Executive Director and CEO|
Don has a background in marketing, strategic planning, operations, and technology. He spent much of his career as an executive with Sprint and Birch Telecom. His most recent position in the for-profit sector was Chief Operating Officer at Birch Telecom. In the past few years Don decided to refocus his professional energy into the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Don was the Director of Adult Jewish Learning at the Jewish Community Center. Don holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer|
Cindy's unique blend of strategic business skills, innovation, and solid CPA foundation supports the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in achieving JFS’s strategic goals. Cindy is responsible for oversight and leadership of all financial matters, day-to-day business operations and new agency opportunities. She has experience in innovation and business management leadership from Hallmark Cards and American Century Investments.
Richard Odiam, LCSW, LSCSW
Chief Program Officer|
Richard, now serving as Chief Program Officer, is responsible for program operations spanning Kesher KC, Older Adult Services and Mental Health. With a background in community mental health, he spent 10 years in a senior management position at Tri-County Mental Health Services. He holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas and is licensed as a clinical social worker in Kansas and Missouri.
Bruce Broce, M.A.
Chief Advancement Officer|
With a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Temple University, Bruce began his development work in Panama for the Truth Commission’s anthropology department. In addition to investigating human rights abuses, Bruce led the Commission’s fundraising operations. He has also held development roles at Kansas State, University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Missouri, and recently with Children International. He is excited to have the opportunity to partner with staff and volunteers to share JFS’s compelling story, and mission and help grow its base of support to continue meeting the needs as they arise.
Chief People & Process Officer|
Celeste returns to JFS after four years of living abroad. She previously served as Director of Communications until 2014, and is now back overseeing a wide range of internal operations, as well as human resources. She has a strong background in non-profit organizational development and leadership, and has been engaged in human resources for more than 30 years. She holds a degree in public communications/film from Boston University of Kansas, and spent three years in Jerusalem studying the Hebrew Bible.
Director of Volunteer Engagement|
Taly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health at the School of Education at the University of Kansas. Taly has a background in non-profit work in the Kansas City area, including working as a Nutrition Educator and coordinating the nutrition education program at Harvesters-The Community Food Network and being the teen leadership director at BBYO, Inc. Taly has worked with volunteers both professionally and as a volunteer herself and enjoys connecting community members to meaningful volunteer opportunities.
Director of Older Adult Services|
Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, a master’s degree in clinical social work from University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from Towson University. She has worked in the field of aging for over 10 years, specializing in meaning making in the later stages of life and aging in community. Laura serves as Director of Older Adult Services and feels honored that her job allows her to journey with clients as they age and bear witness to their resilience and strength.
Kesher KC Director|
Maggie Haghirian has a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University in Criminal Justice. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She has worked in the field of assisting people of various backgrounds for over 17 years, specializing in persons experiencing mental illness, domestic violence, persons that have experienced trauma and oversight of sex offender treatment programs. Maggie is the Kesher KC Director and is excited to be joining the JFS team! She is looking forward to this new journey with the amazing staff and working together to continue to support those that need support in the community.
Molly McGurk, LCSW
Director, Mental Health Services|
Molly, now serving as Director of Mental Health Services, is responsible for overseeing the Mental Health Counseling program and licensed clinical therapists, School Mental Health Campaign, "You Be You" and community outreach. With a background in community mental health, over thirteen years in Behavioral Health Services as a Senior Mental Health Counselor and a Program Coordinator with Division of Behavioral Health Services in Sacramento. She hold a master's degree in social work from California State University Sacramento and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick
Jewish Community Chaplain|
Rabbi Rudnick devotes himself to community care using his vast knowledge: with a BA degree from Claremont McKenna College, a diploma of International and Comparative Law of Human Rights from University of Strassbourg, a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, a master of arts degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, a fellowship in education and policy at Mandel School for Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Studies from the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where he was ordained.
Karen Massman VanAsdale
Director of Marketing and Communications|
Karen has many years of experience in communications and marketing in the Kansas City area. Most recently she has served in a fundraising role, as Director of Corporate Relations of the Kansas City Ballet. Prior to that, she served as Senior Communications Specialist at Terracon, a national engineering firm based in Olathe; Communications Director of Starlight Theatre; and Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Coterie Theatre.
