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Joann Björnson, LSW, holds over three decades of experience in the human service field and is currently the CEO of Family Promise of Morris County. Throughout her 18 years with the agency, she has helped it grow into a stable, sustainable organization which positively impacts Morris County’s most vulnerable each day. Joann holds a degree in Sociology from Bloomfield College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham University. She has worked with homelessness and mental health in Morris County since 1994.
Joann is deeply passionate about community organizing and advocacy. Whether she is forging lasting partnerships with local organizations or simply engaging with our community, she believes relationships and collaboration are key to bridging gaps and making an impact. She credits her father, a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, with teaching her how to be an impactful leader, the importance of trusting your instincts, and that people and relationships are the most important assets.
Joann is a member of the Lead Morris Alumni Association, the Morris County Board of Commissioners Advisory Committee on Women, and most recently Impact 100; she formerly chaired Morris County’s Continuum of Care Coordinated Entry Committee and serves on several county committees.
Joann Bjornson, LSW
Chief Executive Officer
Allison Wise, LCSW, began her journey with Family Promise of Morris County in 2011 and is currently the Chief Program Officer. Throughout this time, she has witnessed great growth in the agency—specifically throughout the pandemic—for which she is deeply proud. She is especially honored to share that our team served more individuals in 2022 than any other year in Family Promise’s history! Ally is excited about the future of housing as it relates to healthcare. Most recently, she has renewed her focus on the connection between selfcare and its impact on the work she does at Family Promise.
Ally is a graduate of Fordham University, where she received her Master of Social Work, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Jersey. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, cycling and traveling. Any chance she can get to be out in the sunshine or zoo, she takes! Her friends and family are key to her happiness outside of work.
Allison Wise, LCSW
Chief Program Officer
Becca Butz, LCSW, joined Family Promise of Morris County in 2012 as a Master of Social Work intern from Fordham University. She went on to obtain her license in clinical social work (LCSW) while working at FP and other local organizations providing counseling to adults, youth, and families. Becca has worked directly with FP’s Shelter, Housing, and Outreach Programs during her time at the agency. Becca’s ten years of hands-on experience across programs prepared her for her new role as Chief Operating Officer starting in June 2022.
She also chairs the Morris County Community Assistance Services Committee, a subcommittee of the Morris County Continuum of Care that coordinates the county’s response to the crisis of homelessness. Becca is passionate about systems work and spreading the loving, generous spirit that makes Family Promise so special. This is how we create true, lasting change in our Morris County community and beyond!
Rebecca Butz, LCSW
Chief Operating Officer
Diane Sudo began her journey with Family Promise of Morris County as a part-time Bookkeeper, which quickly grew into a full-time position. Originally working with a major corporation in the for-profit sector, Diane's responsibilities, at a management level, focused on financial statement preparation, analysis, and budgeting. Over time, she desired to work for an organization that gave back to the community, and which shared the mission of making a difference in people’s lives. The combination of her personal and career goals positioned her to transition into her current role as the Director of Finance at Family Promise
Diane has a BS from Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she majored in Accounting and Finance and minored in Business Administration. She also holds a certificate in Certified Management Accounting. Throughout her career, she has volunteered with many organizations, primarily in a treasurer’s capacity for town and church youth organizations.
Diane lives in Hopatcong, NJ, where she enjoys living near the lake and many outdoor activities. As an exercise enthusiast, she spends most weekends outside riding her bike or hiking local trails with her friends and family.
Director of Finance
Laura Giorgi started with Family Promise of Morris County in 2017 as a Housing Case Manager. Since then, she has held several positions with the agency, including Coordinated Entry Case Manager, Our Promise Coordinator, and currently, the Director of Housing Programs. She currently serves as the Co-Chair for the Morris County Coordinated Entry Committee and also leads the Coordinated Entry Shelter Work Group.
Laura received her BA in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from the University of West Florida. Prior to Family Promise, she worked in a variety of social service fields including child protective services, mental health, court appointed special advocates (CASA), and with youth aging out of foster care. In her current role, she draws upon twenty years of experience, allowing her to connect with clients in a meaningful way while implementing and maintaining effective housing solutions.
Laura spends her free time with her favorite people—her three children, niece, nephew, and rescue dog, Skipper. She enjoys traveling, the beach, Walt Disney World, and most of all, Bruce Springsteen.
Director of Housing Programs
Rebekah Thorpe, LSW, has been passionate about serving those without a place to call home since high school. She began by spreading awareness about social justice issues and went on to form a volunteer group dedicated to serving vulnerable populations at Crown College in Minnesota, where she received her undergraduate degree.
