Our Staff

Our dedicated, enthusiastic staff serves kinship and adoptive families statewide. The OhioKAN Staff is comprised of Navigators and team members with the local knowlege, statewide expertise, and personal experience needed to make sure Ohio's families are thoroughly supported.

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STATEWIDE

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Julia Donovan

Statewide Program Director

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Julia

Julia Donovan

Statewide Program Director

Julia joins Kinnect as the founding Program Director of OhioKAN, a new statewide kinship and adoption navigator program developed in partnership with the State of Ohio. Prior to Kinnect, Julia was the Employment Services Director at Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), which works to advance participation and equality in society for people with disabilities in Northeast Ohio. Leading through a period of significant programmatic change and development, Julia worked to increase the effectiveness of several LEAP initiatives, resulting in measurably improved outcomes for job seekers with disabilities. Previous to her eight years of tenure at LEAP, Julia worked in the nonprofit sector managing volunteers, teaching therapeutic riding for people with disabilities, and fundraising. She holds an Executive MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s from Hiram College.

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Veronica Burroughs

ODJFS Project Manager

Veronica Burroughs

ODJFS Project Manager

Veronica Burroughs, LISW-S, is Project Manager for the Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program at ODJFS. Prior to this work she was with the Supreme Court of Ohio as the Court Improvement Program Analyst in the Children and Families Section. In this role she managed the federal Court Improvement Program grants to assist juvenile courts in handling cases related to child welfare. She has had multiple roles at private child serving agencies, and she started her career as a therapist working with children and adults with mental health and substance use disorders. Veronica is an adjunct professor at Columbus State Community College and has done training for a variety of audiences. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the DePaul University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration.

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Veronica
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Roxana Bell

Statewide Program Coordinator

Roxana Bell

Statewide Program Coordinator

Roxana has a breadth of experience serving children, youth, and families in clinical and educational settings. Prior to joining Kinnect, Roxana worked for the Mobile Crisis Team at FrontLine Service in Cuyahoga County, where she conducted clinical assessments to children and youth experiencing suicide crises. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in an intertribal Native school and mentor for incarcerated youth. As a transracial, transnational adoptee from El Salvador, Roxana has a passion for working with multicultural adopted, foster, and kinship populations. She earned a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, a bachelor’s in Cultural Studies and Literature from The Evergreen State College, and is a licensed social worker. Roxana is so happy to be the Statewide Program Coordinator!

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Roxana
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Teresa Scrimenti

Statewide Program Trainer

Teresa Scrimenti

Statewide Program Trainer

Teresa has an eclectic background working with progressive organizations invested in giving power back to the people they serve. She has a range of customer service and teaching experiences, primarily in the disability service and culinary arts industries. Throughout her career, Teresa has developed and implemented curricula, including culinary education for home cooks, life skills classes for adults with developmental disabilities, and summer work experiences for youth in collaboration with local businesses. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Mass Communications from Baldwin Wallace University. Teresa is so excited to be a part of OhioKAN as the Statewide Program Trainer!

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Teresa
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Amber Robinson

Statewide Benefits Coordinator

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Amber Robinson

Statewide Benefits Coordinator

Amber began her career in the mental health field as a Referral and Information Specialist with Frontline Service’s Mobile Crisis Team in Cleveland. There, she was responsible for addressing crisis situations, providing information and referral services to peers, families, friends, caregivers, mental health providers, and the public. She also served as the Helpline & Volunteer Coordinator at National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Cleveland, where she provided oversight, vetting, and support to volunteers within the organization. Amber is certified by NAMI to lead family support groups, has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University and is completing a master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. Amber is so excited to serve as the statewide Benefits Coordinator at OhioKAN!

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DIRECTORS

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Jennifer Butler

Regional Director (Region 1)

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Jenn

Jennifer Butler

Director, Region 1

Jenn recently served as Program Coordinator for the Buford Center for Diversity and Service at the University of Findlay. A longtime nonprofit sector professional, she’s done it all: organizing, managing, leading, collaborating, recruiting, relationship-building, program management, and event planning. Previously, Jenn worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator for a nonprofit where she provided support to individuals with disabilities seeking employment. She holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Development and Leadership from the University of Findlay and a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Bowling Green State University. Jenn could not be happier to be Program Director in Region 1! 

