The Co-founder (1997) and Chief Executive Officer of Voice and Vision, Inc. Valerie has a history of serving people who have labels of mental illness, addiction, and/or disability since 1975. As a social entrepreneur, Valerie developed and implemented unique and creative tools and programs that address the needs of youth, adults, and families. The call of God, love of people, and desire to see justice and freedom started this journey and opened doors to various places in the USA and in many countries. A Bachelor of Ministry Degree and a Master of Human Service Degree from Lincoln University helped to prepare her to serve others and persevere through the triumphs and trials of operating a non-profit organization. Valerie enjoys gardening, traveling, and especially loves to spend time with her family including playing with her 16 grandchildren.
Associate Director/IM4Q Coordinator. Karen has worked at Voice and Vision since 2003. She’s worked in all departments as well as developed and implemented the Family and Youth Connection initiatives, which were both focused on peer support and education. She created the Family Advisory Committee to engage the voice of families and young adults so that the child-serving systems would better understand their needs and wants. She is the Project Manager of the series of Help and Hope Guides distributed to thousands throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. Karen was educated in England where her focus was Business. She lived overseas and traveled extensively. In 2021, Karen was appointed by Governor Wolf representing a non-profit on the PA Developmental Disabilities Council.
Currently, she lives with her husband and has three children and 12 grandchildren. Her desire is to see that all people are accepted as people first and that their voice be the driving force in the development of their futures and the supports necessary to live a fulfilling life. She wants to see communities embrace this need and be part of the solution in creating support and acceptance.
Director of Data, Research and Design. Susan led the Consumer and Family Satisfaction Team (CFST) in Bucks County since 2002, while using the Appreciative Inquiry philosophy of Quality Management. Currently, as Director of Data Research and Design, she provides support and mentoring to the Coordinators of Bucks, Chester, and Delaware County C/MFSTs. She is also responsible for analysis and trending of data gathered across all three Counties. Sue is the mother of five children and has lived in many areas of the country and overseas. As a licensed Social Worker, Sue brings both professional and personal experience with the behavioral health system to Voice and Vision. Her vision is to see that services and supports are truly “strengths-based” and “consumer and family driven”.
Division Director of Satisfaction Services: Delaware and Chester Counties. Akua began working at Voice and Vision in March 2018 implementing the new Member/Family Satisfaction Team (M/FST) Program and supervising a team of Field Staff Specialists. In 2021, Akua became the Division Director of Satisfaction Services providing oversight to both the M/FST in Delaware County and the Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team in Chester County. Akua has made a personal commitment to improving the lives of marginalized individuals. Akua possesses a thorough understanding of diverse client populations, including those facing socioeconomic hardship, individuals with a history of incarceration, LGBTQ-identified persons, HIV-positive individuals, substance users, and other high-risk groups.
Akua has held diverse positions within the nonprofit sector as an Employment Specialist, Housing Coordinator, Community Integration Coordinator, HIV/Prison Linkages Coordinator, Team Leader and Training Director. Akua has worked directly with participants to get housing, health care, advocacy support, educational programs and linking HIV positive incarcerated individuals with the necessary outside services and supportive services upon release. Akua is a self-proclaimed “grower of things” has two children, enjoys creating meals and travel.
Chester County Consumer/Family Satisfaction (C/FST) Coordinator. As Coordinator of the C/FST, Bendu supervises a team of Field Staff Specialists while advocating for individuals with behavioral health challenges. Bendu has oversight of reporting experiences of individuals and families regarding their mental health and substance use services in Chester County. Bendu has an extensive background in the non-profit sector. She shares her diverse experiences from various job and volunteer opportunities. Bendu is an asset to the Chester County team, as she is proficient and educated in case management, crisis training, advocacy, supervisory skills, and much more. Bendu shares her love of people and her willingness to help those who face behavioral health challenges, which is key to keeping a straightforward, uncompromised, and easygoing work environment. Bendu finds herself enjoying time spent with her loved ones, but most of all, her child. She enjoys traveling and experiencing the world.
