Our Staff

Our team works each day to live out our values of 1) Being Outcome Focused, 2) Thinking Creatively, 3) Having Integrity, 4) Investing in Our Work, and 5) Seeking Knowledge and Learning Opportunities.

Please call our office at 216.692.1161 or use our online form to reach us. We look forward to the opportunity to connect with you!

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Shannon Deinhart

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Shannon Deinhart has over 25 years’ experience advancing kinship care, foster care, and adoption. She has led the way in advancing Family Seach and Engagement efforts in Ohio, including implementing best practices in counties and the successful implementation of Kinnect to Family. Shannon led Kinnect’s partnership with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, in the development and implementation of the Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator Program (OhioKAN). She has a Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University.
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Kristi Burre

Director of Strategy

Kristi Burre joined Kinnect with over two decades of experience in child welfare. Most recently, she served as the Director of Children’s Initiatives for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Prior to that, she served as the Director of the Office of Children Services Transformation at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She came to state service with nearly 20 years of experience in children services at the county level in Fairfield and Franklin Counties. She continues to serve on the senior faculty of the Safe & Together Institute as a trainer and coach and has experience as an executive coach with the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program. She holds a triple bachelor’s degree from Capital University in Sociology, Psychology, and Criminology as well as a master’s degree from Ohio University in Sociology.
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Kerry Bollman

Finance Director

Kerryanne Bollman joined Kinnect with over ten years of accounting experience. Most recently, she served as the finance director for a management company which included overseeing the financials for an education service provider and a behavioral health organization as well as several smaller companies. Her background also includes tax experience which has been especially beneficial with payroll taxes. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Dayton.
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Jane Doherty

Office Coordinator

Jane Doherty has a history of helping others throughout her career. After graduating from the California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Gerontology, she began her career as volunteer coordinator for a nurse home visiting program for the county aging agency in Maryland. She continued serving others as the volunteer coordinator for the Senior Companion Program at Benjamin Rose Institute and then the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program with Lutheran Metro Ministries. To balance home and work life with young children at home, Jane shifted to the administrative side of the nonprofit sector. Then, she served as a program assistant for adult group homes and an administrative assistant for Chaplin Partnership. Before joining Kinnect, Jane served as the HR assistant and facilities liaison for Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), a program that supports persons with disabilities. She has continued her mission of serving others as a regional coordinator for OhioKAN before joining the operations side of Kinnect.
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Shawna Borkoski

Operations Manager

Shawna has extensive experience in team support, kinship navigation, data management, and event planning. She was previously served as a director for community-based programs and is an experienced kinship navigator. She holds a master’s degree in Human Services from Capella University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kent State University.
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Cass Freeland

Marketing and Communications Manager

Cass Freeland joined Kinnect in 2022. She has a background in communications, community relations, legislative affairs and grassroots advocacy. She has worked for local and statewide nonprofits, in a K-12 school setting, and in the state legislature. She has a bachelor's degree in Communications from Ohio University and a master's in Political Science from the University of Akron.

Kinnect to Family

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Stephanie Beleal

Program Director
Kinnect to Family

Stephanie Beleal directed the successful implementation of Kinnect to Family (previously 30 Days to Family), in the initial 18 Ohio participating counties, as well as the expansion to additional counties. She has served as the program director for the statewide management and expansion of Youth Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT). Stephanie is a Licensed Independent Social Worker who earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Akron and a BA in Social Work from Malone University. Before joining Kinnect in 2018, she served on the leadership team at Stark County Children Services for ten years.
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Alyse Almadani

Project Manager
Kinnect to Family

Alyse Almadani has over fifteen years of experience working with families and children concentrated in the mental health area. Before joining Kinnect, she served in clinical roles with Kaleidoscope, Inc., a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to child and family wellbeing. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University. She also has advanced training in child parent psychotherapy, trauma and domestic violence.
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Shannon Ward

Program Manager
Kinnect to Family

Shannon (she/her) joined Kinnect with over 13 years of experience serving children and families. Shannon earned an undergraduate degree in Human Development & Family Studies as well as a graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Kent State University. Her area of clinical focus has included children, adolescents, and emerging adults, trauma, and gender-expansive identities. Currently, Shannon is pursuing a second master’s degree in Business Administration and looks forward to further leadership development. She enjoys reading, bike riding on the Metroparks trails, and traveling to the beach with her family.
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Richard Dencer

