Board & Staff

Board Officers

Joe Bergan – President

Edward Jones

Cari Wegge – Vice President

XIL Consulting

Christina Schoemehl – Treasurer

Community Volunteer

Jackie Olinger-Rochelle – Secretary

Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd

Board Members

Bob Ahern
First Bank

Carla Allen
The Allen Law Firm

Melanie Barrier
Rubrik, Inc.

Mila Baumann
Express Scripts

David Bell
Schnucks

Robert Cahn
Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC

Terrence Chance
Boeing

LaShonda Lambert-Howze
Evans and Dixon Law Firm

Mary Larner
Enterprise

Jim Martin
Dowd Bennett

Lisa Mooney
Community Volunteer

Mike Normile
First Bank

Emily Romines
Spire, Inc.

David Singer
Warehouse Fixtures

Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo, Ph. D.
Washington University

About the Board of Directors

As a non-profit, 501(c)(3) agency, we are overseen by a Board of Directors.  The Board is made up of a variety of corporate and child welfare representatives, many of whom are foster/adoptive parents.

Junior Board

President
Rachael Lynch

VP of Service
Jacklyn Barron

VPs of Networking
Gabrielle Kudrnka & Kelsey Runyon

VP of Trivia
Joey Bedford

Brianna Baldwin
Diana Blair
Natalia Currie
Donnatesa Dean
Kaitlin Hrenak
Allison Johnson
Michelle McCluer
Lauren Mensie
Kathryn Modeer
Vanessa Palka
Grace Palmer
De’Auna Prater
Diane Ross
Elizabeth Roth
Alesha Salter
Matthew Schmitz
Melissa Schopfer
Melissa Self
Staci Shelton
Erin Sternberg
Rodolphe Tankpinou
Courtney Troy
Alexandra Wolff
Kevin Zhou

About the Junior Board

Our Junior Board is an auxiliary committee made up of young professionals, ages 25-35 who want to get involved and make a difference.  The Junior Board serves three distinct purposes:

  • Be ambassadors for the Coalition in the community.
  • Participate in an annual service project.
  • Help fundraise for the organization.

If you are interested in joining our Junior Board, please contact Kyle Williams at kylewilliams@foster-adopt.org or at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373).

Staff

Melanie Scheetz – Executive Director

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e melaniescheetz@foster-adopt.org
Melanie Scheetz and her husband are proud adoptive parents of two children. Melanie has 29 years of non-profit management experience in the areas of administration and development. She joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition as its Executive Director in 1999. Under her guidance, the agency developed the groundbreaking programs, Extreme Recruitment® and 30 Days to Family®. Melanie has been honored with the St. Louis Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Business Women of 2019 award; North American Council on Adoptable Children’s “National Adoption Advocate” award; the Congressional “Angels in Adoption” award; and the “Women of the Well” award. She has a B.S. in accountancy from Miami University.

Karen Alyasiry – Family Development Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e karenalyasiry@foster-adopt.org
Karen joined the Coalition on May 21, 2018. Karen graduated from Saint Louis University with a BA degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Organizational Leadership. Karen also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Northcentral University. Karen has dedicated 18 years of community service and development within the underprivileged communities of St Louis. After working over 10 years as a career foster placement provider and adoptive parent of a loving boy with high needs, Karen decided to assist families find permanency from a different capacity. Karen is passionate about advocating for families and dedicated to ensure that all children and families who have been impacted by foster care receive the support, value, and voice that they deserve.

Taryn Anderson – Educational Advocate

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.376.8373
c 314.938.9609
e tarynanderson@foster-adopt.org
Taryn joined the coalition in 2019 as an Educational Advocate. She taught for 6 years in preschool and elementary classrooms before becoming a service coordinator with Missouri’s First Steps early intervention program. Taryn has an understanding of early childhood and elementary special education and working with infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays. Taryn graduated from Southwest Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, emphasis in Early Childhood Education. She then earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri Columbia. She is the mother of one adopted daughter.

