Board & Staff

Board Officers

Joe Bergan – President

Edward Jones

Cari Wegge – Vice President

XIL Health

Mike Normile – Treasurer

Cass Information Systems

Mila Baumann – Secretary

Cigna

Board Members

Bob Ahern
First Bank

Carla Allen
The Allen Law Firm

Melanie Barrier
Rubrik, Inc.

David Bell
Schnucks Markets

Dr. Rhonda Brown, Ph.D
Healthy Blue Missouri/Anthem BCBS

Robert Cahn
Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC

Terrence Chance
Boeing

Sean Knight
APC Integrated Services Group

LaShonda Lambert-Howze
Schnucks

Mary Larner
Enterprise

Jim Martin
Dowd Bennett

Tom Noack
Commerce Bank

Emily Romines
Spire

David Singer
Warehouse of Fixtures

Rebecca Stone
GLG

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

Officers

President: Kaitlin HrenakVice President: Dashawn Cason
Secretary: Sara PriceTrivia Chair: Erin Sternberg
Trivia Chair: Graham SpenceNetworking Chair: Diana Blair
Networking Chair: Ali WhiteEvent Support: Courtney Troy
Event Support: Joe SchwegelSocial Media Chair: Robyn Mason

Junior Board Members

Jacklyn Barron
Daniell Bennet
Sara Chamberlain
Courtney Conely
Maureen Coughlinh
Allison Johnson
Dru Lott
Rachel Lynch
Tyler Mackie
Kathryn Modeer
Vanessa Palka
Grace Palmer
Vince Penna
Sara Price
Maura Ritter
Abigail Smith
Wynette Whitegoat
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 Natasha Leonard at natashaleonard@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.

Gerald (Jerry) Bailot – Technology Manager

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

Jerry joined the Coalition in November 2017 with over 20 years of technology experience. He holds degrees in Small Business Administration (first career) and Computer Aided Design (second career). Prior to coming to the Coalition, he was a program manager for an electronics/software company and a computer software consultant specializing in automating business processes. Jerry and his wife are the proud parents of two daughters, one of whom is adopted.

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.

Kim Barnhart – Metro East Family Support Specialist

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.376.8373
e kimbarnhart@foster-adopt.org

Kim Barnhart joined the Coalition in July 2020. Kim graduated from Evangel University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s in Early and Elementary Education. Kim taught kindergarten in Japan for several years before returning and attending the University of Missouri – St. Louis where she obtained her Master’s in Social Work in 2013. Kim worked as a Foster Care Case Manager in the Metro East. She then worked doing Intensive In Home Services helping families in crisis in the St. Louis area for almost six years. Kim is excited to be working back on the Illinois side of the river helping to prevent placement disruptions for children in foster care, guardianship or adoptive homes. Kim grew up in and currently resides in Illinois as well. Kim enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Cisely Beard – Director of Advocacy & Support

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 to Supervisor of Advocacy and Family Works STEPS. Later in 2019, she transitioned into her current role as Director of Advocacy and Support. 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 over 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.

Yanelis Castillo – Director of Mission Engagement

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e yaneliscastillo@foster-adopt.org
Yanelis joined the Coalition in August 2019. She has over 5 years of experience working with non-profits in the child welfare field. She manages the Coalition’s donor communications, including newsletters, and manages relationships with monthly donors and foundations. Yanelis completed her MSW at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

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.

Michelle Davis – Director of Extreme Recruitment

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

Michelle Davis joined the Coalition in June of 2021. Michelle has over 20 years of experience working in the child welfare field in the areas of case management and resource development: recruiting, training, and licensing foster parents. Prior joining the Coalition, Michelle served as case manager for over 15 years, as supervisor for five years and most recently, as the Program Manager of Foster Care for two and a half years. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from University of Missouri St. Louis.

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.

Samantha Fisher – Extreme Recruiter

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e samanthafisher@foster-adopt.org
Samantha joined the coalition in October of 2019 as an Extreme Recruiter. She received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Social Work from University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prior to joining the Coalition Team, Samantha served as a foster care case manager for three years and stepped into a foster care supervisor role for two years, serving three counties. She is passionate about locating permanent support systems for children and older youth. In her spare time, Samantha works with a local animal rescue fostering cats and dogs.

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, to supports, and to meaningful resources. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and went on to obtain a master’s degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University. She 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 experience working with domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. She also worked as a foster care case manager with Children’s Division for 9 years, which only furthered her passion for working to promote equity, equality, and respect for kids, parents, and foster/adoptive/guardianship families that cross her path.

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.

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.

Timesha George – Extreme Recruiter

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e timeshageorge@foster-adopt.org
Timesha joined the coalition in 2021 as an Extreme Recruiter. Timesha is a native from East Saint Louis, IL. After graduating from ESTL High School, Timesha obtained a Bachelor of Science in Social Work at Greenville College and a Master of Science in Psychology at the University of Phoenix online. She has over three years of experience in foster care case management, and has worked with HIV/Hep C prevention, testing, and counseling services. Timesha believes in providing Christ-centered work for the children and families she serves. She enjoys camping trips and spending time at the river (the ones that she can swim in!).

Edna Green – Relative Support Specialist

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 as a Contracted Case Manager, Family Focus Case Manager, Family Advocate, and 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, where she was able to go into the field and actively advocate and recruit for children in foster care. In 2021, Edna transitioned to the Families United team on a renewed journey – supporting relatives who have children in foster care coming into their homes. She works with relatives to continuously build stronger relationships within their families and helps provide permanency for children as a Relative Support Specialist.

