about WACC

 

Our mission is to promote child safety and well-being, and to prevent child maltreatment, abuse, and neglect through educational service and programs to children, parents, community members and youth-serving professionals throughout Washtenaw County.

 

our history

 

1975

WACC is formed as the Washtenaw County Coordination Council for Children to address inter-disciplinary challenges regarding children and youth

1983

The Michigan Children’s Trust Fund designated WACC as the authority on establishing program development for the prevention of child abuse and neglect

1999

In partnership with University of Michigan athletes, the Shaken Baby Syndrome project began to address the prominence of abusive head trauma

2017

Across Washtenaw County over 11,000 lives are changed annually as a result of Washtenaw Area Council for Children’s five core education programs

 

1975

WACC is formed as the Washtenaw County Coordination Council for Children to address inter-disciplinary challenges regarding children and youth

1983

The Michigan Children’s Trust Fund designated WACC as the authority on establishing program development for the prevention of child abuse and neglect

1999

In partnership with University of Michigan athletes, the Shaken Baby Syndrome project began to address the prominence of abusive head trauma

2017

Across Washtenaw County over 11,000 lives are changed annually as a result of Washtenaw Area Council for Children’s five core education programs

 

1975

WACC is formed as the Washtenaw County Coordination Council for Children to address inter-disciplinary challenges regarding children and youth

1983

The Michigan Children’s Trust Fund designated WACC as the authority on establishing program development for the prevention of child abuse and neglect

1999

In partnership with University of Michigan athletes, the Shaken Baby Syndrome project began to address the prominence of abusive head trauma

2017

Across Washtenaw County over 11,000 lives are changed annually as a result of Washtenaw Area Council for Children’s five core education programs

Washtenaw Area Council for Children is integrated deeply in our community, and we've been that way for a while. A modest start has evolved into a far-reaching, impactful present. Between our five programs, we proudly serve every stage of life.

Want to help us on our mission?

 
 

our team

 
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Jyoti Gupta
executive director

As a key fixture at Safehouse Center and Amnesty International, Jyoti brings an impressive resume to the table. Starting as Executive Director in 2008, Jyoti has overseen the largest period of growth in WACC history.

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Marcia Dykstra
program director

An integral part of WACC since 1995, Marcia is now responsible for the design, direction, and development of our preventative programs - including our Luncheon Lecture Series and Annual Conferences.

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Althea Wilson
safe sleep coordinator

Head of the Safe Sleep program since 2013, Althea has extensive knowledge of child development. A natural listener and communicator, Althea is indomitably linked to local families and children.

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Robin Batten
cyber safety coordinator

Having been an advocate for incarcerated women and an educator for children’s church groups, Robin is meticulously interlaced in our community - a trait essential for her role.

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Liz Emiley
marketing & development director

Coupling her experience as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line and a decade of experience as a brand strategist, Liz seeks to provide cutting edge marketing approaches to benefit the children of Washtenaw County.

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Dylan Kite
cyber safety facilitator &
digital media specialist

An AmeriCorps alum, Dylan has worked as a leader and team member to educate children and teens. With a variety of experiences, Dylan is an amalgam of educator, artist, and developer.

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Susan Usher
office manager

Accomplished in charitable works, Susan partners closely with youth as a mentor and coach. Her zest for positive youth development lends itself well to orchestrating our inner workings.

 

our board

Chad Allee

Chad Allee | Board Chair

Transformational Choices
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Suzi Coghlan

Suzi Coghlan | Vice Chair

Parent & Co-Founder of SRSLY
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Chad Allee

Chad is the Executive Director of Transformational Choices Holistic Therapy & Counseling, with offices in Ann Arbor, Plymouth, and Monroe. He has been an adjunct professor at Wayne State University, and has been involved in non-profit organizations at local, state, national and international levels focused on children and families for more than 15 years. Chad and his wife, Denise have 4 children and enjoy traveling together as a family.

Suzi Coghlan

Suzi Coghlan is the Director of the Coghlan Family Foundation. The Foundation has helped to create and financially support a number of programs including: SRSLY- A community coalition established in 2008 to prevent destructive behavior in youth, Special Days Camps- A camp for children with cancer and their siblings and The Coghlan Family Craniofacial Fellowship- A fellowship providing an additional year of education specializing in craniofacial patients within the University of Michigan’s Orthodontics program. Suzi has been on the Board of Directors of WACC for 3 years. As a mother of 3 daughters, she is an advocate for children and families. Suzi lives in Saline with her husband Michael.

