National Council of Local Human Service Administrators

National Council of Local Service Administrators Executive Committee



Kelly Harder, Dakota County Community Services, Minnesota


Kelly Harder is the Director of the Community Services Division in Dakota County, which has a population of 398,552 and is the third most populated county in Minnesota.  Within Community Services, Kelly has oversight of social services, public health, community corrections, income maintenance, child support, veteran services, and 4-H/extension programs.  In recent years, Kelly has been at the point of key, county-led, state legislative initiatives around redesigning the county’s service delivery system focusing on transparent and accountable outcomes. 


Currently he is looking at ways to implement the social impact financing strategies coupled with return on tax payer investments (ROTI) tools for programmatic impact.  Kelly has is Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Social Work from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and Masters in Social Work from the University of North Dakota, Bismarck.




Rodney Adams


Rodney Adams currently serves as Deputy Director for the Mecklenburg County
Department of Social Services, where he has served for 26 years and currently provides strategic oversight and direction, as well as oversees a department budget of over $177 million dollars.  Rodney has previously served as Economic Services Director, Adult Services Director, and Director of Support Services during his tenure.


Rodney has served on various Boards and Advisory Groups in Charlotte, and holds several memberships, including the National Forum of Black Public Administrators, the North Carolina Guardianship Association, National Eligibility Workers Association, and the North Carolina Social Services Association.  Rodney completed his undergraduate studies at Coastal Carolina Community College, as well as the University of North         Carolina at Chapel Hill, and most recently received his Master of Arts in Theology from the Carolina School of Theology.  Rodney is a certified Bridges Trainer and also serves as a local Pastor.


He is married to his wife of 29 years, Linda, and they have two children.




Paul Fleissner, Olmsted County Community Services, Minnesota


Paul Fleissner has worked in human services for 29 years. He is a licensed social worker who also has an accounting degree. In 2003 Fleissner was appointed the director of Community Services for Olmsted County. The Community Services Department includes social services, public assistance, community corrections, and veteran services.


During his 29 years in human services Fleissner has worked as a behavior analyst and program manager in group homes for the disabled and mentally ill. He has been a program director at a large nonprofit, and for the past 19 years has worked in Olmsted County as a social worker and in administration. He has served on various boards over the years.


In recent years, Fleissner has focused on projects related to "housing first" and "harm reduction" services for populations that are homeless and struggling with chemical health and mental health issues. Development of research-based services and tool in corrections and social services has also been a focus for the Community Services Department under his leadership. He is passionate about documenting outcomes for the people the agency serves. Implementation of EBP in corrections, Signs of Safety in Child Protection and the development of a Structured Decision-Making Tool in Adult Protection are examples of work done by Olmsted County staff in recent years to improve outcomes for their clients.


Fleissner has been a champion of technology and a mobile and flexible workforce. The department has a large percentage of staff telecommuting. It includes staff delivering telemedicine and utilizing video technology for remote visits, training and for connecting staff and clients across distances.


Fleissner's current work focuses on integrated models of care such as a behavioral health care home for individuals with complex needs. In partnership with their mental health center, he is working on integration of mental health, chemical health, homeless services, dental care, pharmacy services and primary care in one location. Development of housing with supports for homeless youth and families is an important priority for him as this is a growing problem in Olmsted County.


A new area of exploration for Fleissner and his department includes developing the capacity to document return on investment allowing the department to dive into the world of pay-for-performance as Minnesota has set aside $10 million for projects doing this work.


Fleissner is the past president of the Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators (MACSSA). For a number of years he served as the legislative committee co-chair for MACSSA. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of County Human Service Administrators as well as the Locals Council Executive Board of the American Public Human Services Association.



Frank Alexander

Frank L. Alexander, MPA

Director, Boulder County Housing and Human Services (BCDHHS), Executive Director, Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA), and Past President, Colorado Human Services Directors Association (CHSDA).