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Jo Ellen Simonsen

Regional Director (Region 2)

Jo Ellen Simonsen

Director, Region 2

Jo comes to OhioKAN from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, where she served for 17 years, most recently as the Family Systems Advocacy Director. In her work at ODVN, she nurtured cross-system and multidisciplinary partnerships, managed a federal demonstration project serving young victims of crime, developed and designed programs, supervised and trained staff, and more. Jo also privately consults as an expert witness on domestic violence in civil and criminal cases. She earned a BA from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and holds training certifications from the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program and the National Council for Behavioral Health, among others. Jo is an active board member at Wynford Education Foundation. She is also a Harvard University-trained dramatist and has volunteered and performed in community theater productions in Upper Sandusky and in Tiffin in Seneca County, Region 2!

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OhioKAN Staff Photos - Amber

Amber Phelps

Regional Director (Region 3)

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Amber Phelps

Director, Region 3

Amber joins Kinnect with experience in the fields of social welfare and policy, including hands-on social work and an expertise in building and implementing evidence-based programming. After attaining her master’s degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan Law School, Amber worked for Cuyahoga county in the juvenile prosecutor’s office, serving as a liaison to parents of youth impacted by incarceration and the court system. Most recently, Amber served as Senior Project Manager for Lorain City Schools. She is very excited about joining the Kinnect team and expanding the OhioKAN program in Region 3!

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Jessica Ross

Regional Director (Region 4)

Jessica Ross

Director, Region 4

Jessica most recently served as a Licensed Professional Counselor with Greentree Counseling Center in Warren. With a specialization in trauma therapy, she provides support to adults, children, and families and supervises Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST) and Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) staff. Previously, Jessica was a Violence Prevention and Outreach Specialist with Townhall II, worked as an advocate for victims of violent crimes, hospital liaison, and psychoeducational support group facilitator, and supervised and trained a large team of volunteers providing 24-hour support to victims of violent crimes. Jessica is so excited to be a part of OhioKAN as the Director of Region 4!

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Jessica Ross
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Sandy Honigford

Regional Director (Region 5)

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Sandy Honigford

Director, Region 5

Sandy joins Kinnect with 26 years of experience in child welfare. Most recently, she was Assistant Director of Delaware County Job and Family Services, and previously held the role of Co-Director of Van Wert County Job and Family Services. Sandy was appointed to the Central Ohio Children Trust Fund Board. She has served on the Westwood Mental Health and Life Links Charter School boards, where she had tenures as President and Vice President, and the NorthWest Ohio Community Action Board (NOCCA). Sandy has also served Van Wert County as the FCF Coordinator and the Vice President of its board. Sandy is a licensed social worker with a bachelor’s in Human Services Administration from Indiana Institute of Technology and a Master of Social Work from the Ohio State University. She is ecstatic to serve Kinnect as the Director of Regions 5!

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Britney Breidenstein

Regional Director (Region 6)

Britney Breidenstein

Director, Region 6

Britney is the Regional Director of Region 6 for OhioKAN at Kinnect. She has spent the last 12 years of her career serving in various leadership roles in the non profit sector, including Director of Programs and Business Development with a focus in program design and inclusion. She also has strategic consulting experience, specializing in helping businesses with growth and development. Britney is passionate about bridging the gaps in equity with community and enterprise. She holds a B.S in Business from Indiana Tech University and is currently attaining her MBA/MSOL at Western Governor’s University. Britney’s community service includes serving on the Board of Directors for Bring It Push It and Own Your Success, two non-profits dedicated to empowering women and girls. Britney also is a member of Young Leaders NE Indiana where she serves as Committee Chair. She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to create sustainable, innovative, and systemic change for families across Ohio!

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JoAnn Heichel

Regional Director (Region 7)

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JoAnn Heichel

Director, Region 7

JoAnn is a dedicated Licensed Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in the field of social work. She has also spent time working with youth and families in education, including a tenure as a preschool teacher and children’s librarian. Most recently, she served as a Licensing Specialist with The Buckeye Ranch, where she completed home studies with kinship and Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) families. Additionally, she was a Program Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters and has extensive experience in foster care and adoptions. JoAnn holds her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the Ohio Dominican University and is a certified Adoption Assessor. JoAnn is pursuing her MSW currently with Florida State University. She has been interested in working at Kinnect since she attended the Kinnect convening event in December of 2018, and is so excited to be the Program Director in Region 7!

Deb Knaup

Regional Director (Region 8)

Deborah Knaup

Director, Region 8

Deborah is a well-networked child welfare and social services professional who comes to Kinnect by way of Muskingum County Children Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Zanesville. In these two organizations, Deborah has spent the past 10 years developing a passion for serving families in need and building strong relationships within her community. She is the President of her local Kiwanis chapter. Deborah earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ohio University. Deborah is very eager and enthusiastic about joining Kinnect and seamlessly transitioning her skill set into leading OhioKAN in Region 8!

