Bob CecilPrincipal, Business Services Transformation Leader, KPMG LLP
Bob Cecil is a Partner at KPMG where he helps some of the world’s most respected companies transform their business services. He has particular expertise in leading complex multifunctional global improvement initiatives across a variety of general and administrative services such as Finance, HR, IT, and Procurement. He keeps abreast of leading practices and market trends from participation in industry advisory councils, facilitation of various conferences and forums, and sponsorship of research.
Bob was a founder of three consulting firms prior to the acquisition of one of these firms by KPMG. He holds a MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.
Bob and his wife live in Great Falls, Virginia and have three children. Two of their children are adopted which drew Bob to the special mission of Adoptions Together building lifelong family connections.
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Alyssa Hermann Applebaum
Alyssa Hermann ApplebaumVice President – Commercial Relationship Manager, Sandy Spring Bank
Alyssa has worked in the financial services industry since 2014. As a commercial lender at Sandy Spring Bank, she helps local businesses grow and is passionate about making the community a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Alyssa lives in DC with her boyfriend, Aaron, an international trade attorney at Sidley Austin. Both Alyssa and Aaron have been profoundly affected by the positive impact that adoption can have. They discovered Adoptions Together after moving to the area and seeking involvement with an organization whose mission they are both deeply committed to. Alyssa is also a member of the Impact Committee at N Street Village, a community of empowerment and recovery for women.
Originally from St. Louis, Alyssa received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Saint Louis University. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, photography, and outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, golfing, and scuba diving.
Mary Lynn AlbertiProduct Development Director, Single-Family Strategic Delivery division, Freddie Mac
Mary Lynn Alberti is product development director in the Single-Family Strategic Delivery division. She is responsible for the technology planning and implementation of enhancements to the Single-Family loan delivery system and is accountable for implementing and maintaining the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD).
Ms. Alberti leads several business transformation efforts focused on improving loan delivery quality while providing greater transparency to customers. Her team is accountable for managing industry-wide transformation efforts and collaborating with external and internal business partners to define solutions to address customer and Freddie Mac needs.
A veteran of over 30 years in the financial services and technology delivery fields, she joined Freddie Mac in 1993, and again in 2000, and has held a variety of leadership roles within the Single-Family organization. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Ms. Alberti held leadership positions with Mellon Bank and FiServe.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in information systems from Duquesne University.
Nick BrennanSenior Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Nick was first introduced to Adoptions Together 9 years ago when he served as a reference for a friend’s home study. Since that time, Nick and his husband, PJ, sought the agency’s services in helping to create their family and adopt their two sons.
For the past seventeen years, Nick has honed his skills as a fundraising and marketing professional with leading arts, cultural, human service, and educational organizations, including Arena Stage, the National Cathedral, the Levine School of Music, the National Endowment for the Arts and United Cerebral Palsy. Nick currently serves as the Senior Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. Originally from western Massachusetts, Nick has been in the Washington, DC area since receiving his Bachelors of Music in Musical Theatre from Catholic University. Nick is currently pursuing graduate work in nonprofit management and leadership at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.
Nick and his family live in College Park, where Nick serves as the Chair of the College Park Community Foundation and has previously served on several city volunteer committees. Nick enjoys running (7 half marathons to date), cooking plant-based meals, and keeping up with his very energetic boys.
Thomas R. BurtonChief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Alex. Brown Realty
Thomas Burton is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer at Alex. Brown Realty (“ABR”). Mr. Burton has been associated with ABR since 1992 and is a member of its Board of Directors. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Burton was employed at USF&G and Ernst & Whinney.
Mr. Burton received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from the University of Maryland. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. Mr. Burton is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, where he serves on the Small Scale Development Council, and a Supporting Member of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School. Mr. Burton is also member of Gamma Chi Foundation for Education, as well as the Board of Governors for the Maryland Club. Mr. Burton has previously served as an Adjunct Professor in graduate real estate programs at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University.
Amy ChoiSenior Enterprise Service Manager, Amazon
Amy has supported Adoptions Together for nearly eight years in various capacities on the Board. The mission of Adoptions Together had been part of Amy’s family since she was a child, when her parents were involved with an adoptions organization.
Her parents, who emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea, worked with adoptive parents who have adopted children from East Asia as they assimilate to their new family and home. Amy learned from engaging with these children how brave yet lonely it is to not speak the same language or eat the same food as their family.
