We’re all about changing lives…
Kelly began her career at Open Hearth in 1999 and was appointed Executive Director in 2015 after holding several positions within the organization, starting with direct service work. Under Kelly’s leadership, Open Hearth’s range of programming and operating budget has grown from $770,000 to $6 million. Kelly also has overseen the renovation of Open Hearth’s new headquarters in Phoenixville, PA along with the $1 million capital campaign funding the major systems upgrades needed for the building.
Outside of her executive role at Open Hearth, Kelly served as the Vice President of The Community Coalition for five years and remains an active member of their Executive Committee. She also chairs the Phoenixville Area Cross-Systems Partnership, focusing on reducing barriers for those experiencing homelessness. Lastly, Kelly was appointed the Chair of the Governance Board of Chester County’s Partnership to End Homelessness.
Katelyn is an American University alumna who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in justice. She began her career in social services as a Resource Coordinator at a nonprofit behavioral health agency in a role that required her to manage a large caseload of clients with severe and persistent mental illness who needed housing and other various resources, such as cash assistance and disability benefits, substance abuse treatment, and vocational support. In this role, Katelyn developed a passion for and success with coordinating and securing permanent housing solutions for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, which ultimately led to her recruitment by Open Hearth.
Katelyn joined Open Hearth’s team in 2013 as a Program Coordinator and was later promoted to Lead Program Coordinator. In 2015, Katelyn accepted a position at a large insurance company, where she served as the single point of contact for a highly sensitive and business-critical book of business and spearheaded a project to create and implement a training and performance tool. Nevertheless, Katelyn’s passion always lay in social services and she returned to Open Hearth in August 2017 as the Director of Programs.
Amber began her career in social services as a housing case manager in 2006 following her graduation from Arcadia University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. In this role, she provided housing-focused case management to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Chester County. This experience taught her that homelessness can impact anyone and gave her a strong understanding of the array of social service systems and housing opportunities for people struggling to maintain housing stability. It also brought her in contact with Open Hearth; she soon left her case management job for a Program Coordinator position at Open Hearth in 2008.
In 2013, Amber accepted the position of Mental Health Housing Coordinator with Chester County’s Department of Community Development. Amber returned to Open Hearth in December 2016 as the Permanent Housing Program Coordinator and oversaw the Continuum of Care Permanent Supportive Housing Program. Amber transitioned to the new role of Targeted Homelessness Resource Coordinator in 2020. This position is designed to help Chester County’s Homeless Crisis Response System reach “functional zero” by targeting specific populations of homelessness and prioritizing them for housing and service resources across systems. In this position, she is responsible for developing and managing the by-name list for Chester County and facilitating case conferencing for providers working with those experiencing homelessness.
Anneikkia is a University of Phoenix alumna who holds a Bachelor of Science in business management. She began her career in customer service, where her focus was on problem resolution and quality service. She has volunteered in several community programs such as the Special Olympics; Salvation Army food bank, weekly meals, and Christmas program; singing at nursing homes; and various church activities. As the Permanent Housing Program Coordinator, Anneikkia brings her extensive knowledge in administration, customer service, finance, interpersonal communication, and problem resolution.
Ashley joined our staff in 2012 at the conclusion of her yearlong internship at Open Hearth while finishing her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Alvernia University. Ashley served as a Financial Navigator for Open Hearth and The United Way of Chester County Financial Stability Center in Exton, PA starting in 2013. In this role, Ashley assisted customers with personal and financial goal setting, which included financial insight and resource coordination with the overall goal of supporting her customers in achieving their goal(s) of increasing income, decreasing debt, and increasing assets. In May of 2022 Ashley was named Financial Programs Manager at Open Hearth.
Armed with a certificate in bookkeeping and vast customer service and administrative experience, Debbie joined Open Hearth in March 2006 as a Program Coordinator. Just like her days in the United States armed forces, Debbie rose in rank and now serves as our Office Manager, and is primarily responsible for coordinating, initiating, and performing all of Open Hearth’s clerical and secretarial duties, in addition to program and operational support.
As the One Stop Operator for the PA CareerLink of Chester County, Jeanne brings 25 plus years of experience working in a business-focused learning environment assisting individuals with improving their transition into the workforce. She has served in Philadelphia and Montgomery County’s PA CareerLink system, building relationships within the local workforce arena and beyond. Sharing a life-long passion to offer a hand up, Jeanne facilitates a learning environment in all areas that she touches, from economic and workforce development, to assure that those most in need are connected to services and funding streams.
Nettie brings to Open Hearth her diverse background in nonprofit program management. Before joining Open Hearth’s staff in March of 2015, Nettie served as a manager for Maternal & Child Health Consortium’s (MCHC) Healthy Start program. Prior to joining MCHC, Nettie worked in several capacities within the workforce development division of JEVS Human Services. She also has experience working with youth mentoring, scholarships, and afterschool programs in New York City. Nettie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and communications from Rutgers College and a master’s degree in education from Rutgers University.
Taryn is an alumna of West Chester University where she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. She obtained her first post-graduation employment opportunity at a community outpatient mental health agency that serves children and teens. In this role, Taryn provided individuals and families with outpatient therapy to help identify client strengths and teach the utilization of coping skills to help manage and stabilize moods. From there, Taryn accepted a Resource Coordinator position at another community outpatient mental health agency and transitioned to the role of homeless acute case manager.
