With more than 200 employees (the vast majority of which are full-time), VRS is the 23rd largest employer in Walla Walla County. Most of our employees work directly with clients, mainly in the Supported Living program. Our office staff include:
Nancy Riggle – Executive Director of Valley Residential Services – has held this position since 1984. She began working as the group home administrator of Stonecreek Lodge administered by the ARC of Walla Walla in December of 1978. Stonecreek Lodge served 20 clients with intellectual disabilities in the large group home. In 1980, Nancy was instrumental in helping the ARC build one of the first Supported Living programs in Washington State. Nancy currently serves as the Region I South member at large for CRSA (The Community Residential Services Association) and as the Board President for Friends of Children of Walla Walla, a local non-profit agency. She does volunteer work in Walla Walla as an Adult Friend through the Friends Program. She was a past Board member for the Rising Sun Clubhouse, a private, non-profit corporation that ran a Clubhouse for adults with Mental Health diagnoses. Nancy was a foster mother for 14 years, and specialized in working with children with challenging behavioral issues. She adopted five girls from the foster care system, and also serves as mom to her biological, step, and foster children. She considers all of her children her “own” and also has 18 grandchildren. Nancy believes that she “grew up” with VRS and that VRS has been an amazing gift to her throughout the years. She continues to do Parenting Skills Instruction with clients from the Family Support Program, and enjoys this direct service work in addition to the many other tasks she does on a daily basis at VRS.
Melissa Cuevas-Kelsay started working at Valley Residential Services in 2003. In those 13 years Melissa has become an integral part of the Administrative team, as she is a “jack of all trades.” Melissa is known for her outstanding ability to multitask. She currently is a Program Manager in our Supported Living Program, and handles the majority of our employees’ schedules and vacation/sick leave requests. When she isn’t working directly with staff members or peers, Melissa can be found working on anything from agency computers to direct service at clients’ homes assisting with yard care and cleaning. She is passionate about her clients and is always working to make sure they have all of their various needs met.
Nancy DeLaRosa was hired at Valley Residential Services in 2007. She started as a Visit Supervisor for the Family Support Program and became the Program Manager for that program in 2014. In 2015 Nancy started to help at the VRS front desk as an Administrative Assistant, while continuing to coordinate the Family Support visits and supervise the Family Support Visit Supervisors. In September of 2016 she became the office manager, she continues to be the program manager for Family Support.
Nancy was a foster parent for almost 12 years and had over 30 children in her home, and adopted 3 of those children. She has 3 grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them.
Jenny Hagey has been with Valley Residential Services for 11 years. She started out as a direct service staff member working directly with clients, and is now one of the Program Managers overseeing clients and staff members in clients’ homes. She strives to see clients meet their goals and aspirations.
Jenny enjoys watching birds, and strives to make her yard a safe place for them to feast. She states that this is one of her favorite pastimes. Jenny also likes camping and fishing, and one tradition she has is going huckleberry picking with the ladies in her family every year.
In January 2016, Lucy Henderson joined VRS as the newest member of the Administrative Assistant Team at the front desk. She likes the activity at the front desk and thanks clients and staff members for their patience and “nuggets of wisdom.” Lucy has been the guardian/trustee for an older developmentally disabled family member for more than 20 years, so she is now learning more about the “other side of the coin.” She spends off time with family and friends, and continues NRA-sanctioned firearm safety/shooting training. She also volunteers as Board Secretary of Saint Basil Academy-Russian Orthodox Christian Church, and as an ad hoc Board member of the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Foundation.
David Hoffman has worked at Valley Residential Services since October, 2006. He started as a direct service staff member working with several clients. In July, 2008, he became the Client Finance Manager. David assists the Supported Living clients with tracking their income, paying their expenses, and with arranging money for vacations, major purchases, and money envelopes for events such as the Walla Walla Fair and hockey games. In his free time, David enjoys his two American Bulldogs, Lulu and Kobe, walks, and a good movie.
Ken Jundt started with VRS in February, 2010. The first year he worked with a client at Stateline for about 6 months and then transferred to a “floater” position, working at various houses while being available to fill open slots when someone would call in sick. He was promoted to Program Manager in 2011. Ken manages four Supported Living homes with 10 clients and 23 staff members. His off time interests include bike riding, fishing, hiking, and hunting with his bird dog, who is now retired due to hip issues. As far as fishing goes, he like to bait fish for trout at the local lake, but he also fly fishes the desert lakes on a pontoon boat with his friends and brother. Fishing for Steelhead and Salmon is an annual event for Ken and he usually fishes the Klickitat river in a drift boat with his friends.
