Leaders Who Serve… Leaders Who Care
Al Laws Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
Alford Laws, Jr. is the founder and CEO of WIN Family Services and contributor to the growth and emergence of the Family Strengthening Practice Model on a national level. Since it’s inception, WIN has promoted a holistic human service model that recognizes the importance of faith and faith-based principles in healing families. Mr. Laws has been featured in a Washington Post article, “Faith in Foster Care: An Aspiring Astronaut Finds His Earthly Calling,” and on ABC2 News in a segment “2 Good 2 be True”, that chronicled his remarkable epiphany that guided his commitment to faith and spirituality in his agency’s family services.
For 25 years, Mr. Laws has provided leadership that has established WIN Family Services as a thriving child placement and mental health service agency that offers treatment foster care and mental health counseling services to youth, adults and families throughout Maryland. WIN currently has offices in Baltimore, Cecil County and Lanham, Maryland, employees over 200 dedicated staff, and serves hundreds of youth, adults and families each year. WIN’s Family Strengthening Practice Model is a holistic, strength-based model that teaches specific skill sets for resolving issues that hinder healthy relationships. Family Strengthening supports families and helping professionals with identifying skills that emphasize joining strengths, showing understanding, and reflecting the good intentions in all behavior, as a more meaningful and non-injurious way of communicating and resolving conflict. Currently the model is being researched by Morgan State University and the University of Maryland as an evidence-based practice.
Over the last few years, Mr. Laws has been honored by Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, Morgan State University, numerous community organizations, and churches for his dedication to strengthening families in Maryland. He is a frequent guest speaker at many universities, child welfare organizations, schools, church groups and community leadership meetings; and regularly presents Family Strengthening at national conferences.
In early 2015, Al Laws launched “Advice 4 Life”, a radio program airing on Sundays on iHeart radio. The very popular radio show focuses on providing holistic insight to improving relationships with the Family Strengthening practice model. The talk show tackles all relationship issues including: marriage and couple disputes; parents having difficulty connecting with their children; and individuals having difficulties voicing opinions or issues within their relationships.
Mr. Laws has forged many collaborative partnerships to improve family life in communities, and he has achieved consistent success in his efforts to build a well-managed community-based, social service organization. It is his life mission to empower at-risk youth, strengthen families and ultimately, heal vulnerable communities throughout the world.
Executive Director of Finance
Aisha Laws is the Executive Director of Finance. Aisha has been with WIN for 23 years. After working as a licensed real estate broker for many years, she finally found her own home at WIN Team. Mrs. Laws’ firm decision making skills and generous heart made her a natural at handling all of WIN’s financials. Through personal experiences in faith and her passion of working to manifest God’s love, she found her calling in marriage support and counseling, educating members of the community on how they can build happy, healthy, and thriving relationships. Mrs. Laws’ “family first” mentality is demonstrated through her devotion to her husband of 24 years, Al Laws Jr. and beautiful daughters Trinity, 13, and Divinity, 12. When asked what word best describes her, Mrs. Laws’ answer was simple: “blessed.” Well, Mrs. Laws, WIN is definitely the one blessed to have you!
Ayo Brown, LGSW
Executive Director of Operations
Ayo Pearson is Executive Director of Operations for WIN Team LLC. Since walking through WIN’s doors 22 years ago, she has remained steadfast in her mission, vision, and faith in building WIN as an innovative and powerful entity in the human services community. Mrs. Pearson’s vision is to create a workspace that her staff can develop and grow holistically – personally, professionally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically. Her love of family and commitment to service has given her the natural ability to lead with compassion, patience, and clarity. Friends, family, and colleagues all agree she kind, nurturing and strong. Mrs. Pearson has been married to her loving husband, Nick, for 4 years and has 3 beautiful children: Cameron 17, Nayo 6, and Indira 4. Her goal is to raise her children to love God, themselves and others.
