Adam Chipman, President
Adam Chipman, a lifelong resident of Jackson and graduate of Spring Arbor University, has been a board member of Family Service and Children’s aid since 2011. Adam brings various skills to the board, including his expertise in marketing. He started his marketing career at a local tour and travel company, continued as an account executive for a local advertising agency, and currently works for Allegiance Health as a marketing specialist. In June 2012, he happily married his sweetheart of six years.
Melissa Laird, Board 1st Vice President
Melissa Laird joined the Family Service & Children’s Aid board of directors in the Fall of 2013. Melissa is Match Specialist at Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is a L.E.A.D. (Leadership Exploration Achieving Diversity) cohort member and committed to use her leadership abilities to serve the community. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and has a passion for child and family welfare as well as criminal justice. She has a great deal of experience with administrative functions in the for profit world.. She has over 10 years of community service experience and is currently volunteering with Salvation Army and is an advocate with Parent Co-Operative.
Becky Billingsley, Board 2nd Vice President
Becky Billingsley is a Jackson, Michigan native who has a degree from Western Michigan University in business. Currently, she holds the position of Director of Compensation and Benefits at CP Federal Credit Union where she has been employed, and held various positions, since 1995. Becky, a human resource professional for over 13 years, obtained her Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification (SPHR) in 2006.
Emily Neely, Treasurer
Emily was born and raised in Jackson, MI. Emily joined the board in January 2015. She graduated Northwest Community Schools, and attended Jackson College before beginning her career in the banking industry. Emily is a Vice President, Retail Center Manager for Old National Bank and has worked in banking for 15 years. In her free time, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and volunteering in the community.
Aaron Rydjord, Secretary
Aaron Rydjord was born and raised in Jackson MI. He attended Northwest High School and then Jackson Community College, where he received a Journeyman’s card as a Tool Maker. He is currently working on a Business degree at Baker College. Aaron has worked as a Test Engineer for the Eaton Testing Facility in Jackson for the past ten years. During his free time, he enjoys playing with his two children along with coaching softball and football. MSU football, outdoor activities, hanging out and helping family and friends are a few of his favorite hobbies.
John Ocwieja, Member at Large
John Ocwieja is a retired Deputy Warden for the Michigan Department of Corrections. John was employed by the Department for 32 years. While working for the Department he served in a variety of capacities; teacher, staff trainer, and various administrative positions. John was educated at Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Education. In addition to serving on the FSCA Board, he serves on the Board of the Waterloo Area Historical Society and is active in the Stockbridge Lions Club. John is married with three grown daughters.
Simon Foster, Board Director
Simon Foster is the Government & Community Relations Manager with the Jackson Area Transportation Authority. Simon manages communication with local, state, and federal governmental agencies while leading communication with community institutions and media outlets about regional transportation. He has more than 10 years of government, public affairs, and research experience; this includes his employment with such institutions as the University of Michigan, City of Detroit, and the South Carolina Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities. Mr. Foster’s passion to radically improve the economic and social conditions of communities has been proven by his ability to bring diverse organizations together to effectively discuss, and take action on tough issues. Mr. Foster attended the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. He has recently moved to Jackson, and hails from Ann Arbor.
Sean Kennedy, Board Director
Sean Kennedy is a native of Jackson. Upon graduating from Duke University in 1982, Sean moved to Chicago to practice law. In 1992, Sean returned to Jackson to join the family business, Polly’s Food Service, Inc. Sean has served on numerous boards, including the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, the Summit Township Board of Trustees and the Jackson YMCA. He has been an avid supporter of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program for the past ten years, and it was through WWK that Sean was introduced to the Family Service & Children’s Aid. He looks forward to working with, and supporting, the foster care and adoption programs administered by the organization.
Katie Lavery, Board Director
Katie Lavery joined the Family Service & Children’s Aid Board of Directors in the Fall of 2013. Katie Lavery, MS, CNM earned her nursing degree from the University of Minnesota, followed by her Masters in Nursing, Nurse-Midwifery from Columbia University in the City of New York. She has practiced as a Certified Nurse Midwife in Jackson since 1995, serving women and their families for childbearing and women’s health needs. She has served on multiple boards at the local, state and national levels. She and her family enjoy traveling, learning and seeing the world.
Nancy Tuckey, Board Director
Nancy Tuckey is an Educational Consultant in the field of data collecting and program quality for children grades Preschool through Grade Three. Nancy’s efforts includes working at the local Preschool through Grade Twelve district and university levels. Most recently, Nancy has worked with the University of North Carolina’s prestigious Frank Porter Graham’s Child Development Institute. Nancy has presented at the local, state, national, and international levels. Nancy has special interest in child development, students with special needs, and program quality. Nancy is currently completing her doctoral work in in program quality. Nancy’s interest is in making Jackson County great. Nancy is married to Kevin and has two daughters, a son in law, and two grandchildren. Nancy is looking forward to the addition of another son in law later this year.
John Waugh, Board Director
John earned a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University where he graduated cum laude. He has prior specialization as a licensed insurance producer and is a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society for Psychology. Since 1999, John has been sharing his knowledge with individuals, business owners and nonprofits. He brings valuable experience in a variety of areas, including investment management; retirement plans (defined benefit pensions, 401(a), 401(k), and 457 deferred compensation); and creative home, personal and business financing solutions, to name a few. Currently John serves as a client advisor. John’s primary functions include ensuring that current and ongoing needs are met for members of the PrivateBank in a range of areas, including personal, family, and business banking; lending; investments; and trust and estate planning. John consults with a highly skilled team of practice professionals in each area to provide customized solutions that are as unique as the clients he serves.