consumer in reaching their individual goals.

                  Sherry Smith

                  Program Administrator

                  Program Administrator


                  Sherry is a Program Administrator for Meridian Services and Zenith Services.

                  Education
                  Sherry attended the University of Wisconsin – Stout and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation.

                  Experience
                  Sherry began working in the human services field while she was in college.  She worked for the Arc of Dunn County, as a Residential Coordinator in a home with two adults with disabilities. Sherry worked there for three years until she graduated college. She also interned at the Independent Living Center assisting people with obtaining assistive technology aids and helped out at the center’s summer camp. During her last semester of school, Sherry interned for Rise, Incorporated, doing job development for individuals with traumatic brain injuries.  After graduating and moving to Eden Prairie, she was hired at Rise and continued working with the traumatic brain injury population. In November 2005, Sherry was hired at Meridian Services as the Program Manager for Logan SLS. In October 2007, she was promoted to a Program Director and oversaw various residential programs, and in November 2011 started Directing Zenith Services. Sherry was promoted to Program Administrator in June 2013.

                  Personal
                  Sherry resides in Farmington with her husband, two boys, and their mini dachshund, Wesley. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going for walks, reading, traveling, and boating.

                  Personal Statement
                  Sherry feels one of the most important aspects of her job is helping the consumers develop the skills they need to be as independent as possible. She enjoys watching them accomplish new things and getting involved in their community. Sherry also feels good relationships and teamwork with staff are essential in the overall quality of service to the consumers.

                    Amber Wells

                    Amber Wells

                    Program Administrator

                    Program Administrator

                    Amber WellsAmber is a Program Administrator for Meridian Services, overseeing the Colorado, Hampshire, Silver Lake, Green Fields, and Logan programs.

                    Education
                    Amber most recently attended Minneapolis Community Technical College for her general coursework.

                    Experience
                    Amber has been working in the field since 2005. She has provided a variety of services including 245B, Adult Foster Care, Vocational training, and ILS. Prior to Meridian Services, Amber managed three group homes along with an ILS program. Most recently Amber worked as a Mental Health Associate at the St. Cloud Hospital.

                    Personal
                    Amber lives in St. Cloud. She enjoys biking, gardening, camping, golfing, and pretty much anything outdoors. Amber loves to travel and would love to continue exploring other cultures.

                    Personal Statement
                    “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” - Gandhi

                      Leota Bemis

                      Program Developer

                      Program Developer

                      Leota is the Program Administrator responsible for Meridian Services’ Crisis and Transition Services. She is also responsible for a handful of Meridian’s SLS homes.

                      Education 
                      Leota attended the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Gerontology. She received a Master’s Degree in Health and Human Services Administration from Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis.

                      Experience
                      While working on her Bachelor of Arts Degree, Leota worked for Trillium Services as a Program Counselor at a variety of SLS homes in Duluth. After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree, she moved to California for a period of time, where she worked as a counselor at a facility for adolescent sexual offenders. After leaving California, and moving to Minnesota, Leota began working for Meridian Services in April of 2005 as a Program Manager of an SLS home. In August of 2006, she was promoted to the Program Director position. In February of 2007, Leota was promoted to the Program Administrator position.

                      Personal
                      Leota resides in Buffalo, Minnesota. Spending time with her family is of utmost importance. Beyond that, working out, walking the dogs, and relaxing on the lake are preferred ways to utilize her free time.

                      Personal Statement
                      There are many aspects of Leota’s job that she enjoys  She takes pleasure in working with the children and adults in all of her homes, as well as working with their families and Interdisciplinary Team members to develop the best care plan possible for all consumers. Leota takes pride in working with staff members and management personnel to become the most efficient and effective providers possible.  She feels privileged to work with the caliber of co-workers she is surrounded by and is grateful to work for a company that strives for the highest quality of care, and one that is constantly growing and progressing.

                        Our Mission and Vision

                        hands with flower

                        Mission

                        “Meridian,” the highest point stars reach in their courses, inspires our vision. Together, we will create an organization that reaches the highest levels of innovation, expertise, and compassionate care.

                        Vision

                        Our mission is to provide services of the finest quality, so that those we serve will be able to realize their dreams. To achieve our mission, we are dedicated to valuing creativity, seeking innovative practices, and achieving expertise.

                        We will conduct our operations in an ethical manner, maintain excellent standards, and strive always to do our best. Above all, we will uphold a tradition of service and caring for others.

                        Code of Ethics

                        Our Advisory Board, Officers, Administrators, and Directors will provide leadership and direction which reflects the mission, vision, and philosophical beliefs of the organization.

                        Our consumers’ preferences and choices will determine the direction of their pursuits of meaningful life choices and desired outcomes.

                        Our services will be provided with a person-centered approach and according to the unique interests and aptitudes of the individuals being served.

                        Our services will be delivered in a manner which promotes the respect, dignity and rights of each individual.

                        We will assist individuals to achieve independent and integrated community options that are meaningful and provide personal growth opportunities.

                        Our services will facilitate the individuals’ ability to make informed decisions with regard to their choice of community living opportunities and will not be based on program convenience or availability.

                        Our services will assist individuals to obtain necessary accommodations which promote their potential for successful community living.

                        We will develop respectful partnerships with community members by exchanging education and resources that promote successful outcomes.

                        Our services will respect each individual’s right to confidentiality and will be provided in accordance with data privacy regulations.

                        Our services will be provided by trained and qualified staff utilizing the most current practices.

                        Our marketing efforts will be conducted in a professional manner that is honest, image enhancing and delivered with integrity.

                        Our financial planning and management will comply with best business practices and applicable legal requirements.

                        Our staff will refrain from providing services which presents a potential conflict of interest and that interfere with the ethical standards of our organization.

                        Our services will be provided to individuals without regard to race, age, religion, sex, disability, marital status, affectional preference, public assistance status, ex-offender status, or national origin.

                        Our Philosophy Company History Your Questions

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

                        Translate »