Mary Ellen (aka "ME") Sousa-Hiner, Director, co-founded Creative Support Alternatives in 1992. After 20 years in the San Diego area, Mary Ellen moved to Northern CA, where she expanded Creative Support Alternatives’ services to the under-served rural counties of Calaveras, Amador, and Tuolumne.

Mary Ellen has served as Adjunct Faculty at SDSU and Sacramento State University, Project Coordinator/Interwork Institute, Consultant to state and national grant projects, public school Teacher (in Vocational Education, Special Education High School, and Transition), and Registered Recreation Therapist. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Maryland-College Park and Bachelors degree in Recreation Therapy from San Francisco State University. Mary Ellen has served on the Cal-TASH Board of Directors since 2005, is a founding member of both the Homeownership Coalition of San Diego and Micro-Business Coalition, and serves on the CHOICES Conference Planning Committee, VMRC ILS/SLS Network Group, and Calaveras County Social Services Transportation Advisory Committee.

"ME" loves living in the mountains with her husband, horse, dogs, and cat…along with the many wild animals that call the mountains their home, too. A lifelong learner, ME is passionate about partnering and collaborating, teaching and mentoring, building communities that embrace all people, and spending as much time out of doors as she can!