Meet the Team Carmela TolerChairman of the Board Hello, my name is Carmela Toler. I have been providing support services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for about 40 years and I have greatly loved my work. A little background about myself starts with my growing up in Indiana and attending Indiana University, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Forensics and later a Master of Science in Organizational Management and Development from Indiana Wesleyan. I am no longer married, but was fortunate enough to have had two daughters, Sataria age 31 and Noni age 23. They bring lots of joy to my life, while my education and experiences has given me the tools to do my best work.I began serving individuals with disabilities in Ohio as Case Management. In 1987 I began working as a manager for a company in New York City called Aid to the Developmentally Disabled (ADD), in their Group Home and then Supported Living Program.After New York I worked as a supervisor at Vocation/Day Services in Florida and then back to Indianapolis in 1991 to begin work for St. Vincent New Hope, serving in Group Homes and assisting with the closing of the Institution. In 1992 the State of Indiana received their first Medicaid waivers and St. Vincent New Hope received “20 slots” that began Supported Living. St. Vincent New Hope closed the institution and moved everyone into the community. I have worked as Chief of the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities, State of Indiana; Vice President, Arbitre Consulting and now CEO of LEL Home Services LLC, Indiana, New Mexico, and Ohio.My training spans the same time frame but was greatly impacted from the very beginning in New York. There was an expose done by Geraldo Rivera called “Willowbrook”. This material instantly became the foundation of my training and gave me a clear understanding of the effects of institutional behavior and the medical model for people with disabilities. Willowbrook was such a compelling nightmare that I vowed to do all that I could to help mitigate the effects of institutional treatment. Additionally, in 1991 I was introduced to Social Role Valorization (SRV). The state of Indiana Department of Disabilities and Rehabilitative Services offered grants to all providers so that all service providers would have this training. This training became foundational to all my work helping managers and Direct Service professions (DSP’S) understand how to bring value to the people they serve by affording them the everyday opportunities like you and I have. That includes the “Dignity of Risk” so people with disabilities have those opportunities for a greater understanding of who they are and who they can become, not only being a “CLIENT.” I hope to continue to learn from the people I serve and to ultimately leave behind a legacy of how we should value individuals with disabilities and that doing so is not that hard. James Officer, IIICEO James Officer, III joined the LEL family in August 2016, first as a contractor, then as a full-time employee in January 2019. James brought 25 years of leadership and business experience to LEL and has spearheaded the strategy development to make LEL the preeminent provider in Indiana and Ohio. His passion and commitment to excellence extends, first, to the LEL leadership. He’s long understood that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of those charged to their care. His goal, every day, is the compassionate, consistent delivery of operational excellence. Cindy CarterChief Quality Officer Thirty-five years ago, Cindy started her journey in this field as a Direct Support Professional supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. While attending school, Cindy worked a 48-hour shift every weekend. The provider promoted her to Group Home Manager. Her career path then took her to Park Center, a comprehensive mental health facility. As an Assertive Aftercare Case Manager, Cindy collected information on intensive community supports to reduce short-term and long-term psychiatric hospitalizations. This data supported the implementation of the Home and Community Based Services Waiver in Indiana. In addition to working for residential providers, Cindy provided ICAP evaluations assessing the complexity of individuals’ support needs. Cindy and her husband, Sammie, live in Fishers with three young adult children Noah, Sabrina, and Sammie Q. Prior to joining LEL Home Services, she served as Indiana’s Director of Facility-Based Services supporting agencies providing services to over 3000 individuals. Cindy champions Social Role Valorization, Life-Course, and Person-centeredness principles to support LEL’s Vision of “Inclusion without explanation!” Cindy is currently the Chief Quality Officer at LEL Home Services, an INARF Training and Professional Development Committee member, and an International Social Role Valorization Association advocate. Jenny MadduxVP of Inclusive Services Jenny has worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities since 1999. After graduating from Hanover College, Jenny became an Employment Specialist for three years and took great pride in supporting individuals in gaining meaningful employment.Jenny was a day program manager for 14 years and