Click on the photo for a brief biography.
Click on the photo for a brief biography.
Click on the photo for a brief biography.
Click on the photo for a brief biography.
© 2017 Alexander Youth Network
6220 Thermal Road, Charlotte NC 28211
Phone: | Fax: 704.362.8464
Accredited by The Joint Commission, which is recognized nationwide as a symbol of healthcare quality reflecting the highest level of performance.
Craig Bass first joined Alexander in 1979 as a resident counselor, living in a cottage with six emotionally disturbed children. He left two years later to complete his education, and returned in 1990. He was named CEO in September, 1992. Under Craig’s leadership, Alexander Youth Network’s behavioral healthcare programs have grown from serving 38 children per year in 1993 to 8,800 in 2016.
Craig earned a B.A. in Human Services from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (magna cum laude) and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina.
An Eagle Scout, Craig was a volunteer leader in the Boy Scouts of America for more than 30 years and served for many years as a member of the Council’s Executive Board. Craig has served on many boards, including the North Carolina Association of Residential Child Care and Family Services, Mecklenburg Area Mental Health Providers and Benchmarks, an alliance of agencies serving children, adults and families across North Carolina.
Jonathan Hardin joined Alexander Youth Network in Spring 1996. Jonathan’s first job at AYN was as a third shift behavioral health counselor in the residential program. Through the years, Jonathan has been a group home supervisor, special education teacher in day treatment, and program director for the psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF). After leaving AYN in 2011 for two years to further his career development, Jonathan returned to AYN in 2013 as chief of staff and was later named vice president and chief operating officer in 2015.
Jonathan earned a B.A. in Psychology from UNC-Charlotte in 1998. He is currently a graduate student at UNC-Charlotte working on a masters in counseling.
Manuel Gomez joined Alexander in 2011 through the acquisition of former Youth Opportunities where he served as CFO since 2007. Manuel started his career at Alexander as Director of Accounting and was named CFO for the organization in 2012.
Manuel earned a B.A. in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Finance from Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala City. He also earned an MBA degree from Wake Forest University.
Ashley Conrad, MSL, QP, joined Alexander in 2007 as Program Manager for the Beacon Hall Day Treatment program in Dallas, North Carolina and transitioned into the role of Executive Director for the Pathways/Partners Division in 2009. She was the CEO of Youth Opportunities in 2015 until full consolidation under Alexander Youth Network in February 2016. She has over 20 years of experience in human services – in both the health care and behavioral health care industries. Prior to joining Alexander, Ms. Conrad worked at Thompson Child and Family Focus for nine years, supervising several departments. As a Certified Recreation Therapy Specialist, she has extensive experience in designing and implementing therapeutic recreational activities, which aligns with Alexander’s Day Treatment programming. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Change and Leadership through Pfeiffer University.
Carolyn Spence first joined Alexander Youth Network in 1997 as a case manager. Carolyn has experience using skills in clinical case management, administration, billing, utilization management, EHR development and implementation, and data analysis. The foundation of her success is partnerships with the clinical and IT staff, interdisciplinary teamwork, and relationships with technology vendors. These partnerships combined with Carolyn’s dedication and gift for innovation have produced improved efficiency and effectiveness of systems and processes throughout the organization.
Before joining Alexander Youth Network, Carolyn studied Social Work at Lakehead University in Thunderbay, Ontario Canada. She volunteered with different organizations as a buddy to adults with developmental disabilities and has coached soccer to young children new to the sport.
Dr. Kamilah McKissick joined Alexander Youth Network in June, 2017. Dr. McKissick has a vast array of clinical and leadership experiences in multiple settings, including hospitals, schools, psychiatric facilities, day treatment programs, outpatient programs, community mental health centers and departments of juvenile justice. She has dedicated her career to serving the underserved and ensuring quality behavioral healthcare to all.
Before joining Alexander, Dr. McKissick was the Clinical Director at Kids Central of the Carolinas in Charlotte. Prior to that position, she also served as a Licensed Psychologist at Kids Central of the Carolinas and a staff Psychologist II, Adult Admissions Division at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, NC.
Dr. McKissick received her M.S. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University in Maryland. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her Child Clinical Psychology Internship at Virginia Treatment Center for Children in Richmond, Virginia.
Buddy Plummer, BS, QP, joined Alexander as part of the acquisition of group homes from Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare in 2003. In 2007 when Alexander strategically decided to cease group home operations, Buddy lead the efforts to successfully transition the children and staff to other identified services and departments. Then, as Alexander’s Charlotte Day Treatment Program Manager, he led the implementation of the innovative Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics approach. In 2010, he began his work in the Performance Improvement department as the Program Integration Manager ensuring Alexander’s new programs were integrated fully into the Alexander array of services. In 2012, he broadened his role to Performance Improvement Manager where he managed the day-to-day operations of the department. After a brief return to Program Operations in 2015 as the Executive Director of Day Treatment, he was appointed to his current role in 2016.
Buddy earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Wingate University.
