Leadership

Our Staff Leadership

For years, The Villages has been a leader in our community. It’s all thanks to our dedicated statewide staff, who are tasked with the important work of making sure we stay true to our mission: providing children with stable, loving homes. Together, we’re able to help kids and provide assistance to families in order to ensure that children find the nurturing environments they need to thrive. By working to support everyone involved in the adoption and foster processes, we’re able to deliver better outcomes and build stronger families. Learn more about our team and open positions, statewide.

Executive Staff

Shannon has over 25 years of experience creating and expanding social services for families, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Strategy, Innovation, and Clinical Services at Volunteers of America where she worked for 18 years.

Some recent examples of her work include the following: She developed a comprehensive program serving children with incarcerated parents, their caregivers, and their re-entering parents which received national recognition by Annie E. Casey Family Foundation as a Promising Practice for the positive outcomes for families of color.

She assisted Sesame Street’s® Little Children, Big Challenges™ series with the development of a character with an incarcerated parent and presented with their team at a United States Senate Briefing on the effects of parental incarceration on the lives of children.

She created a unique program in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Child Services serving pregnant women and mothers of newborns and small children affected by substance use disorder, increasing the numbers of babies born without the ill-effects of withdrawal and keeping mothers and babies safely together.

She is a Licensed Social Worker, Licensed Counselor, and received her master’s degree in Social Work from Indiana University. She completed a 2-year non-profit Executive Development Program at the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business and an Executive Leadership Program from American Express™.

She is a member of the Ball State University Department of Social Work’s Advisory Board, the Healthy Families Indiana Think Tank, and the Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboration.

She was a recipient of the Hero of Recovery Award from Mental Health America of Indiana in 2018 and the Community Service Award from Drug Free Marion County in 2013.

She is life-long Hoosier who grew up in rural Indiana and lives in Indianapolis with her husband and teenage son. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and running.

Val Deckard has worked for The Villages since December 27, 1991. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Oakland City University, and was hired at The Villages as a bookkeeper for the Family-Model Group Homes Program. In the years since, Val has progressed from bookkeeper to staff accountant, director of finance, and finally her current position as vice president of operations.

Val enjoys the opportunities The Villages has afforded her to grow in her career, while also enabling her to contribute to a great cause—helping families and children. She has three nieces who have grown up with The Villages, and is popularly known as “Auntie Val” to the new generation there.

She loves the outdoors, particularly the beach; hiking (but not camping!); and is a 19-year season ticket holder for the WNBA Indiana Fever basketball team. So if she’s not out on the trails in the summer, she can likely be found at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, sharing her support for the team from Section 20.

Brenda Chapin has worked for The Villages since 2006. She is a Licensed Social Worker who and has held positions in several programs including Foster Care, Supervisor of Monroe County Healthy Families, Director of Children’s Village Bloomington, Quality Assurance Manager, and Regional Director of Central Indiana. Brenda has also worked as a supervisor at the Department of Child Services, as well as school systems around the state. She has Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Indiana University, as well as a Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University.  Her 18-year-old daughter recently started college and she is the “rescue mom” of a mutt named Reggie.

Regional Directors

Kelly Cody joined The Villages in July 2020 as Senior Regional Director for Southern Indiana.  Kelly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She graduated from Indiana University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Child Welfare and earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Sociology from the University of Southern Indiana.  Kelly has worked with children since 2007 in residential, school, and outpatient settings.  Kelly spends her days with her two children, Max and Mia, and two dogs, Pete and Jake.

Jennifer Julian started at The Villages in 2008 as a clinical director for foster care and home-based services. She began managing the Children’s Mental Health Wraparound in the Howard County office in 2014. Today, Jennifer is the Regional Director for Kokomo and Lafayette. She participates on the PQI team for The Villages, and is a member of the Indiana University Kokomo psychology department advisory board. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and attending her teenagers’ band and choir events.

Pam Knight has served as the Senior Regional Director of the Central Indiana Region of The Villages since April of 2019.  Pam is a licensed Social Worker who holds a Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ball State University.  Pam has spent the majority of her career working with children and families and worked for the Indiana Department of Child Services for over 18 years prior to joining The Villages.  Pam is the mother of one adult daughter and spends much of her time with family and taking her dog on long walks.

Betsy Kuhn has served as a Senior Regional Director with The Villages since 2008. Serving Northeastern Indiana, she works in Fort Wayne, Elkhart and Marion Offices in the areas of Foster Care, Adoption, Older Youth Services and Prevention Services. She has actively participated as a board member serving Homeless Youth through Pathways, Inc., as well as she currently serves on the Advisory Board for Allen County’s Great Kids Make Great Communities and Community Connection – Grant County’s System of Care. Betsy holds an Executive Master in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame (where she is an avid Football fan – Go Irish!) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ball State University.  She has been working in social work for over 30 years, happily married over 20 years, and is the proud mother of two college students, John and Rachael.

