Meet Our Team

Robin Thompson

Executive Director

Robin Thompson

Robin Thompson

Executive Director

Robin started her career at Adoption Connection in 2011 as a matching specialist. She then served as the Foster Care Supervisor for a few years and has been ACPA’s Executive Director since 2014. Robin earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Slippery Rock University and her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Management from Shippensburg University. She has a passion for children and began her 33-year career working in the Human Services field serving children and families.

In August of 2020, Robin was voted The Beaver County Times, Best of the Valley Person of The Year for her dedication and service to the youth in her community. She serves on the Board of Directors for Project Love. She is also co-chairperson on the PA Citizens Review Panel, who charges themselves with identifying resources and strategies to improve Pennsylvania’s child welfare system.

Robin lives each day striving to make a difference in the lives of children and has experienced every facet of foster care and adoption. She and her husband have parented 20 children through the foster care system throughout the years. Robin resides in Brighton Township with her husband and 5 sons. In her free time she enjoys scrapbooking with her friends and spending quality time with her family.

 

Alexandra Verone

Finance Manager

Alexandra Verone

Alexandra Verone

Finance Manager

Allie joined the ACPA team in January 2022 and brings with her experience in bookkeeping, general/tax accounting and payroll. She is looking forward to supporting the Agency and our families through the Finance Department. Allie graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Merchandising and completed an Associate's degree in Accounting from CCBC. She enjoys spending time with her family, husband Luke and dog Nora.

Virginia Householder

Family Recruiter and Outreach Supervisor

Virginia Householder

Virginia Householder

Family Recruiter and Outreach Supervisor

Ginny started July 2017 as a Permanency Specialist. In October 2019, she moved into the Family Recruiter and Trainer position. Ginny received her Bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice from Pennsylvania State University in Fall of 2013. Since graduating, she has worked in the Drug & Alcohol field, at a Residential Treatment Facility, and also as a county caseworker for Children, Youth, & Families.


Ginny loves interacting with the families as they begin the process of their foster care journey and loves helping them on their journey to making a difference in the lives of children that we serve. She resides in Allegheny County with her son.

Clarissa Calderoni

SWAN Supervisor

Clarissa Calderoni

Clarissa Calderoni

SWAN Supervisor

Clarissa began working within the Human Services field in 2009, after specialized training to become a foster to adopt parent. After she and her husband married, they struggled with infertility. Then, two decades into their marriage they adopted four children within a 5-year span, all with special needs. This life purpose, combined with 35+ years of administrative experience, inspired her to continue serving children and families. She joined the Adoption Connection, PA team in 2017 as a contracted case aide, moved to a full-time case aide and is now a caseworker in the SWAN Department. In this role, she fulfills numerous County referred services that provide children she works with a connection to their past and present, as well as a bridge to their future. In her free time, Clarissa enjoys family time, a day at the barn with their horses, bowling, scrapbooking and time at the archery range, which earned her a 2021 State Championship in Archery.

Bloom where you are planted!

Lisa Booker

SWAN Caseworker

Lisa Booker

Lisa Booker

SWAN Caseworker

Lisa is a mother of two girls that she enjoys spending most of her time with. She knew that helping was part of her personality, after graduating high school she attended a medical tech program and worked as a Medical Assistant. Lisa has been employed in a variety of settings but through the years her love for helping has never changed. She has enjoyed being a foster parent, especially the meaningful relationships that were formed with each child in her care. After the birth of her second daughter, she opened a family daycare where she cared for children in the community. During the 13 ½ years of operating a daycare Lisa wanted to assist families, one on one, and went on to receive a Bachelors of Professional Studies in Human Services at Geneva College. Lisa started working as a SWAN Caseworker in the beginning of October, 2020.

 

Catie Kellner

Senior Permanency Specialist

Catie Kellner

Catie Kellner

Senior Permanency Specialist

Catie began her career at Adoption Connection, PA as a student intern in the summer of 2018, then became a case aide while finishing her senior year of school. After graduating from Waynesburg University with her bachelors degree in May of 2019, Catie became a permanency specialist at ACPA. She loves being able to serve her community by bringing families together and being a light in children’s lives through foster care.

