Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Child Safety & Quality Assurance (CSQA) team is dedicated to strengthening safety at more than 4,700 local Clubs throughout the country. Through the development and implementation of best safety practices, quality consultations, live facilitated trainings, resources, and ongoing safety assessments, the CSQA team strives to ensure all local Clubs provide the absolute safest physical and emotional environments and programs for the more than 4.3 million youth Clubs serve each year.
As part of our commitment to continuously enhance safety practices and protocols at Boys & Girls Clubs, BGCA is proud to announce that all members of the Child Safety & Quality Assurance team have demonstrated their dedication to abuse prevention through the successful completion of the Praesidium Guardian Certification Workshop, earning the designation as a Certified Praesidium Guardian. To learn more about the Certified Praesidium Guardian Program, please visit their website.
National Vice President, Child & Club Safety Officer
Michael Belcher is the National Vice President of Child Safety & Quality Assurance for Boys & Girls Clubs of America where he provides health and safety leadership for Clubs across the country. Michael’s passion is working with local organizations to engage and empower stakeholders, strengthen business processes, and build positive safety cultures. He has three decades of experience developing and implementing successful strategies and leading continuous improvement efforts for international organizations in multiple work settings and is a recognized expert in safety management systems, governance and organization, regulatory compliance, and risk management. Michael is a Certified Safety Professional and the past president of the American Society of Safety Professionals. He was recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor to serve on the National Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.
Kristy Jennette is a Project Analyst, Child Safety & Quality Assurance for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She is an accomplished nonprofit professional with over 15 years of experience overseeing project initiatives, process development, and partner relations. Kristy’s experience includes nonprofit strategy, communications, content management, grant compliance, and tactical planning. Prior to this role, she served as a Child Safety and Injury Prevention leader with Safe Kids Georgia for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and previously as the Director of Programs for Junior Achievement of Georgia where she was a member of the organization’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Advisory Group and was the recipient of the Circle of Leadership Award. Her innovative planning, insistence on excellence, and ability to nurture relationships lead to long-term solutions and success. Kristy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Old Dominion University and a Master of Education from Cambridge College. Kristy is a certified Praesidium Guardian and certified Project Management Essentials professional.
National Director, Child & Club Safety Support Services
Mitru Ciarlante is the National Director of Child & Club Safety Support Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, where she leads a team that works to strengthen Clubs’ capacity to create safe places for kids and teens to learn and grow. Mitru is a lifelong advocate for children with decades of leadership experience creating policies and approaches to prevent, identify, and respond to childhood victimization. She is the developer of a comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention, response, and advocacy model and has served the White House and U.S. Department of Justice as an expert practitioner and advisor. She has lectured, trained, and written extensively on a multitude of safety, trauma, and crisis management topics and her work on child abuse prevention has been published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Prevention Researcher, among others. Mitru is certified in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Mental Health First Aid, Psychological First Aid, Crisis Communications, Youth Program Quality Methods, sexual and domestic violence counseling and advocacy, and is a Certified Praesidium Guardian. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from East Stroudsburg University and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from Georgetown University Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, School of Public Policy.
Director, Pacific Region
Lori Huggins McGary is an accomplished senior executive and consultant with almost 30 years of success in safety and youth development for nonprofit organizations, both locally and nationally. Leveraging extensive experience improving organizational performance through strategic implementation, program development, collaboration and employee engagement for nonprofit companies, Lori is a valuable advisor for an organization as they strengthen their culture of safety. Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions with Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Oregon Partnership. In her current role as Director, Child Safety & Quality Assurance at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Lori works with Club leaders in the Pacific region to strengthen their culture of safety through consultations, assessments, and trainings. She also co-leads the national effort to ensure safe work experiences for minors working or volunteering in local Clubs. Lori earned a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University and MBA from Touro University Worldwide.
Director, Northeast Region
Alan Mogridge brings over 25 years of practical knowledge and leadership experience in operations, aquatic safety and programming, wellness, day and resident camping and childcare. Prior to joining Boys & Girls Clubs of America in May 2020, Alan was a Partner and Senior Consultant at Safe-Wise Consulting, a company that provides safety and risk management services to hundreds of youth-serving organizations across the nation. Alan has also served as an Instructor, Instructor Trainer, and Faculty Trainer for YMCA of the USA, the American Red Cross and American Safety & Health Institute and was part of the YMCA of the USA’s Trainer Quality Team. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Maine, Orono.
