2018 Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jennifer Baker, PsyD MFT  is a licensed clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Good Dads, a non-profit focused on helping fathers be more engaged with their children. Dr. Baker also served as an associate professor in marriage and family therapy and as the Director of the Murney Clinic, a community mental health clinic, in Springfield.  From 2003-2011 she provided leadership for two large federal grants serving persons living in 29 counties in southwest Missouri. In 2018, she was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by Springfield Business Journal. She also launched New Pathways for Good Dads, a program to help under-resourced dads overcome the barriers challenging their ability and opportunity to be good dads.

Seth Bauman serves as the Assistant Deputy Director for the Missouri Family Support Division. Seth helps provide executive leadership for strategic performance, change management, emergency management, privacy/security, customer relations and special projects for the Director’s Office. Prior to FSD, he was appointed the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (Chief Diversity Officer) for the Missouri Office of Administration and served on the State Personnel Advisory Board. Throughout his career, he has held various roles working with state and local officials to enhance positive outcomes for children, youth and families by reducing social and racial disparities. He is a co-founder of the Cole County Youth Day and active with the Governor’s Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values, Jefferson City Public Schools Equity Council and other City Council Commissions and community activities. He obtained a Master of Public Administration from Mizzou and a B.A. in Religion from Central Methodist University where he was selected the 33rd Annual Gaddis Lecture Speaker and awarded the 2018 Young Alumni Award. Above all, he believes true success is the ability to create opportunity and success for others.

Dr. Benjamin C. Bell Jr. Th.D. is a native of Des Moines, Iowa and married to the charming Julie Bell since 1982. He is the proud father of five awesome children and the grandfather of eight beautiful grandchildren.

Dr. Bell has amassed in descending order: a Doctorate in philosophy, a Masters in Community ministry, Masters in Pastoral Counseling, as well as a B.A. degree in Pastoral ministry. Dr. Bell is the Dean of Present Truth Education Center (2015). A satellite of the Isaiah University of Isaiah University. Dr. Bell is certified by the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center as a Pastoral Care Specialist (2006). Dr. Bell is also a board certified pastoral psychologist with the International Association of Pastoral Psychology Board. In 2001 Dr. Bell and Rev. Keith Meeks launched a parenting tool called Dads with a Purpose in 2001. Their mantra is to “help fathers effectively parent the next generation.”

Bethany Black is the UTurn Coordinator at Impact Family Counseling. She has over 15 years of experience serving the Birmingham, AL community, working with those affected by criminal convictions, substance abuse, and mental health issues. She has been with Impact for 5 years and helped implement the UTurn program.

Carrie Broniec is a 27 year veteran of FSD-CS.  She was hired in 1991 as a Child Support Technician for the Columbia FSD-CS office.  She was promoted to CS Supervisor in 1998, remaining in the Columbia FSD-CS office until 2014 when she became the Contract Manager for the FSD-CS Mail Processing, Case Initiation and Electronic Document Management (MIDM) Center.   Currently, Ms. Broniec is an Assistant Deputy Director for FSD-CS field operations.  She has held this position since 2015.  Ms. Broniec has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Truman State University.

Debora Bussan is a Case manager with Iowa REACH program, certified Motherhood facilitator in NPCL Young Mothers and Parenting curriculum. Debora also is a team member on the Public Outreach Committee for Iowa Access to Justice Commission. She has been with Iowa Child Support for over 11 years, with over 20 years’ experience working with various community outreach programs for children and families in Iowa while focusing the last few years on outreach to expand parenting resources, employment resources and community partnerships for families.

Mary Byland has been employed with the Office of the State Courts Administrator for 16 years, and held various positions within the organization.  Currently a member of the Judicial Education Training Unit team working with Court Clerks and Juvenile Staff, concentrating on processes and data quality.   Previously with OSCA, I have been on both the adult and juvenile JIS implementation teams, evaluated OSCA Reports and JIS enhancement requests and developed specifications for the enhancements, and have acted as subject matter expert for civil, probate and juvenile training courses.  Prior to being with OSCA I was a litigation paralegal in the Kansas City area for several years.