Laura Mueller is the Executive Liaison for WIN Team LLC. and has been with the organization for over 6 years. Her compassion for individuals struggling with a mental health diagnosis became clear at a very young age. Since graduating from Towson University with a double degree in Psychology and Sociology, she has dedicated her life to being a beacon of reason and support to all that know her. Today, she is WIN Team’s Executive Liaison – providing support to the CEO and main point of contact for major endeavors and projects. With over 16 years of marketing experience and eight years of association management and strategic planning experience, Laura has brought to WIN a passion for promoting our mission and services. During her tenure at WIN, she has been instrumental in the promotion of our services, recruitment of highly qualified staff and has led the agency in strategic planning .
She is active in representing the agency at the local and state level; as a member of many advisory boards, Laura ensures that policies and initiatives appropriately meet the needs of the individuals and families we serve. Fully committed to WIN, Laura considers herself a “WIN lifer”—she is proud of all that we currently do and is excited about plans for future growth. Laura is the proud wife of her high school sweetheart—Walt, a Baltimore County police officer, and the doting mother of Ava, 13 and Madeline, 10. When she isn’t working to further our mission, Laura can be found baking delicious sweets in the kitchen (and often treats our staff to samples!) Laura’s motto for life is “Smile and make this a beautiful day!”
Gregg Harris, MSW
Director of Corporate Resources
Gregg Harris is the Director of Corporate Resources. Gregg came to WIN close to 20 years ago as a counselor working with at-risk youth and their families. Over the years he has transitioned to a leadership position. Often tinkering and fixing things around the office, Gregg is WIN’s in-house “MacGyver.” Responsible for overseeing the agency’s IT and all corporate resources, he is the ‘go to’ person for everything we need! Gregg also supports the CEO with recording of the widely successful “Advice 4 Life” show.
Rebecca Grady, LCSW-C, Clinical Administrative Manager, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended James Madison University where she obtained a Bachelors degree in Social Work with a minor concentration in Substance Abuse Intervention. Rebecca received a Masters degree in Social Work with a focus on Children and Families. Rebecca’s passion and vigilance for providing excellence to those we serve is unmatched. She has worked with WIN Family Services since 2008. She is happily married with two wonderful young children that keep her busy when she is not working hard at WIN.
Alex Kasinkas provides administrative supports to WIN Team LLC. Alex graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland. He is the owner of The Positive Push LLC where he contracts his services to WIN and its clients in need of physical, mental, and emotional support. He has worked with children and adults with special needs for the last 11 years: 5 in Baltimore. Alex is now furthering his education by working towards becoming a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. He is interested in helping youth and young adults with mental and physical ailments heal with natural remedies. Specifically, he has interests in ADHD, Anxiety, Allergies, Food Sensitivities, and Dermatology. Alex resonates with the Naturopathic Principles: First Do No Harm, Identify and Treat the Root Cause, the Healing Power of Nature, Prevention, Doctor as Teacher, and Treat the Whole Person. Alex feels his best when he is consuming whole-foods and enjoys public speaking, chess, coffee shops, health food stores, exercising, working with a compassionate and hard-working team and finding ways to optimize academic performance. Alex dreams of working at a holistic wellness center where he can provide a space for healing, personal growth, community, productivity, spirituality, exercise and nutrition.
Nadirah Smith, Senior Director of Business Development, is a passionate family advocate, community activist, and diligent servant-leader dedicated to WIN’s mission of changing lives and strengthening families. For over twelve years, Nadirah has served WIN via the roles of: Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, Program Development and Resource Acquisition Manager, and now as its Director of Development. She is a talented professional business writer, stellar trainer, and gifted administrator charged with the development, implementation, and manifestation of visions developed by WIN’s Executive Management staff.
Ms. Smith’s role responsibilities include: facilitating WIN’s program expansion into new service markets and geographic areas; increasing financial resources for innovative WIN services and collaborations; expanding Family Strengthening Practice as a national evidence-based model; and serving as an internal information hub for WIN Managers as it relates to regulations, public policy, and federal and state laws that impact programmatic operations.
