Jay Butler is the State Program and Technical Support Lead for the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). He works with state and tribal child support programs to expand their use of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) by maximizing automation and developing effective methods for using data and applications provided by OCSE’s Division of Federal Systems. He is currently coordinating state participation in the Child Support Portal Modernization Project. Prior to joining OCSE in early 2013, he worked for 14 years in the State of Tennessee Child Support Program as a Project Director where he was responsible for implementation and ongoing operations of the Tennessee Child Support State Disbursement Unit (SDU) beginning in 1999 and the Customer Service Unit (CSU) beginning in 2004. Jay currently resides in Nashville, TN.
Alyson Campbell retired from state government in June 2015 after 31 years of service with the Missouri Department of Social Services. Throughout her career, Alyson held a variety of positions in the child support program including front line casework and supervision, training, policy, automated systems and executive level positions. In her last six years with the Department she served as the Director of the Family Support Division, the agency that administers Medicaid, SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Support, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind and other public assistance programs. Upon retirement, Alyson started a consulting company, works part-time and serves as a volunteer Community Educator for the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Missouri Chapter.
Greg Campbell began his career with the Division of Family Services in 1985 as an Income Maintenance Eligibility Specialist. In 1989 he transferred to the Division of Child Support Enforcement as Child Support Investigator and later supervisor with the Alternative Care Collections Unit. In 1997, Greg worked on the Missouri Automated Child Support System (MACSS) conversion team traveling throughout the state helping Circuit Clerks. Following conversion in 1998, he worked with the Compliance Review Section and in 2003, started his present position as a trainer working with both Prosecuting Attorney and Family Support Division staff.
Anne Chambers, LCSW serves as the Director of the Missouri Lawyers’ Assistance Program. Mrs. Chambers received her Master of Social Work degree from Louisiana State University in 1990. She has been licensed in clinical social work in Missouri since 1992. Mrs. Chambers has significant experience working with people to address mental health and substance concerns.
Mrs. Chambers is a past president of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work, past chair of the National Association of Social Workers Legal Defense Fund Service Board and served as chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Senior Lawyers Committee. Anne lives with her family in Columbia.
Meredith Childs is the Supervisor of Advocacy & Community Based Programs with MissouriCare where she oversees the regional/statewide community advocacy department. She establishes annual advocacy outreach plans including those for special populations as required by the state and cultivates relationships with community based organizations, advocacy and civic/community leaders throughout the state. Ms. Childs has over 20 years combined experience working in both healthcare and the social service sector. She obtained BA-Human Services from Columbia College and completed the Deaconess Foundation Effective Leadership Practices Training with Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, President-CEO of Deaconess Foundation.
Although currently with MissouriCare, 5 years of her professional career was with the Fathers’ Support Center, St. Louis beginning as a Social Worker and culminating to Director of Social Services. In this role she coordinated activities for the Family Formation-Responsible Fatherhood Project and Parenting in Partnership programs.
She is the proud parent of 2 successful daughters; Kiara Harmon, MA –Education, employed at Harris Stowe State University as a Financial Aid Advisor, and Kayla Harmon, full time 4th year college student at University of Missouri-St. Louis (Psychology major) returning this summer from studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea at Korea University.
Andrea Clark is an experienced family court mediator with the Domestic Relations Services Department of the Family Court of St. Louis County, having worked with the office for 35+ years. She is also a founding member of the Missouri Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), a past president and board member of MO-AFCC, and a board member of the AFCC parent organization from 2007-2015. She co-authored, with Professor Kelly Browe Olson, A Guide for Family Mediators: Working with Self-Represented Litigants in 2017http://www.afccnet.org/Portals/0/Guide%20for%20Mediators.pdf Andrea has been involved with the St. Louis County Family Court’s Parenting Court docket since its inception.
Dee Ann Davis has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Central Missouri. Shas was hired in November of 1987 as a child support enforcement technician in the Rolla FSD office and promoted to a supervisor in 1996. Dee Ann accepted a position with the MACSS Help Desk in 2013 as a Program Development Specialist working with Managed Reporting, Case Review, and OnBase systems. In 2014, Dee Ann was promoted and currently serves as the Prosecuting Attorney Liaison and County Reimbursement Manager.
Andrew “Drew” Dziedzic serves as Policy Coordinator to Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt. Drew advises the Treasurer on his agenda, and he assists the Treasurer with his service on several state boards and commissions. Drew is the Treasurer Schmitt’s primary contact on MO ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience), Missouri’s savings program for individuals with disabilities.
Vickie Endicott started her career with FSD in the Child Support office in Jefferson County where she learned a wide variety of skills. She spent the last 5 years in Jefferson County, as a Financials Specialist and loved it! Vickie’s favorite aspect of the job is dealing with the clients either in person or by phone. She now works in the Training Unit for Child Support in Jefferson City and her customer service skills are still a huge part of her job! She is very excited about being a speaker at MCSEA’s 40th annual profession training conference!
