GT Independence Expands Senior Leadership Team

Company appoints Pearl Barnett as Chief Operating Officer; Megan Owen becomes Chief Compliance Officer

STURGIS, Mich., June 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — GT Independence, a financial management services company focused on helping people self-direct their long-term care and support services at home or in community-based settings, is expanding its senior leadership team. Pearl Barnett, an accomplished home and community-based services (HCBS) industry veteran, now serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Megan Owen steps into the role of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO). The moves come as the company has expanded to serve more than 50,000 individuals across 17 states and the District of Columbia — growing by 115% since 2021.

“Pearl’s deep technical knowledge of HCBS waivers is unmatched, and her years of experience — from recent work with ADvancing States, where she provided technical assistance and counsel to state agencies, to overseeing one of the country’s pioneering HCBS programs while at the Oklahoma DHS — make her an operational Swiss Army Knife,” said Holly Carmichael, CEO of GT Independence. “Her passion for person-centered practices, focus on continuous improvement, and strong values make Pearl a highly effective champion for self-direction and a perfect fit for our growing team.”

Barnett joins the company from ADvancing States (formerly NASUAD), where she served as deputy director of operations. Prior to that, she spent nearly a decade with Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services (DHS). There, she served as the Administrator for the ADvantage 1915(c) HCBS Medicaid Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Personal Care Programs, overseeing many functions including contracts, training, person-centered service authorization, self-directed service option, electronic visit verification oversight, claims resolution, and quality assurance.

With Barnett’s addition, Owen will transition to the newly established role of CCO. Owen will leverage her expertise to marshal GT’s compliance team in a wide range of initiatives to ensure compliance, risk, and quality assurance practices are aligned and scalable as the company continues its growth trajectory while pursuing its mission of expanding access to self-directed services.

“Our work is complex but deeply meaningful. When navigating a dense patchwork of overlying federal and state regulations while operating across many programs at once, the devil is in the details. Getting it right is critical,” added Carmichael. “Megan’s appointment as CCO underscores our commitment to regulatory excellence. Her leadership and tireless focus on meeting complex compliance requirements has been instrumental to our growth, and her meticulousness always puts us in position to exceed our own high standards for quality assurance. Her collaboration has enabled GT to successfully ally with our state agency partners and to improve access to self-directed services.”

As CCO, Owen will lead the compliance and quality assurance teams, ensuring all reporting requirements continue to be met for GT’s state program partners and maintaining service delivery excellence to drive positive outcomes for program participants. She will oversee regulatory compliance and program integrity functions across the company, including quality assurance oversight, internal and external auditing, and other unique needs from state program partners, like agency provider credentialing.

About GT Independence
GT Independence’s mission is to help individuals live their lives according to their choosing regardless of age or ability. Driven by years of experience with self-directed care, GT Independence supports individuals in directing their own home and community-based services by administering the financial, technical, and legal aspects of hiring and managing their own support staff. Founded in 2004, GT Independence is a family-owned, national financial management services provider that delivers specialized fiscal intermediary services to support individuals with disabilities and long-term care needs. The Carmichaels founded GT in 2004 after personally experiencing the rewards and challenges of helping a family member with self-directed services. GT Independence has expanded from its home state of Michigan to serve more than 50,000 individuals across 17 states and the District of Columbia. For more information about GT Independence, please visit