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Michael Patrick

Judy Solomon

Judy Solomon

Roger Dirks

Roger Dirks

Chad Wilkins

Chad Wilkins


President & CEO

Melissa Briggs

Dr. Melissa Briggs is the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI). In her role, she oversees the software, information technology, human resources, marketing and communications, fund development, and program development departments for the TFI Family of Companies. She currently serves on TFI’s Finance & Risk Management Leadership Team and TFI’s Development Team. Additionally, she is a founding member of TFI’s Leadership Institute.
Melissa is very active in her community and is involved in many leadership and board positions. She is a Board Director for TDC Learning Center in Topeka, Kansas, a non-profit childcare and education center. She is also the Vice President of Post-Secondary for the Kansas School Counseling Association (KSCA), and she has chaired and participated on committees for the Kansas Counseling Association (KCA), the Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC), and the NADTA. She also sits on the local District Council for Topeka 501 (DCAC) school and multiple Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO).
Melissa earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Pittsburg State University, her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Pittsburg State University, a Doctorate in Counseling Education from Pittsburg State University, and a PhD in Counseling and Supervision from Kansas State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Kansas and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri and Texas. She is also a registered and board-certified Drama Therapist (RDT-BC) and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S).

Carol Dold Harris

Chief Financial Officer

General Counsel

Brenden Long

Brenden Long is the General Counsel for The Family Initiative, Inc., and its affiliated agencies. As General Counsel, he provides legal representation and advice on areas of concern to TFI, along with overseeing the agency legal risk management plan, and providing management oversight to the performance improvement/risk management and data analysis departments of the agency. Brenden serves on the TFI Finance and Risk Management Leadership Team and has served as liaison to various other leadership teams.
Brenden Long has more than 40 years of experience as an attorney, providing compliance and organizational representation to nonprofit and governmental organizations. He has more than ten years of experience in child welfare with TFI, serving as legal counsel along with leading compliance and performance improvement, data analysis teams and various support departments.
Brenden Long has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Washburn University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Washburn University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in the State of Kansas.
Vice President of Foster Care Technologies

Paul Epp

Paul Epp is the Vice President for Foster Care Technologies (FCT). In this role, Paul manages the overall FCT business unit, which includes designing, developing, and maintaining products, managing the teams, and supporting and delivering solutions to customers.
One of the founding members of FCT, Paul, led the development and implementation of early versions of Every Child a Priority (ECAP) and Foster Family Portal. He has done presentations, served on panels at social services and government IT conferences, and helped bring FCT’s products to agencies nationwide. He is excited about technology and the ways in which it can help improve the way we live. He has spent his career using technology to help improve the lives of children and families.
Paul has an MBA from the University of Kansas and 10 years of experience in the technology industry.
Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Taylor Forrest

Taylor Forrest-Crowell is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI). She oversees marketing, internal and external communications, public relations, branding, event planning and advertising for the TFI Family of Companies. She currently serves as vice chairperson for TFI’s Development Team.
Before her current role, Taylor served as the Director of Marketing for TFI. Taylor joined the TFI Family of Companies in 2019 after having served as Director of Communications for the First Presbyterian Church of Topeka. Before that role, she served in the Communications Department for the Kansas Department for Children and Families, with her final role being the Director of Communications for the agency. She is passionate about helping organizations share their brand and story in an effective way and creating positive communication channels.
Taylor has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Southwestern College. She is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Digital and Integrated Marketing Communications. She holds Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) certificates in Media Relations and Crisis Communications.
Vice President of Information Technology

Michael Gichoga

Michael Gichoga is the Vice President of Information Technology for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI). Michael oversees the technology infrastructure and security of TFI’s digital assets and service delivery to our company staff through the Care Connect Center Department. Both the Information Technology and Care Center departments are vital to TFI’s day-to-day operations and Michael ensures that staff get a uniform customer-oriented service delivery.
Michael has been in Technology for over 20 years and has overseen multiple digital transformations in TFI. His passion for continuous innovation to give the organization he works for an edge with technology efficiency has been the key emphasis of his career. Michael has specialized in cloud technologies and was present to see TFI go from Novell Networks to a cloud native stance in the Microsoft Cloud. Michael has also steered TFI through the tough cyber security landscape and oversees the integrity of the systems and networks that TFI relies on and works with other key industry stakeholders to keep TFI ahead of the curve.
Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Southwestern College.
VP of Software

Sean Green

Sean Green is the Vice President of Software for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI). He oversees all aspects of software development within the company, leading strategic planning, execution, and optimization of software initiatives that provide first-class tools to TFI and its staff. Along with overseeing TFI’s internal software, he also manages all software development for Foster Care Technologies, which provides matching software to TFI and external agencies across the U.S.
He has more than 15 years of experience in the software field, both as a software engineer and a visionary leader, across diverse corporate landscapes. Working within larger enterprise companies, small service companies, and consulting has given him a unique set of experiences and views on the software world.
Sean Green has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Information Systems from Kansas State University and is a Certified Scrum Master from the Scrum Alliance, Inc.
Vice President of Finance

Curtiss Hemby

Curtiss Hemby is the Vice President of Finance for The Family Initiative, Inc (TFI). He directly oversees the resource management and financial analysis for the TFI Family of Companies. Additionally, Curtiss Hemby serves on the TFI Development Team and the RFP Planning Committee.
He has approximately 18 years of experience in the human services field, starting his career with TFI as Kansas Director of Foster Care. Mr. Hemby was also a foster parent of teenage boys for 16 years, having fostered more than 21 young men during that time. He moved on from TFI and worked 11 years in the transportation industry, four years as Corporate Director of Human Resources, and an additional seven years as Vice President of Operations. Curtiss Hemby also served 10 years as a Combat Engineer in the Kansas Army National Guard. He has a solid passion for empowering others to become the best version of themselves.
Curtiss Hemby has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Pittsburg State University, a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Pittsburg State University, and a Master’s of Social Work with an Administrative Concentration from the University of Kansas.
Vice President of Human Resources

Heather Johanning

Heather Johanning is the Vice President of Human Resources for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI), providing human resources support to the TFI Family of Companies. Heather is responsible for overseeing the employee life cycle, from hire to retire. She currently serves as the Secretary for the TFI Performance and Quality Leadership Team.
Heather has more than 30 years of experience in human resources in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Her passion for this work can be summed up with the following: orking in HR can sometimes be hard but also immensely rewarding because we are doing our best to support our company’s biggest asset, our staff.
Heather has a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Kansas and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and Administration from Ottawa University.
Vice President of Program Development

Patricia Long

Patricia Long is the Vice President of Program Development for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI). Patricia’s role is to oversee procurement for new funding, identify gaps in services and research projects, and implement programs that are evidence-based and fiscally sound. Patricia serves as a member of TFI’s Management Leadership Team and is the former Chair of TFI’s Development Team.

Patrica has 39 years of experience in child welfare, including the past five years with TFI. Patricia has vast experience at the local, state, and national levels and is passionate about child welfare. She has served on numerous state and national committees. Patricia’s career and primary focus and expertise are in foster care, adoption, and independent living.
Patricia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Welfare from the University of Kansas. Patricia is currently pursuing a certificate with the Center for Implementation in applying theory, science implementation, and evidence-based change methods to improve outcomes for children and families.

Vice President of Administrative Services

Jennifer Sannan

Jennifer Sannan is the Vice President of Intake and Placement for The Family Initiative, Inc. (TFI). In this role, she oversees the Intake and Placement department, which coordinates placements into TFI foster homes and all placement work for grants and contracts in Texas and Kansas. Jennifer currently serves as a member of TFI’s Development Leadership Team.
Jennifer has more than 27 years in child welfare in various roles. For 22 of those years, Jennifer has been with TFI, serving as a Care Manager, a Care Manager Supervisor, a Care Management Director, and now as a Vice President. In addition to her work at TFI, Jennifer has also served as Program Director at a Child Placing Agency, a case manager in a juvenile program, and an educational coordinator for youth in shelters. Jennifer played an active role in the development of TFI’s evidence-based matching system and has given presentations around the country about the success of the system. Jennifer is passionate about ensuring youth always have safe, stable placements where they have an opportunity to heal from past trauma and become productive, successful adults.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Dayton (Ohio) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Washburn University (Kansas).

Shelley Brown

Corporate Secretary

We have confidence that everyone can make a difference today and contribute to where we go in the future.