YMOW Staff

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Barbara Niess-May, President/CEO, MPA, MSW

barbara@ymow.org | (734) 217-4453

Barbara Niess-May joined YMOW in early 2024 as the second President/CEO in the organization’s 50-year history, bringing with her over 30 years of experience building strong resources to support the Ypsilanti community. 

Prior to her most recent position as Development Manager at The King Center, Barbara served as Executive Director of SafeHouse Center in Ann Arbor, transforming the organization into a progressive service provider supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Barbara holds master’s degrees in social work and public administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Evansville, Ind. 

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Barbara’s commitment to community extends beyond her job to include volunteer roles with the Washtenaw County Circles Program, Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, the United States Adventure Racing Association DEI committee, and the First United Methodist Church Anti-Racism Work Group in Brighton. She will begin seminary work in the fall of 2024 as she works toward becoming an ordained deacon in the United Methodist church. 

In her spare time Barbara trains and competes as an amateur endurance athlete in adventure racing, competitive navigation and mountain bike/gravel racing.

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Kelly Schwartz, Operations Director

kelly@ymow.org | (734) 547-3202

Kelly Schwartz began her role as Operations Director in July 2020, but her relationship with YMOW began in 2002. A longtime supporter of the YMOW mission, Kelly was serving as chairman of the YMOW Board of Directors when she joined the YMOW staff.

As Operations Director, Kelly manages the day-to-day operations of YMOW, supervising the CCAs, volunteer coordinator and managing client services.

Having previously worked in leadership roles at Food Gatherers, Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority and Huron Valley Humane Society, Kelly brings a long history and vast knowledge of non-profit work and community service to her role. While serving as Director of Operations at the Humane Society, Kelly helped to initiate the Bountiful Bowls program through which YMOW supplies pet owners with food and other necessities.

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She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Detroit College of Business and an MBA from University of Alabama at Birmingham.

As YMOW board chairman, Kelly said she was committed to helping the staff and volunteers of YMOW find new and better ways to enhance and improve the lives of the community’s homebound neighbors. As Operations Director, she continues that mission.

“I’m thrilled to serve YMOW and the community in this new role,” Kelly said. “Access to food and other supportive services is paramount for our aging and disabled population and I’m proud to be part of an organization that makes that happen.”

Kelly lives in Ann Arbor with her wife, Kristin, and their dogs, Molly and Lewis.

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Chris Brown, Supportive Services Manager

chris@ymow.org or volunteer@ymow.org | (734) 217-4450

Chris Brown joined YMOW in August 2022 as Volunteer Manager and was promoted in April 2023 to Supportive Services Manager. In his new role, Chris will oversee and support YMOW's growing case management team.

"YMOW offers so many services to our clients beyond just a meal, and I'm so excited to help connect the dots across the organization. I'm eager to support the team that provides those additional services by promoting their work to stakeholders and partners, and leveraging our dedicated volunteer base to increase capacity," Chris said.

Chris also is leading the formation of YMOW's DEI Committee.

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Originally from Ohio, Chris moved to Ypsilanti in 2011 and grew to love the character and quirkiness of the city. He holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from Eastern Michigan University.

Chris now lives in Monroe with his partner and their cat. He loves cooking, gardening and Michigan history.

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Keegen Carty Meranuck, Office Manager

keegen@ymow.org | (734) 217-4454

Keegen Carty Meranuck brings a background in business management and a passion for food equity to his role as office manager at Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels. 

“I’m a big believer in everyone having access to nutritious food,” said Keegen, who became a delivery volunteer with YMOW in late 2020 before stepping into the role of office manager in February 2021. 

As the point person between YMOW and the people served, Keegen enjoys getting to know each and every client and doing what he can to meet their needs as efficiently as possible. 

Keegen graduated with a degree in business management from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. He now lives in Ypsilanti and enjoys theater, yoga, being outdoors and gardening. He has two cats, Mowgli and Lola, and a dog, Max. 

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 Kellie Childs,Technical Manager and Project Manager for Care on Wheels, MOT, OTRL

kellie@ymow.org | (734) 557-8241

After a career in social justice, Kellie’s career switched gears when she witnessed the progress her own son made while working with an occupational therapist. She earned a master’s degree in OT at Eastern Michigan University before teaching the subject at the school and finally finding her place on the YMOW team in 2020.

