Staff Directory

Meet Our Team

At Good Life Services, our mission is to help individuals in West Central Minnesota gain access to services within their communities, and beyond, which will help them to live what they determine to be their best lives. We work in a dynamic way that honors the uniqueness of each individual who seeks our services. Good Life Services: we’ve been doing good things for great people since 2015.

Our supportive staff is fully committed to the driving principles of our company. In all things, we strive to be kind and compassionate, honest, respectful, ethical, and passionate about helping people live as independently as possible for as long as possible. We are grateful to our entire team!

Lesley Barry

Executive Director

Lesley has earned a BA from the University of Montana with a Minor in Wilderness and Civilization and a Major in Environmental Studies. Throughout her lifetime, Leslie has placed an emphasis on people and their connection to one another, as well as their relationship with the land. Lesley has 4 years’ experience as a Program Coordinator, 6 years of hands-on experience as a Direct Support Provider, and has been the Program Director of Good Life Services since 2015.

Taryn Akerman

Program Director – Ottertail County Area

Taryn has been working in the human services field since 2007. Taryn attended MSCTC & NDSU. She has spent seven years serving local veterans, has completed the IPS (Individual Placement Support) course, and has assisted individuals with severe mental illnesses find employment. Taryn has been the Otter Tail County Program Coordinator at Good Life Services since its origin in 2015.

Kathy Haffley

Human Resources Specialist

As the Human Resources Specialist of Good Life Services Inc. since 2016 and with over 25 years of experience as a business owner in Fergus Falls, Kathy is a spearhead for change and positive growth within the company. Kathy is a seasoned leader, with a strong track record in encouraging employee engagement and talent retention. As a resident of Fergus Falls for over 30 years, Kathy is proud to be part of a Home and Community-Based Services Program that serves over 4 area counties and loves working with the team members of Good Life Services to excel in our program of care.

Jo L. Messerschmidt

Supervisor/Program Coordinator – Tri-County Area

Jo was born in Deadwood South Dakota and has lived in Gillette and Sundance Wyoming and moved to Elbow Lake Minnesota in 2002.

Jo started her career in banking and retail services and then had many years of retail and wholesale business management and has owned businesses in retail, customer service and tax preparation. Jo has worked in the Human Services industry ever since arriving in Minnesota. Jo joined Good life Services in 2017 as Regional Coordinator and has enjoyed being a part of the company’s immense growth to nearby counties and coordinating services for so many wonderful individuals in her region. Jo enjoys her many “hats” within the company and her fellow coworkers, parents/guardians, and the professional contacts within the human services network. “

A great part of working for Good life Services is the “But WAIT, there’s more ….. ” as everyday is never the same and ever changing for the better.

Jo enjoys reading, painting, and drawing, golfing, riding her four-wheeler, and spending time with her husband, her four grown children, her grandson and her “little Willow” her Silver Chinchilla Persian. 

Marnie Sweet

Program Coordinator – Ottertail County Area

Originally from the Brainerd Lakes area, Marnie moved to Fergus Falls in 2013. She worked in health care most of her life and has found her passion working in home and community based services. Marnie loves spending time with her boyfriend, family, and her dog Benelli (Benni). She also loves to travel when ever she can, enjoys fishing, kayaking and being outdoors. Marnie is part of the Ottertail County team as a program coordinator. This includes a variety of duties from staffing and scheduling to supervision and coordinating services. She is very compassionate, loving and sincere about her work. She has been with Good Life Services since 2017.

Tara Danger

Program Coordinator – Tri-County Area

Tara Danger was born and raised in the Brainerd area then ventured to College in Staples to be part of the first Graduating class in Electronic Publishing. As that career was too new in the field, Tara went back to her love for children. Tara went back to school for Early Education. Began also working at a Daycare then becoming a Director for several years. Tara’s next adventure took her to Kingston Tennessee where Tara was an Early Interventionist and Nanny for 2 amazing families with children with special needs. 13 years later in 2018 Tara decided to move back to Minnesota to be closer to her family and friends. Tara accepted the opportunity to join Good Life Services where she became the house lead for the child foster home. Tara is enjoying the new adventures and learning the many rolls Good Life services offers the community. Tara is now assisting the Tri-County coordinator as the need for services grow. In Tara’s free time she enjoys being outside absorbing nature, picking rocks, fishing, and walking.

Our Staff

Ottertail County Staff

Lesley Barry – Executive Director
Taryn Akerman – Program Director Ottertail County – Ottertail County Area
Kathy Haffley – Human Resources Specialist
Marnie Sweet – Program Coordinator – Ottertail County Area

Tri-County Staff

Grant, Pope, and Stevens County

Jo Messerschmidt – Supervisor/Program Coordinator – Tri-County Area
Tara Danger – Program Coordinator – Tri-County Area

Contact us today to discover how you, or someone you love, can begin living the Good Life!