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Leadership

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Ashley Blocker

Director of Foster Care

 

Shalondra_Young

Shalondra Young

Director of Residential Programs

Shalondra is a human services advocate who is passionate about education, growth, and mentorship in the lives of young people. Before her relocation to Atlanta, Shalondra served on several statewide and community boards advocating for change, transformation and equality in the lives of underprivileged youth.

She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Shalondra began her work in Florida working under the Department of Children and Families as a child welfare advocate. Shalondra is known for her unique ability to define 360-degree roadmaps to success, inspiring people to continually push the boundaries of possibilities.

Mary_Meyer

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.

Heather_Kersey

Heather Kersey

Director of Development

Before joining Wellroot in July of 2019, Heather worked as the Director of Development for the Department of Orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine. In her time at Emory, Heather pioneered programs, events and individual outreach strategies to increase philanthropic support from alumni, patients and community and national organizations. She previously worked with Medical Alumni at Emory to increase engagement and support from former residents and fellows of Emory’s training programs. Heather got her start in Development at MercyMed in Columbus, GA, where she led the strategic planning and fundraising of a $1.3 million capital campaign.

Heather’s love of development and fundraising comes from an innate desire to match an individual’s resources with impassioned change for good in their community. Not everyone is called to foster care, but Heather believes everyone is called to take notice of injustices and needs around them and do what they can to address them. She lives in Tucker, GA with her husband Grant and their two sons, Isaiah and Judah.

Al_Shugart

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.

April_McGlothin-Eller

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.

Denise _Peacock

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.

Richard_Puckett

Rev. Dr. Richard Puckett

Director of Church Relations

Richard is an ordained Elder in The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Richard previously worked at Wellroot for 18 years as the Director of Public Relations and Development before returning to serve the local church in 2013. Richard returned as Wellroot’s Director of  Church Relations in 2019.

Richard has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Emory University, a Law Degree from the University of Georgia School of Law, a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Yale University. Before entering ministry Richard was a practicing attorney.

Richard’s wife, Elaine, is also an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren.

Brett_Hillesheim

Brett Hillesheim

Director of Marketing

Brett joined Wellroot in 2016 working with the Church Relations team to engage churches across The North Georgia Conference. In 2018 he transferred to the Marketing Team, handling marketing and communication for the agency and helping to lead the organization through a rebranding process.

Previous to working for Wellroot, Brett, his wife Summer and their two birth daughters were a Wellroot foster family for four years and adopted 5 children during that time. Their family of nine (plus their dog) live in Lilburn, GA. He has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Austin Peay State University and a Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University.

Belinda_Reese

Belinda Reese

Director 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.”

Vivian_Robinson

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.

Mary_Vincent

Mary Vincent

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.

Greg_Copeland

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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Allison Ashe

President and CEO

Ashe is a proven nonprofit leader, communicator, and fundraising professional currently leading strategic initiatives for Covenant House International, the nation’s leading provider of housing and services for youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking. Before her current role, she was Executive Director of Covenant House Georgia (CHGA) for nine years. During her tenure, she grew and transformed CHGA, which is now a vibrant, visible, best-practice organization considered a top performer in the global Covenant House network.

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.

Regarding her passion for coming to Wellroot, Ashe says: “For the past 11 years, working with youth who are experiencing homelessness, I have witnessed first hand what happens when children and families do not receive the necessary supports and services they need. I am extraordinarily passionate about being able to support children and families earlier in the process to disrupt the cycle that can ultimately lead to youth homelessness.  Wellroot Family Services has a long history of providing unconditional love to children,they have a great board and staff, and the resources and institutional knowledge to create change. I am honored to be chosen to lead the organization in its next chapter.”