We are excited that as of November 1, 2019, Silver Springs has merged with theVillage, an organization with a similar history and mission primarily based in Rosemont. We will be transitioning to our new name, Gemma Services, and a combined website will be coming in 2020. The leadership of Gemma Services is as follows.
Board of Directors
Joseph C. Ragaglia, Esq. - Chair
Connie L. Murphy - Vice Chair
Clifford P. Haugen - Treasurer
Polly Shaffer - Secretary
Kristen E.M. Gay, Ph.D. - President/CEO
William C. Andrews
William H. Black, Esq.
Barbara C. Cameron
Jodi S. Donohue
Yardly R. Jenkins
C. Andrew Krepps, Jr.
Nina V. Rogers
Nefertiri R. Sickout
Elisabeth Slate, Ph.D.
Richard L. Strouse, Esq.
Nancy B. Wolcott
Kristen E.M. Gay, PhD, President/CEO
Kristen Gay serves as President/CEO. She has devoted her career to serving children and families, previously at Silver Springs - Martin Luther School prior to its merger with theVillage, and now at Gemma Services. 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 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 informs her strong and passionate vision for the future of the organization, and the myriad ways through which Gemma Services brings hope and healing to children and families. A proven collaborator and decisive leader, Kristen is honored to lead Gemma Services and its many programs providing hope, education, and healing for children, youth, and families in our region and beyond.
Michael Kellerman, MPaff, Executive Vice President/Chief Strategy Officer
Michael Kellerman previously served as President and CEO at theVillage, prior to its merger with Silver Springs. He arrived at theVillage in 2017 as Interim President & CEO and was appointed by the previous board to the permanent role in July 2018. Throughout his career Michael has worked with nonprofit organizations in a variety of roles to foster excellence in mission, service, and performance through executive leadership, change management, revenue development, and strategy. In his role as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Gemma Services, Michael oversees all clinical service areas (programs other than Martin Luther School), including residential treatment and all community-based programs. Michael earned a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, where he was also Adjunct Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, and earned a Bachelor of Arts from The New School University in New York. Michael brings a deep passion for the promotion of mental and behavioral health, the revitalization of communities, and a commitment to finding opportunities of support for children and families.
Joan Plump, Esq, MA, Chief of Staff
Joan Plump joined Gemma Services (previously Silver Springs) in 2008 after working for many years as a civil defense attorney in the Philadelphia region. When Joan first arrived she served as a Development Officer, later Development Director, Administrative Services Director, and then Vice President. As Administrative Services Director and Vice President, Joan assumed oversight of Martin Luther School, human resources, and information management. Now in her role as Chief of Staff, Joan supervises human resources, operations, information management, and quality and compliance, oversees commercial insurance, and provides strategic counsel to the CEO. Joan is passionate about the organization's mission to help vulnerable and remarkable children be safe and reach their full potential. Joan has a B.A. from Bucknell University, a Master’s 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 has served as a volunteer lawyer for The Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia.
Wendy Wait, Chief Financial Officer
Wendy Wait began as Chief Financial Officer in November 2017. She brought extensive experience in behavioral health financial management. Wendy previously was controller at Melmark for 5 years, and CFO at Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems for 11 years. In her current role with Gemma, Wendy oversees financial operations, budgeting and reporting, and provides leadership for finance-related matters. Wendy attended Penn State University and graduated with a B.S. with Honors in Accounting and Finance.
Lynn Unipan, MSW, CFRE, Chief Development Officer
Lynn Unipan serves as Chief Development Officer and provides leadership for all fundraising initiatives, special events, grant writing, volunteer engagement, and related communications. Lynn arrived at Silver Springs, prior to the merger with theVillage, in 2008 after many 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 from the University of Southern California. She also has prior experience as a clinical social worker in residential and outpatient mental health settings. A Certified Fundraising Executive, Lynn is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Philadelphia Chapter (AFP) and is passionate about advancing opportunities for disadvantaged children, youth, and families.
Neil Clark, Vice President of Operations
Neil Clark is Vice President of Operations and, as such, oversees buildings, grounds, major building projects, food services, energy management, purchasing, contract agreements, and safety and security of Gemma Services' four locations. 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 previously served as Operations Director with the Wallingford/Swarthmore School District, supervising major construction and the Facilities and Transportation Departments. He has served on public and non-profit boards and associations, including as Chair of the Montgomery County Office of Children and of Youth Advisory Committee, Lower Merion Youth Aid Panel, Plymouth Township Shade Tree And Recreation Committee (current), and Silver Springs - Martin Luther School Foundation Board (2013-2019). Neil graduated from DeSales University, Center Valley, PA with BA in Psychology.