Roberta Coons is a Child Support Program Specialist with the Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services, Kansas City Regional Office.   She provides State and Tribal child support programs with regulatory oversight and technical assistance to ensure compliance and enhance performance.  Roberta currently supports the State of Kansas, Prairie Band Potawatomie Nation and Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas child support programs.

Roberta’s child support career began in 1986, as a frontline caseworker with the State of Nebraska.  In 2000, Roberta became a consultant on numerous projects until she became a Program Specialist for OCSE in fall of 2007.  Roberta for the last several years is mentor for ACF (American Children and Family) staff and recently became a certified coach in 8 to Great curriculum.

Roberta is a native of Nebraska, where she obtained her Bachelors degree from Chadron State College in 1984.  She now resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with her beloved husband and pets, although she remains a loyal fan of the Cornhuskers.  Along her career path, Roberta has had many roles, but she has always had the heart of a caseworker and enjoys working with people.

Chad T. Courtney is a 1999 graduate of the University of Missouri, where he served as Treasurer of the Student Bar Association. Mr. Courtney received Bachelor Degrees in Political Science and Sociology in 1996 from the University of Missouri.

Mr. Courtney practices in areas of workers compensation, personal injury, domestic relations and general civil litigation.

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.

LaCrecia Day, MBA is the Financial Director/Programs Director at IMPACT Family Counseling. She has been with IMPACT for 12 ½ years. She helped start their current Fatherhood Program, UTurn and oversees its day to day operations and staff. She feels that she has been led to the non-profit arena because of her huge desire to help others in any way she can.

Linda Elrod is the Richard S. Righter Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Washburn University Law School Children and Family Law Center. She served on the Council for the American Bar Association Family Law Section from 1988-2016, was Editor-in-Chief of the Family Law Quarterly from 1992-2016.  She served as Chair of the Family Law Section in 2000-01, as co chair of ABA Child Custody Pro Bono Project, and on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children. She has served on the U.S. Secretary of State Legal Adviser’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law since 2009. In 2011 she was a Fulbright Senior Specialist to the Dublin Institute of Technology Law Department. She currently serves as the Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission Joint Editorial Board on Uniform Family Law. She was also the Reporter for the Family Law Arbitration Act (2016) and the Child Abduction Prevention Act (2007). She served on the Kansas Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee from 1987-2016.

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!

Michelle Ferguson, M.A., CCJP, GCDF is employed as the DADS MATTER Project Manager with the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Incorporated in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

With a history of consistent excellence and extensive experience, Ms. Ferguson is a strategic and highly motivational driver of programs focused on education and training. She has facilitated diverse programs in public service agencies, youth shelters, and educational centers in southwestern Pennsylvania. Career-wide, Ms. Ferguson’s life accomplishments consist of an array of experiences which include nurturing the hearts of economically deprived children, managing the aggressive behavior of troubled adolescents, and providing supportive services for incarcerated at-risk adults. She has made significant contributions that have impacted the lives of many children and adults. Ms. Ferguson’s true passion encompasses motivating and educating people from all walks of life.

Dennis Fontelroy is the President of Dads Care 2, an advocacy and support group of dads, granddads, and men. Having been a volunteer in the Fatherhood Movement since 2008, he has been active in creating avenues which allow for men to become involved in their children’s lives, clarify the processes which strengthen the family unit and push for equality in parenting.

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.

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.

Adam Goodvin is a Case manager withIowa REACH program. Adam has been employed with Iowa Child Support for five years. Before Child Support, Adam was a Legal Assistant and Office Administrator for an Omaha law office. In his work for REACH, Adam has been focusing on building relationships with his community partners for parenting and employment, building a sustainable outreach program in his area for the children and families of Iowa in the counties he serves.