Marnice Anthony – Educational Advocate

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.376.8373
e marniceanthony@foster-adopt.org
Marnice joined the coalition in 2019 as an Educational Advocate. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She returned to St. Louis after serving in the United States Armed Forces statewide, in Europe and in Asia. While serving she held the positions of Associate Academic Instructor and Deputy Director, Family Support Center. Her background includes K-12 and higher education teaching and administration. Her certifications are in reading and special education. Marnice earned her baccalaureate degree in Computer Information Systems from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois and a master’s degree and second graduate degree in education studies from Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a dedicated and ardent advocate for education access, equity, and social justice. Her philosophy rest on breaking down life barriers through education with the commitment and synergistic effect of communities.

Stephanie Barbee – Family Works Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e stephaniebarbee@foster-adopt.org

Stephanie joined the coalition in June 2017 as a Family Works Specialist. Stephanie graduated from Saint Louis University with her Master’s in Social Work. As a family works specialist, Stephanie provide short-term in home support services, with a goal of facilitating growth and healing for the family unit.

Cisely Beard – Dynamic Access Coordinator

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e ciselybeard@foster-adopt.org
Cisely joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in December 2011 as a 30 Days to Family® Specialist. In 2018, she transitioned into her current role as Supervisor of Advocacy and Family Works STEPS. In addition to her supervisory role, Cisely is responsible for conducting intakes and referrals for the Coalition’s Family Works program and Educational Advocacy. She graduated with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1999, and has a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University. Cisely’s twenty four years of child welfare experience includes specialized case management, foster/kinship parent training and licensing, and program development.

Maddie Bobbitt – Extreme Recruiter

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e maddiebobbitt@foster-adopt.org
Maddie joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in September 2017 as a 30 Days to Family® Specialist. In November 2019, Maddie transitioned into her current role as an Extreme Recruiter. As an Extreme Recruiter, Maddie is responsible for doing adoption recruitment for children in foster care. Maddie graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Prior to working at the Coalition, Maddie worked as a Foster Care Case Manager for three years in St. Louis and Jefferson County. Foster care and adoption have played a big part in Maddie’s life and she is honored to serve children and families through the Coalition.

Tonya Campbell – Families United Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.881.8414
e tonyacampbell@foster-adopt.org
Tonya Campbell joined the Coalition in July 2019 as a Families United Specialist. Tonya has over 20 years of experience in the Child Welfare field in the areas of case management, crisis intervention, program development and licensing, training and recruiting foster parents in Illinois. The Coalition was a vital part of Tonya and her wife’s foster/adoptive journey and she looks forward to offering the same level and quality of support and assistance to others as they navigate the foster care system. Tonya and her wife have two adopted children and continue to foster other children.

Angela Chewe – Project Soar Placement Coordinator

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.7623
e angelachewe@foster-adopt.org
Angela joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in September of 2014. Angela has always had a passion and desire to help older children in the child welfare system. Angela’s sixteen years of child welfare experience with a contract agency includes crisis management, creating community partnerships, and securing and coordinating resources that ensure client success through stabilization and utilization of services. Angela also has experience being the lead drug court case manager for her consortium for over five years. While in this position she was able to build successful relationships with St. Louis Family County Courts, residential facilities, Probation and Parole, and the Department of Mental Services. Angela graduated from UMSL with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Adolescence in May of 1998.

Connie Christman – Family Development Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
conniechristman@foster-adopt.org
Connie first began with the Coalition in 2014 as a contractor, providing training services to foster and adoptive families. In February of 2017, she came aboard full time in the role of Family Development Specialist as part of the innovative Dennis and Judy Jones Foster Care and Adoption Program. In addition to past experience in child welfare, Connie brings years of specialized training services to the Coalition, as well as personal experience in her favorite role she shares with her husband–proud adoptive parent of five children. She holds a B.A. in Communications Management from the University of Dayton.

Quesha Combs, MSW, LMSW – Family Works Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.737.0996
e queshacombs@foster-adopt.org
Quesha joined the coalition team in August 2020 as Family Works Specialist. Quesha obtained her Bachelors of Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia and her Masters of Social Work from Saint Louis University. She has previously worked both direct care and clinically in residential programs where she developed her passion for working with adolescents and their families in a trauma informed way. Quesha is passionate in her pursuit of being a “lighthouse” who guides people to their best selves.

Katie Corrigan – Director of Family Development

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.657.7866
e katiecorrigan@foster-adopt.org
Katie joined the Coalition team in July of 2015 with over 20 years experience in the areas of crisis intervention, case management, recruiting, training and supporting foster and adoptive families, non-profit management, program development and quality assurance. Katie received a degree in Psychology from Quincy University and her Masters in Social Work at Saint Louis University. Katie and her husband are the proud parents of 6 children, 4 of whom are adopted.