Director, Midwest Region
Sarah Nemecek is the Director of Child Safety & Quality Assurance for the Midwest Region. Previously, she was Senior Operations Manager for the Youth Safety and Violence Prevention program at the YMCA of Metro Chicago. In her role at the YMCA, she oversaw a team of outreach workers who provided daily mentoring and group activities for teens affected by community violence in Chicago. Within that role, Sarah developed safety protocols and delivered trainings on topics such as risk management, trauma-informed care and child abuse prevention. Prior to joining the YMCA of Metro Chicago, Sarah worked in management roles for a variety of nonprofits focused on topics such as public transit, affordable housing and sustainable development. She holds a Master of Science in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from Pepperdine University.
Director, Southwest Region
Jon Whiteman is the Director of Child Safety & Quality Assurance in the Southwest Region for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He has been a key contributor to the organization’s efforts to educate Clubs and communities on COVID-19 vaccination while helping establish partnerships with government and private entities. He also serves as the team’s sports safety specialist, focused on strengthening practices and standards to prevent and respond to abuse. Prior to this role, Jon dedicated his professional life to improving safeguards and safety standards for youth and spent more than seven years in the Olympic Movement improving abuse prevention programming. Jon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University.
Director of Child Safety & Quality Assurance for the Southeast Region
William “Will” Kellibrew is the Director of Child Safety & Quality Assurance for the Southeast Region. He brings more than 28 years of supervisory experience in small business, corporate, nonprofit, and government agency senior-level management. As the previous director for the Baltimore City Health Department, Will co-led the city’s efforts for a trauma-informed city as well as served as the lead for mental health response during COVID-19. In addition, he worked globally to provide trainings on trauma-informed approaches, violence prevention, and victim assistance. He has engaged grassroots and community-based organizations, U.S. Congress, the White House, and national organizations on policies pertaining to behavioral health, childhood trauma, domestic violence, and victimization. Recognized by the White House as a ‘Champion of Change’ and a recipient of the Voice Award from SAMHSA, he also received the U.S. Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award for his tireless work to serve victims of crime across the country. Will holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus and will graduate with his master’s in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work in May 2023. He is certified in Youth/Mental Health First Aid, Psychological First Aid, Results-Based Accountability, Trauma and Resilience, Grants Financial Management and is certified through the Emergency Management Institute for disaster response.
National Director, Safety Operations
Elaina Ouimet has 20 years of experience with non-profit program administration at the national and local level. As National Director, Safety Operations, she is responsible for managing the operations of BGCA’s Child Safety & Quality Assurance department including safety communications, partnerships, data collection and analysis. Elaina joined the safety team in August 2022 after several years in Field Operations, focused on the development and execution of enterprise communication strategies promoting resources to the field of 437,000 adult staff and volunteers at nearly 5,000 Boys & Girls Clubs.
Since joining BGCA, Elaina’s work has spanned the areas of family outreach, education, the arts, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). She worked on the early development and launch of several national youth programs and successfully partnered with external organizations like Harvard’s ArtScience Prize to provide unique learning opportunities for young people. She started her career in youth development working in direct service in the field of media literacy in Boston and San Francisco and is a certified master trainer through the National Training Initiative and a Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality Methods instructor. Elaina has a B.A. in Sociology from Boston College.
Director, Safety Operations
Rivers Odendahl is the Director of Safety Operations at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, where she is dedicated to building the tools and resources to help Clubs strengthen safety policies and practices. Rivers has been with the national organization since 2010 in roles across Resource Development and Field Operations and joined the Child Safety & Quality Assurance team in 2018.
Director, Peer Assessment
Deborah Day has over 20 years of experience with operational development, implementation, and project management at a national level. Her current role and focus are identifying, recruiting, training, and activating a pool of volunteer safety peer consultants/assessors. Deborah works in partnership with other members of the Child Safety & Quality Assurance team to ensure appropriate collaboration and sharing of best practices, as well as solution building. Since joining Boys & Girls Clubs of America, her work has spanned the areas of Club and organizational support, grant and event management, and support and implementation of several national youth programs. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She is a Certified Praesidium Guardian and is ISO 19011:2018 and BGCA National Training Initiative Trainer Certified.
