Meet the AGC Staff

Trina Saunders

LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor, Executive Director

I was lucky to be hired on at Gentle Care in November of 2000.  I worked with Birth Parents until July of 2010 when I was offered the opportunity to step into the role of Executive Director.  I am a proud Bobcat.  I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Social Work and became a Licensed Social Worker.  I spent the first part of my career working for Children Services which was a huge learning experience.   I am so fortunate in that I love my job and am surrounded by a team of co-workers that are second to none!  We strive every day to make sure that Adoption by Gentle Care is the very best adoption agency that it can be.  In my free time I love spending time with my two dogs, and spoiling my niece!

Megan Kennedy

LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I started working at Adoption by Gentle Care in 2007. I work with Expectant Mothers and Adoptive Families as they navigate their adoptions. I am a proud graduate of Western Kentucky University (Go Hilltoppers!) with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Social Work. I moved to Columbus in 1999 and obtained by LSW and started working in the field of Adoption. In my free time you will find my husband and I driving our two daughters to activities and chasing our crazy dog Booker.

Kelly Brooks

MSW, LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have worked at Adoption by Gentle Care since 2010 and have really enjoyed working with both Birthparents and Adoptive Families. I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and became a Licensed Social Worker. I then attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated as a Master of Social Work. I have worked with children and families since graduating from college and have to say that I absolutely love working in the field of adoption. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, traveling, shopping and spending time in the sun. You can often find my two dogs, Macy and Ziggy at work with me.

Shannon Poole

MSW, LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor, Home Study Coordinator

I started working with Adoption by Gentle Care in July of 2005. I graduated with my Masters in Social Work from The Ohio State University in June of 2005. When I first started working at Gentle Care I worked with Birthparents and continued working in that position until the birth of my daughter in 2010. I came back to work at Gentle Care as the Home Study Coordinator. In this role I supervise all the contract staff throughout the state who complete home studies and post placement visits. I have enjoyed working with both Birthparents and Adoptive Families. In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with my family-which now also includes my son, going to parks and swimming.

Anita Stansberry

Administrative Assistant (and overall person who gets it done!)

I have had the pleasure of working at Adoption by Gentle Care since May 2007 as the Administrative Assistant. Previously I worked for 18 years at the Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency as the Paternity Coordinator. My primary duties at AGC are working with our Adoptive Families in maintaining their files, getting their home study paperwork completed, Interstate Compact Placement of Children (ICPC), and all filings through Probate Court. In my spare time I enjoy walking with my new companion, Tyson at our city parks and volunteering for my community and Church.

Macy Brooks-Office Dog!

Hi, my name is Macy! I have been coming to work with my mom since she started working at Adoption by Gentle Care in 2010. You can often find me at the front desk helping Anita guard the door or in Trina’s office sleeping! My favorite part of the day is lunch! Recently, my brother Ziggy became part of our family and comes to work with me too!

Ziggy Brooks-Office Dog!

Hi, my name is Ziggy! I was once on the streets until I was adopted by my mom, dad and sister Macy. I love coming to work with my mom and running around the entire office. I love barking when the doorbell rings, sitting in front of the space heater, and of course-lunch time! I hope you’ll stop by and see me sometime!

Ripken Saunders-Office Dog!

Hi Everyone! I’m Ripken…named after the greatest baseball player of all time according to my mom! I was born in 2017 and I’m still trying to figure this whole life thing out so if you stop by the office please be patient with me. I come to work with my mom most days and I LOVE to play with my best friends Tyson and Ziggy!! (Macy doesn’t like me very much!)

Tyson Stansberry-Office Dog!

Hi! My name is Tyson Lee! I was in a home after birth with rough and tough boys who were being mean to me. Thanks to some help from the ladies at AGC and Stop the Suffering. I am now a happy puppy and enjoy every day I get to come to the office with my mom Anita and play with my bestie Ripken.

Chrisa Cimino

LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have had the pleasure of working with Adoption by Gentle care as a contract Adoption Assessor since 2011. I also work for the Cleveland Clinic as a Social Worker in the Intensive Care Units. Previously, I worked with other special need adoption agencies and started my career in Social Work with Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services. I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Cleveland State University. I have a certificate in Reiki Master and advance training in Heart Centered Hypnotherapy as well. I am currently enrolled in Life Coaching training. I enjoy yoga, good movies, reading and nature walks. I am on the Board of Education for my church’s language school and volunteer my time there as well.

