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Our Team

Our Team

EmberHope Youthville Executive Leadership Team

EmberHope Youthville Leadership Team outside in front of a brick wall

Nickaila knows the joy of celebrating success with kids, teens, and families positively impacted by EmberHope Youthville. She’s been helping change the lives of kids in crisis for more than two decades, starting in EmberHope Youthville’s residential programs and working her way up through a variety of roles until she was appointed President and CEO in 2018.

With an undergraduate degree from Kansas State and a Masters from Newman University, Nickaila has spent her entire career in Kansas passionately developing EmberHope Youthville’s mission of ministry to inspire positive change for at-risk children and teens.

Nickaila hopes you consider making a difference yourself by sharing your time or resources with EmberHope Youthville.

Lori takes her experience from years of compassionately working with families in crisis to craft innovative, trauma-sensitive plans to help as EmberHope Youthville’s Chief Program Officer.

Lori knows families often have doubts about their ability to be a foster home. She wants families that feel called to know that EmberHope Youthville is here with training and resources to help you help families in crisis.

“We want to equip people with the ability to handle that as well as being on the sidelines we want to support our families,” Gonzales said.

Lori is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist who has been with EmberHope Youthville for more than twenty years. She now oversees foster care, residential and clinical programming in Kansas and Texas.

Brenda re-careered into social work after working in the business field in the private sector for 20 years. Brenda has served in several child welfare leadership roles in both the public and not-for-profit sectors. Brenda rejoined EmberHope Youthville in 2021, after starting her career with the agency as a Permanency Specialist in 2011, as the Texas Director of Foster Care. In 2022, Brenda accepted the Vice President of Foster Care role and currently provides leadership to the Foster Care Programs in both Kansas and Texas. Brenda is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator (LCPAA). She is passionate about serving vulnerable youth and improving their safety, well-being, permanency, and life trajectory.

Marty’s innovative approach to fundraising fills a critical need for our ministry. He has served as for EmberHope Youthville since 2022. Marty has twenty years of experience in fundraising, including five years as a Director of Development for St. Francis Ministries, where he created a foundation and new system of fundraising. He also has worked for Kansas State University and graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University. Marty married his high school sweetheart, and they have three children together.

Allison brings two decades of valuable experience in child welfare and juvenile justice to her role as Vice President of Residential Services for EmberHope Youthville. Our mission is to offer a homelike setting to inspire positive change in young girls with trauma-focused and trust-based care.  Allison’s expertise helps us create an environment that encourages growth, resilience, and recovery.

After twenty years of dedicated work at EmberHope Youthville, Jamie joined our Leadership Team in 2022 as Director of Human Resources and Quality Improvement.  Starting as a case manager, Jamie transitioned to Quality Management in 2007 and served in a variety of performance improvement roles. Jamie became involved in Human Resources in 2021 and is responsible for managing a range of employment and regulatory practices essential to leading the organization’s mission and strategy.  Jamie has a passion for improving culture, ensuring compliance, and streamlining services for children and families.

A passion for being a part of our mission to make a positive change in the lives of kids and teens at risk is why Lance joined our team in 2022 as the Vice President of Finance.  Lance’s experience in business and finance allows us to continue to position our organization to inspire positive change in children, teens, and families. He brings to the table experience as a former CFO and Director of Operations for a mental health and substance abuse treatment center, as well as a degree in finance from George Mason University.

Brian loves using the latest tech to help kids who need help the most. His experience with EmberHope Youthville spans over four decades, starting back in 1996 as an Information Technology subcontractor before joining our leadership team as Vice President of Data Services.

While technology has certainly changed a lot since the 90s, Brian’s passion for EmberHope Youthville’s mission to assist families in crisis has been consistent for nearly thirty years.

Accreditations & Affiliations

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