About the Staff

Eric Partridge, CEO

1Eric has spent the last 10 years working with the disabled community around the areas of finding and maintaining housing. His experiences have ranged from direct care to intensive case management. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of San Diego with honors and spent some time training for a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. Currently he is a Certified Senior Advisor and looks forward to doing more work with seniors in the future. He volunteers with Pets Unlimited in San Francisco, which is a non-profit animal rescue and veterinary clinic. He has commitment to persons with disabilities that has spanned most of his life with volunteer work in high school through paid work into adulthood. Eric is very excited about the work that he is doing with Thrive Support Services and looks forward to a bright future.

Candice Elton, Office Manager

Candice comes from years of working as an Office Manager, to one of the largest privately owned home care agencies in California. She brings her strong knowledge of billing, payroll and human resources with her. Candice has always wanted to work in the disabled community in some capacity, and is thrilled to be here at Thrive. In her spare time, she likes to enjoy spending time with her family, especially her small children.

Supported Living Services

Chris Candari, SLS Program Manager

I started working in the field of developmental disability in 1995 in Bakersfield, CA as a direct care staff. It first started out as a job of opportunity because the field is not related to my bachelor’s degree in business management but, I soon realized that it was not just a job but, it was my passion to provide care and support to people with special needs.

In my twenty (20) years of experience, I had the opportunity to perform various roles such as: Supervisor of an ICF/DDH Homes, Supported Living Services, and Scheduling Supervisor. Also as a Program Manager of a CCF Group Homes, Crisis Response Team and of an ILS program.

The greatest reward I get in working with people with special needs is the satisfaction in knowing I made some contribution in improving an individual’s quality of life.

I love to walk my dog in my spare time and spend time with family and friends.

Daesha Lumho, SLS Assistant Program Manager

Daesha has worked with Adults with developmental disabilities for 10 years, she discovered a passion that changed her life. “They don’t tell you it will be the most amazing job you ever had, to make a difference in a person’s life.” She believes that her mission is to provide life skills and work related training to Adults with developmental disabilities. She supports her Consumers in reaching their optimum level of individual potential by delivering a broad range of resources and ongoing guidance. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her Son, watch sports and loves to travel. Daesha is very grateful to Thrive for giving her the opportunity to bring her experience here to the Thrive community.

Chelsea Talosig, SLS Case Manager

Chelsea Talosig has many years of experience supporting individuals that have developmental disabilities. She worked as a Case Manager for 15 years for individuals with disabilities and also worked in a special education classroom at a local elementary school. She received her B.A in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and enjoys going back for frequent visits! Chelsea loves spending time with her children and family. She does Tahitian dancing in her spare time, loves to read and loves being outside. Her favorite outdoor activities are paddle boarding, snowboarding, camping, riding bikes and anything that means barefoot in sand and surf!

Independent Living Services

Maria Rodriguez Ruelas, ILS Program Director

9Maria began working for Thrive Support Services in 2013 after obtaining a B.A in Psychology at California State University East Bay. Maria started working as an ILS instructor and very quickly was promoted to an ILS Case Manager. In 2016, she became the ILS Program Manager and is now serving as the ILS Program Director. She states that working at Thrive has not only given her valuable experience but has also enriched her life as an individual. Thrive has allowed her to grow as a professional all while having fun! She includes that Thrive’s focus on community integration and self-advocacy has helped many clients feel more connected within their communities, but ultimately, our communities have been enriched by allowing adults with disabilities to have an active role. Maria is currently pursuing a PsyD in Clinical Psychology at John F. Kennedy University.

Gloria Adriano, ILS Program Manager

10Gloria started with Thrive in November 2012 and work as an ILS/PS Instructor until 2014. Gloria has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics with a Mathematics Teaching concentration graduated from California State East Bay University and pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work. Her experiences working with people with disabilities go from teaching and tutoring individually/groups to social work. In her free time, Gloria loves to visit new places and spend time with friends and family.

Jocelyn Ayala, ILS Program Manager

Jocelyn has been working for Thrive Support Services since 2015, and is currently the Program Manager for Alameda County. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from California State East Bay University and hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in the near future. Her passion for helping individuals with developmental disabilities began after volunteering at an Elementary school and working directly with children with autistism. She appreciates the support and dedication Thrive provides for each of their consumers and states that she is grateful for all the knowledge and experience she is obtaining about the field. Her ultimate goal is to become a children’s counselor and to continue helping those in need.

