Board of Directors

The 2018 Call for Board Directors is now open and will remain open until all Board positions are filled.

Board Directors from all over the country offer a diverse array of knowledge, personal experience, and professional expertise to the organization.

More than half of our Directors have personal lived experience in the foster care system. We also warmly welcome applicants without lived experience who consider themselves strong allies of our cause.

 

Foster Care Alumni of America’s National Board would currently most benefit from new Directors who possess experience in:

 

-Resource Development
-Organizational Structuring
-Membership Engagement
-Marketing/Mass Communications.

Officers

Chair:  April Curtis
Vice Chair:  Kadia Edwards
President:  Travis Lloyd
Vice President:  Lacy Dicharry
Treasurer:  Carma Lacy
Asst. Treasurer:  Crys O’Grady
Secretary:  Kaysie Getty
Asst. Secretary:  Open

Linda S. Coon

Policy & Advocacy Committee: Chair
Governance Committee: Member

 

Since 1991, Linda Coon has served as Executive Director of FCAN, the Families’ and Children’s Network. Based in Chicago, FCAN serves HIV-affected families, youth and children with in-home social work and legal services, HIV prevention and education, and other supportive services. She has an extensive background in child welfare and juvenile justice, and holds a JD from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.

 

Linda is a leading advocate for sound public policy for children, youth and families, especially those involved in the state’s child welfare and corrections systems. She has advocated for Illinois policies and statutes that have reformed the state’s guardianship, adoption, HIV confidentiality, and child welfare laws, including sibling rights to contact while in foster care and post adoption. Linda received the Child Welfare Advocate of the Year Award from the Illinois Chapter of the FCAA in 2015.

 

Linda resides in Chicago. She and her partner, Caren, recently married and have a new grandson.

April Curtis, Board Chair

Policy & Advocacy Committee: Member
Chapter & Member Committee: Member

 

April Curtis is a National Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Consultant. April earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is working on her master’s degree in social service administration at the University of Chicago.

 

In addition to her service on the national board, April was a founding member of FCAA’s Illinois chapter. She also advocates for youth through her service on the board of the Child Welfare League of America and is a member of the Department of Children and Family Services’ Latino Advisory Committee. An alumna of Illinois’ child welfare system, April takes a particular interest in siblings’ rights and serves on the Governor’s Joint Task Force on Sibling Post-Adoption Continuing Contact. Her work has been recognized with awards from the Hispanic Advisory Committee, the Chicago Area Project, the Child Welfare League of America, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

Chris Downs

Governance Committee: Chair 

 

Chris is a developmental psychologist who has worked on child welfare issues for more than 35 years in the public, academic, and nonprofit sectors. He presently leads The Downs Group, LLC, a national child welfare consulting firm focused on helping organizations improve services and outcomes for youth.

 

Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Texas.

 

An alumnus of foster care in Indiana, Chris is married and lives in Seattle. He is passionate about efforts to attract new groups of foster alumni to the movement, such as those who are over age 40 and from the LGBT community.

 

“I didn’t think there was any group or organization for older foster alumni like me until I found FCAA. FCAA cares about foster alumni of all ages. That’s very powerful to me. I am attracted to FCAA because it works on national, regional, state, and local levels to meet the needs of alumni of foster care.”

Kaysie Getty, Secretary

Chapter and Member Committee: Chair
Marketing and Communications Committee: Member 

 

Kaysie is a current Rutgers University School of Social Work Graduate student, who has used her foster care experience to help make change with the foster care system not only in NJ but on a national level in efforts to help make an impact on at-risk youth. Kaysie has formerly worked in conjunction with her state to help make changes to NJ’s system by participating in the focus groups, committees, working for various organizations and leading Youth Advisory Boards. Kaysie has done numerous speaking engagements by telling her story in efforts to help youth that were once like herself to become successful. Kaysie currently works at Robin’s Nest as one of their Youth Advisory Network Coordinator’s providing technical assistance and trainings to organizations throughout her state imbed youth voice in their programs. Kaysie also works for JBS as National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Support Coach and helps advise for the Youth Thrive Initiative for the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Her work was recognized in 2016 when she received CCAI’s Angel in Adoption Award for Senator Corey Booker.

Mary Anne Herrick

Resource Development Committee: Chair 

 

 

Mary is a communications officer for World Vision’s global water program, where she helps raise awareness and support for clean drinking water in the developing world. Mary has extensive professional experience working with the child welfare system. She was manager of foster care programs for the College Success Foundation and held research positions with Casey Family Programs and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

 

Mary earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington. She is a founding member of FCAA, co-founded the Washington chapter in 2013, and joined the Board of Directors in January 2014. Mary spent eight years in foster care and aged out at eighteen. She has studied or done volunteer work in Chile, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Italy, and Japan, and she is fluent in Spanish.