In 2019, Rebekah graduated with her Master of Social Work degree from Campbellsville University and is now a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in the state of New Jersey. In 2021, she began working for Family Promise as a Resource Navigator and has since transitioned to the role of Director of Outreach Programs.
Rebekah lives in North Jersey with her husband Tim, and their two cats, Fitz and Greiner. In her free time, she can be found enjoying nature, volunteering with children, or spending time with her Church family.
Rebekah Thorpe, LSW
Director of Outreach Programs
Lana Ubinski, LSW, is the Director of Rapid Rehousing and Diversion Programs at Family Promise of Morris County. She is also the director of the Promising Solutions Program for single women. Lana began working with Family Promise in June 2021 when she launched her division, playing a key role in building the programs from the ground up.
Lana has a decade of experience working in the areas of domestic violence, housing, and workforce development. She holds both a master’s degree (MA) in Women and Gender Studies and a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) from Rutgers University. She is a licensed Social Worker in the State of New Jersey (LSW) and holds professional certificates in Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) and Human Services Management. She is also a SIFI-certified field instructor/supervisor which allows her to work closely with social work students completing internships.
Outside of her professional roles, Lana enjoys spending time with her family and cats, loves “anything near water,” and is passionate about and active in feminist and social justice causes.
Lana S. Ubinski, MA, MSW, LSW
Director of Rapid Rehousing and Diversion
Laurice Carbonell started with Family Promise as an Administrative Assistant in 2019 and transitioned to Director of Operations in the fall of 2020.
She had spent years at home raising her two children until it was time to rejoin the workforce. Determined to find a role that was meaningful and would have a positive impact in the community, she found her way to Family Promise, where she brings a diverse background and varied work experiences to the Operations Team.
Laurice graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor of Sociology. She spent her early career in social work, then as a massage therapist, jewelry designer, art teacher, and finally an office manager for her husband’s landscape design firm in NYC.
Outside of work you can find Laurice parenting two wild and amazing teenagers, meditating, hiking, biking, going to concerts, experimenting with new recipes, and dreaming about travelling the globe. Laurice lives in Montclair, NJ, with her husband, kids, dog, and tripod kitty.
Director of Operations
Alanna Angulo, LSW, began her journey with Family Promise as an Emergency Shelter Intern in 2018 and accepted a position as an Outreach Case Manager shortly after. She proudly received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Seton Hall University (go Pirates!) and a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University.
Following graduation, Alanna earned professional licensure as a social worker (LSW). She soon after started as the Family Engagement Specialist for the Dover Public School District, where she helped connect families to available and local resources.
Alanna returned to Family Promise in May 2022 as a Case Manager on the Promising Solutions campus, where she is constantly reminded of the importance of being part of a community. She is currently a Co-Chair of FP's DEIA Committe. In her free time, she enjoys baking and watching hours of reality television.
Alanna Angulo, LSW
Promising Solutions Case Manager
Anastasia Arvanites is the Development & Community Relations Associate at Family Promise. A graduate of Ithaca College, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies and a minor in Business Administration.
Anastasia began her career as part of the Arts Education Curriculum & Evaluation Department at NJPAC in Newark. She later worked as a publicist for musical artists and festivals at Kirshbaum Associates Inc. With a passion for engaging with her community, Anastasia returned to the nonprofit sector in early 2021, when she joined the FP Impact Team. She is currently a Co-Chair for FP’s DEIA Committee.
Anastasia is a recent graduate of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Morris Program. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and writing; she is deeply passionate about issues of social justice.
Development and Community Relations Associate
Charles Wilson joined the team at Family Promise of Morris County in 2018 and is currently the Operations Associate. Charles splits his time between Family Promise’s Day Center and Our Promise Drop-In Center in downtown Morristown, where he supports the agency as a member of the Operations Team. His main duties include maintenance of the buildings, landscaping, painting, and other supportive tasks where needed.
Charles really enjoys working for Family Promise and helping the community. He appreciates the respect he feels from fellow staff members.
Charles grew up in Sussex County and graduated from Sussex County Technical School many years ago. He enjoys theater, bowling, and sporting events.
Gloria Carpio, BSW, joined Family Promise of Morris County as a Housing Case Manager in July 2022, working closely with the Rapid Re-Housing and Landlord Support Programs.
She is a recent graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in Social Work and minor in Social Justice in May 2022.
