FTIA Meet our Team (2009)

Date: 2009-05-18
Source: FTIA

Meet Our Team

Keith M. Wallace - Executive Director / CEO

I am responsible for overall direction and supervision of FTIA. I spend time presenting informational meetings, traveling overseas to maintain our programs and contacts, developing humanitarian aid projects, maintaining our web site, and contacting the CIS/INS, among other things.

Most importantly, I consider myself an advocate for adopting parents and the children we serve. I am a law school graduate from Valparaiso University School of Law and I taught law as a Foreign Expert in China in 1990 - 1991. I am active in both international and domestic adoptions and I am a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Christian Legal Society.

I volunteer for many children-related activities including serving on the Board for Impact Ministries which serves inner city youth. I enjoy running, reading, and hanging out with kids.

Salome Lamarche
- Director of Programs

It is a pleasure to be a part of an organization that is committed to bringing families and cultures together through adoption. I have the honor providing direction and guidance to our Program Managers and Coordinators as we guide families through the adoption process. I will do all that I can to make this experience a joyful one for your growing family.

My husband, Chris, and I have a daughter, Chloe and son, Noah. We enjoy spending time together as a family and volunteering in our community.

I am a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Social Work. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer, I served as a Community Health Promoter in the Dominican Republic from 1991 to 1993. It was an excellent opportunity to experience another culture and see the challenges facing children around the world. I also understand the thrill of becoming a parent and the joy that parenthood can bring. I look forward to the opportunity to help families achieve their dream of building a family through adoption.

Cindy Scheller, LCSW - Director of Social Work Services

As FTIA’s Director of Social Work Services, my responsibilities include coordination and direction of home studies, post placements, and any other situations that require clinical skills and judgment. I completed my Bachelors Degree in Psychology at Purdue University in 1994 (Go Boilers!), and my Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana in 1999. I hold a License of Clinical Social Work.

I have been involved with international adoption work since January of 2000. I am so happy to be part of the adoption process for FTIA families. As a mother of three sons, I find no greater joy than parenting. Working in the adoption field allows me the opportunity to share this joy. I am always amazed at how each post placement visit is like the first with regards to the excitement of seeing a family unified and watching a child flourish! This is why I am so proud to be part of your adoption experience! I will do all I can to ensure you have a positive home study and post placement experience.

Inessa Shiryaeva - Russia Program Manager

My responsibilities as a Russia Program Manager at FTIA include overseeing all aspects of the Russia adoption processes. In addition, I work with a caseload of families throughout their adoption process. I will be helping them with any questions about the adoption, the gathering of the adoption documents. I will be preparing them for their trips to Russia and will be updating them on their status. I also communicate with representatives in Russia involved in the adoption process.

I was born in Russia and have a degree in languages/translation and teaching/education from the Voronezh State University in Russia and a degree in economics from the Moscow Finance and Economics Institute. I speak English, Russian, and French, and I have started learning Spanish. I have worked internationally for more than 12 years and have been involved with U.S. not-for-profit organizations in Russia for over 7 years. I hope that my extensive travel experience, internationally as well as all over Russia and the former Soviet Union, will be a good resource for our families adopting from Russia.

During my travels I have made a lot of wonderful friends in the U.S. I enjoy traveling, movies, reading, and learning languages.

Amanda Bridgeman
- Senior Coordinator
Guatemala & Ethiopia

My name is Amanda Duvall and I am proud to be the Senior Coordinator for the Guatemala & Ethiopia programs here at FTIA. As Senior Coordinator, I am in charge of managing the day to day responsibilities of our Guatemala & Ethiopia Programs. I am excited to work with families on a daily basis and help them throughout their adoption journey.

I was adopted from Seoul, South Korea when I was three months old. Therefore, this position of adoption coordinator is one that is very near and dear to my heart. Being a child of international adoption, it has been a dream of mine to work with others to help them have the opportunity of a lifetime, the opportunity to have a family.

I am a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Marketing. Before coming to FTIA I worked as a home based caseworker and youth mentor.

My spare time is spent with the love of my life, my husband David, and our basset hound, Frank.