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Maria Laib

Regional Director (Region 9)

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Maria Laib

Director, Region 9

Maria has spent her entire career working in social services in diverse areas across child, adult and family systems. Prior to accepting the role of Director, Maria served as Region 9’s Coach. She has worked in direct service and in various levels of management at Hamilton County Juvenile Court, Sojourner Recovery Services in Butler County and most recently as a Regional Clinical Supervisor for Path Integrated Healthcare before joining OhioKAN. Additionally, she has taught social work courses at the graduate level. Maria is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervision Designation (LISW-S) and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Criminal Justice from Xavier University, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. She enjoys all things nature, has a love of learning, and spends most of her free time with family and friends. Maria is very excited to be part of the OhioKAN team in Region 9, and looks forward to partnering with others in implementing the program’s important mission to strengthen and support children and their families!

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Cari Laws

Regional Director (Region 10)

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Cari Laws

Director, Region 10

Cari has dedicated the last 14 years of her career to serving children, youth, and families in a variety of capacities within local government, for-profit, as well as non-profit organizations. Cari’s experience also includes more than 10 years in various leadership roles focusing on oversight and implementation of successful treatment interventions and aftercare strategies for youth, development of agency-wide admissions procedures involving the creation and oversight of a new department, and most recently business development and management of clinical/administrative operations within behavioral healthcare. Cari has experience and passion in streamlining access for families to critical resources/supports and is looking forward to being a part of the state-wide impact of the OhioKAN program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wright State University and a Master of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Cari is inspired by the Kinnect mission and is ready to contribute as Program Director in Region 10!

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COORDINATORS

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Meagan Jackson

Regional Coordinator (Region 1)

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Meagan Jackson

Coordinator, Region 1

Most recently, Meagan served as a Health Educator for Bloom Medicinals, facilitating events, support groups, clinical trainings, and outreach events for patients and the general public on the medical use of cannabis. She also has experience working as a Program Coordinator at Healthy Interactions, where she supported, planned, and coordinated the Journey for Control program for patients with diabetes. Meagan has strong community ties from mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters, serving on two boards, acting as an educational surrogate parent, and volunteering at two nonprofits. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Toledo and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree from Kent State University. Meagan is so excited to be a part of OhioKAN as a Coordinator for Region 1!

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Cha'Noah Powell

Regional Coordinator (Region 2)

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Cha'Noah Powell

Coordinator, Region 2

Previously, Cha’Noah was at Capital University as a Student and Community Engagement Intern. She was also a Community Engagement Intern at Global Gifts, where she created volunteer recruitment/training materials, connected with local churches and service organizations for partnerships, and hosted weekly virtual events. Outside of work, she has volunteered for the MASH Food Pantry for Veterans and the Somali Center for Women, where she taught women math in preparation for the GED test. Cha’Noah has a BA in Business Management with a minor Public Relations from Capital University. She’s excited to join as Region 2’s Coordinator!

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Shawna Borkoski

Regional Coordinator (Region 4)

Shawna Borkoski

Coordinator, Region 4

Shawna is a dedicated nonprofit professional with over a dozen years in fundraising, donor development, marketing, and event planning. Previously, she served as Director of Development and Marketing for the United Way of Portage County, and she is an experienced Kinship Navigator. She looks forward to bringing her extensive experience in team support, kinship navigation, data management, and event planning to the OhioKAN program. Shawna holds a master’s degree in Human Services from Capella University, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kent State University, and a certificate from Leadership Portage County. Shawna is ecstatic to be the new Program Coordinator in Region 4!

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Erin Thompson

Regional Coordinator (Region 5)

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Erin Thompson

Coordinator, Region 5

Right before joining Kinnect, Erin worked at the University of Findlay as the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of University Advancement. There she did a bit of everything, including managing multiple calendars, meeting with donors, and planning over 15 university events each year, She has also operated her own business, Errands by Erin, and worked as an executive assistant in the music industry in Nashville, TN. While in Nashville, she volunteered as a wish granter for the Make-a-Wish Middle Tennessee. Erin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on print journalism and public relations from Wright State University. She is extremely excited to play a part in helping to change the lives of so many children!

