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Upreach is proud of our diverse team who all share a passion
for helping individuals with developmental disabilities
live their fullest and best lives.


CEO & Co-Founder / Owner

While completing her Bachelors of Arts degree at Ohio Dominican College, Melissa began her journey working with individuals with disabilities by providing direct care services for a supported living agency. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree, she returned to college to receive her Master’s degree.

During Melissa’s second year in the Master’s of Social Work program at The Ohio State University, she was offered a fellowship at the OSU Nisonger Center. During the fellowship, Melissa helped to develop programs which benefit individuals with disabilities, provided counseling, facilitated groups, and taught a graduate level course at OSU.

Melissa received her Master’s degree in Social Work in June 2003. In August 2003, Melissa co-founded UPREACH LLC, and in 2006, co-founded Learning Never Ends LLC.

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Co-Founder / Owner

Beth attended the University of Cincinnati, where she majored in Psychology. Beth started her career working in a group home in 1989. Beth relocated to Columbus in 1994 and began a career as a Support Specialist.

Beth continued to advance within the agency as she was promoted to Support Specialist Coordinator and Program Director. As a Program Director, Beth was responsible for hiring, scheduling and training support staff, coordinating medical services, overseeing and managing finances, and maintaining quality living conditions.

Beth was also a part of a Quality Assurance Team which traveled to other states to monitor the quality of services provided to individuals with disabilities. In August 2003, Beth co-founded UPREACH LLC, and in 2006, co-founded Learning Never Ends LLC.



Program Director

Pat brings extensive experience from his past public and private experience in the disability field. After graduating from The Ohio State University in 1993 with a B.A. in Psychology, Pat began his professional career with a private provider of residential services for the developmentally disabled for 6 years as a Program Director and new staff trainer. Pat joined the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities in the service Coordination Department, where he served as Supported Living Service Coordinator and Placement Coordinator. Pat joined UPREACH in 2007 as Program Director.

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Arkeeta HOPSON

Assistant Director

Arkeeta began her journey with Upreach LLC in 2012, as a direct care support specialist.  She continued working for Upreach as she earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation at Eastern Michigan University.  After graduating, Arkeeta was promoted to Scheduling Manager in 2014.  Continuing to grow within the company, she became a Program Manager in 2015.  In 2017, Arkeeta was promoted to Assistant Director, where she worked alongside Upreach Program Managers providing quality services to all consumers served by Upreach.  Arkeeta ventured to Learning Never Ends day program, Upreach’s sister company, where she served as the Executive Director in 2019.  While Arkeeta genuinely enjoyed her time with Learning Never Ends, she has since returned to her first love of residential services at Upreach as the Assistant Director.  Arkeeta takes pride in building lifelong relationships and in providing exceptional care to all consumers served by Upreach LLC. 



Quality Care Manager

Graduating with a Sociology degree from the University of Hawaii, Desi has always gravitated towards helping, teaching, and learning about others. As a high school student, Desi volunteered at Learning Never Ends and at a middle school for ESL students. In college, she was a Resident Assistant who led educational programs, planned community activities and aided three dorms with any instructive, social, or health-related needs. On university breaks, Desi was the Assistant Director of a summer camp that provided services to adolescents with disabilities. She also worked at Upreach as a Direct Support Professional and an administrative intern. After graduating, Desi took on a Manager of Quality position at Learning Never Ends. She was asked, two years later, to make roots at LNE’s Central location to be the Site Director. From there, she became the Director of The Next Chapter Book Club, a nonprofit organization that assists Affiliates all around the world to start book clubs for people with disabilities. After two years at NCBC, and twelve years in the field, Desi is back with the Upreach group, excited to support staff and clients to be the best they can be and live even more fulfilling lives!



Financial Coordinator

Diana Slayton has served as Financial Coordinator to individuals with disabilities since 2000. She previously worked for a private provider for three years and joined the Upreach team in 2003. Services provided include assisting clients with budgets, bill paying, financial decisions and general oversight of their finances. Diana enjoys day to day interaction with our clients and assisting with all their financial needs.

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Director of Human Resources

Michael has significant experience working in the disability field, both on the provider side and at the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. He earned B.S. and Master’s degrees from Grace College and Seminary in northern Indiana. Michael enjoys helping people get issues resolved so that they can focus on caring for the individuals we serve. When not at work, he loves spending time with his wife exploring Columbus--and most anywhere.



Recruiting and Retention Director

Amanda graduated from Malone university with her bachelors in psychology. In May of 2018 she moved to Columbus and started working at Upreach as a program manager. She recently was promoted to recruiting and retention director. Amanda loves working with individuals with developmental disabilities and it has become a true passion of hers. In Amanda's free time she likes to work out, watch the office, and hang out with friends and family.

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Monroe STACY

HR Assistant

Monroe began his career in the DD field in 1995 while working for Franklin County Residential services.  Over the 15 years at FCRS,  Monroe formed many bonds with the consumers served. In October of 2010, Monroe started his career with Upreach as he transferred companies alongside his longtime consumer Lee Ann.  Monroe believes that life is about relationships, and the very special bond he had with Lee Ann showed through their lifelong connection.  Monroe was promoted to a Program Manager in 2012.  In 2016,  Monroe advanced to Upreach’s  Administrative Assistant position.  Monroe continued to grow in the company taking on the role of Human Resources Manager in 2019, an Administrative Biller in 2020, and joining the Human Resource team again in 2021.

Charlene WOODS


HR Assistant

Charlene attended Concord College where she pursued STNA training, while working as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher and as a nursing assistant catering to the elder population.

In 1996, Charlene began her career working at a day program, and has since held various positions in the disability field. Charlene joined our team at Upreach in 2004 as a Support Care Specialist and was promoted to Program Manager. Charlene possesses a passion for the individuals with disabilities, and strives to assist them in improving their lives.

