Our Organization Celebrates its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

January 2005 marks our organization’s twenty-fifth anniversary! Marya Hage founded Meridian Services, the company that began our organization, in 1980, as one of the first Semi-Independent Living Skills (SILS) providers in Minnesota.

Over the years the company has grown. Meridian Services now provides a wide range of services to hundreds of people with developmental disabilities in Minnesota, including Supervised Living Services (SLS), Case Management, In-Home Services, Respite Services, Social Recreation, Club Ventures, Support Coordination Services, Conservatorship and Guardianship Services, Independent Living Services, as well as Semi-Independent Living Services (SILS), and it’s newest program, Service Coordination for the Elderly.

In recent years, we have become an organization four companies. Orion Associates provides Management Services, Zenith Services provides Vocational Services, and Orion Intermediary Services Organization (Orion ISO) provides Fiscal Support Entity services. Together, the four companies serve well over 1000 consumers and employ approximately 1500 people.

We are now widely recognized by our stakeholders as a provider of quality services to people with developmental disabilities. Orion Associates, Meridian Services, and Zenith Services have been accredited by CARF, the international accrediting commission, recognizing our organization’s programs and services as being of the highest quality.

The following is a time line highlighting many of the significant events and mileposts in our organization’s history.

January 1980
Meridian Services is founded by Marya Hage, based in her home, as a provider of SILS services.
1980
Meridian has 1 employee, Marya Hage
1984
Meridian begins Case Management Services
1988
Long Prairie SLS opens, the company’s first SLS home
1988
Orval “Scotty” Hage joins Meridian
1988
Meridian employs 25 people
1989
Meridian begins In-Home Services
1990
Maple Lake SLS opens
June 1991
Leann Thompson joins Meridian
October 1992
Rebecca Hage Thomley joins Meridian
1992
Meridian begins Social Recreation Services
December 1992
Saint Cloud Office opens
January 1993
Stephen Hage joins Meridian
1993
Meridian employs 50 people
September 1993
Aquila SLS opens
September 1993
Logan SLS opens
September 1993
Girard SLS opens
September 1993
Meridian employs 75 people
September 1993
Metropolitan Office opens
1993
Meridian begins Metro In-Home Services
November 1994
Meridian employs 100 people
January 1995
Officers’ positions established and conferred: Orval “Scotty” Hage, President, Marya Hage, Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Hage Thomley, Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Hage, Chief Administrative Officer
June 1996
Silver Lake SLS opens
November 1996
Meridian employs 150 people
May 1997
Olympia Place SLS opens
June 1997
Green Fields SLS opens
December 1997
Golden Hills SLS opens
December 1997
Diamond Lake SLS opens
1998
Meridian employs 200 people
November 1998
Meridian begins Holiday Respite / Club Ventures Program
January 1999
Orion Associates founded, initiating Contracted Management Services, Fiscal Intermediary Services, Psychological Services, and Professional Training Services. All Officers, the Human Resources Department, and the Finance Department transfer employment from Meridian Services to Orion Associates.
January 1999
Zenith Services founded, initiating Vocational Services
May 1999
Avalon SLS opens
1999
Meridian begins Parent Support and Family Support Services
November 1999
Timber Crest SLS opens
November 1999
Orval “Scotty” Hage, President, dies
January 2000
Orion, Meridian, and Zenith, together employ 250 people
May 2000
Northwood SLS opens
July 2000
Spring Brook SLS opens
September 2000
Rebecca Hage Thomley becomes Chief Executive Officer, Cheryl Vennerstrom, Chief Operating Officer, joins Orion
Autumn 2000
Orion begins providing Management Consulting to Covenant Enabling Resources (CER) of Minnesota
March 2001
Orion begins providing Management Consulting to Pinnacle Services
April 2001
Meridian begins providing contracted Case Management to Anoka County
May 2001
Orion ISO founded
June 2001
Orion ISO employs over 100 people
September 2001
Orion ISO employs over 200 people
October 2001
Toni Thulen, Chief Financial Officer, joins Orion
November 2001
Orion ISO employs over 300 people
November 2001
Bassett Creek SLS opens
December 2001
Northtown Village SLS opens
December 2001
Orion, Meridian, and Zenith, together employ over 300 people
December 2001
Orion ISO employs over 400 people
March 2002
Orion, Meridian, and Zenith, together employ over 350 people
May 2002
Orion ISO employs over 500 people
June 2002
Eidelweiss Respite Home opens
July 2002
Orion ISO employs over 600 people
August 2002
Wirth Park SLS opens
August 2002
Orion ISO employs over 700 people
August 2002
Orion, Meridian, and Zenith, together employ over 400 people
October 2002
Rebecca Hage Thomley designated as President and Chief Executive Officer
October 2002
Meridian Services web site is launched: www.meridiansvs.com
December 2002
Orion ISO employs over 800 people
February 2003
Orion Associates web site is launched: www.orionassoc.net
February 2003
Zenith Services web site is launched: www.zenithsvs.com
March 2003
Orion Associates, Meridian Services, and Zenith Services awarded CARF Accreditation
April 2003
Orion ISO employs over 900 people
August 2003
Orion ISO employs over 1000 people
November 2003
Metropolitan Office moves to Golden Valley
April 2004
Orion ISO employs over 1100 people
June 2004
Orion ISO web site is launched: www.orioniso.com
June 2004
Prospect Services founded
August 2004
Revised web sites for Orion Associates, Meridian Services, and Zenith Services are launched at: www.orionassoc.net, www.meridiansvs.com, and www.zenithsvs.com
October 2004
Avalon SLS relocates, becomes Calhoun SLS