Kathleen Kovacs

Matching Specialist

Kathleen Kovacs

Kathleen Kovacs

Matching Specialist

Kathleen began her journey with ACPA as an intern in the summer of 2018 and was later hired on as a case aide. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Penn State, she became a full time foster care caseworker. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree. Kathleen has always had positions where she cared for children and is excited to be able to bring the same passion to a career where she is able to advocate for them.

Erica List

Matching Specialist

Erica List

Erica List

Matching Specialist

Erica graduated from Robert Morris university in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She has served Robert Morris as a softball coach on and off for the past nineteen years, as well as manage her own pitching lessons business. This career path allowed her to be at home to raise her children. Now that her children are more independent she feels it was time to embark on a new journey. She feels that her own life experiences in working with youth will help her tremendously in her new endeavor as Matching Specialist for ACPA. She is willing and eager to learn all that she can about the Human Service industry. She is also excited to serve her community and help families and children. Erica married her college sweetheart, Nate, They reside in Beaver with their three beautiful children.

Kim Majors

Birth Mother Specialist

Kim Majors

Kim Majors

Birth Mother Specialist

Kim has worked in the human service field for 20+ years either as a direct line caseworker or in a management position. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. Passionate about improving the well-being of children & families, Kim has experience developing and implementing innovative social service programs, developing, measuring and tracking client outcomes and has been an active member of various quality improvement initiatives. After years of being a single mother, Kim is now married and blessed with a blended family with five children. Kim brings with her a broad range of direct service and development expertise, and we are so fortunate to have her on our team!

 
 

Lois Blattner

Office Manager

Lois Blattner

Lois Blattner

Office Manager

Adoption holds a special place in the heart of Lois, our office manager. She is a proud adoptive parent of two children whom she adores.

Lois attended Slippery Rock University & Geneva College and majored in Elementary Education. She has a passion for working with children and has served as a preschool teacher as well as a Paraprofessional. Lois also has had many years of administrative experience. Lois enjoys being part of the ACPA staff and assisting families in their foster and adoption journey.

She lives in Beaver with husband, Tom & her two children.

Leslie Wise

Case Aide

Leslie Wise

Leslie Wise

Case Aide

Leslie came to ACPA in July 2019 from Robert Morris University food service, where she served as a supervisor. The youngest of 10 siblings, Leslie was adopted by her aunt and uncle at a very young age. She grew up with many cousins, nieces and nephews. Thanks to a friendly and outgoing personality, her mom says, “Leslie has never met a stranger.” She has a warm and caring nature and because of this, the students at RMU called her “Mama Les.” Leslie strives to use these traits and experiences to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for all the children she works with as a Case Aid at ACPA. Leslie attended Geneva College majoring in Elementary Education. She enjoys scrapbooking with her friends. Leslie and her husband have two adult sons.

Stephanie Gavel

Foster Care Manager

Stephanie Gavel

Stephanie Gavel

Foster Care Manager

Stephanie has been with Adoption Connection, PA since May of 2012. She has an Undergraduate degree in Human Services and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Non-Profits and Ministry through Geneva College. In her history with ACPA, she has always worked within the foster care system either as a caseworker, supervisor, and currently as the Foster Care Manager. When asked what excites her the most about ACPA, she will quite simply respond, “it’s the impact we get to make every single day in the life of a child, the families we serve, and with each other”. As the Foster Care Manager, she is looking forward to growing our fostering program even more by expanding into the counties we serve in a very intentional way. She has four children of her own and resides in Brighton Township with her husband, Ron. She is an active member of Four Mile Church where she leads adult discipleship classes and is part of the teaching team. One of her favorite scripture verses is “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow”. Isaiah 1:17.

