Compliance Hotline: 1.800.324.5794

Executive Team

Led by YAP’s CEO, the Executive Team is a group of experienced agency officers and leaders who have key executive roles in various areas of the agency. The Executive Team’s responsibilities include long-term strategic planning (national and international), preservation of YAP’s financial stability, and quality improvement.

  • Jeff Fleischer, MSW
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Carla Benway, MSW
    Chief Strategy Officer
  • Martin D'Urso, Esq.
    Chief of Corporate & Legal Affairs
  • Shaena Fazal, Esq.
    Chief of Public Policy, Advocacy and External Communications
  • Stephanie Hart, MA
    Senior Executive Officer
  • Gary Ivory, M.Div
    Senior Executive Officer
  • Alan Kassirer
    Chief of Performance and Quality Improvement
  • Dorienne Silva, MSW
    Chief Operating Officer
  • Rick Stottlemyer
    Chief Financial Officer

Jeff Fleischer

Chief Executive Officer

Jeff Fleischer, CEO leads YAP and its dedicated cadre of advocates and local leaders to develop new programs that promote family and community over institutionalization. Under his leadership, YAP has grown and now serves over 19,000 families each year in 22 states and 25 major US cities. Jeff's career reflects his commitment to advocating for critical changes in the lives of children and families and in human service systems in the US and around the world.

In his home state of New Jersey, his advocacy led to major changes in the NJ Child Welfare System, including passage of the 'Bring Our Children Home Act' which ended the state's practice of sending youth to out-of-state institutions and encouraged family and community-based care for at-risk youth in their own neighborhoods. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Jeff pioneered street work programs in New York and NJ. He directed La Casa De Don Pedro's Youth Programs and developed programs serving high risk youth and gangs in Newark. In the 1990’s, he developed effective gang intervention programs for youth involved in the Bloods, Crips and Latin King conflicts in Fort Worth, TX. Jeff also co-founded Youth Advocate Programmes/UK Ltd. and YAP/Ireland to reduce their reliance on institutional care. In Guatemala, he forged a relationship with the Street Children's Movement where he provided support, advocacy and consultation in Guatemala City.

He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Human Service Assembly and is the Chair of the National Collaboration for Youth. Jeff received a certificate in Global Change Agents from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in May of 2012. He received both his BA and MSW from Rutgers University.

Carla Benway, MSW

Chief Strategy Officer

Carla Benway is YAP's Chief Strategy Officer. She joined YAP in 1998 as a therapist working in both a Behavioral Health and Advocate program located in Eastern Pennsylvania. She has since directed and developed juvenile justice, child welfare and behavioral health programs in the US and abroad. In her current role, Carla oversees the agency’s marketing, training, model development, and internal communications. Carla’s responsibilities also include overseeing agency-wide strategic initiatives that present unique opportunities for YAP to achieve its mission.

Martin D'Urso, Esq.

Chief of Corporate & Legal Affairs

Martin J. D'Urso graduated magna cum laude from the Penn State - Dickinson School of Law in 1984. He was a member of several honorary groups and societies, including the Law Review and National Appellate Moot Court Team. He also received various individual awards for scholarship and was a student coordinator of the prison law clinic at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill, PA – the same prison that had given rise to YAP ten years before. After law school, Mr. D’Urso completed a federal clerkship for the Hon. Mitchell H. Cohen (DNJ). For most of his legal career, Mr. D’Urso practiced complex litigation in Philadelphia where he was a partner at Kohn, Swift & Graf, PC.

After providing pro bono legal serves to YAP for several years, Mr. D’Urso joined YAP as its Chief of Corporate and Legal Affairs in 2007. Mr. D’Uso has taught Continuing Legal Education courses and presented at conferences, including at the symposium for International Environmental Compliance Assessment at Kagawa University in Takamatsu, Japan. His community activities include service as a volunteer attorney for the Support Center for Child Advocates, a member of the board of directors of the Ridley Area YMCA, and the pack master for Collingdale Cub Scout Pack 24. After receiving his BA from Rutgers University and before starting law school, Mr. D’Urso worked for the Morris County, NJ Department of Drug and Alcohol Abuse and the Vocational Rehabilitation Center of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1998, Mr. D'Urso was the Democratic nominee for the US House of Representatives in the 7th Congressional District.

Shaena Fazal, Esq.

Chief of Public Policy, Advocacy and External Communications

Shaena Fazal is YAP’s Chief of Public Policy, Advocacy and External Communications. She joined YAP as an employee in 2010 and served as a member of YAP’s Board of Directors from 2008-2010. In her role at YAP, Shaena leads the Policy and Advocacy Center and oversees YAP’s external communications with members of the press.

Prior to joining YAP, Shaena was a congressional staffer to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky where she oversaw immigration and housing issues. She was a public defender in Cook County, IL (Chicago) for several years serving in the Appellate Defender’s office where she represented over 80 clients convicted of capital and non-capital offenses in post-conviction and direct appeal proceedings, including oral arguments. In 2005, she was awarded a Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship, with which she co-founded the Long-Term Prisoner Policy Project at the John Howard Association of Illinois. There she recruited and trained pro bono attorneys to represent aging prisoners at their parole hearings and worked on sentencing reform in Illinois. She is a founding member of the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children and former Board Member, General Counsel and staff to the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Shaena worked at the Chicago YAP program before relocating to the DC area where she assumed national responsibilities related to YAP’s system change mission, public policy efforts and external communications. She has published the report “Safely Home,” and authored the report “Beyond Bars,” published by the National Collaboration for Youth. Shaena’s blog posts or op-eds have also appeared in various publications including the Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Social Change and JJIE.