Amy Akins

MSed., LPCC-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have had the privilege of working with Adoption by Gentle Care since 2010. My duties include completing home study assessments and post placement supervision. My previous experience includes working as a Child Welfare Caseworker with Franklin County Children Services for six years. After obtaining my Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling I worked for several years as an attachment and bonding therapist which provided the rewarding opportunity of treating adopted children. I continue to work as a mental health therapist in addition to my role as an Adoption Assessor. My passion and love for adoption inspired me to become an adoptive parent and I am lucky to be a mother to two beautiful children adopted from South Korea.

Kristy Devan

MA, LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I obtained my social work degree from the University of Toledo in 1999. Pursued my Master’s degree from Malone University and graduated with a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Community Counseling in 2008. I started my career at children services and have worked in the field since then. I started as a case manager and currently, I am the Regional Director for Ohio at Ohio Mentor. I have been a contractor for Adoption by Gentle Care since 2011. I enjoy AGC because it keeps me working with families and children outside of a management role. I have 5 children, including one that’s been adopted.

JoAnn Heichel

LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have been with Adoption by Gentle Care since 2014 and a social worker since 2000. I have worked in the areas of foster care, licensing and in mental health, but I really have a passion for adoption. I have family members who are adopted, so it’s close to my heart! On my off hours I like to spend time with my two children and three wild and crazy rescue dogs and I have a side gig as a Stella & Dot stylist. I also adore the ocean and sunshine try to get to the Florida gulf coast as often as possible. I truly love working with adoptive families and make them my top priority when doing their home studies, as I understand and value how challenging and emotional this time can be when starting the journey through adoption. I look forward to helping and supporting you throughout the entire process!

Mandy Huecker

MSW, LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I earned both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work from the University of Cincinnati, and I am an adoption assessor. I have worked as an adoption social worker since 2000 and I have contracted with AGC since 2011. My primary duties are to provide home study and post placement services. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our three children.

Elizabeth Simmons

LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have enjoyed working with Adoption by Gentle Care since March of 2013; beginning as a Birth Parent Social Worker and now working with adoptive families completing home studies, updates, and post placement visits. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Taylor University in 2009 and have enjoyed working in community mental health and in adoptions as a Licensed Social Worker. I am passionate about helping support those navigating the adoption process and am honored to work alongside an incredible staff at Adoption by Gentle Care. In addition to being an adoption assessor, I am a mom of two little ones, a photographer, and am very active in the church that my husband and I helped plant here in the Columbus area.

Katie Spragg

LSW, MSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have worked at Adoption by Gentle Care since 2002. I worked as a Birth Parent Social Worker for 3 years until I become a mom. At this point, I began working as an adoptive family social worker. I enjoy working for Adoption by Gentle Care because it has given me the flexibility to make my own hours and be home with my family as I need to. I also feel very blessed to have served both Birth Parents and adoptive families during this life changing time in their lives. I find my work at Adoption by Gentle Care to be extremely rewarding! During my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband, three boys, and two dogs. I also enjoys running, working out, traveling and reading.

Emily Pergrem

LSW-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have worked for adoption by gentle care since 2011. My primary duties include conducting interviews with adoptive parents, writing home studies and conducting post placement visits with families. I love my job, working with couples and families brings me so much joy! I have experience working in domestic and international adoption, foster care and Birth Parent services. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, volunteering with my church and reading.

Lisa Wiborg

MSW, LISW-S-Certified Adoption Assessor

I have been working with Adoption by Gentle Care since 2011. I have been practicing social work for over 12 years, with experience in treatment foster care as well as hospital and hospice social work. I currently work full time in hospice in the Cleveland area, but enjoy working with AGC part time. I love working with adoptive families and helping them through the home study process. I also love seeing my families get placed with children and following them for post placement visits. In my free time I love spending time with my dogs Scrabble and Lincoln, traveling, and trying new restaurants with my husband.