As WIN’s Director of Development, Ms. Smith leads a team of Administrators, Consultants, and Licensed Clinicians who are all committed to the growth, expansion, and sustainability of WIN programs and services. Some of the achievements of the Development department, in recent years, include:
- Facilitated a pilot research study of WIN’s Family Strengthening Practice model (2007-2009)
- Birthed WIN’s Psychiatric Rehabilitation program which now sub-contracts over 50 small businesses and serves over 400 youth and adult residents of Maryland (2010)
- Established WIN’s Therapeutic Wellness Center, which provides therapeutic behavioral services and also individual, group, and family therapy services (2012)
- Launched WIN’s New Beginnings – Substance Abuse Counseling program which offers Intensive Outpatient, General Outpatient, Early Intervention, and DUI/DWI services to youth and adults (2016)
Nadirah’s Development team is currently working on implementation of electronic health record systems for all WIN programs and the international accreditation of WIN’s service locations. As a skilled strategic planner, program developer, and data analyst, Ms. Smith is committed to balancing collaboration with other human service providers with the development of systems that allows effective management of WIN’s staff performance and quality assurance of client outcomes.
David Heard, Community Outreach Manager, was WIN’s first PRP counselors! A devoted husband to Nicole Heard and proud father of four, David attended Morgan State University and Towson State University for Business Management. David was blessed with the gift of entrepreneurship at an early age and opened his first clothing store then a year later, opening a second retail location. David learned exceptional Customer Service skills working part-time at Marriott International Hotel at the Inner Harbor. David realized he had a special calling on his life while raising his eldest son. Being inspired by the scripture Psalms 68:5, “A father to the fatherless and defender of the widow…”, David knew his true purpose in life. David was committed to his God-given assignment which was to mentor At-Risk youth. David used all of his assets to open and be the CEO of the T.H.O.R., The House of Restoration, LLC where he served low-income families with passion and dedication. David has tried to live each day being a man of integrity and a man of his word.
Kristina Ramos, Marketing & Recruitment Coordinator, has been a part of the WIN family for the last 5 years. A graduate of Towson University, Ms. Ramos holds two degrees: one in Public Relations and one in Communication Studies. As a child, her favorite past time was storytelling and as an adult, it is her firm belief that she was put on this earth to help tell WIN’s story. Ms. Ramos’ love of writing, keen eye for presentation, and unparalleled people skills led her to a career of strategizing marketing tactics, developing fundraisers, coordinating recruitment activities and special events, and building social media campaigns.
With a coffee cup at fingertip’s reach, you can often find her typing away at a newsletter article or fiddling with a new eye catching email design. A self proclaimed bag full of quirkiness and the office jokester, she relies on her ability to make people laugh and smile to capture attention and spread WIN’s message. Ms. Ramos encourages individuality, authenticity and going after your passion. Friends, family, and colleagues often claim to hear her voice in all of her writings and see glimpses of personality in her work. Her response? “I don’t want someone to just read something… I want them to experience it.”
Darlene Dockins, Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services is new to WIN. Darlene has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including almost 15 years in roles as an executive leader implementing strategic business operations. She has progressed her career from being an individual contributor conducting community-based and in-home work with children and families to her most recent work as Executive Director of the Mentor Network in Maryland as the key accountability executive for a $30M annualized revenue. During this journey, Darlene has had a great many successes. She initiated new services that established a continuum of care. For example, she saw a need to care for children who were about to age out of the foster care system, so she created out-patient services to help transition them to independence. She also initiated the protocols and coordinated the research required for the company to become an evidence-based treatment model. Darlene then implemented the plans required to guarantee a consistent fidelity to this evidenced-based protocol. While all of these are worthy accomplishments, the thing that she carries the most pride about is the supportive culture that she helped to create. A culture built with transparent communications and on individual accountability towards delivering quality services – that is working to care for children, families, and those least able to care for themselves.
