May 2015 Employees of the Month

Congratulations to our May 2015 Employees of the Month!

We are proud to have an amazing team at Sunrise Services. Below, we recognize a few who have gone above and beyond to fulfill their duties. Below each employee is a quote from the person who nominated them.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of Sunrise.

Corey Bigler picCorey Bigler, Supported Living

“Corey has been an integral part in developing a good program for a new participant that presented many challenges both medically and behaviorally. Corey initially started out as direct support and within a couple of months he moved up to Site Supervisor. He has worked successfully with the Client Staff Matching Specialist for recruiting and training of staff. He has co-authored the various plans for this participant and made it possible for the parents to feel comfortable with leaving their son in Sunrise’s hands. Way to go Corey! We do appreciate you.”

Karolyn Grosnickle picKarolyn Grosnickle, Various programs and most currently Washington Home of Your Own.

“In the last year of working with her, I have found Karolyn to be conscientious, helpful, and unfailingly cheerful. Since I have been her supervisor, she does everything I ask without complaining, and if she can’t do something right away, she keeps me posted on her progress in completing her work. She works independently, and has developed an efficient system of administering the Sales Tax Voucher program for Sunrise clients and WAHOYO tenants.”


Tia Oates, Community Support Specialist, Supported and Comminity Living

“She always goes the extra mile for her client and co-workers. She encourages her client to try new activities in the community. Though Tia’s client would not normally attend community activities, she has been recently. Tia follows the PBSP and because of it she truly has a good working relationship with her client. I have seen so many positive changes in the client since Tia has become a regular staff with her. Tia truly loves what she does and it makes a huge impact on those around her. I look forward to working with Tia for many more years to come.”


Online Caregiver Training Program

Do you have staff members who need to complete their yearly continuing education classes?

  • Sunrise Services offers a variety of highly informative and interesting continuing education topics available for students to take online.
  • The Classes are available to take 24-hours a day whenever it’s convenient during your schedule.
  • Courses are taught by our knowledgeable instructors incorporating slides, videos, articles, interactive quizzes, and so much more.
  • Sunrise Services online Caregiver training provides first-class instruction and materials through our well-known, accredited, and State-approved training program. Sunrise meets a high-level of quality and strictly required standards in order to maintain our contract with Washington State to teach these classes.
  • When you partner with Sunrise, you’ll find that our training program meets and exceeds your expectations. You’re going to love our classes!

For more information and to offer continuing education to your staff please contact our training team at 425-212-4210. Conveniently register your staff online by visiting our website and selecting “online courses” from the list of options.

Employee Spotlight – Eddie Suarez

Photo May 19, 8 15 24 PMEddie Suarez moved to the area in 2011 from Miami to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology at Northwest University in Kirkland. In fall of that same year, he joined the team at Sunrise Services as a caregiver. Over the course of the next four years, Eddie’s initiative allowed for professional growth at Sunrise earning him a range of experience from working with those dealing with traumatic brain injuries to working as a clinician at Sunrise Community Mental Health. Along the way, Eddie’s initiative and entrepreneurial focus allowed him to thrive professionally at Sunrise Services – all while going to school full time.

During his time at Sunrise, Eddie received a Specialty Award (Process Improvement) for his ability to recognize and positively effect change in internal processes. He also received the Employee of the Month Award in August of 2014 for his consistent contribution to the Sunrise team for the sake of our clients. His work at Sunrise has been appreciated.

Mr. Suarez recently left our team to join the HealthPoint Community Health Center. There, he’ll be working in the Behavioral Medicine Department as part of his final step toward getting his doctorate.

Learn more about Eddie via the following Q & A:

What was your favorite thing about working for Sunrise Services?

I’ve always been a driven, focused person. At Sunrise Services, they recognized my initiative and provided amazing opportunities for my professional growth. Over the course of my employment at Sunrise Services, I was positioned to place a helping hand in so many great programs. From hospital and treatment facilities to state psychiatric hospitals, my time at Sunrise was diverse, challenging and immensely rewarding. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they provided me.

What’s the next step for you?

I’m currently transitioning to my new role in the Behavioral Medicine Department at HealthPoint. I’ll be working there for one year as part of a pre-doctoral internship. My dissertation will be about Intensive Outpatient Program work, a field I was able to gain professional experience in during my time at Sunrise. Upon completion of my dissertation, I will graduate a Doctor of Psychology and hope to return to Miami and help with my family’s mental health practice there. On top of all this, I’m also getting married in June!

