2017 Leadership Council


Roderick Bremby, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Social Services


Roderick L. Bremby was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS) in March 2011.  The Governor’s nomination of Mr. Bremby for a four-year term as agency head was unanimously confirmed by the Connecticut Senate.  On December 12, 2014, Governor Malloy announced that he intends to re-appoint Commissioner Bremby to a second term as Commissioner. 


During his first four years at the Connecticut Department of Social Services, Commissioner Bremby has directed initiatives in such areas as health care program restructuring, modernization of technology and business processes for improved client service delivery, and implementation of budget and legislative program changes.  The Commissioner has worked with the Governor’s Office, Office of Policy and Management and Department of Administrative Services’ Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology to target reinvestment in the agency’s staffing and technology infrastructure during a time of increased applications and caseloads.



State Representatives


Richard Berry, Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Human Services


Richard A. (Rickey) Berry was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to the position of executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services in January 2012. As executive director he oversees approximately 3,800 employees and the administration of the major state and federal social service programs serving children, families and seniors in all 82 counties of the state.

Prior to serving as executive director, Berry worked twenty-two years with MDHS serving as Personnel Officer, Director of the JOBS Program, and Director of Resource Development where he was a leader in Mississippi’s Welfare Reform effort in the nineties. The eight years prior to becoming executive director, he served as the Deputy Administrator for Programs.

Berry is a graduate of Delta State University and also serves the state on the Mississippi Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, the State Workforce Investment Board and the Executive Board of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System. 

In addition to his employment at MDHS, Berry served eight years with the Mississippi Employment Security Commission and eight years in Human Resources in the private sector. 




Steve Corsi, Director, Missouri Department of Social Services


Prior to joining Wyoming Department of Family Services, Steve Corsi was the Director of High Country Behavioral Health (HCBH), which has offices in Afton, Kemmerer and Pinedale, Wyoming. Although Steve’s ancestors were early pioneers who settled in Wyoming, he was born and raised in Montana. Following high school, he served in the US Air Force for nine years.  While in the Air Force, he received his Bachelor of Science and Masters in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University. Steve went on to achieve his doctorate from Alliant International University in San Diego, California.


Steve and his family moved to Wyoming in the summer of 2004 so their children could be raised in a rural environment. He served as a local school psychologist for four years prior to accepting the Executive Director position at HCBH. Steve helped establish the first felonious mental health court in the US, and has provided mental health services in community mental health inpatient, outpatient, and forensic settings.  




Will Lightbourne, Director, California Department of Social Services

Will Lightbourne was appointed Director of the California Department of Social Services by Governor Jerry Brown in April of 2011. Having served as the director of three county social services agencies as well as being a member of numerous commissions, councils, boards and nonprofits, over the past three decades, he has been deeply involved in a wide range of social welfare issues in California.

Prior to coming to the California Department of Social Services, Will served as Director of the Social Services Agency of the County of Santa Clara for more than ten years. He also served as Executive Director of the Human Services Agency of the City and County of San Francisco, and as Director of the Santa Cruz County Human Services Agency.

Before his role in the public human services field, Will served as General Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, one of the oldest and largest private human services organizations in the Bay Area.




Stephanie Muth, Deputy Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission


Stephanie Muth has overseen eligibility operations and policy in Texas since 2011. She has oversight of over 9,000 employees who serve more than 6 million Texans each year.  She has spearheaded major initiatives to increase program accuracy and efficiency.  She successfully led the transformation from paper-based applications to a robust on-line system.  In 2013, under her leadership, Texas received national recognition for low error rates and improvements in quality in the SNAP program.  In addition from 2011 to 2014 Texas reduced the cost per case by 15 percent resulting in cost avoidance of $80 million.  Ms. Muth has worked in Texas state government for nearly twenty years.  Her career includes working as a legislative aide, in governmental affairs, and as chief of staff to the health and human services commissioner.  She holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas in Austin and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.




Margaret Schultze, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Social Services

The Virginia Department of Social Services touches the lives of thousands of individuals and families in the Commonwealth. Margaret Ross Schultze is committed to ensuring that many of Virginia's most vulnerable residents have access to the services and benefits available to them.

Her experience in state government began in 1997. As director of the gubernatorially appointed Family and Children's Trust Fund, Margaret Schultze raised resources — and awareness — for the prevention and treatment of family violence, including child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse. Her tenure with FACT led to increasingly responsible roles within the Department culminating in her current position as Commissioner.

