Jennifer Bonnell, Independent Living Specialist
Jennifer Bonnell joined EOCIL in August 2007 and serves as its Work Incentives Network (WIN) Coordinator. Jennifer has an associate’s degree from Treasure Valley Community College and brings with her several years of early childhood education and teaching experience, among other talents.
Jennifer has consistently been a top performer as well as leader in her field and has been certified through WIN since October 2007. Jennifer attained national certification through the Virginia Commonwealth University’s WIPA
Training Center, as a Community Partner Work Incentives Coordinator (CPWIC), in November 2011. Jennifer’s aptitude in her specialization is coupled with her leadership qualities and peer-to-peer mentoring experience.
When Jennifer is not working, she enjoys quilting, reading, and spending time with loved ones.
Oriana Crockett, Administrative Assistant
Oriana Crockett joined EOCIL in August 2016, shortly after graduating from high school. Oriana is currently an Administrative Assistant at the Corporate Office in Ontario.
Oriana brings with her several years of volunteering, as well as clerical, experience and is very active in her local community.
In her free time, Oriana is a student at Treasure Valley Community College and enjoys skydiving and acting in the local theatre.
Robert Crooks, Independent Living Specialist
Robert Crooks was hired in December 2013 as Administrative Assistant and advanced to the position of Independent Living Specialist in 2014 for the EOCIL’s The Dalles branch office.
Robert graduated from high school in 2005 from Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. After high school Robert attended the College of Southern Nevada where he earned his Associate Degree in business. In 2012 Robert moved to the Wasco County area to be close to his eastern Oregon family.
Robert has served as a peer mentor helping others with disabilities navigate public transportation system. Robert has extensive experience with Para transit rules and regulations, ride scheduling, and complaint resolution.
Robert has spent his life trying to better himself, both mentally and spiritually. Robert is an active community member volunteering where he is needed. Robert is always willing to offer a helping hand and believes in maintaining a positive attitude through the “good and “bad” times.
Linnea Jones, Independent Living Specialist
Linnea Jones joined the EOCIL team in August 2017 as a Care Coordinator for the Ryan White program. She was born and raised in Nebraska (and is a lifelong Husker fan) and moved to Oregon in 2014.
Linnea received a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Linnea has previous work experience with multiple populations including individuals with disabilities, children and youth, and adults of all ages.
When not at work, Linnea spends her time watching sports on TV, reading, as well as being with friends and her beloved dog, Bodie.
Raquel Kuehne, Independent Living Specialist
Raquel Kuehne Join the EOCIL Team in May of 2009. Raquel moved from Montana is 2006 to attend TVCC. While attending TVCC Raquel played softball and worked at Meadowbrook retirement facility. Raquel has many years experience with working with consumers living with dementia. Raquel provides many different services to the consumer such as the mobility management training, recreational training, employment-based services, employer training for individuals who employ homecare workers, and financial management training. When Raquel is not at EOCIL, she loves spending time with her two children.
Charlotte Persinger, Registered Nurse
Charlotte Persinger joined EOCIL as a Medical Case Manager in May 2015. Char was born and raised in Pendleton Oregon and has her associate’s degree in Nursing from Blue Mountain Community College. Char also currently works as a nurse for a local correctional facility.
Char has extensive experience and expertise in healthcare, healthcare administration, and related services. Char also brings several years of medical care management and administration experience, which proves invaluable to her clients and co-workers. Char is a great teammate and leader among her peers.
Char enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and co-workers, as well as horseback riding, bicycling, cross country motorcycle trips, quilting and gardening.
Heidi Ragsdale, Independent Living Specialist
Heidi Ragsdale joined EOCIL in September of 2008. Heidi provides the five core services and serves as EOCIL’s American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance reviewer.
Heidi has very strong ties with the community. She has 13 years of law enforcement and corrections. Shortly after the birth of her son, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and become a wheelchair user. During the transition of her health she was no longer able to work in the law enforcement field safely.
In 2008 Heidi made contact with EOCIL to talk about transportation services. During conversation, Heidi made a comment that she had not realized that the community was not readily accessible for her to walk her son to school or other areas for concerns for a wheelchair user. And at that time, Heidi was looking for resources to help make this community user friendly and continued making contact with EOCIL for guidance.
Heidi continues to have strong ties with the communities and serves on several boards of director’s panels of different agencies through out the communities. Heidi also provides resources for Healing Pathways for Women, Profession Working Women Social group and provides skills training in budgeting for individuals who want to be independent, self-reliant and to be able to move forward with confidence by managing their own finances.
Kelly Rumsey, Independent Living Specialist
Kelly Rumsey rejoined EOCIL as a Care Coordinator for the Ryan White program in May 2017. Kelly was previously employed by EOCIL for 5 years from 2003 to 2008, before leaving to explore new professional opportunities. Kelly was raised in Vale, Oregon and loves his hometown.
Kelly has over two decades of professional experience in the disability field. Kelly is very civic-minded, serving on multiple community boards, committees, and volunteer organizations geared towards public service. Moreover, Kelly is an advocate and believer in the Independent Living Movement and philosophy, which is illustrated through his work and peerto- peer relationships with his clients.
In his free time, Kelly enjoys coaching volleyball at Vale High School and serving as a peer mentor to youth struggling with their sexuality in small
Kenneth Taroy, Independent Living Specialist
Kenneth Taroy joined EOCIL as an Intake Coordinator in May 2017. Kenneth was born in Ontario, Oregon and is the eldest of five children. Kenneth credits his strong work ethic to his family.
