Our StoryWho could have imagined what would happen when in 1976, a small group of committed women came together to address a deadly disease. Their goal was to increase community awareness around chemical dependency and its systemic consequences. With committed hearts and a defined vision, Perspectives was born. Now almost 4 decades later Perspectives, located in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, has grown into an award winning, multi-program, human service agency for woman and their children suffering from addictions, mental illness, and poverty Our Mission statement reads, “Breaking the Cycle for At Risk Families and Children for Total Family Recovery”. We’ve demonstrated that with appropriate opportunities, education and support; we can make a difference between a life having a promising future and a life that has none. Perspectives is like no other agency in the nation. Our innovative wrap-around programs are designed to move women and their children out of cycles of despair into hope.
Our goals are ambitious:
- Maintain sobriety
- Improve mental health
- Enhance a child’s academic and social skills
- Improve employability
- Reunite parents with their children
- Decrease child abuse
- Increase parenting skills
- Augment healthy life styles of children with daily nutrition
- Build community
- Advance citizenship
President/CEOjss@perspectives-family.org Jeannie Seeley-Smith has been directing and developing programs designed to empower the disenfranchised for close to 40 years. She spent 5 years as program director for anti-poverty programs in a 10-county juvenile delinquency prevention project in the Green Bay area of Wisconsin. Since 1981 she has been the President/CEO of Perspectives, Inc. Over her tenure she has raised over $75 million to support the programs at Perspectives and purchased over $7 million worth of property, including a 5 building housing campus for homeless women and children. Jeannie has spearheaded agency programs that have moved thousands of women and children back into the social and economic mainstream.
CFOccochrane@perspectives-family.org Cheryl Cochran CPA, is a licensed certified public accountant (inactive). Cheryl joined Perspectives in 1993 after working on Perspectives’ annual audit while employed by a public accounting firm. Her accounting specialty is recipients of federal awards. She has an extensive working knowledge of federal laws and regulations, ensuring compliance with Perspectives’ numerous government contracts and seventeen deferred government loans. She has developed and maintained extensive non-profit fund accounting systems and internal control policies and procedures. As a member of the management team, Cheryl helped lead the annual budget growth from $800,000 to $3,000,000 during her twenty year tenure.
VP of Clinical Servicesckelly@perspectives-family.org Chris Kelly, MSW, LICSW, joined Perspectives’ leadership in January of 2013. Chris comes with a 20 years history and is fully credentialed with an impressive and lengthy history in program administration, leadership, clinical work (children and adults), clinical supervision, parenting assessments, DBT group facilitation and training. Her experience extensively overlaps programs such as ARMHS, supportive housing, residential placements and substance abuse treatment. She is trained in crisis intervention and a behavioral health disaster model. Topics such as trauma, at-risk populations, cultural diversity and multidisciplinary collaboration have been cornerstones to her clinical work. In addition to her clinical skills, Chris, has extensive history in providing supervision for those seeking further licensure in clinical social work.
VP of Marketingldomholt@perspectives-family.org
Linda Domholt entered Perspectives management team with the goal of developing the agency’s first marketing department. Her history in marketing comes as owner of numerous successful businesses and 5 years as the Vice President of Better Life Media where she co-led the life improvement media production and distribution company. Since coming to Perspectives, Linda has developed a system for donor tracking and communication. Social media, blogs, annual reports, annual drives, websites, agency videos and packaging the message are all critical areas that she has built or is building on with limited budgets. A former student at Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Linda brings a fresh approach to telling our story
Board of Directors
James D. Kremer, Board ChairAttorney DeWitt Mackall Crounse & Moore S.C.
Rae Lesmeister, Vice ChairVP Organizational Effectiveness (Retired) Cargill
Dawn Courrier-Cable, TreasurerPartner, Tax KPMG LLP
Sue Zelickson, SecretaryNutrition Consultant/Reporter WCCO Radio/MN Monthly Magazine Founder, Perspectives Kids Cafe
Jeannie Seeley-SmithPresident/CEO Perspectives, Inc.
Cheryl CochraneCFO (non-voting member) Perspectives, Inc.
