In 1996, Debbie became a CARF Surveyor because, “I wanted to ensure that the person served were provided with the best services, that awesome things could happen with organizations that I surveyed, and to develop a versatile toolbox to assist organization continue to provide quality services.” Debbie is currently an International Administrative and Program Surveyor for CARF with vast experience in the Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services, Employment and Community Services services and specializes in Native American organizations and infant mental health. She presently work with Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in their Family Spirit Program as a counselor and infant mental health specialist and at Great Lakes Recovery Center in their residential women’s treatment center as a counselor. She has worked in family preservation, child protective services, adoption, foster care, American Indian Substance Abuse, as a case manager, crisis intervention specialist, and clinical operation officer in her local community health.
She has her Master of Public Administration Degree from Northern Michigan University and Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Lake Superior State University. She is a Licensed Bachelor of Social Worker in Michigan, Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor, Certified Clinical Supervisor, Certified Criminal Justice Professional and a Certified Prevention Specialist. She has her endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Specialist and is a Certified Lactation Counselor. Debbie strengths include her ability to verbalizes ideas clearly and concisely, allows for effective communication, listens to ideas actively and provides feedback, provides constructive ways to accomplish goals, and takes time to learn about organizations and provide a personal connection.
She was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where she learned the importance of community and becoming involved in her community. She has been active in several organizations from Business & Professional Women, Crime Stoppers, and served as a City Commissioner serving on several community boards. She assisted in getting legislation passed in the State of Michigan for Crime Victim’s Rights.
Assisting organization in quality and applying the CARF standards is one of the most important things she has accomplished in her work experiences. She feels strongly about making the organizations she has worked and consulted with feel connected and that they always have the ability to accomplish the best. It is no surprise that completing a CARF Survey has been a love of her working life, but traveling and meeting new people and seeing new cultures is also the blood in her veins. She is endlessly inspired by the people and organizations she has been fortunate to survey. She loves working for and inspiring organizations, helping them meet their goals in becoming CARF accredited, making new friends with people, and creating something positive together as a team.
In 1983, while teaching special education in Paso Robles, CA, Mike Mamot saw the need for additional residential services for children. With the help of a student loan, he created the second group home in San Luis Obispo County in 1984. From that humble start grew a nonprofit organization that became to be known as OPTIONS Family of Services.
Mike’s vision was for a continuum of services to meet the needs of the persons served by OPTIONS. Through the years, services were greatly expanded as new innovative methods to help persons with disabilities were designed and developed. The organization gained a reputation for providing services to behaviorally challenged adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and persons who had a traumatic brain injury. Services were provided in a professional manner. This is most exemplified by the fact that OPTIONS became CARF accredited for the first time in 1990. Between 1997 to 2011, OPTIONS only had two recommendations from their accreditation reviews.
The way services were delivered was important to Mike. He stressed taking an ethical approach when caring for persons served. All staff received on-going training on what it means to provide unselfish ethical services respecting the rights of all persons and treating them with dignity. It was his belief that all staff members, including himself, should be held accountable for being trustworthy and compassionate for persons served.
OPTIONS was able to grow due to creative financing and by being awarded various grants. Founded on a small student loan, Mike facilitated the sale of tax exempt bonds in order to reduce interest expense. During his tenure, OPTIONS was granted over a million dollars.
In 1990, the same year OPTIONS became accredited, Mike became a CARF surveyor. He has stated on more than one occasion that the worse CARF survey he had conducted was better than the best conference he ever attended because of the information he was able to bring back to the organization he founded. Many of the concepts and procedures that became the foundation of the services provided by OPTIONS is a direct result of what Mike saw in the field while conducting accreditation surveys.
In 2013, Mike retired as the Founder/CEO of OPTIONS. He remains active in the field by consulting and acting as an expert witness for legal cases. He has conduct over 200 CARF surveys and has trained more than 50 new CARF surveyors.
John T. Collins, II, MPH, has been a consultant since 1984, providing management and quality assurance consulting services to health and human services providers. John’s consultant practice focuses on assisting organizations prepare for CARF Accreditation. To date, every organization that has used John’s services for CARF accreditation preparation has received the coveted three-year accreditation outcome.
As part of his consulting practice, he has provided interim executive services to organization’s serving homeless veterans and people with disabilities. As an active CARF Surveyor for almost 25 years, he has conducted more than 140 CARF Surveys. Mr. Collins has held positions in both the private and non-profit sectors.
John was employed as Senior Vice President of Workforce Development and Rehabilitation Services for Goodwill Industries of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties from 1987 to 2015. The programs he led served more than 17,000 people a year. He was also responsible for the company’s strategic planning efforts and Community Relations efforts. Prior to his career at Goodwill, Mr. Collins was a Program Director for Dominican Hospital and helped start the Employee Assistance Program and a 28-day Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. While serving in the US Army, Mr. Collins was in charge of the Army Navy Transplant Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
As Senior Vice President, Mr. Collins was very active in the support and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Workforce Investment Act and many educational strategies. He was part of a national team selected by Goodwill Industries International to provide business and program assistance to the United Arab Emirates. He provided technical assistance to the UAE Ministry of Rehabilitation on CARF Accreditation and quality standards.
Mr. Collins is very active in community and national affairs. He served on the Workforce Investment Boards of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties as well as having served on The Monterey County Tourist and Travel Alliance, the Board of the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce and Monterey County Hospitality Boards of Directors. He was elected and completed ten years as a Trustee and past president of the board of Santa Cruz City Schools.
Jim White serves on numerous boards and commissions. He serves as a Commissioner for the Ventura County Transportation Commission, and President of Partners in Housing, a community housing development organization that provides homes for persons with special needs in Ventura County. Jim is past Chair Elect, and a member of the Ventura Family YMCA Board, as well as past Chair, serves as Commissioner for the City of Ventura Parks and Recreation Commission, and a Board Member of the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau. He serves as Vice-Chair of the City of San Buenaventura Housing Authority and is a former Chair of the Ventura County Leadership Academy Steering Committee. Jim is an Administrative Surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and past Treasurer and former member of the Board of Directors for the Consortium for the Educational Advancement of Travel Instruction (CEATI). CEATI is a national organization that supports and promotes the continuing development of the academic and profession of travel instruction to enable persons with mobility limitations to travel safely and independently.
He enjoys long distance bike riding and running, and has run numerous marathons and century bike rides. He and his wife Diane have been married for 40 years and have two grown daughters.