FSE Trainer
Kinnect to Family

Rick Dencer has over ten years of experience working with children and families in settings that touch on child welfare, mental health, educational advocacy and juvenile justice. At Kinnect, Rick first served as a coach, providing technical assistance and ensuring model fidelity. He now trains child welfare professionals in intense family search and engagement values and strategies that empower families and produce lasting results for connecting young people to their families and kin. Rick is a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He joined Kinnect in 2018. Rick is a diehard Cleveland sports fan, and during the football season, you can find him in the stands cheering on his beloved Cleveland Browns.
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Malinda Hamm

Regional Director, S
Kinnect to Family

Malinda Hamm, LSW is a regional director at Kinnect. She has over fifteen years of experience as a social worker serving children and families, including direct child welfare experience and experience in home- and education-based mental and behavioral health services. She has guided implementation of Kinnect to Family in the southern half of Ohio. She also facilitates Kinnect to Family training as well as training for county partners throughout the state through learning communities. Malinda holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of Washington. She joined Kinnect in 2018. Malinda is a mother of three young adult children and several grand fur babies. Malinda enjoys live music, meeting interesting people, and spending time with friends and family.
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Regional Director, N
Kinnect to Family

Rene' King has a wealth of experience in child welfare, including both direct child welfare experience and training. After beginning her career in intake and assessments, her child welfare experience includes being a supervisor, director, and training manager. She also served as a differential response manager in Ohio and Maryland, traveling the state and training professionals on readiness and implementation of differential response. Rene' holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Ohio University. Rene’ also served as an adjunct professor at Ohio University where she developed course curricula and taught classes in African American Studies.
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Elizabeth Radcliff

Kinnect to Family

Elizabeth Radcliff joined Kinnect with over 8 years of direct child welfare experience, serving as both a caseworker and supervisor. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Child and Family Services. While completing her degree, she completed a two-year internship at The Child Protection Center of Ross County.
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Shelbe Brown

Kinnect to Family

Shelbe Brown has over nine years of experience as a victim advocate, forensic interviewer, and counselor. As the Ohio Start Family Specialist, she utilizes her experience and passion for continuous learning to engage family members in meaningful ways, keep children out of foster care, and invite new counties to new counties to participate in this pilot program between Ohio Start and Kinnect to Family. Before joining Kinnect in 2021, she served as the anti-trafficking coordinator at Crime Victim Services in Lima where she supervised advocates in nine counties. She also served as the mental health education coordinator at The University of Dayton, where she gained experience teaching and presenting on mental health, sexual violence, and bystander intervention. Shelbe holds both bachelor’s degree in Social Justice and Public Policy and a master’s degree in Professional Counseling.
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Donikea Austin

Kinnect to Family

Donikea Austin has over 12 years of experience in the nonprofit sector serving children and families. She has worked to create change within organizations to recognize the benefits of stepping beyond empowering families to sharing power with families to create healthy partnerships for positive outcomes. Donikea is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College and has been trained in both Fundamentals of Mediation as well as Divorce and Family Mediation.
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Cait Proctor-Frazier

Evaluation Manager
Kinnect to Family

Cait is responsible for establishing and maintaining key performance indicators, consistent measurement systems, and the appropriate infrastructure to ensure compliance and sustainability of programs. Before joining Kinnect, Cait worked at the Center for Evidence-Based Practices, a technical assistance center within Case Western Reserve University, where she coordinated and executed fidelity reviews on a national scale for mental health and substance use organizations. Beginning her career in nonprofit and government settings, Cait combined her passion for human services with a desire for data-driven decision making and continuous quality improvement by obtaining a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership.
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Heather Jamison

Kinnect to Family

Heather (she/her) brings over 13 years of dedicated expertise in public child welfare. Holding an MSW from Case Western Reserve University and a BSW from Ohio University, Heather's commitment is underscored by her immersion in the field. She's elevated her impact, now focused on LGTBQ+ advocacy and SOGIE comprehension through her role at Kinnect, a Cleveland-based nonprofit. Heather's versatile background spans casework, supervision, and training, enriched by her specialization in the Kinnect to Family Model, revolutionizing family connections.
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Chloe Peterson