Jackie Govan is the director of the Head Start State Collaboration Office in Little Rock, AR. She also works closely with DHS/Division of Child Care and presents quarterly to the AR Early Childhood Commission. She created the Fatherhood and Family Initiative in Arkansas in 2014 and had launched a system of collaboration for fathers all across the state. Jackie has an Ed.S. degree in Educational Leadership, Master degree in Educational Administration, and a BA degree in Elementary and Special Education w/a certification in Early Childhood Education and English as a Second Language. She has experience in grant writing, cooperative learning techniques, family engagement techniques (Credential), and is a part-time training consultant in education. Jackie loves spending quality time with her husband, Roger, her son Mitchell, and grandson, Reece.

Bill Hudson is an assistant prosecutor for Phelps County.  He was previously assistant prosecutor for child support in the First and Second Circuits, in northeast Missouri.  He holds a J.D. and a Graduate Diploma in Civil Law from Louisiana State University, and has handled cases in five judicial circuits and all of Missouri’s appellate courts.

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.

Mrs. Kingfisher-Quinones has been blessed to work with the Cherokee Nation Office of Child Support Services serving Cherokee Nation families since opening in 2007. Overall, she has been with the Cherokee Nation for 29 years, serving in Health Services and now, Social Services as the Coordinator for CN OCSS Planning & Development to include managing the area of Incoming Intergovernmental Cases and Uncollectible Cases; and, serving as Program Liaison with State/Tribal and Federal partners. She has served on NTCSA, (volunteer) ERICSA and now, the Oklahoma Tribal Child Support Association (OTCSA).  She resides in the Cherokee Nation (Tahlequah, Oklahoma) with her husband, F. Javier Quinones. Unethlanv, family, being tsaligi and passion for being a multi-faceted person makes life abundantly blessed!

Scott M. Lekan is the Commissioner of the Office of Child Support Enforcement.  Prior to his appointment, Lekan worked as a Business Development Manager for Informatix Inc.  He previously served as the Assistant Director for Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, Division of Aging & Adult Services. As the Assistant Director, Lekan oversaw a number of programs, including Domestic Violence and Homelessness Programs. Lekan joined the Arizona Department of Economic Security as the Operations Administrator for the Division of Child Support Services.  In his early career, Lekan served as a senior law enforcement official where he successfully managed the daily operations and administrative tasks of a police precinct.  Lekan holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University, and an M.B.A. from California Pacific University.

Charles H. (Chuck) Lonardo is a solo practitioner in Joplin, Missouri.  He earned his Bachelor of Science cum laude in Broadcast Journalism in 1977 and his J.D. in 1981, both from Syracuse University.  He practiced in Providence, Rhode Island for three years before becoming a member of The Missouri Bar in 1984.  He chairs the Find-A-Lawyer Advisory Committee (formerly the Lawyer Referral Service Committee) of The Missouri Bar, and is active in MoBar’s Lawyer Assistance Committee and Family Law Section.

He is also the Municipal Judge in Duenweg, Missouri and a Provisional Municipal Judge in Joplin.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Municipal and Associate Judges Association (MMACJA).  In his spare time, Chuck is a referee instructor, mentor and assessor for U.S. Soccer and the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA).

Melissa Mauer-Smith’s career in child support began in 1986, when she joined the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office-Family Support Division, where she served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and as a Trial Team Leader. In 1992, she was appointed as Director of that office. Melissa is a frequent speaker at the annual training conferences of the Missouri Child Support Enforcement Association, National Child Support Enforcement Association and Missouri Office of Prosecution Services.

She strongly believes in serving her community on Committees, Foundations and Advisory groups as a strong voice for the economic security of children. She truly enjoys every opportunity to participate in Outreach activities on behalf of the Family Support Division in the Jackson County community; sharing information that is critically needed by parents.

Melissa is also the Administrator and co-creator of Fathering Court, Now called Child Support Court, a nationally recognized and replicated court diversionary program. Child Support Court provides key supportive services to parents, providing the tools to assist non-paying parents to reach the goal of ultimately supporting their children financially and emotionally.

She earned her law degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City – School of Law.

