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a future where every child has a permanent and loving home. Our passion drives our mission.

Our Team

Jennifer Jacobs

Jennifer Jacobs

CEO and Co-Founder

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs has spent a career in leadership and problem solving: in the Army, at a national lab, in government, and in business management. She is a West Point graduate and a former White House Fellow.

Megan Burke headshot

Megan Burke

Chief of Staff

Megan Burke is a public affairs professional with 14 years’ experience with elected officials in Ohio. She has worked in the Ohio legislature, statewide offices, and most recently as a behavioral healthcare advocate.

Cara Dobbins headshot

Cara Dobbins

CFO

Cara Dobbins has two decades of working knowledge of management, accounting, government contracting, and customer service. She brings her enthusiasm and deep desire to bring advancement into the foster system.
Vicky Conger

Vicky Conger

Director of Finance

Vicky Conger is an accomplished financial executive who has spent most of her career working in asset management. Vicky is also a Commander in the US Navy Reserves, currently holding the position of Executive Officer for a Carrier Strike Group. She is passionate about connecting vulnerable children to a brighter future.

Laura Terrell

General Counsel

Laura Terrell is a lawyer with over 25 years of experience, including as Special Assistant to the President at the White House, Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the US Department of Justice, a partner in two large global law firms, and in-house counsel for a publicly traded company.
Cara Dobbins

Karen Coates, MSW, LICSW

Director of Family Search & Engagement Training

Karen Coates, MSW, LICSW, is a dedicated professional social worker with over 33 years’ experience working with youth and their families. She enjoys utilizing her knowledge, skills, and values to meet the needs of children, youth, families, and communities through social justice advocacy and compassionate strengths-based service.

Georgette Todd

Georgette Todd

Director of Outreach

Georgette Todd brings a dual perspective on social work. She not only identifies with the population we serve but she has over a decade of experience working to create better outcomes in foster youth-centric nonprofits and county agencies.

Isa Occhionero

Social and Brand Content Manager

Isa Occhionero is a graphic designer and visual storyteller with experience in developing written, visual, and video content for marketing and social media. 

Katie Adams

Director Of Communications

Katie Adams has extensive experience in visual and written communications for non-profit organizations, both domestically and internationally. She is passionate about community building and improving foster care outcomes, especially for sibling groups.

Kelsey Adams

Metrics Analyst

Kelsey brings to Connect Our Kids her experience in both UX and data analysis, as well as her perspective as a former foster youth.

She is also a lived-experience contributor behind All Connected: A Place for Belonging.

Cornelius Johnson

Trainer

Having spent 6 years of his childhood in the foster care system, Cornelius is deeply committed to serving the younger generation and ensuring that children in foster care remain connected to their families and supportive communities.

He has is also a contributor behind All Connected: A Place for Belonging, and he is the CEO of SlimStrength ActiveWear Inc.

Jessica Stern

Co-Founder

Jessica Stern has 20 years’ experience in project management and philanthropic fundraising. She is passionate about minimizing family separation and helping youth recover from childhood trauma.

Board of Directors

Jennifer Jacobs

Jennifer Jacobs

President

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs has spent a career in leadership and problem solving: in the Army, at a national lab, in government, and in business management. She is a West Point graduate and a former White House Fellow.

Paul Garrett

Technical Advisor

Paul Garrett has been in cyber security for over 15 years and has nearly 30 years of experience in software development. He oversaw classified systems and law enforcement data-sharing solutions for the Department of Justice. He went on to co-found a mobile security company, and he then turned his focus to child family matching. He contributes on both the product side as well implementation.

Jaci Tomek

Strategic Advisor

Jaci Tomek, founder of TomahawX Technologies, has more than 20 years of industry experience in cybersecurity, strategic business development, corporate strategy, sales and customer acquisition. Jaci offers an exceptional blend of business strategy acumen and strategic partnering skills. She is known for growing and operating high performing teams, expertise in operational forecast cadence and her “go get ‘em” attitude. She is passionate about what technology can do to improve the way our nation serves its foster children.