OhioSTART Specialist
Kinnect to Family

Chloe (she/her) brings over 3 years of experience as both an investigative and ongoing caseworker a children services caseworker in Warren and Montgomery counties. Chloe is passionate about the transformative power of Kinnect's work to serve families in Ohio. Prior to discovering her passion for social work and making a career change, Chloe was a paralegal working in product liability litigation concerning medical devices. Chloe holds an associate degree in paralegal studies from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Wright State University. She is also a graduate of the University Partnership Program. Chloe enjoys walking her dog, Wasabi, listening to heavy metal, and spending time with her partner and children at home.
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Sherri Rogers

Family Specialist
Kinnect to Family

Sherri Rogers joined Kinnect in 2022. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 15 years, focusing on children’s healthcare and disabilities. She has worked in a hospital setting and for the United Way of Greater Toledo. Sherri is skilled in relationship building, education, community affairs, advocacy, and youth leadership. She is a long-time volunteer with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo, having served as president and now board member emeritus. Sherri holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Toledo.
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Rachel Smith

Program Coordinator
Kinnect to Family

Youth-Centered Permancency Roundtables (YCPRT)

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Katherine Mueller

Program Manager
Kinnect to Family

Katherine has over fifteen years of experience working with youth, families, and communities to address socioeconomic and health disparities that disproportionately affect individuals. She has worked in education, non-profit and government settings to apply multidisciplinary, collaborative approaches to continuous quality improvement, program delivery, community engagement and information dissemination. At Kinnect, Katherine currently manages the Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtable Program and also supports pilot efforts to expedite relational and legal permanency for youth in congregate care settings. Katherine is a graduate of Tulane University with a master’s degree in International Health and Development and bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology. She joined Kinnect in 2022. In her spare time, Katherine loves frequenting coffee shops, listening to cover artists, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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Bashia Price

Statewide Facilitator
Kinnect to Family

Bashia joined Kinnect with experience in the education sector, specifically in college access and higher education. The focus of her work has consistently been working with and supporting youth to overcome barriers and achieve goals. Bashia earned her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Science from The Ohio State University and her master's degree from the University of Miami, where she studied Community and Social Change.


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Julia Donovan

Statewide Program Director

Julia Donovan is the program director for the OhioKAN. She is a visionary leader with a passion for direct service and programmatic excellence. Prior to joining Kinnect, she served as the employment services director at LEAP (Linking Employment, Abilities, and Potential) for the eight years. At LEAP, Julia redesigned programs and services to exceed budget expectations, created a regional job coach training model and sat on the board of the Employment Collaborative of Ohio. Julia is a graduate of Hiram College and holds an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
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Amber Phelps

Program Manager

Amber comes to Kinnect with valuable experience in the social welfare and policy space, hands-on social work experience, and expertise in building and implementing evidence-based programming. After earning her master’s degree in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University along with a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan Law School, Amber worked for Cuyahoga County in the juvenile prosecutor's office. There, she served as a liaison between the parents of youth impacted by incarceration and the court system. Most recently, Amber served as the senior project manager for Lorain City Schools.
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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.
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Roxana Bell

Statewide Program Trainer
OhioKAN and Youth Navigator Network

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.
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Joe Sack

Project Manager

Joe has spent the majority of his career in the nonprofit and social service realm, with experience in both direct service and administrative roles. His favorite roles combine the two. Joe has a good deal of experience in the workforce development area. He is a lifelong learner which led him to pursue certifications in project management. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a master’s degree from Salve Regina University in International Relations with a focus on the Middle East. He is both a foster and biological parent, which keeps him busy!
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Raymond Utrup

Statewide Program Coordinator

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Amber Robinson

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.
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Paula Oliver

Benefits Coordinator

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Arlene Jones, Program Manager

Youth Navigator Network

Arlene Jones came to Kinnect with a broad arrange of experience in human services, all tied to her lived experiences in the child welfare and housing systems. Using her lived experience to benefit others, she has served as a founding member of the OHIO Youth Advisory Board, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, a child welfare caseworker, a youth housing specialist, and a workforce development program coordinator. She has also worked with the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program as a trainer, consultant, and curriculum content developer. Arlene also works with the Capacity Building Center for States as a senior family consultant, providing coaching support and technical assistance and identifying opportunities to integrate the perspective of persons with lived experience. Arlene joined Kinnect as the Youth Navigator Network Program Manager in 2022. A very proud graduate of Wright State University, Arlene holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She enjoys being in nature & outdoors, working out, exploring new places, music, and spending time with her husband and their five sons.
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Marissa Tuma

Program Coach
Youth Navigator Network

Marissa joined Kinnect with over 7 years of experience working with young people. She has worked as a secondary school educator with Cleveland City Schools, as well as working at a youth-centered non-profit focused on career readiness. She has also coached high school volleyball and basketball for 8 years. Marissa holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Baldwin Wallace University and an MBA from Ohio Dominican University.

