Staff may be reached at 503.546.2950. Our email addresses are first name @ independencenw.org. To learn more about a staff member and his/her experience, click the + button.
Brenda Cooper | Administrative Assistant
Jamie Lyzell| Lead Personal Agent | ext. 14
Larry Deal | Executive Director | ext. 10
Angeline Frank | Lead Personal Agent | ext. 22
Jessica Kral | Senior Program Supervisor| ext.11
Rachel Kroll | Plan of Care Coordinator | ext. 72
Rachel will always be a Canadian at heart but moved to Washington State in 2008 after living in western Canada her entire life. She spent 4 years in Olympia, WA working in hospitality and volunteering within the local arts community at The Olympia Film Society. In 2012 life brought her to Portland, OR to be closer to friends and after 8 years spent working in the hospitality industry Rachel joined the INW team as Office Manager in 2013. Rachel enjoys reading, board games and spending time with her family – she looks forward to raising her family in Portland and getting more involved in her neighborhood and community.
Chris Psota | Personal Agent | ext. 20
Finch Raffa | Quality Assurance Coordinator | ext. 25
Ron Spence | Operations Director | ext. 12
Carie Shumway | Quality Assurance Lead | ext. 18
Hans Chung-Otterson | Lead Personal Agent | ext. 23
Following his graduation from Whitman College, Hans began working with people with disabilities in 2007. He started by working in the school system on the Yakama Indian Reservation in central Washington, and quickly began working with kids with disabilities and behavioral difficulties. Following this he was an aide in a high school special education classroom, and then a direct support staff with United Cerebral Palsy in Portland. In 2011 he started working as a PA at INW, and other than a yearlong stint as a Child Protective Services worker with Oregon DHS, has been there ever since. Outside of work, Hans writes and reads and is always up for a game.
Melody Cauley | Personal Agent | ext.21
Melissa Thompson | Personal Agent | ext. 16
Melissa Thompson has been working with individuals experiencing disabilities in various settings for over 15 years. Originally from Idaho, she provided direct support to children and adults in their homes, schools, and in the community. In 2008, Melissa relocated to Portland to be closer to family and access more support for her son who experiences Autism. She began working as a Vocational Case Manager and then Long Term Services Program Manager at Goodwill Industries, where she worked for over eight years. During that time, she obtained a BS in Business Management and Masters of Business Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Management. Melissa joined the INW team as a Personal Agent in October 2016. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, adventuring in the outdoors, participating in art/craft activities, and gardening.
Jesse Raposa | Personal Agent | ext. 24
Jesse arrived at INW with several years of both professional and personal experience within the realm of social services. After she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2012, she moved on to become a Service Coordinator for people with I/DD in Texas where she was born and raised. She moved to Olympia, WA in 2014 and worked for the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration as a Case Resource Manager. Upon chasing her childhood dreams and relocating to Portland in January of 2016, she began her career with INW as a Personal Agent. When she is not talking your ear off about music, she’s likely trying to do some good in the world or dancing in the streets.
Emily Dinwiddie | Personal Agent | ext. 19
Emily has grown up in Oregon. She obtained her Bachelors in Science from Oregon State University in Human Development and Family Sciences and started her career in Human Services in Bend. For over 10 years, she has been working with various service organizations to provide education, outreach, and support services. Her Case Management experience has included supporting individuals in: Supported Employment, Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Emergency Housing, In-Home Care, and even one year as a Personal Agent for another Metro Area Brokerage. In 2013, Emily completed her Masters of Education and Human Resources Studies with emphasis in Adult Education and Training from Colorado State University. She has been living in the Portland Metro area for the past 6 years where she loves attending Trail Blazers and Timbers games with her family. On the weekends you can find Emily enjoying the outdoors- camping, hiking, swimming, or playing at a local park.
Andrea Ochsner | Personal Agent ext. 17
Adrienne Akin | Personal Agent | ext. 31
Adrienne Akin moved to the Portland area from Hood River in 2007 to work toward her degree. Adrienne graduated from Mount Hood Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Mental Health & Human Services in 2009 and in 2012, Adrienne received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) from Concordia University. She has been working with low income adults and seniors living with disabilities in low income housing and residential care facilities for the last 10 years. She has worked as a case manager through non-profit organizations, Impact NW and YWCA and most recently began working as a Personal Agent with Independence NW in January, 2017. Adrienne enjoys swimming, day trips to visit her grandma, playing with her 7 year old cat and chasing waterfalls near the Old Columbia River Hwy
Katie Thompson | Personal Agent | ext. 32
Katie has been working in the disability community since 2012. She has a strong background in Social Security benefit eligibility having worked as a legal assistant in a disability law firm and as a nationally certified benefits planner. In early 2016, Katie joined the Independence Northwest team as a Personal Agent. If Katie isn’t gardening, hiking, or camping, she’s usually found snuggling cats.
Clover Mow | Personal Agent | ext. 15
Clover Mow has been supporting the disabilities community in many capacities since 1994. Clover brings over twenty years’ experience of working with youth and adults with disabilities providing community supports, career coaching, and job placement and retention services. She’s worked on a number of local, state, and federal grants related to employment services for youth and adults who experience disabilities, are English Language Learners, in addition to those impacted by the criminal justice system or homelessness. She previously worked for the Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Technical Assistance Center (Y-TAC) through the Institute for Educational Leadership and provided technical assistance to state VR offices around youth transition services. Additionally, Clover was the Director of Programs for SE Works Inc, an American Job Center, where she was responsible for the organization’s programs in the Youth, Reentry and Workforce Development Centers. In her free time, Clover enjoys listening to music, traveling, and spending time with her family.