Robin Thompson – Executive Director
Robin has experienced every facet of adoption and lives each day making a difference in the lives of children. She and her husband are the parents of 5 sons. Together, they have had 20 children come through their home via foster care. Each touching their hearts in a different way. Robin believes we are all called to help others. She is an adoptive parent with an exceptional amount of wisdom to share with not only adoptive families but also foster families. Her 30+ years of experience in the child welfare system also adds to her ability to offer support and encouragement to our families. Robin is an asset to not only Adoption Connection, PA but also her community.
“Unless someone like you cares whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”….. Dr. Suess.
Terry Kordecki – Financial Manager
Previously Terry spent many years in the insurance field and is new to the world of adoption. She is “excited to do her part in any way she can with the adoption process”. Terry lives in New Brighton with her husband, Tony. Together they have 2 grown sons and three precious grandchildren.
Jenn Jones – SWAN Supervisor
Jennifer Jones is an experienced social worker with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Mercyhurst College. She has held various positions in the area of social services through the years, and states that her work with adoptive families and children has definitely been the most rewarding. Jenn currently supervises the contract caseworkers for Adoption Connection, PA. She strongly believes in the importance of open, honest communication with her families and everyone she works with benefits from her skills and experience. Jennifer is the proud mother of three children
Holly Newman – Events & Outreach Coordinator
Holly began her career at Adoption Connection, PA in 2013 as a Caseworker for the Statewide Adoption Network (SWAN). She accepted the position as the Events & Outreach Coordinator in 2019. She loves being able to use her education in marketing and business while continuing to serve children in need. Holly has a genuine heart for children, a background as a foster parent and 15 years of experience working in the human services field. She has worked as a Foster Parent Recruiter & Trainer, a Permanency Specialist, an Adoption Services Caseworker and Child Profile Writer. Holly has a bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University and a Masters Degree from Geneva College. Holly lives in Patterson Township with her husband of 25 years. She has one daughter, Kayli who attends Slippery Rock University. She loves the beach and enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her two dogs Lucy & Winston.
Virginia Householder- Recruitment & Training Coordinator
Ginny started at Adoption Connection, PA in July of 2017 as a Permanency Specialist. In October 2019, she moved into the Family Recruiter and Trainer position. Ginny received her Bachelors 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 these families begin on their journey to making a difference in the lives of children that we serve. She resides in Allegheny County with her son.
Paige K. Mitchell – Family Recruiter
Paige K. Mitchell is a Pittsburgh native of Penn Hills in Allegheny County. After completing High School, she went on to purse her collegiate education at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; where she attained a double Bachelor’s Degree in journalism, communications, and public relations. One of the top graduates of her class in 2013. She returned home and immediately began working in her industry. Starting as a Field Reporter for the New Pittsburgh Courier, and this transitioned into opportunities to work with organizations/companies as the official Communications Director, Public Relations Representative, and Recruitment Specialist. To date, she has helped countless companies reach their business needs. She is passionate about people, her city, and making a difference.
Clarissa Calderoni – SWAN Caseworker
Clarissa began working within the foster care field in 2009, after specialized training and becoming a foster to adopt parent. She and her husband of 34 years have four children that they have adopted, all with special needs. This life purpose, combined with 30+ years of administrative experience, inspired her to continue serving children and families.
Clarissa began at Adoption Connection, PA in 2017 as a contracted case aide. A year later she joined the team as a full time Case Aide, and within the past year has further enhanced her service to children and families as a SWAN Caseworker. In this role, she is a child profile writer, engages children in child prep services, and also creates Life Books that provide each child with a connection to their past, as well as a bridge to their future.
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.
Kelaiah Kneuss – SWAN Caseworker
Kelaiah has worked with children in various capacities in the past, worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities building job skills, and completed a term of service with AmeriCorps. Kelaiah started her work with Adoption Connection in August 2019. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Geneva College in May 2019.
Kelaiah’s passion for foster care begun when her nephews were adopted through foster care several years ago. She has loved getting to experience her family grow through adoption. She loves getting to be a support for the children and families that she works with as SWAN caseworker. Her hope is that she would shine the light of Christ in the work that she does.