Stephanie Hart, MA

Senior Executive Officer - IL, IN, KY, NY, OH, PA, RI, WI

Stephanie Hart is a Senior Executive Officer and also oversees YAP’s Advancement & Development Department. Since joining YAP in 1999, Stephanie has had opportunities to experience multiple levels of management leading to her current position. She began as a Director in New York State and was named to increasingly responsible positions including: Director of Programs, Regional Director and Vice President.

In the course of her career, Stephanie has worked with youth in individual and group settings using a variety of non-traditional treatment approaches including: Adventure Based Counseling (ABC), Prevention Education and reality-based interventions. She has utilized her experience and educational background in the design and implementation of a number of programmatic variations tailored specifically to the needs of highly underserved populations in a variety of geographic areas including remote rural communities. Whether working with jurisdictions to address their needs relating to child welfare, over-reliance upon institutionalization, systemic lack of support services, or homelessness, she remains tirelessly dedicated to YAP’s mission, program principles and improving the lives of youth and families in the communities in which they live.

She holds a Master's degree in Community and Agency Counseling with two years extended study, one year in Community-Based Substance Abuse Intervention and a second year in the Psychopathology of Delinquency in Juveniles from Plattsburgh State University.

Gary Ivory, M.Div

Senior Executive Officer - AL, AR, AZ, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, KS, LA, MD, NJ, NV, PHL, SC, TX, VA, WV

Gary Ivory currently serves as Senior Executive Officer and National Director of Program Development and oversees the Endowment Fund. In this capacity, he maintains oversight of numerous programs that provide a range of community-based services for children, youth and families. He also travels the country to explore and develop new opportunities to implement the YAP model. Gary pioneered work with juvenile street gangs in Fort Worth, TX. This work was featured in several national publications including Catalyst, a national newsletter of the National Crime Prevention Council, and the PBS series In Search of Law and Order. The Tarrant County programs, known as TCAP, have been featured as a national model for developing community-based alternatives for serious juvenile offenders.

Gary received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College. In 1999, he received the alumnus of the decade award from his alma mater. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary with a focus on public policy and ethics. He has also completed graduate course work at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University. In 2003, he completed training at the Harvard Negotiation Project Program at the Harvard Law School. In 2008, he was selected by the Stanford University Graduate School of Business as a Center for Social Innovation Fellow for Executive Nonprofit leaders.

Alan Kassirer

Chief of Performance & Quality Improvement
717.232.7580 x1404

Alan Kassirer is YAP’s Chief of Performance and Quality Improvement. He joined the agency in 1992 as a management consultant. After consulting YAP on and off for two years, he agreed to become a full time employee. Alan currently oversees quality improvement department which includes outcomes measurement, maintenance of YAP’s COA accreditation, contracts, leases and procurement.

Before becoming PQI Chief, Alan spent time as budget director, auditing and monitoring director, financial analyst and program services chief. In 2005, upon becoming CEO, Jeff Fleischer named Alan to the role of Chief of Quality Assurance. In 2007, Alan researched the Council on Accreditation and recommended that YAP try to become an accredited agency. The internal improvement process took two years and YAP was accredited in 2009. The agency achieved its second re-accreditation in August 2017.

Prior to joining YAP, Alan was an assistant treasurer at Chemical Bank in New York where he started off as an installment loan officer and was a leader of the bank’s merger implementation team when Chemical Bank merged with Manufacturer’s Hanover in 1991. He originally hails from Rochester, NY and attended Long Island’s Hofstra University. Alan is married and has a son, two step sons and a step daughter.

Dorienne Silva, MSW

Chief Operating Officer, President of International Development & Relations

Dorienne J. Silva, MSW, is Chief Operating Officer and oversees International Relations and Development with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP). As Deputy CEO, Ms. Silva leads YAP's elite National Leadership Team responsible for strategic planning, coordinating operational and business functions, building and facilitating collaborative working teams, and pursuing business efficiencies, best practices and program innovation. Intricately involved in YAP's human resources and personnel matters, she also informs and assists Board members with their critical responsibilities. As President of the Southeast region, she manages diverse youth, family advocacy and behavioral health programs across seven states overseeing all personnel, policy, quality compliance, media/marketing, and fiscal concerns. Proficient in cross-cultural communication, for eleven years she has also led YAP’s international programs including facilitating the autonomous constitution of YAP Ireland as an organization. Successful international initiatives championed by Ms. Silva include collaborating across 5 continents to explore best practices in engaging disconnected youth, informing policy reforms favoring juvenile deinstitutionalization and community-based programming, and partnering with local stakeholders in launching pilot projects modeled on YAP’s wraparound/advocacy model.