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Shannon Wilson

Regional Coordinator (Region 6)

Shannon Wilson

Coordinator, Region 6

Shannon comes to OhioKAN from Anxiety Solutions of Denver and the Mental Health Center of Denver, where she held positions as an Administrative Assistant, helping families, children and teens access support, coordinating meetings and maintaining therapist communications, schedules, and billing. Shannon has extensive experience providing administrative support, coordinating communications and events, and managing data. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Communications from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., a Certificate in Public Relations, and a master’s degree in Communication Management and Leadership Communication from the University of Denver. Shannon is overjoyed to join the OhioKAN team as Coordinator in Region 6!

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Kylie Brown

Regional Coordinator (Region 7)

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Kylie Brown

Coordinator, Region 7

Kylie joins OhioKAN from a tenure at Bowling Green State University, where she worked as a Coordinator, creating, implementing, and managing many employer and student programs. Previously, she served as the university’s Grant Coordinator, where she supported the preparation of grant documentation, developed and maintained systems for recording and tracking grants, and provided on-site support for large programming initiatives. Kylie has a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh. Kylie is thrilled to be the Program Coordinator in Region 7!

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Kaitlyn Lutes

Regional Coordinator (Region 8)

Kaitee Lutes

Coordinator, Region 8

Kaitee is a devoted social service professional, most recently serving as the Family Engagement Coordinator for United Way of Summit County, where she served as a liaison between parents/ guardians of students and the iC.A.R.E. Mentoring Program. Kaitee has experience coordinating pilot programs, planning events, and creating important community connections. She earned a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. Kaitlyn is delighted to be part of OhioKAN as the Coordinator for Region 8!

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Jaceil Pagán

Regional Coordinator (Region 9)

Jaceil Pagán

Coordinator, Region 9

Jaceil has over seven years of counseling experience with children, adolescents, and adults in various clinical settings, including working with foster children. He was most recently a Therapeutic Case manager at Talbert House in Cincinnati, where he provided family and client support. He is also fluently bilingual in Spanish and English. Jaceil holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Carlos Albizu University in Miami, and a bachelor’s in Psychology from Wright State University. Jaceil is ecstatic to support OhioKAN as the Coordinator for Region 9!

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Jaceil
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Lisa Remy

Regional Coordinator (Region 10)

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Lisa Remy

Coordinator, Region 10

Lisa first joined OhioKAN as a Navigator at Sojourners Care Network before moving on to become Region 10’s Coordinator. Prior to OhioKAN, Lisa served as a Housing Transitional Coordinator through the nonprofit’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. In this role, she provided support to young adults ages 18-24 experiencing homelessness and helped them transition into permanent housing. Lisa has provided Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST) to young adults as a Qualified mental health specialist and is currently serving as the Vinton County Low-Income Representative on the Board of Trustees for Jackson-Vinton Community Action, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Liberty University. Lisa is excited to serve kinship and adoptive families in Region 10!

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COACHES

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Natalie Reynolds

Regional Coach (Region 1)

Natalie Reynolds

Coach, Region 1

Natalie most recently served as a 30 Days to Family Specialist with Allen County Children Services, where she once also held the role of Intake and Assessment Caseworker. She has had tenures in adolescent and adult developmental disability services, with Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities as a Service and Support Specialist and with Bittersweet Farms as a Community Outreach Specialist. Natalie was a dedicated volunteer in the United States Peace Corps program, serving in the role of Youth and Community Development volunteer based in Swaziland, Africa, and is currently Board President of West Central Ohio Abilities Collaborative, among other ongoing community engagement work. Natalie is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a bachelor’s of Social Work from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Northwestern Ohio. Natalie is thrilled to join OhioKAN as a Coach in Region 1!

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Jessica Robb

Regional Coach (Region 2)

Jessica Robb

Coach, Region 2

Before joining the OhioKAN team, Jessica served as the Leader of Network Development with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. She was responsible for building a strategic and dynamic approach to distributing food and other essential services to the community. She managed the Network Engagement Volunteer program, Feeding Kids programs, and led the implementation of network development and Lean Six Sigma initiatives in the programs department. Jessica holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Akron and was awarded the Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma by Akron Children’s Hospital. She is grateful to serve as the OhioKAN Coach in Region 2! 

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Brittany McGhee

Regional Coach (Region 3)

Brittany McGhee

Coach, Region 3

Prior to joining Kinnect, Brittany was a Child Welfare Caseworker with Franklin County Children Services and held the role of Bridges Liaison with The Village Network, where she worked closely with young adults aged 18-21 who had aged out of foster care. In this role, Brittany was responsible for providing guidance and mentorship as her clients transitioned into adulthood, providing information and support with housing, education, employment, physical and mental health, and other personal development needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ohio University and an MBA with a focus in Project Management from Ashland University. Brittany is thrilled to support Region 3 as the region’s Coach!

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Chelsea Semple

Regional Coach (Region 4)

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Chelsea Semple

Coach, Region 4

Before joining OhioKAN, Chelsea was a CPST worker for 10 years at Greentree Counseling Center in Warren, OH. There, she led activities and interventions that increased the capacity of families and individuals to positively impact their environment, providing community resources and support, and collaborating with therapists to evaluate the mental health and behavioral needs of children and families. For many years, Chelsea has participated in The Buddy Walk, which celebrates the successes of people with Down Syndrome, such as her uncle. She holds a bachelor’s in Psychology from Kent State University. Chelsea is thrilled to serve as the Region 4 Coach!

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Chad Wiedlebacher

Regional Coach (Region 5)

Chad Wiedlebacher

Coach, Region 5

Prior to joining Kinnect, Chad was a Clinical Supervisor with Youth Villages. In this role, he was responsible for leading a team of five family intervention specialists, holding weekly development meetings, reviewing and providing feedback for treatment plans, conducting leadership field visits, and ensuring documentation accuracy. Chad has a proven track record of successful collaboration across multiple systems and service providers, seamlessly integrating complex service delivery. He holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. Chad is thrilled to join the OhioKAN program as the Coach in Region 5!

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Torrie Avey

Regional Coach (Region 6)

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Torrie Avey

Coach, Region 6

Torrie has dedicated her career to helping families and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children in her community. Most recently, Torrie served as a Senior Caseworker with Miami County Children’s Services, where she’s worked for the last 16 years, primarily carrying a caseload of intact families, kinship families, and some foster care cases. Torrie has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Bowling Green State University. 

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Shelly Bell

Regional Coach (Region 7)

Shelly Bell

Coach, Region 7

Most recently, Shelly was the Linking Systems Project Coordinator/Incarcerated and Reentering Victims Specialist with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. In this role she was responsible for supporting the research needs and policy review for the Linking Systems of Care for Ohio's Youth (LSCOY) project, contributing to the development of LSCOY project documents and training resources, and providing technical assistance to project partners and Ohio systems to enhance cross-system coordination for responding to child and youth victims of crime. Shelly is thrilled to be the Coach in Region 7!

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Jennifer Riesbeck

Regional Coach (Region 8)

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Jennifer Riesbeck

Coach, Region 8

Jennifer was most recently a Foster Care Coordinator for Journey Home Foster Care and Adoption agency in Muskingum County. Previously, she worked as the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Manager for Muskingum County Head Start. Jennifer has tremendous ties to the community thanks to her involvement in a range of services and volunteer work serving the children and families of Ohio. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker. Jennifer is proud to join OhioKAN as a Coach for Region 8!

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Brittany Oligivie

Regional Coach (Region 9)

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Joey Scott

Regional Coach (Region 10)

Joey Scott

Coach, Region 10

Joey has spent the past 18 years in child welfare and substance use disorder services. Prior to joining OhioKAN, she held roles as both an Adoption and Placement caseworker, assisting youth, families, and service providers in achieving permanency and healthy family functioning. In her capacity as a Substance Use Disorder Treatment Counselor, she worked with youth and adults in outpatient and residential settings, providing assessments and individual, group and family counseling for sustainable change. Joey also previously served on the ODJFS Office of Family and Children Continuous Quality Improvement Advisory Team and Permanency Roundtable Advisory Council. She has a BS in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University and is an Ohio Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor III. Joey is excited to serve as the OhioKAN Coach for Region 10!

OhioKAN Staff Photos - Joey
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NAVIGATORS

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Leslie Haton

Navigator, Adopt America Network
(Region 1)

Leslie Haton

Navigator, Adopt America Network (Region 1)

Leslie comes to OhioKAN through her role as a Family Support Specialist at Adopt America Network, where she supported adoptive and kinship families and helped families looking to adopt from the foster system through two of the organization’s programs. Leslie was named “Outstanding Caseworker” by AdoptUSKids in September 2020. She’s also served as a youth advocate for young adults in foster care and as a support specialist for those with developmental disabilities. Leslie has lived experience as an adoptive mom — the adoption process for her child was actually facilitated through Adopt America Network, where she later worked — and she has volunteered as a mentor to parents of adopted children who have experienced trauma. Leslie holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Mental Health. She is so excited to join OhioKAN as a Navigator in Region 1!