Fast forward decades later, Amy sought out Adoptions Together, who carried out the mission of creating families. Amy is currently a Senior Enterprise Service Manager at Amazon.
Jason A. DeLoachSenior Litigation Attorney
Vice-President, Government Relations
Jason A. DeLoach joined Alexander & Cleaver in 1995 when he was a law student and joined the firm as an attorney in 1997. Jason has extensive litigation experience in State and Federal Courts. In addition to his litigation experience trying civil, commercial and auto accident cases, Jason has extensive experience in administrative/regulatory law where he routinely practices before Liquor Boards and other administrative/regulatory agencies in Maryland. He currently represents one of the nation's largest chain drug stores in complex alcoholic beverage licensing and compliance, pharmacy compliance, and other administrative and legal proceedings throughout Maryland. Jason has extensive experience in regulatory matter, and has been voted by his peers as a Super Lawyer in the area of administrative law for the past 9 years. Jason has also handled complicated administrative appeals on issues involving alcoholic beverages, unemployment insurance tax, sales and use tax, and insurance issues.
Jason also heads the firm’s Wills and Estates Practice Group. In this capacity, he advises clients on wills, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives. Jason also handles the administration of decedent’s estates, large and small.
Jason has considerable experience representing health care providers before disciplinary boards and other administrative agencies. Jason negotiates and drafts commercial leases on behalf of his business clients. In addition, Jason has handled criminal and serious traffic matters.
Jason also has an extensive municipal law practice and currently serves as Town/City Attorney for the following municipalities: Brentwood, Fairmount Heights, New Carrollton, and Seat Pleasant. In representing municipalities since 2003, he has handled, among other things, labor and employment matters, election issues, litigation, contract matters, police issues, and has drafted numerous ordinances, resolutions charter amendment, and contracts.
In addition to practicing law, Jason is in leadership positions on several boards and associations, serves as a volunteer mediator for the District Court of Prince George’s County, and has been a presenter several times before churches, conventions, bar associations, and schools.
Jason and his wife, Cathleen, are the happy parents of twins, Jalyn and Jaden.
Janice Goldwater, MSW, LCSW-CFounder and Executive Director, Adoptions Together
Our Executive Director, Janice, has been with AT since she founded the agency in 1990. Today, Janice’s leadership, vision, and direction guide the future of Adoptions Together in our community. With more than 30 years experience in child welfare and mental health advocacy, as well as raising 4 children who joined her family through birth and adoption, Janice is uniquely qualified to lead the agency as we move into the next 25 years serving families. Janice enjoys taking long walks with her 3 dogs and spending time with her husband and family.
Eleanor HuntFounding Partner, Lewicky, O’Connor, Hunt & Meiser, LLC
Eleanor Hunt is a founding Partner at the law firm of Lewicky, O’Connor, Hunt & Meiser, LLC, located in Fulton, Maryland. Eleanor represents clients in divorces, adoptions, child custody and visitation disputes, domestic violence proceedings, and child and spousal support matters. She also counsels individuals and families on estate planning issues, including preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorneys and advanced medical directives, as well as probate administration. She practices throughout the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Eleanor holds a law degree from The George Washington University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Before forming Lewicky, O’Connor, Hunt & Meiser in early 2019, Eleanor practiced family law and estate planning at Joseph, Greenwald & Laake in Greenbelt, Maryland, from 2011 through 2018. Prior to that, she clerked for the Honorable Sherrie L. Krauser in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, and then served as a transactional real estate attorney at a St. Mary’s County law firm from 2005 through 2011 conducting residential real estate settlements, advising homeowners associations and condominium associations, and drafting residential real estate contracts, deeds, and leases.
Eleanor is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Maple Lawn Homeowners’ Association and founded the Maple Lawn Women’s Networking Group. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The African Art Museum of Maryland, the Board of the Howard County Women’s Bar Association, and is a graduate of the 2018-2019 Leadership Premier Howard County class.
James LeeFirst Vice President Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch
James Lee was first introduced to Adoptions Together at their golf fundraising event at Turf Valley Golf Resort in 2017. After the tournament, he met their founder Janice Goldwater who explained their mission to find loving homes for babies and children who were not as fortunate in circumstance as others.
When he found out that Adoptions Together had found loving homes for over 7,000 babies and children since they opened their doors, he decided to get involved.
