Chet graduated with a BA in Psychology from Plymouth State University and earned a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University. He has spent the majority of his career working in the mental health and higher education fields. Chet is passionate about the fact that everyone deserves a fair opportunity to succeed and that potential cannot be measured using a single gauge of a global scale. It is important to Chet that educational & vocational opportunities, life skills development, and a general sense of safety and belonging are available to all. The capacity to learn and grow, he believes, is entirely connected to a secure environment in which one can try new things without the fear of failure and ridicule.
Hannah graduated from Saint Anselm College with a BA in Psychology in 2013. Soon after she began her career in Human Services working as a DSP and fell in love with working in this field. She realized being able to help others has been the most rewarding decision and plans on continuing being in this profession. She started working at CIS in November of 2019 and has had numerous positions here, starting with being a Residential Program Manager. She is eager to learn more so that she can teach others, which has brought her to the position of Deputy Director. Working closely with the Executive Director, Hannah is focusing her efforts on the positive growth of CIS, while ensuring their Reliability of Services is constantly being met or exceeded. Hannah oversees the day to day operations for the company as a whole, meeting with all team members on a regular basis so the cohesive team atmosphere continues and any problem solving is done collectively. She believes that working as a team to establish the best solutions for all is a key component to success.
Erika began her career in the Human Services field as a Direct Support Professional in 2013 after studying Biology at the University of New Hampshire. She then participated in a community support program before accepting a Program Management position for Enhanced Family Care placements in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Erika joined the CIS team in the position of Day Program Manager, and then Area Direcor before transitioning into her current role as Quality Assurance.
As a certified Mandt System trainer, Erika promotes healthy communication amongst staff and individuals, as well as creative problem-solving and crisis management solutions. She strives to ensure that each individual is participating in a program appropriate to their needs and aspirations, with a focus on self-advocacy, enrichment, community involvement, and overall health and wellness.
Cherise began working in the human services field 17 years ago as a Cabin Lead at Summer Camp Loyal town in Hunter NY. She studied Music performance and Youth ministry at NYACK Seminary College in NYC. While living in New York Cherise worked as a Residential supervisor and Medical coordinator; still supporting the developmentally challenged population with special concentration with persons on the Autism spectrum. Cherise relocated to New Hampshire in 2017 to care for her beloved grandfather in his final days. She continued her career with CIS that year as a DSP and shortly after, transitioned into the role of Class Instructor. Cherise truly has a passion for enriching the lives of others and continues to do so in her current role as an Area Director.
Ashley began her career working with the adult population in a human services capacity in 2014 when she moved from Syracuse, NY to Portsmouth, NH. Ashley grew up helping her mother in her special education classroom after school from elementary school through high school, and while she enjoyed this, decided to explore other avenues after graduating high school. Ashley went to school at SUNY Alfred for Fine Arts & Graphic Design while working at the Post Office to pay for her classes and substitute teaching in special education classrooms. Ashley then worked with at-risk teenagers in an alternative high school setting and also worked direct support with at-risk youth ranging between 5 and 17 years old. During this time Ashley also participated in several outreach coalitions in an effort to educate and mentor at-risk teenagers. Ashley felt fulfilled working with the at-risk and developmentally disabled population and continued down this path, furthering her education at SNHU and working direct support with One Sky Futures. Over time she was promoted to residential program manager where she enjoys helping individuals find and sustain a happy and healthy home environment.
Ashley has a passion for helping others, volunteering for years at local food pantries, animal shelters, Disaster Action Team through the Red Cross, and participated in a mission trip to the Dominican Republic brining food, clothing and medical services to impoverished children. She is excited to continue in this field working alongside others that are eager to fight the good fight! In January of 2022 she was promoted to Area Director.
Becky Philbrick is our Director of Nursing. She comes to us with many years of experience in the health care field. Her career began in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. She then graduated from Cardiovascular Technologist School and excelled in Echocardiography. She obtained her Associates in Science in Nursing, then furthered her education to Bachelors of Science in Nursing with Excelsior College. She has a small family farm in Hillsboro where she enjoys gardening and her many animals.
Ruth has practiced nursing for 20 plus years having received her education at Regis College. Ruth entered the field of nursing serving the IDD and TBI population in 2013 and is certified as a brain injury specialist (CBIS). Ruth enjoys this specialty of nursing and finds the opportunities to teach, advocate and assist with health care coordination to be very rewarding in many ways.
Karen is a second generation RN following in her mother’s footsteps. She began her nursing profession at Catholic Medical Center on their medical surgical unit. She completed ACLS certification specializing on the cardiac step down telemetry unit for 7 years as charge nurse. Karen advanced her career in rehabilitation medicine for 7 more years. When Elliot and CMC merged, it became known as Optima health. She helped start up a new type of nursing unit called K-8 at the Elliot Campus.
Karen changed her nursing career path to working with the developmentally disabled as a nurse trainer in 1999 .She has been devoted to this field for the past 23 years eagerly coming on board with CIS August 2021. She strongly believes the best way to serve our individuals is timely team communication, and being a good listener.