Delaware County Member/Family Satisfaction (M/FST) Coordinator. As coordinator of the M/FST for Delaware County, Brenda oversees a team of Field Staff Specialists who conducts at least 750 interviews a year with people who are experiencing mental health and/or substance use issues. She earned certificates in a range of courses through extensive training regarding mental health and intellectual/developmental disabilities. She worked an array of jobs that taught her vital skills, such as compassion, understanding, and professionalism. Brenda holds a BS in Business Administration, a BA in Spanish, and BA in Corporate Communications. She looks forward to leading the charge at Voice and Vison to gather information from the Latino community about their service outcomes and sharing recommendations for change on behalf of Spanish speaking individuals. During her free time, Brenda likes to read psychological thriller novels, listen to music, baking, and cooking.
Program Director of Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia. Olga is a talented leader with vast experience spearheading social service programs with a passion for changing the lives of others. Prior to serving as the Program Director of Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia for over a decade, Olga served on the program’s Advisory Board. Olga and the Compeer program joined Voice and Vision in 2014. As the Program Director, Olga manages the 120+ member, evidence-based Compeer and CompeerCORPS programs by recruiting, interviewing, and training all volunteers, and matching each volunteer with an individual referred to the program in a one-on-one, co-equal supportive friendship. In addition, she speaks to groups throughout Delaware County to recruit and raise awareness of the need for friendship to support good mental health.
In June of 2021, Olga was recognized by the Delaware County Community Support Program with the Community Partnership Recognition Award for being a vital influence in inspiring DELCO CSP to grow virtually through the COVID pandemic.
Olga holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing from Pennsylvania State University. She also has certificates in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Adaptive Leadership for System Change, and Coach Approach to Adaptive Leadership.
Men’s Outreach and Education Leader. Benjamin was born and raised in the Cobbs Creek section of southwest Philadelphia. He was raised by his grandparents with two older siblings. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a Hospital Corpsman (medic) attached to a Marine Corps combat unit during the on-going middle east conflict. He worked in insurance for several years as a successful retail sales manager. Benjamin also worked several years in a men’s shelter and has various experiences with mental health and addictions recovery and support.
Benjamin, who goes by Ben, has endured some adversities in his life including a diagnosis of cancer. However, he was able to overcome as he strived to find God’s purpose for his life. Following a new path, Ben received his Associates degree in Biblical science at Lancaster Bible College while he was battling cancer. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in human services in 2019 and is on track for graduating with a master’s degree in counseling in 2021. Ben is the Assistant Pastor and Outreach Coordinator of Philadelphia Baptist Church providing outreach and a food cupboard assisting 150-200 families weekly in West Philly with food and clothing. Ben was blessed with his wife Marcia, who works by his side in the ministry. Together they work with the outreach team of the church with the goal to help alleviate the suffering of others as they serve with the love of Christ.
Regional InReach (RIR) Team Leader. Susan initially joined Voice and Vision on the Consumer Satisfaction Team in 2007. While working at Voice and Vision, she is proud to say she now drives on her own and has obtained her Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Certification training. As a Regional InReach (RIR) Team Peer Mentor since 2010, she has been co-leading peer support groups and education at Norristown State Hospital (NSH). Given Susan had been a patient at NSH for 11 years, she provides a unique perspective while sharing her story of hope. Susan is a Certified Peer Specialist and uses what she learned in that training to help support others with their recovery. After living in a supported living program with eight other individuals for about 20 years, Susan reached her goal to move out on her own in 2019. She enjoys life, helping people, spending time with her family and friends, playing games and playing the piano. She also is quite an artist. Susan says Voice and Vision has changed her life, and she believes in the work we do.
Business Office and Human Resources Manager. Sheri joined Voice and Vision, Inc. in January 2012. She oversees the various day-to-day business office operations and is involved in all aspects of Human Resources for the three offices, including hiring, payroll administration, employee policy training, and maintaining employee and business files. She also provides computer training/end-user assistance and is the IT liaison. She brings strong, valued gifts of administration and organization. Sheri has a Master’s degree in Biopsychology and comes from a background working in pharmaceutical clinical research. Sheri is married, a mother of two, and enjoys cooking, reading, and participating in bible study groups.