About Us

Who We Are

Our son came to Rimland ten years ago. Our family has watched him thrive with the care and support from the Rimland staff. I feel we are one big family and I am grateful for the support I have received.

— Rosemary Milton, Parent
Our staff and leadership are dedicated to providing exceptional care for individuals with autism.

Michael Christopher, Associate Executive Director of Client Services
Being attracted to variety and a professional role where no two days will ever be the same are two qualities Michael contributes to Rimland’s success. Michael joined the team in 2006 as a residential home manager and quickly moved up the ladder as Case Manager, Residential Director, and, now, as Associate Executive Director of Client Services. With a background in social work, Michael has quickly become indispensable to an organization he describes as “is not just an agency but more like a family.”
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 227  | E-mail  mchristopher@rimland.org

Tammie McClendon, Associate Executive Director of Client Services
Tammie perfectly embodies Rimland’s mission and has the experience and compassion to back it up. Throughout her tenure at Rimland, she has served in a variety of roles, including Direct Support professional and Peer Review Team member. Now, as an Associate Executive Director, she oversees our group homes and ensures that our high standards are always in place. Never one to sit back and wait, Tammie’s energy and commitment to handling whatever needs to get done make her an incredible asset. She is driven to put the needs of our clients above all else and serves as an inspiration for everyone to do the same. We simply don’t know what we would do without her.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 227 | E-mail tmcclendon@rimland.org

Bridget Crump, Associate Executive Director of Compliance
A highly valued team member since 2001, Bridget brings a mix of knowledge, training, and passion for “help[ing] others in need and empower[ing] them with choices and skills.” An enthusiastic supporter of Rimland’s mission, Bridget credits past and current leadership with keeping the organization alive – and thriving – for over 40 years, continuing to grow and reach out to adult indivduals with autism. In her own, eloquent words Bridget comes to work every day “knowing [she] can be part of the decision-making [team] that can ensure the health, wealth, and safety of those who cannot speak up for what they need or want,  and advocating for the most normal environment and fulfilled life as possible.”
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 228 | E-mail bcrump@rimland.org

Tina Jones, Associate Executive Director
To make a professional move from Client Activity Coordinator, to Program Manager, and, now, Associate Executive Director, a person must be, in a word, versatile.  A person must also be diligent, devoted to the work, and thorough.  Tina is all that and more.  From client intake and programming, to human resources, to fundraising and grant writing, to helping with the home renovations, she can balance it all.  Joining the Rimland team in 2009, Tina’s background in social work drew her to the organization.  Her stay was supposed to be a temporary one, yet it was Rimland’s integrity and dedication to providing innovative services that convinced her to become immersed in the lives of Rimland’s residents and the organization at-large.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 233 | E-mail tjones@rimland.org

Samina Rahim, Associate Executive Director of Client Services
Samina’s passion for working with the special needs brought her to Rimland in 2000.  Originally hired to supervise the Developmental Training Program, Samina now oversees every aspect of client care – and she does so with the utmost attention to detail to make sure immediate and ongoing needs are met.  Samina is motivated daily by “the team at Rimland who goes over and beyond to make sure the residents we support are one of the highest priorities in our life.”
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 232 | E-mail srahim@rimland.org

Brendy Sims, Chief Operating Officer
After a recommendation from a fellow CPA that he explore a part-time Finance Director opportunity at Rimland in 1995, Brendy assumed the role and eventually brought his love and skill for managing all things financial to a full-time role as Chief Operating Officer in 2000. No two days are ever the same at Rimland, a challenge that gets Brendy out his front door every morning, followed closely by his respect and admiration for none other than Pamela Watson, Rimland’s CEO.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 222 | E-mail bsims@rimland.org

Pamela WatsonPamela Watson, Chief Executive Officer
A steady hand, smiling face, and decision-maker at Rimland since 1985, Pamela is a core component to the success and stability of the organization.  First hired as the ‘eyes and ears’ of Rimland’s founder, Rosalind Oppenheim, Pamela was so struck by her initial encounter with an original Rimland School student and Rosalind’s pioneering efforts in the world of autism (as a woman!), she has made Rimland her life’s work. Pamela’s commitment to Rosalind’s legacy, Rosalind’s son, and all adult individuals with autism knows no boundaries:  she will not stop until “meaningful alternatives for all individuals with autism are established.”  With a background in activism, equality, and rights for all, Pamela has created an enduring organization from Rosalind’s vision.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 227 | E-mail  pwatson@rimland.org

Terrance Wimberly, Associate Executive Director of Client Services
It can be said that Terrance knows Rimland from the inside out, having held several positions since being hired in 1995. He was first a hands-on Direct Service Professional and has supervised Developmental Training, become a Qualified Mental Retardation Professional, and even Human Resources Director. He excels in having direct impact on the residents’ individualized programming and overall well-being, believing “what we are doing is very important to the development of individuals with autism.” Like other members of the leadership staff, Terrance enjoys knowing his peers are much like him:  dedicated and committed to the individuals they serve.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 225 | E-mail twimberly@rimland.org

Dave Work, Associate Executive Director of Programs
Dave came to the Rimland School in 1975 as a teacher with a psychology degree.  As Rimland evolved, Dave did, too, becoming School Director, then School Program Director, finally landing in his current role as Director of Programs encompassing all adult services.  As Director of Programs, he is responsible for completing assessments, employee training, and lending his experience and voice to policy and procedures.  Dave is buoyed by working with “good people who really care about the well-being of our population” and has never perceived his role at Rimland as a job.  He says “days are never boring, our individuals do interesting things, and there is always something different happening.”  What he won’t mention is that he plays a large, vital role in the ‘interesting things’ Rimland’s residents do, positively affecting their lives on a daily basis.  Per Pamela, esteemed CEO, “Dave is our onsite resident autism expert.”  Praise he is certainly worthy of.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 224 | E-mail dwork@rimland.org

Carolyn ZakCarolyn Keel, Executive Director
Drawn to “help[ing] people who could not help themselves,” Carolyn originally came to Rimland in 2005 as a Public Information Coordinator and Assistant to the CEO.  Her unique ability to overcome any obstacle has created a role for Carolyn that ranges from fundraising and grant writing, to managing all things technology-related and assisting with special projects.  Thankfully, there is never a dull or mundane day at Rimland, so Carolyn will be able to come to work every day and accomplish her to-do list, interact with Rimland’s residents, and support her co-workers.  To call Carolyn ‘indispensable’ would be an understatement; she embodies Rimland’s spirit where no one ever says “that is not part of my job.”
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 227 | E-mail ckeel@rimland.org

Amy Werner, Operations Director
The quiet strength behind the administration, Amy began her career at Rimland as the Administrative Assistant and now serves as Rimland’s Operations Director. Her leadership and commitment to efficiently handling organizational details and system processes have led to significant advancements throughout our organization. Amy loves to see how a process works and find ways to improve it, for everything including technology initiatives, grant writing, and executive administrative functions. She is driven to not just get things done, but to do them the best way possible each and every time. She sees the big picture and knows the steps to get there so that everyone crosses the finish line together.
Ph. 847-328-4090 x. 246 | E-mail awerner@rimland.org