Senior Director, Safety, Governance & Innovation
Teresa Walch has held multiple leadership positions within Boys & Girls Clubs of America over the past 24 years including Southwest Regional Vice President and National Vice President of Club Advancement & Specialized Services. Prior to her career at BGCA, she was a Finance Director for the Department of Defense AAFES Europe, a Juvenile Probation Officer, a Department of Defense Educator, and a Schools Officer for the Department of Defense Europe. In Teresa’s current role, her focus is on governance, innovation and impactful service delivery and design that supports quality improvement systems, practices, and processes to ensure sustainable, safe, engaging local organizations and partnerships that support organizational priorities. She also serves as the Disaster Response lead for BGCA. Passionate about developing people and teams that support safe, thriving environments for youth and teens, she believes that an organization’s culture is key to innovation and the strategic alignment of a team’s individual strengths are critical to drive goals and outcomes for stakeholders. Teresa holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a minor in Education and a Master’s in Human Relations. She is also a credentialed Executive Coach with ICF, a global advisory and technology services provider, an accomplished facilitator, and a nationally credentialed trainer of trainers. Teresa believes strongly in the power of people to positively impact the next generation.
National Director of Quality Assurance
Stacey Brooks is the National Director of Quality Assurance for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In this role, Stacey provides strategic leadership and direction for the quality assurance (QA) system and oversees all aspects of the QA system for Child and Club safety including strategy, process improvement, logistics, and assessor qualification. Stacey comes to BGCA with over 22 years of experience at General Motors, where she managed the program support team for the company’s safety management system, performed system validations and used data to continually improve compliance, risk management, and governance activities. Previously, she led more than 150 in-depth compliance and process audits in 15 states and 12 countries as part of their internal audit organization. Stacey holds three M.S. degrees from Murray State University (Occupational Safety & Health, Organizational Communication, Biological Sciences) and a B.A. in Biology from Carthage College. She maintains three professional certifications, including the Certified Safety Professional credential obtained in 2009. Stacey is a long-time, active member of the American Society of Safety Professionals and currently serves as Administrator of the Management Practice Specialty.
Lead Director Quality Assurance
Leonard Garcia is a Safety Analyst for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and a Certified Safety and Health Official. In his previous role as a Corporate Safety Director/Manager, he had oversight of safety programs and ensured that all facilities were following regulations overseen by government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation. Leonard has a successful record of accomplishment abating hazards and mitigating risks through root cause analysis that has resulted in a reduction of accident occurrences by 50% year over year.
Lead Director, Eastern Region
Heather Campbell has worked in several capacities with Boys & Girls Clubs for over 30 years. She started her career with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix (BGCMP) in 1987 while attending Arizona State University. After ten years with BGCMP, she accepted a position with Boys & Girls Clubs of America as Director of P.L.A.Y., a Nike sports initiative to educate Youth Development Professionals on youth fitness and the organization of Teen Sports Leadership camps on college campuses. In 2000, Heather relocated to Japan as BGCA’s military Regional Service Director for Asia and the Pacific Region. As her military relationships formed over the years, Heather was offered a position by the Navy Child and Youth Programs in San Diego to boost their programming efforts in that region. After three years with the Navy, she returned to BGCA to work as a Senior Director, Youth Development, leading the sports and recreation area. In 2020, Heather was named Lead Director of the Quality Assurance team within Child Safety & Quality Assurance. In this role, she leads team members in the Northeast, Southeast and part of the Midwest regions.
TaJuanna (Tee) Alves’ joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in June 2022 as a Safety Analyst for the Pacific Region. Tee plays a key role in achieving Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s quality assurance goals of maintaining safe, nurturing Club environments while ensuring compliance to recognized safety standards. Previously, she was the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Music Box, Inc., a music production studio and social venue, located in Conyers, Georgia. Tee holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice Administrations from Columbia Southern University.
A.J. Collier joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in August 2021. In his role as a Safety Analyst, A.J. is responsible for Clubs’ ability to meet quality assurance goals of maintaining safe Club environments while ensuring compliance to recognized safety standards. He conducts annual organizational and site level safety assessments regarding child and Club safety practices, procedures, policies and standards. A.J. also reviews policies and findings of other assessments and shares these with staff and board members. His most recent experience was as Director of Operations at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago, Illinois. A.J. holds a Bachelor of Science in Fitness Leadership/Cardia Rehabilitation from Northern Illinois University.
Moises Coria joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in April 2023 as a Safety Analyst for the Pacific Region. Previously, he served as an Area Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento in California where he led multiple expanded learning programs and a team of committed staff members. Moises brings a wealth of experience in the design and implementation of professional development plans, organizational leadership, and program management to his role as a Safety Analyst for BGCA. In this position, he will ensure that Clubs comply with recognized safety standards that foster safe and nurturing environments that enable young people to thrive. Moises earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State University, Sacramento.