Julie Villarreal is the Senior Regional Director of the Northwest Indiana Region of The Villages. She received her Master in Social Work in 2002 from Indiana University Northwest, with honors. She has worked in Child Welfare in various capacities since 1995. She is licensed in clinical social work. Julie enjoys spending time with family. She has two boys who participate in sports and she loves watching them play. In her spare time, Julie volunteers at a local food pantry and has a passion for working to improve the lives of children. Julie is also the recipient of the Ripple of Hope award for her dedication to youth and families.

Program Directors

Sarah Cline began volunteering for The Villages as an intern and Young Professional Advisory Board Member in July of 2010. After working in catering and event planning she joined the organization in 2015 as the first Community Engagement Director. Sarah received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Tourism, Conventions and Event Management from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. As the Director of Development, she oversees the statewide fundraising and marketing efforts and enjoys building relationships and connecting with community members who have a heart for championing and providing opportunities for all children. In her free time Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, volunteering at her church, cooking and crafting — thanks to Pinterest.

Lorraine Conwell started at The Villages as a Therapeutic Foster Care Case Manager in 2013. In the years since, she has progressed from TFC Case Manager to Recruitment and Retention Specialist, to Director of Admissions and now serves as the Director of the Family Connection Network. Since 2000, she has served in many professional social service capacities and enjoys working to simply improve the lives of children. She has a B.S in Psychology from Indiana State University and a Master of Leadership Development from St. Mary-of-the Woods.

Lorraine, happily married and mother of two amazing daughters, enjoys crafting, creating floral arrangements, designing beautiful spaces, spending time with family and serving in the community alongside her sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Nancy Gwin joined the Villages team in 2013, as the Assistant Program Director of the M.O.M Project Healthy Families program in Marion County. In 2019 she moved into the role of Senior Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, overseeing all eight of The Villages Healthy Families programs and Children’s Village child care center. Nancy has worked in the field of Early Childhood education for more than twenty-five years, gaining experience in child development, trauma-informed care, case management, and abuse and neglect prevention. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from the University of Phoenix. Outside of the office, Nancy enjoys camping and beach vacationing with her husband, and fur baby Madie, and spending time with her adult son (when he permits it).

Nicole Schultz has worked for The Villages since 2006.  She has worked as a Case Manager, Regional Supervisor, and Director of Admissions prior to her current position.  Before working at The Villages, Nicole worked for the Department of Child Services and in residential treatment settings.   She has also previously served on the board for Prevent Child Abuse of Vanderburgh County.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Psychology and Criminology and a Master’s in Public Administration from Ball State University.  She enjoys traveling, exploring historic places, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Executive Staff

Shannon has over 25 years of experience creating and expanding social services for families, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Strategy, Innovation, and Clinical Services at Volunteers of America where she worked for 18 years.

Some recent examples of her work include the following: She developed a comprehensive program serving children with incarcerated parents, their caregivers, and their re-entering parents which received national recognition by Annie E. Casey Family Foundation as a Promising Practice for the positive outcomes for families of color.

She assisted Sesame Street’s® Little Children, Big Challenges™ series with the development of a character with an incarcerated parent and presented with their team at a United States Senate Briefing on the effects of parental incarceration on the lives of children.

She created a unique program in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Child Services serving pregnant women and mothers of newborns and small children affected by substance use disorder, increasing the numbers of babies born without the ill-effects of withdrawal and keeping mothers and babies safely together.

She is a Licensed Social Worker, Licensed Counselor, and received her master’s degree in Social Work from Indiana University. She completed a 2-year non-profit Executive Development Program at the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business and an Executive Leadership Program from American Express™.

She is a member of the Ball State University Department of Social Work’s Advisory Board, the Healthy Families Indiana Think Tank, and the Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboration.

She was a recipient of the Hero of Recovery Award from Mental Health America of Indiana in 2018 and the Community Service Award from Drug Free Marion County in 2013.

She is life-long Hoosier who grew up in rural Indiana and lives in Indianapolis with her husband and teenage son. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and running.

Val Deckard has worked for The Villages since December 27, 1991. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Oakland City University, and was hired at The Villages as a bookkeeper for the Family-Model Group Homes Program. In the years since, Val has progressed from bookkeeper to staff accountant, director of finance, and finally her current position as vice president of operations.

Val enjoys the opportunities The Villages has afforded her to grow in her career, while also enabling her to contribute to a great cause—helping families and children. She has three nieces who have grown up with The Villages, and is popularly known as “Auntie Val” to the new generation there.

She loves the outdoors, particularly the beach; hiking (but not camping!); and is a 19-year season ticket holder for the WNBA Indiana Fever basketball team. So if she’s not out on the trails in the summer, she can likely be found at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, sharing her support for the team from Section 20.