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Stacy Quigley

Navigator, Adopt America Network
(Region 1)

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Stacy Quigley

Navigator, Adopt America Network (Region 1)

Stacy has an extensive background in social work, with previous tenure as a Social Work Assistant through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist board. She also served at the Kobacker Center at the University of Toledo Medical Center, where she did community resource referrals and discharge planning with children and their families. A committed humanitarian, Stacy has participated in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk for many years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Toledo and has a Social Work Assistant License. Stacy is so excited to join OhioKAN as a Region 1 Navigator at Adopt America Network.

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Tiyana Lighty

Navigator, National Youth Advocate Program (Region 2)

Tiyana Lighty

Navigator, National Youth Advocate Program (Region 2)

Tiyana has experience working with communities in various roles, including tenures as a Family Advocate Mental Health Worker at Ohio Guidestone in Lorain, and a Case Manager/Therapeutic Behavior Specialist (TBS) for children and adolescents at the Nord Center. Tiyana is a licensed Pharmacy Tech Trainee and has a BS in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Education from Kent State University. She’s so excited to join OhioKAN as a Region 2 Navigator at the National Youth Advocate Program!

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Kimberly Neese

Navigator, National Youth Advocate Program (Region 2)

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Kimberly Neese

Navigator, National Youth Advocate Program (Region 2)

Kimberly has over 25 years of experience in social services, primarily within the developmental disabilities community. She previously worked for Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities in a variety of roles ranging from supporting individuals with work goals as a Habilitation Specialist to providing supports for community employment as an Employment Navigator. Kimberly has a BA from Wilberforce University and an MA in Counseling from Spring Arbor University. Kimberly is looking forward to providing kinship and adoptive navigation services to Region 2 in her work as a National Youth Advocate Program Navigator!

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Sharon Messam

Navigator, University Settlement
(Region 3)

Sharon Messam

Navigator, University Settlement (Region 3)

Sharon comes to OhioKAN from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities as a Community Integration & Employment Specialist. There, she supervised and trained adults with developmental disabilities in job and daily life skills. Previously, she worked with students on the autism spectrum as a Support Teacher at Re-Education Services. Sharon has an associate’s degree in Community Mental Health/Habilitation Technology from Cuyahoga Community College, a certification in Home Health Care from the Central School of Practical Nursing, and a diploma in Secondary Education (English) from Shortwood Teachers’ College. Sharon has lived experience as a foster parent for 20 years and is excited to help families as a University Settlement Navigator in Region 3 obtain critical support services!

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Lindsey Thrasher

Navigator, Adoption Network Cleveland (Region 3)

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Lindsey Thrasher

Navigator, Adoption Network Cleveland (Region 3)

Lindsey has spent over 16 years working and volunteering to serve children and families in crisis. Her experience includes tenures at an afterschool program for at-risk youth, a residential children’s home, churches, youth groups and inner-city school social services. She holds a bachelor’s in Social Work from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Lindsey has lived experience with adoption and is especially passionate about helping these families and children thrive as an Adoption Network Cleveland Navigator in Region 3!

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Meghan Delaney

Navigator, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (Region 4)

Meghan Delaney

Navigator, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (Region 4)

Meghan comes to OhioKAN from Mahoning County’s Alta Head Start Program in Youngstown. There, she was a Family Advocate, where she connected families to resources to help them achieve self-sufficiency. She has training in Trauma Informed Care, Safe Zone training, and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) training. Meghan has a BA in Child and Family Development with a concentration in Corrections from the University of Akron, and an MS in Justice Administration with specializations in Juvenile Justice and Homeland Security from The University of the Cumberlands. Meghan is thrilled to join Region 4 as a Northeast Ohio Adoption Services Navigator!

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Sarah Moreton

Navigator, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (Region 4)

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Sarah Moreton

Navigator, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (Region 4)

Before joining OhioKAN, Sarah was an Ongoing Caseworker at Portage County Children Services. There, she worked with delinquent teenagers and their families. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Justice Studies from Kent STate University, and is a master’s candidate in Family Life Education at Concordia University, St. Paul. After obtaining her master’s degree, Sarah will be a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) and plans to pursue a License in Social Work. She is thrilled to apply her passion for children and family service as a Navigator at Northeast Ohio Adoption Services in Region 4!

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Sarah Mighell

Navigator, Cadence Care Network
(Region 4)

Sarah Mighell

Navigator, Cadence Care Network (Region 4)

Sarah has worked with children in a variety of roles throughout her career. She provided quality services to families and staff as a Daycare Administrator, worked with children ages 6-12 as a Summer Daycare Teacher at First Baptist Church, and co-taught a second grade class at Heartland Christian School. Previously, she was a Preschool Leader for an evening Bible club and trained as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth. Her favorite part of the job is letting people know they are heard, valued, and cared for. Sarah holds a bachelor’s of History from the University of California, Davis. She is proud to combine her love of research with her excitement for helping families as an OhioKAN Navigator at Cadence Care Network in Region 4!