In 2023, Kelli was promoted to Technical Manager and Project Manager for Care on Wheels - YMOW’s hands-on program to make home safer for homebound seniors. Kellie uses her clinical and technical skills to build accessible and workable technology solutions for YMOW, its clients and its clinical staff. 

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“I have been working on technology solutions for the agency since the pandemic started, and the knowledge I've gained over the last 3 years has helped me understand the importance of using tech as a means of staff communication and data collection so we can show proof of the amazing work done by YMOW staff,” Kellie said.

Raised by her grandparents, older adults have long been an important part of Kellie’s life. She said she’s pleased to find a way to use her OT skills and knowledge, and her knack for technology, to make aging easier and to help people age in the comfort of home.

Kellie also holds a degree in women’s studies from University of Michigan. She lives in Saline with her husband, son and daughter.

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Bridget Daly, Occupational Therapist, OTRL

bridget@ymow.org | (734) 217-4769

Bridget Daly came to YMOW in September 2021. Since then, her role has grown as she helps people remain safe and independent in their homes through application of the Care on Wheels (CoW) program. 

Bridget has nearly 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist. Along with her role at YMOW, Bridget supports the Henry Ford Health System as a support group leader for Caregivers in Downriver (C.A.R.E.S.) and the Henry Ford hospice team.

Part of a large, close-knit family, Bridget is the primary support person for her mom, who is going through the dementia journey.  

Bridget shares a home with her husband and their dog, Rosie. She enjoys hiking, kayaking and being outdoors.

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 Amber Dallwig, Registered Nurse, DNP, RN

amber@ymow.org | (734) 557-8241

Amber Dallwig is new to the YMOW staff, but she’s been an important part of the team since 2012. Through her roles as Clinical Quality Assurance Manager at Area on Aging 1B and as an instructor with the community health program at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, Amber helped to drive the YMOW mission for years before joining the team in March 2021.

“I have watched YMOW grow,” said Amber, who holds a doctorate in nursing practice from Indiana Wesleyan University. Now, she will contribute to that growth as she helps clients age longer and more safely at home.

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“I love older people,” said Amber, who is looking forward to providing one-on-one attention to those in need of care. She said she also looks forward to the day when more in-home aging care is covered by insurance.

“I want to be part of that,” she said.

In addition to her part-time role with YMOW, Amber continues to instruct nursing students at Eastern Michigan University. Her students spend most Fridays learning through their assistance at YMOW.

A lifelong Michigander, Amber lives in Carleton with her husband, Dave. She loves painting and spending time with her granddaughter.

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Traci Bibins,Community Health Worker

traci@ymow.org | 734-217-4441

Traci joined the YMOW team in March 2019 after a search for volunteer opportunities in her community led her to YMOW. After three years as a Client Care Associate, delivering food to YMOW's clients, Traci expanded her role in 2022 by becoming YMOW’s first Community Health Worker.

As Community Health Worker, Traci serves as a connection between YMOW clients and the services available to help them age safely and comfortably at home. She is acutely familiar with the support services available at YMOW and throughout the community.

Food delivery is important, Traci said, but YMOW clients also need access to someone who can help with their non-food needs. Traci said she’s proud to be the person that clients can call when they’re in need of help.

“Sometimes, that’s all they want,” she said.

The mother of three sons, Traci looks forward to Sunday dinners with her family.

 

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Kathy Stanislawski,Case Manager

kathy@ymow.org | 734-557-8259

Shortly after retiring from a long career in nursing, Kathy Stanislawski joined YMOW as a volunteer. It wasn’t long before she became part of the YMOW staff, accepting the position of case manager in November 2023.

Kathy said she turned to YMOW as a way to stay active in her community, but soon found a way to use her decades of nursing skills to help make aging easier for her neighbors.

“I think it’s a great program,” said Kathy, who assists YMOW clients by helping them to access support services available throughout the community. She also conducts assessments for new clients and reassesses existing clients, as well as those entering the Care on Wheels (CoW) program.

“It’s such a huge thing for the caregivers of clients,” Kathy said of CoW, which offers support and respite to family caregivers through housekeeping, home repairs and more.