A 20 year plus veteran with YAP, Ms. Silva's other organizational leadership roles include serving as Vice-President of the New Jersey, Texas, Florida and South Carolina programs. She has over 25 years combined direct social service practice, management and policy experience including her top leadership roles with New Jersey's Governor’s Committee on Children's Services Planning and the former cabinet-level Department of the Public Advocate. She has also worked with La Casa de Don Pedro, Inc. in Newark, New Jersey, PROCEED, Inc. in Elizabeth, New Jersey, the Department of Social Services in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Catholic Big Sisters, Manhattan Family Court in New York City. Her service to these organizations ranged from advocacy on behalf of youth and families to developing and managing programs for at-risk youth. Dorienne brings a unique cultural understanding to YAP and the families served. Born in Puerto Rico, she fluently speaks and writes both English and Spanish. She holds an MSW from Rutgers University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico.

Rick Stottlemyer

Chief Financial Officer
717.232.7580 x1306

Richard Stottlemyer, II joined the YAP Team in 1989 at the start of a period of tremendous growth within the agency. Demonstrating strong fiscal leadership early in his YAP career, Rick worked in concert with corporate officers and external consultants in the development of policies, procedures and systems necessary to support YAP’s current and future growth. He became thoroughly knowledgeable of all facets of YAP’s fiscal operations as well as the mission that drives the agency’s work with youth and families. With a then small team at the YAP Support Center (Administrative Headquarters), Rick was instrumental in helping YAP meet the challenges that accompany an agency’s rapid expansion. With his extensive experience in all fiscal areas, he was well prepared for new responsibilities when he was named YAP’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Rick is a graduate of Elizabethtown College (PA) where he earned a BS in Accounting.

National & Regional Leadership

National & Regional leaders are skilled, experienced employees representing various geographic areas and subject matter responsibilities that are regional, national or international in scope. Team members provide insight on a wide range of issues (e.g., health insurance, internal systems, policies, procedures, new program start-ups, quality improvement) and have vital roles in implementing decisions made by the CEO and Executive Team.

Mid-Atlantic Region (DC, DE, MD, NJ, Philadelphia)
  • Carolyn Caprioni
    Quality Improvement Director - NJ
  • Lynette Connor
    Vice President - DC, DE, MD, NJ, Philadelphia
  • Fred Fogg
    Regional Director -DE, NJ
  • Craig Jernigan
    Regional Director - DC, MD
  • Stephanie Moore
    Regional Director - NJ
  • Randall Sims
    Regional Director - Philadelphia

Carolyn Caprioni

Quality Assurance Coordinator - New Jersey

Carolyn came to YAP in 2003 with 20 years of psychiatric-mental health nursing experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing with Registered Nurse and Registered Forensic Nurse licensures. Carolyn ensures that the NJ YAP programs adhere to federal, state and contractual regulations as well as Council on Accreditation standards of quality care. She has developed and implemented an exemplary QI program in NJ and was an integral part of getting YAP’s Integrity Compliance Program off the ground as well as the expansion of NJ’s Behavioral Health programs to now include seven outpatient programs and growing.

In addition, she acts as the NJ liaison on YAP’s Integrity Compliance, Safety, and Employee Insurance committees. In addition to her work with YAP, Carolyn worked as a Forensic Nurse working with victims of sexual assault. In her spare time she enjoys a lifelong commitment to learning and is currently preparing to sit for the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality exam.

Lynette Connor, MSW, ACSW, LCSW

Vice President - NJ, Philadelphia

Lynette has accumulated more than 25 years of working experience in the social services field and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by the state of New Jersey. She is a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work and a Qualified Clinical Social Worker. Prior to joining YAP, Lynette worked for a variety of institutions, including: SJ Behavioral Health Resources, Rancocas Associates, Family Service of Burlington County, South Jersey Counseling Service, Family Preservation Services at Family Counseling Service, and the New Jersey Department of Corrections. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, as well as the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Lynette received BS and MSW degrees from Rutgers University.

Fred Fogg

Regional Director - DE, NJ


Craig Jernigan

Regional Director - DC, MD


Stephanie Moore

Regional Director - NJ


Randall Sims

Regional Director - Philadelphia


Northeast & Midwest Region (IN, IL, KY, NY, OH, PA, RI, WI)
  • Jessica Carlton
    Vice President - OH, PA
  • Wes Eggleston
    Regional Director - NY
  • Rhonda Green
    Regional Director -NY
  • Casey Lane
    Vice-President - NY, RI
  • Cheryl Reeling
    Vice President - OH, PA
  • Adam Santacroce
    Regional Director - NY
  • Michael St. Hilaire
    Director of Administration - IL, IN, KY, NY OH, PA, RI, WI
  • Bob Swanson
    Regional Director - OH, PA
  • Ken Trimuel
    Regional Director - IL
  • David R. Williams
    Vice President - IL, IN, KY, WI

Jessica Carlton

Vice President - PA, OH

Jessica Carlton-Humenik is the Vice President of Pennsylvania and Ohio programs for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. Jessica began work with YAP in 1997 in Allegheny county as a Therapeutic Staff Support while attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Following receipt of her graduate degree, she continued her work with YAP as a Behavioral Specialist Consultant, focusing her time with children on the autism spectrum, and those with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. Jessica then continued her professional development toward leadership, accepting the position of Assistant Director in Allegheny county for several years, followed by the Director's position. In 2006, Jessica was promoted to the Director of Autism and Developmental Disabilities Program for Pennsylvania, supporting rapid development in behavioral health services across Pennsylvania. In 2012 Jessica was promoted to Vice President of Pennsylvania and Ohio programs.