A big thanks to Eddie for working so hard during his time at Sunrise. We wish Eddie the best of luck!

Are you interested in working for Sunrise? Visit our employment page to learn more about current opportunities.

April 2015 Employees of the Month

Congratulations to our April 2015 Employees of the Month!

We are proud to have an amazing team at Sunrise Services. Below, we recognize a few who have gone above and beyond to fulfill their duties. Below each employee is a quote from the person who nominated them.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of Sunrise.

Dimitrichka Kumanova

Dimitrichka (Mimi) Koumanova, Community Support Specialist & Admin Support, Supported Living

“…not only does Dimitrichka work well with my client but she is a pleasure to work with in the office as well. In the office she is efficient and very effective with her clerical skills. Her knack for organizing and her love for cash ledgers keeps me is a state of bewilderment and awe. Her professional yet caring attitude for her fellow co-workers and participants has shown me that she has a huge heart. She is sincere and truthful with a straight forward yet calm demeanor. I can say when she speaks; I do not take for granted her wisdom for I will become a better employee for it.”


Catrina ShawCatrina Shaw, Employment Specialist, Community Trades and Careers

“Catrina is a soft spoken individual with a deep passion for doing the right thing for her clients. I am always inspired to hear her speak about ways to make a difference in her client’s lives through employment. She possesses a working knowledge of her community, employment resources and barriers.  Her no nonsense approach, cushioned with realistic self- imposed boundaries seems to always hit the target in providing much needed employment solutions for each & every one of her clients. It has been a pleasure to both learn from & work with her.”


Amie CeesayAmie Ceesay, Community Support Specialist, Supported Living

“Thank you, Amie, for being understanding and accommodating when you’ve been pulled numerously to work at a more challenging site. I am confident when I have new staff shadow with you and have appreciated how thorough you are in showing them the plans, medications and daily routine. Your leadership is subtle but definitely present!”


Elisha McKay, Case Worker, Mental Health

“Elisha is a patient and encouraging clinician who puts extra effort into helping her clients. Elisha does an excellent job facilitating the art group and DBT group.  She has also coordinated potlucks, birthday parties and farewell celebrations for fellow employees. She is a steady support to her clients and her co-workers. We can always count on her to be dependable, and she always has a great attitude.”


Nathan SchmeckNathan Schmeck, Community Support Specialist, Supported Living

“Nathan has the ability to provide invisible supports to participants that allows them to retain    independence. Nathan takes the time to train new employees on each individual’s plans. Nathan consistently treats every one with dignity and respect. Many participants request Nathan specifically to work with them as they appreciate his open communication and friendly manner. Nathan’s ability to provide support in such an invisible manner means that participants are seamlessly integrated into their communities.”


Valentino Bondar (1)Valentina Bondar, Home Care Aide, Sunrise Home Care

“Valentina consistently provides excellent support and care to our clients. She currently works with two clients who need flexible schedules and Valentina  tries her best to accommodate them. The clients’ living area is always clean; delicious food is in the kitchen and I feel that any client I assign to Valentina will be in good hands. She definitely deserves this honor. We are proud of this excellent employee.”


Cyndie Matthews, Referral Registry Coordinator, Home Care Agency

“I have been working with Sunrise for 5 months, Cyndie works in the same office as me & she has helped me become familiar with my job. She is a hard dedicated worker. She takes time to help each and every consumer & IP that call her. She is patient in teaching me how to complete tasks. I like working with her because she is a great role model in this job & I want to do things the way she does them. She is professional. She gets to the point.”


Shane LuceyShane Lucey, Case Manager, Mental Health

“This past month Shane has conducted trainings for all of the mental health staff on how to handle armed attackers in an office setting after he attended a week long intensive training on this issue. The training he provided was excellent and the staff reaction to it was very positive. In addition, he trains new staff on our ERH and assists in training all new mental health employees, he has also written a user manual for our Electronic Health Records system and assisted the agency staff in reviewing charts for several NSMHA audits. Shane’s ability to review a chart and provide clear succinct information about possible improvements in charting and documentation has been very valuable to not only the staff I supervise but the entire clinical staff in our mental health departments.”


