President and Chief Executive Officer
“We change the trajectory of the lives of more than 10,500 at-risk children and families every year. We do this by recruiting, training, retaining and equipping the best possible and most dedicated talent. I’m privileged to see real-life heroes doing noble work each and every day on behalf of the most vulnerable in our community.”
John took the reins of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati in 2015, a leading provider for more than 150 years offering education and mental health treatment through 21 different programs for vulnerable children facing significant social, behavioral, and learning challenges. The organization has an operating budget in excess of $29 million and a staff of nearly 360 people. Under his tenure, he crafted a conceptualization and execution of a strategic plan to provide comprehensive and integrated education, mental and behavioral health services for at-risk children and families in the Greater Cincinnati area. His daily responsibilities include leading all services and program delivery through the executive team, strategic planning, business development, strategic partnerships, staff development, finance, facilities, and other departments.
John’s accomplishments as president and CEO include the expansion of early childhood day treatment services, increased capacity of students served for preschool and autism services, the opening of a professionally staffed school-based health center on campus, and a reduction of staff turnover by a total of 50% each year in his first two years. Since assuming his current role, he has grown the organization’s assets to more than $105 million.
His previous experience includes more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector where he converted his region of a national nonprofit organization from operating at a deficit to a financially stable base with increased returns of over $40 million. The regional operations he led were ranked as highest financial producer nationwide for multiple years and achieved the President’s Team Award for high performance. He also brings over a decade of experience in a Fortune 500 company, where his accomplishments include developing and executing strategic plans for the entire food and beverage service for a $400 million dollar enterprise and headed the training and recruitment of a nearly 2,000 person staff.
John earned his undergraduate and MBA at Thomas More College and was part of Leadership Cincinnati Class 41, is a board member of the Ohio Children’s Alliance, serves as a Southwest Ohio Steering Committee Member of the Mental Health and Addiction Advocacy Coalition, and is a member of the United Way Tocqueville Society of Greater Cincinnati.
Melanie L. Burden
Vice President for Human Resources
“We are all interconnected one way or another, and no one should have to work through adversity alone. That’s why I work here. Our talented and passionate staff helps so many children and families. They energize me, help keep me close to our mission, and make the community a better place.”
Melanie’s professional career with The Children’s Home of Cincinnati began over 17 years ago. After exploring other opportunities with various organizations and expanding her Human Resources profession she eventually returned “home.” An HR practitioner for over two decades, Melanie leads the agency’s management of its most valuable assets – its people.
She ensures her department laterally supports The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s mission objectives of providing hope, help and healing to children and families in the community.
Melanie has invaluable human resources experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, and a master’s in labor and employment relations from the University of Cincinnati, a master of science in executive leadership and organizational change from Northern Kentucky University, and is certified in LEAN Systems from the University of Kentucky. Her responsibilities include leading workplace management and employment while driving the agency’s recruitment and retention strategy. She oversees employee and labor relations practices, compliance, policy implementation, talent acquisition, staff training and development, and compensation and benefits programs. She develops and employs strategies to attract the most qualified candidates to The Cincinnati Children’s Home’s mission of service and implements appropriate tactics to retain them.
Driven and energized by helping people, Melanie believes in giving back through volunteering and being of service to those in need. She is engaged in various community engagement efforts throughout Greater Cincinnati. She is a military spouse to a career Army soldier and they both have passed the importance of community involvement along to their teenage son, also an active volunteer who serves alongside his parents.
Chief Strategy Officer
“Children are the most vulnerable and innocent in our community. They need a caring adult who values them for who they are today. I’m proud to work with so many caring adults at The Children’s Home. We help children and families overcome challenges so that they can becomewhoever they want."
Heather is the chief strategy officer for The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, where she leads and integrates all aspects of the agency’s strategic, quality and evaluation, and risk management initiatives for the 21 distinct programs and services provided by the organization. She oversees a fantastic team who ensures the organization is top-notch, data-driven, safe, and innovative.
Since becoming chief strategy officer in 2017, Heather has been heavily involved in the execution of the agency’s strategic plan and developing new services that bring hope, help and healing to the more than 10,500 children and families the organization serves every year.
Heather has worked at The Children’s Home since 2000 when she founded the first child care program for the organization. She received her undergraduate degree in early childhood and primary education from Ball State University and a master of business administration from Northern Kentucky University. She is a certified green belt in Six Sigma quality improvement approach and serves on the board of 7 Hills Neighborhood Houses.
A self-professed “wannabe foodie,” Heather can be found with her husband venturing in the Greater Cincinnati area finding out-of-the-way places to sample new cuisine. She also gardens in the summer more as a science experiment than a reliable food source. She can play the saxophone and is a proud mom to four beautiful daughters and a lazy cat named Tiger.
To contact Heather, or to leverage her expertise as a speaker or subject matter expert in her field, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President of Advancement and Community Engagement
“We rise by lifting others."
