Our Administrator - Darla O'Brian
Our Administrator: Darla O'Brian had a career as a paralegal, and a one-year stint as fifth grade teacher before joining Hilltop.
She became the bookkeeper here in 1993 and worked part-time while acquiring a teaching certificate and Master's of Teaching.
A "reduction in force" action ended her teaching tenure after the first year, but at the same time she was informed that Hilltop needed her capable services full time. The timing was "meant to be."
Karen Carlos - Service Coordinator
Karen, a native Seattleite, has been connected with Hilltop House since she was a child. She first visited Hilltop with her sunday school class delivering handmade cards to the residents. Her grandparents were also residents here.
After completing a Bachelor's Degree in Recreational Therapy from Eastern Washington University, Karen worked for the Specialized Programs Division of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. From there, she worked for a couple of local nursing homes in the Recreational Therapy departments. Karen graduated from Seattle University with a Master's Degree in Counseling.
In 1994, she was "placed" at Hilltop House with the Companis Mission Workers for Seattle. In the time that she has been here, Karen has melded the two academic passions of her life to fit the interests and needs of another passion, working with independent seniors to maintain and improve their quality of life.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys long walks, skiing, singing in a choir and spending time with her family and friends.
Joe Muscarello - Chef Manager
Joe grew up mainly in Arizona around the Mesa/Chandler areas. He is known for asking "What's next?"
After a handful of years in kitchens and a few restaurant openings in Arizona, Joe asked "What's next" and it led him to leave the kitchen for Aerospace / Military Logistics.
Shortly after transferring to Seattle as an Engineer, he again asked "What's next?" That led him to Le Cordon Bleu in Seattle and finishing his studies in Madrid working for Ibis Hotels. The increasingly horrific economic climate in Spain made sponsorship for work visas nearly impossible and he returned to Seattle, again asking "What's Next?"
Prior to starting employment at Hilltop House he consulted for a few smaller restaurant concepts, assisted two restaurants to open their doors, served as the Head Chef at two different locations and learned greatly from a friend/mentor at an extremely busy non-profit private club.
He says that he is most proud of his impact and ability to cheer up the residents through food. The topic of food also offers a gateway to other conversations and to hear some really cool stories.
During his time off Joe may be found snowboarding, fishing/camping, working on his truck, hanging out with his cat Maynard or walking around Seattle window shopping.
Jack Simpson - Relief Manager
Jack hails from the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The 6th of 10 children he always had someone to play with. He studied at Xavier University and graduated from Loyola University with a bachelors degree in Latin. After serving in the army he spent one year as a public assistance caseworker in Cleveland. The next 45 years were spent in industrial and commercial sales and administration. Jack arrived in Seattle through the Jesuit Volunteer Corp, serving in homeless shelters. Jack is very pleased to have found Hilltop House and enjoys helping to make residents safe and comfortable.
Jack enjoys reading, classical music, crosswords and visiting his grandchildren.
Matt Brucks - Maintenance Supervisor
Growing up in American Falls, Idaho, Matt developed an early love for the great outdoors. Migrating to Washington, he graduated from Interlake High School in Bellevue where he excelled as an athlete in football and baseball. Following graduation, he spent two years at Lake Washington Technical College studying auto mechanics. A natural fix it kind of guy, Matt began work in facility maintenance for the YMCA. Prior to his arrival at Hilltop House, he served as a King County Sheriffs Deputy. He was great on the streets but we are lucky to have him here! Matt sees to it that everyones apartment and the building as a whole is kept up to snuff.
When at home Matt enjoys spending time with his wife Amy and boxer dog Rocky.
Mary Lou Mies - Housekeeping
Everyone in Planesville, Minnesota knew the Mies kids. As the oldest, Mary Lou admits to having practice at giving direction. In 1955 she and her husband moved to Seattle and began a family consisting of five children. In 1968 Mary Lou began working at Hilltop washing dishes in the kitchen. Soon after she became housekeeper and was cleaning the place she would work at for over 39 years (she went for greener pastures for three years but came back).
MaryLou is proud of her accomplishments during her tenure at Hilltop. She loves to decorate for holidays, clean apartments until they shine and to help new residents find things to help create a home. Most of all, she loves to share herself with the residents and co-workers of Hilltop House. She is an avid reader and shopper.