Trish Hobson has served in leadership roles in non-profits in both volunteer and staff roles for over 20 years. She served as President Elect and President of the Junior League of Charlotte from 2004 – 2007. Joining the Emergency Winter Shelter in 2007 as a part-time Director of Development, she quickly became a leader in the organization. When the Emergency Winter Shelter merged with the Uptown Shelter in October, 2009 to become the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Trish took on the role of Associate Executive Director for Community Development. Trish is passionate about ending homelessness in Charlotte and worked with the Board and staff at the Men’s Shelter to develop a strong housing program.
Trish joined Alexander Youth Network in 2015 and successfully secured resources to help children with severe emotional and behavioral problems and their families. A transition to the President role at The Relatives seemed a natural transition in December of 2016. Because The Relatives is a subsidiary of Alexander Youth Network, Trish was able to stay within the organization and get back to her true passion of solving issues surrounding homelessness and unstable housing.
Trish's passion lies in helping those with the most critical needs in our community. Trish came to Charlotte in 1984 to attend Queens College. Upon graduation, she stayed in Charlotte and started a family. Trish and her husband, Ross, have two adult children, two dogs and a cat.
Blaine Sanders began serving as Alexander’s Outside General Counsel in October 2016. He has been an attorney with Robinson Bradshaw since 1985, with an emphasis on business litigation. Blaine formerly served as the associate general counsel of United Dominion Industries. He advises Alexander on litigation, regulatory, employment, corporate governance, contractual and real estate matters.
Blaine received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, magna cum laude, and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review and a Patrick Wilson Scholar. He has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America since 2006 (sports law) and North Carolina Super Lawyers since 2008 (business litigation).
Blaine is a member of the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society and a long-time board member of The Center for Community Transitions.
Amanda Pottinger joined Alexander Youth Network in 2005 as a Behavioral Health Counselor. Through the years, Amanda has been a Group Home Supervisor, Service Authorizations Specialist, Process Integrity Auditor, Traffic Manager and now Project Manager – Office of the CEO. She sits on the Employee Dispute Resolution Panel, the Employee Engagement Committee and is the Assistant Secretary for Alexander Youth Network’s Board of Directors.
In 2005, Amanda graduated Cum Laude from Johnson C. Smith University earning a B.A. in Communications.
Gina Tipton began her career in 1992 with the Rutherford-Polk Area Mental Health Program. There, she developed the Therapeutic Foster Care Program for Children and Youth. In 2004, the state divested the local Area Programs and privatized mental health services. It was then she developed Tipton Therapeutic Foster Care Services, a not for profit 501(c)3, where she was the CEO, of the Child Placing Agency.
In 2010, Tipton Therapeutic Foster Care homes, merged with Alexander Youth Network through an acquisition.
In 1990, Gina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Gardner Webb University.
Leonard Shinhoster joined Alexander Youth Network in February, 2001. Mr. Shinhoster has a vast array of healthcare experiences in multiple settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, day treatment programs, and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Before becoming Executive Director, Mr. Shinhoster started his professional career at Alexander as a Behavioral Health Counselor, transitioning to a Special Education Teacher and was eventually promoted to a supervisor in a residential facility. Mr. Shinhoster has dedicated his career to serving the underserved and ensuring quality behavioral healthcare to all.
Before joining Alexander, Mr. Shinhoster was a Special Education Teacher at Thompson’s Children’s Center and still maintains his Professional Educator’s Licensure. Mr. Shinhoster is also a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention trainer and has been certified for 10 years. Mr. Shinhoster received his BA in Sociology from Queens University.
Hughes Crisp began working at Alexander Youth Network as an Intensive In-Home Coordinator in November 2010. He later transitioned to Child and Adolescent Day Treatment Services as a Mental Health Clinician. In May of 2013, Hughes was promoted to Day Treatment Manager at Carl A. Furr and two years later, transitioned to Relationship Manager as an agency contact, marketer and recruiter. In October 2016, Hughes became Executive Director of Child and Adolescent Day Treatment and came to his current position as Executive Director of Program Operations in October 2017.
Hughes received a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he found his true passion to community, children and families.
Monika Cambric joined Alexander Youth Network in April, 2012. Monika has over 17 years of professional experience in counseling, leadership, and management. Her background includes working in multiple settings addressing clinical and advocacy needs in domestic violence/intimate partner violence and community-based, mental-health counseling (Out Patient Programs, Intensive in Home Programs, and Multisystemic Therapy Programs).
Before joining Alexander, Monika spent several years working in other community mental health programs as a manager, therapist/case manager, and working with victims of domestic violence as a therapist.
Monika received her BSW and M.Ed in Counseling from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She maintains her Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor certification and actively provides supervision to new clinicians in the beginning stages of their career as a licensed therapist.
Ashley Sparks joined Alexander Youth Network in August 2013 in the Southern Pines Office as the office manager. In May 2014, she transitioned into the Licensing and Recruiting role for Therapeutic Foster Care in the area. In August 2017, she became Executive Director of the Southern Piedmont Region.
Prior to her experience with Alexander, Ashley was a worked in the office of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving at Appalachian State University. Ashley has been involved in working with youth in a behavioral health capacity since her teenage years.
Ms. Sparks has a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University. In addition to her work at Alexander, Ms. Sparks also dedicates her time to non-profit activities local to Moore County.