INW employees may be reached at 503.546.2950.

Our email addresses are firstinitiallastname @ independencenw.org (for example jdart @ independencenw.org). Due to online phishing, we don’t publish our email addresses directly on our website.

We serve customers in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties. County assignments are indicated in team member biographies.

 

 

Adrienne Akin
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 131)

Andrea Ochsner
Lead Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 117)

Angeline Frank
Lead Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 122)

Beri Swango
Office Administrator
503-546-2950

Bernice Celino
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 132)

Carie Shumway
Assessment and Evaluation Coordinator
503-546-2950 (ext. 118)

Chris Psota
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 120)

Clover Mow
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 115)

Erin Peterson
Administrative Assistant
503-546-2950

Finch Raffa
Quality Assurance Coordinator
503-546-2950 (ext. 125)

Jamie Osborn
Lead Personal Agent / Assessor
503-546-2950 (ext. 114)

Jason Potter
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 133)

Jesse Raposa
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 124)

Jessica Kral
Assistant Director
503-546-2950 (ext.111)

Joe Connell
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 123)

Kirsten Lawrence
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 138)

Larry Deal
Executive Director
503-546-2950 (ext. 110)

Megan Dart-McLean
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 136)

Michelle Dorantes
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 121)

Paul Kuenzi
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 135)

Paul Wesolowski
Personal Agent
503-546-2950 (ext. 129)

Rachel Kroll
Plan of Care Coordinator
503-546-2950 (ext. 113)

Ron Spence
Operations Director
503-546-2950 (ext. 112)

Meet the Independence Northwest Team 

Adrienne Akin
Personal Agent  (ext. 131)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties

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.


Andrea Ochsner

Lead Personal Agent (ext. 117)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties
Andrea graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 2001 in her hometown of Denver, Colorado. She has 14 years of experience working in various non-profits including child welfare services, children with disabilities CES Program, and for a prevention program assisting families in need. She joined INW in March of 2016. In her personal life she enjoys camping, hiking, and mountain biking in the great outdoors. She also loves live music, animals, cooking and spending time with family and friends.


Angeline Frank
Lead Personal Agent (ext. 122)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Angeline (Angie) Frank has been working with people with disabilities since 2004. She first began working with the DD community in 2004 at United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon & SW Washington (UCP) in 2004 as a Support Specialist and then an On-Call Relief Worker. While working at UCP, Angeline received her Bachelor degree from Portland State University (PSU) in 2009 and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Hatfield School of Government – PSU in 2012. She is also a graduate of AmeriCorps NCCC* (2002- Maryland). In February 2014, Angie joined the Independence | Northwest team as a PA. She has extensive experience working in Supported Living programs where she helped support over three dozen clients with DD in the home setting. Angie’s extracurricular interests are watching classic movies and reading British literature (especially Jane Austen).

 

Beri Swango
Office Administrator
Beri Swango began her career at the front desk of INW when it opened its doors in 2007. After a short time she moved into the Data Manager position and discovered her passion for all things administrative. Beri moved back to her home state of Arizona in 2013 and worked at Interfaith Community Services running a Mobile Meals program for Seniors, which she loved deeply, but her longing for the Pacific Northwest, and a job opportunity, brought her back to Portland just 18 months later. Before rejoining the Independence NW team in 2021, Beri spent 5 years as the Manager of Administration for FolkTime, a Peer Support agency that serves adults with mental health and addiction histories. Beri co-founded INW’s Craft Night and Movie Club, and she spends most of her down time knitting, sewing, folding origami, and watching movies.

 


Bernice Celino
Personal Agent  (ext. 132)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Bernice moved to Portland from Canada to pursue her Psychology and Sociology degree at Portland State University. Her experience includes direct care and management positions at group homes, owning and operating an adult foster care home and working with seniors and adults with disabilities as a case manager. On her time off you can expect Bernice to be out enjoying the Portland food scene, traveling, being out in nature and watching movies. She enjoys cooking, baking, collecting houseplants and making friends with neighborhood cats and dogs. She hopes one day one of her cats will rise to internet stardom or at least look at the camera just once.