During that time, Taryn provided services to individuals with mental health diagnoses who were experiencing homelessness. She helped clients identify and address barriers that would help them meet their goal of housing stability, while also ensuring that their mental health needs were being addressed. After several years, Taryn moved to another agency where she served as a Truancy Mobile Therapist and Behavioral Specialist Consultant, providing wraparound services for children and teens. In this role, Taryn provided individual and family psychotherapy to clients, and developed treatment plan goals that would address truancy concerns and behavioral management interventions across various settings. Taryn joined Open Hearth as the Family Savings Partner Program Coordinator in 2019.
Homelessness Prevention Manager
Leah joined Open Hearth in 2021 as a Prevention Program Coordinator, helping with the distribution of Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds, and was promoted to Homelessness Prevention Manager in 2022. Leah is an alumna of West Chester University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology. During her last semester, Leah worked with underprivileged youth at a Head Start preschool in Coatesville.
After graduation, she began working in social services, with her first job being an Adult Blended Case Manager for a behavioral health organization in Chester County working with adults who are living with severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders. Leah is dedicated to providing basic needs, specifically housing, to all households in our community. She plans to return to school in the future to obtain her master’s in psychology and social work. Leah uses her passion and drive to work towards a good quality of life for all the individuals that Open Hearth serves.
Housing Program Coordinator
Rocio graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health with a minor in global health. She is a native Spanish speaker who is able to assist the people in her community who face a language barrier. Rocio commenced her career in the food safety department as a Food Safety Quality Assurance Technician during her college years which prepared her for the professional world giving her a wealth of experience in management. Rocio began her career in the behavioral health and substance use field as a Bilingual Case Manager at a Chester County behavioral health provider, managing a large case load of 30 plus clients with persistent mental illness and providing community-based services including accessing and monitoring of resources that could help clients live in the community in a stable, safe manner.
Rocio joined Open Hearth’s homelessness prevention team in 2021 and transitioned to become the Housing Program Coordinator in July 2022. In this role Rocio brings a well-rounded knowledge of the culture and the resources available in Chester County.
Heidi is an alum of Geneva College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in philosophy. She has been in social work since 2018 and prior to joining our staff in 2022 worked closely with Open Hearth in her role as a Case Manager at a partner organization. As a Financial Navigator at the United Way of Chester County Financial Stability Center, Heidi brings extensive knowledge of community resources along with passion for self-advocacy, empathy, and organization.
Client Services Coordinator
At the start of his undergraduate studies, Antonio lived in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district and this community inspired his interests in the disciplines of urban planning and homelessness. In 2016, he transferred to Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at the New School University. Antonio completed his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and he remained at The New School to earn his Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy. His Bachelor-Master’s coursework illuminates his interests in the relationship between urban governance and homelessness; specifically, documenting experiences of homeless single adults and their engagement with the homeless service system.
During the shock hit of Covid-19, Antonio became greatly interested in the policy responses in his hometown of Kennett Square, PA. For approximately one year, he supported homeless households in case management programs such as Critical Time Intervention and Homeless Acute Case Management. In October 2022, Antonio joined Open Hearth as a Client Services Coordinator. His involvement with homelessness also includes volunteering at Act in Faith to support underserved West Chester residents as well as participating in the Point-in-Time Count in Kennett Square. Antonio is hopeful to use his on-the-ground experiences in Chester County’s homeless services to pursue a PhD and engage in interdisciplinary research that improves homeless services for single adults.
Prevention Data Coordinator
Sandra joined Open Hearth’s staff at the start of 2022. As the Prevention Data Coordinator, she is responsible for all data entry and initial client contact within the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Sandra attended both Montgomery County Community College and Ursinus College within their liberal arts programs. Sandra brings a wealth of administrative and customer service experience to her position at Open Hearth and is excited about being a part of team that meets critical needs within her community.
Client Services Coordinator
Christina Wheeler Towne, CPA,
Director of Finance
Christina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Wilmington University and later earned her Master of Science in accounting from Strayer University. Christina began her career in bookkeeping and finished her public accounting career as an audit manager, obtaining a Delaware Certified Public Accountant license in 2015. Christina joined Open Hearth in April of 2022, bringing a range of accounting experiences, including both nonprofit and for-profit companies.
Layne Hammond Champion,
Housing Programs Manager
In 2016, Layne relocated to Chester County from Seattle, Washington. There Layne had worked at a rescue mission as the Assistance Director of Women and Children’s Programs and at R.E.S.T. – Real Escape from the Sex Trade, as the Emergency Receiving Center Supervisor, serving survivors of sex trafficking.
After moving to Pennsylvania, Layne began working in the city of Chester, managing volunteer involvement for a nonprofit that provides emergency shelter, community outreach, and recovery housing services. Later, she served as the Family Services Administrator and Recovery House Manager for a nonprofit organization in West Chester. Layne brings a wealth of other experience such as: establishing high school teen parenting and mentoring programs, providing youth tutoring, and directing after school enrichment programs. She also serves on the boards of the Chester County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition and The Vine Ministry.
Layne joined Open Hearth in April 2022 as the Housing Programs Manager and brings a trauma-informed, client-based approach to serving our community.
- Edwin Santiago, President
- David Shellenberger, Vice President
- Jason Rose, Treasurer
- Roxanne M. Troiano, Secretary
- Mariann Horan
- Lisa Korab
- Crystal Johns
- David Megay, Esq.
- Laura Keen
- Melissa E. Scott, Esq.
- Ryan Dadoly