Staff

Valerie Melroy

Valerie Melroy

The Co-founder (1997) and Chief Executive Officer of Voice and Vision, Inc. Valerie’s work in human services began at Norristown State Hospital in 1975. The call of God, love of people, and desire to see justice and freedom compelled her into advocacy and opened doors to various places in the USA and in many countries. As a social entrepreneur, Valerie developed and implemented unique and creative tools and programs that address the needs of youth, adults, and families. 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 17 grandchildren.


Karen Plummer

Karen Plummer

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.


Susan Benzie

Susan Benzie

Director of Data, Research and Design. Susan led the Consumer and Family Satisfaction Team (CFST) in Bucks County since 2003, 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”.


Akua Ajarko

Akua Ajarko

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.


Mary Pat Tanz

Mary Pat Tanz

Delaware County Member/Family Satisfaction Team (M/FST) Coordinator. Mary Pat joined Voice and Vision Inc. In April of 2023 and brought with her a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years in clinical care, healthcare administration, home care, business development, and behavioral/community health, Mary Pat stands as a dedicated professional. She has had the privilege of actively participating in high-level program development alongside Medical Directors, Social Workers, Case Managers, and Mental Health Professionals.

Leveraging an extensive clinical background, Mary Pat’s critical thinking and detail-oriented approach to program planning and review have consistently translated into high-quality success.
Motivated by an enduring passion for education, care, and continuous learning, Mary Pat has chosen a path dedicated to seeking the optimal mental health and behavioral care for the members of her community. Her unwavering commitment ensures that individuals can lead successful and satisfying lives, filled with dignity and grace. 


Julie Rider

Julie Rider

Bucks County Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team (C/FST) Coordinator. Julie came to Voice and Vision in the spring of 2022 as a Field Staff Specialist and expanded her role as a Team Lead to support IM4Q (Independent Monitoring for Quality). Now as Coordinator, she oversees a passionate team of Field Staff Specialists who conduct interviews with people receiving mental health and/or substance use treatment or support services to learn about their recovery journey. Reports developed from these interviews are presented to various stakeholders to help ensure the quality of behavioral health services in Bucks County. Advocating for policies that promote each person’s strengths and reducing mental health stigma is Julie’s passion. Julie brings a strong background in project management and 25 years of personal experience with the behavioral health system to Voice and Vision. In her spare time, Julie enjoys reading, the outdoors, and sharing her love of music with her two amazing children.


Olga Antonyuk

Olga Antonyuk

Director of Compeer and CompeerCORPS. 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.  


Benjamin Nelson

Benjamin Nelson

CompeerCORPS Outreach Leader and Untold Valor Podcast Co-host. 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 Associate 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 2024. 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.


Susan Ireland

Susan Ireland

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.


Sheri Shifman

Sheri Shifman

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. In addition to her work at Voice and Vision, Sheri enjoys volunteering. Each week, she co-facilitates a bible study at her church and teaches an English as a Second Language class for a local literacy agency.


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