Ms. Schultze oversees both programmatic and administrative functions within the Virginia Department of Social Services. VDSS is one of the largest Commonwealth agencies, partnering with 120 local departments of social services, along with faith-based and non-profit organizations, to promote the well-being of children and families statewide.

A native of Roanoke, Virginia, she graduated from Hollins University (formerly Hollins College) with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a teacher certification. Prior to her work in human services, she was the Director of Financial Aid for Roanoke College. Margaret and her husband live in Midlothian.


Local Representatives


Uma Ahluwalia, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Maryland

Uma S. Ahluwalia is currently the director of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Health and Human Services. With nearly 1,600 employees, the department is one of the largest agencies in Montgomery County and includes Aging and Disability Services; Behavioral Health and Crisis Services; Children, Youth and Family Services; Public Health Services; and Special Needs Housing. The Fiscal Year 2013 budget for the department is more than $252 million. The department's budget has decreased over the past four years as the county has reacted to the local and national economic conditions. Caseloads for the department in the past four years have risen dramatically as more families and individuals struggle through the tough economy. Ahluwalia holds a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Delhi in India and a specialist post-master's degree in Health Services Administration from George Washington University. Over an 18-year career in human services, she has progressively moved from case-carrying social work to executive leadership at the state and local levels. 




Frank Alexander, Director, Boulder County Housing and Human Services


Mr. Alexander has been the Director of the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services since January 2009, overseeing the merger of the former Housing and Social Services Departments into a fully integrated human services agency that has the Boulder County Housing Authority within its structure as an enterprise fund.  Significant efforts have been applied in developing an agile and flexible financial organization designed to provide point of service solutions within its annual operating and capital budget’s, totaling $120M in 2014. In his time with BCDHHS, he has led a comprehensive system redesign process for Boulder County’s housing and human services system. Outcomes have included: reduction in evictions, foreclosures, incidents of homelessness, hospitalizations, detentions, and out-of-home placements in Boulder County; expansion of benefits service populations by between 65-300%, and growth of front-end family stabilization activities with significantly constrained resources.  Additionally, he has promoted cross-disciplinary systems integration in partnership with the Community Services, Mental Health, and Public Health systems and has developed award-winning, creative programs including public/private partnerships on health care expansion, comprehensive work internships and jobs development programs, housing stabilization and foreclosure prevention programs, Boulder County Healthy Kids and Medical Home Initiatives, early intervention and prevention programming, Colorado PEAK Statewide Training and Toolkit Initiative, housing development programs and partnerships in Human Services/Housing Master Planning processes.  Prior to the merger of Housing and Human Services, Mr. Alexander began serving as the Director of the Boulder County Housing Department in 2004 expanding the assets from $15M to $87M and the operating budget from $8M to $23M today.  He served at the Area Agency on Aging from 1998-2004 working in the elder abuse and ombudsman fields.  Prior to moving to Colorado, he served the chronic homeless population, victims of domestic violence, at-risk children, and families experiencing homelessness in the Philadelphia area.  He has his MPA from University of Colorado, Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Denver, and his BA from Trinity College.  He received the Excellence for Children award from Casey Family Programs in 2012.




Marc Cherna, Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services


Marc Cherna was appointed Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in 1997. This integrated department, with a budget close to $1B, includes five programmatic offices: Aging, Behavioral Health, Children, Youth and Families, Community Services, and Intellectual Disabilities.  Marc’s innovative practice and leadership abilities have garnered him prestigious awards by numerous human service, humanitarian, and civic organizations such as the Betsey R. Rosenbaum Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Administration from the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators; the Urban League’s Ronald H. Brown Civic Leadership Award; the Good Government Award from the League of Women Voters, the Social Work Citizen of the Year from the National Assn. of Social Workers, the Coleman Award for Excellence in Community Service from the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics, the Community Hero Award from UCP CLASS, and most recently, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Leadership from Casey Family Programs.


Marc has more than 40 years of experience in the human services field and serves on many local and national boards including the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work’s Board of Visitors, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics Board of Fellows, the Executive Committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators and the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Community Oversight Board.


Marc received his B.A. degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.S.W. from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. He has three children and six grandchildren.




Lynn Johnson, Executive Director, Jefferson County Human Services

Lynn Johnson currently serves as the Executive Director of Jefferson County Human Services.  This agency includes Divisions of Head Start, Workforce, Career and Family Services (TANF), Children, Youth and Families (Child Welfare), Justice Services, Community Development and Community Assistance which includes Medicaid, Food Assistance and Adult and Aging services.  She is currently on the Executive Committee for the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.  Governor Ritter appointed Mrs. Johnson to the Outcomes Sub-Committee for the Child Welfare Action Commission in 2008. In 1999 she was appointed to Governor Owens’ Task Force on Child Welfare. She also served on Task Forces or Commissions on Welfare Reform, Community Service and Adoption. Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey appointed Mrs. Johnson to serve on the Judicial Commission for Families in the Courts.  She also served as a member of the Supreme Court Nominating Committee.