For fun, Gloria loves to bake, sing, read, travel, and spend time around her friends, family, and church. Much of her free time is spent rating movies with her husband, Chris, and taking care of their dogs, Cai (pronounced Chai) and Kuro. She hopes to continue serving others throughout her work at Family Promise and is excited to see what the future holds.
Gloria Carpo, BSW
Housing Case Manager
Megan is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Social Work through Rutgers University. Having started as an intern at Family Promise of Morris County’s Our Promise's Drop-In Center, she officially joined the team as a Housing Case Manager in 2023.
Megan’s passion for fair housing opportunities began in 2013, when she cycled over 4,000 miles across the U.S. (New Hampshire to Vancouver, BC) to raise funds and awareness for affordable housing through the non-profit Bike & Build. She is so excited to be working for an organization which helps meet individuals' housing needs on a daily basis!
In her spare time Megan likes to be outside (from April - October only!) with her family and friends, hiking, BBQing, and enjoying the sunshine.
Housing Case Manager
Nubia Gomez started her role with Family Promise of Morris County in December of 2021. She is the Bookkeeper for the organization.
Prior to her role at Family Promise, Nubia was the Systems Coordinator for a local non-profit where she worked for 4 years and implemented new systems for the organization. She received a BA in Justice Studies from Saint Elizabeth University. She currently lives in Randolph, NJ, with her family. In her free time, Nubia enjoys playing soccer, exercising, and spending time with her children.
Sophy Alicea, MSW, started her journey with Family Promise of Morris County in October 2022 as a Navigating Hope Resource Navigator.
She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University and is preparing to take her LSW (Licensed Social Worker). Sophy lives in Budd Lake, NJ, with her husband and enjoys cooking, trying different types of foods, and spending time with her family.
Sophy Alicea, MSW
Navigating Hope Resource Navigator
Taylor Liggeri joined Family Promise of Morris County as the Community Support Program Case Manager in May 2022. Before starting her role at the agency, Taylor worked as a teacher’s assistant at a preschool in Cedar Grove, NJ, for three years.
Taylor received her Associates of Art degree from the County College of Morris in December 2021 and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in Business Administration with a minor in Social Work from Montclair State University. Taylor has always had a passion for helping others. She began schooling as a Criminal Justice major, which later sparked her interest in social work. Working at FP has allowed Taylor to expand her passions and impact people’s lives in a positive manner—which is an ultimate goal in her life.
In Taylor’s free time, she loves spending time with family, friends and her two dogs, Harley and Ginger. On the weekends, she enjoys playing the ukulele, painting, and hiking.
Community Support Program Case Manager
Amanda Sears, MSW, began her journey with Family Promise of Morris County in 2019 as an intern during her Master Level Social Work Program. In 2021, she received her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. Despite the pandemic occurring at the time, she continued to intern with Family Promise in their Outreach and Shelter Programs. Upon graduating, Amanda knew she wanted to work full time with Family Promise and accepted a role as the Motel Shelter Case Manager and Coordinated Entry Housing Navigator.
Amanda is scheduled to take her licensing exam in June of 2023 to become a Licensed Social Worker (LSW). She also works part-time as Behavioral Assistant specializing in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. During her free time, she enjoys going for runs/hikes, playing with her dog, and loves the beach.
Amanda Sears, MSW
Motel Shelter Case Manager/Coordinated Entry Housing Navigator
Ann-Marie Castagna joined Family Promise of Morris County as an Outreach Resource Navigator in early 2023. Much of her time is spent supporting community members at Our Promise Drop-In Center, but she also works closely with the Diversion Program.
In 2018, Ann-Marie graduated with honors from Arizona State University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on Family and Human Development, as well as a certificate in Homeland Security. She has many years of experience working within local communities, including her own Morris County community, where she was born and raised.
Ann-Marie is both excited and proud to be part of a team where she can bring her talents and be supported and inspired by her Family Promise teammates. Serving others and the community is a strong passion of hers and she looks forward to seeing what the future holds.
Outreach Resource Navigator
Francesca Lawrence, BSW, began her work with Family Promise of Morris County in 2021 as a Rapid Rehousing Case Manager. Before that, she worked as a case manager at a youth homeless shelter in Newark, NJ, where she became passionate for serving those experiencing homelessness. Francesca earned her bachelor’s degree in social work at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and is currently enrolled at Rutgers University to obtain her Master of Social Work degree.
Since starting as a case manager at Family Promise, Francesca has shifted roles into the new Landlord Support Program Coordinator. While taking on this role, she has also become a certified Housing Quality Standards Inspector.
