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 is a member of the School Board of the Beaver Area School District . 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.

 

Kim Majors

Administrative Supervisor

Kim Majors

Kim Majors

Administrative Supervisor

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.

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.

Meredith Johnson

Foster Care Administrative Assistant

Meredith Johnson

Meredith Johnson

Foster Care Administrative Assistant

Sandra Kleck

Finance Manager

Sandra Kleck

Sandra Kleck

Finance Manager

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.

Jacqueline Pleska

Family Recruitment and Outreach Supervisor

Jacqueline Pleska

Jacqueline Pleska

Family Recruitment and Outreach Supervisor

Jackie started at Adoption Connection in 2021 as a Permanency Specialist Caseworker. While she loved her time working with children and families, she was able to move into her dream job of Family Recruitment and Outreach in December of 2022. In November 2023, she took on the role of supervisor of the recruitment and outreach department. She holds a BA in Communication from Bethany College. She has experience working with children with Autism and other special needs as well as serving as a CASA volunteer.
 
Jackie resides in Washington County with her husband and two children.

Kathy Jo Peak

Family Recruiter and Outreach Coordinator

Kathy Jo Peak

Kathy Jo Peak

Family Recruiter and Outreach Coordinator

KathyJo joined Adoption Connection as the Family Partnership Coordinator in April 2023. She enjoyed working with children and families but was able to move into her current role as the Family Recruiter and Outreach Coordinator in November 2023. KathyJo has experience as a foster and adoptive mother as well as a foster parent trainer, which is something she truly enjoys. She is a proud adoptive mother of three and resides in Hopewell.

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.

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.

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 facilitates a Young Adult Ministry, is active in Women's Ministry and is part of the adult teaching team. One of her favorite scripture verses and the one that has been pressed upon her heart since college, 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.

Shannon Michaux

Permanency Specialist II

Shannon Michaux

Shannon Michaux

Permanency Specialist II

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. 

Becca Birge

Permanency Specialist

Becca Birge

Becca Birge

Permanency Specialist

Becca began working with Adoption Connection, PA in November 2022. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated in May of 2016. Prior to working at ACPA, Becca was a Lead Service Coordinator with UPMC Community Health Choices for Connexus Human Services Network. Becca has worked in the human service field since 2016 with various populations. On the weekends, you will find Becca working as a deli clerk at Coach Light Delicatessen in Brighton Twp. In her free time, Becca enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, cooking, and hitting the trails with her jeep club!

Hannah Newham

Permanency Specialist

Hannah Newham

Hannah Newham

Permanency Specialist

Hannah graduated from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. Prior to becoming a permanency specialist with Adoption Connection, PA in October 2021, she has worked in mental health group homes as well as with George Junior.  Hannah loves to use her passion to make an impact. 

Bailey Pilch

Permanency Specialist

Bailey Pilch

Bailey Pilch

Permanency Specialist

Bailey has been working with Adoption Connection, PA since June, 2023. She graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in 2022. She also has ambitions to one day further her education with her Master's Degree in Social Work. Bailey has foster siblings and cousins her whole life, and has a passion for children in care. She want to be a support to them and make a difference in their lives.

Allyson Foster

Permanency Specialist

Allyson Foster

Allyson Foster

Permanency Specialist

Catie Kellner

Case Aide Supervisor

Catie Kellner

Catie Kellner

Case Aide Supervisor

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.

Leslie Wise

Senior Case Aide

Leslie Wise

Leslie Wise

Senior 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.

Jamie Leisure

Case Aide

Jamie Leisure

Jamie Leisure

Case Aide

Shelley Boyd

Case Aide

Shelley Boyd

Shelley Boyd

Case Aide

Shelly is in her 2nd year at Adoption Connection, PA. She lives in East Liverpool, OH with her fiancé Mike and her 16 year-old son, Dominic. She enjoys spending time with her step children, Kenadi (13) and Leo (4). She spent over 20 years in the title industry. When the market crashed, she needed to find something new and different. She found that working with children and families as a case aide. 

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!

Cayla Schmolitz

SWAN Caseworker

Cayla Schmolitz

Cayla Schmolitz

SWAN Caseworker

Cayla graduated from Slippery Rock University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. She has been involved with ACPA in many different capacities. While she was a college student, Cayla worked for Adoption Connection as a contracted case aide. Through her coursework, she also did many service hours at Adoption Connection along with an internship. At the conclusion of her internship, Cayla became a full-time case aide. Currently, Cayla works as one of our SWAN caseworkers. 
 
Cayla is very passionate about working with youths in foster care. She has two adoptive brothers that have inspired her to be an advocate for other children. She loves to use her passion to make an impact. Her favorite thing about her job is to work one-on-one with children to help them be able to express themselves.

Hayley Pauvlinch

SWAN Caseworker

Hayley Pauvlinch

Hayley Pauvlinch

SWAN Caseworker

Hayley has been working at Adoption Connection, PA since May 2023. She graduated from Community College of Beaver County with her associate degree in psychology in 2021. She then went on to California University of PA and graduated in May 2023 with bachelor's degree in sociology. When Hayley isn’t working, she can be found sitting by the river or spending time with loved ones. Hayley knew from a very young age that she wanted to help be a voice for the voiceless.  She feels fortunate to be able to be a positive light in our foster families lives.  

“Just being there for someone can sometimes bring hope when all seems hopeless” - Dave LLewelyn 

Emmalinn Fischer

Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter

Emmalinn Fischer

Emmalinn Fischer

Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter