Tricia Crain

Tricia Crain

Executive Director

Tricia joined The Arc of Story County as the Executive Director on October 31, 2011. As Executive Director, Tricia is responsible for providing overall leadership of the agency’s mission, goals, and policies that provide advocacy and community-based services that support persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tricia comes to The Arc with a long history of working with persons with special needs. For seven years, she was the Program Director and the Employment Coordinator at Mainstream Living in Ames. Additional service and case management experiences were gained through employment with ChildServe in Ames, Des Moines Easter Seals, Dallas County DHS, and Hawkeye Health Services in Des Moines.

Tricia lives in Nevada with her husband and their three young daughters and brings to The Arc a deep commitment, an unquestionable passion, and abundant enthusiasm.

JJ Williamson

JJ Williamson

Active Lifestyles Program Coordinator

JJ was hired by the Arc of Story County in March of 2021, as the Active LIfestyles Program Coordinator.  Some of JJ’s duties are, but not limited to, updating the calendar on the website, sending weekly emails, planning and supervising activities and taking attendance at events.

JJ is very excited to learn more about coordinating events.  She has already learned so much in her few months with the Arc of Story County.

Samantha Wyatt

Samantha Wyatt

Project SEARCH Instructor

Samantha has been the Skills Instructor at Project SEARCH here in Ames since the summer of 2022. Samantha has spent the majority of her career working with both intellectual and developmental disabilities, primarily at Balance Autism in Cedar Rapids and now, The Arc of Story County. As the Skills Instructor for Project SEARCH she works with the interns both in group settings and one-on-one to help them gain the necessary skills to achieve competitive employment in the community. Samantha also helps to coordinate the interns with their internships at various departments here at Iowa State University.

When asked what Samantha’s favorite part of her position is she shared, “I love watching the interns learn and grow throughout their year with us!”

Samantha is incredibly passionate about Project SEARCH and working with each individual intern on achieving their dreams. Samantha is also passionate about creating new opportunities for future interns and spends much of her time during the summer securing new intern opportunities, investing in her leadership skills, and creating connections throughout the community to help support both Project SEARCH and the Arc of Story County.

Samantha has been a resident of Ames since the summer of 2022 and is a graduate of both Marshalltown Community College and Simpson College. When she isn’t working you can usually find Samantha either relaxing in her hammock, reading a good book, or spending time with her family.


David Orth – President

Brenda Dreyer – Vice-President

Dakotah Overton – Director

Catrina Judge – Director

Judi Eyles– Director

Lisa Heddens – Director

Billie Hudson – Director

Sophie Johnson – Director

 Kim Lively – Director

Chris Nelson – Director

Brent Shanks– Director

Kathy Wellik– Director

Jamie White – Director

Katie Zeeman – Director

Steve Freeman – Director