Kelsey Hurlburt

Regional Director (Region 1)

Kelsey came to Kinnect from the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Community Support Center where she was the executive director. Prior to that, she served as a mental health therapist for children and as a therapist for people who experienced domestic violence. Kelsey also spent four years creating and disseminating resources in the Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany to support military families with children with high needs and provide maternal mental health support. She loves spending time with family as well as 2 dogs and 3 cats. She also loves to read, travel, hike, and spend time with friends. Kelsey holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Drew University and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland.
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Jo Ellen Simonsen

Regional 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 a Harvard University-trained dramatist and has volunteered for the Star Players Community Theater in Columbus.
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Kamilah Cunningham

Regional Director (Region 3)

Kamilah Cunningham is a graduate from Case Western Reserve University’s Masters of Social Administration program (MSASS). She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminology. Kamilah is a certified Master Usui Holy Fire Reiki Practitioner, with over 13 years of experience in social work and social services working with community partners in the Greater Cleveland area with children and families, neighborhood collaboratives, mental health agencies, and the Cuyahoga Department of Children and Family Services. Kamilah is the Convening Chair for the National Family Support Network, which works with national committees and networks to develop strategies and implement a framework for strength-based services for family resource centers. In 2019 Kamilah founded JayJor Enterprises, LLC working in partnership with groups, individuals and professionals such as social workers, doctors, healers and practitioners to assist in the creation of evaluations, treatments and implementation of programming from a decolonized lens to unlearn ways that cause intentional harm to black people through systemic racism and oppressive systems while improving the health and wellness of self and the community.
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Jessica Ross

Regional 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 has provided support to adults, children, and families and supervised Community Psychiatric Supportive Treatment (CPST) and Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS) staff. Previously, Jessica was a violence prevention and outreach specialist, an advocate for victims of violent crimes, a hospital liaison, and a psychoeducational support group facilitator. She also supervised and trained a large team of volunteers providing 24-hour support to victims of violent crimes.
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Sandy Honigford

Regional Director (Region 5)

Sandy has a wealth of experience, most recently serving as assistant director of Delaware County. She serves on the Central Ohio Children’s Trust Fund Board and has also served as the Family and Children First Coordinator for Van Wert County, on the boards of Westwood Mental Health and Life Links Charter School. Sandy earned an associate’s degree in Accounting from Northwestern University, a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Administration from Indiana Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University.
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Britney Breidenstein

Regional Director (Region 6)

Britney is a committed nonprofit leader who has dedicated her career to serving both youth and adults with disabilities by expanding meaningful community partnerships and program initiatives. She served as the business development director and program director with Easterseals of Northeast Indiana for ten years. She also worked as a principal growth strategist with Uplinked LLC where she specialized in helping businesses develop and grow relationships in the community. Britney holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from Indiana Tech University and an MBA from Western Governors University Indiana.
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Deb Knaup

Regional Director (Region 8)

Debby is a seasoned professional who has worked at Muskingum County Children Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Zanesville. In these two organizations, she spent 10 years developing a passion for serving families and building strong relationships within her community.She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Ohio University. She also serves as the president of her local Kiwanis club.
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Maria Laib

Regional 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.
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Cari Laws

Regional Director (Region 10)

Cari has dedicated over 15 years of her career to serving children, youth, and families through local government, for-profit, and non-profit organizations. Her experience also includes more than 12 years in 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 and administrative operations within behavioral healthcare. Cari has experience in and a passion for streamlining access to critical resources and supports. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and a master’s degree in Psychology from Walden University.
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Natalie Reynolds

Regional 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.
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Nicole Diaz

Regional Coach (Region 2)

Nicole comes to OhioKAN after previously coordinating six different health programs throughout Cuyahoga County as a Healthy Cleveland Coordinator for the City of Cleveland. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from Cleveland State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Ohio University. Nicole is also a certified Spanish interpreter and Notary.
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Isis Harbour

Regional Coach (Region 3)