An avid golfer, Kathy lives in Ypsilanti with her partner and their three dogs.

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Dannielle Murphy, Marketing and Development Manager

danni@ymow.org | (734) 217-4578

Dannielle “Danni” Murphy joined the YMOW team as marketing and development manager in November 2022. Danni’s background includes event planning and extensive community engagement through her work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Washtenaw County.  

Danni said she’s eager to put her experience and skills to work for YMOW.

“I’d like to create engaging events that bring in new donors, reach new people and spread the mission,” Danni said. 

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A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Danni holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and a minor in fine arts. She has served on numerous Ypsi committees, including the 4th of July Parade, the Juneteenth Celebration, Downtown Association of Ypsilanti (DAY), and the Holy Bones Festival, which brought in over 1,500 people and raised over $12,000 to restore The Ypsi performance space. Danni is a founding member of The Renaissance Project, which raised thousands of dollars to establish a scholarship fund for kids to attend Center Stage Productions Drama Camp in the Riverside Arts Center theater. 

Danni resides in Normal Park with her husband, three children and two cats. She loves to paint and create and hopes to develop opportunities for YMOW clients to stretch their artistic muscles for the good of the YMOW mission. 

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Sandy Bosch, Grants and Communications Manager

sandy@ymow.org | (734) 217-4578

Sandy stepped into her role as communications coordinator at YMOW in 2018. It is a job that pairs two of her favorite things – writing and serving the senior population.

After a long career in community journalism, Sandy left her job as a reporter in 2014 to pursue a long held desire to work with older adults and to help them age safely in their homes.

Sandy uses her writing and communication skills to share the story of YMOW with the community, donors and supporters, and with those who might be in need of the organization’s many services.

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“YMOW is an organization that the entire community should be proud of. I want people to know about the good we do and the people who make that possible,” Sandy said.

Sandy also works as a freelance writer. She and husband Dave have two grown children and welcomed their first grandchild in 2021.

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Eric Gill, Client Care Associate

Eric Gill joined the YMOW team in September 2018, fulfilling his need to help others in his community.

“I believe that helping those in need is the right thing to do,” Eric said.

In his previous job at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Eric worked with a diverse population of all ages and from a wide range of demographics and socio-economic backgrounds, including senior citizens and people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

Eric lives in Ann Arbor with his husband and two dogs. During his free time he enjoys baking, gardening and staying active. He also loves to travel and to explore nature.

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Joey Granath, Client Care Associate

After caring full time for his grandmother through the last years of her life, Joey Granath knows firsthand the needs of someone aging in place.

His job at YMOW is a chance to continue helping people age at home, with the dignity they deserve.

“It feels meaningful,” said Joey, who joined the YMOW team in May 2022.

Until joining YMOW, Joey said he thought Meals on Wheels was just about delivering food. He was pleasantly surprised to learn just how much “more than a meal” he provides as a CCA. In addition to providing food and other necessities, Joey said listening is a big part of his job.

“Some of these folks don’t get out much,” he said, and they enjoy a chance to talk and be heard.

A resident of Ypsilanti, Joey enjoys hiking, disc golf and being outdoors.

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Atticus Kirkjian, Client Care Associate

Atticus Kirkjian joined YMOW in May 2023, but his connection to the organization began years ago, when he was just a kid. The son of former YMOW board chair K.J. Miller, he accompanied his parents every year for holiday meal delivery. 

Fast forward to more than a decade later, Atticus now delivers meals and other necessities to homebound seniors and adults three days a week as a YMOW Client Care Associate. 

Atticus isn’t the only Kirkjian at YMOW. His dad, Bill, became a CCA in 2022. When the search began for new CCAs to join the program, Bill encouraged his son to join him. 

“It’s great, actually,” Atticus said of working with his dad. “He’s helped me a bunch.” 

After just a week on the job, Atticus said he made the right choice in joining YMOW. He said he loves the friendliness of the staff and meeting the clients. 

“I really enjoy helping people when I can. It’s a rewarding job,” he said. 

Atticus is a lifelong resident of Ypsilanti and a current student at Washtenaw Community College. 