Renee Murillo, Health Care Coordinator

“Renee is very deserving of this award for many reasons. She goes above and beyond to advocate for our participants. Last fall she made a “Good Job!” certificate and framed it for one of her             participants who had been struggling with following her plan of care. She made a big deal of presenting it to her as a big accomplishment and the participant was just glowing when she received it. Renee has embraced new challenges and learned new skills with enthusiasm, recently taking on new job responsibilities in her role as the Mental Health HCC. Renee seeks out opportunities to learn and grow and I really admire this about her.  In addition to her HCC duties she also picks up shifts working with our participants occasionally on the weekends. Renee brings laughter, humor, advocacy and teamwork to her job, and she is an asset to the Sunrise team!”


Jessica UtleyJessica Utley, Home Care Aide, Home Care Agency

“Jessica is an amazing employee and person. She has worked with a wide variety of clients and there has yet to be a single complaint. She is compassionate, friendly, and hardworking and always has a smile on her face. She is an amazing problem solver, willing to help out as needed and a prompt reporter. She has worked through adversity without complaining and is always following through on whatever is asked    of her. She truly is a gem of an employee and I feel very lucky to have her as a part of my team. She is more than deserving of this award.”


Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) Training Certifcation by Teepa Snow at Sunrise Services

Expand your skills by attending Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) Training Certification!

teepasnowlogoTeepa Snow, a nationwide expert on dementia, will be presenting PAC Certification Training at the Sunrise Training Center in Everett this July.

As one of America’s leading educators on dementia, Teepa Snow’s philosophy is reflective of her education, work experience, available medical research, and first hand caregiving interactions. Working as a Registered Occupational Therapist for over 30 years her wealth of experience has led her to develop  Positive Approach™ to Care techniques and training models that now are used by families and professionals working or living with dementia or other brain changes throughout the world.

PAC Trainer Certification

The PAC certification is designed for individuals who wish to learn to train others in Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) philosophy, providing dementia related awareness, knowledge and skill development in a classroom, community or support group setting. PAC Approved Trainers are provided with workshop outlines and an education license to train others using PAC materials. Workshop outlines include:

  • “Aging; What’s Normal/ What’s Not Normal?
  • “Positive Physical Approach™ and Hand Under Hand™”
  • “Teepa’s GEMS”

Learn more about the class and register here.

We are honored to be hosting this training class and look forward to seeing many of you here.

Washington Home of Your Own Welcomes New Executive Director

Washington Home of Your Own (WAHOYO), a Sunrise Service partner organization, is pleased to announce that Jessica Robertson has joined their team as the new Executive Director.

JessicaPicJessica joins the WAHOYO team with extensive background in both property management and working with people with disabilities. Ensuring that affordable housing properties meet the needs of clients within regulatory guidelines is no small task, and one that Jessica finds both challenging and rewarding. With experience working with families, seniors and people dealing with disabilities, Jessica enjoys helping those that often find themselves without an advocate.

In her new role as Executive Director of WAHOYO, Ms. Robertson looks forward to continuing to sustainably grow the many programs and services available for those in need. For many, finding decent, affordable, safe and accessible housing is the key to their recovery – a role for which Jessica is ideally suited.

Washington Home of Your Own, an Everett-based non-profit company, creates affordable housing programs that empower people living with developmental disabilities to discover their potential, live independently with supportive services and engage in community life. WAHOYO also operates a payee service providing representative payee services to Washington residents who need assistance in managing their personal financial affairs. The main mission of the WAHOYO organization is to provide housing, which they accomplish as a property management agency and as a payee service, prioritizing the payment of rent and utilities to assist people in keeping their housing.

Please join us in welcoming Jessica Robertson to the team at Washington Home of Your Own!

For more information about Washington Home of Your Own, click here.

Community-Wide Recovery in the Aftermath of Tragedy

In the aftermath of a tragic event, it is widely known that recovery associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be a complex undertaking. At Sunrise Services, we offer individualized mental health services to help with the recovery from the negative side effects of PTSD. While this is critical for the individual dealing with these symptoms, it’s also important to take a community-wide approach to recovery in the aftermath of a large-scale tragedy or disaster.

Team holding hands togetherIn response to the horrific events that unfolded at Marysville Pilchuck High School in October of 2014, state educational leaders recently attended a conference to discuss safety in the event of an active shooter on campus. Leah Martinez, a Clinical Supervisor for Sunrise Services, was invited to present to the group about the importance of a community-wide recovery effort after such an event. She was able to share her insight as Sunrise Services played a key role in recovery work with the communities of Oso and Darrington after the deadly landslide that occurred there.

