Project Search

Project SEARCH International Leadership Team

The administrative team coordinates and oversees the international network of Project SEARCH sites. Their technical assistance is focused on program replication, professional education and training, continuous improvement, and model fidelity. The core team is based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, with a team of Project SEARCH consultants located throughout the US and the UK.

Cincinnati Project SEARCH International Support Team (IST)

Erin Riehle, RN, MSN

Erin is a recognized authority and national leader in promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. She is a founder and Senior Director of Project SEARCH, an employment and transition program that has received national recognition for innovative practices pioneered under Ms. Riehle's guidance. She is regularly invited to present at national and regional conferences, and has co-authored numerous publications and book chapters. She has served on many national committees, such as the Virginia Commonwealth University Business Leadership Roundtable and the Youth to Work Coalition. She is a past board member for the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE). She is also a past member of the Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities. She has gained over $3 million dollars in foundation and agency support for Project SEARCH programs, and has won numerous awards for her work. Notably, Project SEARCH received the U.S. Department of Labor's 2004 New Freedom Initiative Award and was the Inaugural recipient of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s 2010 James W. Varnum National Quality Award.

Erin Riehle, RN, MSN, Project SEARCH Founder and Director, Director of Disabilities Services at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center

Erin Riehle, RN, MSN

Project SEARCH Founder & Director, Director of Disabilities Services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Susie Rutkowski, BS, MEd

Susie is the Co-Director and Educational Specialist for Project SEARCH. Susie is a nationally recognized transition expert with specific experience in program development in career technical education and job development for young adults with disabilities. She served as the Manager for Disability Education at Great Oaks Career Campuses for over twelve years. During that tenure she, with Erin Riehle, co-founded Project SEARCH, a program for young adults transitioning from school to work. Susie has been instrumental in designing the Project SEARCH Training Institute modules and leading replication efforts for new Project SEARCH sites. She speaks and writes on transition-related topics.

Susie’s degree in Special Education was received from Bowling Green State University. Her Masters in Educational Administration was received from the University of Dayton and she did post-graduate work at Wright State University and Xavier University. . In addition to her other positions, she taught young students with multi-handicaps for eight years and worked for 10 years as a Job Placement Coordinator for students and graduates with disabilities from Great Oaks.

Susie Rutkowski, BS, MEd, Co-Director, Education Specialist

Susie Rutkowski, BS, MEd

Co-Director, Education Specialist

Christina Armstrong, BA

Christina Armstrong is the Business Manager of Disability Services at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Project SEARCH, Follow-Along Services, and Vocational Education Services). She has 13 years of experience in business administration (6 in the non-profit sector), with a background in finance, research, project management, and human resources. Christina is responsible for management of the business operations including grants, contracts, partnerships/collaborations, and oversight of departmental budgets and ledgers.


Christina Armstrong, BA

Business Manager

Maryellen Daston, BS, MS, PhD

Maryellen has a background in biomedical research and technical writing. As a Project SEARCH consultant, she is responsible for identifying state and federal funding opportunities, preparing grant applications, and managing the database and website content. Maryellen also contributes to the Project SEARCH website and other communications. In addition, she co-authored, with Erin Riehle and Susie Rutkowski, a book on the history, philosophy, and practices of Project SEARCH.


Maryellen Daston, BS, MS, PhD

Project SEARCH Consultant/Grants and Communications

Greg Lynch, BA

Greg has over 17 years of experience working in business, with a specialty in supply chain management. In 2005 the group of employees that he managed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) expanded to include people with disabilities, and through this experience became increasingly interested in Project SEARCH. In March of 2009 he became the Program Coordinator for Project SEARCH. In this role, he acts as the Project SEARCH business liaison for CCHMC, facilitates all of the program tours, and is responsible for all of the accounting for Project SEARCH.  In his free time Greg is very active volunteering in the community. In 2009 he received a National Jefferson Champion Award for his service in the community. He has a degree in Business Administration from Thomas More College.   


Greg Lynch, BA

Program Coordinator

Charee Partee

Charee has 24 years’ of experience in the field of health care administration. She has been employed at Cincinnati Children Hospital Medical Center for over 10 years. Her role with Project SEARCH includes providing administrative support for the staff, coordinating tours, and managing logistics for the International Conference. Before coming to Project SEARCH she worked in the Division of Developmental Behavior Pediatrics, which includes The Kelly O'Leary Center—a facility for children with autism.