Marne BrooksCommunity Volunteer
Lisa DenzerMA, LPC Counseling Services Catholic Charities
Becky DvorakDirector of Internal Communications Andersen Corporation
Debbie EstesMarketing Consultant
Susan GraftonSVP, Finance & Chief Accounting Officer Supervalu
Peter Hayden, Ph.DPrincipal & President Turning Point, Inc.
Karen HeithoffFormer Business Owner (Retired), Intoto
Dustee JenkinsVP, Public Relations Target
Sarena LinPresident Cargill Feed & Nutrition
Michael MaeserSVP, Regional Managing Director Wells Fargo
Kelly MerrimanVP Service Delivery HealthFitness Corporation
Jim MurphySVP; President, Big G Cereal Division General Mills
Ellen SchmidtCommunity Volunteer
Karl SchmidtChief Executive Officer Morrie’s Automotive Group
Ruth UsemCivic Leader
David McNally (Emeritus)President TransForm Corporation
Vicki WyardFinancial Planner (Retired)
Kids Connection StaffThe Kids Connection staff is comprised of six staff members, five of whom are licensed teachers, including a special education instructor, reading specialist, and full-time chef. The staff’s combined teaching experience exceeds 85 years and each year they engage in 50 hours of additional training. Our licensed teachers are all highly experienced in working with our population. Each educator is exceptionally skilled in the Responsive Classroom philosophy, an approach to elementary & middle school teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. A large part of the program’s success is our staff’s ability to consistently engage parents in their child’s education.
Supportive Housing StaffPerspectives Supportive Housing team consists of four case managers whose expertise in working with our focus population spans decades. They facilitate connection with services and advocate on behalf of our clients to obtain needed services. Our case managers assist with the development and implementation of a recovery plan. A case manager is available 24/7 and each one is committed to working continuously to return our families to the social and economic mainstream.
Clinical Services StaffPerspectives’ Clinical Services team includes two mental health professionals, three mental health practitioners, and two licensed drug and alcohol counselors. They provide mental health and substance abuse services to the families, adults, and children Perspectives serves. They are highly skilled and trained providers who guide the participants toward continued recovery and healing. Clinical Services recognizes the immense value in being educated in and providing trauma informed care. They strive to provide treatment by utilizing best practices and an evidence-based approach to care through this model.
Employement StaffOur employment counselors have a single goal: to get residents back to work. They provide assessments, training, a Job Club, resources for obtaining a GED, childcare, transportation, assistance for secondary education, and advocacy with employers. They are highly skilled, bilingual professionals with a deep knowledge of the barriers our population faces to finding employment.
Parenting Time StaffPerspectives has been providing parenting time services for over 19 years and has framed many of the standards that now exist within the Supervised Visitation Network. Our twelve Parenting Time Family Coaches are a combination of community volunteers and undergraduate interns. They work under the supervision of our Program Director, a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. This group of intake workers, coordinators, and family coaches assist family courts in implementing supervised visitation orders by providing a safe environment for a child to visit their parent.
Supportive Services StaffingOur Support Services Department is a dedicated and talented group of individuals who each day work together to see that our programs run smoothly. They are our administrative assistants, grants managers, receptionists, van drivers, and child care workers. Administratively they support our Executive Team using a variety of project management, communication, and organizational skills. They make sure that clients and their families arrive safely, are greeted with a smile, and that their children are well cared for.
AccountingThe Finance Department consists of three staff members, one of whom is a CPA. They have worked together for fifteen years, administering 15+ government contracts and 20+ restricted foundation grants each year. They also ensure loan covenant compliance for 16 deferred, non-interest bearing loans for our supportive housing properties. Successfully managing internal controls and navigating government laws and regulations, this team ensures that programs have the financial resources they need to carry out their program goals. Clean audits.
Volunteer DepartmentEach year hundreds of individuals and numerous corporations, civic groups, churches and schools donate thousands of volunteer hours helping us to break the cycles of addiction, poverty and violence. We are able to utilize all these wonderful resources by offering a robust volunteer opportunity for people of all skill levels and time availability. Out volunteers range in age from 16 to 65 and group size from 1 to 75. We have volunteers who have been with us for years and those that are looking for a one time opportunity. Whether you want to work with kids, adults, in the garden, in the kitchen or in an office, you are needed!