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Leadership

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Ashley Blocker

Director of Foster Care

Ashley started her journey with Wellroot Family Services in 2012 as a Foster Home Recruiter/Licensing Specialist. Since then, she has moved on to a number of positions within the Foster Care Department, including Foster Care Case Manager, Lead Case Manager, and Program Manager of our Newnan and LaGrange offices. Each role preparing her for her current position as Director of Foster Care.

As a Director who leads with a Solution-Focused approach, Ashley oversees, manages, and supports the Foster Care program, including families, children, and staff, in each of Wellroot’s five offices. She has over ten years of experience in foster care, initially working with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) as a trainer before moving to Wellroot. Ashley has obtained a number of degrees including a Master of Social Work from Georgia State University and a Master’s in Forensic Psychology.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys reading, going to the movies, and is a foodie at heart. She and her husband Darnell reside in Peachtree City with their two daughters, Jailynn and Darcie Grace, and son Grayson.

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Rev. April McGlothin-Eller

Director of Community Development

Rev. April McGlothin-Eller, a United Methodist ordained deacon, holds a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (IL) and a Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy from The University of Alabama. April has a background in community organizing, leadership development, and fundraising; she brings those skills to her work at Wellroot by connecting churches, individuals, and civic organizations to the needs of children in foster care. April is married to Rev. Vince McGlothin-Eller, and they have two children, Julian and Zemery.

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Mary Meyer

Director of Continuous Quality Improvement

Mary Meyer is the Director of Continuous Quality Improvement at Wellroot Family Services. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 25 years of experience in project management, international business, and management, Mary leads the continuous quality improvement initiatives and efforts for the organization. She helps teams define clear goals and initiatives and to identify key data elements and performance indicators that illustrate our results. She facilitates project work, policy and process updates and encourages a data-driven, continuous improvement culture. Mary serves as the primary liaison with our accreditation partners and facilitates the Risk Assessment and Compliance Committee’s ongoing activities.

She and her husband Hans Meeldijk, live in Johns Creek and combined have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.

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Denise Peacock

Manager of Foster Home Recruitment and Retention

Denise oversees recruitment, training, and approval of foster homes, as well as, retention of these families.  She has twenty plus years of experience in child welfare, beginning at Wellroot as a Case Manager, then Intake Coordinator, and finally Unit Supervisor in the Group Care Program on the Decatur campus.  After fifteen years, Denise left to focus on family while managing a recruitment business. She returned to Wellroot in 2008 to assist in growing the Foster Care Program. Denise’s passion is in helping individuals discern their call to foster and in being an encourager on their journey. Denise is a graduate of LaGrange College.  She and her husband, both Atlanta natives, are members of Oak Grove UMC. They are the parents of two sons, one an Assistant District Attorney in Athens and father of their two grandchildren, and the other following in his mother’s footsteps as a Human Resources recruiter in Atlanta.

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Al Shugart

Purchasing & Facilites Manager

Al Shugart started with Wellroot in November 2017. His prior position was working with HouseProud Atlanta’s Inc. serving as Program Manager performing no-cost housing rehabilitation for senior citizens in Southwest Atlanta. Al also owned and operated Shugart Remodeling Inc. for 30+ years. The company specialized in the high-end market of kitchen and bathroom residential remodeling.

Al resides in Tucker with his wife Beth. They are parents of Carly and DJ. For fun and fitness, he is a road cyclist. He and Beth enjoy vacations of hike and bike tours in cities with these venues. He is a 3rd grade Sunday School teacher at Duluth First UMC where Beth is an Associate Pastor.

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Vivian Robinson

Executive Assistant

Vivian is Executive Assistant to the President and CEO and the Vice President of Advancement. With more than 30 years of experience and a Master of Religious Leadership Degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Vivian is motivated by and attributes her success to developing and cultivating strong relationships with family, church, friends, Wellroot colleagues, clients, and board members. For Vivian, developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything she does professionally, personally, and spiritually.

Vivian is the mother of one adult son, Chris. Vivian resides in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where she worships and serves as a Lay Servant at Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church.

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Jenny Paveglio

Clinical Director

Jenny is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in the treatment of trauma with over 30 years of experience working on issues of homelessness, poverty, trafficking and exploitation, trauma-informed care and mental health.  

Jenny received her Masters of Social Work Degree from Hunter College School of Social Work. She has extensive experience working with trauma-related disorders; children and non-offending caregivers dealing with sexual abuse, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy The Mindful Solution, DBT, Crisis Intervention,  Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM)®, Community Resiliency Model (CRM)®,  as well as experience implementing Reaching Teens.