Mr. Alexander has been the Director of the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services since January 2009, overseeing the merger of the former Housing and Social Services Departments into a fully integrated human services agency that has the Boulder County Housing Authority within its structure as an enterprise fund.  Significant efforts have been applied in developing an agile and flexible financial organization designed to provide point of service solutions within its annual operating and capital budget’s, totaling $120M in 2014.  In his time with BCDHHS, he has led a comprehensive system redesign process for Boulder County’s housing and human services system. 


Outcomes have included: reduction in evictions, foreclosures, incidents of homelessness, hospitalizations, detentions, and out-of-home placements in Boulder County; expansion of benefits service populations by between 65-300%, and growth of front-end family stabilization activities with significantly constrained resources.  Additionally, he has promoted cross-disciplinary systems integration in partnership with the Community Services, Mental Health, and Public Health systems and has developed award-winning, creative programs including public/private partnerships on health care expansion, comprehensive work internships and jobs development programs, housing stabilization and foreclosure prevention programs, Boulder County Healthy Kids and Medical Home Initiatives, early intervention and prevention programming, Colorado PEAK Statewide Training and Toolkit Initiative, housing development programs and partnerships in Human Services/Housing Master Planning processes.  Prior to the merger of Housing and Human Services, Mr. Alexander began serving as the Director of the Boulder County Housing Department in 2004 expanding the assets from $15M to $87M and the operating budget from $8M to $23M today.  He served at the Area Agency on Aging from 1998-2004 working in the elder abuse and ombudsman fields. 


Prior to moving to Colorado, he served the chronic homeless population, victims of domestic violence, at-risk children, and families experiencing homelessness in the Philadelphia area.  He has his MPA from University of Colorado, Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Denver, and his BA from Trinity College.  He received the Excellence for Children award from Casey Family Programs in 2012.




Uma Ahluwalia, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Maryland


Uma S. Ahluwalia is currently the director of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Health and Human Services. With nearly 1,600 employees, the department is one of the largest agencies in Montgomery County and includes Aging and Disability Services; Behavioral Health and Crisis Services; Children, Youth and Family Services; Public Health Services; and Special Needs Housing. The Fiscal Year 2013 budget for the department is more than $252 million. The department's budget has decreased over the past four years as the county has reacted to the local and national economic conditions. Caseloads for the department in the past four years have risen dramatically as more families and individuals struggle through the tough economy. Ahluwalia holds a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Delhi in India and a specialist post-master's degree in Health Services Administration from George Washington University. Over an 18-year career in human services, she has progressively moved from case-carrying social work to executive leadership at the state and local levels. 



Nannette Bowler - Photo

Nannette M. Bowler, Director

Fairfax County Department of Family Services


Nannette currently serves as Director of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services.  She directs the operation of this major county department, which includes over 1700 employees and a budget of more than $211 million, with services for children, youth and families, adult and aging, self-sufficiency, the Office for Women/Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, and a variety of programs operated from the Office for Children.


Previously, Bowler was chief judge of the Family Division for the 8th Judicial Circuit, Ionia County, Mich. She presided over cases including guardianships of incapacitated and developmentally disabled individuals; mental incompetency hearings; child abuse and neglect cases; juvenile delinquency cases; and adoptions.


As head of the Michigan Family Independence Agency and a member of the governor’s Cabinet, Bowler directed 22 programs, including child welfare, juvenile delinquency, adult protective services, self-sufficiency, and disabilities. She previously served as executive director of the Chance at Childhood: Law and Social Work Initiative at Michigan State University. She has also been co-founder and executive director of the Children’s Law Center and legal counsel/executive director to the Michigan lieutenant governor’s Commission on Children, which culminated in the passage of 21 bills in the house and senate involving all aspects of child welfare. 



Director Marc Cherna 2 2013 color

Marc Cherna

Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services


Marc Cherna was appointed Director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in 1997. This integrated department, with a budget close to $1B, includes five programmatic offices: Aging, Behavioral Health, Children, Youth and Families, Community Services, and Intellectual Disabilities.  Marc’s innovative practice and leadership abilities have garnered him prestigious awards by numerous human service, humanitarian, and civic organizations such as the Betsey R. Rosenbaum Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Administration from the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators; the Urban League’s Ronald H. Brown Civic Leadership Award; the Good Government Award from the League of Women Voters, the Social Work Citizen of the Year from the National Assn. of Social Workers, the Coleman Award for Excellence in Community Service from the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics, the Community Hero Award from UCP CLASS, and most recently, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Leadership from Casey Family Programs.