Through her work with YAP, Jessica has collaborated with Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families to initiate a Truancy Advocate Program which now offers services throughout the Pittsburgh public school system. In addition to her work at YAP, Jessica has worked as an outpatient therapist with both children and adults specializing in anxiety and depression. She also has served as a Field Instructor for the University of Pittsburgh, Carlow College, Millersville University & Waynesburg University.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Elizabethtown College and earned her MSW at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a licensed social worker since 1997.

Wes Eggleston

Regional Director - NY

Wes has been a YAP team member since 2000. Possessing 25+ years of experience in various sectors of child welfare, he has served the roles of Program Director, Director of Quality Assurance and Regional Director.

He has participated in several Agency-wide initiatives including Performance and Quality Improvement, Integrity Compliance, Training and Development, Advancement and Development Team. He is responsible for implementation and overall management of multiple contracts through Bridges to Health and NYS Office of Mental Health HCBW. He also fulfills the role of Implementation and Security Coordinator for CONNECTIONS computer-based case management system. Wes has also supported the identification and development of expansion opportunities including fiscal formulation and management of budgets. During his time as Director of Quality Assurance, he developed and monitored standards of service provision through the design, compilation and reporting of outcome statistics.

Rhonda Green

Regional Director - NY


Casey Lane

Vice-President - NY, RI

Casey started his career at YAP in 2003 as an Advocate in Franklin County, NY. Shortly after starting as an Advocate he was promoted to Assistant Director of the Franklin County Family Resolutions Program, doing Family Group Conferencing. In 2004 he was promoted to Director of St. Lawrence County Family Resolutions Program. It is here that Casey refined his skills and soon became known as the “Reunification Specialist." He was called upon many times to work with others to teach those skills and help to bring many “kids” back home to their community. He has dedicated his career at YAP to reunifying youth and their families from out-of-home placements.

Casey currently is Regional Director (Since 2008) and oversees our YAP program in Marion County Indianapolis, IN, Providence, RI and the following counties in NY: Franklin, Clinton, Essex, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, and Chemung.

Casey is an avid outdoorsman, and an avid fan of Syracuse basketball and football teams… Go “Cuse”! He is also trustee at his local church, in Malone NY.

Cheryl Reeling

Vice President - OH, PA

Cheryl Reeling is the Vice President for YAP’s Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland Programs. Her duties in this position include creating systems, infrastructures, training and documentation that supports, monitors and regulates the quality and best practice of service delivery. Cheryl joined YAP in June 1996. She began as a YAP Program Director and served in that position through July 1998. She then took the position of Clinical Supervisor, maintaining those responsibilities until she was named Vice President in March 2004.

Cheryl’s service to YAP and to her community reflects her commitment to YAP’s mission. She takes an active role in numerous YAP initiatives that benefit children, youth and families. Cheryl holds a BS degree in Psychology from York College of Pennsylvania. She also holds an MSW from the University of Maryland.

Adam Santacroce

Regional Director - NY

Adam is a NY native and resides just outside of NYC with his wife Betsy, daughter Isabella, and son AJ. Adam attended SUNY Oneonta where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He earned his Master of Counseling and Development Degree at L.I.U. CW Post. Adam is a former Guidance Counselor and holds a permanent certification in education.

In 2011 Adam became an Assistant Director for YAP’s OCFS Reunification Program. In 2013 he became NYS Regional Director and opened YAP’s Prevention/Reunification Program in Chemung County, which grew to include a school based advocate component and is part of a 5 state federal mentoring grant. Adam is an advocate for continuous training and has completed Child Abuse & Violence Workshops, Section 504 in NY: ‘A Closer Look’, Gang Intervention & Prevention, Advanced Youth Development, ADHD: Understanding and celebrating the gift, and Teen Suicide Prevention.

He is responsible for the over-sight of the South Bronx AIM Program, NYC Host Homes Project, as well as Ulster County and Schenectady County YAP programs. Adam is an active board member for the YAP Endowment Fund, which supports our youth and families in pursuing college or vocational schools to advance their skills and economic opportunities.

Michael St. Hilaire

Director of Operations - DE, IL, IN, KY, NY, OH, PA, RI

Michael joined YAP in June of 1999 as a part time Advocate and part time Administrative Manager in the Franklin County office of NY. In his current position he serves as a liaison for the NYS Management team to all of the local offices, and assists in training new Administrative Managers. He has been instrumental in the start of the new Electronic Health Record system (EVOLV) in NYS, acting as a liaison to the IT Dept from the field offices. Michael has also taken on the task of assisting in new program start up. A former supervisor once said, if a new program starts up, they should all have a “Michael in a box to assist with opening a new office successfully”.

Michael received his Associate's degree in Agriculture from Cobleskill College in 1977. In 2001 while working full time for YAP, Michael returned to school to receive his bachelor’s degree in Community Mental Health, at Empire State College.

Michael’s community involvement includes 25 plus years as a 4-H leader, 15 years on the local school board, 7 years as President of that board, 6 years on the NYS HIV Prevention Planning Group, and many other local agencies.