supported individuals in enhancing their skills so they could live out their best lives. Jenny is grateful for the life lessons she learned while being a day program manager but most importantly for the life-long friendships she has made along the way.In 2016, Jenny joined the LEL Family. Jenny loves the opportunity to work for an organization that truly values all people and where you truly feel like you are family. LEL has not only impacted Jenny’s professional life. The philosophy of Social Role Valorization is what sets LEL apart and has given Jenny the opportunity to see life through a whole new lens.Jenny has been a volunteer for Special Olympics for 20 years and enjoys coaching track and field and acting as the current County Coordinator for Special Olympics-Decatur County. She also is part of the Arc of Decatur County executive board and is active in her church in Greensburg as a Sunday School teacher.Jenny has a husband, Ryan and daughter, Katherine who most definitely keeps her on her toes! Both Jenny and Ryan have a love for their hometown of Greensburg and enjoy volunteering together in different capacities to make their community the best it can be. Tierre ClarkVP of Program Services IN/OH Tierre Clark began her humble beginnings as a Direct Support Professional for a local provider, where she fell in love with helping others. She soon became a Certified Nurse’s Assistant. She gratefully served the elderly community until she was promoted to Social Services in the skilled nursing facility she started during her undergraduate schooling. Tierre took the opportunity to work as the Admissions Director at another skilled nursing facility before she joined the LEL family in 2015. Tierre has enjoyed her journey with LEL, witnessing the life-changing services that the organization works hard to deliver. Tierre enjoys spending time with her husband and four children in her leisure. She also has a burning passion for dance instruction and sharing the benefits of self-expression and creativity through the form of movement. Jeanne EavesDirector of Referrals and Community Engagement Jeanne Eaves has been with LEL for 12 years, in various roles helping grow LEL from a mom-pop organization to a Top 10 workplace in Indiana. She has been in this industry for more than 20 years, supporting individuals with disabilities and their families; previously to LEL, as a Case Manager for Waiver Services. Prior to that, Jeanne was involved in ministry and social services, helping inner-city families find resources for a better life. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition from Ball State University and a graduate certification in Integrated Nutrition and Wellness from Columbia University, New York. Her passion is to connect with Individuals in a meaningful way, walk beside them and help them pursue their Best Life. Jeanne is married, has 7 adult children with her husband, Larry and 3 grandchildren that bring so much joy to her life. Janet CarlsonDirector of Clinical and Family Services Janet is the Director of Clinical and Family Services for LEL Home Services. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue University and her master’s degree in social work from Indiana University. She is a licensed social worker and has practiced in a variety of settings including home-based services, residential services, foster care and adoption, and hospice. She loves helping people realize their dreams and helping them develop their skills. She also teaches part-time at Ivy Tech Community College for the Human Services Program, at IUPUI for the Social Work Program, and for Purdue University’s Human Services Program, because she believes it is critical for those who work with others to have the skills to understand the individuals they serve and be strong advocates. Valerie SmithDirector of Quality Valerie Smith joined the LEL family in December 2018 as we began our expansion of services in New Mexico. In her initial role as Service Coordinator, Valerie was instrumental in partnering with individuals, families, DSPs, community agencies and the State, educating them about LEL Home Services and how we help our individuals live their best lives. In October 2020, Valerie was excited to take on the role as Director of Quality, providing support for our programs across Indiana and Ohio. Valerie is passionate about quality initiatives, strategic planning and ongoing process improvement. Jen MeilsDirector of Individual Finances Jen has been with LEL Home Services for almost 15 years and started as a contractor answering the phones and filing paperwork. She then became an employee and assumed all the responsibilities of HR and the Individuals files (Notice of Actions). She continued growing in her role as the company also grew and helped create MyLyle, our all-electronic system. She became Director in 2020 and with her efficient work-ethic and knowledge, she ensures all billing for Indiana, Ohio and New Mexico, Individual’s information, NOA’s and MyLyle are running pristinely. It has been a crazy and fun ride but she looks forward to many more years at LEL. Jen and her husband live in Noblesville and have been married for 6 years and now have a child on the way! Her hobbies include painting, fishing and baking.