Our Team

We are proud of our team here at the Child Abuse Council. We have highly trained compassionate professionals dedicated to ensuring safe childhoods. Check out the staff who have been honored with the quarterly and annual Sue Swisher Award !

 

Leadership

Mark Mathews, Executive Director

Mark Mathews, M.S. Ed., is the leader of the Child Abuse Council. Serving as the Executive Director since 2014, he says the best part of his job is knowing that we are making a difference. In addition to his sharp leadership skills and desire to change the world by ending child abuse and neglect, Mark is well known for his world class sports analogies. His favorite quote is “'They call it ‘work’ because it’s work. If it was fun, they would call it ‘fun’.” Don’t let him fool though, he isn’t all work and no play. When Mark isn’t at the Child Abuse Council he loves making his kids laugh. His favorite meal would be Chicago-style pizza followed by Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream. An avid Cubs fan with dreams of playing center for the Los Angeles Lakers, this guy loves to watch sports, talk sports, play sports and think sports. 

Jeni McGuire, Fiscal Director

Jeni McGuire is our Fiscal Director and loves all things numbers. Her outstanding skills include crocheting blankets at the speed of light and calculating sale prices at the drop of a hat.  When she isn’t dazzling us with her formula writing skills in Excel, you can find her binge watching TV series on Netflix (her admitted guilty pleasure). The number one thing on Jeni’s bucket list is to visit 6 of the 7 continents and she is halfway there! Jeni’s perfect Saturday afternoon would be doing crafts with her daughter Ellie. Jeni is very organized and ensures every dollar is accounted for and spent exactly the way it is was meant to be used. Ensuring our financial integrity is her primary focus and we appreciate her dedication and commitment to doing just that. 

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY2017 QTR 3

Michael Terry, Program Director

Michael Terry, LISW, LCSW, is trained in EMDR and is our resident infant mental health consultant. At the office Michael is playfully referred to as the “NO” guy who keeps everything running smoothly to ensure we are always in compliance and following the very best practices to deliver quality, effective services. When asked what he would do with an extra hour every day, he said he would use to it work. As committed as he is, we do make him leave once in a while. Then you can usually find him at a Silvis School Board Meeting or doing anything outdoors. He loves cycling, camping, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and canoeing. We aren't actually sure what he does during the Midwest winters when forced to stay inside. The number one thing on his bucket list is to backpack Yosemite or summit Rainier. Mike's attention to detail and clinical skills are essential to our success. 

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY2015 QTR 1, ANNUAL AWARD WINNER FY2015

Jessica Gordon, Director of Development and Communications

Jessica Gordon is our Director of Development and Communication, which means that she likes to talk about giving! Prior to her time here at the Child Abuse Council, she most recently worked for two national organizations providing advocacy and education specific to kids with learning and attention issues. Jessica loves to travel- her two favorite places on earth being New York City and London, England. A future cat lady, she has three feline furballs named Lucian, Arcee and Sangria, and a dog named Veruca. In her spare time, she also enjoys performing improv comedy and watching every Oscar movie nominated that year. Jessica is married to the coolest drummer ever, Mark, and is a proud mom to three daughters, Aspen, Amelia and Ani.

Catherine Roth, Administrative Coordinator

Cat Roth is a DONA-certified Doula, Certified Lactation Consultant and our resident hula-hooping professional. Cat came to the CAC in 2016 and joined the Healthy Families team as a Doula after earning a degree from St. Ambrose University, where she studied biology, psychology and women’s studies and completed internships in politics and women’s health care. In 2019, Cat was accepted to St. Ambrose Master of Public Health program to pursue her passion of health equity. You’ll recognize Cat around town by her contagious smile and ever-changing vibrant hair colors. Her own family includes her two kittens, Rosie and Caramel, as well as her crested gecko, Alice. On the weekends, you might find Cat kayaking with her fiance Logan or following her favorite bands around the region in her vintage camper. 

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY2018 QTR 4

CatherineR@ChildAbuseQC.Org

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Child Protection Center

Kadie McCory, MPH, is a NCAC-trained Forensic Interviewer and the program manager of the Child Protection Center. Kadie manages the Mississippi Valley Child Protection Center by day, and at night she dreams of being a world traveler. She hails from a small town in “the middle of Nowhereseville,” Illinois, where she still loves to visit her parents’ farm for some horse riding and hay baling. Kadie’s true passion for her work shines through her dedication to serving the children and families of her community, as well as the true care she shows for her team. Her broad skill set comes from over a decade of experience in social services, having worked in mental health, substance abuse, mentoring and at-risk youth programming. Kadie’s talents don’t stop there, as she is also an amateur ukulele player, an expert catfisher and a former heptathlon competitor! Kadie says her favorite superheroes are her parents; at home, she herself is Supermom to three small humans – Caleb, Bella and Fynlee. 