Charlene Kelsay has been at Valley Residential Services for 31 years. She began as a Substitute Instructor and gradually moved up into the position of Program Manager. She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her clients outside of the office. Charlene is very family oriented and she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
Joyce Light was born in Walla Walla and grew up here, going to local schools. She worked at area nursing homes as a CNA, home care, and frozen food production until starting at VRS in 1995. She started as an Instructor and was then promoted to Medical Program Manager in 2004. She has a great fondness for gardening and caring for her animals, especially her dog Lucy. Joyce cares very much about her clients and tries to meet their medical needs with compassion.
Rhonda Lund has been an employee with Valley Residential Services since July 2004. She started as a part time employee with the CORD program to assist with person centered plans and in that same year became the Program Manager. Her father served in the Marine Corp in WWII and her husband did his time in Vietnam as a combat veteran. The opportunity to work with veterans in transition has been challenging at times however, the rewards of being a small part of their journey forward has been an honor. We have the capacity for 34 veterans in five sites situated within the communities of Walla Walla and College Place.
Celeste Maddocks received her BS degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Walla Walla College. She started working at VRS as a Substitute Instructor in July 1989 and became the Supported Living Program Manager in December that same year. She states that her years at VRS have been very rewarding, challenging and fun. She feels like her clients and staff members are part of her extended family. Born and raised in Walla Walla Valley, she has had the opportunity to travel to many beautiful places with her family. Kyle and Celeste have been married for 26 years and have 2 amazing teenage boys, Cadyn & Bowyn. She feels that she is following God’s plan for her life and it has been a wondrous experience.
A Valley Residential Services employee since October, 2008, Kathleen Mahoney started out as a direct support staff and in 2010 became a Program Manager. Kathleen likes to organize, write, and visit clients in their homes. Kathleen says she is grateful for all of the staff, residents, and co-workers who have had such a positive impact in her life. At home she enjoys gardening, sewing, reading, cooking, and spending time with family.
Terry Nichols started working at VRS as a direct service staff member in February, 2006, and now works part-time in the VRS office as the Client Finance Manager Assistant. She really enjoys her job, as she was a bookkeeper for Walla Walla County for 31 years. Terry enjoys seeing all of the clients. She spends her free time with her family, and especially her 3 grandchildren! Terry belongs to the College Place Lions Club and also loves to read!
Kimberly Niemeyer began her 14 year, ongoing career at Valley Residential Services in 2002. She started by working as a direct service staff member, caring and teaching life skills to the Supported Living clients. Later she became the Activities Director, and supported the agency mission of integration, which entailed assisting in organizing and facilitating our clients’ attendance at hockey games, concerts, the fair, movies, bowling, and other community events. She also coordinated various “club” meetings, and these were all used to help clients build relationships and improve integration within the community for our clientele. Kim is also a CPR/ First Aid Instructor here at VRS, and participates in supporting other training tasks within the agency. Kim enjoys spending time with friends and family, camping/hiking, and traveling. When she isn’t working she is busy with ever evolving projects at home.
Nidia Ramirez began her employment with Valley Residential Services in August 2001, as an Administrative Assistant. In 2010 she was promoted to Finance Manager, and her duties in that capacity involve Payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivable, and personnel management. Nidia has a BA degree in Accounting, and that is a definite asset when handling her job responsibilities, as there are over 200 staff members employed by VRS! Nidia is very devoted to her two daughters and her extended family, and she enjoys traveling. Nidia feels that she is just one of the wonderful people that have been responsible for the success of Valley Residential Services.
Elena Riggs says that being born and raised in Los Angeles has made moving to the Northwest ‘warm and fuzzy’ and that the people here make it easy to want to be kind and helpful. In 2002 she came to VRS to do just that. She was an Instructor for around 8 years then took a year off. In May 2011 Nancy coaxed her back to assist with a client in Dayton and from there she became a Program Manager. In her spare time she likes to share her time and energy helping and visiting people, reading, sewing, listening/writing/playing music and walking.
Cassandra Studer was hired by VRS in June, 1994 in an Instructor position, where she soon developed a love and passion for working with people with disabilities. This passion evolved into an 11 year career managing and advocating for the sometimes serious medical and mental health needs of these individuals. She furthered this advocacy by moving into a training position, with the hope of increasing the quality of the lives of our Supported Living clients. She hires and trains instructors in Supported Living with a hospitable and enthusiastic attitude. Family is the most important thing to her, and her involvement with VRS and the numerous challenging scenarios allow her to be a more caring and understanding wife, mom, grandma, and support person to people that are in need of a little “life.”