Heidi Stacy-SWAN Caseworker
Heidi began her career at Adoption Connection, PA in October 2020 as a Caseworker for the Statewide Adoption Network. Heidi joins us with a passion for working with people, strong compassion and a desire to help others. Heidi received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a minor in Education from Clarion University. Her previous experience involves working for organizations where she was an advocate for children and families. With her experience and empathetic nature, she is a valuable asset to our team. When not working Heidi enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and their two children.
Megan McLaughlin-Foster Care Administrative Assistant
Megan began her career with Adoption Connection, PA in May of 2020. Adoption has touched Megan’s life through several of her friends and family members. She also served as a foster family for ACPA at one time. Megan has always had a desire to be able to make a difference in the lives of hurting children. She is very proud to be an integral part of ACPA, where helping children is of upmost importance. Megan has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is thrilled to be using that degree within a team that serves children in need.
Stephanie Gavel – Foster Care Manager
Stephanie has been with Adoption Connection, PA since May of 2012. She received her Undergraduate degree in Human Services through Geneva College. In December of 2018, she completed her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Non-profits and Ministry. In her history with ACPA, she has always worked within the foster care system either as a caseworker, supervisor, and most recently 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 where she is an active member at Four Mile Church in youth and women ministries. 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.
Catie Kellner – 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.
LeAnn Havelock – Permanency Specialist
LeAnn started her career at Adoption Connection PA on August 21, 2017 as a Foster Care Permanency Case Worker. She is originally from Ohio but relocated to Pennsylvania when she accepted the position at ACPA. LeAnn received her Bachelors degree in Communications from Mount Union College in May of 2009. After working in sales and insurance she decided she wanted a career that was meaningful and made a difference in the lives of others.
She became a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate in January 2016. She found that although it can very stressful at times, being a social worker gave her the sense of purpose she was looking for.
LeAnn loves the feeling of making a difference in the lives of the children and families that we serve. She is proud to work for an agency that puts the safety and welfare of children above all else. LeAnn is grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a caseworker within the ACPA organization.
Kathleen Kovacs- Permanency 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.
Vanessa Pollio- Permanency Specialist
Vanessa Pollio started her work with Adoption Connection, PA in October of 2017 as a case aide. She recently moved into the position of Permanency Specialist and enjoys the clients she is able to serve. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from Slippery Rock University in 2015. In her spare time, Vanessa likes to hang out with her dog Miles and her husband Nick.
Mina Needham – Foster Care Supervisor
Mina started her career at Adoption Connection, Pa in August 2017 as a Foster Care Permanency Specialist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education. After two years of working for the state of Florida she relocated with her husband to the Pennsylvania area. She is happily married and has a wonderful, mostly sassy two year old daughter. Overall, Mina loves being able to make a difference in the lives of foster children and seeing forever families being created. Adoption holds a special place in her heart as her husband was adopted at a young age.
Whitney Binion- Permanency Specialist
Whitney began her career at Adoption Connection, PA in the summer of 2021, as a foster care permanency caseworker at ACPA. Graduated from Point Park University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in December 2020, and is currently working towards her masters at Carlow University. Her passion is taking care of people and helping people to meet their goals. Worked in the healthcare system for 16 years of experience, working in the community and taking care of people. Being able to service the community and connect people together is the beauty of life. The strength that holds the puzzle together is love, wisdom, confidence and reassurance.
Dominic Nocera- Permanency Specialist
Dominic Nocera graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services in 2021. Dominic started his career at Adoption Connection, PA while he was still in school. He engaged in an internship before being hired as a permanency specialist on August 16, 2021. Dom strives to inspire individuals to better themselves through his empathy, patience, creativeness, and enthusiasm. In his free time, Dominic loves to play piano, sing, and write his own music.
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 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
Adoption holds a special place in the heart of Lois, our new 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 is excited to be a part of the ACPA staff and looks forward to assisting families in their adoption journey.
She lives in Beaver with husband, Tom & her two children.
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.