Kathy Erwin
- Coordinator (Guatemala/Brazil/Russia)

I am an Adoption Coordinator for the Guatemala, Brazil, and Russia programs. I am pleased to be a part of such a knowledgeable and professional team here at FTIA. Serving children and parents in their journey toward being a forever family is a privilege. My responsibilities include assisting families in preparing their dossier and guiding them through the process of adopting from other countries. I also serve as a resource and support throughout. I am always available to share in tears as well as laughter!

I graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in music. Before coming to FTIA I was a social services worker in child protection for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over seven years. I am delighted to continue working with and for children in a new and exciting direction.

My husband, Michael, and I have two daughters, Kennedy and Natalie. We love to spend time with friends, travel to visit family, watch movies, read, and cheer for the Auburn Tigers!

Cynthia Mattox - Guatemala Program Translator

I am very happy to be working for the Guatemala Program. I previously worked as a Guatemala Program Coordinator for more than two years. Now I am working on a part time basis to assist with translating various adoption documents and maintaining contact with our representatives in Guatemala regarding referrals.

I was born and grew up in Peru, South America. I attended high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado as an exchange student for one year and I received a Bachelor of Business from Universidad San Martin de Porres in Lima. For 8 years, I worked in a project sponsored by the United States Government that provided technical assistance to micro-enterprises in Peru.

Since 2001, I have been living in the United States. My husband, Mike, and I were married in Houston, Texas in 2002 and lived in St. Louis, Missouri before moving to the Evansville area. Our daughter, Adrianna Nicole was born on August 1, 2006 and our son was born on September 29, 2008. As a part-time employee who often works from home, I feel fortunate to be able to care for our children, and at the same time, continue to be a part of FTIA. I enjoy being a mom, sharing time with my family, cooking, working in the yard, and traveling to warm places.

Guatemala In-Country Staff

Andrea Chamorro and Rafael Leon are the in-country Coordinators for our Guatemala program. They are responsible for attending to our families while they are in Guatemala, providing translation when families meet with their foster family, and taking families to the US embassy for their visa interviews. Our coordinators also visit the foster mothers who care for the FTIA children and take monthly updated photos for our adoptive families.

Betty Betz
- China Program Manager

I am the China Program Manager. I feel honored and blessed to be a part of bringing families together. My first experience with adoption was with my own daughter, Sela, who was adopted in 2003 from China through the Waiting Child Program. I am proud to be a part of such a respected organization and am passionate about its mission. I believe the quality and professionalism of our China team to be unsurpassed.

I have a BS in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of Southern Indiana. I have worked in both Accounting and Marketing for a large pharmaceutical company and also as a residential real estate broker. I am on the steering committee of the local chapter of Families with Children from China and enjoy studying the Chinese culture and language. My spare time is spent reading, biking and enjoying activities with my daughter.

China In-Country Staff

FTIA is very fortunate to have a dedicated staff in China. Vivian, Jasmine, Catherine, Tim, Tracey, Genie, Shirley and Julie make up our wonderful Beijing team. The Beijing Office team communicates regularly with the CCAA and provincial authorities as well as children's welfare institutes. The team also helps with making inside China travel arrangements for families. Families will have an opportunity to meet one or more members of the Beijing team during their trip to China as the Beijing team plays a critical role in being with our families during their travel and assisting families throughout their trip.

Melissa Haywood
- Vietnam/China Coordinator

I am part of the Vietnam and China teams at FTIA . My role as a Vietnam/China Coordinator is to support and assist in the adoption of children. I help prepare documents and answer questions throughout the international adoption process.

In 2005, I graduated from Ball State University with a B.S. in Political Science with the intentions of working in Social Service. I have 4 years of experience in child care and am very excited to be helping build families.

My husband and I have one son. We enjoy riding bicycles, reading, and spending time together as a family.

Vietnam In-Country Staff

Ms. Nguyen Phuong Lam is FTIA's in-country Administrator. She is assisted by Ms. Yen, who helps with administrative duties. Our staff in Vietnam communicate regularly with the IAD and provincial authorities as well as childcare centres. The team also helps with making inside Vietnam travel arrangements for families. Families will be assisted by both Ms. Lam & Ms. Yen throughout their time in Vietnam.

