Connections’ Leadership Dedicated to Improving Long-Term Care Delivery for IRIS Participants in wisconsin
Personally and professionally committed to helping you self-direct through IRIS
Connections, an IRIS consultant agency in Wisconsin, was developed by leaders who helped develop self-directed support programs in Wisconsin, and in other states and countries. In addition, Connections’ leaders have served people with disabilities for decades providing new and innovative services within communities.
Our leaders also have experience as parents of people with disabilities and caregivers of older adults in need of long-term support. As a result, they understand the challenges you face because they live them every day. Our team-based consultant approach helps share these real-life experiences among our members to benefit you.
Connections also draws upon the vast experience of our parent organization, Lutheran Social Services (LSS), which has served Wisconsin and Upper Michigan residents for more than 130 years. All LSS-affiliated services are offered to state residents regardless religious affiliation or background.
Tara M. Treglowne, Director
Tara M. Treglowne currently serves as the director of Connections. Working closely with people and helping to change lives fuels her passion and motivation for leading the Connections team. She feels it’s very rewarding to be a part of Connections, which is strong in vision. Tara is also excited to see how many lives she can help touch – influencing individuals throughout the state to help them reach their goals and lead fulfilling lives.
During the past 17 years, Tara has enjoyed the opportunity to help change the lives of children and youth who have faced significant emotional and behavioral challenges. Tara began her career with LSS in 2001 as a program supervisor leading the charge in creating a new, state-of-the-art 28-bed-residential facility for male juvenile sexual offenders. During her time at Homme, she collaborated with other programs within LSS across the state of Wisconsin and was instrumental in improving the culture for children and youth in treatment centers. Tara worked closely with state leaders to embrace and implement a trauma-informed strength-based care philosophy.
In January 2015, Tara transitioned into the director of Housing Services and Facility/Asset Management at LSS, and now leads the Connections team of long-term care leaders and consultants. She just recently graduated with a master of business administration (MBA) degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Tara was part of a newly developed executive MBA path specifically developed for executives and managers, which focuses on building skills and conceptualization at an enterprise and managerial level. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
Phone: 844-520-1712 | Direct: 715-456-5675 | Fax: 844-638-7723
Kevin Fech, IRIS Consultant Team Manager, Milwaukee Region
Kevin Fech serves as a Connections team manager after working with IRIS individuals as a consultant since 2010. He feels his greatest joy when a man or woman achieves his or her goal – and he’s been a part of helping the person achieve that success. He feels happy when he can help a young man move out on his own, with proper supports, or if he can assist an older adult woman to realize that she can volunteer at the same food pantry where she receives supplemental necessities. He says it’s wonderful to help a young woman to get connected with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and see her smile as she realizes that her dream of community-based employment has become a reality.
Kevin also has served on the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities since 2009, and on the Disability Resource Center oversight committee for Milwaukee County. A father of three teenagers, his oldest son has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism, and is also non-verbal. His son is going through the transition process from high school to community-based employment, as well as the transition from the Children's Waiver to the adult system. According to Kevin, he doesn’t advocate for his son’s rights – he advocates with him.
Toll-free: 844-520-1712 | Direct: 414-325-3118 | Fax: 844-638-7723 | Cell: 414-232-7490 | Email: email@example.com
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Lu Ann Desotelle, IRIS Consultant
Team Manager, Northeast Region
Lu Ann Desotelle brings 30 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities to her role as a Connections IRIS consultant team manager. She earned a bachelor science degree in education/therapeutic recreation and completed post-graduate work in educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Before joining Connections, Lu Ann served as a support and service coordinator for Door County Human Services. In that role, she provided comprehensive case management to adults with developmental disabilities. She also completed assessments, functional screens, and person-centered and outcome-based planning. In addition, Lu Ann completed individual service plans, authorizations, financial eligibility, crisis and behavioral plans, restrictive measures plan, and ongoing monitoring and support for individuals.
Through her work as a service coordinator, Lu Ann learned that each of us has our own dreams of the most meaningful and successful lives. She also learned that when people are granted choice and control over their lives they are able to realize their dreams. These could be small dreams such as owning a garden plot in the community garden, attending church with a friend or finding a caregiver who really understands. Or, they could be big dreams like owning a Habitat house, getting married or reconnecting with family. Fulfilling dreams could also mean finding a good job, joining a committee, service club, church group or community organization.
Lu Ann also finds that community projects, special events and activities are more interesting and enjoyable when all members of the community are included. She feels that all of these things are possible when people make connections, meet new people and work side by side with friends. Lu Ann is very excited to be a part of supporting people in realizing their dreams through Connections.
In addition to her position with Connections, Lu Ann and her husband own Appletree Kennels, a boarding and grooming kennel located in Sturgeon Bay.
Dennis Harkins inspired the development of Connections, leading our startup and serving as Project Manager from October 2014 through March 2016.
Dennis believes passionately in the potential for self-directed services to enable individuals to obtain the support they need to live fulfilling lives, in the company of those they love and who love them, regardless of age or impairment. He is a former Wisconsin Director of Services to People with Developmental Disabilities, was involved in the initial development of the state’s IRIS program, and served as a member and chairperson of its Implementation Advisory Committee. This committee assisted with the early implementation of IRIS.
Dennis has consulted on the development of self-directed supports and services since 1993 in Wisconsin and as a consultant throughout the United States in his work for the Center on Self-Determination. He continues to consult with organizations on implementing self-directed services within the various long-term care systems changes in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and particularly within Wisconsin.
Learn more about Connections
For more information on Connections, call 1-844-520-1712 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.