Isis attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics. While in New York, Isis volunteered to assist students with disabilities with tutoring and note-taking, as well as mentoring adult learners from the community. She returned to Cleveland and began work as a job coach and then as an employment specialist for Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP). Her role was to identify and build on skills in youth and adults with disabilities to get them ready for the workplace while assessing needs and addressing barriers to success. She also developed and maintained relationships with community businesses to build a network for our individuals in an effort to reduce structural barriers to employment and find hidden opportunities. Currently, Isis spends time volunteering as a member of the Emerging Leaders Association with College Now of Greater Cleveland, an organization working to increase access to post-secondary education for low-income and first-generation students. She also volunteers during tax season with the Cuyahoga EITC Coalition, an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that offers free tax preparation services to moderate and low-income individuals and families in the greater Cleveland area. the greater Cleveland area.

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Regional Coach (Region 3)

Jewel Condon joined Kinnect with leadership experience that has allowed her the skills to coach others in a strength-based manner. Jewel is trained as a facilitator training, which has helped her develop de-escalation and problem-solving skills. She recently completed Think, Relate, Coach, further enhancing her skills. Jewel has served in a variety of case management and supervisory roles throughout her child welfare career, and most recently supervised child welfare workers at a local agency. She holds a degree in Family Services from the University of Northern Iowa. She lives with her husband and child, and they enjoy going on walks and spending time with family who are throughout the Midwest and east coast.
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Chelsea Semple

Regional Coach (Region 4)

Before joining OhioKAN, Chelsea was a community psychiatric supportive treatment 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.
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Savanna Adkins

Regional Coach (Region 5)

Savanna Adkins joined Kinnect with five years of experience serving youth and families at the Buckeye Ranch. She served as a child protection specialist with Franklin County Children Services through a contract arrangement. And most recently, she served as a kinship coordinator. Savanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Concord University. She enjoys being with her son in her spare time.
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Torrie Avey

Regional Coach (Region 6)

Torrie has dedicated her career to helping families and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children in her community. She served as a senior caseworker with Miami County Children’s Services for the last fifteen years. In addition to her child welfare expertise, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Bowling Green State University.
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Emily Phillips

Regional Coach (Region 7)

Emily joins OhioKAN with over seven years of experience supporting children and families. She is a graduate of Ohio University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies. Emily is Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Most recently, Emily was employed by Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she spent two years working as a Child Life Specialist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Perinatal Palliative Care Team. In this role, Emily helped infants and their families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, trauma, and bereavement. Emily also worked at The Buckeye Ranch as a Child Protection Specialist and Kinship Support Specialist. In these roles, Emily worked to promote child safety, strengthen family bonds, and support permanency for youth. Emily’s passion for child development is the basis of her daily work. She strives to achieve the best outcomes for children and their families.
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Karla Hall

Regional Coach (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.
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Damita Kniceley

Regional Coach (Region 8)

Damita has over 20 years of experience working with families and children in various roles, including Community Outreach, Workforce Development, Family and Youth Advocacy, OWF/SNAP and Medicaid Case Management, Kinship and Adoption, and working with survivors of domestic violence. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Organizational Communications and a Family Development Certification from the University of Iowa. Damita’s passion is working with individuals and helping them become self-sufficient.
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Brittany Oglivie

Regional Coach (Region 9)

Brittany has worked in Cincinnati for almost a decade, most recently as a community health worker at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. There she worked with a multidisciplinary team coordinating care, collaborating with other agencies, and monitoring the needs of patients and their families. Previously she was also a probation officer at Hamilton County Juvenile Court, and an intake/investigative caseworker at Hamilton County Job and Family Services responding to child abuse cases. In her free time, Brittany has volunteered at Big Brothers Big Sisters and as a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troop. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati.

