Susan Kildahl

Chief Financial Officer

Susan leads our organization, with an emphasis on our guiding principles—what is in the best interest of our clients, our employees, and our business. Her focus is on optimizing performance so the organization can best meet the needs of our clients and employee owners. She is a hands-on leader who gets the most satisfaction from helping others grow in their roles.

Susan has been with NHS Northstar as CFO since 2017 and is currently serving as Interim CEO. Prior to 2017, she was a financial and accounting service provider for NHS Northstar for 20 years.

Susan has a BA in Accounting from University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Ashley Casey

Director of Residential Services

Ashley oversees our Residential Services program. She is focused on developing a team whose goal each and every day is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our residents. She is known for her dedication, practical problem solving and emphasis on training, ensuring quality and commitment to the individuals we serve.

Ashley worked in the human services field before coming to NHS Northstar in 2017. Since then, she has served in the roles of Program Coordinator and Associate Director before becoming the Director of Residential Services in 2023.

Ashley has a BA in Psychology, with a minor in Special Education, from St Cloud State University.

Cindy Lervik

Director of Community Support Services

Cindy oversees our Community Support Services program. Her team focuses on teaching our clients new skills so they can successfully live as independently as possible. She is passionate about empowering individuals to better their lives. She especially likes building relationships with others, including our staff, clients external team members and families.

Cindy has been with NHS Northstar for over 20 years. Prior to becoming the Community Support Services Director in 2014, she spent time as a Supervisor and a Program Manager.

Cindy has a BS in Criminal Justice from Bemidji State University.

Deanna Swenson

Manager of ARMHS Services

Deanna oversees our ARMHS program. She is passionate about helping individuals find their own sense of purpose, as they strive to meet goals. She strives to lead through patience, empathy, and attention to detail.

Prior to assuming leadership of our ARMHS team in 2020, Deanna spent 4 years as a Mental Health Practitioner. Her past experience includes providing family-based services for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Deanna has a BA in Psychology and American Indian studies from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She is currently enrolled in the MSW program at the University of North Dakota.

Eric Larson

Human Resources Manager

Eric oversees all aspects of human resources. He is passionate about bringing on and supporting great employees who are committed to providing exceptional care to the individuals we serve. He enjoys being able to connect with employees at all levels and providing employment opportunities to our local communities.

Eric worked for NHS Northstar in seasonal positions throughout high school and college. After college, he worked in human resources in the healthcare and education industries for 10 years before returning to NHS Northstar in 2020.

Eric has a BA in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Julie Kuusisto

Associate Director of Residential Services

In collaboration with our Director of Residential Services, Julie provides guidance and support to our residential programs and assists with the onboarding and training of our supervisory teams. Julie’s hands-on approach is driven by her passion to support the people we serve through person-centered services.

Julie previously worked in various human services roles before coming to NHS Northstar in 2014. She has since contributed as a Residential Services Manager and a Program Coordinator before becoming an Associate Director in 2022.

Julie has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota- Duluth.