Dr. Ladell Flowers was born in St Louis, Mo. 1951. Bachelor of Education and Missouri Life Teaching Certificate. Double Master degree in Counseling and Education from the University of Missouri Columbia. Missouri certified Qualified Professional in Substance Abuse with SATOP. Licensed and Ordained Minister. Assistant Pastor Heart of America Christian Fellowship Church. Twenty-eight years substance abuse and correctional counseling in federal, state and private community corrections centers. Multiple years’ experience at group and individual counseling. Chaired United States National Cuban Task Force Committee for Refugee ex-offender re-entry programs across the nation -1991-92. Chaired the Kansas City, Missouri Troost Corridor Community Market Development 1999-2000. Chaired Troost Midtown Business Association 2000-2001. Troost Community Market received funding from multiple local sources such as Kauffman Foundation, Health Midwest, and Missouri Community Block grants. In 2008 Rev. Flowers was selected to serve a 3-year term as Substance Abuse Advisory Council Board member for the Missouri Department of Mental Health Alcohol and Drug Division. The Advisory Council serves as an advisory body to the division (ADA) and the division director on policy, prevention and treatment activities in the state of Missouri. The council was created by Missouri Statute found in section 631.020, Missouri Revised Statues. Reverend Flowers’ selection to this board demonstrate his the level of recognition he and Dismas House KC in this field of work. In 2010 Reverend Flowers increased his state credentialing to Certified Criminal Justice Professional. This credentialing is reciprocal in 17 state and multiple International communities in the field of substance abuse and correctional counseling.
Jason Ford began his career with the Family Support Division in 1992 as an enforcement worker in the Memphis office. He transferred to the Interstate office in 1993. Jason promoted to supervisor in 1998. He accepted a position with the training unit in 2013 and became the Child Support Training Manager in 2017. Jason enjoys his job in the training unit, helping staff to understand their job so they can help the families of Missouri.
Lara Fors is a First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of Greene County and currently serves as the Director of a multi-county prosecutors’ office in Springfield, MO where the staff judicially establishes and enforces IV-D child support orders in Greene, Christian and Taney counties. Lara has spent her entire legal career in the IV-D program, and all but six months has been in the state of Missouri. She has worked in the Kansas City, Jefferson City and Springfield areas. Before returning to this Office in July 2011, she served as the IV-D Deputy Director of the Missouri Family Support Division.
Lara currently serves on the Honorary Board of the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) and is a past president of ERICSA (2014) and of Missouri’s state association, MCSEA (2007). Lara has presented to numerous conferences and events including ERICSA, Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council (WICSEC), National Tribal Child Support Association (NTCSA), National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA), Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, the Christian County Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar. Lara also serves as Treasurer of the Southern Missouri Women Lawyers Association.
Lara has been awarded the Springfield Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award (2009), the MCSEA Honorary Life Member (2014), and the Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly Women’s Justice Award for Public Service Practitioner of the Year (2016). Lara received her undergraduate degree at Central Methodist College (now University) in 1992 and received her J.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1995. She is a member of both the Missouri and Kansas Bars.
Scott F Fox graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia Law School in 2008. Scott previously served as an Assistant Prosecutor in Cooper County, Missouri and as an Assistant Attorney General in Public Safety as a state-wide special prosecutor. Scott is currently employed in Audrain County, Missouri, as an Assistant Prosecutor, Child Support Prosecutor and Juvenile Office Attorney.
Mara Flanagan Friesen serves as the Deputy Attorney General (IV-D Director) for the Texas Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division (CSD). In this role she is responsible for ensuring that the CSD meets all federal program performance standards and that Texas family law conforms to federal requirements for child support establishment and enforcement. In addition, the office is responsible for the daily operations of the division. Prior to her appointment, Mara served as the Deputy Director of Child Support, where she worked to make certain that the initiatives across the CSD were supported and that they focused on commitment to excellence by providing outstanding customer service, record-breaking collections, and cost-effective operations.
Mara began her career with the CSD as a Field Attorney in the Tyler field office. Since then, Mara has served in various legal and managerial positions at the state, regional and local levels, including Managing Attorney in the Nacogdoches field office, Assistant Deputy Director for Field Legal Practice, Regional Administrator for the Austin-area Region, and CSD Deputy Director.
Mara earned her J.D. at Baylor Law School, in Waco, Texas, and her B.A. at Louisiana Tech University, in Ruston, Louisiana.
Darlene Fritz graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Management. In 2013, Darlene joined the Department of Social Services Human Resource Center Training Unit. Her 20+ years experience in training, consulting, and leadership provide great background for her current role as a Training Technician.
