Susan is Executive Director of Safe Connections, the oldest and largest nonprofit in the region working to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence. She moved here from Chicago in 2007, bringing over 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience in education and social justice. Susan earned her undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and Master’s from Eastern Illinois University.
Karen is Executive Director of Children’s Home Society of Missouri (CHS) a community leader in providing children with a permanent, safe and loving home since 1891.
In 2013, Ms. Holterman-Hommes became the fourth President and CEO in Youth In Need’s history. She has been a key staff member at Youth In Need since 1990, serving most recently as Chief Program Officer. She has extensive expertise in the areas of adolescent development and family therapy, child abuse and neglect issues, positive youth development, and organizational development.
Ms. Holterman-Hommes serves on the boards of the Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies, Behavioral Health Network and the Community Council of St. Charles County. She also represents the needs of vulnerable children and youth on various statewide committees.
A licensed psychologist and graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Dr. Meehan has worked professionally in the child welfare arena for more than 20 years. For almost a decade, he served in a variety of clinical and management roles at Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, eventually accepting the role of Director of Inpatient Treatment there in 2003.
Dr. Meehan entered the private sector early in 2004, serving in the role of Director of Children and Adolescent Services for Hopewell Center, a community mental health agency serving the urban poor of North St. Louis City. In February of 2005, he accepted the position of Associate Executive Director for Epworth Children and Family Services in Webster Groves, Missouri, serving there for nearly seven years before taking on the role of Executive Director at Good Shepherd Children & Family Services. An experienced teacher and lecturer, Dr. Meehan has served as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology for Maryville University St. Louis since 2000.
Carrie joined Great Circle as the Vice President/Chief Program Officer for Community Based Services in 2012. Great Circle is an agency that provides a unique spectrum of behavioral health services to children and families. Carrie has over 20 years of experience in child welfare, holds a MSW from the University of Missouri Columbia and is a licensed clinical social worker. Her professional interests include family oriented practice, child welfare, professional development, and organizational development.
Tamara Kenny is the Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement for Catholic Charities of St. Louis. She has a law degree and a master’s degree in social work and is passionate about advocating for both children and adults with issues of behavioral health. Tamara is an ambassador and trainer for the St. Louis Regional Health Commission’s trauma-focused Alive and Well STL initiative, a member of the advocacy committee for Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri, and a member of the Missouri Mental Health Task Force on Psychiatry.
Louis Albert is the Executive Director at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, an agency providing both mental health and social services to both the Jewish and broader community. He holds an MSW degree and is licensed in the State of Missouri as a clinical social worker. Areas of expertise include: strategic planning, resource development, collaborations and partnerships, and program evaluation.
Sylvia has served more than ten years as the Executive Director of The Women’s Safe House, the oldest and largest domestic violence shelter in the St. Louis region. Heading a team of 22 staff members, Sylvia oversees the development and execution of Administration, Development and Advancement, and Residential Programs, providing 24 hours a day of safe shelter, support, and advocacy for approximately 450 – 600 battered women and children annually.
Elizabeth is Executive Director of KUTO, Kids Under Twenty One, a youth agency that trains youth with the skills, confidence and courage to help a friend or peer by implementing the ‘teens helping teens help themselves’ philosophy. She has 19 years experience in the field of youth development, mental health advocacy and prevention skills training.
Dennis O’Brien is a licensed clinical social work, experienced educator and therapist. He has led five nonprofits, including Logos School which he founded. He has written educational materials used by Washington University School of Medicine Dept. of Psychiatry, weekly columns on parenting for and numerous articles for a variety of magazines and newsletter. He was honored by the Missouri Dept. of Mental Health for outstanding reporting on suicide in 2010. He has played leadership roles in various groups serving nonprofits and is currently active with the Better Business Bureau, CHARACTERplus and Community Service Public Relations Council.