Wendy Anderson, MSW, LMSW
Child and Family Therapist|
Wendy is a Licensed Master Social worker. She has helped clients in a variety of settings, including residential treatment programs, community outreach, schools and outpatient clinics. Her focus has primarily been with children and families, with an emphasis on family systems, cognitive behavioral and play therapy approaches. In all of these she strives to help people learn how to help themselves. Wendy earned her bachelor’s degree in Social work at the University of Kansas, and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver.
Operations Manager, Older Adult Initiatives|
Sondra, who began at JFS as a volunteer, manages Help@Home and JET Express. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies at San Francisco State University. After working in telecommunications management for 25 years and moving to Kansas City, she changed directions and moved into the non-profit sector. She enjoys helping older adults remain independent and active.
Ruth Baum Bigus
Community Relations Director|
Ruth has been part of the Jewish Family Services team since 2008 handling media and public relations. She works closely with JFS’ CEO, marketing director and program staff to promote the events, program and services of the agency. She has spent more than 25 years working in the nonprofit community including 14 years with the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in radio-television education from the University of Michigan, Ruth worked in broadcasting followed by six-and-a-half years as the managing editor of The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. Ruth also hosts a weekly radio program, KC Cares, focusing on the nonprofit community.
Paola Capra, LMSW
Russian-Speaking Care Manager|
Sarah Chao has a BA in Russian from St. Olaf College, and an MA in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Kansas. Before coming to JFSKC in 2015, she worked for over 5 years as an educator and curriculum facilitator: Her expertise brought her to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and eventually back to the US. At JFS, Sarah works directly with Russian-Speaking clients in our Older Adult Care Management program and assists with Russian Language coordination across all programs. Sarah employs Person-Centered Trauma-Informed Care (PCTIC) practices in her service to local Holocaust survivors.
Vicki Cohen, LCSW, LSCSW
Vicki is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families. Vicki works with clients who face challenges around anger management; anxiety and depression; divorce; eating disorders/self-harm; family conflict; grief and loss; peer/work relationships; parenting; and relationship issues.
Older Adult Care Manager|
Rebecca Dragon-Freiden, LCSW/LSCSW
Rebecca attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate and doubled majored in Psychology and Spanish. She later went on to pursue a Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. After moving to Kansas City, Rebecca worked at Gillis as a Family Focus Therapist, providing therapy for boys and their families as they re-entered their homes from a residential facility. She later worked as a Bilingual Therapist at The Family Conservancy in the “Dame La Mano” Program. She provided Spanish-speaking therapy for individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. Rebecca utilizes a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy in her work with clients. She considers it a privilege to be invited into the lives of clients to help them in their journey towards healing and self-discovery.
Kesher KC Resource Coordinator/Disability Services Case Manager/Priya Family Consultant|
With a valuable network of community resources, with over ten years of experience, and with her passion for helping those in need, Porsche serves JFS in multiple roles. She is the Brookside Food Pantry coordinator making sure that multiple details run smoothly, she is the Case Manager for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and she is a Family Consultant with Priya supporting families on their fertility and adoption journeys. Porsche and David have two children, Thomas (4) and Nia (9 months).
Older Adult Care Manager|
Jana is a Licensed Master Social Worker whose passion is working with older adults. She graduated from University of Nebraska with a Bachelor in Family Science and went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jana spent 15 years working as a Service Coordinator in two affordable senior housing communities in the Kansas City area through Phoenix Family. Jana comes to Jewish Family Services with a wealth of resources for senior adults. Jana enjoys meeting new clients and connecting them with community resources to help them achieve independence and improve their quality of life.
Lauren Glass, LCSW
Lauren Glass is a licensed clinical social worker in Kansas & Missouri. She completed both her BSW & MSW programs at Florida Atlantic University. Lauren has many years of experience working with older adults, children & families. She gravitates towards Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Solution Focused Therapy in her work with clients. Her favorite techniques to use involve breathing, mindful movement & other short meditative practices that clients can freely access whenever they need to no matter where they may go.
