Quality Connections' programs and services have been developed by a talented team of leaders who share a deep commitment to delivering the most effective and innovative services to the populations we serve.Community Impact
QC Learning DirectorVicki has been a teacher all her life. At an early age she was diagnosed with polio. Her family helped her cope with this painful and debilitating condition by teaching her about others who overcame tremendous adversity, such as Helen Keller and Maria Montessori, who developed her innovative teaching techniques working with people with disabilities. Vicki learned more about the Montessori method as a teen, and after graduating from high school she attended college to study early childhood education. She taught and directed pre-school and kindergarten programs before opening her own school in California – Tender Loving Care Montessori. In 1992, she moved to Flagstaff where she continued teaching Montessori, and began applying its methods with adults with disabilities. In 2015, she joined Quality Connections to develop a program that combined her life’s passions: teaching people with disabilities and the Montessori method. Vicki lives in Flagstaff with her husband. They have three children and four grandchildren. Montessori-based Adult Day Program
Evergreen Academy Preschool DirectorKelly Arnold is a native to the Flagstaff area, having been raised on the nearby Navajo reservation where she lived with her mother and two older brothers. Even in her early childhood, she was always the first to help out those in need. Her mother worked as a job coach for people with disabilities, an example that sparked a passion in Kelly for serving people with disabilities. After graduating from Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, she began working with early intervention and children with disabilities, receiving recognition as Student of the Year in Education in 2012. Kelly taught pre-school in Arizona, Colorado, and California before returning to Flagstaff. In 2016 she joined the Quality Connections team, helping to transform the agency’s Employment Services program, becoming the Director of Employment Services in 2017. Kelly lives in Flagstaff with her husband. Evergreen Academy Preschool
Employment Services DirectorAllie is a Flagstaff local who began working at Quality Connections when she was only 22 years old. She started as a Job Coach, helping members develop and hone their employment skills. As a Job Developer, Allie helped over 100 workers with disabilities find meaningful work in the community within a 3 year period. As the Employment Services Manager, she expanded her impact providing mentorship and guidance to a team of Job Coaches and the members they serve. After 8 years in the field, Allie ascended to become Employment Services Director, leading Northern Arizona’s premiere employment services team. Allie hopes to inspire all QC members, staff, and the Flagstaff community in empowering individuals with disabilities to become independent, productive members of society. Outside of work, she loves playing video games, making music, reading fantasy novels, and spending time with her two dogs, Eko and Pickle. Employment Services
Residential DirectorRaised in a military family, Sarah spent the first 15 years of her life moving around the United States. Her family finally settled down in Clovis, New Mexico, where Sarah graduated from high school. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Eastern New Mexico University, with a major in Political Science and Minor in History. Sarah took many detours before finding something that gave her a sense of joy and purpose in life. She began working as a direct care worker in one of QC’s six group homes in 2020, and very quickly knew she found it. Sarah was soon promoted to Group Home Lead Staff, then Quality Assurance Coordinator. Sarah assumed responsibility as Director of Residential Services in 2022. Sarah is happy to be continuing the tradition at QC of making sure that our members are given every opportunity available to live their best life, whatever that means to them. When not working, Sarah enjoys crocheting, spending time with her cats (Uno, Dos, and Tres), traveling to Texas to visit family, and napping. Residential Programs
HCBS DirectorMercedes Johns-Alonzo is a Flagstaff native. Her family settled in the area in the mid-1940’s, and her grandparents were the first African Americans to own their own business in Flagstaff. Mercedes found her passion for supporting people with disabilities and behavioral health challenges as a young adult, honing her skills working at multiple agencies before joining the Quality Connections team in 2017. At QC, she first served as an Instructor and later as Manager of the Montessori-inspired Adult Day Program, before leading the development of the new In-Home Services Department with the company. Mercedes is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two sons, one daughter, a lionhead rabbit, a bearded dragon, and a djungarian hamster. Home & Community Based Services
QC Office DirectorDavid was born and raised in Charlottesville Virginia. He worked in restaurants while attending Roanoke College, transitioning to a career as a mortgage broker upon graduation. Wanting something more out of his professional life, after three years David returned to the restaurant industry, moving out West to attend Arizona Culinary Institute. After a stint honing his craft in Portland Oregon, he moved back to Arizona where he found Flagstaff and quickly decided that it would be his new home. Over the next 16 years he opened and operated four successful restaurants and started a family. David is excited to bring his business background to help guide QC Office through its next phase of growth. He and his wife, a Speech Pathologist at Flagstaff Unified School District, have a daughter in elementary school and two young twins. They spend their time hiking, camping, mountain biking and throwing epic family dance parties. Buy Office Supplies
Human Resources DirectorEsther is transplant from California. She and her husband were high school sweethearts. They married in their early twenties, and moved to Northern Arizona about 20 years ago. Esther’s husband has a brother with developmental disabilities. Spending quality time with him and his friends was always a rewarding experience. As a business owner, she became very involved in the Flagstaff community, which made her aware of the local disabled community and their needs. A close family friend worked at Quality Connections, so when she heard they were looking for a Human Resource Manager and Job Coach, she jumped at the opportunity to get more involved. This position gave her the opportunity to work with the Members and employees at Quality Connections. If you ask Esther, the best part about her days are working with Quality Connections’ members as a teacher and a friend. Employment Opportunities
Learning to Live | 1:30
A brief portrait of Quality Connections' Montessori-based Adult Day Program - QClearning - helping people with disabilities in Flagstaff, AZ learn and grow to reach their full potential.
"I really believe in Quality Connections’ mission and in retrospect appreciate it even more as it helped me get my life back, including my daughter. I was a unique case at the time for QC, coming from the field of education as a former professor at the University of California Berkeley and Forensics Director. Quality Connections’ staff tailored a program to my specific needs and got me back on track to more than just gainful employment, but to achieving my other long term goals. Now I would like to give back by starting my own non-profit. Thank you QC!"