Chad Allee

Sharon Stemple | Treasurer

Controller, Translume, Inc.
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Suzi Coghlan

Nancy Krzesicki | Secretary

Interior Designer, By Design Interiors
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Sharon Stemple

Sharon is a Financial Controller at Translume, Inc. She brings with her more than 25 years of experience in the Financial arena with large corporations, such as ADP and Thomson Reuters. Among her many talents, Sharon also brings with her several years of experience with start-up ventures within the Ann Arbor community, where she has gained extensive knowledge in HR, Technology, and Implementation. Sharon has served on the Board of Directors of WACC for 4 years, more recently as Treasurer, and is active on several other non-profit organizations, such as The Margetts Foundation and the Ann Arbor Hockettes Intermediate Ice-Skating Team. Sharon lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and daughter.

Nancy Krzesicki

Nancy is an Interior Designer, and owner of By Design Interiors for 20 years. Married with two grown girls, I was invited to the spring breakfast event and after hearing the wonderful programs that WACC has to offer our communities, I knew I wanted to get involved.I enjoy travel, reading and spending time with Family. Looking forward becoming a more active member of WACC.

Chad Allee

Thomas L. Atkins, M.D., PLLC

Child and Adult Psychiatric Care
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Suzi Coghlan

Det. Thomas Boivin

Washtenaw Sheriff’s Office
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Thomas L. Atkins

Thomas Atkins is a child and adolescent psychiatrist working in his own practice in downtown Ann Arbor. Previously Thomas worked in Northern California as a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist. Throughout his career Thomas has worked to create safe spaces for vulnerable populations. Thomas lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Leticia, and their two boys.

Thomas Boivin

Det. Boivin has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Michigan University and he has been with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. Det. Boivin graduated from Saline High School. He has investigated hundreds of crimes against children and he is involved with multiple child advocacy organizations. Det. Boivin is married and he has three children.

Chad Allee

April Scanlon

CPS Prevention Specialist
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Suzi Coghlan

Neal Elyakin

WISD
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April Scanlon

April is the Prevention Specialist for Washtenaw County Department of Health and Human Services providing resources, support/advocacy, and referrals for in-home services to at-risk families. She has worked in Children’s Services since 2008 as an investigator and ongoing CPS specialist. She partners with many community organizations and ensures that Services Specialists are informed of community resources. April resides in Canton with her husband and two children.

Neal Elyakin

Neal is a Special Education Administrator for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. He has been a teacher, consultant and administrator in special education since 1985. He’s been involved in non-profit organizations at local, state. national and international levels in education and advocacy. Neal lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and two children.

Chad Allee

Sherri Goff

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
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Suzi Coghlan

Deborah Jones

Bank of Ann Arbor
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Sherri Goff

Sherri Goff has worked as a Respiratory Therapist for nearly thirty years including St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. She is a wife and mother of three children and is dedicated to helping all children stay safe and healthy.

Deborah Jones

Deb is responsible for 403(b) University Retirement and Advisory Services. Deb began her financial services career with the former Huron Valley National Bank, which was located at the current Fifth Avenue location of Bank of Ann Arbor. She has successfully assisted high net worth individuals and families preserve and grow their wealth through financial, retirement, estate, investment advice and planning through her previous employment with the First of America, Comerica Bank and most, recently, TIAA-CREF. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and is currently enrolled in the Certificate of Financial Planning program. Deb and her husband, Steve, along with their two sons, Aaron and Brandon, have lived in Ann Arbor for more than 30 years.

Chad Allee

Martha Kerr

Abuse Prevention & Child Protection
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Suzi Coghlan

Kristen McCurry

Transformational Choices
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Martha Kerr

Martha Kerr is the Abuse Prevention Initiative and Child Protection Team Coordinator at the University of Michigan Health System. She has been a social worker for over 30 years and received her Master in Social Work degree from Wayne State University. Martha considers herself a strong advocate for children having worked and volunteered in programs of this nature. She resides in Detroit with her family and two cats.