 

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Zach Klaus, Client Care Associate

Zach Klaus was searching for a job that aligned with his values and helped his community when he found both in Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels. 

“I wanted to do something that made me feel good,” said Zach, who became a YMOW Client Care Associate in summer 2022. After losing his grandfather earlier in the year, Zach said he was driven to make life a bit easier for other people’s grandparents. 

Originally from Howell, Zach moved to Ypsilanti about two years before joining YMOW. As a CCA, Zach said he enjoys getting to know the people on his route and learning about the issues facing seniors. 

“It really has opened my eyes to what life is like for people,” he said. 

Zach attended Columbia College in Chicago, where he studies art, design and marketing. He and his partner, Will, have two cats, Simon and Squid. 

 

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Randi Mayrent, Client Care Associate

Randi became a client care associate with Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels in 2015.

“I enjoy every aspect of my job - delivering food, sharing a few moments with the clients, their kids, pets and getting to know the volunteers and interns,” she said.

Randi enjoys delivering meals to clients because it gives her the opportunity to ensure they are safe in their homes.

“Every meal I deliver comes with a greeting, a smile, a look into the eyes. It lets each client know someone is there, that someone sees them and is concerned about their well-being,” she said.

Randi said working with YMOW has provided her with a deeper humility, patience, sincerity, compassion and an overall interest in others, especially seniors. In addition to her passion for her work, Randi enjoys walking her dogs, listening to music, gardening and spending time with friends.

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Cait O'Banion, Client Care Associate

A job that fills a person’s financial needs is essential. YMOW Client Care Associate Cait O’Banion said she’s lucky to have found a job that fills her emotional needs, as well. 

Cait became a YMOW CCA in August 2023. Having volunteered for YMOW as a student at Eastern Michigan University, Cait was familiar with the function of the organization and the needs of its clients before applying to join the team. 

“You just get to see a lot of grateful people,” she said. Cait said it didn’t take long to realize that delivering food is just part of the job of a YMOW CCA. To many people, the few moments she takes to chat and listen are even more important than the meals. 

“We can slow down and give them that,” she said. 

Cait also is the owner of Poppin’s, a boba tea shop that currently serves private and pop-up  events. She hopes to add a food truck next year. 

Born and raised in Ypsilanti, Cait said she’s proud to be part of an organization that’s making the town she loves even better. Cait lives in Normal Park with her partner, Aidan, and her pitbull/boxer rescue, Theo. 

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Brett Snyder, Client Care Associate

Brett Snyder has missed YMOW ever since he left back in 2016.

“I’ve always wanted to come back,” he said. And he did from time to time, as a volunteer.

When the opportunity arose in 2020 to return to YMOW, Brett didn’t hesitate. He now delivers meals as a client care associate and also uses his master’s degree in social work to assist with data collection for the CAPABLE program.

“I love it,” Brett said. “I like seeing the clients every day and building a relationship, a couple of minutes at a time.”

Brett lives in Ypsilanti with his wife, Caren, a professor of social work at Eastern Michigan University. He and Caren have two rescue dogs.

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Richele Taylor, Client Care Associate

New to the area, Richele Taylor was searching for her place in the community when she found it at Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels. 

“I was called to it,” said Richele, who started delivering meals to YMOW clients in November 2021. Just weeks into her new job, Richele had already grown to know and care about the clients on her route. 

“I look forward to going to work,” she said, and to doing small things for her clients, even if that small thing is as simple as a smile. “It’s not just a food delivery service. It’s a lifeline. It’s about community. It’s just about being there.” 

Richele lives in Ann Arbor with her partner, Brent, and their blended family of four children. They have a German shepherd/Alaskan malamute named Penny and a cat named Batman.

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Joe Waldrop, Client Care Associate

Joe remembers how his mother-in-law looked forward to her daily meal delivery from her local Meals on Wheels. So when the opportunity arose to join the YMOW team, he knew it was his chance to return the favor.

“I was always impressed with people who brought her meals. They made her day,” Joe said. Now, he’s happy to be that person for the people on his YMOW route.

After several years of retirement, Joe said he’s happy to find a role that allows him to interact with people while contributing to his community.

Joe lives in Ypsilanti Township with his wife and their two Chihuahuas, Pixie and Hazel.