Francesca is from Morris County and enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with loved ones. She loves her dog and enjoys taking him to work with her.
Francesca Lawrence, BSW
Landlord Support Program Coordinator
Linda Diffley became a part-time staff member at Family Promise in January of 2019 after retiring from her previous corporate career in Global Operations and Manufacturing Management. She is currently the Housing Resource Specialist at Family Promise, where she is also responsible for Grant Administration.
Linda is a graduate of Keystone College, where she earned her AS in Business Management. She also holds a BS in Operations Management from Susquehanna University and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
Outside of work, Linda is active on both a private and non-profit Board of Directors. She is also an active volunteer at several non-profits in New Jersey. Her favorite activity is spending time with her family and friends.
Housing Resource Specialist/Grant Administration
Nora Godown first became involved with Family Promise of Morris County in 2016 as a volunteer through the Emergency Shelter Program.
While earning a degree in psychology, in 2019, she was thrilled to fulfill her internship requirement at Family Promise while working with the Director of Development. She then joined the staff part time as Congregation Coordinator, and in 2021, took on her full-time role of Community Engagement Coordinator.
Nora received her BS in Psychology from Liberty University, is a member of Toastmasters International, and teaches trauma recovery classes. She is from Chester, NJ, and has three grown children and two dogs. In her free time, Nora enjoys the outdoors, running, playing pickleball, hiking, and scouting out quaint coffee shops.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Savannah Voelbel, LSW, began her journey with Family Promise of Morris County as an intern in 2017, before transitioning to a staff member role as a CSP Case Manager in 2018. Savannah continued working part-time at FP in various roles while she completed her master’s degree. In 2020, she graduated with her MSW from Ramapo College of New Jersey and soon after earned her LSW. In 2020, Savannah began her full-time role as the Program Coordinator of Emergency Shelter and Coordinated Entry. In June of 2022, she transitioned into her current role as Promising Solutions Program Coordinator.
Savannah is a proud dog mom of her Shiba Inu, Bentley. She also works as a part-time Rhythmic Gymnastics coach in Morris Plains where she spends her time teaching little ones ballet & gymnastics. Savannah enjoys spending her free time with her loved ones & practicing pilates.
Savannah Voelbel, LSW
Promising Solutions Program Coordinator
Tania Novak joined the team at Family Promise of Morris County in 2021. She is currently the Housing Locator and supports families and individuals in their housing search through the Rapid Rehousing and Housing Programs.
Wendy Miller joined Family Promise of Morris County as a volunteer in 2011. Not long after, in 2014, she transitioned to a full-time staff role, starting in the position of Office Assistant and now as Office Manager.
Wendy is so grateful to work alongside staff who are passionate about helping and advocating for people impacted by homelessness. She is inspired and motivated everyday by the resilience and strength of the people Family Promise serves who are overcoming some of life’s biggest obstacles.
Wendy resides in Morris County. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to garage sales and flea markets, and spending time outdoors.
When Michele Caruso, BSW, moved to Morris County in 2016, her goal was to continue her work with at-risk families and individuals. Family Promise was the perfect fit for her. As a staff volunteer, one of Michele's most gratifying achievements to date is the creation of the Making Moves Matter program. On the day Family Promise residents move into their new home, one that they have been waiting for and working toward, the Making Moves Matter team of volunteers arrives with all of the necessary household items. They clean, make the beds, set up the kitchen, stock the fridge, and create a welcoming and safe living space.
Michele is the proud recipient of the 2018 Greenberg Traurig Community Impact award. She is so grateful to be a part of the talented and compassionate Family Promise team. Michele enjoys taking walks with her dog, spending quality time as a new Grandma (LaLa) with her grandchild and her (self-care) workouts with Peloton.
Making Moves Matter Coordinator
Kara Pollard first began volunteering with Family Promise in 2015 when her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop made healthy casseroles to stock freezers of FP Guests moving into their new homes. Encouraged by the positive feedback, she and her children have continued providing casseroles to Making Moves Matter.
Currently, Kara meets with residents to provide one-on-one financial education via The New Beginnings curriculum. The primary goal is to empower residents to take control of their finances allowing them to save more and plan for their future. Residents learn about budgeting, smart spending habits, credit reports, banking, taxes, and workforce development. The program teaches critical financial literacy competencies which encourages fiscal security.
Kara enjoys playing tennis with her husband, any type of board game with her children, and relaxing with family and friends.
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