Our administrative professionals are essential to keeping Children’s Aid offices running smoothly. With dozens of programs and sites across the city, administrative staff help our agency stay connected, organized, and able to tackle any challenges. To show our appreciation, our leadership team explains how Angela Pelliccia, Velynthia Dowdell, and Jeannie Ortiz embody the Children’s Aid spirit and why they are critical members of the organization.
Phoebe C. Boyer, President and CEO on Executive Assistant Angela Pelliccia
"Angela is our institutional memory and central command. She has been with Children’s Aid for many years and knows Children’s Aid better than anyone. She has deep relationships with colleagues across the agency, and knows who to go to for anything we need."
"She's involved in everything that I do and helps me in every way. Whether it's interfacing with board members or staff, clients or donors, elected officials, or other VIPs – they all go through Angela, and she treats everyone with respect and sensitivity."
"Angela is both tough and compassionate. She holds herself to such an incredible standard, which has been particularly evident during the pandemic. There hasn't been a day where she's hesitated to come into the office or help in other areas if she could. She’s also an extraordinarily caring person and thinks about others always. For example, Angela will regularly call one of our long-term former board members who is older and not well, to check in with him and keep him up to date with Children’s Aid. I love that because it shows such compassion and helps me stay connected as well. She takes relationships very seriously. It’s not something you can teach somebody – that's about their heart. She models kindness and makes us all better at our jobs as a result."
"I am truly grateful for all she does for me and for Children’s Aid - we are lucky to have her."
Courtenaye Jackson, General Counsel on Executive Assistant and Paralegal Velynthia Dowdell
“Velynthia has been instrumental in setting up the infrastructure for the Legal office at Children’s Aid. She serves as the Executive Assistant to the General Counsel and also as paralegal for the Legal office. Velynthia reviews hundreds of legal documents a year and ensures proper follow up occurs. She coordinates witness interviews and the production of case files and relevant records for court proceedings and for our insurance companies. Velynthia also created an electronic filing system for the Legal office, simplifying our operations. Children’s Aid is incredibly lucky to have Velynthia on the Legal team.”
Don Shacknai, Chief Operations Officer on Executive Assistant Velynthia Dowdell
“In addition to serving Legal, Velynthia provides valuable support for Operations. This includes scheduling meetings, handling invoices and a range of other administrative tasks. We sincerely appreciate Velynthia’s contributions to Ops and the positive energy she brings to her work. We wish her a very happy Administrative Professional’s Day!”
Georgia Boothe, Executive Vice President, Child Welfare Family Services and Health and Wellness on Executive Assistant Jeannie Ortiz
“Jeannie has been a life saver to me personally. Given the breadth and scope of my responsibilities, she helps to keep me organized and on track with my schedule. She works miracles with my schedule to ensure that they keep pace with all the demands on my time. She also wants to make sure I am ok, so she tries (albeit unsuccessfully at times) to make sure I have a few minutes to breathe and get some food. Besides her work with me directly, she works with the management team on division-wide activities, scheduling events, and coordinating logistics to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. She collaborates across divisions and central services to support the Child Welfare and Family Services, Youth, and Health and Wellness divisions. We can rely on her to follow through until all tasks reach completion and know that she will give it her all.
“Jeannie is often the voice of Children’s Aid on the phone to clients, staff, foster parents, our funding partners, or the general public as she fields lots of calls for the division and the agency. Her professionalism and love for Children’s Aid’s mission is evidenced in how she completes her job responsibilities every day. She is often the voice on the other end of the phone, calming a client or foster parent with her gentle tone and incredible patience. She listens to understand and helps to connect folks to the right people, and she will not give up until they feel heard. Her ability to listen and deescalate is amazing and has often times prevented a concern from becoming a crisis. I am so comforted to know that she is representing Children’s Aid when she is on the phone, because I know exactly how it is going to go.
“Jeannie is a wonderful person and a great professional and we are so blessed to have her as part of the Child Welfare Family Services team!”