Meet the Leadership Team
Learn more about Team YESS and why we love what we do - All day. Every day.
Leisa Fox, Chief Executive Officer (2019)
With over 20 years of experience as a senior executive in nonprofits and business development, I’m excited to have joined such a dedicated team to achieve YESS’ vision of building an Iowa where all children thrive in a safe home. YESS’ mission to change lives by protecting children and empowering families is a universal cause that impacts every individual in our community. I’m humbled to provide leadership, vision, and oversight for the daily operations of our wraparound services while building and nurturing community relationships. I’m also blessed to have the opportunity to interact with the wonderful kids and families who turn to YESS for care and support every day.
Favorite day: Waking up somewhere tropical with nothing to do all day but walk on the beach, enjoy the day, and make memories.
Julie Schneider, Chief Strategy Officer (1994)
I joined the agency after receiving my degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa. Each day, I am a part of the behind-the-scenes work of caring for kids. My role is to advance YESS' mission through fundraising, community relations, and daily business operations. Favorite day: The first day of vacation in the Rocky Mountains. The fresh, crisp mountain air is hard to match. Each year, hiking trails with my husband and our twin sons create some of our most awesome outdoor memories.
Susan Johnson, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer (2016)
I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from Central College in Pella with an Accounting major and took and passed the CPA exam a few years later. I've spent my entire career in the healthcare industry, and I have a passion for process improvement and efficiency. I am thrilled to join Team YESS and look forward to being part of the wonderful work of the agency every day. Favorite Day: My favorite day is Christmas. It’s just our immediate family for the entire day with no planned agenda.
Katie Kamienski, Chief Residential Officer (1997)
I received my BSW from the University of Northern Iowa and oversee the operations of the emergency shelter units, Blumenthal Crisis Nursery, Access Center, and Case Management Departments. Favorite day: The last day of school. Whether at home or here at YESS, it’s a time to celebrate all that the kids accomplished, set goals for the next year, and look forward to some fun downtime.
Dr. Sara Swansen, Chief Behavioral Health Officer (2009)
I earned my doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Iowa State University and am a licensed Child Psychologist. I have worked in the child psychology field for 12 years, specializing in adolescent and behavioral disorders. As a Clinical Child Psychologist and the agency’s Clinical Services Director I provide psychological assessments and conduct therapy sessions with children and their families. I also provide supervision to YESS’ mental health therapists and am in charge of ongoing program development and management of the Clinical Services Department. Favorite day: The day after Christmas. Nothing is expected of me, I have nothing to prepare, nowhere to be, I don’t worry if my house is a mess, and I don’t feel guilty when meals are leftovers and candy treats. On this day, it seems the world stops and I am allowed to be completely present, attentive, and relaxed with my favorite gift – my family.