For decades Jenny has successfully integrated spirituality and spiritual development into her clinical work. Her work has been recognized by her alma mater with The Feva Fine Holtzman Family Award for Excellence in Field Work and Bank of America’s Center for Leadership Innovation.

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Sar’Taj Bush

Area Director

Sar’Taj Bush is an accomplished child welfare agency executive, with 18+ years’ experience ensuring children’s safety, enabling permanency for children, and promoting the well-being of children and their families.

During her previous roles at Wellroot she served as a Program Manager in our Gainesville office, later becoming the manager for our Augusta office. Her assistance in the implementation of our most recent programs such as HFG, and Caminos, coupled with her strategic thinking, ethical practice, civic mindedness, and innovation has been a significant determinant of our organization’s success, ultimately leading to the transition of her current role as the area director for Hall County.

As a strategist and accessible leader, Sar’ Taj is known for her confidence, fearlessness, integrity, positivity, passion, vision, sense of humor, delegation, humility, creativity, patience, and resilience. Her influence on Wellroot has had such positive impact on employee retention, performance, engagement, and morale. Sar’Taj believes in simplicity in life and work. “Focus on what is important and success reveals itself. Take care of your people, focus on the children, and act on what is important.”

Sar’Taj received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Charleston Southern University, and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Webster University. When Sar’Taj is not collaborating with her team, she can be seen enjoying her family; Her husband of 17 years- Travis, their 3 children- Morgan, Asher, and Jonathan.

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Belinda Reese

Vice President of Human Resources

Belinda is a highly skilled and qualified HR professional with more than 10 years’ experience in diverse aspects of human resource consulting, management, coaching and team development. Belinda has extensive experience in the nonprofit and public sectors with a proven ability to motivate and mobilize employees as well as improve processes to achieve desired departmental and organizational results. Belinda considers it a great privilege to contribute to a healthy, productive organizational climate to serve the needs of Wellroot.

Belinda, a self-described coffee house junkie, considers it her life’s purpose to assist people in maximizing their personal power through self-discovery.
Her personal mantra is “whatever you encounter in life, take the opportunity to find and use your ability to make it better.”

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Greg Copeland

Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer

Greg comes to Wellroot with over 30 years of experience and success in operations and financial management. He has a unique ability to link people and business strategy to exceed organizational goals. Greg has served nonprofit organizations throughout his career and has an extensive history of reducing expenses, managing multi-million dollar budgets, and implementing strategic plans. Before coming to Wellroot, he served at Georgia Legal Services Program as the Director of Finance since 2014. He also held fiscal/operational leadership roles with the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Clark Atlanta University. Greg has also served on several nonprofit boards with a focus on serving children and youth.

Greg graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. He and his family reside in Smyrna, Georgia.

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Mary Vincent

Senior Vice President of Programs

Mary provides executive leadership and oversight to the Foster Care, Family Housing, Transitional Living, and Independent Living programs. Mary has been with Wellroot since 2005 when she joined the organization as a foster care worker. In 2010, she took on the role of Independent Living Program Manager, before returning to the Foster Care Program in 2011 as the Program Director. Mary is a graduate of the University of Georgia where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work.

Mary is married to Grant. They have three children, Charlie, and twins Caroline and Isabel.

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Christina Lennon

Chief Strategy & Implementation Officer

Christina has two decades of nonprofit management experience specializing in program development, scaling a nonprofit statewide, fundraising, and community collaborations.  Christina spent the last decade partnering with local and national nonprofits to develop strategy and build capacity to further their mission.  She previously served as Executive Director for a statewide nonprofit where she grew the organization from serving 1,000 people a year to 6,000 in her seven years at the helm.  Her work has been recognized by many, including the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, who named her Georgia’s Revolutionary Nonprofit leader of 2009.  She holds a Master’s degree from The Andrew Young School of Georgia State University (GSU) where she was honored as a distinguished alumni in 2011. In 2014 she was their keynote speaker for commencement ceremonies. Christina is now an adjunct professor at GSU.  She is active in her church and serves on the board of Amana Academy.

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Allison Ashe

President and CEO

Ashe is a proven nonprofit leader, communicator, and fundraising professional. She formerly lead strategic initiatives for Covenant House International, the nation’s leading provider of housing and services for youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking.

A person of faith, Ashe earned a Master’s degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and has served in chaplaincy roles. She gravitated to nonprofit service as a manifestation of her commitment to Christ.

Ashe has significant experience in youth and family programs, working with youth aging out of foster care, and independent living. She has expertise in the impact of trauma and generational poverty. Known for team-building, creativity, and mission focus, Ashe built the largest volunteer program in the national Covenant House network. She enjoys working collaboratively with staff, state, corporate and individual donors, board members, and volunteers.