Bob Swanson

Regional Director - OH, PA

Bob joined YAP in 2000, first as an Advocate, then served as a program director in Lebanon County. From 2010-2014, he served as YAPs National Training coordinator. In his time at YAP, Bob has experience in leading juvenile justice, child welfare, behavioral health, developmental disability, and workforce development programs in addition to YAPs two community treatment centers for juvenile justice involved youth in Pennsylvania. Bob earned his Bachelor's degree from Clarion University.

Ken Trimuel

Regional Director - IL


David Williams

Vice President - IL, KY


Southeast Region (AL, FL, GA, SC, VA, WV)
  • LaVeisha Cummings
    Regional Director - FL, GA, SC
  • Michael Garrigan
    Vice President - AL, FL, GA, SC, VA WV
  • Valerie Koeppel
    Regional Director -VA, WV
  • Vanessa Vandergriff
    Regional Director - AL

LaVeisha Cummings

Regional Director - FL, GA, SC

LaVeisha is the Tri-State Regional Director for YAP's Southeast region. LaVeisha joined YAP in 2011 as the Program Director for Chatham County-YAP located in Savannah, GA. In her current role, LaVeisha provides operational support and training to programs located in FL, GA, & SC.

LaVeisha received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech & Theatre from Albany State University, her Master’s Degree in Counseling & Psychology from Troy University and her Doctorate Degree in Christian Counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary. LaVeisha is a published author and playwright. She brings to YAP a wealth of experience in both residential and community based programs working with youth considered at-risk.

Michael Garrigan

Executive Vice President - AL, FL, GA, SC, VA, WV

Michael Garrigan has over 35 years of experience in social services. Mike joined YAP in 1992, serving first as Director and then Regional Director of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio. Currently Executive Vice President, he develops and supports programs in six states as a member of YAP’s Southeast leadership team.

Before joining the YAP team, Mike worked extensively with at-risk youth in Northeastern Pennsylvania. His professional history includes positions as Educational Coordinator, Foster Care Manager, Independent Living Coordinator and Job Coach. He has served on the Board of Directors of YAP, the CAASP Advisory Board, PA Council of Children's Services, Northampton County Partnership, Northampton/Lehigh Counties Community Network, and the PA Community Provider's Association. Mike graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Social Work, and engages in continuing education in the fields of education and business administration.

Mike was a member of YAP’s original board of directors, and now sits on the Health Insurance Committee, National and Regional Leadership Teams, and the Endowment Board. He is active in his community, serving as a youth mentor and coaching high school basketball and softball for 16 years.

Valerie Koeppel

Regional Director - VA, WV

Valerie Koeppel has worked with Youth Advocate Programs since 2009 when she began the operations for the first Virginia office in Roanoke. Through her work with YAP, Valerie has helped communities reduce their reliance out of home care. She has been involved in numerous strategic plans that have resulted in locality’s capacity to service children and families in their homes and communities. Valerie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and her Master’s in Counseling from Virginia Tech. Valerie received an executive certificate from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and is a fellow with their Center for Juvenile Justice Reform.

She has served the Roanoke Valley’s system of care as a FAPT private provider representative, a CPMT private provider representative. When Valerie isn’t working to reform systems, she enjoys spending time in the woods of her Roanoke home with numerous dogs, cats, and chickens. Valerie is grateful for the amazing opportunities to effect change YAP has provided and the boundless enthusiasm and steady support of her YAP and community colleagues.

Vanessa Vandergriff

Regional Director - AL

Vanessa comes to YAP with over 20 years of experience working in mental health counseling, social services, school counseling and criminal justice. She graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Master’s Degree in Agency Counseling. After completing graduate school she has obtained several specialized certifications from the University of Alabama. Since joining the YAP team in 2011 she has seen the state of Alabama grow from serving 2 counties to serving over 30 counties. She is very involved in her community serving on several boards and being a member of numerous civic organizations. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family attending the sporting events of her four daughters.

Southwest Region (AR, AZ, CO, KS, LA, NV TX)
  • Naomi Chargois Edwards
    Southwest Regional BH Director
  • Kimberly Brandon
    Regional Director - TX
  • Kevin Faulkner
    Director of Business Operations - Southwest
  • Talvin Paul
    Vice President -AR, LA, TX
  • Patty Rosati
    Vice President - AZ, CO, KS, NV, TX
  • Di Ann Rucker
    Regional Director - TX

Naomi Chargois Edwards

Southwest Regional BH Director

Naomi Chargois Edwards is YAP’s Southwest Regional Director of Behavioral Health Services. She joined YAP as a Community Living Support in 2014, and has served as Assistant Director and Program Director of Behavioral Health Services. Naomi’s primary focus was to oversee the provision of intensive specialized services to children and youth with serious emotional disturbances in Fort Bend, Gulf Coast, and Harris County. She brings to YAP a diverse background of individual and group behavioral health services as well as a vision and purpose to empower youth and inspire future leaders.

In her current role, she is focused on ensuring quality behavioral health services are provided to children and youth, influencing teams, increasing collaboration, building leaders, and improving morale.