Kari Mehl

Regional Coach (Region 9)

Before joining Kinnect, Kari served as a navigator with the OhioKAN program in Region 9. Prior to that, she was a home-based care manager and foster care 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. She also served as a program supervisor at Maryhurst, a teenage girls’ residential facility in Louisville, KY. Kari has been a committed volunteer with 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.
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Lisa Remy

Regional Coach (Region 10)

Lisa first joined OhioKAN as a navigator at Sojourners Care Network before joining the OhioKAN staff as a 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.
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Shawna Turner

Regional Coodinator (Region 1)

Shawna joins OhioKAN after working in case management and health administration. In addition to her role as Coordinator, she works part-time as an Assistant Case Manager at Manring & Farrell, Attorneys at Law. There, she requests and submits medical records, files appeals to the social security administration, and handles all client correspondence. Previously, as a Coding Specialist at Lima Memorial Health System, she assisted the billing and denial teams with coding questions. She has also volunteered at the Orthopedic Institute of Ohio. Shawna has a Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration and an Associate’s in Health Information Technology from the University of Northwestern Ohio, plus an Associate’s in Office Administration from Commonwealth Bible College.
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Cha'Noah Powell

Regional 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.
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Regional Coordinator (Region 3)

Alyssa Underwood

Alyssa is a recent graduate of Cleveland State University. There, she obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Alyssa has a background in community counseling as a behavioral health specialist, working with children and adolescents to overcome and manage their mental health needs. She has coordinated services, managed data, and offered collaborative opportunities for the clients she has served. Alyssa is very passionate and empathic about serving others. She has made it her life’s mission to advocate for children and their families as well as empower and influence others to do the same.
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Sarah Mighell

Regional Coordinator (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.
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Erin Thompson

Regional Coordinator (Region 5)

Prior to 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, Tenn. While in Nashville, she volunteered as a wish granter for Make-a-Wish Middle Tennessee. Erin holds a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication with an emphasis on print journalism and public relations from Wright State University.
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Royal Muhammad

Regional Coordinator (Region 6)

Royal Muhammad joined Kinnect with over five years of experience serving multisystem youth and families as a care coordinator with the OhioRISE program as well as families in the autism community as a registered behavior technician. Royal earned her bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and her master’s Public Administration from Franklin University. She is passionate about helping others and effecting positive change in her community.
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Lena Garner

Regional Coordinator (Region 7)

Lena joins OhioKAN with seventeen years of administrative experience. Most recently, she was employed by The Buckeye Ranch, where she worked as the foster care billing specialist for nearly nine years. She also served as a foster care team lead, supervising two administrative positions. During her tenure at The Buckeye Ranch, Lena was responsible for working collaboratively with case managers, supervisors, and county agencies to provide accurate monthly billing for youth in foster care, invoicing foster parent trainings, reconciling payments, and completing dashboard tracking. Lena also oversaw her department’s relationship with a donor organization, assisted in event coordination, and participated in budget planning. In addition to her duties, Lena was a member of The Buckeye Ranch’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, serving for more than five years; she also helped facilitate the organization’s involvement in several pride parades as a pride parade ambassador. Lena also attended The Buckeye Ranch’s Leadership Academy and served as a member of the social media team, creating content for several platforms on behalf of the Foster Care team as well as the entire organization.
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Derrick Beitzel

Regional Coordinator (Region 8)

Derrick has spent his career working in the mental and behavioral health fields, previously serving as a childcare worker for youth and young adults with severe emotional and behavioral needs in residential treatment. He has also served as a behavioral health technician at Mercy Health and St. Charles Hospital, and a technician for Community Mental Health’s Crisis Stabilization Unit. In addition, Derrick has experience working with people with developmental disabilities at the 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. Derrick has lived experience as a kinship caregiver and now adopted parent of three children. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College. In his free time, Derrick stays busy with his three active children in school and community functions.
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Janell Fisher

Regional Coordinator (Region 9)

Janell previously worked as an economic support specialist at Jobs and Family Services of Dayton. There, she helped families determine their eligibility for support and processed changes so they would continue to receive services. She also worked as a secretary to the principals of Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton and Helke Elementary School in Vandalia. While serving at these schools, she also volunteered to help with numerous school events such as fundraisers. Janell has a degree in Business Information Systems.
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Kimberly Daily

Regional Coordinator (Region 10)

Previously, Kim was a coordinator for a staffing agency in southern Ohio. The best part of her day was making a great match for employment and being able to fill a need an employer had, while giving a candidate an opportunity to start a career. Being able to interact with the local community really had an impact on her. Kim’s most recent position was as an Insurance Verifications Specialist at Adena Health System for the Rehab department. Her duties were primarily back office functions such as submitting for prior authorizations, data entry, and communication with front office staff. There, she was profoundly impacted by seeing professionals who truly cared for people. Kim also co-leads a support group in Pike County called The Village. They meet monthly in person to help support parents and/or caregivers who are caring for a child or person with different abilities/neurodivergences.