 

“I believe in FCAA because I know alumni are a powerful force for improving foster care, and I joined the board because I wanted to inspire more people to help.”

Lacy Kendrick Burk, Vice President

Resource Development Committee: Member
Chapter & Member Committee: Member
Finance Committee: Member

 

Lacy is an international expert in youth engagement. A partner at Change Matrix, LLC, Lacy works at the local, state, federal, and international levels, including implementation of federal initiatives, systems transformation, change management, strategic planning, facilitation, coaching, keynotes, policy development, implementation, and outcomes improvement.

 

Lacy was a 2014 VOICE award recipient for her work in mental health advocacy. In addition to FCAA, she serves on the boards of Young People in Recovery and the International Foster Care Organization. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology and business administration, both from William Carey College.

 

Lacy spent six years in foster care, and was adopted at age 28 by her long-time foster parents, who received the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Award in 2013.

 

“Having connections to other people with experiences like mine has been one of the most powerful and positive impacts on my life. FCAA provides a place to feel connected and safe with others who have shared care experience, and provides a place to unify our voices as a powerful mechanism to make foster care a better place for future generations.”

 

Constance Iannetta

Marketing and Communications Committee: Chair
Governance Committee: Member
Resource Development Committee: Member
Chapter and Member Committee: Member 

 

Constance Iannetta (née Krebs) spent six years in the dependency system before aging out at eighteen years old.

 

An active advocate on child welfare and mental health issues for the past 10+ years, Constance has provided testimony for various foster care legislation. She was a co-founder of the Pennsylvania Chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America, a founding member of the Bucks County Youth Advisory Board and Youth MOVE Philadelphia Chapter, has served on the Philadelphia Blue Ribbon Commission on Children’s Behavioral Health, and as a youth/community partner for the Montgomery County Systems of Care Leadership team. Her work has been recognized with awards from the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, the Golden Heart Group and the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption Network  (SWAN) and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

 

Constance attended The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College prior to earning a Business degree from Gwynedd-Mercy University. She now resides in the Philadelphia area with her husband and kinship children and is employed at Delta Community Supports, a local foster care agency.

 

Travis Lloyd, President

Marketing & Communications Committee: Member
Resource Development Committee: Member

 

Travis Lloyd is an international motivational speaker and consultant primarily serving organizations and events that focus on creating systemic change within child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health services.  In 2014, he authored the book Overcoming Emotional Trauma: Life Beyond Survival Mode with contributions from the late Dr. Gregory Keck. This book highlights Mr. Lloyd’s personal stories and advice for overcoming traumatic experiences and has been utilized both in clinical practices and educational settings in several U.S. states and led to the development of a seminar addressing the application of Trauma Informed Care principles. 

 

Prior to pursuing a full time speaking, consulting, advocacy efforts Travis served as a Registered Nurse in emergency departments, inpatient mental health facilities, and more recently as a mental health Mobile Crisis Worker with law enforcement. His first professional experience related to foster care began in 2007 when he served as the regional facilitator of a foster youth advisory council and he has been on the FCAA National Board of Directors since 2013.

Kadia Edwards

Governance Committee: Member
Chapter and Member Committee: Member

 

Kadia Edwards currently serves as a Community Organizer which allows her to travel the country facilitating training and workshops related to racial justice and gender equality issues. She is an ordained Reverend in the American Baptist Churches and has been since 2009. She serves as an Associate in Ministry at Watson Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, TN.

 

She hails from St. Catherine, Jamaica but has also learned to call Connecticut home.  She is a graduate of Duke University where she received her Master’s of Divinity. Prior to her enrollment at Duke, in May of 2005, Kadia graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Ministry at Lipscomb University where she hopes to graduate in May 2020.

 

While in academia, Reverend Edwards was the recipient of the Orphan Foundation of America scholarship and named as one of the Who’s Who among College and Universities. She also served on the Board for the National Foster Youth Advisory Council and is one of the founding members of the Connecticut Youth Alliances; both organizations are dedicated to the support and advancement of young people in the foster care system.  Currently, she serves on the Foster Care Review Board.

 

Ms. Edwards is a person whose spiritual nature allows her to grow and change; not only survive but thrive. Throughout her different placements in the foster care environment, she continually kept her scholastic goals in mind and feels that her gift is to pass this love of learning on to others in her community.  Rev. Edwards believes that it is the ability to look beyond the immediate and to trust in a higher power that can make a difference and will allow others to achieve their life’s vision. She believes that this distinctive perspective learned through her difficult life, can be communicated to the people she serves as she moves through her professional career; gracefully helping them to see that “anything is possible” if you believe, focus and work hard. Her philosophy is summed up by this quote from Helen Rice Steiner, “Life is a mixture of sunshine and rain, laughter and pleasure, teardrops and pain; all days can’t be bright but this is certainly true, there was never a cloud the sun didn’t shine through.”