Naomi obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Alabama State University and her Master’s in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. In her spare time she enjoys creating memories with family, engaging in community outreach, and volunteering in her local Children’s Ministry.

Kimberly Brandon

Regional Director - KS, TX


Kevin Faulkner

Southwest Director of Business Operations - AZ, CO, KS, LA, NV, TX

Kevin Faulkner joined the YAP team in 2001 and currently serves as YAP’s Southwest Director of Business Operations. In this capacity, he maintains oversight of financial, contractual and operational areas of the programs that provide a range of community-based services for children, youth and families throughout the Southwest region.

Talvin Paul

Vice President - LA, TX

Talvin Paul is YAP’s Southwest Vice President, responsible for the overall operations of programs in the Texas Gulf Coast Region and the state of Louisiana. Talvin has more than 26 years of experience in the field of social service in the Houston TX area. He developed a strong clinical background during his early years at MHMRA. He later blended that experience with 12 years of criminal justice experience. Talvin developed several programs for special needs offenders within the community supervision and corrections department. He was also recognized for his innovative approach to working with multi-needs, at-risk juvenile offenders through the Vital Issues Program (VIP). As a result of his success, he received the TCA State award. He has been active in community-led programs that focused on reducing crimes in high crime neighborhoods. He also taught Introduction to Mental Health Mental Retardation, Suicide Prevention and Cultural Diversity at the University of Houston's Corrections Academy.

Talvin’s professional history reflects his dedication to advocacy for children and special needs offenders. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from Grambling State University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Prairie View A & M University. He is a Licensed Social Worker, a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, and a Licensed Child Care Administrator.

Patty Rosati

Vice President - AZ, CO, KS, NV, TX

Patty Rosati is Southwest Vice President with YAP, currently presiding over Colorado, Kansas, Arizona, and Nevada. In this capacity, she maintains oversight of numerous Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare Programs, Workforce Development and Violence Prevention programs serving children, youth, adults and families.

As Regional Training Coordinator, she travels the region providing training to staff and ensuring compliance with YAP and Referring Authority standards. Patty is a Certified Mandt Trainer, Informed Supervision Trainer, Teen Outreach Program (TOP) Trainer and Rutgers University Accredited Basic Advocacy Trainer. Patty is also a Board Member of YAP’s Tom Jeffers Youth Endowment Fund, which generates scholarships to current and former YAP youth and their families to support post-secondary vocational or educational programming.

Since joining YAP in 1989, Patty has held several leadership roles within the agency. She assumed the role of Program Director of Philadelphia YAP in 1992, with oversight of North East Philadelphia’s Day Treatment program. She served as Regional Director of Philadelphia YAP for 13 years, was promoted to Associate Vice-President of Employee & Program Development, and joined the Southwest team as Vice President in 2010.

Di Ann Rucker

Regional Director - TX

Di Ann Rucker, Division Director for Santa Fe Youth Services joined Youth Advocate Programs in 2015 when the two agencies merged. As Division Director, Di Ann is responsible for managing Santa Fe Youth Services Prevention and Counseling contracts and securing new contracts both in and outside of Tarrant County. Her other duties include staff management, quality assurance, and community outreach. Prior to merging with YAP, DiAnn spent 29 years working with adolescents, which included being the Director of a Residential Treatment and Foster Care Program, while actively being a Foster Parent. In addition, she worked as an Abuse Risk Management Specialist providing assessments and training to child-servicing organizations to minimize the risk of sexual abuse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and intends to continue this work as long as possible.

National Leadership
  • Minette Bauer
    Executive Advisor to the CEO
  • Ann Branning
    National Developmental Disabilities and Autism Training Coordinator
  • Lori Burrus
    National Coordinator of Developmental Disabilities Programs
  • Jennifer Drake
    National Director of Behavioral Health Services
  • Naomi Frazier
    Chief of Human Resources
  • Michele Gutshall
    Compliance Officer
  • Virginia Hoft
    National Director of Substance Use Services
  • Cliff Kubiak
    Chief Information Officer
  • Diana Matteson
    Director of International Programs & Development
  • Carla Powell
    Chief of Advancement and Development
  • Dana Stottlemyer
    Deputy Chief of Program Services
  • Kelly Williams
    National Director of Communications and Media Relations
  • Jason Wilson
    Director of Employee & Program Development

Minette Bauer

Executive Advisor to the CEO

Minette Bauer’s service to YAP began in December of 1975. Since the opening of the first YAP program in Pennsylvania, for which she served as one of YAP’s first advocates, she has had various leadership roles within the agency. Her vision of quality service to youth and families was formulated when she worked with troubled delinquents and their families in housing projects and blighted metropolitan neighborhoods in YAP’s early programs. She started the first programs serving the Philadelphia Family Court (Juvenile Division) and the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services.

Later, as a corporate officer, she oversaw YAP’s growth and expansion into other areas including the agency’s first program in Fort Worth, TX, showing the program could expand past the mid Atlantic states. For 15 years she served as YAP’s Executive VP of Operations and was responsible for overall management of agency operations. She also worked in concert with former YAP President and Chairman Emeritus, Tom Jeffers, and others to develop the Sierra Leone Youth Advocate Program (SLYAP) that initially served former child-soldiers and other young victims of long civil strife.