Rod took the helm as vice president of advancement and community engagement in the Summer of 2016 and was immediately handed the keys to several critical functions in the agency including fundraising, community relations, marketing and communications, business development, advertising, special events, and agency awareness initiatives.
Prior to joining The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, Rod worked at St. Xavier High School in various positions of progressive leadership culminating as assistant vice president. There, he reported directly to the school president and was responsible for enrollment management as well as development and execution of short and long-range institutional priorities.
Rod earned his undergraduate degree in organizational communications, and his master’s in human resource development, both from Xavier University.
An impassioned leader who remains steadfastly dedicated and connected to the community he serves, Rod serves on several boards for local charities and fellow non-profits including Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA); Christ Hospital College of Nursing & Health Sciences; Inclusion and Advisory Board, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce; and The Metropolitan Board of Governors. His leadership and community impact was recognized when he was named to the Cincinnati Business Courier Class of 2016 Forty Under 40, Leadership Cincinnati Class 42, a C-Suite Honoree as well as Venue Magazine’s Class of 2017 Great Leaders Under 40.
In his rare moments of spare time, Rod enjoys travelling while also enjoying a competitive game of Euchre and karaoke.
To contact Rod, or to leverage his expertise as a speaker or subject matter expert in his field, please email email@example.com.
Chief Operating Officer
“A quote that inspires me daily is from Shannon L. Alder. ‘Never give up on someone with a mental illness, when ‘I’ is replaced by ‘We,’ illness becomes wellness."
Pam leapt into the role of chief operating officer for The Children’s Home of Cincinnati in 2017 and has been running at her usual faster-than-light-pace since her first day on the job. Immediately after stepping into her role here, she brought her passion for helping people and making the world a brighter place to the forefront of the agency’s collective conscience.
Pam leads The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s daily business operations and provides leadership and oversight to the more than 20 distinct programs the organization brings to the community. She provides direct guidance to the president and CEO to ensure overall compliance with legal, regulatory and policy requirements that govern the agency.
Pam’s three decades of experience in social work include leading initiatives that combat mental illness, teenage suicide, addiction and other illnesses. She facilitated one of the largest investments in The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s history since its founding in 1864 via the Ohio Attorney General’s office through the Victims Against Crime Act, with services designed to support victims of crime. She also led the remodel and restructure of many agency programs to address the continuous evolving needs facing children and families, along with implementing a 24-hour crisis line for our highest need families.
Prior to her arrival at the children’s home, Pam was most recently with Assurex Health in Mason, Ohio. There she held two positions, senior director of operations and senior director of corporate responsibility. Pam received her undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Cincinnati.
She continually serves the community by actively working in several organizations including Grant Us Hope, the Justin T. Wright Suicide Prevention Initiative, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Association of Social Workers and as a field instructor for social worker students for the University of Cincinnati.
In her rare free time, Pam is an avid half marathoner and enjoys knocking the miles down in different states. She recently completed races in Hawaii and Colorado and will do an inaugural race in New Orleans next. She is planning a race and walking excursion to Alaska in 2020.
To contact Pam, or to leverage her expertise as a speaker or subject matter expert in her field, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Financial Officer
“Our distinct programs, which are part of the equations that change lives for children and families in the Greater Cincinnati Area, require a solid financial footing to function. My team and I are proud that we’re part of an organization that invests in the community and ensures we have a solid return on our future."
Steve has been the chief financial officer for The Children’s Home of Cincinnati since June 2018 when he hit the ground running. Immediately after taking the financial reins for the organization, he reshaped and retooled the agency’s pension plan while, at the same time, ensured the children’s home was able to operate without a break in service to clients after the government’s redesign of Medicaid. Steve’s responsibilities include fueling the organization’s 21 distinct programs from a financial basis and leading efforts related to budgeting, financial analysis, tax, audits, compensation benefits, contracts, billing, and the funding for expanding services provided by the children’s home.
Prior to his role at The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, Steve served at St. Elizabeth Healthcare for 16 years in various leadership roles culminating as the director of corporate finance. Following his work at St. Elizabeth, he served as CFO for Cove Federal Credit Union.
Steve has his undergraduate degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration from Thomas More College. He also holds management and executive finance certifications from Xavier University and Harvard University.
A longtime athlete, Steve founded an organization in the Greater Cincinnati area that teaches youth from age’s 10 – 18 baseball, and incorporates life skills and community involvement with the ten teams now under the umbrella of his group. Founded by Steve in 2002, the group gained such an impetus within the baseball community of the region that several former professional baseball players now offer coaching to the young players.
To contact Steve, or to leverage his expertise as a speaker or subject matter expert in his field, please email email@example.com.
“Some programs force their students and clients to adapt to them. Here, we’ve adapted our programs to the individuals we serve with the end goal of them leading fulfilling and independent lives."