Darlene has always had a rigorous, results-driven work ethic. And all that’s served her very well, she knows she has been very lucky to work alongside some great managers, colleagues, and staff—she is VERY excited to be working wither her new WIN family.
Danielle Spitelle LCSW-C is a Clinical Writer/Rehabilitation Specialist with WIN. In 2006, she attended Evangel University and received her Bachelors degree in Social Work. Danielle completed her internship at an elementary school working with a school social worker. After receiving her Bachelors degree, she began working for Spofford Home in Kansas City, Missouri. During this time, Danielle worked with children ages 4-12 years old with behavioral challenges. In 2010, she moved back to Maryland and attended the University of Maryland School of Social Work where she received her Masters degree in Social Work in 2012. While working on her Masters, Danielle completed an internship at Department of Social Services in the Child Protective Services unit. After graduation in 2012, she received her Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW). She then began working for Department of Social Services in the In Home unit. In 2013, Danielle began working as a therapist for Thrive Behavioral Health working with children, adolescents and adults. In 2015, she worked for Upper Bay Counseling as a school based therapist. Danielle joined WIN early 2017 and in May received her Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C).
Dawn James, LCSW-C is the Clinical Director of WIN. Ms. James has been in the field of Behavioral Health for over 30 years. She has been a leader and at the Executive Management Level of programs for the past 23 years. Ms. James holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She is licensed by the Maryland Board of Social Work as an LCSW-C and is an approved supervisor. Ms. James is also licensed by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapist as a LCADC. While Ms. James has a passion for addiction treatment, Ms. James also possesses expertise in the management of mental health and co-occurring disorder programs. She has dedicated her life to supporting others in overcoming their challenges by utilizing evidenced based therapeutic methods while embracing spirituality. Ms. James has previously been appointed to the Governor’s Co-0ccurring Disorders Task Force and Drug and Alcohol Council. She has been with WIN Team’s Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program for over 5 years. Ms. James would like to share two mottoes that she lives by and imparts upon those she helps: “Do The Best You Can Until You Know Better. Then When You Know Better, Do Better.” – Maya Angelou and “Plant Your Garden and Decorate Your Own Soul, Instead of Waiting For Someone To Bring You Flowers.” -Jose Luis Borges
Desiree Shine is the Director of Family Services . Her role is to support, monitor and supervise Family Support Monitors and Direct Service workers who serve youth and adults enrolled in our PRP program. Her passion to serve children and families goes beyond just a “job”. Over the last 20 years, she has dedicated her human service career inspiring, building insight and motivating staff, children and families to achieve their fullest potential. She is a leader that has paid attention to the vision and mission of every agency during her career journey to see that the vision and mission is truly carried out. Previously, she was the Director of Family Engagement for a non-profit agency. She facilitated and provided technical assistance and training for staff, interns, volunteers and parents in the area of family and community services. She managed data for nine different centers, plus one home-based option. Desiree graduated from Grambling State University with a Bachelor in Psychology and has had ongoing training in leadership and child development. Her main goal in life is to serve God’s people.
Jennifer Coulibaly, Clinical Writing Specialist first came to WIN in 2014, in pursuit of doing an internship for her undergrad in social work. Her decision to intern at WIN changed her life completely. She was not prepared for the blessings that were coming her way! She was able to intern on the WIN Family Services Treatment Foster Care side working with the parent compliance manager. Jen really enjoyed the work that she did; even more, she loved the people that she worked with. Jen had recently moved to Maryland and knew no one, so being able to establish connections with the WIN family while interning was really huge for her. Shortly before she completed her internship, WIN Team offered her a job opportunity working in the clinical department at WIN’s psychiatric rehabilitation program. She was beyond excited and honored to be offered this position and was hired in March 2015. Jen’s new working environment was everything she needed and was hoping for. Her co-workers quickly became her family. They have her back not only for work related things, but also personal things. Jen thrives in her work environment; she loves the tasks that she is responsible for and feel blessed to be able to work at a job that she finds great pleasure in. Jen firmly believes that she works for a very generous CEO who cares for his employees and supports their advancement in their profession.