Amanda Denning – Extreme Recruiter

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
amandadenning@foster-adopt.org

Amanda joined Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in September of 2014 as an Extreme Recruiter. She graduated from University of Missouri St. Louis with her BSW in 2009. In 2011, she obtained her MSW from Saint Louis University with a concentration in Community Programs and a certificate in Non-Profit Administration . She has worked in the child welfare field in the St. Louis community for nine years. Her experience includes residential work, respite/mentoring programs, and foster care case management with a contracted agency. Her previous work experience has instilled a desire to prevent kids from aging out of care without family connections and permanency. Amanda believes in fostering connections with biological families for youth and providing every youth with a forever home.

Sherry Diaz de Leon – 30 Days to Family® Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e sherrydiazdeleon@foster-adopt.org

Sherry joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in November 2017 as a 30 Days to Family® Specialist. As a 30 Days to Family® Specialist, Sherry is responsible for locating safe and appropriate relative supports and placement options for children in foster care. Sherry is a North Carolina native and she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2008. She has worked as a Foster Care Social Worker for the Surry County Department of Social Services in North Carolina for 3 years and as a Foster and Adoption Supervisor for another 2 years. When she moved to St. Louis prior to working at the Coalition, Sherry worked as a Foster Care Case Manager for three years in St. Louis and St. Charles County. Sherry is passionate about working with and improving lives of the families and children she works with through the Coalition.

Emma Fitzgerald – Family Support & Advocacy Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e emmafitzgerald@foster-adopt.org
Emma joined the Coalition in May 2018 as the Family Support & Advocacy Specialist. Emma is a born advocate, with a passion for connecting people and families to each other, supports, and to meaningful resources. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Harding University, a master’s degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University, and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2013. Emma and her husband eagerly became licensed foster parents in 2007 and have since adopted. Emma brings 9 years of prior experience working as a foster care case manager with Children’s Division.

Billy Flynn – Creative Director

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e billyflynn@foster-adopt.org
Billy Flynn joined the Coalition in November 2014 as the Creative Director. Billy leads the creation and execution of the Coalition’s digital and print media assets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Northland College, and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from Newcastle University.

Ian Forber-Pratt – National Program Officer

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
ianforberpratt@foster-adopt.org
Ian Forber-Pratt joined the Foster & Adoptive Coalition in 2008 as a practicum student and was hired as an Extreme Recruiter for 3 years before moving to India to start the first foster care only organization in the country. In order to put family first for his wife and son he moved back to St Louis in mid-2018 and re-joined the Coalition as the National Program Officer. Ian completed his Masters in Social Work from Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Along with his work at the Coalition, Ian serves the international social work field and is also the Director of Global Advocacy for Children’s Emergency Relief International – ceri. He has worked in countries as part of child protection system reform in Eastern Europe, Africa and throughout South Asia. He consultants for international organizations on strategic planning and theory-of-change development in the field of family-based alternative care. Personally, Ian is an international adoptee and specializes in therapy with adoptive families both international and domestic. He deeply believes in every child’s right to family and helps governments, organizations and individuals be part of social change in demanding rigorous standards for children needing care and protection throughout the world.

Joel Friesen – 30 Days to Family® Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e joelfriesen@foster-adopt.org
Joel joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in July 2019 as a 30 Days to Family® Specialist. He is responsible for locating safe and appropriate relative supports and placement options for children in foster care. Prior to working at the Coalition, Joel worked as a Foster Care Case Manager in St. Louis City and County. He graduated from Covenant College in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Community Development. Joel lives in south St. Louis and enjoys looking at birds and playing soccer.

Edna Green – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.2413
e ednagreen@foster-adopt.org
Edna joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in August of 2011 as an Extreme Recruiter.  Beginning in the late 1980’s, she began her work with families at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys as a Child Care Worker (CCW).  She has worked in the capacity as a Contracted Case Manager, Family Focus Case Manager, Family Advocate, briefly contracted with Probation & Parole as a case manager, mentor, and residential case manager.  Her previous work experience prepared her for her position as a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter in that she is more able to go into the field and actively advocate and recruit for children in foster care – building stronger relationships with families, and providing permanency for children.