Mathew Gass, MSW, LCSW works as the Director of Transitions at Burrell Behavioral Health. Burrell Transitions encompasses roughly nine specialty service programs aimed at improving the quality of life for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders in Southwest, Missouri. As a therapist, Mat provided therapeutic interventions using Cognitive Behavioral techniques and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. In his current role, Mat has been focused on working with underserved populations and addressing the negative effects that poverty can play on an individual’s mental wellbeing. Outside of the office, Mat, his wife Kimberly, and children enjoy hiking and canoeing the outdoors around their home in Branson, Missouri.
Sergeant Shawn Griggs of the Missouri State Highway Patrol is the Public Information, Education, and Training Officer for the MSHP’s Division of Drug and Crime Control. He has been with the MSHP for over 13 years. Previously the Coordinator of the East Central Drug Task (6 county drug task force encompassing 16 different law enforcement agencies), Sergeant Griggs was named as a Distinguished Young Alumni by Central Methodist University, for his work in the state of Missouri.
Todd Hadnot has 18 years experience working at Saint Francis Community Services in the child welfare field. Most of these years have been working with families and youth providing preventions services and facilitating classes. He has a blended family that consist of 10 wonderful children and 15 grandchildren. Todd is also a foster parent of 2 great children. Over the years he’s fostered over 50 children.
David Hartsfield is a Child Support Outreach Coordinator for the Missouri Family Support Division, and has been with the Division for 2 ½ years. Prior to joining the state, he served as a professor of political science at Truman State University and a local pastor for the United Methodist Church. He currently pastors St. Paul United Methodist Church in New Bloomfield, Missouri; serves as a volunteer chaplain for Capital Region Medical Center and is on their Clergy Board of Governors. His work with FSD focuses primarily on Responsible Parenting Initiatives.
Angela Hirsch, CCAP is the Chief Program Officer for Central Missouri Community Action, a position she has held since 2016. Since joining CMCA as the Community Services Director in 2005, energy assistance, family development, community organizing, poverty simulations, targeted coaching and youth programs are some of the initiatives overseen by Ms. Hirsch in an eight county region throughout Central Missouri. In this work, Ms. Hirsch administrates the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) Program, and oversees the Foster Grandparent Program, the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Weatherization services for CMCA.
Prior to joining CMCA, Ms. Hirsch dedicated her professional career to the Crime Victims’ Advocacy movement as the Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Victim Services Supervisor for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and a Victim Advocate with the Cole County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson City Rape & Abuse Crisis Service. From 1999 to 2006 she served on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Victim Assistance Network (MoVA) of which she served two years as President.
Ms. Hirsch is a recognized trainer on victim services and the nature and dynamics of victimization. She has provided instruction to various law enforcement, judicial and public service professionals across Missouri. In addition, over the last 12 years, Ms. Hirsch has facilitated state and national discussions and trainings on the causes and conditions of poverty. She is a nationally certified trainer for the “Bridges out of Poverty” and Compassion Fatigue seminars, a facilitator for the Missouri Poverty Simulation project and an evaluator for the Community Action Organizational Standards. For the last two years, she has served on the Missouri Community Action Network Board of Directors where she currently serves as First Vice-President.
Ms. Hirsch began her career with the National Alliance of Children’s Trust Funds as the first coordinator working with the Federal government and all 50 states on child abuse prevention efforts. A native Missourian, Ms. Hirsch returned to Missouri in 1993 after working with Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon. She resides in Jefferson City with her husband and two children.
Jenita Hladyshewsky, Master of Communication and Master of Human Resource Development, Director of Workforce Innovation, joined Connections to Success in 2013. Bringing over 15 years of experience in the workforce development field, Jenita serves as the bridge-builder between participants, career-based employers, and transitional job training programs. With a background in business communication, diversity training and human resource development, she is able to provide the needed resources for participants to attain gainful employment and become financially independent. Furthermore, Jenita has managed the program department including; staff supervision, grants management and curriculum development. Developing relationships through one-on-one interaction, participants have entrusted the guidance that Jenita provides, as well as the support she continually offers. Jenita is currently working on her book, Beyond the 40 – Debunking the full time job myth.
Melissa Johnson completed her Juris Doctorate degree from Washburn University School of Law in 1999. She spent almost 6 years as the Neosho county attorney handling criminal prosecution and serving as the county counselor over all civil issues as well. She joined the Kansas Department for Children and Families in 2006 as an attorney for the IV-D program. Since 2006, she has served the IV-D program in both legal establishment and enforcement roles. In 2011, she joined the Child Support Services Central Office in Kansas and was soon named the deputy director for the program. In March, 2015 she joined the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement as the Region VII Program Manager.