Jenna Wagner, Family Advocate and Medical Coordinator

Jenna Wagner is our Family Advocate and Medical Coordinator. She loves coming to work in a big old house to help families through some of the most difficult times. Her role is an advocate, knower of all services, coordinator of schedules and keeper of papers, and is one we couldn’t operate without. She is a kind face and strong support for families. When not chasing her toddler, she loves enjoying the quiet and watching the Bears or the Cubs. After serving families all day, she loves nothing more than seeing how excited her baby is to see her and treating herself to French fries dunked in an ice cream shake.

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY 2017 Q1

Stacy Swon, Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Stacy Swon, BSN, RNC-OB, SANE, is the Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at the Child Protection Center. She provides physical examinations to children who have been the victim of sexual crimes, collecting possible forensic evidence while assessing for any injury and helping coordinate any needed treatment. She also does other child exams for kiddos visiting our center. Her experience as an OB nurse and clinical instructor at Southeastern Community College makes her an incredible asset to our team. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with her schedule. So much energy that she actually considers coffee as its own food group! Stacy is an avid traveler and her navigating skills are top notch, essentially having a map in her brain. When she isn’t providing compassionate care for kids, she can be found traveling in her motor home, reading or practicing her landscape photography.  Brave enough to claim the St. Louis Blues over the Blackhawks in the office, Stacy loves her team of supportive people committed to children in our communities.  

StacyS@Childabuseqc.org

Rebecca Valladares, MA, LPC, has been a Forensic Interviewer and Community Educator at the Child Protection Center since August 2018. Her favorite part of her job is working with children and families. Before joining the Child Abuse Council, she was a trauma counselor working with children and adults. She belongs to Kappa Delta sorority, which supports Prevent Child Abuse America. The Quad Cities native likes to spend her free time watching Netflix, going to sporting events, traveling to big cities and spending time with her friends, as well as go for relaxing walks and work out by playing soccer or jogging. Rebecca loves the “Rocky” movies and has wanted to visit Greece ever since she saw “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” If she had an extra hour every day, she would watch one more episode of the latest Netflix show she’s binging – which could be how she developed her special talent of telling you the plot of any episode of “Friends” just by the episode title.

Mikayla Cardenas, Family Navigator

Mikayla Cardenas joined the Child Abuse Council as Family Navigator in January 2019, after previously serving as an intern at the Child Protection Center. The native of Fruitland, Iowa, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Mikayla describes her job to others as serving as a family advocate to assure access to services for children and families who are exposed to substance abuse. The best part of her role is working with kids and families and knowing she is making a positive impact. Mikayla is the proud mom to a cocker spaniel named Ollie, and her favorite way to spend a Saturday is playing with him. In her free time she loves talking Ollie for walks, spending time with her family and reading. The number one thing on her bucket list is to go to Hawaii and, when she eventually retires, to travel throughout the United States. Her kind and caring nature does have a pet peeve, however: mismatched socks.

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Healthy Families and Doula

 

Sam Mathew, Program Manager

Sam Mathew is the Program Manager who leads our Healthy Families and Doula Team. She was welcomed BACK to our team in 2018 and considers it “coming back home.” Sam and her husband Taylor are foster parents and serve with Quad City Safe Families. They welcomed their baby girl Elliot to the world in 2017 and haven’t slept since. Sam’s positive, sunny smile only dims when she is at the back of a potluck line. Her anxiety spikes as she realized the broccoli casserole may well run out before she gets to it!  Sam loves her “home” here with the Healthy Families program because it is rooted in proactive support. She knows it is a privilege that everyday families let us into their homes to strengthen the bond with their children and considers it an honor to learn from the wonderful families in our programs!

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY2016 QTR 2

Debra Bozik, Doula Program Coordinator

Debra Bozik, AAS (Paralegal), LMT, CBE, CD (DONA), is a birthworker by accident. Starting as a massage therapist in 2012, it was her goal to certify in prenatal massage and stop there. In 2016, she received certification in Prenatal, Labor and Postpartum Massage (Kate Jordan Seminars - Bodywork for the Childbearing Year), got into Spinning Babies in October 2016 by chance and claims that is when she fell down the “rabbit hole of my birthworker journey.” In June 2017, she received training at a DONA International Workshop for Birth Doula and completed DONA certification in 2019, and in May 2018, Debra traveled to Seattle and gained another certificate from Bastyr University/Simkin Center for Childbirth Education. She is a self-declared nerd and wants to continue education in the healthcare aspect of prenatal, labor/delivery and postpartum care. Some things most wouldn’t know about Debra is that she was a founding member and skater for the Quad City Rollers (2007-2012) and helped found the coed children’s roller derby team, The Orphan Brigade. She loves to travel and hopes to someday get to Ireland, Iceland and Vietnam. In her spare time, Debra loves spending time with her husband Chris, her kids Kailee, Padriac and her pitbull Hemi. She likes yoga, hiking and camping and admits to being addicted to Ancient Aliens.