Michael Hall – Family Search and Permanency Support Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.808.1293
e michaelhall@foster-adopt.org
Michael joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in November of 2017. Michael works primarily with Extreme Recruitment® locating and notifying family members of children in foster care, facilitating reconnections, and supporting adoptive placements through permanency. Michael also heads up the Diligent Search for Dads program, locating and notifying fathers of children in foster care. Prior to the Coalition, Michael worked for two and half years as a Foster Care Case Manager and two years as a Correctional Officer in St. Louis City. Michael’s dedication to locating family supports for children in foster care as a case manager lead him to full time family finding.

Jan Joeckel – Director of General Recruitment

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e janjoeckel@foster-adopt.org
Jan Joeckel has been with the Coalition since 2002.  She recruits and supports foster and adoptive families in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, including southern Illinois.  She works closely with the Missouri Children’s Division, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and their private agency partners, to stay current on specific child placement needs and the licensing process for foster/adoptive families.  Prior to joining the Coalition, she served as a child welfare specialist for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and a social service worker for the Missouri Children’s Division.  She has a Master of Social Work degree and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Chasity Jones – Family Works Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314-724-2827
e chasityjones@foster-adopt.org 

Chasity “Chas” joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in June 2019 as a Family Works Specialist. Working in the Family Works program allows Chas to provide DDP-based psychoeducation, support, and interventions to the caregivers of our foster and adopted children with the intention of keeping families together. Chas graduated from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2015. In 2018, Chas received her Master’s in Counselor Education. Prior to beginning her career at the Coalition, Chas worked as a mentor to at-risk college students and also as a trauma-informed, community- based therapist. Chas is passionate about providing developmentally-appropriate information with a trauma-informed lens to help caregivers and children heal and grow together.

Jenny Jones – Family Development Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314-724-2827
e jennyjones@foster-adopt.org

Jenny joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in July 2017 as a Family Development Specialist in the Dennis and Judy Jones Foundation Foster Care and Adoption Program.  As a Family Development Specialist, Jenny is responsible for training potential foster parents as well as providing them with resources and support during their first year of licensure.  Jenny graduated from Lindenwood University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology.  Prior to working at the Coalition, Jenny worked as a Licensing Worker for three years in St. Louis County.  Jenny is passionate about supporting and training families as they begin their exciting journey as foster and adoptive parents.

Denise Kelley – Director of Programs

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e denisekelley@foster-adopt.org
In 2001, the Coalition expanded services to foster and adoptive families through its Family Advocacy program. Denise instituted a self-advocacy model to provide one-on-one case based advocacy to foster parents, adoptive parents, relative caregivers, biological parents, and child welfare professionals. When the Coalition launched its ground-breaking permanency program, Extreme Recruitment, Denise took on the role of supervisor. In addition to continuing supervision of Extreme Recruitment, in 2011 Denise became the Director of Programs to provide additional support to the Coalition’s expanded programming.

Prior to joining the Coalition team, Denise worked in the child welfare field providing crisis intervention services through the Intensive In-Home Services program and later as a foster care case manager. Denise holds a Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University and has received on-going professional development in the areas of trauma and best practices to enhance child well-being.

Holly Kieu – Foster & Adoptive Home Recruiter

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
hollykieu@foster-adopt.org
Holly joined the Coalition in October 2013 as a Foster and Adoptive Home Recruiter. Holly graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She later returned and earned her Master of Social Work in 2013. She has almost 15 years of experience in social services including prior experience as a foster home licensing representative in Illinois. At the Coalition, Holly works to recruit and support foster and adoptive families throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area including Southern Illinois.

Colleen Larson – Family Works Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e colleenlarson@foster-adopt.org
Colleen joined the Coalition in November 2015 as a Family Works Specialist. In this role, Colleen helps to provide short-term, in-home support to foster and adoptive families in an effort to stabilize and maintain placements. Before joining the Coalition, Colleen worked to support children as a case manager. Colleen has a B.S. in Social Work from Bradley University and a Masters in Social Work with a Concentration in Family Systems from Saint Louis University.

Natasha Leonard – Director of External Relations

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e natashaleonard@foster-adopt.org
Natasha Leonard joined Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition team October 2018. She saw this position as a perfect way to continue her passion for community empowerment and development with her background in fundraising, non-profits and event management. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Millikin University and Master’s Degree from Lindenwood University in Public Administration. Her focus and ambition are to create sustainable relationships in the community sector and to continue to advocate and build lasting relationships for the Coalition.

