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?
Chris CummingsFinancial Officer
Dr. D. SabedraDirector of Fundraising
Dennis HelieDirector of Programs
Melissa CarterDirector of Corporate Giving
Jennifer HillmanOffice on Aging Liaison
Bishop W. PattonLegislative Liaison
Kate LiptakLiaison, Persons with Disabilities
Nancy LehmanBoard Member
Chad ThyesBoard Member
Kathy KnightLegal Advisor
Lori BarbeeChair Emeritus
Karen Lane began volunteering with Calvert Family Advocates in 2014 upon retirement and with a desire to give back to the community. She has held the Chair’s position since 2015. During her professional career, Ms. Lane served the U.S. Navy as a civilian engineer and program manager, and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 1998. Following her career with the U.S. Navy, Ms Lane joined SAIC as a Senior Business Process Consultant. In addition to volunteering with Calvert Family Advocates, Ms. Lane is the Chair of the Calvert County Social Services Advisory Board.
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 a special education resource teacher in St. Mary's County providing academic support to elementary students of special education. Dr. Sabedra is also an interscholastic athletics coach at Patuxent HS, Leonardtown HS, and St. Mary's Ryken HS. In addition, Dr. Sabedra is the secretary of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the Calvert County Board of 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.
Nancy Lehman joined Calvert Family Advocates in 2017. She is a graduate of the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill in Philadelphia and was a special events planner and coordinator with 18 years experience. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Humanities, more recently, Ms. Lehman worked as an activities manager for aging adults. Recently retired, and ready to volunteer, she is working tirelessly for many of our county’s most vulnerable citizens as a member of the Calvert Commission on Aging, Calvert Homeless Services Board, SMILE Ecumenical Ministries and of course, her service as part of Calvert Family Advocates.
Chad Thyes joined Calvert Family Advocates in 2018. He is an accomplished executive focused on public health program financing and the integrity of our healthcare system, improving access to public health information, and improving access and maximization of care. Prior to his work supporting healthcare, Mr. Thyes focused on financial management, procurement systems, and improving the ties between college faculty and government research institutions. Mr. Thyes graduated from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Mr. Thyes is an adoptive father of two former foster children. He joined the organization with a passion for improving the lives of Calvert County citizens.
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.