Jamie Fenstermaker, Vice President of Program Integrity
As Vice President of Program Integrity, Jamie is responsible for the oversight of aspects of the organization related to quality improvement, compliance, and ensuring high standards of care for all services. Prior the merger with Silver Springs, Jamie served as Chief Operating Officer at theVillage (now Gemma Services), and also served there as Senior Director of Residential Programs and Director of Quality Improvement. Jamie joined theVillage following over 16 years of service at St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families, another local non-profit residential program providing residential and clinical care to vulnerable youth. Jamie brings experience in leading multifaceted programs, a background as a Licensed Professional Counselor, and certification in Lean Six Sigma. Jamie earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and Master’s degree in Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her mission of helping those most in need started when she began volunteering in homeless shelters and outreach programs in Pittsburgh and continues through her work today through improving services to children and families through Gemma Services’ programs.
Melissa Harvey, MSW, LSW, Vice President of Community Based Programs
Melissa Harvey arrived at Silver Springs in November 2016, prior to the merger with theVillage, with more than 15 years of supervisory and leadership experience in the non-profit behavioral health and social service sector. Melissa has 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 Gemma Services a passion for and dedication to serving families and their children in all aspects of care. In her current role, Melissa oversees all Community Based Programs including foster care, adoption, Host Home, Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services (BHRS), Outpatient Mental Health Services, and prevention services.
Dean Martella, Vice President of Information Management
In his role as Vice President of Information Management, Dean provides leadership for the overall technology vision for the organization. He is responsible for the management of all hardware, software, workflows, and information security at Gemma Services. 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.
Barbara G. Nielson, Vice President of Human Resources
As Vice President of Human Resources, Barbara Nielson is responsible for managing recruitment and staffing, performance management, benefits and compensation administration, and training. As the leader of HR, she also maintains systems, policies, and procedures. Barbara arrived in November of 2016 with more than 30 years of progressive Human Resources experience. Barbara's 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. Previously, 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.
Sarah Kline, MSW, LCSW, Senior Residential Program Director
Sarah Kline is Senior Residential Program Director for the Plymouth Meeting program (formerly Silver Springs). Sarah arrived in 2012 with experience working in the child welfare system as well as alternative school and in-home settings. Sarah received her Master's in Social Work from Widener University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Prior to the merger with theVillage, at Silver Springs, Sarah had served as a social worker and trauma therapist in the Residential Treatment Program and, most recently, as the Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement Supervisor. Sarah is committed to excellence and innovation in the services we provide, and to ensuring that evidence based practices are implemented and family-driven care is at the forefront of the Program.
Taylor J. Harris, Senior Residential Program Director
Taylor J. Harris is the Senior Director of Residential Programs in Rosemont (formerly theVillage). Taylor started and ended his educational journey at Cheyney University, where he earned his BA in Criminal Justice, an MS in Adult & Continuing Education, and his M.Ed. in Education Administration. Taylor began his professional career working in Behavioral Health, and has worked in many settings including: Juvenile Detention Centers, Foster Care, and public and charter school systems. Taylor possess an overwhelming desire to improve the lives of youth, and encourages them to see their self-value. Taylor challenges his students to think and act differently, be individuals, and follow a different path not chosen by the negative stigmas of society. Taylor has been able to find success and help put his imprint on thousands of youth throughout Philadelphia. Taylor continues to be a champion for those who feel that they have no voice. He is excited to bring his passion, desire, and energy to Gemma Services, and to blaze a new path for our children and youth.
Eva Morrison, M.A., Martin Luther School Director
Eva Morrison began in her role as Director of Martin Luther School in 2019, having more than 25 years of experience as an educator and educational leader. Eva is responsible for leadership and oversight in Martin Luther School, which provides individualized education for K-8th grade special education students in need of a personalized approach to assist them in reaching their educational goals. Eva has served in various roles throughout her career, most recently as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional Development for the Upper Dublin School District. Eva is passionate about teaching and learning, and committed to facilitating a collegial, student-centered learning environment where both students and staff leave school each day feeling fulfilled. Eva has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Carlow University, K-12 Principal Certification (Pennsylvania) from Delaware Valley University, and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and Teaching from LaSalle University. Eva is a life-long learner who is creative, authentic, and genuinely cares about the educators and students with whom she works.