Born in New York State, Claas lived in multiple household settings his first six years, impressing on him the critical need for stability for children and families.A graduate of New York University, Claas worked in video production, publishing, business development and advertising while also teaching English as an adjunct professor at two local community colleges. From his work with low-income students, he saw first-hand the struggle of families to change their economic circumstances.
Cara is a fundraising and communications professional who has worked with international non-profits to address issues of children’s rights and refugee resettlement, and in higher education to promote interfaith peace-building and community engagement. A believer in the power of storytelling, Cara also spent several years as a community reporter.
Chris was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After spending his formative years in Iowa and Washington, DC, he returned “home” to study at the University of Michigan, receiving his BA in English with a minor in film. As the son of a newspaperman, he developed an early passion for writing, media and communications.
Jeanna serves as the Regional Director for the Southeast and Midwest, as well as the Project Manager for Pets with a Promise. She has a Master of Business Administration degree which she pursued for the purpose of working for a nonprofit. Jeanna got her start with Family Promise almost twelve years ago when she became involved with the Affiliate development efforts in Blount County, Tennessee.
Ryan brings a diverse background to his work in technology at the national office. An insatiable curiosity for all things led to many roles before Family Promise – market research, a stint at a Linux-based security company, among others. In 2013, though, he chose his path with care, finding work at a local nonprofit serving those in need.
Melissa has extensive experience in communications and managing client relationships, with a special passion for the work she has done in the nonprofit sector helping identify, support, and promote various philanthropic causes on behalf of private foundations.
Angelica joined Family Promise in 2010 as Program Services Manager, after many years of dedicated hard work she was promoted to Regional Director. Angelica loves her work as a Regional Director, ensuring that the Affiliates and developing groups in her region are fully supported as they meet their mission to serve children and families who are experiencing homelessness.
A former manager at Warner Lambert, Karen has been working on behalf of the poor and homeless since the mid-1980s. She has received numerous awards for her work, among them the 1992 Annual Points of Light Award from former President George H.W. Bush, the New Jersey Governor’s Pride Award in Social Services, and the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service
Stacy is very excited to be part of the movement that Family Promise Affiliates have created, and is inspired by the opportunity to help strengthen services and build community. She comes to Family Promise having most recently served as Executive Director of the Nevada Homeless Alliance, and as Program Director for the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada’s Camp Anytown.
Teressa grew up on the white sandy shores of the panhandle of Florida and recently returned to the area, after having worked with the Alabama Department of Human Resources’ foster care system, the Alabama public school system, the University of Alabama School of Social Work and serving as the Executive Director of Family Promise of Coastal Alabama.
Roberta joined Family Promise in 2011 and is honored to work for an organization that helps families and children achieve the promise of a brighter future. She started as the Assistant to the Founder and has since changed and expanded her role as part of the Development Team.
After being involved with multiple organizations in Summit, Corina joined Family Promise as our Events Manager in January 2017. She became passionate about Family Promise while volunteering with her family at their church which serves as a Family Promise host church for families experiencing homelessness.
Shari joined Family Promise as the Office Manager in February 2016. Prior to that, Shari, a former attorney was a stay at home mother active in the local and Summit Public Schools community.
A native New Jerseyan, Bridget is a Drew University graduate, having studied Art History and Anthropology. Before joining Family Promise’s Development team, Bridget worked in the school programs department of the Newark Museum.
Cheryl has been with Family Promise since 2012 and had previously volunteered with food banks, soup kitchens, and social service centers for several years to give back by helping those in need. As Executive Associate, she assists our President with various duties and is also the friendly voice you will hear on the end of the line if you call Family Promise looking for help.
Prior to her work at Family Promise, Amy managed volunteer relationships at an interfaith non-profit in Washington, D.C., work in local religious congregations, and in higher education. An ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, Amy is passionate about connecting the resources of the community with the needs of the community.
As Office Assistant, Laura has spent the last five years doing whatever is needed to support the development and training of our Affiliates all over the country. Laura came on board the Family Promise National staff after serving for several years as Volunteer Coordinator at her church which serves as a host for families needing emergency shelter through our local program in Essex County, NJ.
Paula joined Family Promise in 2014 after working for years in marketing and communications in the sports industry, which eventually led to a position overseeing database implementations for a leading provider of nonprofit software services. Volunteering locally not only confirmed her feeling that community response is the quickest way to affect change, but that she needed to choose a different career path.
Emily joined Family Promise in December 2016 after a ten-year career in biotech, working first as an analytical scientist and then as a business systems analyst and software administrator. Much of her career has been devoted to using technology to solve problems, but the direct connection she feels to helping families in need is why she loves working at Family Promise.
Geleen joined the national Family Promise team in 2014, as the Executive Director for the Union County Program. She has 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and development, working with homeless families and individuals in need.
Risè was born and raised in Elizabeth NJ, but relocated to New York in search of a better life. She worked at E-ZPass in Staten Island but knew she wanted something more rewarding, so she starting taking classes at the Resource Group School in Brooklyn to become a substance abuse counselor.