James is married to Celeste and has two adult children. He started his career at Smith Barney in Washington DC and now works at Merrill Lynch. He was born in South Korea, spent his early years in Uganda, and went to high school in Ohio. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Brooke PettyDirector of Marketing & Digital Strategy, ERP International
Brooke Petty was first introduced to Adoptions Together by her father, Melvin Petty, who began supporting the organization 20 years ago and is a former board member. Brooke has had the pleasure of attending many Adoptions Together events over the years, which sparked her interest to become more involved in the organization.
In her professional life, Brooke is an experienced marketing professional. With nearly a decade of experience in the industry, Brooke has a demonstrated history of building strong creative with a focus on improving marketing performance. Brooke currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy at ERP International and lectures a Digital and Social Media course at Johns Hopkins University.
Brooke has worked on a number of notable brands including overseeing the acquisition strategy and campaign execution for the launch of Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit and Prepaid Cards. She has also led the e-mail marketing efforts for Liberty Mutual Insurance, focused on improving online quote start rate across digital channels. In addition to working on Starbucks, Brooke managed the website strategy, creative and development for the RAGÚ & Bertolli brands. RAGÚ is the top-selling pasta sauce in the U.S., with $555 million in sales. Brooke has also worked on clients including Fitbit, The Washington METRO, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and D.C. United with her experience extending beyond digital to TV, print, radio, OOH, direct mail, websites, and more.
Brooke holds an MBA from the Kogod School of Business at American University and received her bachelors degree in Marketing from the Farmer School of Business at Maimi University of Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and cheering for the Baltimore Ravens.
Cheryl RichterDirector of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Cheryl Richter is the proud mother of three amazing adult children, two of them adopted through Adoptions Together. When Cheryl and her husband, Lee, began exploring adoption in 1994, she was impressed by AT’s collaborative approach to the adoption process and commitment to serving all. Her respect for the organization and its mission has only grown since that time.
In her professional life, Cheryl serves as Director of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Infrastructure Research and Development, and has in the past chaired several committees of the National Academies Transportation Research Board.
Cheryl holds a doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Cornell University. She lives in Rockville, Maryland with her husband and their two dogs. She enjoys time spent with family, walks with her dogs, cooking and gardening.
Janet St. Amand
Janet adopted her two sons (Nick in 1997 and Peter in 2000) through Adoptions Together and has supported the organization ever since. She has served on the Board of Directors for Adoptions Together since 2017.
Janet worked in Public Policy/Government Affairs for a number of large banks and banking organizations, including JPMorgan and the American Bankers Association. She retired in 2018 from her position as Senior Vice President for Public Policy for HSBC North America after 21 years with the bank.
Prior to working in Government Affairs for banking organizations, Janet worked in the United State House of Representatives and the Senate. She has served on a number of non-profit Boards, including the Tax Coalition, Women in Housing and Finance, and the Women in Housing and Finance Foundation in Washington, DC, and Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. In addition to the Adoptions Together Board, Janet currently serves on the Board of the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command in Washington, DC.
Janet attended Pennsylvania State University and Arcadia University and has a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the Bar in Washington, DC, and is retired from the Bar in New York.
Lori VacekProject Management, Senior, Freddie Mac Corporation
Lori Vacek was first introduced to Adoptions Together when she and her husband adopted their daughter through the agency more than 20 years ago. She also collaborated with Adoptions Together while working as a program manager with the Freddie Mac Foundation, where she managed philanthropic programs supporting the educational needs of low-income children and youth and the permanency needs of youth in foster care. She also served as chief of staff during the two-year wind down of the Freddie Mac Foundation.
Previously, Lori worked as an affiliated advisor for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors where she reported on international corporate community affairs and managed grant-making programs. She also served as acting director for the Levi Strauss Foundation, providing grant-making support to a team of global community relations professionals.
Prior to this, Lori served as the director of corporate services at the Council on Foundations and as a program officer for the Wells Fargo Bank Foundation in San Francisco. Currently, she works at Freddie Mac, supporting customer communications for mortgage loan product offerings. Lori also volunteers annually for the Alumni Selection Committee of the George M. Pullman Educational Foundation in Chicago, her hometown.
Lori holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters in Public Policy from the Claremont Graduate School/Coro Foundation, and a B.A. in Political Science and Human Services from Washington University in St. Louis.
Lori lives in McLean, VA with her husband and has a 23-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son. In her spare time, Lori enjoys yoga, visiting friends and family, outdoor activities, and HGTV.