Kenneth has a wealth of professional experience in several different fields and has found his niche as an Independent Living advocate. Kenneth’s personal and professional background has made him equipped to provide stellar peer-to-peer mentoring, oversight, and analysis to any project in which he is a member.
In Kenneth’s free time, he enjoys gardening and botany, taking on new challenges, playing with his animals, and traveling with his partner.
Patty Toombs, Director of Administrative Services
Patty Toombs is the cofounder and Director of Administrative Services at EOCIL. Patty began her employment in May 2000 as an on-call Independent Living Specialist and moved to her current role in June 2004.
Patty has over thirty years of professional experience in the field as both a peer-to-peer mentor and administrator. Patty’s personal and professional experience in the disability community has shaped her ideology as both an advocate of the Independent Living Movement and civil servant.
W. Kirt Toombs, Chief Executive Officer
Kirt Toombs is the cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of EOCIL and began his employment in January 2000. Kirt is an alumnus of the University of San Francisco (USF), where he was awarded a Master of Management and Disability Services degree. Kirt has also studied at the University of Ireland-Galway, Department of International Disability Law & Policy, through its summer program. Kirt also has extensive educational and
professional experience in program design, implementation, and evaluation.
Since 1986, Kirt has been a fierce advocate of the Independent Living Moving, participating at both the practitioner and researcher levels. As a disability historian, Kirt is currently working on a project comparing the cultural and legal history of disability in several western US states. Kirt has over two decades of public administration experience, all of them in the service of the cross-disability community.
Lois Wilder, Independent Living Specialist
Lois joined EOCIL May of 2012. Lois worked over 12 years in Oregon and Washington with incarcerated youth. Lois also worked as a recreation and youth counselor for youth living in community based residential group homes for 6 years. In addition, Lois lived in Hawaii for 15 years where she worked asa youth counselor in a community base residential group home. Lois is a graduate from WWCC with an associated of arts degree with a major in criminal justice.
Jeff Williams, Independent Living Specialist
Jeff Williams has been with EOCIL since July 1, 2014, Jeff is originally from Vancouver Washington and has been a resident of John Day, Oregon for 19 years. 7 years ago Jeff moved to Pendleton, Oregon and became a member of the EOCIL family.
For 2 years Jeff has worked as an Intake Coordinator for the Ryan White Program. He has recently moved in the position of Care Coordinator, assisting clients in their proactivity to Health Care, and every day Independence. Jeff also is a Certified Application Assister, assisting the community in retaining Health Insurance.
Jeff’s background is in Law Enforcement, as a 911 Dispatcher for 2 years & Police Officer for the City of John Day for 7 years. After coming to Pendleton he was an Alcohol & Drug Counselor for 2 years.
Tim Williams, Independent Living Specialist
Tim Williams joined EOCIL in August 2017. Tim was born and raised in Milwaukie, Oregon and relocated to Ontario in 2014. Tim previously worked in the aquaculture field in southeast Alaska, providing him with memorable experiences and memories.
Tim brings with him a strong desire and passion for helping others and is currently developing and contributing his experience and expertise as an advocate in the cross-disability field. Tim’s own personal and professional experiences have made him a stronger peer-to-peer mentor and leader in
In his free time, Tim enjoys gardening and botany, as well as traveling and seeing new sites with his partner.
EOCIL EMPLOYEE HALL OF FAME
It is our honor to celebrate EOCIL’s heroes of the Independent Living Movement that are now with us in spirit. We shall never forget their friendship, commitment, and contributions to advance the Independent Living Movement.
Heidi Eidler, Independent Living Specialist
Heidi Eidler has been with EOCIL since 2002 serving individuals with HIV/AIDS residing in rural eastern Oregon.
She was born and raised in South Africa, graduated from secondary school in Namibia and as an adult went to college in Austria, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in psychology. During her college years, Heidi worked in the social services field providing services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Heidi has accumulated extensive HIV/AIDS service delivery experience and knowledge after working in rural communities across Africa, Europe and Brazil in the 1980s. She immigrated to the United States in 2000.
Heidi started working with an organization in Ontario, Oregon, that provides employment training for individuals with cognitive disabilities, as an employment specialist, job developer and job carver. In 2002, Heidi was project manager for expanding EOCIL services in Umatilla, Oregon. In 2004, Heidi was a team leader for the Project with Industries (PWI) grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. The PWI project was successful in obtaining 65 employment placements for people with disabilities.
Heidi has been a member of the HIV Care Coalition and is now a member of the Integrated Planning Group (IPG), a coalition addressing HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections. She is currently on the board of UMALT (Umatilla, Morrow Alternatives), a human dignity group serving minority groups in rural Oregon. She brings to her role a literal world of experience and a passion for advocating for self-management of people living with HIV/AIDS outside metropolitan areas.
Heidi Kleinschmidt – Eidler – Greenwell
December 1, 1950 – May 17, 2016
Notice of the passing of Heidi Kleinschmidt – Eidler – Greenwell
Sylvia Wenke, Independent Living Specialist
Sylvia was one of EOCIL’s original board members in 1999 at the center’s inception. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Sylvia volunteered at the EOCIL office answering phones, doing outreach, and taking care of any clerical work that needed doing. She finished her term and then decided to apply at EOCIL for the office support staff position and began working for EOCIL in 2001.
Sylvia is active in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and was named Woman of the Year in 2002. She also serves on the board of directors for St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ontario and volunteers for Special Olympics and Help Them to Hope.
Sylvia Carol True Wenke
Nov 19, 1928-Dec 30, 2014
Notice of the passing of Sylvia Wenke