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Kasey grew up in Northeast Ohio and graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2020. Kasey grew up around the deaf community, having many family members who were deaf, and always loved helping and serving the members in the community. She has always enjoyed being able to help others and is passionate about equitable care for all. After stepping away from childcare, Kasey joined the Upreach team in March of 2024 as the front desk receptionist and an HR assistant. This position has combined her passion for helping others with her love for administrative work. In her free time, Kasey loves spending time with her friends, getting a great cup of coffee and thrift shopping.

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Mohammed HALAOUI

Scheduling Manager

Mohammed began working with individuals with disabilities in 2009 while attending the Columbus State Community College to earn a degree in Radiology but life quickly took a different turn when Mohammed started working with his first consumer Ernie Strickland as a direct care support specialist. In 2010, Ernie moved to Upreach and his mom requested for Mohammed to come with him. This is how Mohammed’s journey begins with Upreach. In 2013, Mohammed was promoted from direct care support specialist to a Scheduling Manager. After 3 years of hard work, in 2016, Mohammed was once again promoted not only as a Scheduling manager but to also manage the Scheduling Department and oversee all scheduling issues.
Mohammed truly enjoys helping others and planning to further his education for something that can benefit helping people.

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Candice SAVAGE

Program Manager

Candi was born and raised in Ohio until age 18. She graduated in 1993 and decided to move west to Colorado Springs. Her original plan was to go to school for Criminal Justice, but life happened and instead she started working on Fort Carson Army Base. She stayed in Colorado for 3 years and moved back to Ohio in 1996 and started working in Customer Service/Management for a Home Improvement store. She stayed there for 12 years. She held various positions with that company and even helped with new store openings in different states. However, she always had a passion to work with individuals with disabilities. Candi has always had compassion for people and in 2008 shortly after moving to Columbus, a former co-worker told her about Upreach. She started as direct care staff and then moved into scheduling. She then went to a day program for a short period and came back to the Upreach billing department; she was then promoted to Program Manager in 2019.



Program Manager

Born and raised in Columbus, Aubrey McPheters has always had a passion for helping the people around her. After teaching at Haugland Learning Center for three years, where she worked with kids of all ages, Aubrey made the difficult decision to leave the education field and join the Upreach team. At Upreach, Aubrey is building relationships and following her passion of helping people live their best lives. Outside the office, you are sure to find Aubrey obsessing over her nephew, playing games with her husband and friends, cooking a delicious meal, or playing with her dog Skylar.


Claudia BINEY

Program Manager

Claudia graduated from Central University with her Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management in 2013. She started working with Upreach as a direct support staff in March 2017.
Claudia was promoted to the lead position in 2018 and later in June 2019 became a Program Manager. She has the zeal to help and support individuals with disabilities to become the best they can be.



Program Manager

Moriah grew up in a family with two siblings on the Autism Spectrum which fueled her passion to work with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Moriah started college at The Ohio State University in 2012 and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education in 2017. During her time in college Moriah worked as an ABA Therapist and direct care staff. After graduation Moriah was unsure which career path she wanted to pursue. Moriah started working for Franklin County Children’s Services in 2017, which is where she found her love for social work. After this, Moriah decided she wanted to return to working with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Moriah joined Upreach in March of 2019. Moriah loves working as a Program Manager because it perfectly combines her love of Social Work and her passion for working with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.



Program Manager

Shannon grew up in Dover, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. While at Ohio State, Shannon was a leader in her co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, where she volunteered in a variety of ways and found a passion for serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Upon graduating, Shannon had jobs in direct care, case management, and operations. The recent pandemic made her realize that she was not fulfilling her life's dream of helping others in a way she loved. When Shannon discovered Upreach; she fell in love with the idea of combining her experience in case management with her passion for this field. As a Program Manager, Shannon builds strong relationships with the individuals she serves. In her free time, Shannon loves thrift shopping, roller skating, and playing with her dog, Monkey!


Tyana BADY

Program Manager

I moved to Columbus, Ohio in 2004 originally from a small town in Michigan, by the name of Benton Harbor. My first job in the medical field was with direct care. I later went to Bryman Institute to become a Medical Assistant where I obtained a Diploma for MA. I have worked as a MA for the last 14 years. I recently decided to return to what I love: Which is helping others with disabilities. Here at Upreach I am one the New Program Managers.


Mercedes BROWN

Program Manager

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Mercedes graduated from Marion Franklin High School as well as Fort Hayes Career Center with a Medical Assistant certification. Mercedes has always had a passion for caring for others.  Mercedes worked in the healthcare field as a STNA for ten years as she discovered Unpreach as a part time employer. She was introduced to Learning Never Ends day program where she later worked and fell in love with the DD community. Mercedes worked at Learning Never Ends for many years before taking a career change to the childcare industry. Mercedes always had a passion for the DD community and recently came back to Unpreach this time as a Program Manager.  In her free time Mercedes enjoys exploring the world with her two daughters, crafting and finishing her bachelor's degree in business management. 


Brittany Winstead

Program Manager

Brittany Twitty Winstead, born and raised in Cincinnati, graduated from the Ohio State University with her BSW in 2019 and has been working in the DD field ever since. At Upreach, Brittany has found the perfect environment to thrive, make connections, and follow her passion of helping people live a fulfilling and fruitful life.  Outside the office, Brittany can be found spending time with family and friends, working on art projects, and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen.


Emma Robinson

Program Manager

Emma graduated from Iowa State University in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Global Resource Systems. Before joining Upreach in January 2024, she worked as a program manager in the nonprofit industry. She is passionate about helping others and looks forward to supporting the individuals she serves. Outside the office, Emma enjoys hiking, gardening, and weightlifting. 

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