 

Carie Shumway
Assessor (ext. 118)
Carie has been working within the developmental disabilities community since 1998. Her experience includes early behavior intervention for children with autism, direct care for children with extreme behavioral and mental health needs, special education classroom support, and internships in child counseling and self-advocacy for people with I/DD working to influence disability policy. Carie has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. She joined the Independence Northwest team as a Personal Agent in 2009. Carie enjoys travelling, meeting new people, thinking outside of the box, empowering her customers and spending time with her cat, Bruce.


Chris Psota
Personal Agent (ext. 120)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Since moving to Portland from Nebraska in 2002, Chris Psota has been working in various roles in supporting people with developmental disabilities. Chris began this work at Goodwill Industries in 2004 when he accepted a position as an enclave supervisor. From there, Chris went on to become a vocational case manager at Goodwill where he worked for 7 years. During that time, he also completed the Masters of Social Work program at PSU, focusing primarily on employment and social supports for people with disabilities. After graduating in 2013, Chris became a personal agent at Independence NW. Chris has also volunteered with local women’s shelters and has been an organizer for the Cascade AIDS Walk for several years. In his free time, Chris can be found walking Ava, his bossy Huskie/German Shepherd, or riding his bike around town.


Clover Mow
Personal Agent  (ext. 115)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties
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.

 

Erin Peterson
Administrative Assistant
Erin moved to Portland from California in 2017, and immediately started working on obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Erin has been helping out at INW since 2017, doing such fun and exciting tasks as organizing files, sorting mail, and writing out address labels by hand. Outside of work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and trying out new cookie recipes.

 

Finch Raffa
Quality Assurance Coordinator (ext. 125)
Finch Raffa has been working for Independence Northwest since 2012. Utilizing his degrees in English and Latin, he juggles many responsibilities, chief among them processing piles of paperwork, ensuring providers are properly paid, and correcting his coworkers’ mistakes. When not at work, Finch enjoys art films and monster movies, epic poetry, and brown liquor.

 

Jamie Osborn
Lead Personal Agent / Assessor (ext. 114)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Jamie has been working in the social service field since 2005. She graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology with a BS in Psychology in 2005. While in school she was an extern with the Klamath County Juvenile Department and also worked as an on-call group worker in their detention facility. She then moved back home to Portland and started working for Albertina Kerr Centers in their girl’s residential program. In 2006, she began working for the Clackamas Education Service District in a behavior classroom with youth ages 8-12. She also began coaching softball and basketball at a local high school. In 2010, Jamie was moved to a Native American residential program called Cedar Bough. In that same year, she also began working for the Clackamas County Juvenile Department as relief worker. In 2012, Jamie began working for SE Works in a job development program for young adults 18-25. She started with Independence Northwest in 2014. When not at work, Jamie enjoys working out, softball, being with her family, and doing anything outside.

 

Jason Potter
Personal Agent (ext.133)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties

After working in the film and television industry for over 15 years, Jason started volunteering on the Renter’s Rights Hotline and quickly realized he had a passion for housing justice. This lead him to become a housing advocate who gave presentations on renter’s rights all over the state as well as lobbying for better protections for renters and low-income Oregonians. In 2019, Jason started working as an Emergency Rental Assistance Coordinator, focusing primarily on serving folks who are immunocompromised and houseless. In his free time, Jason produces and directs independent film and theater projects.

 

Jesse Raposa
Personal Agent  (ext. 124)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties
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.

 

Jessica Kral
Assistant Director (ext. 111)
Jessica has been involved the disability and social service field for over twenty years and has been with INW since 2008.  In addition to working with individuals with disabilities, Jessica has worked youth in the justice system, survivors of domestic violence and people living with HIV/AIDS.  With a BS in Psychology and Masters in Social Work, Jessica has dedicated her personal and professional life towards community change and social justice.


Joe Connell
Personal Agent (ext. 123)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Joe relocated to Portland from San Francisco, bringing with him over ten years’ experience working in the social service field.  He has served in a variety of roles including resource center support, representative payee, and case manager.  Joe has been employed by several non-profits in diverse settings such as drop-in centers, medical clinics, and supportive housing environments.  He started as a PA with Independence NW in August 2019.  Outside of work, Joe enjoys exploring Oregon with his wife and dog.  
        