During times of great loss such as the Marysville school shooting or the landslide in Oso, how can a community feel safe again? Are there local services that are available to properly help the children and families with recovery? On a long list of others, these are very important questions to ask in the preparation phase.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can be of assistance, please give us a call at 425-493-5871 – we’d love to talk with you.

We are your Partners in Quality Living.  

March 2015 Employees of the Month

Congratulations to our March 2015 Employees of the Month!

We are proud to have an amazing team at Sunrise Services. Below, we recognize a few who have gone above and beyond to fulfill their duties. Below each employee is a quote from the person who nominated them.

Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of Sunrise.

Kristina Sherriff, Mental Health Integrated Outpatient Services

“During the past year she has grown into an excellent case manager…she has also taken on additional responsibilities such as attending the discharge planning meetings for clients being referred to services directly from Western State Hospital. In addition, Kristina meets agency expectations for both keeping current with paperwork and exceeding productivity expectations. She is an excellent team player and is a valued member of the IOP team.”

David Ricci, Community Support Specialist in Supported Living

“David is a team player who is dedicated to providing the highest quality of support to Sunrise participants. Over his time with Sunrise David has referred multiple CSSs of high quality and integrity who are valued employees. In addition David took on the task of training as a fill-in for the emergency Sunrise pager. David caught on quickly and has done an outstanding job.”

Supported Living Advocacy Day

At Sunrise Services, advocating for our clients is at the very core of what we do. At times, this comes in the form of finding local services and programs that can best meet the needs of the individual. While much of our work falls under the umbrella of state funded programs, we must also look beyond local programs and concentrate our efforts on a much larger scale.

Washington State Capitol BuildingIn February, a delegation of Sunrise employees and several of our clients participated in the 2nd Annual Supported Living Advocacy Day in Olympia. The main focus of this event is to spread awareness about how changes made at the State budget level can impact the very recipients the funding is meant to provide for. Throughout the day, our delegation participated in a rally on the steps of the Capitol Building and met with State legislators – an opportunity we found to be very well received by our politicians.

While the day was primarily spent focusing on the needs of people living in supported communities, a much more specific concern was also being discussed. Currently, there is an initiative to increase the wages for Direct Support Staff. This wage increase would allow for agencies like Sunrise to better retain employees, ultimately providing for a higher quality experience for those living with disabilities. While we were encouraged by our time in Olympia, this funding is something we’re actively promoting and hoping to see it positively reflected in the next budget cycle.

At Sunrise Services, we help those in need develop and promote self-determination, independence and competence by providing needed supports for daily living. If you’d like to learn more about our Supported and Community Living programs please contact us at (425) 212-4200 – we would love to talk with you.

We are your Partners in Quality Living.

Employee Spotlight – Meet Lisa Hanks

LisaHanksTitle: Executive Director – Community Trades & Careers

Lisa has worked for Sunrise Services for 32 years. In the early 80s, she was asked to take the lead on finding employment for people with development disabilities. This was based on the fact that at the time, this segment of our community lacked advocacy for vocational placement. At the program’s infancy, Lisa was our first Employment Specialist. Over three decades later, Lisa now runs a much larger program that spans four counties and includes 40 Employment Specialists.

Learn more about Lisa via the following Q & A:

What is your favorite thing about working for Sunrise Services?

For me, the most amazing part of my job is how we embrace and foster our creativity to best meet a client’s needs. As we all know, each individual has a unique skill set. At Community Trades & Careers, our task is to find the best possible fit for the individual to give them an employment opportunity they deserve. Being resourceful and imaginative allows our Employment Specialists to find amazing opportunities for our clients. As it turns out, we often find that our employees are very talented outside of work as well. Many have creative outlets that include cooking, art, music, etc. It is with this creativity that we feel we’re able to best meet our client’s needs.

What do you do when you’re not working?

My husband and I really enjoy spending time on the water in our boat. We frequently travel up and down the Puget Sound to explore, fish and spend time in the outdoors together. We’re also huge Seahawks fans and had the opportunity to attend Super Bowl 48 in New York. You can also find me working with stained glass.

Are you interested in working for Sunrise? Visit our employment page to learn more about current opportunities.



Snohomish County

Community Trades and Careers
Caregiver Training Center
Community Mental Health
Home Care Agency

King County - Shoreline

Community Trades and Careers

Administrative Office