About Us

Who is GT Independence?

Built by a family, for families.

Our company has roots like any other. We started from one family’s question: Why?

The Carmichael family looked at traditional care facilities for their son (and brother). They came away with questions: Why can’t people with disabilities live the lives they choose? Why can’t they stay in their own homes and communities?

This question turned into an idea. And this idea became a mission. The mission grew, branching out into a company—GT Independence—that serves tens of thousands of people across the United States.

Run by people with disabilities. For people with disabilities.

Today, GT is filled with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We work together to serve the people in our communities.

We are what is called a financial management service (FMS) company. Every day, we help to manage the paperwork and the details that let people self-direct their care and support. But we don’t stop there. At GT, our goal is for every person to have the choice to self-direct.

We are advocates—for you, and for all of us.

Why We Exist

To help people live a life of their choosing regardless of age or ability.

At GT’s Core

We have a set of beliefs that guide everything we do. They remind us of who we serve and why. We are excited about these values and share them every day. Above all, we value our ability to serve and support people in their community.

  • Self-Determination

    Everyone should have a choice in how they live their lives. And everyone should be free to decide who provides their care and support.

  • Integrity

    We take our responsibilities seriously. We do what we say we will do. And we always try to do the right thing.

  • Community

    Having friends and being with people we trust is good for us. It helps individuals of any age or ability feel safe and happy.

  • Professionalism

    We aim high in everything we do. We always work together to find ways to get better, to be flexible, and to be there for the people we serve.

  • Respect

    Everyone should be heard. We listen carefully and give our full attention to any problems or concerns.

  • Excellence

    We are always searching for better ways to do our work. We think about how we do things now and how we can make changes to keep improving.

Leadership

Holly Carmichael

Chief Executive Officer

Holly leads a team that helps more than 22,000 people self-direct their long-term service and support.

As a professional social worker, Holly has more than 15 years of experience in human services. She began her career as a direct care worker in group homes. This role helped her understand how self-determination can help people who need long-term service and support. Holly also understands some of the struggles GT participants and caregivers face every day. She experiences them with her daughter, Maggie. Maggie was born with a rare congenital disease, PMM2-CDG. As an advocate for Maggie, Holly works to make sure of inclusion, accessibility, and equal treatment for all.

Holly is co-host of the Disability Garrison Podcast. She is married to Dan Carmichael, brother of John Carmichael.

Megan Owen

Chief Operating Officer

Megan is the Chief Operating Officer of GT. She develops long-range objectives, plans, and programs for GT’s markets and business areas. She establishes policies that seek to improve customer relations. Also, she uses information technology resources to continually improve operations.

Megan joined GT in 2011. She has worked her way up and now leads a team of 300+ employees. Megan and her staff manage more than 150 self-direction programs funded by Medicaid. They work with programs in all states where GT operates. Her team reviews eligibility, processes claims, and tracks utilization. She is tireless when it comes to complying with contracts and programs, solving operational challenges for GT’s partners, and removing barriers for people who self-direct.

Michael Murray

Chief Relationship Officer

A passionate advocate for people with disabilities, Michael is GT’s Chief Relationship Officer. His multifaceted role involves business development, government relations, marketing, innovation, and corporate social responsibility.

Michael’s career has centered on disability inclusion, particularly at the federal level. At the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, he worked with diverse businesses, communities, and government offices to increase the hiring of people with disabilities.

Michael is co-host of the Disability Garrison Podcast.

Cindy Desch

Chief Talent Officer

Cindy oversees learning and development, employee engagement, culture and belonging, and stakeholder training resources.

Cindy has more than 30 years of experience with risk-based and self-directed service models. In this time, she has put in place and grown many community-based, long-term care programs. Cindy is passionate about self-direction. She believes that everyone, no matter their personal history, has the right to full citizenship and to make their own choices. Over the past 15 years, she has developed and implemented self-directed programs. She has also trained and educated staff who work in these programs.

Cindy is on the board of directors of Rise Up, which provides community living services for adults with developmental disabilities.

Jeremy Gump

Chief Administrative Officer

Jeremy leads many departments, including accounting, finance, compliance, quality, facilities, legal, and personnel. He also has significant experience in regulatory issues, financial reporting, and compliance.

Jeremy has an extensive background in healthcare and law. He spent the first seven years of his career at Ernst & Young, where he helped large academic medical centers acquire and integrate new interests. He is the President of the Sturgis Hospital Board and the interim-Chief Executive Officer of the hospital.

Patrick Hoelscher

Chief Information Officer

Patrick thrives on connecting his passion for technology with his mission to serve others.

Patrick has expanded and optimized GT’s technology and systems to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction. In 2021, Patrick led the company to achieve HITRUST Certification. The recognition is the healthcare industry’s gold standard for security and data protection.

John Carmichael

President

John focuses on new growth opportunities and expanding strategic partnerships for GT. He previously served as the CEO of GT Independence before taking on his current role in 2021. John has spent his 17-year career empowering people with disabilities. He wants to see people be more self-sufficient and part of their communities, no matter their ability or age.

John co-founded GT Independence with his family in 2004. He is a national expert on self-directed services, and he’s passionate about serving his community. He drives economic development discussions and growth in his hometown of Sturgis, Michigan.

John is brother to Dan Carmichael, who is married to Holly Carmichael.

A Commitment to Quality

Blue and red digital health awards logo

Golden and blue CARF accredited logo
HITRUST log in red and black

Certification includes the GT Portal and the GT Caregiver app, hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The certification also include GT’s FMS systems located in the Sturgis headquarters.

Learn More About Our Culture & Belonging Efforts

Bringing Community Outreach to Life

Work With People Passionate About Making a Difference

Want to work with us? Learn more about our company culture and job openings.