Amanda earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati and her master’s degree in special education from Xavier University. She completed her principal licensure through the state of Ohio.
Amanda has served the autism community in a variety of roles since 2004; in both professional and various volunteer positions.
She was the executive director of the Cincinnati Center for Autism for six years before moving on to her current role as autism services director at the Children's Home of Cincinnati in 2012. In both roles she has been responsible for the creation and oversight of a variety of programs, including one-to-one individualized learning or therapy sessions, summer camps, and up to and including educational programs for learners of all ages. She has also served as a board member for the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati where she chaired the advocacy committee, and has also served as a board member of the Young Professionals for Autism. Simultaneously, she was the facilitator of the Adults with Autism Support Group and ran community outings for that group for five years.
Her expertise includes working directly with children and adults on the spectrum on individualized goals as well as collaborating with professionals to improve the quality of service provided to individuals across a variety of different environments. She has acted as a behavior therapist to children, advocate for families, education specialist overseeing programs and individual education plans, and has served as an advocate, coach and mentor to fellow professionals in the field. Her continuing mission consists of gathering, expanding and connecting the resources that support the development of a continuum of effective services and support to individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
Her many accolades include the Autism Services of Greater Cincinnati’s Faces of Autism Award: Face of Professional Excellence; The Exemplary Professional Leadership Award from Autism Behavioral Services; The Presidential Award from The Children’s Home of Cincinnati; The Face of Community Service [Group] Award from Autism Services of Greater Cincinnati and the Advocacy Award from the Ohio Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.
Principal, Lower and Upper School
“I enjoy working with the most challenging kids in our community. I believe this is very important work – we are actively investing in Cincinnati’s future through our agency."
Jasmine’s professional career with The Children’s Home of Cincinnati began nearly two decades ago. She began working here as an after school counselor and after graduating college she served as an educational aide, a teacher, and an associate principal, which culminated into her present position as principal of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s Upper and Lower School, which provides services for community children ranging from elementary school to grade 12.
Jasmine leads a cadre of dedicated professionals who provide direct support to The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s continuing mission of providing hope, help and healing to children and families in the community.
A lifelong impassioned educator and advocate for the special needs community, Jasmine says she always knew she wanted her work to positively impact the most vulnerable in the Greater Cincinnati community and she enjoys transforming lives on a daily basis alongside the staff she leads. Her many duties also include compliance and policy implementation, talent acquisition, as well as ensuring staff training and development for her colleagues at the Upper School.
Jasmine earned her master’s degree in multi-cultural special education from the College of Mount Saint Joseph and her bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Cincinnati.
When away from the office, she enjoys arts and crafts with her daughter and serves her community as a Girl Scout leader. She lives in Cincinnati with her daughter, husband and the family Boxer named Tyson.
To contact Jasmine, or to leverage her expertise as a speaker or subject matter expert in her field, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Early Childhood and School Age Services
“I worked as an art therapist focusing on children with a trauma history – specifically children with a history of sexual abuse. I guess I wanted to make a difference and found a way that I could use my gifts to begin the healing process for children and their families."
Carolyn’s Journey at The Children’s Home of Cincinnati began in 2018 when she took the reins as director of the agency’s early childhood and school age services programs. Prior to bringing her skill sets here, she led family and community services efforts at 4C for Children, Cincinnati, and was also the director of therapeutic services with Beech Acres Parenting Center in Cincinnati.
Carolyn oversees a staff of passionate and talented educators that care for our community’s most precious treasures – young children. Her purview includes leading our 5-Star Step Up to Quality preschool, a distinction given by the state of Ohio to only the highest quality preschool programs; our Resilient Children and Families program, which provides training and consultation for other early childhood programs that support social and emotional child development and protective factors for families; the Every Child Succeeds program, which provides home visitation for at-risk or first-time parents while providing child development and parenting supports; SPARK, which supports literacy development for children ages 3 – 6, after school programming that provides school-based extended child care and Camp-I-Can, a 10-week summer camp that is a traditional camp and not treatment based for all eligible 4 – 12 year-olds.
She began her professional career as a child and family therapist. She worked as an art therapist focusing on children with a trauma history – specifically children with a history of sexual abuse. Eventually, her experience and leadership skills saw her leading a variety of programs in the behavioral health specialties in various settings – schools, day treatment, home or community-based. After a decade of working in early childhood prevention services at another organization, Carolyn wanted to get back on the front lines and work toward a mission she could become impassioned about.
The Children’s Home of Cincinnati gave her the opportunity to stay in the realm of early childhood while using her past talents and experience of working with children and families facing serious challenges and stress.
Every day, Carolyn and her dedicated team engineer quality experiences that ensure children and families get exactly the support and help they need. She is actively creating a responsive community that is aware of the challenges that so many families in Greater Cincinnati, with young children, face.
To contact Carolyn, or to leverage her expertise as a speaker at your event, please email email@example.com.