Executive Team

Ann Leinfelder Grove, President and CEO
(414) 465-1323 aleinfeldergrove@sainta.org
• SaintA employee since 1990
• Master’s degree in business management, Cardinal Stritch University
• Bachelor’s degree, journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; It’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy; and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them. —Brené Brown

Ann Leinfelder Grove has served SaintA for close to 30 years in a number of senior leadership roles, including Executive Vice President and COO with oversight of all agency programs. She championed the program implementation of SaintA’s trauma informed care model, Seven Essential Ingredients (7ei) including in child welfare, where translational research has demonstrated improved outcomes through the use of 7ei-based, trauma informed program practice. As CEO, Ann’s strategic vision has enhanced SaintA’s partnerships in the community and advanced a culture of equity and inclusion at SaintA.

Sara Daniel, MSW, LCSW, Vice President of Educational Services
(414) 465-5711 sdaniel@sainta.org
• SaintA employee since 1998
• Masters Degree in Social Work – UW-Milwaukee
• Bachelors Degree in Political Science -UW-Whitewater

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou

Sara Daniel has been helping school districts and early care settings work with students affected by trauma, mental health issues and behavioral challenges for 20 years. She is currently a senior coach and consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Trauma Sensitive School Initiative and the co-author of the Trauma Sensitive Schools Learning Module Series. She has worked with countess school districts nationwide and trained thousands of school staff on the 7ei of Trauma Sensitive Schools. Sara is also certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) and is the leader of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Interface Master Trainer Project for the State of Wisconsin.

Starlet Hayes, Vice President of Fund Development
(414) 465-1313 shayes@sainta.org
• SaintA employee since 2019
• Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, Alverno College

“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.” ― Oprah Winfrey

With 25 years of fundraising experience, Hayes oversees funding opportunities and spreads SaintA’s mission with the community and potential partners. She has dedicated her career to non-profits in Milwaukee, having spent time at IndependenceFirst, the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee, Next Door and Harambee Community School.

Polina Makievsky, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation
(414) 465-5722 pmakievsky@sainta.org
• SaintA employee since 2018
• Master of Public and Social Policy, The Johns Hopkins University
• Bachelor’s degree, Political Science, Smith College

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” —Japanese proverb

Polina Makievsky steers strategic agency-wide and programmatic initiatives using her years of experience in nonprofit management, program development and innovation. Prior to joining SaintA she was at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a national association for health and human service nonprofits. There, she was responsible for new program design, knowledge and content management, and leadership development.

Dwayne Marks, Vice President of Child and Family Well-Being
(414) 604-5700 dmarks@sainta.org
• Returned to SaintA in 2020
• Master’s degree in business administration in management information systems from Concordia University of Wisconsin
• Bachelor’s degree, psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dwayne Marks is dedicated to developing and ensuring successful interventions in the lives of children and families that help them thrive in the face of adverse childhood experiences. A passionate advocate and technical leader, he has amassed an expertise in identifying data-driven solutions to challenges that plague the child welfare sector. Dwayne most recently served as Research Analyst—Advanced in the Quality Improvement Section at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and has previously worked with SaintA in multiple capacities, including as an Ongoing Case Manager, Fiscal Liaison, Co-Chair of the Historical Trauma Committee, and a founding member of the Equity Council.

Jody Pahlavan, Psy.D., Vice President of Clinical Services
(414) 465-5751 jpahlavan@sainta.org
• SaintA employee since 2018
• Master of Science Degree, Clinical Psychology, Marquette University
• Doctorate Degree, Clinical Psychology, Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology

“Through others we become ourselves.” —Lev S. Vygotsky

With more than 25 years of clinical experience, Dr. Pahlavan oversees the development and operation of clinical services, assuring ongoing strategic growth, clinical excellence and sustainability. For 10 years, she operated a private outpatient practice specializing in the provision of clinical services for children and adolescents. She has extensive experience in the provision of clinical services in acute care settings, serving as an Attending Psychologist for inpatient, partial hospital and intensive outpatient units for 25 years. Dr. Pahlavan has served as director of outpatient services and Chair of Psychology services at two psychiatric hospitals, leading extensive program development and expansion projects. She has a passion for mentoring new clinicians, serving as the Training Director of an APA-accredited psychology internship program for many years.

Kristi Scharl, Chief Financial Officer
(414) 465-1306 kscharl@sainta.org
• Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting and Marketing at Winona State University
• Certified Public Accountant

“Everything you do has some effect, some impact.” -Anonymous

Kristi Scharl has five years’ experience in public accounting, specializing in Not-for-profit audit, including A-133 audits. Her focus is on process and systems improvements, as well as aligning financial policy and practice with the organization’s mission and vision. She comes to SaintA from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, where she served as Chief Financial Officer for 4 years. She oversees financial affairs and information technology.

Sonja Williams, Vice President of Human Resources
(414) 465-1351 sonja.williams@sainta.org
• SaintA Employee since 2021
• Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
• Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater 

“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” ― Malcolm X

Sonja Williams is an accomplished leader with 23 years of talent optimization and organizational development experience. She leads the delivery of innovative and equitable employee-centered services for SaintA’s workforce. Driven by a desire to support the work of community-based organizations with compelling missions, she has performed impactful work at organizations such as Acelero Learning, the American Cancer Society, Milwaukee County and Next Door.

Directors & Administrative Managers

Charity Bower, Director of Quality Improvement (414) 465-1336 cbower@sainta.org
Denise Buchanan, Director of Human Resources (414) 465-1311 dbuchanan@sainta.org
Angela D’Fantis, Director of Community Services (414) 465-1880 adfantis@sainta.org
Jennifer Erdmann, Interim Director of Child Welfare (414) 604-5614 jerdmann@sainta.org
Amy Grau, Director of Marketing and Communications (414) 465-5715 agrau@sainta.org
Leslie Hayes, Director of Finance (414) 465-5744 lhayes@sainta.org
Carey Jacobsen, Director of Clinical Services (414) 465-1326 cjacobsen@sainta.org
Jason Matias, Director of IT (414) 465-1326 jmatias@sainta.org