People of DePaul
People of DePaul

People of DePaul

While we’re all staying safe and practicing social distancing during COVID-19, we wanted to take some time to introduce you to the DePaul team.

Each week, we will feature an amazing team member from across the DePaul footprint. We’ll share a short story and a fun fact to help you get to know the #PeopleofDePaul.


In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Shana Phillips, the administrative assistant in our Abingdon office.


In her role at DePaul, Shana carries out clerical and organizational tasks for the office. She provides support to staff and keeps everything running smoothly behind the scenes.

Shana was nominated for People of DePaul because of her positive attitude and her unwavering willingness to help. Coworkers say she has navigated remote work well during the pandemic and they would not know what to do without her.

“I am completely humbled and honored that my teammates have nominated me,” said Shana. “I show up each day because of the work we do and the people that surround me during this work.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Shana enjoys reading and studying her bible, spending time outdoors with her husband and children, and attending church.

FUN FACT: Shana is the Adult Sunday School teacher at her church.

Thanks for all you do Shana! We appreciate you!


In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Laura Israel, an adoption specialist in our Roanoke office.

In her role at DePaul, Laura provides support and services to children, families, and local Departments of Social Services during the adoption process. Specifically, she works closely with children and families to prepare them for adoption with Lifebook work and education about how adoption will affect their futures. Lifebooks help children connect their past with their present and better understand their lives and histories. They can also help children understand their roles in their adoptive families.

Laura was nominated for People of DePaul because she has gone above and beyond for her families during this time of transition and adaptation. Laura’s coworkers say she handles her caseloads with grace and excellence and does an amazing job engaging kids and teens in Lifebook work.

“Being adopted myself, adoption is a part of me,” said Laura. “I love that DePaul values the adoption process and the need for the work that we do.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Laura loves to garden, cook, spend time with family, play with her kittens, and have nightly Scrabble games with her husband.

FUN FACT: Laura has always loved cash registers. Her husband bought her one for Christmas this year and she loves putting money in it to save.

Thanks for all you do Laura! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Daria VanRavestein, the development specialist at DePaul.


In her role at DePaul, Daria works to raise money and awareness for our programs and services for children, families, and individuals with disabilities.

Daria was nominated for People of DePaul because of how hard she works to find donations and grant funding that support DePaul’s programs and services. She is friendly and welcoming to everyone she meets, and her personality helps her make strong connections with generous donors in the community.

“Working to help children, families, and individuals with disabilities means so much to me,” said Daria. “I am lucky to get to help such exceptional people.”

Daria said her faith also plays an important role in the way she works, mentioning her favorite verses Ephesians 4:32 and Matthew 5:16.

Outside of her work at DePaul, Daria enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs, traveling, coaching her girls, and running.

FUN FACT: From age 13 to 16, Daria lived in Hanau, Germany.

Thanks for all you do Daria! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Nathacha Liriano, the residential manager for our Christiansburg and Roanoke offices.


In her role at DePaul, Nathacha supports the individuals with disabilities and families we serve in our sponsored residential program, as well as the staff that work in the program. She also offers trainings, completes home studies, and meets referrals on a regular basis.

Nathacha was nominated for People of DePaul because of how hardworking and helpful she is. Staff members say Nathacha carries a lot of responsibilities gracefully and always has a positive attitude. She is willing to rise to challenges and was integral in the way her program adapted and transitioned during COVID-19.

“I think these characteristics will always be present and visible when your job is your passion and certainly that’s my case,” said Nathacha.

Outside of her work at DePaul, Nathacha enjoys boxing, walking her dog, reading books in Spanish, going to rock concerts, and spending time with her family.

FUN FACT: Nathacha likes to ride motorcycles. She is also learning how to perform magic while incorporating some comedy.

Thanks for all you do Nathacha! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Lisa Black, the human resources specialist for the organization.


In her role at DePaul, Lisa works with employees, supervisors, directors, and outside contacts to make sure their jobs, and the organization, run smoothly. Her work ranges from employment and recruiting to training and benefits and compensation.

Lisa was nominated for People of DePaul because of how well she performs her job duties and how much she cares about each person at DePaul. Many times, Lisa is the first impression of DePaul, and staff say she is the perfect first impression: kindhearted, helpful, honest, and sincere.

“I want all employees from day one and throughout their employment to feel a sense of belonging, hope, and support,” said Lisa. “I was raised to treat others as you want to be treated and I live by that rule.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Lisa likes to spend as much time as possible with her granddaughters. She said they are such a blessing and being with them and the rest of her family is her favorite pastime.

FUN FACT: Lisa loves animals and lives on her family’s farm. She currently has dogs, donkeys, a potbellied pig, and her newest addition is a one-eared rabbit named Narwhal.

Thanks for all you do Lisa! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Eyvette Evans, the director of support services in our Roanoke office. 

In her role at DePaul, Eyvette oversees IT, facilities, and fleet for the organization. She supports staff with their technology needs and ensures facilities are operational and vehicles are safe and clean.

Eyvette was nominated for People of DePaul because of her hard work to make sure everything at DePaul runs smoothly and all staff members have what they need to do their job. Staff say her service has been essential, and she manages everything with grace.

