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.

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.

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.

Meghan Heffner

Meghan has been working in adoption since 2007 and has been with Ampersand Families since 2009. She's been an essential part of the agency, demonstrating extensive and proactive support to our many youth and families. Her determination and success at finding permanent families for teens is astounding.

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.

Mary Ites

Mary joined Ampersand Families in May 2016 as the Admin and Operations Manager. She is thrilled to be working at Ampersand Families, combining her passion for human services and giving back to the community.

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.

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.

Gail Swenson

Gail joins us with a long history of advocating for children and childhood, both as a member of the administrative team of Southside Family Nurturing Center, a family-centered program for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and with over 12 years of experience as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem with Ramsey County.

Why choose Ampersand Families?

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


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