Board of Trustees
William C. Andrews
Richard L. Strouse
Janice A. Vogt
Clifford P. Haugen
Kristen E.M. Gay
Phyllis A. Handley
James L. Allison
Jodi S. Donohue
C. Andrew Krepps, Jr.
Connie L. Murphy
Nina V. Rogers
Nefertiri R. Sickout
Denise M. Stearns
David C. Toner
Kristen E.M. Gay, PhD, 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 Plump 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. Nielson, Human Resources Director
Barbara Nielson 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. 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. 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 liaison 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 has 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.
Wendy Wait, Chief Financial Officer
Wendy Wait joined Silver Springs as Chief Financial Officer in November 2017 and brings 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, Wendy oversees financial operations and provides leadership for finance-related matters. Wendy attended Penn State University and graduated with a B.S. with Honors in Accounting and Finance.
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.
Sarah Kline, MSW, LCSW, Senior Residential Program Director
Sarah Kline came to Silver Springs 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. At Silver Springs, Sarah has previously 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.
Eva Morrison, M.A., Martin Luther School Director
Eva Morrison joined Silver Springs – Martin Luther School in 2019 as Director of Martin Luther School, having more than 25 years of experience as an educator and educational leader. Eva provides leadership and oversight for 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.
Lynn Unipan, MSW, CFRE, Development Director
Lynn Unipan 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 from the University of Southern California and has prior experience as a clinical social worker in residential and outpatient mental health settings. A Certified Fund Raising Executive, Lynn is committed to advancing the mission of Silver Springs through building external partnerships and philanthropic giving. Named Development Director in 2015, 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).
Dean Martella, Information Management Director
As Information Management Director, Dean Martella 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.