Charee Partee

Administrative Assistant

Project Consultants

Linda Emery, BA, MEd

Linda, based in Hillsboro, Ohio, has 23 years' of experience in disabilities service. She has worked with both young children and transition-age youth. Linda was a teacher in a Project SEARCH High School Transition program for ten years. Currently, she assists with program replication in many states and is an instructor for the Project SEARCH Training Institute.  


Linda Emery, BA, MEd

Program Consultant

Lyn Andrews, BA

Lyn is Vice President and Project Manager at O’Neill and Associates. Lyn has 25 years of experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating community employment programs for people with developmental disabilities. She provides model fidelity reviews to Project SEARCH programs with the goal of continuous improvement and increasing employment outcomes. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University.

Lyn Andrews, BA

Program Review Auditor

Anne O’Bryan, BA

Anne has 30 years of experience in developing, managing, and improving employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States and Europe. Anne received her university preparation in systematic instruction at the University of Oregon Specialized Training Program. She went on to become the Systematic Instruction Trainer and Technical Assistance supplier for the State of Virginia. She is currently providing support and technical assistance to individuals, their families, employers and support services. She is also providing technical assistance to establish Project SEARCH sites in the United Kingdom.


Anne O’Bryan, BA

Program Consultant & UK Lead

Paula Johnson, BS, MS

Paula has more than 30 years of experience in job development, job analysis, career planning, staff training, marketing, and management. Currently, Paula lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon and is the owner of Paula Johnson Consulting, a firm that specializes in training and consultation related to employment for people with disabilities. She is a consultant with Project SEARCH and assists schools, employment agencies, funding agencies and employers with the development of new program sites.


Paula Johnson, BS, MS

Program Consultant & Statewide Coordinator

Teri Johnson, BS, MRA

For the past 25 years, Teri’s focus has been the development of quality employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. She has provided direct employment support, presented numerous seminars on vocational training techniques, and trained hundreds of co-workers in companies providing employment for individuals with disabilities through a corporate initiative supported by the US Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration. Teri resides in Seattle, Washington where she operates Teri Johnson Consultation and Training LLC, providing technical assistance and training to support the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities.


Teri Johnson, BS, MRA

Program Consultant, Training Institute Instructor

Sara Murphy, BS, MS Ed

Sara works for TransCen, Inc. as the director of WorkLink, the organization’s San Francisco-based employment service. WorkLink is the community partner for Kaiser Permanente-San Francisco Medical Center’s Project SEARCH site. Her expertise is on school-to-work issues, customized employment, and community-based services. In addition to managing the WorkLink program, Ms. Murphy is a subcontractor with Project SEARCH, working to replicate the program model throughout California and Nevada. She is also working with Kaiser Permanente to establish Project SEARCH sites throughout their healthcare system.


Sara Murphy, BS, MS Ed

Program Consultant & Statewide Coordinator

Claire Patterson, MEd

Claire began her education career in Puerto Rico and Virginia. After teaching in Cincinnati she worked for over 30 years’ in Career Technical Education in teaching and administration. She has also written a book on math education. In one of her recent assignments she supervised and supported Project SEARCH programs. She provides model fidelity reviews to Project SEARCH programs with the goal of continuous improvement and increasing employment outcomes. Claire received her Master’s in education from the university of Cincinnati and logged many hours of post graduate work at Xavier University.


Claire Patterson, MEd

Program Review Auditor

Debbie Robbinson, DMS, CIM DipM, MBA

Debbie is an experienced and successful leader of complex programmes across Health & Social Care in the UK with over twenty years experience. Her work in this field began with supporting people with learning disabilities, mental health needs, physical disabilities and sensory impairment into employment through work training programmes, which as a qualified, post 16 education teacher, Debbie both designed and delivered. Debbie also has extensive experience of working in strategic planning & commissioning and service development & delivery across health and social care, all skills that came together when she took up a post working for central government in the UK as a Regional Programme Lead for the Department of Health. Currently, her own business and continues to work with and for, people with learning disabilities, people on the autistic spectrum, families, health & social care professionals and a range of provider organisations to help ensure life positive outcomes around Health, Housing and Employment. Part of this work includes supporting the development of Project SEARCH in the United Kingdom.


Debbie Robbinson, DMS, CIM DipM, MBA

Program Consultant