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.

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.

Michelle Knighton – Technology Support Technician

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e michelleknighton@foster-adopt.org
Michelle Joined the Coalition in May of 2021. She has over 15 years of IT experience and administrative expertise that started and developed while serving in the U.S. Military and has flourished since.

Michelle loves children and has worked in child-related organizations and programs for over 20 years including: Before/After care, children’s ministries, and most recently within a local School District as Support Staff.

Michelle has two children (son & daughter) of her own – they keep her youthful and on her toes! One of her goals and dreams is to become a foster parent in the future. She believes that supporting and pouring into children is an amazing gift and benefit.

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
As Director of Program Outcomes at the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, Barbara leads Performance and Quality Improvement efforts for 12+ programs. She has a passion for continuous learning and is invigorated by the lightbulb moments of clarity that come when committed people gather to discuss data and its implications for practice modifications. In her 13 years at the Coalition, she has moved the agency from measuring outputs to measuring outcomes, establishing measureable indicators of outcome achievement for each of our programs. Additionally, she has established a culture of transparency in our program performance. Core outcomes are posted on our website, and the Board of Directors trusts her reports of program performance to guide their decision-making. She is constantly striving to demonstrate the impact our programs have on our clients.

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 to locate safe and appropriate kinship placements for identified children entering into the Foster Care system. Currently, she works as a Family Works STEPS Specialist. Her responsibilities are to identify needed medical, educational, specialized, socialization, developmental, mental health services and supports for children entering into or presently placed in Foster Care. There is an equally committed effort made in securing services for placement providers and parents as well. In addition to, addressing barriers that impede 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.

Sabrina Moore – Director of Finance & Operations

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e sabrinamoore@foster-adopt.org
Sabrina joined the Coalition on January 11, 2021 as the Director of Finance & Operations. Sabrina has over 15 years of non-profit finance experience. She served as Chief Operating Officer for Caring Solutions and Staff Accountant at Easter Seals Midwest. Sabrina’s passion and mission is to help those who may be less fortunate due to their circumstances. Sabrina directed and organized the Children & Youth Ministry, an outreach ministry for at risk youth, at Zion Lutheran Church in Ferguson, MO for seven years. As part of the Children & Youth Outreach Ministry, she organized a Loaves & Fishes program. For the past three year, Sabrina has been involved in ministry which supports the St. Louis Metropolitan homeless population. Sabrina is the founder of Agape Grub Feed the Hungry in Ferguson, MO, and holds an Associate’s Degree in Management from St Louis Community College at Florissant Valley.

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.

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. 

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.

Claire Sabourin – Director of Research Implementation

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
e clairesabourin@foster-adopt.org 
Claire joined the Coalition in October 2018 as the Director of the Educational Advocacy Program. In 2020 she transitioned to her current role as the Director of Research Implementation. Prior to joining the Coalition, Claire worked as a Guardian ad Litem (attorney for the best interest of the child) for foster children in St. Louis City. She obtained her Juris Doctorate and Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. Claire is passionate about expanding access to stable and quality education for youth impacted by the foster care system.

Felisha Smith – Director of Special Events

1750 South Brentwood Boulevard, Suite 210, Saint Louis, MO 63144
o 314.367.8373
c 314.560.9266
e felishasmith@foster-adopt.org
Felisha joined the coalition in August 2020 as the Special Events Manger. She has lived in St. Louis since she was 10 and absolutely loves it. Graduating from University of Missouri St. Louis with a Child Advocacy Major, she has always wanted to help foster and adoptive children. With years of fundraising experience, she is elated to be a part of such an amazing group that achieves so much impact.

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 – Connections 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, she works with Transitional Age Youth in foster care who will be aging out of the system. Before joining the Coalition, she spent 4 years at Epworth Children’s Home as the St. Louis Aging-Out Initiative Program Manager and Street Outreach Coordinator. Kelly located her own biological family in 2011.

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, the holiday Little Wishes program, the back to school giveaway and Cinderella Project. She also organizes groups to volunteer at ReFresh and 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 Advocate with over 15 years of diverse teaching experience in the St. Louis area in both public and private schools, as well as experience as a classroom teacher for the Missouri Division of Youth Services. Trish graduated from The University of Tulsa with a BA; she completed her Masters in Educational Administration at UMSL. In 2014, her dedication and commitment to children earned Trish a 2014 Missouri Child Advocate Award. As an educator, Trish has always believed that relationships and connection are the hidden key to a student’s educational success, which can only be nurtured through educational stability, continuity, and interconnectivity.

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—Director of Navigation and Support

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

Paula White is 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. She joined the Coalition in September 2018 as a Family Works STEPS Specialist and was promoted to Director of Navigation and Support in March 2020. She continues 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 618.975.3685
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.

Kenya Willis – Family Development Specialist

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

Kenya Willis joined the Coalition in October of 2020 as a Family Development Specialist. Kenya graduated from the University of Missouri- St. Louis with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. As a Family Development Specialist, Kenya is responsible or training potential foster parents as well as providing them with resources and support during their first two years of licensure. Kenya brings to the Coalition over sixteen years of child welfare experience in the areas of resource licensure, subsidy, case management and child abuse & neglect investigation.

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 – HR Specialist/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 2018 as Office Manager. In 2021 she took on additional responsibilities in HR. She graduated from the 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 and also more than 6 years as a foster parent. Katie and her husband Kevin live in St. Louis with their three children. They enjoy spending time in nature, camping, swimming, riding bikes, fishing and 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.