Candice Towe

Resource Development Committee: Chair
Marketing and Communications Committee: Member

 

Candice Towe is a native of Seattle Washington and currently resides in San Antonio Texas following several years residing in Pasadena California. She majored in Applied Behavioral Sciences at Baster University’s Leadership Institute, with a minor in Systems Development, and majored in Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara California. Candice brings more than 30 years of management experience in local, state, and national public and nonprofit agencies focused on addressing the over or under-representation of certain groups in public/private welfare agencies relative to the group’s proportion  in the general population—all in order to affect change resulting in improved life outcomes for vulnerable children and families. She has a strong desire to participate in movements, like FCAA, that address the many injustices in our society. “I am always in awe of those unafraid to share power, purpose, and plenty, and who see their own child in every child.”

 

Candice leads (and enjoys) fundraising and resource development for Teach For America’s San Antonio Region. She is a long-distance runner, writer, avid reader, and has an insatiable appetite for travel.

Carma Michelle Lacy, Treasurer

Finance Committee: Chair
Chapter & Member Committee: Member

 

Carma Lacy is currently the Director of Policy and Initiatives, for the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio (WDBCO). In this position, she not only manages programs but also provides fiscal oversight for funding provided by the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, State of Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Franklin County Department of Jobs and Family Services and the City of Columbus.  The programs funded by the above entities support youth, adults, veterans and dislocated workers with employment and education opportunities.  Her expertise includes workforce development for marginalized populations, grants fiscal management, procurement and contract negotiations.

 

Carma’s experience includes fifteen years in public administration, financial management and investment oversight with the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation, the State of Ohio, Nationwide Insurance, BISYS Fund Services and Huntington National Bank.

 

A product of the Columbus, Ohio public school system and an alumnus of the Franklin County Children’s Services Emancipation program, Carma holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from Ohio Dominican University in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Paralegal Studies from Capital University Law School.  She also holds Master of Business Administration and a Masters of Public Administration with Ohio Dominican and Strayer University.

 

Carma contributes to the community by donating her expertise in project management, business development, and social media skills to local nonprofits.  Her civic and charitable commitments include support for the following organizations: National Foster Care Alumni of America (Board of Directors), National Coalition of 100 Black Women (Committee Chair), Rise Sister Rise (Board of Directors and Program Facilitator), the Ohio Sickle Cell Association, Gateway Health & Wellness Center, YMCA Homeless Shelter, Strategies Against Violence Everywhere (S.A.V.E.), Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, Mid-Ohio Food Bank, and Heat-Check of Atlanta, Georgia. She is also one of the founders of the Learning World Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Atlanta, Georgia that focuses on youth empowerment.

Crys O’Grady, Assistant Treasurer

Policy Committee: Co-Chair
Finance Committee: Member
Chapter & Member Committee: Member

 

Crys O’Grady, JD, is the research manager at the National Indian Child Welfare Association, where she manages community based participatory research projects with American Indian and Alaska Native children, youth, and families, as well as develops tools to assist in community development on child welfare issues. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Stanford University and a juris doctor from the University of Washington School of Law.

 

In addition to her service on the national board, Crys was a founding member of FCAA’s Washington chapter. She also advocates for youth through her service on the board of the Phenomenal Families based in San Diego, California. An alumna of New Jersey’s child welfare system, she is particularly interested in the application of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), as well as the availability and access to mental health services for current and former foster youth. Crys believes that children, youth, and families need to have an active role in child welfare reform on the county, state, and national level.

Foster Care Alumni of America, National Staff

Whitney Gilliard, Project Manager

 

Whitney earned her Bachelors of Human Services at Troy University and was in the foster care system for seven years prior to meeting her forever foster parents at 17. She is now the Founder of G&Co, formally known as Gilliard and Company, a non-profit designed to assist foster youth in transition through life coaching sessions and life skill workshops. G&Co also provides comfort for younger foster children through providing Christmas Presents and creating birthday parties for foster children with special needs.

 

Whitney has been an active foster youth advocate ever since she was in the foster care system, serving on foster youth committee panels as well as foster parent training panels. After aging out of the system, Whitney continued to advocate for progressive legislative change. She did so by partnering with George Washington Medical University and the Children’s Rights Foundation to be involved with the Adverse Childhood Experience studies and fight for improved educational opportunities for foster youth.

 

The FCAA National Board is happy to have her on the team!

 

“Most people say it doesn’t matter where you came from; I disagree. Remember where you came from, get your education, and go back to make it better.” ~Whitney

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