A. Wayne Jones, Bishop of Embassy of Heaven Church, an international speaker/consultant, author, and Adjunct Professor at St. Louis Community College District. Dr. Jones is the developer of numerous academic and development curricula and programs that holistically address student pedagogy/andragogy mastery and personal development focusing on males, men, and fathers through the Life Path to Destiny and Sociology of Life Curricula.
Heather Jones is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Manager within the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division. Ms. Jones has been with the Family Support Division for thirty years including nineteen years with the Child Support program. She has experience in case work, supervision, project management, policy development, training, and grant management. She has participated on the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Child and Families, Office of Community Services, Program Integrity Workgroup and Performance Management Implementation Workgroup. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Steve Kissinger is the Contract Manager for the Centralized Mail Processing, Case Initiation and Electronic Document Management Services Contract for the Family Support Division in the Missouri Department of Social Services. He began his career with the Child Support Program in 1994, after serving 11 years in the US Army. Steve earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Park University in 1992. Steve was directly involved in the process to re-engineer the Missouri Child Support Enforcement Structure and Workflow and is a recipient of the 2007 Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity Process Improvement. Steve was a member of the workgroup that led to the establishment of the Enforcement Call Center in Missouri. He is a member of the Missouri Child Support Enforcement Association (MCSEA) and has served as speaker at town hall regional meetings and the annual professional development conference. Steve is an agent of change for improvements in the child support program. He has participated on several state level workgroups, including implementation of PRWORA distribution changes, customer service awareness training, and process improvements for employee performance and evaluation. Steve has been married for 30 years. He and his wife Regina have four sons and one grand-child. Steve serves as a volunteer leader in the Boy Scouts of America since 1996, currently serving as Scoutmaster.
Charles W. Lawshe’, Jr. was just elevated to first level Bishop in August of 2017. He has been a Pastor for 8 years and in ministry for 20 years. Overseer has worked with numerous young and assisted them with becoming well adjusted and upright citizens over the last 20 years. Overseer is married with two sons, Nicholas Alexander and Christopher Charles and one adopted Son Jamison Michael Armstrong.
Bishop Lorenzo Lawson is a native of Columbia MO. He holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Currently pursuing a MBA at William Woods University.
2000 – 2016, Bishop Lawson along with wife Clemmie Founded Chosen Generation Ministries, an Inner-City Missions ministry in Columbia MO.
2000 – 2004, Bishop Lawson was hired as director of the Successful Neighborhood Resource Center (SNRC). SNRC was created by City of Columbia, First Ward Council lady, Ms. Almeta Crayton for the purpose of assisting and empowering citizens who were victims of poverty.
2001 – 2004, Bishop Lawson was hired by Business Response Inc. as a representative and human resource recruiter.
2003, Bishop Lawson was granted an early released from Parole by the Missouri Department of Corrections
2004 – 2006, Bishop Lawson was contracted by Boone Community Partnership as a Youth Development Specialist, for the purpose of assisting youth with gaining and retaining employment
2004 – 2005, Bishop Lawson was appointed director of the Columbia Disaster Recovery Center that assisted over 300 Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors relocate to the Mid-Missouri area.
2005, Bishop Lawson received the City of Columbia’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award for his outstanding work in Columbia poor communities and assisting Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors.
2006 – Present, Bishop Lawson founded and currently is the executive director of the Youth Empowerment Zone (YEZ). YEZ is a not-for-profit, community based organization designed to help uplift and empower children, youth, and families whom are victims of poverty.
2008 – 2009, Bishop Lawson was appointed by the Mayor of Columbia to serve as a commissioner, on the Columbia Vision Commission.
2009 – Present, Bishop Lawson was selected to serve as the only community member on the Governor’s Reentry Steering Committee.
2009, Bishop Lawson received Stephens College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Outstanding Service Award and the Youth Community Coalition’s Hero for Youth Award.
2010 – 2011, Bishop was selected to serve on the University of Missouri’s Institution Review Board.
2012 – 2016, Bishop Lawson co-founded Silence the Violence Initiative (STVI) in Columbia Missouri. STVI is designed to combat the surge of violence in Columbia’s inner city.
2012 – 2014, Bishop Lawson served as President for the Boone County Offender Transition network, a Missouri Reentry Program.
2013 – 2016, Bishop Lawson was selected to serve on the Missouri Department Higher Education’s College Access Advisory Committee.
2013 – Present, Bishop Lawson was chosen to serve on the Disproportionate Minority Juvenile Contact Committee.
2014 – 2015, Bishop Lawson was selected by the Mayor of Columbia to serve on his Task Force on Community Violence.