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY2020 QTR 1

Rebecca Collis, Family Support Worker

Rebecca Collis is a Family Support Worker who loves improving the lives of the children and families she serves. Her 5 children and husband of over 20 years love cheering on the Chicago Cubs and spending time with their two dogs and two cats. Her favorite part of every day is seeing her kids when she walks in the door and her favorite way to unwind at the end of the day is to binge on Netflix while enjoying some chocolate. Rebecca says she most admires her mom and wishes her one superpower was to make wishes come true.

Hannah Ellis, Family Support Worker

Hannah Ellis Ackerman, CLC, SBD, CD (DONA), is a Family Support Worker who also happens to be a certified Doula and Lactation Counselor. She loves helping women and families feel empowered. If asked to describe her job, she would say she does prenatal education, provides advocacy and helps mothers to feel empowered while also providing some of the “typical” social services type services like referrals, some assessments and overall support. Hannah recently completed her SBD certification, which makes her uniquely qualified to provide support for those who are enduring bereavement, facing a fatal fetal diagnosis or spending time in the NICU. This meme-loving Harry Potter fan is one of the funniest team members we have. She can jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound and whip up an inspirational poster from that one weird comment you made two years ago in no time. Hannah is married to a man she accidentally went on a date with in junior high and spends time away from work at home with him, her daughter and her two dogs, Jake the Dog and Steve Roscoe.

Samantha Palmer, Family Support Worker

Sam Palmer is a Family Support Worker with years of past experience in child welfare and at a domestic violence shelter. She has dedicated her life to making the world a better place and when she was asked about her retirement plans she says that’s what she wants to continue to do for the rest of her life. Sam is a down to earth, gentle soul who once rescued 30 cats in a two-year period. When Sam isn’t here she loves to spend her time writing, watching the Cubs, enjoying tacos and savoring her favorite Starbucks. The best part of her day is talking to her children. Sam loves Texas, Colorado and being outside.

Natividad Keim, Family Support Worker

Natividad Keim has been a Family Support Worker with CAC since April 2018. She grew up on a farm in Indianola, Iowa. Her favorite part of her job is promoting infant literacy with families in her community. Her second favorite part is being located within walking distance of La Primavera Mexican Grocery Store and Restaurant. Natividad graduated from St. Ambrose University with degrees in Spanish and International Studies. Before coming to CAC, Natividad worked at Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement as an AmeriCorps VISTA and Lutheran Services in Iowa as a Family Support Worker. Ever-ready to learn something new, Natividad brings a new point of view and a stubborn optimism to the office. When Natividad is not at work, she is eating ice cream with her dog Max, making food from around the world and drinking too much coffee with friends. She only brings lunches to work that smell good. She does not like any of the Star Wars movies, so don’t talk to her about them. Her greatest accomplishment is coming in fourth place in a trivia contest about The Office. 

Tina Greer, Doula

Tina Greer is a health care and early childhood professional turned DONA-certified Doula. Her career serves to live out her favorite quote: “Be the adult you needed as a child.” Tina and her husband, Greg, have a forever 17-day old sweet boy, a spunky toddler and a strong “boss girl” 5-year-old. Tina’s genuine compassion, patience and empathy only wane when forced to listen to people eat. Or really make any “mouth” noises. Tina loves working in such a positive, empowering office and loves to channel that same support she feels to the parents she serves.

SUE SWISHER AWARD WINNER FY2019 QTR 1

Whitney Linnberg, Doula

Whitney Linnberg is a Doula whose favorite part of her job is getting to witness the miracle of birth and support moms during that experience. She is the mom to three kids age 2 and under and – just in case that doesn’t keep Whitney and her husband busy enough – they live in the country and have their own little farm with two fainting goats, a pony, barn cats and a dog at the moment but also have had a horse, chickens and ducks at one time or another. She says they always have a fun time living the farm life in all the wrong ways, like giving the chickens a bath or putting a boat in the goat field … why not? In their time away from the farm, they enjoy going to sprint car races, Sturgis, antique stores, car shows and swap meets. Whitney has a degree in elementary education and was a substitute teacher for the Davenport, Muscatine and Rock Island school systems right out of college. She then transitioned into human services, most recently working with families who were involved in the child welfare system and experiencing domestic abuse.