Jaime Ley – Grants and Data Manager

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e jaimeley@foster-adopt.org
Jaime joined the Coalition in January 2020. She graduated from the University of Missouri—Saint Louis with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2010 and has her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from Lindenwood University. She has ten years of experience working with children and families at risk of child abuse and neglect. Her broad range of experience across the child welfare spectrum includes investigation of child abuse and neglect allegations, provision of family centered services to at risk families, foster care case management, foster parent licensure, and adoptions. Working to make a difference within the child welfare system has made a tremendous impact on Jaime’s life. She is passionate about supporting the foster and adoptive community.

Barbara Long – Director of Program Outcomes

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e barbaralong@foster-adopt.org
Barbara Long joined the Coalition in May 2008 after earning her Master of Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.  At the Coalition, she has developed and maintained data management systems for 9 programs, collaborated with program staff to establish outcome measures and measurement tools, and managed the data collection and reporting for a Federal Adoption Opportunities grant awarded to the state of Missouri.  Barbara also served as the liaison between the program site and the federal grant evaluators for the Adoption Opportunities grant to determine areas of focus for the evaluation and ensure accurate data collection.  Additionally, she developed and implemented the Coalition’s Performance and Quality Improvement Plan through which she leads quarterly Case File Review and Outcomes Review workgroups for direct service programs.

Carlos Lopez – Director of Investigations

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.2416
e carloslopez@foster-adopt.org
After serving 20 years in the St. Louis Police Department, Carlos Lopez joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition as the organization’s first Family Connections Investigator in 2008.  While with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Carlos served as a patrol officer (11-years) and as a Juvenile Detective (9-years).  While a Detective assigned to the Juvenile Division, Carlos worked one on one with at risk youth specifically regarding gang prevention, detection and intervention.  He was also a part of the Truancy Initiative, which was a highly successful multi-agency program decreasing truancy in the St. Louis area.  Carlos’ investigation skills combined with his experience in serving children and families has helped facilitate successful reconnections of foster children with birth family.

Karen Martin – Family Works STEPS Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.607.0557
e karenmartin@foster-adopt.org
Karen Martin joined the Coalition as a 30 Days To Family® Specialist in January 2015. Job responsibilities are to locate safe and appropriate kinship placements for identified children entering into the foster care system. Presently she works in the capacity of a Family Works STEPS Specialist. Her responsibilities are to identify need medical, educational, specialized, mental health services and supports for children entering into for presently placed in Foster Care to address overall placement stability. Karen has served Children and Families in various capacities for over 30 years. Karen’s work history includes DMH case management, residential care, supportive living, family reunification, intensive in-home, family focus and direct care. Karen received a Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree from the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Melanie Moredock – Director of Program Replication

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e melaniemoredock@foster-adopt.org
Melanie began with the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in 2011. Melanie’s previous child welfare experience includes residential treatment, specialized case management, and foster/kinship parent training and licensing. Melanie obtained her Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law and has been a member of the Missouri Bar since 2007. Melanie’s passion is engaging and empowering family members, as well as working closely with the professional team members to ensure the laws regarding relative/kin placement are followed. Melanie enjoys sharing her knowledge of the program with others through providing individualized training and consultation to interested agencies and supervision of the 30 Days to Family® replication sites.

Kami Narayan – Educational Advocate

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.2428
e kaminarayan@foster-adopt.org
Kami Narayan joined the Coalition in December 2013. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008, Kami returned home to St. Louis and began to teach preschool through 12th grade in a wide variety of settings, from a summer preschool program to an alternative high school. After gaining experience teaching, Kami attended Washington University Law School with the career goal of impacting the educational futures of children in need. As a clerk in law school, Kami interned at the Children’s Legal Alliance (CLA), a division of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. While at the CLA, which focuses on the educational needs and goals of disadvantaged children, Kami gained experience with federal and state educational law, the special education process, IEPs and 504 plans, and the rights of children facing suspension and expulsion. Kami is excited at the opportunity to bring this training to the Coalition, where she can help foster and adoptive children and their families navigate the school system and achieve their educational goals.