Marc has more than 40 years of experience in the human services field and serves on many local and national boards including the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work’s Board of Visitors, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics Board of Fellows, the Executive Committee of the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators and the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Community Oversight Board.


Marc received his B.A. degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.S.W. from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. He has three children and six grandchildren.




Sherri Z. Heller, Sacramentro County Department of Health and Human Services, California


Sherri Z. Heller is the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, County of Sacramento, CA. Heller has over two decades of experience at the county, state, and federal level, where she has managed programs including mental health, drug and alcohol, child welfare, aging and adult protective services, nursing home, juvenile detention, public health, child care, child support, job training, and indigent healthcare programs.


As Deputy Secretary for Income Maintenance, she managed the roll-out of welfare reform for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As Commissioner of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, she led the development of a national strategic plan and was recognized for leadership in IT advances. In the private sector, Heller consulted with state and city human services agencies nationwide on customer service and business process reengineering. Heller has been an active participant in APHSA-ISM and APHSA’s National Workgroup on Integration, as well as the Human Services Information Technology Advisory Group.


Heller earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and her doctorate in Measurement and Program Evaluation from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  




Lynn Johnson, Jefferson County Human Services, Colorado


Lynn Johnson currently serves as the Executive Director of Jefferson County Human Services in Colorado. This agency includes Divisions of Head Start, Workforce, Career and Family Services (TANF), Children, Youth and Families (Child Welfare), Justice Services, Community Development and Community Assistance which includes Medicaid, Food Assistance and Adult and Aging services. She is currently on the Executive Committee for the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators. Governor Bill Ritter appointed Johnson to the Outcomes Sub-Committee for the Child Welfare Action Commission in 2008. In 1999, she was appointed to Governor Bill Owens’s Task Force on Child Welfare. She also served on Task Forces or Commissions on Welfare Reform, Community Service and Adoption. Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey appointed Johnson to serve on the Judicial Commission for Families in the Courts. She also served as a member of the Supreme Court Nominating Committee.


Prior to this position, Johnson ran her own firm consulting on issues pertaining to mental health, high risk youth, developmental disabilities, child welfare and early childhood education. She was the chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor Jane E. Norton in 2002 and from 1999 to 2002 was a policy advisor to Governor Bill Owens handling primarily Human Services issues. 


Before joining the Owens administration, Johnson had “hands on” experience working with families and children. She served as a senior specialist with the United States Courts as a probation and parole officer. She was responsible for direct supervision of offenders with mental health problems and offenders convicted of sex offenses. Recognized as an authority on treatment for offenders and their families, Johnson consulted with federal judges and case managers across the nation. 


Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University. She is a graduate of the Federal Judicial Center National Leadership Development Program. She is the mother of three children and is actively involved in school, sports and church activities.  Raised in Littleton, Colorado, Johnson now resides with her family in Jefferson County.  




Wanda Rogers, Hampton Department of Human Services, Virginia


Wanda Rogers has more than 26 years of experience working with children and families served by the foster care system. She began her career as a social worker in the Hampton Department of Human Services (DHS) foster care unit. She next served as the CSA representative for DHS where she was responsible for the development of specialized foster home and in-home services that were instrumental in supporting children and families remaining in their homes, schools and communities. Rogers most recently served as the deputy director for the Department of Human Services.


For the past several years she has lead multi-agency initiatives that have brought together diverse initiatives including Systems of Care, Wraparound Family Conferencing, Healthy Families and Court Improvement "best practices" initiatives. Rogers has been sought as a consultant for Virginia localities as well as other localities around the country seeking her advice in order to improve their child welfare systems.


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