Prior to this position, Mrs. Johnson ran her own firm consulting on issues pertaining to mental health, high risk youth, developmental disabilities, child welfare and early childhood education. She was the Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Jane E. Norton in 2002 and from 1999 to 2002 was a policy advisor to Governor Bill Owens handling primarily Human Services issues. 


Before joining the Owens administration Mrs. Johnson had “hands on” experience working with families and children. She served as a senior specialist with the United States Courts as a probation and parole officer.  She was responsible for direct supervision of offenders with mental health problems and offenders convicted of sex offenses.  Recognized as an authority on treatment for offenders and their families, Mrs. Johnson consulted with federal judges and case managers across the nation. 


Mrs. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University.  She is a graduate of the Federal Judicial Center National Leadership Development Program.  She is the mother of three children and is actively involved in school, sports and church activities.  Raised in Littleton, Mrs. Johnson now resides with her family in Jefferson County. 




Nick Macchione, F.A.C.H.E., Director, Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego


With 30 years’ experience in the delivery, management and public policy of health and human services, Nick Macchione serves as San Diego County’s Director of the Health and Human Services Agency. He directs a professional workforce of 6,000 employees with a $2 Billion annual operating budget, including 166 citizen advisory boards/commissions and 1,000 contracted community service providers. Under Macchione’s leadership, the Agency has earned state and national recognition for its innovative, cost effective solutions in improving the health, safety and well-being for its one million clients. The Agency is of the largest health and human services networks in the nation, supporting all of its 3.2 million residents residing in San Diego County. With a focus on practical innovation and service integration, Mr.  Macchione directs the delivery of health and social service safety net programs, including public health services; behavioral health services; Medicaid managed care and other safety net health insurance programs, including Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibles; nutrition assistance for the indigent; child and adult protective services; family and community violence prevention, parenting and early childhood development programs, and numerous other services. Mr. Macchione implements policy direction of an elected Board of Supervisors and also oversees the operations of the County’s Psychiatric Hospital; Edgemoor Skilled Nursing Facility (2014 winner of the Silver Achievement in Quality Award by the American Health Care Association); Children’s Emergency Shelter; and a residential high school academy for foster youth.


Throughput his public service career, Mr. Macchione has served as a community-oriented architect, motivating convener, implementer and leader of large scale population-based improvements. Most notably, under his leadership in 2010 the Health and Human Services Agency and the rest of County government embarked on its most bold and ambitious county-wide “social movement” known as Live Well San Diego. This groundbreaking data-driven strategy is a high level, collective impact for population health and social well-being improvement. Live Well San Diego is being implemented  countywide through hundreds of public-private partnerships in building better health, safer living, and economic vitality for all San Diegans. Macchione is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, having previously served a 3-year term as the elected Regent for San Diego and Imperial Counties. He is a Public Health Leadership Scholar with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a Creating Healthier Communities Fellow of the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum. Mr. Macchione serves on numerous regional and national boards, including serving as vice chair of the Milbank Memorial Funds’ Reforming States Group, vice chair of the National Association of Counties’ health committees and executive steering committee for Harvard University’s Human Services Value Curve. Mr. Macchione holds dual masters’ degrees from Columbia University and New York University where he specialized in health services management and health policy. Also, he earned a senior healthcare leadership certificate from Harvard University. For the past 18 years, he has been an active instructor and faculty member at San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health and holds the endowed position of the John Hanlon Executive Scholar for the division of health management and policy.


Affiliate Representatives


Todd Bright (ISM Executive Committee President), Assistant Director, Division of Child Support Services


Todd Bright currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Division of Child Support Services and oversees the Title IV-D state-run child support services program in their mission to increase parental support of children by locating parents, establishing legal fatherhood (paternity), establishing and enforcing fair support orders, increasing health care coverage for children, referring parents to employment services, helping to build healthy family relationships, supporting responsible fatherhood and helping to prevent and reduce family violence. 


Todd began at DES in 1993 and has worked as Information Systems Audit Manager within the Division of Employee Services and Support, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Assistant Director for the Division of Child Support Services, and Assistant Director for the Divisions of Technology Services and Business and Finance. He has a Bachelor's of Science in Accounting and Management Information Systems and holds the following certifications: Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM). 