Keith D. Meeks has spent the last 25+ years intentionally investing in men and women, and helping those whom society has deemed unimportant find their voice. For the last 15 years, he has been training men on how to be active fathers and developing teenage boys into responsible men. Working in a variety of settings, Keith has worked as a facilitator and trainer and has founded programs that provide support to mothers, fathers, and children from many backgrounds. Keith is in the process of publishing three books entitled “Called to be a Daddy, Battles for your family that you must fight and you must win and “A Street called Grow,” it will be a men’s devotional. All three will be released in 2018, Keith is the CEO & CO-Founder of “Dads with a Purpose” – Fathering Training & “Men Builder’s” workshops.

Keith and his wife, JoAnn, reside in Des Moines, Iowa and have raised five children and 4 Grandchildren. He is active in his church and community, serving as a Community Ambassador with the Des Moines Iowa Police Department.

Ken Miller is the founder of the Change & Innovation Agency (C!A), a firm dedicated to increasing government’s capacity to do more good. Ken has worked with amazing people in the most difficult environments to tackle the big issues facing government today.

Prior to founding C!A, Ken was the Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, where he was part of a transformation effort that reduced the time to issue tax refunds by 80% (fastest in the nation) at less cost and cut wait times in motor vehicle offices by half. The agency received a State Quality Award – one of only a handful of government agencies in the country to receive such a distinction. Ken was then named Director of Performance Improvement for Missouri State Government, one of only two states to receive an A grade from GOVERNING magazine for Managing for Results.

Ken, named one of the country’s top change agents by Fast Company magazine, is the author of three books: “Extreme Government Makeover: Increasing Our Capacity To Do More Good,” “We Don’t Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government From Radically Improving,” and “The Change Agent’s Guide to Radical Improvement.” He has also written numerous articles and columns on how to improve the performance of government.

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.

James Murray is a Senior Advisor in the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). As advisor, he develops strategic partnerships to increase OCSE’s positive impacts in the areas of responsible fatherhood and veterans outreach. Before joining OCSE, he was the Director of ACF’s Office of Regional Operations. There he provided executive leadership to ten regional offices on integrating and coordinating cross cutting, human service programs. Before joining ACF, James held positions in the education and non-profit fields, including positions with Early Head Start and the National Fatherhood Initiative. James has a MPA degree and a B.S in Human Development. He is also a prior recipient of the prestigious Judge David Gray Ross Award; as well as a Senior Fellow of the Partnership for Public Service, Excellence in Government program.

Alisha O’Hara is an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Clay County, Missouri Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  It was during this time she became actively involved with the Missouri State Public Defender system.  Ms. O’Hara then attended law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she continued her work with the Public Defender’s office and obtained her Juris Doctorate degree.  After graduating law school, Ms. O’Hara’s first job was for the Public Defender’s office in Jackson County.  During her years there, one of her responsibilities was that of defending individuals on a docket that consisted of solely those charged with criminal non-support.   After leaving the Public Defender’s Office in 2010, Ms. O’Hara started her career as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Clay County office.  Since 2016, she has been the supervising attorney for the child support division of the office.  In 2017, Ms. O’Hara worked to start the county’s first Parenting Court program.

Sergeant Jason Pace is a 1993 graduate of Harding, University in Searcy, Arkansas, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.  Following graduation, he attended Missouri State University, Springfield, graduating in 1995, with a Masters of Public Administration degree.  In July 1997, he began his career with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and was initially assigned to Troop I, Laclede County.  After approximately three years, he transferred to Troop D, Greene County, working as a road officer.  Following his Greene County assignment, Sergeant Pace assumed a full-time recruiter position through the Human Resources Division and since May 2011, he has served as a public information and education officer for Troop D.  Jason resides in Ozark and is married with three children.

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.

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.

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.

Blake Shaw, Senior Partner, Change & Innovation Agency® found himself submerged in human services in early 2000. From his position in the Missouri Governor’s office, Blake oversaw the improvement efforts of social services, mental health, and senior services. Watching demand continue to rise and budgets continually fall, Blake abandoned legislative and policy strategies for a more hands-on tactic.

By challenging the assumptions of the entire industry and reengaging customers, front-line staff, and advocacy groups, Blake has been able to find the most innovative solutions to our most pressing problems, and get results unequalled by new laws, new policies, and new technology.