Kristen McCurry

Kristen McCurry has been a proud supporter of WACC for years, and joined the board in 2016. She is the Director of Clinical Outreach at Transformational Choices Counseling and Therapy, and has worked in the nonprofit community since 2009. She earned her Master of Social Work (LMSW) degree from the University of Michigan with a focus on management of human services and evaluation. Kristen has a passion for promoting growth and efficiency in the nonprofit sector, while strategically placing organizations in a position to thrive within ever-changing political and social environments. She has a deep appreciation for the work of WACC and the organization’s impacts on children, families, and our local community.

Chad Allee

Lynn McGuire

Butzel & Long Attorneys
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Suzi Coghlan

Jane Nickert

Director of Nursing, WCPH
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Lynn McGuire

Lynn McGuire is an attorney practicing in the field of Employee Benefits working with Butzel Long in its Ann Arbor office. She obtained her juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she was a Student Note Editor for the Journal of College and University Law. Lynn Received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, graduating with Distinction. She lives in Dexter, with her husband Brian and her daughter Madeline.

Jane Nickert

Jane Nickert is the Director of Nursing for Washtenaw County Public Health. She has been a public health nurse for over 20 years and for many years worked specifically with pregnant women and children. She received her BSN as well as her MSN and MSBA from Madonna University. Jane has worked in public health at both the state and local level. Jane has a passion for assuring the health and safety of children. She worked as the coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program which afforded her the opportunity to help develop policy around protecting Michigan’s children from lead poisoning. In her current role Jane will continue to improve services dedicated to protecting Washtenaw County children. Jane is married and is the grandmother to five, Skylar, Aiden, Cash, Madison and Sophia.

Chad Allee

Pai Meng, M.D.

Physician
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Suzi Coghlan

Deborah J. Shaw

Washtenaw County Trial Court
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Pai Meng

Pai Meng is an Internist & Pediatrician who lives in Scio and works in Saline. As both a pediatrician and a mom, she believes in the importance of primary prevention efforts to keep kids safe.

Deborah J. Shaw

Deborah Shaw With formal education in psychology, family therapy, substance use disorders, and public administration from Eastern Michigan, Hahnemann, and Wayne State Universities, Debby has focused her work at the juvenile court on the development and implementation of prevention and treatment-focused programs, program evaluation, and process improvement activities. She served on the board of the Center for Occupational and Personalized Education (COPE), is the immediate past president of the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, and was a founding steering committee member of the Washtenaw Alliance for Children and Youth. In her role as program manager at the Washtenaw County Juvenile Court, Debby oversees the court’s diversion and attendance remediation programs; and a bunch of other stuff.

Chad Allee

Elizabeth Spring

Washtenaw County CSTS
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Elizabeth Spring

Elizabeth Spring is the Program Administrator for CSTS Youth and Family Services in Washtenaw County. Services span from interventions for infants, seriously emotionally disturbed and developmentally delayed children, youth and their families. Her clinical experiences have always focused on health promotion for at risk populations targeting social and emotional health in children and adults. She values weekends enjoying time with her family, husband Chris and two daughters Jennifer and Isabella. A puppy would be a fabulous addition to the family.

Suzi Coghlan

Kriste Goers

Google Account Executive
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Kriste Goers

Kriste Goers is an Account Executive at Google based in Ann Arbor. Kriste has been with Google for nearly 4 years and has spent the last decade working in digital media/advertising for various media agencies and clients in metro Detroit. She graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan and also received her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from EMU. Recently, she went back to school to obtain a Master Certificate in Business Leadership and Management from Michigan State University. Kriste lives in Van Buren Charter Township with her husband Joe, infant son Hudson, and their two dogs.

 
 

our advisory council

 

Renee Adorjan

Sheriff Jerry Clayton

Howard Holmes II

Cynthia Koch

Brian Mackie

Melissa Oca

 

our partners

 

We are proud to partner with some of Washtenaw County's most innovative, civic-minded organizations. You can check out more information on our partners and what we're up to on this page.

Interested in joining the cause? Three out of four businesses help their community by making donations. And the best part? As a qualified charitable organization, most of your donation is tax deductible. Click here to learn more.