Brenda Chapin has worked for The Villages since 2006. She is a Licensed Social Worker who and has held positions in several programs including Foster Care, Supervisor of Monroe County Healthy Families, Director of Children’s Village Bloomington, Quality Assurance Manager, and Regional Director of Central Indiana. Brenda has also worked as a supervisor at the Department of Child Services, as well as school systems around the state. She has Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Indiana University, as well as a Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University.  Her 18-year-old daughter recently started college and she is the “rescue mom” of a mutt named Reggie.

Regional Directors

Kelly Cody joined The Villages in July 2020 as Senior Regional Director for Southern Indiana.  Kelly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She graduated from Indiana University with a Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Child Welfare and earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Sociology from the University of Southern Indiana.  Kelly has worked with children since 2007 in residential, school, and outpatient settings.  Kelly spends her days with her two children, Max and Mia, and two dogs, Pete and Jake.

Jennifer Julian started at The Villages in 2008 as a clinical director for foster care and home-based services. She began managing the Children’s Mental Health Wraparound in the Howard County office in 2014. Today, Jennifer is the Regional Director for Kokomo and Lafayette. She participates on the PQI team for The Villages, and is a member of the Indiana University Kokomo psychology department advisory board. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and attending her teenagers’ band and choir events.

Pam Knight has served as the Senior Regional Director of the Central Indiana Region of The Villages since April of 2019.  Pam is a licensed Social Worker who holds a Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ball State University.  Pam has spent the majority of her career working with children and families and worked for the Indiana Department of Child Services for over 18 years prior to joining The Villages.  Pam is the mother of one adult daughter and spends much of her time with family and taking her dog on long walks.

Betsy Kuhn has served as a Senior Regional Director with The Villages since 2008. Serving Northeastern Indiana, she works in Fort Wayne, Elkhart and Marion Offices in the areas of Foster Care, Adoption, Older Youth Services and Prevention Services. She has actively participated as a board member serving Homeless Youth through Pathways, Inc., as well as she currently serves on the Advisory Board for Allen County’s Great Kids Make Great Communities and Community Connection – Grant County’s System of Care. Betsy holds an Executive Master in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame (where she is an avid Football fan – Go Irish!) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ball State University.  She has been working in social work for over 30 years, happily married over 20 years, and is the proud mother of two college students, John and Rachael.

Julie Villarreal is the Senior Regional Director of the Northwest Indiana Region of The Villages. She received her Master in Social Work in 2002 from Indiana University Northwest, with honors. She has worked in Child Welfare in various capacities since 1995. She is licensed in clinical social work. Julie enjoys spending time with family. She has two boys who participate in sports and she loves watching them play. In her spare time, Julie volunteers at a local food pantry and has a passion for working to improve the lives of children. Julie is also the recipient of the Ripple of Hope award for her dedication to youth and families.

Program Directors

Sarah Cline began volunteering for The Villages as an intern and Young Professional Advisory Board Member in July of 2010. After working in catering and event planning she joined the organization in 2015 as the first Community Engagement Director. Sarah received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Tourism, Conventions and Event Management from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. As the Director of Development, she oversees the statewide fundraising and marketing efforts and enjoys building relationships and connecting with community members who have a heart for championing and providing opportunities for all children. In her free time Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, three children, volunteering at her church, cooking and crafting — thanks to Pinterest.

Lorraine Conwell started at The Villages as a Therapeutic Foster Care Case Manager in 2013. In the years since, she has progressed from TFC Case Manager to Recruitment and Retention Specialist, to Director of Admissions and now serves as the Director of the Family Connection Network. Since 2000, she has served in many professional social service capacities and enjoys working to simply improve the lives of children. She has a B.S in Psychology from Indiana State University and a Master of Leadership Development from St. Mary-of-the Woods.

Lorraine, happily married and mother of two amazing daughters, enjoys crafting, creating floral arrangements, designing beautiful spaces, spending time with family and serving in the community alongside her sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Nancy Gwin joined the Villages team in 2013, as the Assistant Program Director of the M.O.M Project Healthy Families program in Marion County. In 2019 she moved into the role of Senior Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, overseeing all eight of The Villages Healthy Families programs and Children’s Village child care center. Nancy has worked in the field of Early Childhood education for more than twenty-five years, gaining experience in child development, trauma-informed care, case management, and abuse and neglect prevention. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from the University of Phoenix. Outside of the office, Nancy enjoys camping and beach vacationing with her husband, and fur baby Madie, and spending time with her adult son (when he permits it).

Nicole Schultz has worked for The Villages since 2006.  She has worked as a Case Manager, Regional Supervisor, and Director of Admissions prior to her current position.  Before working at The Villages, Nicole worked for the Department of Child Services and in residential treatment settings.   She has also previously served on the board for Prevent Child Abuse of Vanderburgh County.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Psychology and Criminology and a Master’s in Public Administration from Ball State University.  She enjoys traveling, exploring historic places, and spending time with her husband and two children.