 

Kirsten Lawrence
Personal Agent (ext. 138)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties
Kirsten moved back to Oregon in the fall of 2021 after being in Colorado for seven years. She’s thrilled to be back in the pacific northwest and loves the rain. She has a B.A. and MSW in Social Work and loves working directly with people while learning about community resources and events. She has worked with youth experiencing homelessness, adults through Long-Term Medicaid, and in Child Welfare. She joined the INW team in November 2021. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs (Brody and Leo), reading (fantasy series are her favorite), binging shows, and doing crafts/projects with family and friends.

 

Larry Deal
Executive Director (ext. 110)
Larry has served the developmental disabilities community since 1996. While attending the University of Washington, he connected with the I/DD community through a volunteer position. He held a variety of positions at Supported Living agencies in Seattle and Tucson until a move to Portland in 2001 brought him to Oregon’s progressive brokerage system just as it was launching. Early on, he worked as an independent provider, a Personal Agent, and as the director of one of Oregon’s first brokerages. In 2006, in concert with self-advocates, peers, and committed community members, he co-founded  Independence Northwest. Ever since, he has served as the agency’s Executive Director and is immensely proud of the agency’s impact on and engagement with this extraordinary community.

 

Megan Dart-McLain
Personal Agent (ext. 136)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Megan grew up in Salem, Oregon. She received a BA from the Evergreen State College in 2004.  Megan has been working in I/DD services since 2013 in both British Columbia and Oregon. She worked providing direct care supports in BC, then returned to Portland in 2017.  She worked as a Resident Coordinator in a supported living program for four years, until she began work at Independence NW in 2021. She enjoys reading and hiking. She loves spending time with her family and her two dogs.

 

Michelle Dorantes
Personal Agent (ext. 121)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties
Michelle traded the beaches of the Jersey Shore for the mountains of the PNW in 2022. She graduated in 2019 with a Masters Degree in Social Work from Stockton University. She has always had a passion for the field and has prided herself in her commitment to social Justice. In the past, she has worked as an intensive outpatient therapist providing mental health services as well as direct care in a nursing home for the geriatric population. She is a first generation American and is proud to provide services in both English and Spanish. In her free time, Michelle enjoys international travel, exploring vegan restaurants, and listening to podcasts.

 

Paul Kuenzi
Personal Agent (ext. 135)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties
Paul has been serving people with disabilities and other barriers since 2010. He started his career in NY supervising a manufacturing program for people with blindness and visual impairment, moving on to prevocational workshops for people with developmental disabilities and refugees. In Colorado he supervised enclave job programs and provided 1 on 1 job coaching, working closely with Vocational Rehabilitation.  At a county workforce center, Paul provided case management services to SNAP, WIOA, and Ticket To Work customers. In his free time Paul enjoys being in nature and making his dog happy.

 

Paul Wesolowski
Personal Agent (ext. 129)
Serves customers in Multnomah and Washington counties
Paul moved to Portland in 2014 to attend Portland State University’s Bachelor’s of Social Work program and graduated in 2016 with B.S. in Social Work. He spent four years as a Career Coach with New Avenues for Youth’s workforce development program working with low income and houseless young adults who were seeking employment, education, and job training opportunities. His work experience also includes residential foster care, high school, and preschool settings. He was excited to begin working in the I/DD field after joining Independence NW as a Personal Agent in August of 2021. Paul enjoys spending his free time with his wife and 2 kids, cooking, camping, kayaking, fishing, traveling – anything outdoors and/or involving food and he’s there.

Rachel Kroll
Plan of Care Coordinator (ext. 113)
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.


Ron Spence

Operations Director (ext. 112)
Ron Spence has being working for Portland area brokerages since 2003 and co-founded Independence Northwest in 2006. He has a passion for common sense and focuses his professional energy on reducing the bureaucratic red tape that creates obstacles to quality human services work. He spends his spare time inventing ridiculous nicknames for his cats and reading long books.