“I have a passion in my heart for the work that we do,” said Eyvette. “While I am not on the frontline, doing what I can behind the scenes to make staff members’ jobs easier, smoother, and more efficient is my way of contributing to our community.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Eyvette loves to spend time with her family, feed people (because she loves to cook), and work with her flower garden.

FUN FACT: Eyvette absolutely loves Christmas—the meaning of the season, the decorations, the cooking, etc. She said she would start decorating in September if she could.

Thanks for all you do Eyvette! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Becky Bonds, an independent living specialist in our Charlottesville office.

In her role at DePaul, Becky helps young people ages 18-21 develop life skills, meet goals, and make well-informed choices for their future. She and the rest of the IL team provide guidance, compassion, and direction in navigating the difficult journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Becky was nominated for People of DePaul because of the way her heart guides her work with IL youth. Becky goes above and beyond to make sure the youth feel safe and supported. As COVID-19 forced everyone to adapt to a new normal, Becky made sure she kept in constant contact with each of her youth. Recently, a youth she serves was struggling and Becky dropped everything to be there for them.

“I am their advocate, support system, and “mama bear,” said Becky. “I want these youth to not only succeed in life, but to know that someone truly cares for them.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Becky loves to read, play board games and cards, and listen to podcasts.

FUN FACT: Becky is a huge Disney fan. She’s been to Disney World and Disneyland many, many times. She has a collection of Disney globes, a Disney playlist on her phone, and loves Disney trivia.

Thanks for all you do Becky! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Bobbie Aldridge, the service authorization administrator in our Roanoke office.


In her role at DePaul, Bobbie works mostly with our developmental disabilities program in submitting and tracking service authorization requests. This is essential because it allows our organization to get paid for the services we provide. She also frequently assists the finance department with questions and processes related to insurance payments.

Bobbie was nominated for People of DePaul because of her commitment to the work she does and her “fierce dedication” to both her family and DePaul. During DePaul’s transition to remote work, Bobbie worked hard to adapt to a new system of doing her job, making sure she didn’t miss one single deadline.

“Over the years I have had great mentors that have taught me so much,” said Bobbie. “I feel that it’s hard to accomplish things alone, but if you work together as a team you can do anything.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Bobbie loves visiting yard sales and flea markets.

FUN FACT: Bobbie has 12 grandchildren and recently, her first great-grandchild was born. She can’t wait to meet him!

Thanks for all you do Bobbie! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Lise Martin, the regional foster care trainer for our Roanoke and Christiansburg offices.


In her role at DePaul, Lise provides necessary, relevant, and accessible education to others, helping ensure safety, permanency, and well-being to everyone DePaul serves.

“Being part of a strong team of individuals who bring a variety of life experience has been a vital part of being able to do this work,” said Lise.

Lise was nominated for People of DePaul because of her hard work to develop virtual trainings where staff and families could still engage from a safe distance. Lise quickly adapted her way of presenting information to people to follow state and local guidelines. Her flexibility and willingness to learn, along with support from leadership and her team, have allowed DePaul to continue connecting and sharing important information with families.

“The most exciting thing about this for me has been the ability to reach more people in a way I had never considered,” said Lise. “People from all over our service area have been able to easily access some great training from the comfort of their homes.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Lise loves to spend time with her husband, two busy and beautiful daughters, and friends. Her family loves going to music festivals, camping, and having people over at their home (she really misses that right now). She also tries to spend as much time outside as she can.

FUN FACT: Before going back to school to become a social worker, Lise worked as a professional birth doula, assisting families through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience.

Thanks for all you do Lise! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Meredith Breeden, an independent living specialist in our Charlottesville office. 


In her role at DePaul, Meredith helps young people ages 18-21 develop life skills, meet goals, and make well-informed choices for their future. She and the rest of the IL team provide guidance, compassion, and direction in navigating the difficult journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Meredith was nominated for People of DePaul because of how reassuring, helpful, and attentive she is to the IL youth she serves. During this stressful time, Meredith has made it her mission to not only meet their needs, but to make them feel safer and more supported.

“I truly believe that continuing to show up for them proves that there are people in the world who endlessly care about them and will do anything in their power to support them in their journey,” said Meredith.

Outside of her work at DePaul, Meredith loves to travel, try new foods, and spend time with her partner, friends, and family. Most evenings, you can find her taking long walks to enjoy nature.

FUN FACT: Meredith plays the cello and was in a symphony orchestra after high school. She says she’ll never be Yo-Yo-Ma, but she can still dream.

Thanks for all you do Meredith! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Shavonne Hardy-Hogan, a residential coordinator in our Amelia office.


 In her role at DePaul, Shavonne supports sponsored residential providers as they compassionately care for individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.

“I love helping a family fight to get something they deserve,” said Shavonne. “I love helping an individual who underestimated their own abilities achieve something and develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments.”

Shavonne was nominated for People of DePaul because of her ability to be there for her providers and families no matter what’s happening. She is described as an incredible residential coordinator—reassuring, helpful, always responsive to providers’ needs.