Beth Nesbit – Director of Educational Advocacy

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e bethnesbit@foster-adopt.org
Prior to joining to the Coalition in 2020, Beth worked for Special School District of St. Louis County where she served in multiple roles during her tenure: teacher, inclusion facilitator, instructional coach, assistant principal and area coordinator. She holds a Master’s of Educational Leadership, 30 additional graduate hours along with certification as a Director of Special Education. She has a passion for supporting families, students and teachers to ensure educational equity and stability in addition to, success in inclusive environments. As an adoptive mom, Beth is excited to be a part of the Coalition and give back to the community in which she has received much.

Veronica Neuhoff – Family Support Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.1328
e veronicaneuhoff@foster-adopt.org
Veronica joined the Coalition in March of 2020 as a Jefferson County Family Support Specialist. Veronica graduated from the University of Missouri- St. Louis with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. As a Family Support Specialist, Veronica is responsible for providing a mixture of direct and navigation services proven to prevent placement disruptions for children in foster care, guardianship or adoptive homes. Veronica brings to the Coalition over eighteen years of child welfare experience in areas of residential treatment, case management, child advocacy, crisis intervention and program development. Veronica resides in Oakville with her husband and son.

Shannon Nichols – Director of Operations

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e shannonnichols@foster-adopt.org
Shannon Nichols joined the Coalition in December 2014 as the Director of Donor Relations and then stepped into a finance and operations role in October 2018. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration. Her nonprofit experience began in 2002 where she worked as the Development Manager at Dance St. Louis. Later, she served as the Associate Director of Development in the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri- St. Louis followed by the position of Senior Management Analyst in the Office of Research.

Gloria Patterson – Family Works STEPS Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e gloriapatterson@foster-adopt.org
Gloria joined the coalition on April 27, 2020. Gloria graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters in Teaching. She also holds a Master’s in Education Psychology from the UMSL. Gloria has devoted 15 plus years to advocating, supporting and educating both kids and adults in areas of college, career and life skills development. Gloria carries a deep compassion for the individuals without a “voice”. Her philosophy is “too whom much is given much is required” and she uses these words to move her through life both professionally and personally. She is the proud mother of 2 awesome boys; who she credits for pushing her to greatness on a daily basis.

Denise Pudlo – Director of Information Systems

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
denisepudlo@foster-adopt.org
o 314.367.8373
Denise joined the Coalition in  April 2014. After working 19 years at The Boeing Company as a Programmer/Analyst, Denise chose to stay home to raise her children for nine years. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in Business Administration with Majors in Computer Science and Accounting. She is happy to be using her skills at the Coalition. 

Heather Quartuccio – Director of Extreme Recruitment®

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e heatherquartuccio@foster-adopt.org
Heather joined The Coalition in September, 2014 as an Extreme Recruiter. In 2018, she transitioned into her current role as the Director of Extreme Recruitment. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. In 2011, she obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on Children, Youth, and Families from Washington University in St. Louis. Upon graduation from WUSTL, Heather gained experience as a specialized case manager and as a licensing worker. As a specialized case manager, Heather worked towards stability, safety, and permanency for older youth. She also advocated for youth to maintain connections with their biological family and kin. As a licensing worker, she recruited, trained, licensed, and retained foster and kinship/relative families.

Shonetta Reed – 30 Days to Family® Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.810.2265
e shonettareed@foster-adopt.org
Shonetta joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in March 2012 as an Extreme Recruiter. In 2014, she joined Carlos Lopez as an investigator.  Shonetta always had a passion for working with and helping to improve the lives of the youth in our communities. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Adolescence and Criminology, she began her career in the child welfare system in 1999 as a Program Specialist with SafeFutures, a community based program for at-risk youth. Shonetta then dedicated 12 years to a position at the Missouri Children’s Division, where she worked with youth and families involved in foster care.  There, she built connections with community partners, court professionals, and other agencies.  This  experience matched with her understanding of the need for reconnecting children in foster care with their biological families is what drives her in her pursuit to track down lost relatives, get the facts, and help pursue permanency for kids and teens.

