Helping People Reach Their Full Potential


Consumer Support Services, Inc. (CSS), is one of those companies that did not turn out to do exactly what the original intent and formation of the company was set up to do. The company was set up in the beginning as a consulting company to assist residential providers and County Boards of Developmental Disabilities with technical assistance in providing residential services to individuals diagnosed as having mental retardation or some form of developmental disability. The co-founders had diverse experience in the field of services to handicapped individuals and intended to continue their present vocations on a regular basis and work with CSS on a part time basis.

Dan Swickard, was the President and owner of Community Living Concepts, Inc., a small residential provider serving thirty-six (36) individuals in Newark, Ohio in ICF/MR (Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded) group homes. Aside from having this ICF/MR services background he had also served as a County Board Superintendent and a Special Education teacher prior to getting into the residential services business.

Randy Nipps, a Certified Public Accountant, was founder and President of the accounting firm of Nipps, Brown, & Andreas, Inc. The accounting firm exists today under the name Nipps, Brown, Hennebert & Collins, Inc. located in Columbus, Ohio. His firm provided accounting and consulting service to long-term care facilities (Nursing Home and MR/DD) throughout the state of Ohio as well as general business accounting services. His firm provided accounting and consulting services to the company that Mr. Swickard worked for and when Mr. Swickard started Community Living Concepts, Inc. was engaged as their accounting firm.

Given their individual backgrounds and reputations in their fields of expertise the group, now known as Consumer Support Services, Inc. now moved forward seeking contracts to providing assistance to others in the field as they had planned. One of CSS’s first client was an established firm in Trumbull County at the request of the local county board. That company was having numerous administrative problems as well as staffing and day-to-day operations problems. CSS partners and other contract staff worked diligently with the company to attempt to fix their problems.

Suggestions concerning day-to-day operation, documentation of services provided, and plans for improving the health and safety of consumers were basically ignored by the company in question. Despite all efforts, the situation got even worse and in March of 1994 the local County Board of Developmental Disabilities pulled the company’s license and certification and asked CSS to take over the operation on an emergency basis. CSS had officially moved from being a consulting firm to becoming a provider of services.

The founders had to decide as to what they would do with CSS in the future. It was decided that CSS would continue to provide consulting services when requested, but maybe should turn it’s focus more to operation side. Never expecting the growth that would be encountered during the next few years they set up a plan that would find Mr. Swickard serving as President and that person who would oversee day-to-day operations and Mr. Nipps’ firm would be contracted with for accounting services. At that time, they felt they could continue their current jobs and businesses and operate CSS as a part of their normal daily routine, at least for three (3) or four (4) years. They were wrong. Growth of the company continued and during the spring and summer of 1995, Mr. Nipps made agreements to sell his accounting firm to his Partners at the time and come to work for CSS as the Treasurer and CFO as well as being a 50% stockholder. Mr. Swickard became the President and CEO, as well as a 50% stockholder. The management of Mr. Swickard’s original company was taken over by CSS and finally was merged with CSS in 1998.