“Our providers are doing difficult work that calls for them to give of themselves in a large way. When the going gets tough, they can feel like they’re failing and that no one else knows what they’re going through,” said Shavonne. “It’s my goal to reassure them that they can do this, the tough times won’t last forever and most importantly, that they are not alone,” said Shavonne.

Outside of her work at DePaul, Shavonne loves to travel. She also enjoys doing puzzles, and recently has considered playing the clarinet again. She loves spending time with family—relaxing, cooking and eating, and playing games.

FUN FACT: Shavonne loves Willie Nelson! She’s starting to lose count, but she’s seen him in concert either 11 or 12 times. Members of his band even recognize her, so she likes to think she’s part of the Willie Nelson family.

Thanks for all you do Shavonne! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Sadie Steele, an adoption specialist in our Christiansburg office. 


In her role at DePaul, Sadie helps youth in need find a forever family and provides support and services to children, families, and local Departments of Social Services during the adoption process.

Sadie was nominated for People of DePaul because of her positive attitude and her willingness to help her coworkers adapt during this time. Her team has had to get creative with how they communicate and visit, and Sadie has been an integral part of that transition.

“I work on a team that is strongly united with the same mission and goal in mind, so it’s easy to step up and offer whatever is needed because I know that together we are stronger,” said Sadie.

Outside of her work at DePaul, Sadie enjoys playing with her dog Aria, reading, hammocking, fishing, being outdoors, and traveling to see family and friends.

FUN FACT: Sadie loves to collect old/antique fishing lures, rods, and reels. She has more than 30 rod and reel combinations and many lures and reels. She shares her passion for fishing with many of her family and friends which makes the collecting even more special.

Thanks for all you do Sadie! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Beverly Edmonds, the revenue cycle manager who works in our Roanoke office. 

In her role at DePaul, Beverly ensures that the organization and our DePaul families and providers get paid in a timely manner for all services. She also does her best to streamline processes to help DePaul have long-term success.

Beverly was nominated for People of DePaul because of her teamwork, ambition, and her attention to detail. Coworkers also say her willingness to ask questions and learn has led to improvements in the finance department.

“I am always looking to grow and move to the next level which also requires knowing how all the puzzles fit together,” said Beverly. “Once I find out how each role impacts the other, I love to share the information I have with coworkers so it can help them too.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Beverly likes to shop and spend time with her family.

FUN FACT: Beverly enjoys traveling new places with her husband. They have been to Paris, Cancun, and Vegas, just to name a few. They plan to continue traveling once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Thanks for all you do Beverly! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Sabaraina Ball, a residential coordinator in our Cedar Bluff office.

In her role at DePaul, Sabaraina supports sponsored residential providers as they compassionately care for individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.

Sabaraina was nominated for People of DePaul because of how well she serves individuals with disabilities in her area. Coworkers also say she is always willing to help them out when they need it, and never asks for recognition.

“Others have shared their knowledge with me, and I am who I am because of that,” said Sabaraina. “I enjoy being part of a team that strives to make a positive difference in the lives of others in our community.”

Outside of her work at DePaul, Sabaraina likes to relax and watch a good movie or TV show.

FUN FACT: Sabaraina has a fascination for items of the past—houses, furniture, clothing. She appreciates the craftsmanship and quality and connecting with days gone by. Her and her husband raised their children in the Ball family homestead, and they did their best to preserve its history.

Thanks for all you do Sabaraina! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Jamie Gagnon, a residential coordinator in our Lynchburg office.


In her role at DePaul, Jamie supports sponsored residential providers as they compassionately care for individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.

Jamie was nominated for People of DePaul because of her willingness to be a team player and step up when needed. Recently, Jamie volunteered to help write extra reports and take extra on-call rotations while a few of her coworkers were out of the office. Jamie said it was an easy decision to step up because she knows her coworkers would do the same for her.

 “We have a common goal – to provide the best possible service to the individuals and families we serve,” said Jamie.

Outside of her work at DePaul, Jamie enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and binging a Netflix show.

FUN FACT: Jamie and her husband will celebrate 20 years of marriage in August. They met on the Internet in 1997 before it was considered “mainstream.” Her husband proposed a year and a half later while they were in Vegas and Jamie called her parents from a payphone to tell them the news.

Thanks for all you do Jamie! We appreciate you!


♥ In this week’s #PeopleofDePaul, we’re featuring Kim Gregory, the outpatient therapist for the Roanoke and Christiansburg offices.


In her role at DePaul, Kim sees children, adults, and families for individual or family therapy. While she is still fulfilling that role, she is also finding ways to give back during this time.

After seeing a need for masks in her community, she felt called to help and started sewing masks. So far, she has given dozens out to family, friends, coworkers, and even employees at the local Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

“It feels like I am actually making a difference. I can take care of and show my value for others by meeting their needs,” said Kim.

Outside of her work at DePaul and mask-making, Kim loves spending time with her family, kids, husband, and pets. She likes to read, craft, and play the cello.

FUN FACT: Kim lived on a remote island in Alaska for 7 years before moving to Virginia.

Thanks for all you do Kim! We appreciate you!