2014 – Present, Bishop Lawson was appointed as Vice president of the Minority Men Network-
2014 -Present, Bishop Lawson was selected to serve on the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Committee;
2016 – Present, Bishop Lawson founded the Inspiring Academy (IA). IA is an early childhood education program designed to provide affordable and effective educational training for at-risk children.
Jery (Jerome) Márquez grew up in México. Márquez, studied communications at the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua. He is married to a social worker (Becky), they have two kids, son Ajay who is 13-years old and their daughter Mercedes (Mechita) 8 years old. He has been involved inmorro1 the fatherhood initiative for 7 years, he has worked in different fatherhood programs with Kansas Children’s Service League; National Center for Fathering; Dads of Douglas County; and currently at Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department. As the Healthy Dads coordinator, he along with a group of men facilitate a fatherhood classes in the community, jail and homeless community shelter. In the community, he is a coach for dads as well. He and two dads (Vince Romero and Charlie Bryan) facilitated a Boot Camp for new and expecting dads. Márquez has a passion working with dads and helps them to understand how important they are for their children and why they need to support and respect their children’s mother. Márquez likes to tell dads he feels that he represents the voice of the children.
Joy Mauskemo is a Case Manager for Meskwaki Nation Child Support Services (MNCSS). She has been with the MNCSS program for 3 years. She resides on the Meskwaki Settlement with her husband and two daughters.
Mary Meyers is an assistant prosecuting attorney in St. Louis County, and has been for nearly twenty years. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas and University of Iowa School of Law.
Kerensa Morrow-Kempf began working with the Department of Social Services in February 1999. She promoted from Clerk Typist II to Child Support Technician six months later. She worked as a specialist for eight years. Her experience as a specialist prepared her for her current position as Training Technician II. Her experience in the field of Child Support includes, but is not limited to, one year as a Medical Support Enforcement Technician, Enforcement Specialist and Financial Specialist before becoming a Training Technician. At the end of 2000, she left FSD for six weeks to work for the United States Postal Service. There, she learned that “money isn’t everything,” and she truly enjoys working with and helping people. Her goal as a trainer is to help you, help others. She joined the board of MCSEA because she is passionate about the child support program and the opportunity to make learning enjoyable.
She married Brandon Kempf in October 2001. Gabby and AnnaBeth are their two entertaining daughters. When she is not training, Kerensa enjoys playing a wide variety of board games with family, watching movies, and singing, just for fun.
Jana Nulik serves as the Director of Training and Impact for Connections to Success and is thrilled to lead their national replication efforts. Jana utilizes her multiple workforce development (OWDS, GCDF) and parenting certifications (NPCL Master Trainer, True Parenting Facilitator) to inspire and equip others to impact individuals, families and communities.
Richard (Rick) Pierce graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition in 1996 and received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1997 from the University of Missouri-School of Law, Columbia. Rick has served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Cooper County, Missouri, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office since 1996. Rick started his work in the area of Child Support in 1997 with a division of duties as assistant prosecutor, child support prosecutor, and attorney for the Cooper County Juvenile Office. In 2000, he became the Administrator of the Boonville Regional Child Support Project working to establish paternity and enforce existing child support orders in the central Missouri Counties of Cooper, Howard, Chariton and Randolph.
Dr. Arminta Phelps is dedicated to the natural health and wellness of her community. She is the owner of Achieve Balance Chiropractic in Columbia MO. Completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri and earning her doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic-Davenport. She is one of two Doctors in Missouri who have been certified as a Wellness Expert(CCWP), with extensive training in eating well, thinking well and moving well. Her and her team are on a mission to help as many people as they can to achieve optimal health and wellness with specific chiropractic care and wellness education. As a Wellness Expert, her purpose is to inspire, educate, promote and celebrate healthy lifestyle choices by guiding you to a better experience of life you all deserve.
“We do what we do, so you can do what you love” ~Dr. Arminta Phelps
Dan Pingelton, Esq. is an attorney in private practice in Columbia, Missouri, concentrating on civil litigation and family law. From 1986 to 1998, he was a contract and part-time staff attorney for the Division of Child Support Enforcement. He graduated from Arizona State University in 1981 with a degree in Journalism, and received his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1984. Mr. Pingelton wrote the first state-level administrative hearing decision for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to be published in the national Education of the Handicapped Law Reporter. He served for 18 years as a hearing officer pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Some of Dan’s reported cases include Dye v. Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement, 811 S.W.2d 355 (Mo.banc 1981) [constitutionality of administrative child support enforcement statutes]; Baird v. Baird, 843 S.W.2d 388 (Mo.App.E.D. 1992) [first Missouri case confirming use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to seize ERISA retirement funds for child support and maintenance arrears]; McCreary v. McCreary, 954 S.W.2d 433 (Mo.App.W.D. 1997) [multiple issues including proper standard for modification of custody; proper use of remedy of equitable accounting in a fiduciary relationship for child support; mandatory award of attorney fees; and liability for medical expense reimbursement]; and M.D. v. J.J., 30 S.W.3d 215 (Mo.App.W.D. 2000) [established Missouri precedent that an unmarried person can recover damages for negligent transmission of the herpes virus].