Rich Enthoven

Strategic Advisor

Rich Enthoven, the CEO of EF Properties and Recon Power Systems, LLC, has extensive experience managing middle market companies and commercial real estate activities.  He has been very active in the non-profit world serving on a variety of boards and roles in Dallas, TX.  He has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused or neglected children.  Rich holds a BAS and MBA degree from Stanford University.

Paul Garrett

Technical Advisor

Paul Garrett has been in cyber security for over 15 years and has nearly 30 years of experience in software development. He oversaw classified systems and law enforcement data-sharing solutions for the Department of Justice. He went on to co-found a mobile security company, and he then turned his focus to child family matching. He contributes on both the product side as well implementation.

Jaci Tomek

Strategic Advisor

Jaci Tomek, founder of TomahawX Technologies, has more than 20 years of industry experience in cybersecurity, strategic business development, corporate strategy, sales and customer acquisition. Jaci offers an exceptional blend of business strategy acumen and strategic partnering skills. She is known for growing and operating high performing teams, expertise in operational forecast cadence and her “go get ‘em” attitude. She is passionate about what technology can do to improve the way our nation serves its foster children.

Advisors

Shawn Carpenter

Technical Advisor

Navy Veteran and seasoned cyber security executive passionate about keeping our most vulnerable children safe.

Jelani Freeman

Strategic Advisor and CASA Liason

As a community leader, attorney, and motivational speaker who has dedicated his life to helping children, Jelani Freeman’s commitment grew out of his own experience in foster care. He has worked in multiple agencies that serve youth, and volunteers as a CASA in Washington D.C.

Jevon Wilkes

Strategic Advisor

Jevon Wilkes has worked with and advocated on behalf of California’s disconnected youth for more than 14 years. His passion for serving vulnerable youth populations comes from his lived experience with homelessness and the foster care system.

Executive Committee

Ward B. Ozaeta

Executive Committee

Ward Ozaeta is the Principal of WBO & Co., an asset management and financial services firm, and the Co-founder of ONE Property Group, a multifamily and commercial real estate investment and asset management firm. Ward is also a US Marine Corps veteran and an active supporter of community organizations in San Diego, CA. He is a passionate advocate for foster care children and families and advocates for Connect Our Kids, leveraging data and technology to transform the lives of teens aging out of foster care.

Lan Mi

Executive Committee​

After a 4-year tenure at Accenture in China and Australia, Lan Mi arrived in Boston to broaden her life perspective. Passionate about fueling innovation and growth, she dedicates her business efforts to Boston/Cambridge’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. Despite her enjoyment of building partnerships at Cobblestone, Mi’s motivation to aid foster care kids stems from a poignant experience. Witnessing a struggling single mother who aged out of foster care, Mi emphasizes the urgent need for mental health support within the child welfare system.

Karen Landry

Executive Committee​

Karen, is a seasoned entrepreneur excelling in relationship building and business development. Over 30 years, her unique approach to marketing has driven substantial results. Inspired by Vicky and Jessica, she passionately serves as an Advisor Committee Member for Connect Our Kids, driven by the belief that it’s our duty to nurture foster children and connect them with their extended family for a better life.

Marty Secada

Executive Committee​

Marty Secada is the Advisory Chair at AG Analytics. He provides strategic guidance and insights for the analytics technology of the IVY Family Office Network, Deal Sponsors, and Fund Sponsors. He has over 30 years of experience in alternative investments, family office, and institutional investor domains.

Mark Heil

Executive Committee​​

Mark Heil is a business development specialist driving sales in the financial services market with expertise in alternative assets. He has served in a variety of roles ranging from capital raising services, investor communications/events, fund administration and investment using qualified dollars.

Paul R. Perez, CFA

Executive Committee​​​

Paul R. Perez is a Founding Partner at Delegate Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser serving ultra-high-net-worth families. He advises one family, having previously served on the investment committee and as Chief Compliance Officer at Delegate. Additionally, Paul is Chief Investment Strategist for Conway Partners, LLC, an investment advisor for Asymmetric Growth Partners, LP, and holds various trustee and executor roles for wealthy families. With an impressive academic background and professional affiliations, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Stanford Associates designation holder.

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