Being faith-based, being free to pray with co-workers/before meetings, and being able to practice our faith in the workplace is so important and encouraging to Jen. You don’t find a lot of agencies that support open display of practicing your beliefs and faith. After two years of working at WIN Team PRP, Jen decided to go back for her master’s degree in social work, and decided to pursue her internship experience back on the Treatment Foster Care side of WIN Family Services, doing case management with our foster youth. She really has come full circle at WIN. Jen feels like she started her social work profession here and is blessed to be able to continue the advancement of her skills working with the clients of WIN Family Services and WIN Team PRP. Jen wishes everyone had the opportunity to be employed at WIN and to experience being part of the WIN family. This is an agency like no other, a true diamond in the ruff. WIN is filled with people who love what they do and who work very hard to bring changes to the lives of individuals in the community.
Tracey Drummond is the Quality Assurance Manager for WIN. New to the field ofQuality Assurance, Tracey, brings a background in program administration and evaluation. Most of her professional experience has involved the betterment of children and families. She is known for her nurturing, supportive dedication to those she serves. Her ability to support crisis intervention, crisis prevention and improvement planning is superb.
As a proud mother of 4 children, Jasmine (23 year old, recent graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, newly employed as a Marketing Administrator, NY City), Jahsol (17 year old, Senior at BARD High School, Early College), Jahnae (15 year old, Sophomore BARD High School, Early College and Jada (10 year old scholar at World House, a Community Supported Education Homeschool). Tracey closely guides and directs her children’s educational matriculation with hopes that they will all feed the family’s legacy of well educated professionals. Tracey earned her bachelor’s degree in Bio-Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County were she was groomed to a life long learner and to be a servant leader. As such, she assessed her mission to serve her community fit well with that of WIN Family Health. In 1999, she began her relationship with WIN as a foster parent in the therapeutic foster care program and has been connected to WIN in various capacities over the last 17 years, now proudly serving as the Quality Assurance Manger for the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program (PRP) of WIN PRP.
Placida Braswell, Regional Program Director, has over 15 years of experience in leadership in both ministry and the marketplace. An ordained pastor, Placida has been recognized for her dynamic ability to inspire and motivate people to live out their purpose. She is a co-host of a national radio program that broadcasts weekly on Radio One and a published author. She currently serves her community daily through her role as Regional Program Director for WIN Team LLC, a faith-based mental health and human services organization, headquartered in Baltimore, MD, committed to changing lives and strengthening families. Placida obtained her Master of Arts, Human Services from Liberty University. Placida and her husband Eric live in North East, Maryland along with their eight children.
Brittany Fruitt is a Rehabilitation Specialist and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Studies with minors in Social Work and Interpersonal Relations in December 2014 from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) through the National Council on Family Relations. Brittany interned with WIN and has been employed with WIN Team since January 2015. Her favorite quote to live by is “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi. We cannot go succeed in the workplace or this field expecting to change others; we have to be the change. In her role with WIN, she hopes to be a light for others as we strive to ensure our direct service workers have what they need to best serve our clients. She loves knowing that every administrative and clinical task she is assigned has a direct impact on the bigger picture of what we are doing as an organization.
Ian Wingfield has worked as Family Services Monitor and Direct Family Support Worker for WIN Team in Harford and Cecil County for 6 years. With his talkative nature, positive energy, ambition, and go getter attitude , “Mr. Ian” has quickly become a favorite and immediate best friend among the clients and families WIN serves. Constantly on the go and serving the community any way he can, Mr. Wingfield relies on his skills in relationship building an uplifting people to facilitate healing and change in those he meets. When he is not working on his life’s mission of building a legacy, he is devoted husband to Lakeeta, and doting father to Naje 20, India 15, Italy 6, and son Ian Wingfield Jr., 2.