Give
Harmony house casa headder 3

Staff


karen_biernacki.jpg Karen Biernacki - Chief Executive Officer

While taking a Social Work class at Purdue University North Central in 1989, my research led me to NationalCASA and the concept of utilizing volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. In January of 1991, I became the first Director of the agency. I received a degree from Indiana University in 1999 and a Mediation License in 2002 from Valparaiso University. Currently, I am a member of the Child Abuse Advisory Team, Family Court Advisory Board, Juvenile Court Advisory Board, the Domestic Violence Task Force, Women in Management, Kiwanis, and the League of Women Voters. I also serve as an appointed member to the Indiana Commission on Abused and Neglected Children and Their Families and the Advisory Commission for GAL/CASA to the Indiana Supreme Court. Contact me at kbiernacki@lpfamilyadvocates.com


2007-09-13_19.19.02.jpg Maggie Fritzen - Executive Assistant

I started working at Family Advocates in June 2014 after getting my Bachelor's Degree from Purdue University North Central in Marketing. Family Advocates is the perfect fit for me because it allows me to do work I love for people who need it. Prior to working at Family Advocates I worked at IU Health La Porte Hospital while working on my degree. I look forward to every day and every event the organization offers to continue my growth. Contact me at mfritzen@lpfamilyadvocates.com


lindsay_malik.jpg

Lindsay Malik - CASA Program Director for La Porte County

I am Lindsay Malik, the CASA Program Director. I started at Harmony House/ CASA in February 2013. Prior to coming to Harmony House I did case management for Family Court with La Porte County Circuit Court. I graduated from Purdue University North Central with my Bachelor's Degree in Social Work in 2012. I was a CASA volunteer before coming to work here at Harmony House/ CASA. Contact me at LMalik@lpfamilyadvocates.com


Katie Kester - CASA Program Coordinator for La Porte County/ Guardian Ad Litem

Contact me at KKester@lpfamilyadvocates.com




Elissa Affeld - CASA Program Guardian Ad Litem for La Porte County

In 2016, I graduated with an Associate of Science in Human Services, and I became a Board Certified Human Services Practitioner. In 2018, I will hold a Bachelor's of Social Work. My husband and I blended our families in 2012, and now we have four amazing little girls. I started as an intern for the Harmony House program, and soon after I accepted the Guardian ad Litem position with the CASA program. My passion fighting for the best interests of the children I serve, Contact me at eaffeld@lpfamilyadvocates.com.


Tracey Pollock - CASA Program Guardian Ad Litem for La Porte County

In 2009, I graduated from Indiana University Northwest with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and minors in Psychology and Sociology. My husband and I started a family in 2010 and we now have 3 beautiful daughters. While being a stay-at-home mother, I developed a strong passion for wanting to help abused and neglected children, so I began volunteering as a CASA in 2015. I became the voice for the child. A position opened as a Staff Guardian ad Litem and I was hired in 2016. I really enjoy working with these children and advocating for their best interests. Contact me at tpollock@lpfamilyadvocates.com


brenda_stellema.jpg

Brenda Stellema - CAYA Program Director

After the company I worked for closed due to being purchased by an overseas company, I went back to school after 29 years to pursue a college degree. During my education, I was exposed to many people who helped strengthen my desire to serve my community. Serving as an Officer for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Board Member for Keys to Hope Resource Center for the Homeless has given me opportunities to put into action what I have learned. I served on the Board for Harmony House/CASA for a short time when the opportunity arose to develop a program for the at-risk youth in our community in July, 2013. Experience tempered with my education has created a perfect fit for the CAYA program. Please contact me with any interest you may have in the program. Contact me at bstellema@lpfamilyadvocates.com

cheryl_highsmith.jpg

Cheryl Highsmith - Harmony House Program Director

I started working with Harmony House/CASA in February 2005. I first began working as a visit supervisor, then was promoted to Harmony House Program Coordinator in September 2005, and most recently to my current position as Harmony House Program Director. I love working with families and watching their interaction. Before coming to Harmony House I worked at Christian Haven, Inc. working with at-risk youth for eleven years. Contact me at chighsmith@lpfamilyadvocates.com


lesley_lefeber.jpg

Lesley Lefeber - Harmony House Program Coordinator

My career began with Harmony House in 2006 as a visit supervisor. I continue to enjoy working with families through the supervised visitation program. In fall 2013, I accepted the position of Harmony House Program Coordinator. As I enjoy the added responsibility, I am still able to work one-on-one with families to work towards the goal of a better future for all. Contact me at LLefeber@lpfamilyadvocates.com


Harmony House - Visit Facilitators

  • Alix Zimmermann
  • Michelle Stoewer
  • Kylie Foster
  • Kayla Caves
  • Jennifer DeVeax

For questions or concerns regarding a supervised visit, contact chighsmith@lpfamilyadvocates.com

banana.jpg

Banana - Therapy Cat - We are sad to say goodby to our sweet Banana who left us at the age of 15 on April 7, 2017. She will be missed and continue in the hearts of our staff and families forever.

In February, 2008, I was adopted by Harmony House/CASA Program from the Maple City Animal Hospital. This is my fifth and forever home now. I have lots of friends that come and visit me on a regular basis and I love my new family. I have even been a great mouse deterrent so I am working for my keep.