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.
While earning a MBA from Rutgers University, Sandra worked with a professor to develop the initial business plan for a new non-profit called GlassRoots. Based in Newark, NJ, the organization was created to provide area youth with opportunities to acquire entrepreneurial and life skills, via the art of glassmaking. The success of this project, along with a variety of volunteer experiences, solidified Sandra’s passion for advancing the nonprofit sector and inspired her to transition her career out of the corporate sector.
Gary comes to Family Promise in 2019 in a CTO role from the Encore Fellowship Program and is honored to have the opportunity to work with a great Family Promise team on architecting and planning the IT tools and platform that will help drive the growth and scale of the Affiliates and the services they provide to their families for the next several years.
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.
Melissa Biggar - Director of Annual Giving and Donor Relations, ext. 121. email: email@example.com
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.
Carolyn Gordon serves as the Northeast Regional Director. Carolyn first started with Family Promise serving as the Executive Director of the Northern New Castle County affiliate in Wilmington, Delaware for 7+ years. She has a Master of Social Work from the State University of New York (Albany) and B.A in Psychology from Boston University. She was born and raised in upstate New York, lived for a few years outside of Boston and now calls Delaware home.
Lindsay is excited to join the National Family Promise team, after spending seven years working with the Family Promise of Genesee County Affiliate. Beginning in 2011, she served on the founding Board of Directors and, from 2014-2018, she served as the Affiliate’s Executive Director.
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 Samuels - Director of Foundation/Corporate Relations, ext. 118. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
A graduate of St. John’s University with a masters in international communications, Mitch has worked as a writer, a camera operator, a professor, and a residence director in Paris, France. His journey eventually led him to Family Promise, where he found an exciting opportunity to help grow the digital footprint of an organization whose mission he feels strongly about.
Katie has a passion for using digital media to communicate the impact and results of nonprofits. She comes to Family Promise excited to use her skills to highlight the organization’s important work and share stories about those it serves.
Maggie is excited to be a part of the team at Family Promise, working with the Regional Directors and Affiliates. A true believer in the power of volunteers and service, she understands that change starts at the community level.
Kaela joins Family Promise after serving Morris County, NJ for the past three years as an Intelligence Analyst with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Kaela grew up in Chester, NJ and received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Clemson University. While at Clemson, Kaela discovered her interest in advocating for underrepresented communities through her studies in international politics and her internship experience on Capitol Hill.
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.
Prior to joining Family Promise, Karen worked for Dun & Bradstreet as a marketing professional and, more recently, at the Salvation Army in Grants and Contracts.
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 Donovan - Executive Director, Family Promise Union County, (908) 289-7300, ext. 11. email: email@example.com
Geleen joined the national Family Promise team in 2014, as the Executive Director Family Promise Union County. She has 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and development, working with homeless families and individuals in need.
Risé 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.
Jeannine King - Family Wellness Coordinator, (908) 289-7300, ext. 13. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannine joined Family Promise in 2017 after starting her career as a CPA. Her passion lies in helping others and she began working towards her MSW in 2016.