Dan has presented continuing legal education seminars for The Missouri Bar as well as child support professionals both in Missouri and throughout the country, including national IV-D law reviews for the NCSEA in 2002 (New Orleans), 2003 (Orlando) and 2004 (Palm Springs). He wrote two chapters for Missouri Family Law, 6th ed., published by the Missouri Bar: Marital Settlement and Separation Agreements and The Division of Child Support Enforcement. He has just completed the seventh edition of both chapters, including an extensive revision of “Family Support Division.” He is a Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Missouri Child Support Enforcement Association.
Curtis Pitts Selected by the widow of slain Civil Rights Leaders, Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Mrs. Coretta Scott King chose Curtis Pitts as one of the “Top 10 Up and Coming African American Leaders” in the United States in 1981. Mrs. King invited Curtis Pitts to work and enroll at the Prestigious “Scholars Institute” at the Dr. Martin L King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, GA. 785-408-6325Curtispitts54@gmail.com
Kimberly Porch started with FSD as an Eligibility Specialist in the Jefferson County Income Maintenance office in 2010. In 2014, she moved to Jefferson City to work in the MAGI Processing Center before joining the Customer Relations Unit as a Correspondence and Information Specialist (CRU). While in the CRU, she responded to participant and legislative inquiries regarding Income Maintenance programs and acted as a liaison between participants and FSD. Kimberly became a Program Development Specialist with the MAGI Family MO HealthNet program in 2016. This position focuses on working closely with other MAGI program stakeholders such as Income Maintenance field staff, the MO HealthNet Division, the Division on Legal Services, and the MEDES system project team to prepare, implement and monitor Family MO HealthNet program related policies and procedures.
Donna Jo Prather Rhoads graduated in 1992 from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Sociology and Vocal Performance. Following graduation, Donna continued to manage a local restaurant and catering business in Ashland Mo that she co-owned with her mother, Susi Clayton. In 1999 she accepted a position as a Child Support Caseworker in the Columbia Child Support office and continued to work both jobs until the restaurant sold in April 2002. For the majority of her time as a specialist, Donna worked in financials and her love of that work led her to accept a position with the Financial Resolutions Section in Nov 2015 where she remained until August 2016 when she accepted a position with the Child Support Outreach Unit. She considers herself blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to use her customer service and casework skills working toward expanding the reach of the Child Support Program in new and exciting ways.
Donna fell in love with MCSEA at her first conference in 2000. Since then she has served on several committees, as the Region X director, and on the Executive Board. She has remarked more than once that her work with MCSEA representing the hard working child support professionals of the State of MO has been one of her greatest joys and honors.
Donna is married to Kenneth Rhoads, who also began his career as a child support technician in the Kansas City Child Support office on 63rd Street. He now works for the Office of Administration as the Team Lead over the MACSS Unit so, he never really got away from child support and wouldn’t want to! Together they went on to have two beautiful and brilliant daughters, Isabella and Adeline. Donna loves to read, cook, entertain, and spend time with family and friends. When Adeline was asked at school what her mom did at work she responded, “she loves the children of the state of MO as much as she loves me so she works every day to make sure they are taken care of”……and that about sums it up.
Veronica Ragland is a licensed attorney, published author, certified arbitrator, and Lean Six Sigma certified professional who has led human services operations, influenced policy, and served as an advocate in public, private, and nonprofit sector environments.
Veronica began her professional career with several Fortune 100 companies. She transitioned into the nonprofit world, briefly, as a business development professional with the National Council of Negro Women, International Division under Dr. Dorothy I. Height, where she decided to pursue law. While attending Georgetown University Law Center, Veronica returned to private industry as a project leader supporting the financial and IT systems needs for three federal agencies. After graduating from law school, Veronica clerked for the Superior Court of Arizona before joining Honeywell International’s Office of General Counsel as an Attorney, where she later became Honeywell’s first dedicated Supplier Diversity professional.
Veronica’s transition into human and social services began as an Administrator and then Director for the state of Arizona’s child support program. After a decade, Veronica transitioned to the nonprofit world again, where she served in director positions for two agencies that provide training, vocational services, recreational programming, and independent living supports for adults with cognitive disabilities. Last year, Veronica served as a consultant for the Center for Law & Public Policy, where she researched promising practices in child support-led employment programs for low-income noncustodial fathers. Recently, Veronica joined MAXIMUS, Inc.’s Human Services sector where she manages a portfolio of child support and benefits and eligibility projects across the nation.