She led the Kentucky and Illinois Programs including those in Chicago that serve the highest risk, gang engaged youth on the City’s South and West Sides. These programs have been cited in the New York Times, on MSNBC and are referenced in Paul Tough’s book, How Children Succeed. Minette holds a B.S. in Rehabilitation Education from Pennsylvania State University and interned at a Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Rockview.

Ann Branning

National Developmental Disabilities & Autism Training Coordinator

Ann Branning is the National Developmental Disabilities & Autism Training Coordinator for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. Ann began work with YAP in 2001 in Lancaster county Pennsylvania as a Behavioral Specialist Consultant, focusing on serving individuals with autism.

Through her work with YAP and others, she worked closely with the consultants from Temple University to set the basis of YAP's autism training curriculum. She continues to support staff and train staff in autism and developmental disabilities. Ann holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Shippensburg University and an Maters in Social Work from Marywood University.

Lori Burrus

National Coordinator of Developmental Disabilities Programs

Ms. Burrus has been working in various management positions in the developmental disability community for over 34 years. She has overseen licensed residential programs, life sharing and home and community services. In her time at YAP, she has developed programming for youth and adults with a disability funded through Medicaid waivers, mental health and employment systems. She attended Kutztown University and earned a degree in social welfare.

She loves her family and church family and a long term goal is to return to Southern Italy.

Jennifer Drake

National Director of Behavioral Health Services

As the National Director of Behavioral Health Services at Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., Ms. Drake provides oversight of YAP’s behavioral health programs throughout the country. Ms. Drake worked at YAP as an advocate, outpatient therapist, and intensive in-home therapist before assuming the National Director role in 2013.

Ms. Drake has worked with youth in the mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare systems for over 15 years and has extensive training working with youth who have experienced child sexual abuse and other traumatic events. Ms. Drake has served as an expert witness for the State of New Jersey and has published articles in the Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences and the New Jersey Journal of Professional Counseling.

Ms. Drake graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2003. She holds a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2013. Ms. Drake is a Licensed Professional Counselor and attorney in the State of New Jersey.

Naomi Frazier

Chief of Human Resources
717.232.7580 x1142

Naomi Frazier, Chief of YAP’s Human Resources (HR) Department, oversees the administration of Worker's Compensation, Unemployment, Benefits, Recruitment and Retention, and Personnel Policy and Procedures. She also provides internal training to YAP Directors and Administrative Managers on various HR subjects. Naomi works very closely with all field offices and YAP leadership to provide support and guidance. She also works with several outside consultants to ensure the infrastructure of YAP’s HR Department. Since receiving her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, Naomi has taught several modules of the PHR manual.

Naomi joined YAP in 1995 as a Payroll Manager. When she and her family moved to Philadelphia in 2001, she transitioned her role with YAP and provided fiscal support to YAP’s Cost Reimbursement Department for one year. In Philadelphia, Naomi was employed by a for-profit nursing agency as a Senior Payroll Coordinator and was promoted to Human Resource Representative. She also attended Villanova University where she received Certificates in Human Resource Management and Professionalism in Human Resources in 2004. She was then promoted to Benefits Administrator. In 2005, Naomi and her family returned to the Harrisburg area where she rejoined YAP as the Director of Human Resources.

Her professional memberships include: the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resource Professionals of Central Pennsylvania. She is certified by the HR Certification Institute and as a Professional in Human Resources (2007) and received a BSM from the University of Phoenix in 2011.

Michele Gutshall

Compliance Officer
717.232.7580 x1409


Virginia Hoft

Vice President - TX

Virginia Hoft has been Southwest Regional Vice President and National Director of Substance Use Services for Youth Advocate Program, Inc. since September 2015 when Santa Fe Youth Services became a division of YAP. Prior to that time, she was the founding Executive Director of Santa Fe Youth Services, a non-profit agency providing substance abuse prevention, intervention, and counseling services to Fort Worth and Tarrant County youth and families since 1996. Virginia earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Business Administration and Education from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and has worked in the mental health and substance abuse field for 30 years in the role of counselor, trainer, program developer, and agency executive. With her training, extensive experience and longevity in field of substance use, Virginia is leading the integration of innovative substance use services into current YAP models.

Cliff Kubiak

Chief Information Officer
717.232.7580 x1209

Cliff Kubiak joined YAP in 1992 as Program Director of the Philadelphia In-Home Detention Program. In Philadelphia, he implemented the Pre Hearing Intensive Supervision Program which still serves youth and families. He was also instrumental in opening other programs for at-risk youth in some of the most difficult high schools in Philadelphia.

Cliff moved to YAP’s Support Center in Harrisburg to help design and implement the company's internal auditing department. In 1999 he was given the additional responsibility of supervising YAP’s Monitoring, Reception and Information Technology (IT) departments. He led the team that installed the Microsoft network and e-mail systems that form the foundation of YAP's communications system. His department has also worked closely with the HR and Fiscal departments to implement software which has improved their ability to perform their daily responsibilities and reporting.

In 2006, Cliff was appointed Chief Information Officer and was named to the Senior Management team. In addition to his daily duties, Cliff serves as a member of the Health Insurance Committee, YAP Autism board, Integrity Compliance and PQI committees, senior management and as an advisor to the COA implementation group. Cliff has also coached his children's sports teams and served as a volunteer firefighter. He holds an Associate’s degree in Computer Science Community College of Philadelphia, and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer--MCSE, LaSalle University, Business Management.

