Pam has 20 years experience working with children and families. Before becoming a Branch Director for Holt in 2015, she worked as a Holt social worker for over four years, and in 2005, she helped recruit Holt families in Florida. Pam has her Master's degree in social work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She has three children, the oldest adopted from Thailand, and the youngest adopted from China. Through her personal and professional experience, Pam is aware of the joys and struggles of international adoption. "I've always had a heart for adoption," she says. "I am very excited to be back working with Holt again."
Nebraska Social Worker
"I love my work with Holt and am honored to be a part of many wonderful adoption journeys!" says Bonnie Mayer. Bonnie has worked for Holt since 2002. She is a licensed mental health social worker with over 20 years of experience as a marriage and family therapist, working with families in foster care, adoption and family reunification. She has worked with children overseas as a Peace Corps volunteer and as a volunteer at a home for homeless children in the Caribbean. Bonnie is an adoptive mother to siblings who were adopted as older children and has both personal and professional experience with adjustment and attachment issues. She has traveled to Ethiopia and the Philippines with Holt and experienced the wonderful programs there.
Jessyca Vandercoy, LCSW
Western Nebraska Social Worker
Jessyca has over 17 years of experience working in child welfare, primarily in the areas of adoption and foster care. She has a bachelor's degree in both urban and African studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in social work from the University of Nebraska. As a former foster child, an adoptee, a foster and adoptive parent, and a professional social worker, Jessyca uniquely brings both a personal and professional perspective to her work in the foster and adoption fields. Her fields of specialty are pre- and post-adoption program development and establishing trauma-informed continuums of care for youth who have experienced maltreatment. She has worked as the chief program officer at Children's Square, USA, the director of permanency and wellbeing at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, the executive director of Right Turn LLC and as an adjunct professor of social welfare policy for Nebraska Wesleyan University. Jessyca has also served as a board member for the Nebraska chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Passionate about educating both professionals and parents on adoption-related issues, Jessyca is excited to serve children and families as a Holt social worker in western Nebraska.
Nicole Van Ginkel
Iowa & South Dakota Social Worker
Nicole has worked with Holt for three years and in the child welfare field for ten years. She has a clinical background working with children and families and works as an outpatient mental health therapist in her other employment. She received her Master's Degree in social work from the University of Iowa. "I love working at Holt because I love helping find forever families for children." She works with families in northwest Iowa, where she lives with her husband and three children.
South Dakota Social Worker
Celeste received her master's degree in social work from the University of Nebraska Omaha and has worked with children and families for over 20 years. She's worked with Holt International since 2004 and has held many different roles within the agency. She currently serves families throughout the state of South Dakota in addition to working closely with Holt's clinical team on special projects. Celeste considers it an honor and a privilege to work for Holt International and do her part to help further Holt's mission of creating a world where every child has a loving and secure home.
Iowa Social Worker
Cindy has worked as a mental health professional for over 30 years. Her focus has been on working with children and families, as well as a bereavement coordinator for Hospice. Although she is the newest member of Holt's Midwest Branch, she has been involved with Holt for many years as an adoptive parent and aunt. She has also been an airport greeter helping carry escorted children to their new parents. In the past, Cindy had the honor of hosting Bertha Holt in her home during an Iowa picnic and hearing her stories in person. Cindy has a master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa and is a licensed independent social worker. " Working for Holt is my dream job and I look forward to being a part of helping children have a forever family", she says.
Danielle M. Smith, MSW, LMSW
Iowa Social Worker
Danielle joined Holt International in 2016 after working in the adoption field for more than 26 years. Her experience includes international, domestic and special needs adoption. Danielle has a bachelor's degree in social work from Illinois State University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana. A married mother of two sons, Danielle also has personal experience in international adoption as she has a sister who joined her family through adoption from India and a niece who joined their family through adoption from China. Danielle loves working with children and families, especially in adoption. "Working with children and families in the adoption field has always been a passion of mine," she says. "I am excited to work with Holt International and assist families in their adoption journey."
Sue has worked in the hospitality industry for many years, first as a national sales manager for an international hotel company and then as a corporate meeting planner. In 2008, she went back to school to get certified as a paralegal and worked for Legal Aid of Nebraska before working for a private practice attorney for four years. Realizing she was drawn to working in a non-profit setting, she took a leap and quit her job as a paralegal and started searching job openings with non-profits — eventually bringing her many talents to Holt International. She has been happily married for 29 years and has three children, Becky, Scott and Seth.
Alaina worked for West Corporation for 15 years in many different project management, coordination and director positions. West Corporation is an international company and provided Alaina the opportunity to live in the Philippines for two years. She has also traveled for leisure and on mission trips to over 18 countries. She and her husband have two biological boys and one adopted child from the Philippines through Holt. Adoption and caring for orphans have been her family's passions, so she was happy and excited to accept this position at Holt.