Board of Trustees
C. Andrew Krepps, Jr.
Richard L. Strouse
Janice A. Vogt
William C. Andrews
Kristen E.M. Gay
Phyllis H. Handley
James L. Allison
Jodi S. Donohue
Clifford P. Haugen
James L. Hollinger
Nina V. Rogers
Denise M. Stearns
David C. Toner
Kristen E.M. Gay, Ph.D., President/CEO
Kristen Gay has devoted most of her professional life to the children and mission of Silver Springs - Martin Luther School. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and an M. Ed. in Psychological Services and a Ph.D. in School, Community and Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Kristen joined the Silver Springs staff in 1999. Kristen has worked in various roles throughout the organization, including: Clinical Intern, Foster Family Care Caseworker, Independent Consultant, Performance Improvement/Family Resource Services Director, Development Director, and Vice President. In addition, Kristen has clinical experience in Counseling and School Psychology and has served as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Kristen’s diverse experience working within the programs and administration at Silver Springs informs her strong and passionate vision for the future of the organization, and the myriad ways through which Silver Springs brings hope and healing to children and families. A proven collaborator and decisive leader, Kristen is committed to honoring Silver Springs - Martin Luther School’s history, as well as welcoming the challenges and opportunities of leading this ministry into the future.
Joan Plump, Esq., MA, Vice President
Joan arrived at Silver Springs - Martin Luther School in 2008 after working for many years as a civil defense attorney in the Philadelphia region. When Joan first joined Silver Springs, she served as a Development Officer and later became the Development Director. As the Administrative Services Director, Joan also assumed oversight of Martin Luther School. Now as Vice President, she oversees Human Resources functions, insurance and litigation matters, and various special projects. Joan plays a critical role facilitating corporate communication efforts, including nurturing productive conversations among staff and promoting a collaborative culture between departments. Joan is passionate about Silver Springs’ mission to help vulnerable and remarkable children be safe and reach their full potential. Joan has a B.A. from Bucknell University, an M.A. in Education from La Salle University, and a J.D. from Fordham University. She is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and recently served as a volunteer lawyer for The Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia.
Barbara G. Nielsen, Human Resources Director
Barbara joined Silver Springs - Martin Luther School in November of 2016 with more than 30 years of progressive Human Resources experience in recruitment, benefits, performance management, training, and compensation. Her experience includes working in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors including a residential treatment program and school for at risk youth, and a large non-profit pediatric practice, both in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. Most recently, Barbara was an HR Consultant for Norris Square Community Alliance, an organization dedicated to empowering the Puerto Rican community in Center City Philadelphia through affordable housing and pre-school education. Barbara is bilingual in Spanish/English and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado.
Neil Clark, Senior Operations Director
Neil Clark is the Senior Operations Director for programs and all Silver Springs – Martin Luther School’s locations. Neil oversees buildings, grounds, major building projects, food services, energy management, purchasing, contract agreements, and safety and security. He also has provided supervision for Information Management and for commercial insurances. Neil is responsible for compliance with all related federal, Commonwealth and local laws, regulations and codes, as well as The Joint Commission standards; he serves as liason with municipalities. Neil brings a unique perspective to his work as he has held supervisory positions in both the Residential Treatment Program and Martin Luther School.
Neil served as Operations Director with the Wallingford/Swarthmore School District, supervising major construction and the Facilities and Transportation Departments. He served on public and non-profit boards and associations including Chairs of the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth Advisory Committee and Lower Merion Youth Aid Panel. Neil is a member of the Silver Springs Foundation Board of Trustees. Neil graduated from DeSales University, Center Valley, PA with BA in Psychology.
Christian Whooley, MA, LPC, Senior Residential Program Director
Christian came to Silver Springs in 2015 with more than 16 years’ experience working with at risk children and adolescents in inpatient, residential, intensive residential, psychiatric community home, alternative school and in-home settings. Directly prior to Silver Springs, Christian worked at The East Mountain Youth Lodge –Carrier Clinic, where he held direct care, clinical and administrative positions and played a key role in the area of crisis management at the organization. Christian earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Services at Rider University and is credentialed as a Nationally Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor.
Maria Kreiter, Martin Luther School Director
As Martin Luther School Director, Maria oversees operations, curriculum, and all activities associated with our Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Approved Private School. A dedicated educator with over 25 years of experience in private schools, public schools, and university settings, Maria also has served as an adjunct associate professor, certified teacher, curriculum and instruction director, staff development specialist, and training coordinator. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Special Education.
Melissa Harvey, MSW, LSW, Senior Community Based Program Director
Melissa Harvey came to Silver Springs in November 2016 with more than 15 years of supervisory and leadership experience in the non-profit behavioral health and social service sector. Prior to joining Silver Springs, Melissa served as Director of Operations for all Youth Behavioral Health Services at NorthEast Treatment Centers (NET). Melissa, a Licensed Social Worker in PA, received her Master’s Degree from Temple University. She began her career working with medically complex children and children with developmental delays. In her administrative roles, Melissa has created and organized numerous systems to ensure that children and their families receive the best quality care and service. Melissa brings to Silver Springs a passion for and dedication to serving families and their children in all aspects of care. In her role at Silver Springs, Melissa oversees Community Based Programs including Foster Family Care, Host Home, Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services (BHRS), and Outpatient Mental Health Services.
Lynn Unipan, MSW, CFRE, Development Director
Lynn came to Silver Springs in 2008 after 10 years working in nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and communications roles. She received her BA from Bowdoin College, MA in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California. Lynn has worked as a clinical social worker in residential and outpatient mental health settings and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Named Development Director in 2015, Lynn is committed to advancing the mission of Silver Springs and championing children’s mental health and educational needs. Lynn oversees Silver Springs’ fundraising, friend raising, volunteer, and external communications efforts. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Philadelphia Chapter (AFP) and Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE).
Dean Martella, Information Management Director
As Information Management Director, Dean is responsible for the management of all hardware, software, workflows, and information security at Silver Springs – Martin Luther School. Dean has more than 17 years of experience in the technology field, including work as a consultant to non-profit and for profit organizations of various sizes. Dean has an Associate’s Degree and many industry certifications, most notably from Microsoft and VMware.