Ruth Magary - Intake Specialist

I am please to be a part of the FTIA team and am more than happy to discuss your adoption questions with you. Adoption has become a large part of my life, and I love seeing others use this option to further bless their lives.

I am originally from Indianapolis, but came to Evansville to attend the University of Evansville, where I completed my Bachelors Degree in Music Education. I have since worked in Human Resources and Child Care.

Having four children, three of which have been adopted, gives me some good insight into the issues of adoption. I also have two stepsons and a darling little grandson. When not working at FTIA, I spend my time with my children’s sports and music lessons. I also love antiques and have an old house that we are currently restoring.

I hope you will feel free to come to me with all your questions and adoption concerns.

Debbie Brockman - Intake Specialist

My name is Debbie Brockman. I am a member of Intake Specialist team. I have a bachelor's degree in nursing from Indiana State University. I can answer general questions you may have about any of the adoption programs FTIA offers.

My husband, Matt, and I have 3 children. Rachel and Lena were adopted from China through FTIA in 1998 and 2000. We also have a biological son, Samuel. Adoption is very close to my heart, and I feel that I can offer a different perspective because of our "blended" family. I love to talk with prospective adoptive families and share in their excitement. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance to you!

Jennifer Travis - Accountant

I am the Accountant for FTIA. I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting in 2003. I began working at FTIA in 1997 and worked here until 2003. In 2003, I married my husband, and his job required us to be in California. I am very excited to be back at FTIA where I got started several years ago!

I have one son, Caymen, who brings new adventures and excitement into my life everyday. I am excited to be back in Evansville and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Brenda Mickel - Front Office Coordinator
I am FTIA's Front Office Coordinator. My main responsibility is to answer incoming telephone calls and direct families to the appropriate team member. I also receive all incoming express deliveries and get them to the appropriate staff members.

My husband, John, and I have one married son and a dog named Muffin. We enjoy outdoor activities and being with friends and family.

Prior to working at FTIA, I traveled with my husband who is retired from the U.S. Air Force and I worked in a variety of fields. We have lived in Florida, Arkansas, New Mexico, and even Turkey. I enjoy working with the FTIA team and meeting and talking to our adopting families.

Lou Ann Green - Admin Assistant/IT Support

I’m excited about joining the FTIA team as an Admin Assistant/IT Support person. My responsibilities include providing IT and clerical support to the organization. In addition to handling routine front office duties, I also work on updating the website, computer troubleshooting, and assisting with a variety of other tasks as the need arises.

My husband, Dan, and I moved to Evansville in fall of 2002 from Green Bay, Wisconsin, after our only daughter re-located to the area. We decided that ten hours was too long to drive to see our two granddaughters as often as we wanted. It’s been a joy to be able to be a part of their lives, and watch them grow.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, movies, and counted cross-stitch. My husband and I also work with and support the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Candy Day - Ohio Administrator

As FTIA's Ohio Administrator, I am here to serve our Ohio families before, during, and after their adoption process. I share international adoption at our Informational Seminars, and coordinate speakers for our Waiting Family meetings. I stay abreast of changing Ohio legislation that may impact our families, and share that information with all that are touched by it. I work to familiarize myself with local resources that are available to address any needs our families may have.

I earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Wilson College, and a master's degree in Guidance and Counseling from Xavier University. Prior to joining FTIA, I worked for several years in the area of Human Resources for various Fortune 500 companies. I am honored to be a part of this team and to work with families as they bring their children home.

My husband Mike and I have six children - Jeff and Greg, who are both grown, and A.J., Tran, Gia Vy and Hai Ky who are still at home with us, and who I adopted from Peru (A.J.) and Viet Nam (Tran, Gia Vy and Hai Ky) respectively. We are also proud grandparents, with one grandson. Our family is a blessing to us, and the time we spend together is precious to us. We also enjoy volunteering within our community and church, and traveling.