Mary Gido

Administrative Assistant

Mary Gido

Mary Gido

Administrative Assistant

Mary graduated from Duquesne University with a BSBA in Marketing/Management, and from The University of Pittsburgh with an Instructional I Certification in Elementary Education. Her previous career includes working with youth and teens at the YMCA, substitute teaching, and over 30 years in the corporate world as a business analyst. She joined our team in December of 2021 taking on the position of Administrative Assistant. Mary is an Eastern Orthodox Christian of Carpatho-Rusyn descent. She enjoys weaving, spinning, lace making and quilting. She volunteers her time to demonstrate these arts at different events and museums. She loves to read and collect books, tries to play the piano and guitar, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Jamie Wilhelm

Permanency Specialist

Jamie Wilhelm

Jamie Wilhelm

Permanency Specialist

Jacqueline Pleska

Permanency Specialist

Jacqueline Pleska

Jacqueline Pleska

Permanency Specialist

Hannah Newham

Permanency Specialist

Hannah Newham

Hannah Newham

Permanency Specialist

Dominic Nocera

SWAN Caseworker

Dominic Nocera

Dominic Nocera

SWAN Caseworker

Dominic Nocera is our SWAN Caseworker. We are glad he is a part of our team!

Sandra Kleck

Foster Care Administrative Assistant

Sandra Kleck

Sandra Kleck

Foster Care Administrative Assistant

Sandra joined ACPA in 2022 bringing more than 20 years of administrative experience that will be utilized in her role as Foster Care Administrative Assistant.
 
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their family.

Jaime Leisure

Case Aid

Jaime Leisure

Jaime Leisure

Case Aid

Kelly Calve

Permanency Specialist

Kelly Calve

Kelly Calve

Permanency Specialist

Kelly started working with Adoption Connection, PA during winter break of 2016 and again for summer break in 2017. Kelly has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from the University of Akron. She graduated in December of 2021 with a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh with a certificate in Children, Youth, and Families. She is excited to start her journey as a social worker and helping to make a difference in the lives of children. Kelly lives in the Pittsburgh area and loves the city life!   

Shannon Michaux

Permanency Specialist

Shannon Michaux

Shannon Michaux

Permanency Specialist

Shannon has been working at Adoption Connection, PA since May 2022. In 2015, she graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Social Work in 2019. After graduating in 2019, she began her career at Beaver County Children and Youth Services as an intake worker. As a foster care worker, she looks forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of children. Shannon recently married in November 2021 and enjoys spending her time with her family. 

Nicole Carter

Permanency Specialist

Nicole Carter

Nicole Carter

Permanency Specialist

Nicole came to Adoption Connection, PA in May 2022. She previously comes from working with adults with intellectual disabilities for 12 years. Nicole has a passion for making a difference in children's lives which is what brought her to ACPA. Nicole has her Master's degree in Healthcare administration and in Business administration. She lives in Beaver with her husband and four children.  

Rebecca Mendiola

Permanency Specialist

Rebecca Mendiola

Rebecca Mendiola

Permanency Specialist

Jenna Miles

Swan Caseworker

Jenna Miles

Jenna Miles

Swan Caseworker

Jenna started July 2022 as a SWAN caseworker. Jenna received her Bachelors degree in Human Services from Geneva College in May of 2020. Since graduating, she has worked in several different capacities working with children with mental health and special needs issues.

Jenna loves interacting with the children that she gets to work with. Her favorite part of the job is being able to get to know the children and being a positive support system for them to lean on. Jenna currently resides in Beaver County with her husband Austin, two dogs-Bailey & River, and three cats- Oliver, Olivia, and Gru.

Annelise O’Neill

Family Recruiter

Annelise O’Neill

Annelise O’Neill

Family Recruiter

Annelise began working at ACPA in July 2022. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising and a Minor in Theatre from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to working at ACPA, Annelise was helping to supervise and manage a children's shelter for the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Annelise has a passion for helping children and families. She is excited to be on the ACPA team and to help children in the greater Pittsburgh region.