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Amanda McCarter

Navigator, Pathway Caring for Children (Region 5)

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Amanda McCarter

Navigator, Pathway Caring for Children (Region 5)

Amanda comes to OhioKAN from Health Connect America in Morristown, Tennessee. There she was an in-home Behavioral Health Worker, responsible for a case load of children and families that she would visit three times a week. She has also worked with people with disabilities as a Direct Support Professional, Program Supervisor, and Case Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Health Care Administration from Grand Canyon University and a Master’s in Social Work from Simmons College. She has been a foster parent, and was inspired to become a social worker after adopting her three children. Amanda is incredibly excited to support families as a Navigator at Pathway Caring for Children!

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Kristi Spangler

Navigator, Richland County Children's Services (Region 5)

Kristi Spangler

Navigator, Richland County Children's Services (Region 5)

Kristi joins OhioKAN as a Navigator for Richland County Children’s Services after previously serving there as a support professional. She also works part-time as an administrative assistant for a Paramedic and EMT school, and is a trained Opiate Responder. Kristi volunteers to assist veterans throughout Ohio at her local VFW, where she previously served as the District 10 Auxiliary Vice President. She has an Associate’s degree in Law Enforcement from Columbus State Community College and a License of Practical Nursing from North Central State College. She’s looking forward to help families receive services in region 5!

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Daniel Bush

Navigator, UMCH Family Services
(Region 7)

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Daniel Bush

Navigator, UMCH Family Services (Region 7)

Daniel has seven years of experience in social services, including corrections, mental health, substance abuse and child welfare. He began his career at Alvis House, a drug recovery non-profit in Columbus, then transitioned to Franklin County Children Services as a Caseworker before joining OhioKAN. Daniel is a graduate of Central State University with a B.S. in Psychology and is a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. He plans to obtain his master’s degree in Social Work and certify as a licensed social worker. He is passionate about the families he serves through OhioKAN and is excited to serve as the Navigator for Region 7 at UMCH Family Services!

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Tatjana Bozhinovski

Navigator, ETSS
(Region 7)

Tatjana Bozhinovski

Navigator, ETSS (Region 7)

Tatjana has dedicated her adult life to working with immigrants and refugees from over 70 countries. She worked for Columbus City Schools for 16 years, and after attending Ohio Dominican University, decided to commit her career to nonprofit work. Currently working as a Navigator at Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS), Tatjana has held several other positions within the organization, including After School and Summer Program Teacher, Adult ESL Tutor, Employability Instructor, and Site Coordinator for the East Side Adult Program. She is the chair of the Welcoming and Diversity Committee for the City of Reynoldsburg, manages a community garden, and frequently helps individuals with translation work. Tatjana is fluent in five different languages, and studied Middle Child Education at Ohio Dominican University. She is excited to help kinship and adoptive families navigate the resources available to them in Region 7 and across Ohio!

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Karla Escobar

Navigator, ETSS
(Region 7)

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Karla Escobar

Navigator, ETSS (Region 7)

Karla began her career with Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services as an Assessment Caseworker, and she conducted investigations for suspected abuse, neglect, and dependency concerns. She also spent time working with kinship families and children with delinquency issues and looks forward to growing her professional experiences in the nonprofit sector. Karla is a graduate of Muskingum University, New Concord, with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She is thrilled to start her journey with OhioKAN as a Region 7 Navigator at ETSS!

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Michelle Knowlton

Navigator, Muskingum County
(Region 8)

Michelle Knowlton

Navigator, Muskingum County (Region 8)

Michelle previously worked at The Recovery Center in Lancaster and Pathways of Central Ohio in Newark as a Prevention Coordinator, where she educated students on staying healthy and preventing drugs and alcohol abuse. She taught preschool as a Cooperating Lead Teacher at The Ohio State University Newark, and has done volunteer tutoring at the Zanesville Civic League. Michelle has a bachelor’s of science in Human Ecology, Family Relations, and Human Development from The Ohio State University. She is excited to serve with OhioKAN as a Region 8 Navigator for Muskingum County Adult and Child Protective Services.

