Project Independence as it exists today was formed in 2007 by merging two organizations founded 30 years ago. This has allowed Project Independence to maximize our workforce, be fiscally conservative and build a greater capacity to meet the future challenges of people with disabilities. Vantage was the first community based behavior program in California to offer employment supports. Project Independence pioneered Independent Living 30 years ago, this agency became the premier program for over 700 people in Supported Employment, Social Security Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA), Day and Behavior Support Programs. Combining forces enhanced both Vantage and Project Independence by creating career ladders for staff, and shared expertise. Merging set the stage for innovation in self determined services for people with developmental disabilities, and has also energized staff with new possibilities and afforded them the opportunity to share valuable resources and expertise.
Project Independence serves all of Orange County. Large enough to be experts, smallenough to offer personal service. Average staff tenure is 5 years. Management staff have an average of 12 years with the organization.
The senior management team include:
Debra Marsteller, Executive Director
Robert Watson, Associate Director of Day and Behavior Services
Kathleen Grunwald, Controller
Mike Voegele, Director of Living Services
Tim Chervenak, Director of Employment Service
Kristen Cook, Director of Human Services