Todd is the Executive Committee President for the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), IT Solutions Management for Human Services (ISM), and has been a member of ISM since September 2002.




Todd R. Bland (NASTA Chair), Deputy Director, Welfare-to-Work Division, California Department of Social Services


Todd R. Bland is currently the deputy director of the Welfare-to-Work Division at the California Department of Social Services. He is responsible for ongoing oversight of the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), CalFresh (formerly food stamps), Program Integrity (PIB) and Child Care and Refugee Program (CCRPB), along with associated Automation Systems. 

Prior to holding his current position, Bland was deputy legislative analyst of the Health and Human Services Section at California's Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), where he supervised all budget and policy analysis pertaining to health and social services. Previously, Bland was LAO's principal welfare analyst and prepared detailed budget analyses of the CalWORKs program, CalFresh and the Supplemental Security Incomes/State Supplementary Program. 

Earlier in his career Bland was a project manager at Economic and Planning Systems and a performance auditor at the Office of the Auditor General. Bland also served on the National Conference of State Legislatures Executive Committee on Welfare Reform Reauthorization from 2001 through 2005.

Bland holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard; and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Yale. 




Jim McTague (President of NAPIPM), New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Bureau of Audit and Quality Improvement


Jim McTague is the Director of Eligibility and Quality Assurance for the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), Bureau of Audit and Quality Improvement.  Jim has over 30 years of service with OTDA and the majority of this time has been in the Audit area.  In his current position, Jim is responsible for the SNAP Quality Control program and TANF/MOE Data Collection in NYS. 


Jim currently serves as the President of the National Association for Program Information and Performance Measurement (NAPIPM), which is an affiliate of the APHSA.  NAPIPM’s mission is to promote and enhance excellence and integrity in the development, collection, analysis, and evaluation of program data, outcomes and performance information for use in informed decision making, planning, and administration of public human services programs. 


Jim also serves on the APHSA Affiliate Presidents' Council.




Mical Peterson (President of AAICPC), Deputy Compact Administrator, Minnesota Department of Human Services


Mical Peterson currently serves as a deputy compact administrator for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, where she works on a wide variety of tasks with the primary goal of finding permanency for Minnesota children. Peterson previously served on the AAICPC Executive Committee as a member-at-large from 2011 to 2013 when she was elected as the AAICPC President.


Born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, Peterson attended Humboldt State University in California. After earning her degree in Child Development and Social Work, she moved to Florida before coming back to Minnesota. Peterson has been an employee of the Minnesota Department of Human Services for eight years, has worked in the Licensing Division and has experience in the private sector with adoptions and family preservation work. Five years ago, she began her work with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children as a deputy compact administrator. 




Greg Rose (President of NAPCWA), Deputy Director, Children and Family Services Division, California Department of Social Services


Currently, Greg Rose is serving as the deputy director of the Children and Family Services Division. Rose joined the California Department of Social Services in 1995 and his assignments have spanned a range of responsibilities that have included being chief of the Resources Development and Training Support Bureau, chief of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention and the assistant deputy director of the Children and Family Services Division. 

He is the president of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Child Welfare and is on the national advisory committees for the Human Rights Campaign: All Children, All Families and the Chadwick Trauma-Informed Systems Project. 

Prior to his state service, Rose held casework and managerial positions with organizations that served runaway and homeless youth, pregnant and parenting youth and those living with HIV/AIDS. He also worked for a gang diversion program. 

Rose graduated with honors from the California State University, Sacramento with a Masters in Social Work and a focus in community organizing, planning and administration. 

Rose brings with him a wealth of experience in human services and in the area of child maltreatment. 



Kathie Wright (Immediate Past President of AASD), Programs Manager, SNAP-LIHEAP Section, Oklahoma Department of Human Services


Kathie Wright has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) for 34 years.  She began her OKDHS career in 1981 as an AFDC caseworker handling multiple program administration and then promoted in 1989 to a Food Stamp Program supervisor position.  In 1997 she joined the state office Family Support Services Division as a program field representative responsible for the state-wide administration of the Food Stamp Program.  Mrs. Wright began in her current position, programs manager over the Food Stamp, now officially renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and LIHEAP programs, in 2002.  Mrs. Wright is a member of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and the immediate past president of the national American Association of SNAP Directors (AASD) affiliate.  She received a BA degree in Social Work from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK, in 1974.  



Kate Jones Kelley (NSDTA), Deputy Director, Employment Services, Merced County Human Services Agency






Howard Pallota (AAHHSA), Department of Vermont Health Access








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