Ampersand Families strives to be the employer of choice for extraordinary professionals who are committed to helping develop innovative and effective approaches to achieving and supporting permanency for older youth.


Michelle Chalmers

Michelle is passionate about the need for system reform and the essential role that young people can take in leading child welfare to more effective, youth and family-focused strategies.

Al Willig

Al was a founding board member of Ampersand Families and is thrilled to now be a part of the staff as the Finance and Operations Director. Prior to joining our staff, he was the Director of Finance & Operations for 19 years at the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery; a shelter for children at risk of abuse and neglect.

Misty Coonce

Misty has worked in the adoption field since 2009. Although she has worked across many programs (domestic infant, international, and foster care adoption), supporting youth in foster care and their families is her true passion. Misty is ecstatic to be part of the Ampersand Families team. She brings personal experience as an adoptee from the Minnesota foster care system.

Cecily Ferguson

Cecily has a background of working with youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness and foster care. She is excited to join the Ampersand team and work in partnership with youth, families, and providers towards permanency and support families and teens through the highs and the lows.

Stacy Gehringer

Stacy is excited about Ampersand’s unique commitment to youth and families. She is blown away by the staff’s passion to ensure permanency and continuously support families through thick and thin.

Aubrey Haddican

Aubrey’s twin passions are teens and adoption. She loves the energy, crankiness, and self-determination of youth, and enjoys helping them envision, articulate, and adapt to what they believe adulthood is and should be. She believes that adoption is a life-long process that encompasses both joy and grief, and is inspired by the millions of individual ways families come together, define themselves, and create new homes.

Perry Huff

Perry comes to Ampersand Families with a fresh perspective on waiting teens, adoption, and child welfare. Over the past few years, Perry has had the privilege of working with youth and adolescents primarily in school settings, and he has grown to love working with youth who have emotional, behavioral, and academic needs.

Kate Mejicano

Kate has a background in children’s mental health services and a passion for working with teens. Before joining Ampersand Families in 2014, she worked with adolescents and families in both community and residential settings.

Cortney MooreCortney Moore

Cortney has worked in several areas of the human services field ranging from supportive housing to foster care and adoption. In doing so, she learned that youth are her favorite population to engage with. Cortney appreciates the honesty and humor that young people often provide.

Renee Banas

Renee has a background in education and has worked in an administrative role in several Twin Cities non-profits. She is thrilled to continue her work with an organization that supports children and families.

Christina Romo

Christina Romo is excited to join the team at Ampersand, having previously worked at the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) since 2006. She also served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for Ramsey County and volunteer crisis counselor with Sexual Offense Services of Ramsey County.

Christina feels very fortunate to have learned from youth who have experienced foster care and adoption about the power of resiliency and the importance of treating youth with dignity and respect, embracing and honoring who they are, reminding them of their value in this world, and truly listening to them—especially when making decisions that impact their lives.

Bridget Sabo

Bridget came to Ampersand Families after serving as an Assistant State Public Defender in the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender. There, she handled direct appeals to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court, and post-conviction matters in the district and appellate courts. She is enthusiastic about having the chance to help restore youth to families, and hopes that this early intervention might prevent some of the heartbreaking outcomes she saw in the courts.

Tim Lindwall

Tim is Ampersand’s first MSW intern beginning his first year of graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. He feels privileged to learn from the vast experience that the Ampersand team shares.

Why choose Ampersand Families?

“Ampersand is amazing!  They are there for you 100% or more. Love them all.”


Get Blog Updates to Your Inbox