Allison began interest in the human services field at a young age due to one of her parents being a home care provider. She started working in the field over 16 years ago as a respite provider. Working for an Area Agency gave her the opportunity to become well diverse in working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Along with working as a respite provider, Allison has been a DSP, training instructor, a home care provider and an In-Home Support Family Manager. With her great experience, she joined the CIS team in September of 2019 as the Region 10 Residential Program Manager. In this position, Allison supports and manages home care providers and the individuals that live in their homes.
Alex graduated from UNH with a degree in Sociology in 2013. Soon after he began working in the field as a DSP in community and residential settings. Since then he has worked as a Service Coordinator and Residential Program Manager. His favorite part of the job is spending time getting to know the clients he works with. Alex joined CIS in 2019 as a member of the Portsmouth team. His knowledge, experience and skills have been a key piece to the region’s growth and success.
Onica Berger (they/them) is a Bachelor of Social Work student at Simons University in Boston. They are active in community service and support. Mentoring youths and assisting adults with disabilities and mental challenges is their passion. Onica aims to enact policy change on a macro level to help improve the community and to make it a safe and welcoming place for all. In February of 2022 Onica joined CIS as a Residential Program Manager with the Portsmouth team.
Carrie graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2012. Carrie has worked in Human Services for 20 years. Carrie started her career with SeaCare Health Services as a Care Coordinator, assisting people without health insurance obtain a primary care physician and specialists for a small co-pay. Due to the closure of SeaCare Health Services, Carrie started a new path of working with people with Developmental Disabilities. Carrie has worked with and continues to have a good relationship with other Area Agencies. This continued relationship allows for a network of resources to help ensure that all of the CIS individuals have their needs and wants met. Carrie enjoys her work, co-workers and teams making a CIS a team member effortlessly.
Augustus Ansah graduated from the University of Ghana with a BA (Hons) in Political Science in 1986. He served in the Ministry of Information in Ghana as a District Information Officer; interacting with the general populace and educating them on on-going political, social and economic issues of the day.
He then pursued further studies at New Hampshire College (Southern New Hampshire University) and earned an MS in Community Economic Development. While pursuing his master’s program at New Hampshire College, he started working at the Moore Center in Manchester, NH, as a DSP, supporting and assisting individuals to achieve their best in life.
This drive and passion to assist and make a difference in an individual’s life kept him going until he joined Granite Bay Connections in 2002, first as a DSP, and transitioning into Program Management in 2005. Augustus has remained in this role to date, always with the focus on making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and providing support staff with the best tools to help with daily interactions and getting the best results possible. His background in crisis prevention and intervention techniques, and over 23 years of interaction with stakeholders in the field of operation, has made it possible for him to assist staff in making a positive difference in the life of individuals we serve.
Crystal Fairburn is our Day Program Manager covering our Community Crossroads individuals. She graduated from Keene State College with a BA in Film Production, and minored in Behavioral Psychology. She has also worked in the Human services field for about 10 years. As a natural born nurturer, she started as a DSP/”Baby Specialist” working specifically with babies and young children with disabilities in the MA Foster Care System and simultaneously as one of the first few original employees at Community Integrated Services as a DSP when we first opened our doors in 2012! Crystal has also been unofficially instructing classes both at CIS and with the kids she worked with for several years in the past, then took a break from the workforce after having her son, but is excited to be back!
Crystal was promoted to Day Program Manager in March of 2022. She is also a CAPPA Certified Postpartum Doula, IPSP Certified Baby Sign Language Educator & Professional Photographer! When she’s not working, she loves camping with friends and family!
Meg Dufresne is from Hollis, NH, and is our Manchester Office Manager and Trainer. After caring for her grandmother during her last years, she spent three years as a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) providing homecare. She then transitioned into Direct Support in 2012 and spent six years providing both shared and one-on-one programs as a DSP. Meg has worked for Community Integrated Services since 2015 and was promoted to Office Manager in July of 2018. She is a dedicated advocate for both individuals and staff and works hard to assist and support them at all times. Starting in 2020 Meg began slowly taking over the management of employee trainings and in January 2022 she became a certified Mandt trainer.
Meg’s sister has inspired her throughout her life to want to help individuals of all levels of abilities feel supported, accepted and to live as independently as possible. She strongly believes in the devoted care CIS gives to each of their individuals and is grateful to be a part of the CIS family.
Ali is from Rochester, NH. With a background in Customer Service & Human Resources, I was excited when I had the opportunity to join CIS in June 2021 as the Office Manager for the Portsmouth office. I’ve always believed that working as a team is one of the many ways of having a successful outcome. Having a cousin with disabilities, I’ve always appreciated there being places like CIS because individuals like my cousin have the support they need to be successful, accepted & have a great support system along side their family.
Cody is originally from Maine, working as an intern at Gateway Community Services during his last two years of college. He is very close to earning his Bachelor's Degree in Social work, as well as having a minor in Holistic Health. He continued this path as he moved to New Hampshire to work in a residential facility mid-2021. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to work at C.I.S. I’ve always loved working in a big team and it seems like it would be a great fit for me as well.”
Cody had joined the team as the “Provider Recruiter” in early April. He is very eager to get to work and do his best at the position. He works hard to get everything he can done and strives for efficiency within the workplace. He also wants to help out as much as possible, dedicating his time to make sure everyone can have a fun, fulfilling, and fantastic day.