Karen Espinoza, ILS Assistant Program Manager

karen-espinozaKaren started working with Thrive in May, 2015 as an ILS Instructor. Shortly after being hired, she was promoted to an ILS Case Manager. Karen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Services. Her passion for helping individuals with developmental disabilities began after working at a hospital’s Emergency Department and working directly with many patients with developmental disabilities. In her free time, Karen loves to dance, watch movies, cook, and to spend time with friends and family. Karen is very excited about the work that she is doing with Thrive Support Services.

Crystal Cowen, ILS Case Manager

Crystal began as an ILS instructor for Thrive Support Services in 2015 and was promoted to ILS Case Manager shortly after. She is now the acting Recruitment Manager and an ILS Case Manager. Crystal has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Howard University and is working towards a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. Crystal comes from a professional background with non-profit organizations, community services, and education. She is passionate about supporting Thrive consumers with accomplishing their goals and becoming independent and confident individuals. She believes that the Thrive culture offers our staff and clients a genuine environment to grow and be supported in. Crystal is enthusiastic about the work she is doing and excited about the progress Thrive clients are making every day.

Kelsey Miller, ILS Case Manager

Kelsey MillerKelsey Miller obtained her B.S. degree from Arizona State University in 2014. She has several years of experience in working with people with disabilities. Prior to working at Thrive, Kelsey worked as a Recreation Specialist in various inclusive recreation programs. After working as an ILS instructor for a few months she was promoted to ILS Case Manager. She is very passionate about helping others and enjoys the close-knit environment here at Thrive. Currently, Kelsey is obtaining her Master’s degree in Human Services. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new areas, bicycling, and spending time with friends and family.

Ashlee Kaigler, ILS Case Manager

Kelsey MillerAshlee has an associates degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Ashlee has worked with Thrive for 2 years, as an ILS Instructor before being promoted to ILS Case Manager. Before Thrive, Ashlee worked as a caregiver for an in-home care company. Her passion has always been to help others no matter what. Ashlee has several family members with disabilities and has always been their caregiver, which inspired her to pursue a career in disabilities and social services. It brings her so much joy to be a part of such a great company. “With Thrive it makes me want to continue to thrive with life and for the people. I find joy in helping the clients mark off their goals and becoming more independent each day. On my off days, I spend them with my daughters and family and friends or reading a good book. I’m always researching for ways to help improve my community.”

Daisy Gallegos, ILS Case Manager

Kelsey MillerDaisy graduated from Sacramento State University in 2015 and received a bachelors degree in Psychology. She plans on getting her masters degree in social services in the future. She has a variety of experience working with people with disabilities from community centers to health clinics. Being able to support people in the community is her passion. For fun, she likes to go on hikes with her dog, watch movies and spend time with friends and family.

Michael Hutson, ILS Case Manager

Michael “Mike” Hutson has worked diligently over the past 17 years attempting to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities. As a result of his unique scope of practice, he has had the privilege of working as a Mentor, Counselor, Direct Care Staff, ILS instructor and Director. His experiences have inspired him to continue his education, earning a Doctorate in Theology with special attention in Humanities. Mike believes “where there is unity there is strength for all”.

Khadija Graham, ILS / ASL Case Manager

Khadija Graham – ILS _ ASL Case ManagerKhadija graduated from Sacramento State University in 2014. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Deaf Studies and has been working in that field since. She started off as an ILS instructor for the Deaf Community in Fremont, then went on to teaching American Sign Language to high school students. Now she is continuing her passion here at Thrive Support Services, as an ILS / ASL Case Manager.

Victoria Bellido, ILS Case Manager

Victoria Bellido, ILS Case ManagerVictoria graduated from Sacramento State University in 2017 and received her bachelor’s degree in Child Development. Currently, Victoria is obtaining her master’s degree in Special Education and teaching credential in moderate/severe disabilities at San Francisco State University. Her experiences vary from teaching at inclusive schools, tutoring at community colleges, and partnering up with special education teachers in creating curriculum. She is very passionate about inclusive education and mentoring young adults in becoming independent individuals in their own community. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys trying out new foods and spending time with family and friends.

Denee Hill, ILS Case Manager

Denee Hill – ILS Case ManagerDenee started with Thrive as an ILS Instructor in September of 2018, before being promoted to ILS Case Manager shortly after. Prior to working with Thrive, Denee worked with Children with developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders for 10 years. Over those 10 years, Denee gained various skills such as: crisis communication, discreet trial training, and different methods of building positive relationships with her students. Denee is very passionate about her work and is dedicated to helping her consumers have and maintain a better quality of life by teaching them the skills they need to be independent. Denee has an older sister with a developmental disability and has always been an advocate, teacher and caregiver for her big sister. During her free time, Denee enjoys spending time with her family, going to the movies, and traveling. Denee is excited to see what the future holds for her with Thrive Support Services, and looks forward to growing with the company.

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