Cheryl Walsh - Kansas/Missouri Administrator

I am Cheryl Walsh and I am happy to be the Kansas Administrator for FTIA. I have over nine years of work experience in the field of international adoption through my employment with Special Additions. While with SAI I gained experience in domestic and international adoptions including the adoption processes for China, Guatemala, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and India. I look forward to putting this experience to use for FTIA by presenting Informational Seminars for prospective adoptive parents and Parent Education Seminars for FTIA Waiting Families in Kansas and Missouri. I will also network with the Kansas and Missouri adoption community and provide support for adoptive families in this area. In addition, I will assist Beth Peterson and Terry Menegay in processing adoptions from India for clients nationwide.

My college education was obtained at the University of Kansas where I earned a Bachelor's degree in Personnel Adminstration. Following college I worked as a Regional Human Resources Manager for a Fortune 500 company for several years before deciding to stay home with my son and daughter while they were little. Those children are now 16 and 18 years of age! My husband and I are very proud of both of them!!

In my spare time (what is that?) I enjoy spending time with my family while snow skiing, boating, and cheering on the K.U. Jayhawks basketball team.

Rachel Crews - Kansas Social Worker

My name is Rachel Crews and I am the social worker in the Kansas office. I also manage and administer the India post placement program. I have been an adoption social worker for fifteen years. I was raised in Texas and met my husband, Joel, at the University of North Texas in Denton. After receiving my social work degree in 1991, I began working in domestic adoption. After eight years in domestic adoption, marriage, one son, Jack, and a move to Kansas, I began working in international adoption in 2000. This year my husband, son, and I added a beautiful little girl from China to our family. Caroline has been with us since January and what a blessing she has been to all of us!

When I am not working, my family and I spend a lot of time playing and volunteering at my son’s school, our church, and a local retirement home.

I am very passionate about adoption and am thrilled to have a position that allows me to help children find their forever families.

Lynn Wenstrup, LSW - Social Worker

I work with families in the Dayton, Ohio, area to complete their international adoption home studies. As a licensed social worker, I have worked in children's services for both public and private agencies and for the last five years, I have specialized in the area of international adoptions. Besides working with FTIA, I conduct international adoption workshops (with the Adoption Education Center in Dayton) and I am also involved in the annual Adoption Fair in Dayton.

My husband and I have been married for over 17 years and we have been blessed with three children; Mike, Jake, and Ginny (who was born in India). I am actively involved in a crisis pregnancy center, my local church, and my hobbies include running, tennis, and gardening.

I am passionate about international adoptions and committed to equipping families with practical, pragmatic information to ease adjustment and ensure success. It is an honor to work with families and a blessing to see parents and children united.

Amy Deeds - Social Worker

I am excited to be completing home studies for families in the Columbus, Ohio area. My experience working with families began after graduating from Ohio State. In 2000 I began working as a child welfare caseworker. In 2005, I graduated with a Masters Degree in Community Counseling from the University of Dayton. I then went on to provide therapeutic services to post adoptive families and began completing international home studies. In addition to completing home studies, I also work as a licensed therapist providing individual and group therapy to children that have been adopted both internationally and domestically.

When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my animals (2 cats, a chocolate lab, and a miniature schnauzer). I enjoy traveling, reading, gardening and exercising.

Adoption holds a very special place in my heart. I believe that the career path I have chosen has led me to my bigger purpose…adopting! My husband and I are currently in the process of adopting our first child from South Korea. I look forward to becoming our own forever family!

Kathy Gallup - Social Worker

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with 13 years experience as an Adoption Specialist. I am excited to provide home study and post adoption services for FTIA families living in Northeastern Indiana. For the last 4 years, I have been a trainer for the Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program, as well as the Director of Lead Agency for IAATP for two years. I am a Charter member, and former president, of Indiana Adoption Agencies United, and a trainer for Parents in Process, a Hague-approved training for prospective adoptive parents. I am also a board member for Children's Sanctuary, Inc., a therapeutic foster care program for Indiana and Ohio. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Phil, my children, and grandchildren. I have a strong commitment to orphaned children and finding forever families for them.


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