Tim Flaherty started in program positions in Southern California Boys & Girls Clubs in 1982 and began his career with the national organization in 1986 to work on the Olympic Sports Program, where he delivered coaches training and resources and conducted Olympic sports competitions. In 1990, he transitioned to the local level where he held various director positions for Clubs in the Pacific Northwest. In 1996, Tim returned to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to lead grants management for a series of significantly expanding federal grants for 15 years. He then moved to Government Relations where he supported State Alliance operations for nine years, and in 2020, he joined the Child Safety & Quality Assurance team as a Safety Analyst.
Jef Goodnight joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in June 2022 as a Safety Analyst for the Southeast Region. Jef plays a key role in achieving Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s quality assurance goals of maintaining safe, nurturing Club environments while ensuring compliance to recognized safety standards. His most recent experience was as Chief Executive Officer for Boys & Girls Club of Franklin-Simpson in Kentucky. Jef holds a Bachelor’s in Special Education from Western Kentucky University.
LaCharles Green has worked for Boys & Girls Clubs in various regions and capacities for more than ten years. He previously served as a Youth Development Specialist, Teen Director, and was the Unit Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County. Most recently, LaCharles was Director of Operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi and holds a BSBA with a concentration in Management Information Systems.
Chris Kisling joined the Quality Assurance Team as a Safety Analyst for the New England Region. An advocate for the physical and emotional safety of youth, she looks forward to partnering with local clubs and providing them with the resources and support they need for success.
Chris’ previous role as a Training & Curriculum Specialist for Naval Submarine Base New London’s Child & Youth Programs (CYP) led her to become a member of the BGCA movement in 2016. In this role, she was responsible for training and mentoring Youth Development Professionals on the topics of Safety, Accountability and Supervision, Child Abuse Identification and Prevention, BGCA Programming, and Youth Development. As a trusted member of their Safety Team, Chris’ innovation, attention to detail, knowledge of youth development, and adherence to best practices ensured continued quality assurance, military inspection compliance and accreditation throughout her tenure.
Chris earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English and Elementary Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. She is an American Red Cross CPR & First Aid Instructor, National Program for Playground Safety Playground Inspector, One Love Facilitator, and BGCA National Trainer Initiative Tier 2 Trainer. Chris also maintains certifications in Youth Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST).
Chris and her husband live in Connecticut and enjoy spending time with their children and two grandchildren.
Christine Kotula has spent her career as a lifelong leader in the nonprofit youth development sector. She started her Club journey at Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, New Jersey in 1998, transitioning to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2003 for an opportunity to launch the national organization’s Club-facing technology initiatives. Christine has been at the forefront of many initiatives throughout her tenure. She brings extensive experience in youth mentoring and program quality, capacity building, consultation and training to the Quality Assurance Safety team. She is highly knowledgeable on safety matters affecting kids, teens, and their families. Christine holds certifications as a Praesidium Guardian, BSI Management Systems Auditing and Team Lead, a Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality External Reliability Assessor, and Methods Instructor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Fordham University, Marymount College with a concentration in Art Therapy.
Ben Ranly joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in August 2021. In his role as a Safety Analyst, he ensures that Clubs achieve their quality assurance goals of maintaining safe, nurturing environments while complying to recognized safety standards. Ben conducts annual organizational as well as site level safety assessments regarding child and Club safety practices and procedures, policies, and standards. He also reviews policies and findings of other assessments and shares these analyses with staff and board members. Ben holds a Master of International Security with a certificate in U.S. Homeland Security.
Manny Smith joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America in September 2021. In the role of Safety Analyst, he is responsible for achieving the organization’s quality assurance goals of maintaining safe, nurturing Club environments while ensuring compliance to recognized safety standards. Manny conducts annual organizational and site-level safety assessments regarding child and Club safety practices and procedures, policies, and standards. His most recent experience was as Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County in Washington.
Candita K. Woodis, is citizen of the Dine’ Nation (Navajo Nation) from Shiprock, NM. Prior to her role as a Safety Analyst for BGCA’s Child Safety & Quality Assurance team, she served as a Quality Assurance/Quality Control Performance Improvement Specialist with HHS Indian Health Service for ten years. She has also worked in Higher Education as a Financial Aid Director and Adjunct Professor.
Candita holds a Master’s in Information Resources Technology and Library Science from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor’s in Tribal Government & Policy from Arizona State University as well as a Tribal Court Advocacy degree from Phoenix College. She enjoys cycling, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two children. Proud to be a part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Candita plans to use her expertise to help our Native Clubs continue to provide a safe, inclusive place for the youth they serve.