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Alexis Heinlein

Navigator, The Village Network
(Region 8)

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Alexis Heinlein

Navigator, The Village Network (Region 8)

Alexis comes to OhioKAN from Doctors Hospital Emergency Department in Columbus, where she worked as a Patient Support Assistant. Alexis is a passionate professional with experience working alongside individuals and families navigating vulnerable situations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Human Services with a specialization in children and families. Alexis is eager to be part of the OhioKAN program as a Region 8 Navigator at The Village Network and is looking forward to serving families and creating connections within the community!

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Derrick Beitzl

Navigator, The Village Network
(Region 8)

Derrick Beitzel

Navigator, The Village Network (Region 8)

Derrick has spent his career working in the mental and behavioral health fields, previously serving as a Child Care Worker for youth and young adults with severe emotional and behavioral needs in residential treatment, as well as a Behavioral Health Technician at Mercy Health, St. Charles Hospital, and a Tech for Community Mental Health’s Crisis Stabilization Unit. He has experience working with those with developmental disabilities at Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities and held the role of Chief of Operations at Alco Services, providing respite care and other services to individuals with developmental disabilities there. Derrick has lived experience and is currently the legal guardian for three children in kinship placement while working on the adoption process. He holds a Master of Arts from Baldwin Wallace College. Derrick is excited to serve as an OhioKAN Navigator at The Village Network in Region 8!

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Bruce James

Navigator, Beech Acres Parenting Center (Region 9)

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Bruce James

Navigator, Beech Acres Parenting Center (Region 9)

Bruce comes to OhioKAN from Jobs and Family Services of Hamilton County, where he worked for five years as an Ongoing Caseworker and was responsible for responding to emergencies involving abuse and neglect through the agency’s 241-KIDS hotline. He is a retired Navy Veteran of 20 years, with experience as an Air Traffic Controller stationed at Diego Garcia. Bruce has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Free Store Food Bank, the Homeless Shelter of Cincinnati, and coaches P-Wee football in his community. He holds a bachelor’s of Social Work from the University of Cincinnati. Bruce is excited about providing stability to children in his role as a Navigator with Beech Acres Parenting Center in Region 9!

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Maya Richter

Navigator, Beech Acres Parenting Center (Region 9)

Maya Richter

Navigator, Beech Acres Parenting Center (Region 9)

Maya has worked in various early education environments. She was a Teacher at Skidaddles, Inc. and was the Site Director for Learning Grove. There, she was in charge of an elementary school’s before- and after-school program and worked for the organization’s limited-duration pandemic child care site. Maya has volunteered for the Boone County School District as a Family Resource Center Intern, providing resources to families to remove non-academic barriers to success for students. She has experience with adoption and the foster system as she was placed in an open adoption at birth and has siblings who have lived in both kinship and foster care. Maya holds a bachelor’s of Social Work from Northern Kentucky University and is currently working to become a Licensed Social Worker. She is thrilled to join Beech Acres Parenting Center as an OhioKAN Navigator for Region 9!

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Kari Mehl

Navigator, Beech Acres Parenting Center (Region 9)

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Kari Mehl

Navigator, Beech Acres Parenting Center (Region 9)

Before joining OhioKAN, Kari was a Home Based Case Manager and Foster Care Case Manager at Family Ark in Southern Indiana. There, she visited families in their homes and in the community, established relationships and helped them obtain support services, utilized Trauma Informed Care, and taught independent living, self-care, and self-advocacy skills. Previously, she served as a Program Supervisor at Maryhurst, a teenage girls’ residential facility in Louisville, KY. Kari is a committed volunteer with tenures at the Human Rights Campaign, Professionals United for Sexual Health (P.U.S.H.), Planned Parenthood of SW Ohio, and Sophia’s 40 day challenge. She has a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from Wright State University. Kari is looking forward to serving Region 9 as a Navigator at Beech Acres Parenting Center!

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Doris Webber

Navigator, Integrated Services
(Region 10)

Doris Webber

Navigator, Integrated Services (Region 10)

Doris has an extensive history of working with children and families. She’s provided group therapy to children who were domestic violence survivors as a case manager, worked with juveniles convicted of rape, ensured families’ needs were being met as a family advocate, and served students K-12 as a Piketon Schools Behavioral Health Worker. She currently volunteers as part of the Suicide and Drug Prevention coalition, providing outreach to affected community members. As a kinship provider and foster parent herself, Doris attends a kinship support group in Pike County which she previously facilitated. She’s had at least three foster children living with her for the past three years, in addition to raising her four grandchildren. Doris has an associate’s degree in Human Services and a bachelor’s of science in Behavioral Science and Psychology. She has been looking forward to serving as Integrated Service’s OhioKAN Navigator in Region 10 since the conception of the program!

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