Leadership Team

Samantha Scott

President and Director of Staff and Services

Samantha Scott is ETS certified and has been working with disabled and youth populations for 15 years, starting when she was a college student in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Over the years, she has provided counsel, training, care and supervision in a variety of work and academic settings. She holds degrees in psychology, sports science and business administration from Northern Michigan University. She moved to the Muskegon area with her husband in January of 2012 and began as a DCW.

Samantha stays active in her free time participating in activities such as camping, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking, and giving back to the community. Her favorite thing to do in her free time is spending time and the beautiful West Michigan shoreline with her husband, daughter, and dog. She is very passionate about the staff and populations served by PELS and eager to assist in providing the help that they deserve. There is nothing she values more than relationships.

Dave Betlejewski

Treasurer and Director of Operations

David Betlejewski began his career working as an Executive Director in the non-profit in Chicago developing senior housing complexes, renovating commercial, industrial and residential properties and working in partnership with the City of Chicago under Mayor Richard M. Daley. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Michigan State University and a Masters in Business Administration from North Park University.

Since returning to his hometown of Muskegon, David has become active with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and received certification as an Employment and Training Specialist through Michigan APSE. A lover of travel, David has helped hundreds of people travel to some of the most exotic places on earth and stays active waterskiing, bike riding, downhill skiing and horseback riding. David is adamant in his belief that the world remains wide open to opportunity for everyone, regardless of their background.

Amanda Tague

Employment and Training Specialist (Muskegon)

Amanda Tague is an Employment & Training Specialist with over 10 years of experience.  She has a BA in Marketing/Management.  She enjoys networking and helping others.  She is always looking for ways to grow and help her community.  Her favorite activities include time with her family and friends, the beach, traveling, and learning something new.

Ruth Cantu

Employment and Training Specialist (Ottawa)

Ruth Cantu has been working as a Certified Employment Training Specialist Certified for over 18 years at both Ottawa County Community Mental Health and Hope Network before joining Preferred last year. She enjoys the outdoors and camping in the summer months. She has 2 boys and 2 grandchildren and her dog. She enjoys working in this field and helping others do better in their own lives. She’s helpful and eager to lend a hand when needed at work, at home, and in the community. Growing up with five siblings in Grand Rapids, Ruth moved to Holland in 1996 and has made this her home ever since.

Heather Slezak

CLS Team Lead

I’m Heather! My claim to fame is I’m the second oldest of ten children, I have six brothers and three sisters. I enjoy spending time outside and two of my favorite outdoor activities are mountain biking and hiking. I also enjoy volunteering in the nursery/and teaching our pre-teens/young teens at my Messianic Synagogue and as a volunteer counselor at Set Free Ministries.

I’ve been in and worked in multiple healthcare fields for 20 years now and have a passion for helping a wide range of individuals, children, the geriatric community, and adults with special needs. I’ve worked for PELS since 2016 as a CLS Specialist for many years and now as a CLS Team Lead.

Erin Miller

Transitional Services Team Lead

Erin began at PELS 5 years ago as a CLS Specialist and Job Coach and since then has gone on to earn her ETS certification and become the Supported Employment Team Lead. Erin has an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from Baker College of Muskegon.  A Muskegon native, she has a passion for animal rescue work, including her own rescue fur babies. Erin spends her free time enjoying all the natural beauty Michigan has to offer and teaching her two children about respecting nature and instilling the value of always leaving a place better than what it was found when camping, hiking and kayaking with them.

Erin loves her position at PELS because she enjoys supporting clients in reaching their independence.

Carrie Turrell

Empowerment Team Lead

Carrie realized at a young age that she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Growing up with a brother with multiple disabilities helped her to see what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be in the future. Many a time she and her mother would hear the words “he can’t do that because of his disability.” In return, Carrie would want to say “oh yes he can!” They would practice things such as kicking or throwing a ball or practice fine motor activities with playdough. She did not want her brother thinking he could not do something that he would very well be able to do.

Carrie started taking as many classes as she could that focused on brain development and researched as much as she could to learn more about it. She started reading about coping skills and individual needs, and how success comes from independence. Carrie started providing respite care services and volunteered in several classrooms at Ottawa Area Center. She then took a position with Resource Network to assist child care providers with resources to include special needs children – and has never looked back with any regrets.

Carrie loves her position at PELS and loves making a difference in people’s lives every day. She sees that the team can turn a not-so-great day into a great day. She feels it’s not about themselves, but helping their clients to have the best day, every day.

Carrie has been married for 28 years and has 3 grown and married children, 2 grandbabies, and a fur baby. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family.

Carrie Williams

Human Resources Specialist

Carrie Williams began her career as an Employment and Training Specialist at Kandu, Inc. in Holland, MI. She supported individuals in this setting until their closure in 2015. She then began working at Preferred Employment and Living Supports in 2015 where she has supported individuals primarily with supported employment services. She has filled several roles during her time at Preferred, including: Job Coach, Services Manager, General Manager, and now Human Resources Specialist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Hope College and is a certified Employment and Training Specialist through Michigan APSE. 

Kellie Leutscher

Administration

Kellie was born and raised in Muskegon, Michigan.  She is an alumnus of Orchard View High School and graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Muskegon Community College, she majored in Business Administration and minored in Art Design.  She is a Native American and is a tribal member of The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and takes great pride in this fact.  She is a mother of three young adult sons who are also tribal members.

Kellie enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  Her interests are traveling, fishing, amusement parks, concerts, kayaking, swimming, camping, Pow Wows, parasailing, and vacationing.  She loves to travel, enjoys movies, and most of all she is very passionate about her eclectic extensive music stylings.

Kellie is very kind, generous, and has a big heart, she wears her heart on her sleeve.  She is a very good friend to others and is always willing to help others and takes pride in doing this.  She is very family-oriented, loves to laugh and have fun.  She is a very adventurous, fun-loving, witty lady who always keeps a positive attitude about her.

Shelley Armstrong

Billing and Payroll Specialist

Shelley Armstrong went back to school at Muskegon Community College for the medical field. She started an internship with Preferred in August 2017. After completing this in December 2017, Preferred offered Shelley the job of Billing and Payroll Specialist. Shelley holds associates degrees in Culinary Arts, Medical Office Management, Medical Assistant, and a certificate in Billing and Coding.

She was raised in Whitehall, MI but moved to South Carolina for 10 years before returning back to Muskegon, MI. Her favorite thing to do in her free time is spending time with family and friends, and cooking/baking. Shelley loves to make memories with her husband, children, and dog whether they are inside or outside activities. Shelley went into the medical field because she loves helping people and seeing them smile.

If you’re interested in joining the PELS team, please visit our employment page