Summer Renne – Director of Families United & A Place to Call Home

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e summerrenne@foster-adopt.org

Summer joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in December 2016 as a Manager of Training & Community Engagement. In 2019, she transitioned into her current role as the Director of Families United. Summer assists relative foster parents through the licensing process by providing training, assessment, and ongoing support. She also coordinates “A Place to Call Home” in partnership with St. Louis’ NBC affiliate, KSDK 5 On Your Side. Prior to joining the Coalition, Summer worked in early childhood education, training, foster care licensing, and adoption recruitment. She is passionate about working alongside families as they navigate the intricacies of the child welfare system and providing positive memories for children during their times in care. Summer is a graduate of Lindenwood University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Tierney Rhone – 30 Days to Family® Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e tierneyrhone@foster-adopt.org

Tierney joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in July 2020 as a 30 Days to Family® Specialist. As a 30 Days to Family® Specialist, Tierney is responsible for locating safe and appropriate relative supports and placement options for children in foster care. Prior to working at the Coalition, Tierney worked as a Foster Care Case Manager in Jefferson and St. Louis County. Tierney has a passion for supporting and strengthening children, youth, families, and communities. Tierney attended Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, IL where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2018. At the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, Tierney obtained her master’s degree in Social Work in 2019. Tierney enjoys going to the movies, out to eat, and spending time with family and friends during her free time.

Nickie Steinhoff – Chief Strategy Officer

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e nickiesteinhoff@foster-adopt.org
Nickie joined the Coalition in November 2009 as the Director of Training & Community Support. She brings over 20 years of experience in child welfare, including investigation and assessment, program development and implementation and supporting family well-being. Nickie is a member of the Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Board, the Child and Family Services Review Advisory Committee and the Healthcare Oversight for Children in Foster Care Committee. She is a certified “TAC” (Training for Adoption Competency) trainer and quality assurance specialist and recognized as an experienced trauma trainer by the NCTSN (National Child Traumatic Stress Network). Most recently, Nickie has led the effort to infuse DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) an evidence informed intervention specially designed for foster and adopted children and families. She has a Bachelor’s degree in social work and a Master’s degree in professional counseling. Nickie and her husband are the proud parents of two, one of whom is adopted.

Kelly Sullivan – 30 Days to Family® Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e kellysullivan@foster-adopt.org
Kelly Sullivan, a dedicated youth advocate and foster care alumni, joined the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in February 2012.  She has over a decade of experience working with at-risk youth.  At the Coalition, Kelly works as a  Specialist for the 30 Days to Family® program which helps search for safe, appropriate relatives/kin within 30 days of a child entering the foster care system.  Before joining the Coalition, she spent 4 years at Epworth Children’s Home as the Program Manager of the St. Louis Aging-Out Initiative.  Kelly recently located her own biological family in 2011.  Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts from Webster University and resides in the City of St. Louis with her two children.

Rossi Summers – Chief Operating Officer

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e rossisummers@foster-adopt.org
Reshelle “Rossi” Summers has more than 20 years of child welfare experience.  She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and master’s degrees in Human Service Agency Management and Human Resource Management.  Rossi joined the Coalition in 2000 and her duties have included workshop and support group facilitation, newsletter editor, business and human resource management.  As the Director of Operations, Rossi oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency.  Rossi and her husband are the proud parents of three children, two of whom were adopted.

Shelley Thomas-Benke – Director of FosterServe Volunteers

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e shelleythomasbenke@foster-adopt.org
Shelley works with volunteers to make the time children spend in foster care as enjoyable as it can be. She works part-time, and has responsibility for the Birthday Buddy program, Cinderella Project, and the holiday Little Wishes program. She also organizes groups to volunteer at ReFresh and Extravaganzas, and she refers volunteers to other St. Louis area agencies that serve foster/adoptive children. Shelley worked as an attorney specializing in child abuse/neglect issues and appellate work for over 10 years before joining the Coalition. Shelley has a B.S. in Business from the University of Minnesota and received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin.

Trish Taddeucci – Lead Educational Advocate

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.2420
e triciataddeucci@foster-adopt.org

Trish joined the Coalition in 2011 as an Educational Specialist working with our Crisis Intervention Team. With over 15 years of diverse teaching experience in the St. Louis area in both public and private schools, Trish has a rich understanding of the complexities of school operations  and students’ needs.  Trish graduated from The University of Tulsa with a BA, and she completed a Masters in Educational Administration at UMSL.  It was Trish’s last three years of professional experience, however, that drew her to the coalition. As a classroom teacher with the Division of Youth Services working with incarcerated youth, she witnessed first hand the profound difference a love of learning can have on a young person’s life path. She is committed to supporting our families and schools in developing a caring, personalized approach to education to instill a love of learning in all of our children. In 2014, her dedication and commitment to children earned Trish a 2014 Missouri Child Advocate award.

