EVOLVE Staff

EVOLVE Family Services employs a diverse staff, in identity, educational and professional experiences. EVOLVE has an extensive hiring process, with a focus on child-focused, trauma-informed, and anti-oppressive practice and understanding. EVOLVE values transparency and understands the importance of hiring and creating a sustainable work environment for professionals of color. Overall, EVOLVE’s staff have a wealth of experiences and skillsets, as it relates to the services provided under this RFP. EVOLVE’s staff will carry out the service areas with trauma-informed, child-focused, collaborative and anti-oppressive lens and practice.

Our Current Team

EVOLVE currently employs 27 staff in a variety of direct service, management, leadership, and administrative roles across the organization.

Administrative Staff

Susannah Barnes (she/her), LSW, CSW – Executive Director
sbarnes@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2632

Susannah has served as EVOLVE’s Executive Director since July 2019. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and is a licensed social worker in the States of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Susannah has extensive experience in the provision of child and family services. Prior to her employment at EVOLVE, she gained experience in elementary school social work in St. Paul Public Schools and worked as a Juvenile Victim/Witness Specialist for the Anoka County Attorney’s Office. Since her employment at EVOLVE in 2006, Susannah has held many positions in the organization. In 2017, she joined the agency’s leadership team, serving as Programs Director, and then Senior Programs Director, overseeing all agency social services in adoption, kinship and traditional foster care, pregnancy services, education, and therapeutic mental health services, before rising to the executive leadership position in 2019. Susannah has completed the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative(NTI) curriculum at the supervisory level and is certified to perform Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) home studies as a practitioner and supervisor. Susannah additionally served on the Washington County Citizen Review Panel for Children’s Services from 2019 to 2021 and has been an active member of the Collaborative of Allied Directors for Race Equity (CADRE) since 2019.  Susannah is a dedicated leader who is passionate about addressing racial disparities, reducing childhood trauma, upholding, and leading antiracist, anti-oppressive, and ethical practices in child-welfare services, family reunification, kinship care, and permanency for children.


Development & Communications

Heather Guerin (she/her) – Director of Development and Communications
hguerin@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.571.3536

Heather joined EVOLVE in March of 2022. Heather has 25 years of experience working in a variety of social service organizations throughout the Twin Cities and outside Chicago.  Heather began her career as a social worker serving high-risk youth that were experiencing out-of-home placements. Heather moved into the field of Domestic Violence and directed a local shelter before moving into an administrative capacity. Heather has successfully directed development and led community engagement for over 10 years at organizations that serve families, youth, and children. Heather’s passion is serving youth who have experienced trauma and addressing the systemic racism that leads to the severe inequities that youth face. Heather’s goal is to practice fundraising with an anti-oppressive and community-centric. Focus. Heather graduated from Bethel University with a BSW and MATS, Summa Cum Laude.

Oliviana Cervantes (they/them) – Marketing and Communications Specialist
ocervantes@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.571.3529

Emily Osnes (she/her) – Development and Data Specialist
eosnes@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.439.2446


IT Technician and Maintenance

Dang Vang (he/him) – IT Technician and Maintenance
dvang@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.571.3528


Permanency, Pregnancy, and Youth Services

Brooke Overland (she/her), CSW, LSW – Permanency Programs Manager
boverland@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2638

Brooke joined EVOLVE in December 2017. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work in July 2017 from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls. Brooke is certified in the Structured Analysis Family Education (SAFE) assessment tool, as a supervisor. Brooke initially joined EVOLVE as an Adoption Social Worker and Pregnancy Services Counselor. In 2019, Brooke was promoted to the Lead Social Worker for the program and then again promoted in 2020 to the Adoption and Pregnancy Programs Manager. Brooke has completed The National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI) through the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Brooke has training in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), a trauma-informed, and attachment-based therapeutic model that provides caregivers tools to provide support to children with trauma histories. Brooke aspires to bring anti-oppressive practice into her work with the adoption constellation, examining through a trauma-focused, intersectional, and psychosocial lens.

