Our Leadership & Bylaws

National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) is governed by an Executive Advisory Council whose members are elected bi-annually by its membership.

Read the NSDTA Bylaws – Last Updated 11/2017

Executive Advisory Council: 2021 Officers

Mike Byers


Mike Byers, MSW
University of Pittsburgh

Mike Byers is the Director of The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center (CWRC), a program of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work. The Resource Center provides a continuum of services designed to facilitate and sustain positive change in the child welfare system. Services include training, transfer of learning, technical assistance, research and evaluation, project management, and organizational development. Mike brings a wealth of child welfare policy and practice experience through his twenty-year experience in the public child welfare system. He has worked as a public child welfare social worker, supervisor, and manager in both Pennsylvania and California, as well as the CFSR Project Lead and Manager of Statewide Projects for CWRC.

LaTrece Thompson


LaTrece Thompson, MSW
Deputy Director
IN Department of Child’s Services

LaTrece Thompson has twenty-two years of child welfare experience. She has served in various roles within the Indiana Department of Child Services, such as frontline caseworker, supervisor and training manager. LaTrece currently serves as the Deputy Director of Staff Development for the past six and a half years. She has provided oversight and management of the DCS/IU training partnership and serves as a member of the National Staff Development and Training Association, an affinity group of APHSA.

Lisa Amador


Lisa Amador, MSW
HI Department of Human Services

Lisa Amador MSW is the Administrator for the Adult Protective and Community Services Branch of the Department of Human Services, in the State of Hawaii. She oversees five sections across the State to ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable adults, as well as three programs that prevent premature institutionalization and promote the well-being of elders. She has more than twenty-three years of experience in protective services, including training, supervision, and direct-service casework. Ms. Amador is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with a BA in sociology (1997) and a Masters Degree in Social Work (2003).

Karyn Schimmels

Immediate Past Chair

Karyn Schimmels M.P.A.
Retired (February 2022)

Karyn Schimmels has been a dedicated public servant for the past twenty-six years in the state of Oregon. Karyn brings twenty plus years of Leadership, Supervision and Management experience in public health and human services for the state of Oregon and the nonprofit private industry. She has expertise in supervision, curriculum development and design, motivational public speaking, classroom instruction, leadership development, and training system design on large scale projects as well as statewide endeavors. Karyn has served in leadership roles on multiple boards and is well-known for her board governance expertise and visionary leader.

Member at Large


Executive Advisory Council: 2022 Members

Sheila Blanton

Sheila Blanton, M.Ed.
Retired (August 2020)

Sheila Blanton, M.Ed., was the Project Director for the Professional Excellence Program at Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, School of Social Work. Sheila has over forty years of experience in the child welfare field, including classroom teaching, case management, adoptions, instructional design, and program management. She oversaw several programs during her 7 years at GA State to include the Professional Development and Training Program, the Child Welfare Training Collaborative, and the Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) Program. Sheila has written curriculum on an extensive list of topics including Managing Change, Implementation Science, Adoption, Building Resiliency in Children Who Experienced Trauma, Developing Collaborations, new worker training, and many others. She was a co-author for the article Toward a Trauma-informed State: An Exploration of a Training Collaborative in Traumatology Magazine (2021). Sheila received the Distinguished Service in Training Award from NSDTA in 2015. In her retired life, she works has a consultant to agencies and recently wrote the Leadership Curriculum for the National Alliance for Mental Illness Georgia Program. She also spends time with her greatest love, her family and friends, continuing to build lifetime memories.

Charmaine Brittain

Charmaine Brittain, MSW, Ph.D.
Butler Institute for Families, University of Denver

Charmaine Brittain, MSW, Ph.D., Director, Practice Innovation has worked extensively over the past three decades throughout the United States to improve training, organizational effectiveness, and implementation and to strengthen professional development for human service professionals. At the Butler Institute for Families, she serves as the lead on multiple projects, including consulting with child welfare agencies on organizational and workforce development, managing training projects on a range of topics and approaches, overseeing practice improvement projects, and developing professional educational materials. Dr. Brittain serves as Vice Chair for NSDTA and leads the engagement committee. She’s been participating in NSDTA for over twenty-five years.

Tracy Davis

Tracy Davis
CT Department of Children and Families

Tracy Davis has over twenty-five years of experience working in Child Protection. She has served in a myriad of roles ranging from a social worker, supervisor, trainer, and manager. Tracy is currently the Director of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families- Academy for Workforce Development. The later part of her career has focused on curriculum development with a child welfare lens, training design, implementation, and delivery. She has leadership experience in workforce development, coordination of large-scale agency training initiatives, and current knowledge of best practices regarding child welfare services. In July 2019, Tracy was elected to serve on the Executive Advisory Board of NSDTA.