Hannah Trout – Families United Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.2420
e hannahtrout@foster-adopt.org

Hannah joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in December 2019 as a Families United Specialist. She graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology before obtaining her Master of Social Work in 2017. Prior to the Coalition, she worked for 2 years as a foster care case manager in St. Louis County and City and then 1 year as a relative licensing worker. Hannah has always been passionate about working with children, and having been adopted herself, she is dedicated to advocating for and supporting foster and adoptive families in the community.

Teara Westfall – 30 Days to Family Specialist®

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.817.4520
e tearawestfall@foster-adopt.org

Teara joined the Coalition in October 2019 as a 30 Days to Family® Specialist. Teara graduated from University of Missouri- St. Louis in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. As a 30 Days to Family® Specialist, Teara is responsible for locating safe and appropriate relative supports and placement options for children in foster care. Teara brings to the Coalition over five years of child welfare experience. Prior to working at the Coalition, Teara worked as a child abuse/neglect investigator for the Missouri Children’s Division. Teara resides in St. Louis with her husband and children.

Paula White—Family Works STEPS Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.6388
paulawhite@foster-adopt.org

Paula joined the Coalition in September 2018 as a Family Works STEPS Specialist. A native and lifelong resident of St. Louis, Paula has over 19 years of experience working in child welfare at Missouri Children’s Division (the state’s child welfare agency). Prior to joining the Coalition she worked diligently in the community advocating for a wellbeing orientation for the children in the St. Louis region. As a Family Works STEPS Specialist she can continue to advocate for families who experience complex trauma, and assist families with navigating through the many systems of care. She holds a Masters of Public Policy and Administration and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

Kyle Williams – Director of Development

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.614.2420
e  kylewilliams@foster-adopt.org

Kyle Williams is the Director of Development at the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, helping donors and foundations create lasting, systemic change in foster care and adoption through Coalition programs. He has worked as a fundraiser in foster care his entire career, and has been at the Coalition since 2016. Kyle graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a B.A. in Anthropology, focusing on Archaeology.

Hannah Woods – Family Works Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e hannahwoods@foster-adopt.org

Hannah joined the Coalition in May 2018 as a Family Works Specialist. Hannah received both her Bachelor’s of Social Work and Master’s of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Hannah is a licensed clinical social worker and thoroughly enjoys facilitating growth and healing in the families she serves. Hannah has an extensive background in serving children and families in the St. Louis area. Hannah has experience in medical social work, domestic violence services, and parenting education services. One of Hannah’s greatest joys in life is being an aunt to her nephews, one of whom is adopted.

Jo Anne Zarky – Director of 30 Days to Family®

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e joannezarky@foster-adopt.org
Jo Anne Zarky joined the 30 Days to Family® Team in September, 2012.  At the Coalition, Jo works as a Case Manager for the 30 Days to Family® program which helps search for safe, appropriate relatives/kin within 30 days of a child entering the foster care system. Prior to joining the Coalition, Jo had over 15 years experience in the child welfare system.  She has worked in residential care as children’s services case manager, a foster and adoptive licensing specialist, and a Deputy Juvenile Officer.  Jo earned her Psychology, Criminal Justice degree from Southwest Missouri State University. She resides in Webster Groves with her husband and five children.

Katie Zimmer – Office Manager

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e  katiezimmer@foster-adopt.org

Katie joined the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in July of 2018 as Office Manager. She graduated from University of Missouri, St. Louis with a BS in Public Policy Administration. She brings more than 10 years of experience in office and volunteer management. Katie lives in St. Louis with her husband and three children. She enjoys watching her kids play sports and taking them out in nature to swim, ride bikes and go hiking.

Anne Zink – Director of Family Support

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
annezink@foster-adopt.org
Anne joined the Coalition in 2015 as the Director of Family Support. She manages the Family Works Program. Anne has 35 years of experience. Her certifications include: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Triple P® Positive Parenting Trainer, Batterer’s Intervention Trainer, Training for Adoption Competency (TAC), STARS Trainer, and Nurturing Parenting Program™ Trainer.