Ellen Slagle (she/her), BSSW, LSW, CSW – STAY Program Manager
eslagle@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2636

Jack Rice (he/him), LSW, CSW – Permanency Programs Lead Social Worker
jrice@evolveservices.org  | phone • 651.342.2624

Laura LeBrun (she/her), MSW, LGSW, CAPSW – Permanency Programs Social Worker
llebrun@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.571.3533

Gina Swaney (she/her), – STAY Youth Worker
rswaney@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.439.2446

Alexandra Alvarez (she/her) – Permanency and Pregnancy Process Coordinator
aalvarez@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.571.3537

Cecilia Alexander (she/her) – Permanency and Pregnancy Process Coordinator
calexander@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2627


Education and UMOJA MN

Tenelle Thomas (she/her) – UMOJA Education Program Director
tthomas@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2622

Tenelle joined EVOLVE in January 2022. She has been working in social services as an advocate for youth in a variety of positions since 2000. Tenelle enjoys being able to work with children and families to help in building solid foundations that strengthen families. Tenelle has a passion for working in communities that are overlooked and underserved. Tenelle has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Crime and Community, and a degree in youth and family ministry from Augsburg College. Tenelle has her master’s degree in Business Leadership from William Penn and is currently pursuing her master’s in marriage, family, and couples counseling. Tenelle was adopted and also has experience as a foster care provider and adoptive parent. As EVOLVE’s UMOJA Education Program Manager, Tenelle coordinates, facilitates and plans programming for youth and families, involved in the child welfare system. This programming, UMOJA, focuses on parenting, supporting, and advocating for Black youth, involved in the child welfare system. In addition, Tenelle oversees and facilitates EVOLVE’s agency-specific education.

Queen Jacobs (she/her) – UMOJA Program Manager
qjacobs@evolveservices.org | phone • 612.502.8435

Foster Care

Holly Gabby (she/her), MSW, LICSW – Foster Care Programs Director
hgabby@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2634

Holly joined EVOLVE in August 2016. Holly obtained her bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University in Child, Adult, and Family Services. She obtained her master’s degree in Social Work in May 2017 from the University of St Thomas and St. Catherine’s University.  Holly started at EVOLVE working within our foster care and clinical departments. Since 2017, Holly has been in a leadership role within EVOLVE’s foster care and kinship programs. Holly completed her Permanency and Adoption Competency Certification through the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2018.  Prior to Holly’s experience at EVOLVE, she has experience working with parents navigating the child welfare system.  Holly is passionate about advancing change within the child welfare and adoption system to ensure that family and youth voice is at the center of our work.

Lisette Cando (she/her), BSW, LSW – Foster Care Program Manager 
lcando@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2630

Lisettejoined EVOLVE Family Services in August of 2017. Lisette obtained her bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in May of 2016. Initially, Lisette joined EVOLVE as a Foster Care Family Worker where she focused on licensing both relative/kin and traditional foster care providers. In 2019, Lisette was promoted to a lead position within the foster care program, and in 2022, she was promoted to Foster Care Program Manager at EVOLVE Family Services, which is the role she remains in today. Lisette understands the unique needs of children and youth in foster care and is skilled at having difficult conversations with families to best prepare them to foster/adopt children and to reduce the possibility of disruption. Lisette hopes to continue promoting equity within the child welfare system while supporting families, children, and youth.

Nancy Swanson (Waase Giizhigook) (she/they), BS – Foster Care Family Worker
nswanson@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2586

Dylan Struwe (they/them), BS – Foster Care Family Worker
dstruwe@evolveservices.org | phone • 612.314.3912

Margret Emborsky (she/her), Foster Care Family Worker
memborsky@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.342.2582

Malywan Vang (she/her), Foster Care Family Worker
malywanvang@evolveservices.org | phone • 612.571.3532

Margot Hamlin (she/her), Foster Care Process Coordinator
mhamlin@evolveservices.org | phone • 651.571.3538

EVOLVE Programs & Services

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