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Staff

For general information, please call our main number at 973.998.0820 or email us at info@familypromisemorris.org

Leadership Team

About Joann

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

About Allison

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

About Rebecca

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

Management Team

About Diane

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.

Diane Sudo

Director of Finance

About Laura

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.

Laura Giorgi

Director of Housing Programs

About Rebekah

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

About Lana

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

About Laurice

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.

Laurice Carbonell

Director of Operations

Staff

About Alanna

Alanna Gonzalez, LSW, began her journey with Family Promise as an Emergency Shelter Intern in 2018. 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.

After gaining experience working alongside community members to help them achieve housing stability, Alanna shifted her focus to development work, contributing to the agency's marketing efforts, social media management, and fundraising. Additionally, she serves as the Marketing Lead for local soccer club, Cabras Football Club, seamlessly blending her love for sports with community engagement.

Alanna serves as the chairperson of FPMC's DEIA Committee and as the Administrative Coordinator of the Morris County Continuum of Care's Community Assistance Services subcommittee. In her free time, she enjoys baking and going to the movies.

Alanna Gonzalez, LSW

Development and Community Relations Associate

About Charles

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.

Charles Wilson

Operations Associate

About Linda

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.

Linda Diffley

Housing Resource Specialist/Grant Administration

About Savannah

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 the role as Promising Solutions Program Coordinator.

Savannah is a proud dog mom of her Shiba Inu, Bentley and Mini Goldendoodle, Ellie. 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

Interim Community Engagement Coordinator

About Tania

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.

Tania Novak

Housing Locator

About Wendy

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.

Wendy Miller

Office Manager

About Amanda

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 works part-time as a Behavioral Assistant specializing in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. During her free time, she enjoys running/hiking, playing with her dog, and going to the beach.

Amanda Sears, MSW

Motel Shelter Case Manager/Coordinated Entry Housing Navigator

About Francesca

Francesca Lawrence, MSW, 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 earned her master's degree in social work at Rutgers University.

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, MSW

Landlord Support Program Coordinator

About Nubia

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.

Nubia Gomez

Bookkeeper

About Sophy

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

About Taylor

Taylor joined FPMC as a 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 for three years.

Taylor received her Associate of Arts degree from the County College of Morris in 2021 and plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in social work from Montclair State University. Working at FPMC has allowed Taylor to expand her passions and have a positive impact on the lives of people in her community.

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.

Taylor Liggeri

Community Support Program Case Manager

Volunteers

About Kara

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.

Kara Pollard

Staff Volunteer

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