Veronica received her J.D. from Georgetown University, B.S. from Arizona State University, and Six Sigma and Lean Principles certifications from Honeywell International. She is married, has two children, and lives outside of Phoenix, AZ.
Jason Sax joined the US Navy out of High School. He served for close to seven years on the USS Fulton out of New London, Connecticut and the USS Blue Ridge out of Yokosuka, Japan. After his medical discharge, he taught conversational English at NOVA to Japanese students in Japan.
In 2004, Jason graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in History. In 2005, he began working with the Department of Social Services as a Youth Specialist for the Division of Youth Services (DYS). Over the next eleven plus years, he worked through the ranks of DYS to the position of Service Coordinator Supervisor over the Cole County Service Coordinator Unit.
Throughout his professional life, Jason has taught, trained and led by example. He endeavors to provide a classroom environment that is engaging and affords the greatest opportunity for learning and the exchanging of ideas. Jason looks forward to meeting and working with you.
Dennis N. Smith is currently an Associate Circuit Judge in St. Louis County. He graduated from Washington University School of Engineering and Duke University School of Law. He previously served as an assistant public defender for St. Louis County and St. Charles County, and was in the private practice of law until 1994, when he was appointed Family Court Commissioner in St. Louis County. He was appointed to his current position in November 1995.
He served as Chairperson of the Missouri Supreme Court Committee on Access to Family Courts and in 2014, he received the Chief Justice Access to Justice Award.
Justin Smith serves as Deputy Counsel to Governor Eric Greitens. Before joining the administration, Justin handled complex litigation and regulatory compliance as an attorney with Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in Kansas City, Missouri. While at Shook, Justin also represented children as a guardian ad litem. In 2015 and 2016, Justin was recognized by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” and by the Missouri Bar on its Pro Bono Wall of Fame. Justin received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and his law degree from the University of Missouri.
Jeanne Sparks is an outreach coordinator for the Missouri Family Support Division, and has worked with the Division for over 19 years. She served as a Parents Fair Share Program case manager for several years, and currently serves as the FSD liaison with the Department of Veterans Affairs Compensated Work Therapy program staff to assist veterans enrolled in the CWT program with their child support issues.
Martha Stewart joined the Iowa State University Child Welfare Research and Training Project in 2003. As an ISU Trainer, she has worked closely with the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit to develop both online and in-person training resources, focusing primarily on customer service-related issues.
Kori Thiessen is a lifelong resident of the Kansas City area, graduating from Park University in 2000 with her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Administration with an emphasis on Corrections, earning Summa Cum Laude honors. Kori began her career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a Case Management Intern in July 2000, at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Since then, she has held positions of increasing responsibilities to include Case Manager and Reentry Affairs Coordinator, a position she currently holds. In 2004, Kori received a medal of appreciation from the United States Marshal Service for her assistance in a difficult and high profile trial. Kori enjoys working closely with various disciplines, agencies and organizations to develop effective programming, identifying valuable resources and strengthening partnerships to best facilitate successful reentry for offenders returning to the community following periods of incarceration.
Kori is the proud mom of four kids. Son Zack is a Petty Officer in the US Navy and his twin brother, Alex, is a US Marine. Petra, the only daughter, is a lively cheerleader and Eliot is an avid soccer player. Together as a family, they enjoy traveling, game nights, firepits and their dog, Naomi.
Tanesha Thompson is the Family & Community Partnership Coordinator at Growing Futures Early Education Center where she supervises the family services team which includes the Family Support Advocates and Family Educators. She is a PROUD graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with her Bachelors in English and Rockhurst University with her Master’s in Education. Tanesha has worked in the social services and education field for 20 years.
When she isn’t working with families for Head Start, she is busy being active in her graduate sorority chapter and college alumni chapter, being a wife and a mom to a precocious and head-strong two year old daughter (Brennyn).
Shelly Tuttle is a Case Worker for Meskwaki Nation Child Support Services (MNCSS), the only Tribal IV-D agency in the State of Iowa. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services with a minor in Business from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. Shelly has experience working as a Drug, Alcohol, Tobacco and Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Specialist, Child Access and Visitation Program Coordinator, Mediator, Individual, Family and Group Counselor, Behavioral Health Intervention Specialist, and Transitional Living Program Coordinator. She describes herself as an Advocate and an Agent of Change. Shelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, relaxing while participating in various activities in the Great Outdoors, and watching Iowa State Cyclones and New England Patriots football.
Bonita Vaught began her child support career as an enforcement specialist in the Interstate Unit in 1995. Since that time, she has been a supervisor, a trainer and now the manager of the MACSS Unit. She has a B.S. in Family Studies from Southeast Missouri State University. She resides in Jefferson City Missouri with her husband and two daughters.
