4.2 Meet the Team 2019-10-30T14:57:41+00:00

About Us

Project SEARCH is based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The administrative team oversees a large international network of Project SEARCH program sites. We maintain an active, ongoing program of technical assistance, program evaluation, program development, and continuous improvement.

Meet the Team

  Directors

Erin Riehle, RN, MSN

Erin is a recognized authority and national leader in promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. She is a founder and Senior Director of Project SEARCH, an employment and transition program that has received national recognition for innovative practices pioneered under Ms. Riehle’s guidance.

Susie Rutkowski, BS, MEd

Susie is the Co-Director and Educational Specialist for Project SEARCH. She is a nationally recognized transition expert with specific experience in program development in career technical education and job development for young adults with disabilities. She served as the Manager for Disability Education at Great Oaks Career Campuses for over twelve years. During that tenure she co-founded Project SEARCH.

  Program Specialists

Lyn Andrews, BA

Lyn has 30 years of experience planning, implementing and evaluating community employment programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She provides Model Fidelity Reviews for Project SEARCH programs with the goal of supporting continuous improvement and increasing employment outcomes. Lyn is based in the Seattle area.

Cindy Burns

Cindy has more than 25 years of experience in employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is currently a program specialist assisting schools, community rehabilitation agencies, funding agencies and employers with the development of new programs in 5 states.  Cindy is based in Savannah Georgia.

Joy Burress, BA

Joy has more than 20 years of experience in teaching children and adults. While building a training and auditing program in the Scheduling Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she worked with Project SEARCH as a manager of an internship site and served on the Project SEARCH Advisory Council at Cincinnati Children’s. Joy now works for Project SEARCH as a Program Implementation Specialist.

Maryellen Daston, PhD

Maryellen is responsible for identifying state and federal funding opportunities, preparing grant applications, and managing the database and website content. Maryellen also contributes to the Project SEARCH website and other communications, including a book on the history, philosophy, and practices of Project SEARCH.

Paula Johnson, BS, MS

Paula has more than 30 years of experience in employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is currently a program specialist assisting schools, community rehabilitation agencies, funding agencies and employers with the development of new programs in 15 states and Canada.  Paula is based in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Molly Michels, BS, MA

Molly provides training and technical assistance for Project SEARCH sites in several states. Prior to joining Project SEARCH, Molly spent more than a decade developing and implementing employment initiatives for people with disabilities on behalf of the University of Wisconsin Madison Waisman Center and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  Molly is based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Heather Morath, MSN, RN-BC

Heather has worked to remove barriers and build systems to support individuals and their families in both public housing and healthcare for over 20 years. Heather has degrees in nursing and business administration, and certification in psychiatric/mental health nursing. Prior to joining Project SEARCH, Heather managed the Patient and Family Education Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

  Business Office

Charee Partee

Charee has 24 years’ of experience in the field of health care administration. Her role with Project SEARCH includes providing administrative support for the staff, coordinating tours, and managing logistics for the International Conference. She has worked in the Division of Developmental Behavior Pediatrics, which includes The Kelly O’Leary Center—a facility for children with autism.

Brian Weimer, BBA

Brian has a degree in accounting from Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, OH. He has 7 years of experience working in healthcare revenue cycle and customer service. Brian is the Financial Analyst for the Disabilities Services Department at Cincinnati Children’s. His role with Project SEARCH includes invoicing, payments, and other financial duties.

Luke Wasserman, MHSA

Luke Wasserman is the Business Manager for the Department of Disabilities Services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He supports Project SEARCH from the business office, with duties in contracting, billing, strategic planning, process improvement, and grant management. Luke has a Master of Health Services Administration from Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio.