Our Team

We are a team of volunteers who give of ourselves to make an impact in changing the community for the better. We talk endlessly about it to other people. In our world everyone wants to help people, people who are in need of support.

So when will you join?

Karen <span>Lane</span>

Karen Lane

Chair
Chris <span>Cummings</span>

Chris Cummings

Financial Officer
Dr. D. <span>Sabedra</span>

Dr. D. Sabedra

Director of Fundraising
Dennis <span>Helie</span>

Dennis Helie

Director of Programs
Melissa <span>Carter</span>

Melissa Carter

Director of Corporate Giving
Jennifer <span>Hillman</span>

Jennifer Hillman

Office on Aging Liaison
Bishop W. <span>Patton</span>

Bishop W. Patton

Legislative Liaison
Kate  <span>Liptak</span>

Kate Liptak

Liaison, Persons with Disabilities
Kathy <span>Knight</span>

Kathy Knight

Legal Advisor
Lori <span>Barbee</span>

Lori Barbee

Chair Emeritus

Karen Lane has strategic and operational responsibility for Calvert Family Advocates. Ms. Lane has more than 30 years of experience in both the private sector and as a Senior Executive in the U.S. Navy. Her background includes strategic planning, program management, and engineering. Prior to becoming Chair in November of 2015, she served as the Director of Programs and was responsible for all aspects of program planning and execution. She joined the organization in 2014 with the desire to give back to our community.

Chris Cummings is the Financial Officer for Calvert Family Advocates. In addition to financial management and oversight, she is also a critical participant in the strategic planning and fund raising activities of the organization. Mrs. Cummings had an exemplary career with the Federal Government that spanned nearly 40 years. During the course of her career she was a senior financial manager for the Naval Air Systems Command, and was responsible for over $5B in annual revenue. She joined the organization in October, 2012, with the desire to make a difference in our community, and was named Board Member of the Year by the Maryland Association of Social Services Advisory Boards in 2014.

Dr. Derek Sabedra is the Director of Fundraising for Calvert Family Advocates. In this capacity, he researches, plans, coordinates and participates in events that help raise monies for the organization. Dr. Sabedra is currently the Behavioral Specialist of St. Mary's County providing individual and group counseling services to the high school students of special education. Dr. Sabedra joined the organization on August 20, 2014.

Dennis Helie has 19 years of experience in program management; as a Deputy Program Manager and as both a Technical and Administrative Specialist in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Helie has experience in planning and execution of Aviation Weapon and Information Management Systems as well as Financial Audit preparation and facilitation. Now retired from the U.S. Navy, he chose to volunteer with Calvert Family Advocates to support the needs of the community and citizens of Calvert County, MD. As a University of Maryland Legacy Leader Intern, Mr. Helie worked voluntarily for Delegate Frank Turner, Legislative District 13 in Howard Co., during the 2017 Maryland Legislative Session.

Melissa Brown-Carter is a partner and the Director of Finance and Administration for GrowthSquared. She is responsible for spearheading the overall growth and direction of the firm’s financial and marketing initiatives. Prior to joining GrowthSquared , Ms. Brown Carter has served as Director of Administration and Operations Coordinator, developing campaign plans, budgets and forecasting, business and operational plans for labor unions, labor federations, private businesses, and leading law firms. She possesses a strong background in accounting, payroll, operations management, marketing development and employee benefit programs. Ms. Brown joined the board of Calvert Family Advocates in 2016.

Jennifer Hillman joined Calvert Family Advocates in 2016. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and following 6 years on active duty obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University. She has worked in several different areas of nursing including 7 years as the school nurse at Mt. Harmony Elementary School. Ms. Hillman is currently employed part-time in Calvert Memorial Hospital's Urgent Care Department. She also has her Real Estate Salesperson's license and is an agent for EXIT By the Bay Realty in Prince Frederick. Ms. Hillman would like to help wherever she can, and is especially passionate about elder care issues in the county.

Bishop William A. Patton, Jr., serves as the senior pastor of Calvert Lighthouse Church, is a chaplain with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and serves as the legislative liaison for Calvert Family Advocates. Bishop Patton has been a member of the Calvert County community for over 14 years and has worked within the human services field for more than 20 years. He has volunteered in schools and communities as a mentor of young men, a tutor, and a family counselor. Advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves is why Bishop Patton became a member of Calvert Family Advocates.

Kate Liptak recently received her Master's in Social Work. She joined Calvert Family Advocates in 2015, bringing experience from Anne Arundel and Wicomico Counties in homeless shelter operations, community needs analysis, and early childhood development. Ms. Liptak is a Coordinator of Community Services with MMARS, working to help disabled members of the Calvert County community. Ms. Liptak also serves as a social worker and counselor at Calvert Memorial Hospital on an as needed basis.

Kathy Knight joined Calvert Family Advocates in 2016. She is an attorney with 30 years experience having practiced in the private, judicial and government sectors. Most recently, Ms. Knight worked as a public policy director to further educational opportunities for all students in the United States. Recently retired, and wishing to volunteer, Ms. Knight selected Calvert Family Associates because the organization promotes self-sufficiency through education.

Lori Barbee chartered Calvert Family Advocates in 2011. As Chair & Executive Director through October of 2015, she led the organization through its’ formative years. Mrs. Barbee is an accomplished Management Consultant developing and implementing solutions for infant and mature federal, corporate, and not-for profit organizations. She is the President of Barbee Consulting Group, LLC, partnering with businesses in the Southern Maryland Region. As Chairman Emeritus, she provides guidance and subject matter expertise to the Board and serves on many of the committees. She is engaged with public officials and strategically aligned with partners in delivering services to our County residents.