Dawne Votra first worked for the Family Support Division in 1995, working with the LIHEAP program and as a part time clerical. She returned to the agency in 2001 as an Eligibility Specialist in Lawrence County and has held various positions since, including Quality Assurance/Quality Control, and as a Program Development Specialist with Food Stamps. Dawne became the MO HealthNet Program and Policy Manager in 2016. Her mission is to strengthen relationships within the agency, including field staff, training, and Child Support, while providing guidance for both the family and the aged, blind, and disabled programs. Dawne is married to Tom and spends a lot of her weekends auctioning and buying vintage treasure. She has a daughter Amanda, a Child Support Specialist, and a son Garrett.
Commissioner Ward graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1979 and Washington University School of Law in 1982. He has been a Commissioner for the 22nd Judicial Circuit, City of St. Louis for 11 years with a focus on Probate and then Family Law. Prior to his appointment, he served as legal counsel to the Probate Division for the Circuit. He has worked in private practice and for the Missouri Department of Revenue as Assistant General Counsel.
Nannette Ward is a 2008 founding member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition. She has been an active volunteer for the past 9 years, involved in all the various aspects of the Coalition’s work, including direct support to survivors. Currently she serves on the board and as victim advocate. In April of this year she was appointed to the Missouri Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force.
After coming to Boone County from the Kansas City area in 1994, Ward worked for the Governor’s Council on Disability, Services for Independent Living, the City of Columbia Human Rights Commission, and the Reynolds Journalism Institute.
Like the Coalition’s vision statement, she envisions communities free of modern slavery.
Sergeant Scott White began his career in law enforcement in Carthage, Missouri in 1995. He has served as a criminal investigator, road trooper, field training officer and marine operations trooper. His current assignment is Public Information and Education Officer for Troop F, Jefferson City.
Brian Williams has chaired the Northeast Alliance Advisory Coalition for over 8 years and has been with the Randolph County Caring Community Partnership for 10 years, currently serving as the Executive Director. Brian has designed and developed various programs and initiatives on family development, reentry, responsible fatherhood, and women’s health and wellness. Brian is a trained facilitator for the Family Development Credentialing and Training program and Mental Health First Aid as well as a Master Trainer for the Fatherhood Development Curriculum. Brian serves on the board of directors for the Non-Profit Services Center and Shalom Christian Academy and Daycare. Brian is an Associate Minister with Faith Walk Ministries and serves as an advisory member of Future Well-being of Mankind.
Brian attended Baker University and the University of Missouri-Columbia and has an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from Moberly Area Community College.
He and his wife Ethel have four children.
George R. Williams, Ph.D., is the Assistant Director of Faith-based and Community Initiatives for the Kansas Department for Children and Families. For the past five years his principle role has been developing and delivering statewide fatherhood, leadership and mentoring training in collaboration with community partners. As a nationally recognized fathering expert, he served for a decade as the executive director of urban fathering at the National Center for Fathering. George continues to work as a fathering practitioner, master trainer and consultant and has inspired thousands across the country with his engaging and passionate presentations and training. He also writes and performs powerful dramatizations, poetry and songs that illustrate the challenges of fathers. George has been featured in national media and has authored numerous fathering articles and curricula including Quenching the Father Thirst and was a contributing author for the book, Why Fathers Count. He has a Doctorate of Philosophy in family studies and a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Kansas State University and a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from Friends University. George and his wife Trudy have been married for 31 years and have three sons and one daughter and live in the greater Kansas City area.
Latrice Williams is a Family Educator at Growing Futures Early Education Center where she facilitates Parent-Child interactions and group socializations using Parents As Teachers’ evidence based curriculum. She has a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Central Missouri (formally CMSU), and is pursuing an M.A. in Special Education through the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Latrice is trained in the “Santuary” Model of Trauma Informed Care through Truman Medical Centers’ Resilience Incubator in Kansas City. She enjoys working with families and children and has been afforded lots of practice through her own children ages 18, 9 and 6.
Lisl King Williams is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law and the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She brings over 30 years of legal experience including ten years as a Municipal Court Judge in the City of St. Louis. Judge Williams is well versed in the law specifically in the areas of child support, custody and visitation, municipal and criminal matters, juvenile court, and diversionary courts. Judge Williams was a member of subcommittee for the Criminal Non Support Courts Coordinating Commission that drafted the Resource Manual for the Planning and Implementation of the Child Support Courts for the State of Missouri. This is a diversionary court established to address criminal non support matters. Judge Williams drafted the Child Support Court Proposal for the 22nd Judicial Circuit that is currently being implemented in Division 14A, and she was recently appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to the 2016 Child Support Guidelines Review Subcommittee of the Family Court Committee.