Food Pantry Driver|
Jennifer Hawkins, LPC
Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University. She has over 15 professional year’s experience working with children and adults. Her professional background includes a history with KCMC Head Start program as the mental health/disabilities manager, Truman Behavioral Health as a qualified mental health professional, Catholic Charities of KC-St. Joseph as the educational coordinator and therapist. Jennifer offers confidential and compassionate care to individuals, couples and families from a family systems and attachment style perspective. Professional Certifications: Licensed Professional Counselor, National Board of Certified Counselors, Stephen Ministry, Prepare/Enrich Facilitator (marriage).
Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations|
Melanie’s background includes the Manager of Corporate Giving role at the Kansas City Symphony, and development and partnership development work for several healthcare organizations, including PeerView Institute for Medical Education (NYC), the American Academy of Family Physicians (KC), Southcoast Health System (Boston), and the National Institute for Children’s Healthcare Quality (Boston).
Priya Program Manager|
Director of Food Pantry|
Jo has grown the JFS Food Pantry each year using her contacts in the Kansas City area non-profit community. Among other past positions, she served as Director of Operations at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Jo has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Northwest Missouri State University. She looks forward to the relationships she continues to develop as she enhances the Food Pantry Programs in both Kansas and Missouri.
Office Manager - Brookside|
Susan D. Hurst
Director Family Life Education|
Susie is the Adolescent Specialist for C.H.A.I. (Channeling Healthy Adolescent Interaction). She offers preventive education workshops and individual consultations for adolescents, parents, educators and youth workers. In addition, she serves as the Director of Family Life Education, offering a variety of education and support programs across all age groups. Susie holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Psychology from the University of Missouri Kansas City. She also attended the One Year Program of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Susie earned the local Jewish Teacher of the Year award and the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Volunteer Engagement Coordinator|
Vicki earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education at the University of Nebraska. Her professional background includes education, insurance sales, customer service and owning an employment service. She looks forward to connecting community members to meaningful volunteer opportunities and expanding the work JFS is able to do through volunteer engagement.
Data Quality Coordinator|
Special Events Coordinator|
Kelly G. Loeb
Older Adult Care Manager|
With a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri, Kelly loves both sides of the state line; but, will always call Los Angeles home. Prior to JFS, Kelly traveled the 105 counties of Kansas as an educator for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, helping Medicare beneficiaries understand and use their benefits. She’s worked as an outreach coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter, and fervently hopes for the day when Alzheimer’s disease is just a memory. During a favorite summer adventure in Antigua, Guatemala, she used her Spanish fluency to interview older adults about quality of life and to reminisce.
Program Operations Manager|
Program Impact Manager|
Missouri Food Pantry Coordinator|
Kerry Scott, LCSW, PCIT Therapist
Child and Family Therapist|
Kesher KC Social Worker|
Moshit started at JFS as an intern while getting her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Avila University. She was hired in 2018 as a Kesher KC Social Worker and is excited to be joining JFS as a team member and engaging with clients.
Family Empowerment Coordinator|
Laura has worked with individuals and families over the past 8 years in the areas of domestic violence, support for those experiencing mental illness, supportive services for children with disabilities and families that are in need of community referral support. Laura is joining the Food and Shelter team and will be in the role of our Family Empowerment Coordinator working with our families in the Shawnee Mission School District that are homeless or at high risk to be homeless. She has a degree in Human Services from Washburn University in Topeka.
Lead Community Handyman|
Seroj provides minor home repairs and computer troubleshooting. He holds bachelor degrees in math and English from the University of Kansas and is experienced in many facets of home construction and repair. Previously, he worked as a technical writer and process analyst for Sprint before leaving the company to start his own remodeling and handyman business.
Kansas Food Pantry Coordinator|
Libby serves as Executive Assistant to Don Goldman and Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick in both the Kansas and Missouri offices. With over 20 years in corporate administration, this is Libby’s first role with a non-profit organization. She is currently serving her third term as President of the Blue Valley North Band Boosters and is a member of the Blue Valley School District Band/Parent Advisory Board.
Mental Health Coalition Coordinator|
Missouri Food Pantry Assistant Coordinator|
Russian-Speaking Care Manager|
Kesher KC Case Manager|
Ryan is pursuing a master’s degree in social work at the University of Kansas while continuing to work with Kesher KC clients at JFS. As a JFS intern, Ryan worked with Kesher KC clients as well as older adults in the Tech Connect pilot as part of his foundation practicum. Prior to JFS, he worked as a project manager and an emergency dispatcher.