Diana Matteson

Director of International Programs & Development

Diana Matteson, Director of International Programs and Development for YAP, Inc., has over 20 years of experience in human services in direct practice, teaching and development. She holds a Masters in Art Therapy and a B.A. in Psychology from The George Washington University. Diana's graduate thesis focused on the role of art and storytelling in the grief process for young people living in street situations and adults living with HIV/AIDS. Diana served as a Peace Corps Volunteer and has devoted her career to social justice work.

Diana is bilingual - proficient in Spanish and English. She has represented YAP at international conferences and led educational workshops in nine different countries on clinical practice and effective interventions with marginalized youth and families. In her position as YAP Director of International Programs and Development, Diana coordinates training, technical assistance and consultation with YAP partners in Latin America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia and seeks new growth opportunities for YAP International. Committed to the value of VOICE and peer learning, Diana creates youth and professional exchanges for YAP youth and staff including leading youth delegations to international street soccer tournaments in Brazil and Argentina.

Carla Powell

Chief of Advancement & Development

Carla Powell serves as the Chief of Advancement & Development for YAP. She leads a gifted fund development team that is working to expand the organization’s funding efforts.

Carla is a graduate of Auburn University and a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, marketing and fund development. She began assisting YAP in the fall of 2007 as a marketing and fund development consultant and joined the organization full time two years later to lead private and corporate giving. Carla is an experienced federal, state and foundation grant professional.

Prior to joining YAP, she specialized in serving vulnerable and marginalized communities through her consulting firm where she raised millions of dollars for her clients at the local, state, national and international levels. She is a published author and speaker with articles appearing in state and national publications. Her book, Restorative Justice: A Ministry Resource Guide, calls the faith community to action. As a Regional Director for Prison Fellowship Ministries, Carla led efforts in nine states to develop and expand their crime victim assistance program. She served as the U.S. Communications Director of Hope Unlimited for Children, raising funds to rescue street children in Brazil, many of whom are justice system involved. Carla started her career as the Marketing and Consumer Information Director for the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association which gave her an opportunity to work extensively with the media and support nonprofits as a corporate donor. This unique perspective, as well as experience serving on numerous nonprofit boards, and support of child advocacy issues, has bolstered her ability to increase funding for YAP.

Dana Stottlemyer

Deputy Chief of Program Services
717.232.7580 x1109

Dana Stottlemyer, Deputy Chief of Program Services, joined YAP in 1988 as an Assistant Program Manager. In that position, her management experience, dedication, and understanding led to success in increasingly responsible positions. With opportunity to further develop her skills, she became a leader in the support of program services and agency. Throughout her YAP career, she has demonstrated devotion to her coworkers and to the agency’s mission, She has a clear understanding of the challenges faced by the communities YAP serves and works closely with staff in the field and at the YAP Support Center to develop creative solutions in a challenging and ever-changing work environment.

Kelly D. Williams

National Director of Communications and Media Relations

Kelly Dinese Williams serves as National Director of Communications and Media Relations for Youth Advocate Programs (YAP). In this new role, she works with staff, families and partners to create and execute comprehensive communications initiatives that support YAP’s commitment to deinstitutionalize children, teens and adults involved in social services, public health and justice systems.

Prior to joining YAP, Kelly led integrated communications and marketing initiatives for multi-national corporations and national nonprofits. At Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, where she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, her collaborative strategic outreach helped elevate the brand, bringing unprecedented national media attention to the organization. The increased awareness of the organization’s outcomes led to increased funding for mentoring children of prisoners and African-American, Hispanic and Native American Mentoring program growth. One key to Kelly’s integrated marketing-communications success has been her ability to forge partnerships with media companies and celebrities.

At Burrell Communications in Chicago, Kelly headed Engagement Marketing, creating campaigns to build loyalty for McDonalds, Verizon, Procter and Gamble and other consumer brands.

Kelly began her career as a broadcast journalist, where she learned that an organization’s greatest assets are the stories of the people it serves. Kelly is the author of two parenting books, Single Mamahood: Advice & Wisdom for the African-American Single Mother, and Single Mama Dos and Don’ts.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Missouri and a master’s from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Jason Wilson

Director of Employee & Program Development

Jason Wilson is YAP's Director of Employee and Program Development. He joined YAP in 2011, serving as an Advocate, Assistant Director and then Director of Intensive Services where he oversaw programs that were designed as an alternative to residential placement for youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

In his current role, he is focused on building employee and agency capacity in three key areas - training (quality improvement around Basic Advocacy and Supervisor Training), Program Start-up and Support and Team YAP Engagement (supporting recruitment and retention efforts).

Jason has also created a Street Soccer Program within YAP where the program aims to teach young people about respect, collaboration and solidarity through engagement in soccer. He led the YAP Street Soccer delegation to Copa America in Buenos Aires, Argentina and supported the program's development within YAP and provided technical support and training to YAP Ireland.

He holds his Master's Degree in Multicultural Education and Humanistic Psychology from the State University of New York: New Paltz and his Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Marist College. He is active on a number of boards and committees in his local community.