Chad McDonald

Chad McDonald, LCSW, Ph.D Candidate
Research Assistant Professor
The University of Utah

Chad McDonald, Ph.D. Candidate, LCSW, is a Research Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator of the Child Welfare Training/Education Grants at the University of Utah, focusing his research on workforce development in child welfare, particularly around skills development, using enhanced teaching/learning methods, and competency assessment. Chad chairs the Child Welfare Concentration and is a member of the steering committee for the National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium. Chad has sixteen years of experience in child welfare, including his time as trainer and administrator for the Division of Child & Family Services (DCFS) in Utah.

Lawrence Mirabal
New Mexico Human Services Department

Lawrence Mirabal represents the New Mexico Human Services Department serving as a Staff Manager specializing Leadership Development. Lawrence brings over 30 years in experience in organizational leadership, development, and training in the public and private sector. He credits his success to his holistic leadership approach to inspire and motivate high performing teams to realize personal and professional fulfillment.

Cynthia “Cindy” Parry

Cynthia “Cindy” Parry, Ph.D.
Evaluation Consultant
C.F. Parry Associates

Cynthia Parry, Ph.D., has thirty years of experience evaluating human services at state and national levels. Dr. Parry is currently an evaluator for the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD), specializing in testing and measurement. She has led training evaluation efforts in multiple states. She serves on the Executive Advisory Council for the National Staff Development and Training Association and the steering committee for the National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium.

Marlo A. Perry

Marlo A. Perry, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
University of Pittsburgh

Marlo A. Perry, Ph.D., is an Assistant Research Professor in the Child Welfare Education and Research Programs at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work. Marlo leads evaluations of multiple statewide projects with Pennsylvania’s child welfare system. To date, this has included enhancing the rigor of the evaluation of Pennsylvania’s core caseworker and new supervisor curricula; evaluating processes and outcomes of a Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Project; and assessing mechanisms of transfer of learning to the field. Her research interests also include family engagement in child welfare and emotional intelligence and well-being in child welfare caseworkers.

Terrance Stroud

Terrance Stroud
Deputy Commissioner
NYC Department of Social Services

Terrance Stroud is the Deputy Commissioner for New York City’s Department of Social Services overseeing the Office of Training & Workforce Development. Terrance has been honored for his work and his contributions to the community with distinctions such as Home Reporter News’ “Star of Brooklyn", City & State “Top 40 Under 40” and a Black Enterprise Modern Man. Terrance serves on the alumni and advisory boards of Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn College & Indiana Maurer School of Law and is an Adjunct Professor of Law overseeing Maurer’s NY Externship Program. Terrance was appointed to the NY State Staff Development Advisory Committee in 2019 and joined NSDTA in 2019.

NSDTA / APHSA Staff Liaison

Jennifer Kerr

Jennifer Kerr
Director, Organizational Effectiveness (OE)
American Public Human Services Association

Jen Kerr brings over eighteen years of Organizational Effectiveness (OE) Consulting, Curriculum Development and Training System Design, and Continuous Quality Improvement experience in supporting health and human service agencies across the country. As part of APHSA’s OE team, Jen has assisted with the facilitation of over 120 improvement projects in thirty states including many localities. Jen also leads APHSA’s knowledge management and mobilization strategy through its development as a component of OE technical assistance and is the liaison to the NSDTA.

Alexander Figueroa

Alexander Figueroa
OE Consultant
American Public Human Services Association

Alex brings over thirteen years of experience in training facilitation in child support, leadership, and professional development to the APHSA OE team. He’s experienced in delivering comprehensive training and specialized workshops at various state, regional, and national conferences. Prior to joining APHSA, Alex was the Manager of Human Services Initiatives at the Institute for Families (IFF), Rutgers School of Social Work. In that capacity, he managed the staff at the New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI).

Maurine Jones

Maurine Jones
Meeting Planner
American Public Human Services Association

Maurine Jones serves as the Conference Meeting Planner for the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). With 15 years of experience in creating and executing successful event experiences, Maurine provides meeting management support with our Membership & Events Team. Good at wearing multiple hats, Maurine is adept at responding quickly to changing circumstances, always maintaining an upbeat, can-do attitude.