In 2003, Blake left the public sector to become a senior partner with the Change & Innovation Agency, with the vision of transforming government service delivery across the country. Since then, he has taught thousands of public servants the key to real improvements through his interactive training workshops, team facilitation, and writings.

Jodie Shearer is a Case manager with Iowa REACH program, certified Motherhood facilitator in NPCL Young Mothers and Parenting curriculum. Jodi has an Administrative Management and Marketing degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She has been with the State of Iowa Child Support for over ten years, focusing the last year directly on outreach for partnerships for parenting, employment, and other community resources to better serve the families in Iowa.

Francine Spinks have worked for the Department for a little over 24 years. I started out with Family Support Division in the Income Maintenance Unit as an Eligibility Specialist and then was an ES Supervisor over Montgomery, Gasconade and Osage Counties. During that time, I had the opportunity to participate in some Divisional training and ultimately accepted a position with the Department’s Human Resources Training Unit in 2011. At this time, I primarily travel around the State doing Professional Development and Leadership classes for agency employees at all levels.

Jeffrey Stocks is a Program Specialist with the Federal Office of Child Support (OCSE) out of Kansas City, MO.  He has been with OCSE for 10 years and currently supports Missouri, Iowa, and the Meskwaki Tribe in Iowa.  Prior to joining OCSE, Jeffrey worked in the financial service industry as a programmer and manager.

Beverly Struemph began her career with the Department of Social Services in the Personnel and Labor Relations Section (now known as the Human Resource Center) in 1986 as a Clerk Typist I.  She transferred to the Division of Child Support Enforcement in 1990.  She left the division in 2001 as a Personnel Officer to accept a promotion with the Human Resource Center.  Beverly has worked in a variety of positions in the human resources field and now serves as the Assistant Human Resource Director for the Department of Social Services.

Kate Taylor has been with the State of Iowa for 16 years overseeing seven offices covering 27 counties. She is also the Project Director for Iowa REACH (Reliable Employment and Child Support Help) program, one of eight Child Support Parental Employment Demonstration (CSPED) grants. Kate has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville and is directly involved in many ongoing projects to expand partnerships to provide parenting and employment services across the State of Iowa.

Jen Toussaint has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.  She was hired in August 2008 as a Senior Office Support Assistant (Keyboarding) in intake for the St. Charles FSD-CS office and promoted to CS Specialist in February, 2010.  In 2014, she was promoted to a CS Supervisor at the Page FSD-CS office.  Then in 2018, she was asked to serve as the Strategic Planning Initiatives Coordinator for the Child Support Program and promoted to Social Services Manager.

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.

Kara Whitworth is the Director of the IVD Child Support Service program at Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  She has been working at Cherokee Nation for the past 25 years with the last 8 years specifically in the Child Support program.  Previously, she worked in the child welfare field managing staff who worked directly with children and families involved in the court systems as her focus has always been to ensure services provided focus on the wellbeing of families.  Ms. Whitworth’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and sociology from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri and Master’s Degree work in Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma.  She resides in the Cherokee Nation boundaries, calling Bartlesville, Oklahoma her home.

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.

Chris Wray currently serves as Deputy State Treasurer to Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt.  Chris is responsible for overseeing and organizing all operations of the State Treasurer’s Office, including the state’s banking, investing, and unclaimed property activities.  He also assists the Treasurer with various policy initiatives, including the administration of the MOST 529 college savings plan and the Missouri ABLE plan.  He is Treasurer Schmitt’s designee to the MOSERS board.

Previously, Chris practiced class action and banking law in Kansas City, and he clerked for the Hon. Duane Benton on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Before law school, Chris practiced public accounting in St. Louis and Kansas City, specializing in government accounting.  Chris has served on the accounting faculty of Avila University and the University of Notre Dame.

Chris received his B.S.B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Washington University in St. Louis and his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame.  He is a member of the Missouri Bar, and he is a CPA in the State of Missouri.  Chris lives in Jefferson City, Missouri.