Welcome to our Staff page where you will find some of the individuals that make Cortney’s Place a success!
Chief Operating Officer
Donnette Hermes has extensive leadership experience in the nonprofit industry. Her background includes 20+ years of service between the YMCA and the Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout her career she worked at YMCA’s in North Dakota, Connecticut & the Valley of the Sun YMCA in Arizona which has 17 operating units. Donnette served in the capacity of Executive Director at 4 YMCA branches in Arizona and finished her YMCA career as the Senior Vice President of Operations for Valley of the Sun YMCA with responsibility for 9 branches and $19M of the $38M operational budget.
Donnette was President and CEO for the Chandler Chamber of Commerce for 18 months prior to taking a two (2) year cultural sabbatical in Europe where she and her husband, lived in the Czech Republic. During her two years abroad she traveled to 15 countries, studied the Czech language and culture and started an international women’s expatriate group.
Donnette is a graduate of Jamestown College with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts & Business Administration. She and her husband live in Phoenix and enjoy hiking, dancing, reading, fine arts & movies.
Chasidy Gray joined the Cortney’s Place team with 20 years of non-profit industry experience. In the most recent years, Chasidy held the position as Executive Director of Early Childhood Education and Out-of-School-Time Programs for the Valley of the Sun YMCA, Corporate Office.
Over her career she has succeeded with strong administration and continually successful program development achievements. Chasidy worked as the direct contact to the Arizona Department of Health Services; OCCL and Department of Economic Security; CCA. Year-round National and State Legislative involvement incorporated with her YMCA Public Policy work lead to be successful when she was invited to participate in the Rules/Regulations Review Committee. She was honored to work with the highest level of individuals to revisit and rewrite the State Licensing Regulations for the first time in two decades.
Some of Chasidy’s recent volunteer offices include: Arizona Character Education Foundation; Board of Directors, Glendale/Peoria Family YMCA; Board of Managers, Arizona Center for Excellence in After School; Board of Directors, Arizona Department of Economic Security; Advisory Council Member, Arizona Child Care Association; Member and National Farm Workers Service Center; SSP Advisory Council Member.
Chasidy grew up in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, staying close with family and friends still in the islands. Chasidy’s pride and joy is her son, Chase who is a senior at Sunrise Mountain High School. Chase is in the Fire Science Program and plans to become a Firefighter upon graduation. The Grays are members of Christ’s Church of the Valley.
Sarah is a 2006 graduate of Arizona School of Massage Therapy. After a few years as a Massage Therapist, she decided she wanted to work in a larger range of therapy. She began volunteering at a safe house for women of domestic violence. Advocating on behalf of victims was rewarding and Sarah continues helping to make a difference.
She is certified in Respite and Attendant Care, American Sign Language, (ASL) and volunteers as a Special Olympics coach. Sarah comes from a large family, always doting on her niece, Brennan and nephew Jackson. She recently adopted 2 kittens from the Humane Society, Bentley and Boots.
Lead Direct Support Provider
Melissa’s brother, Jeffrey was born with Cerebral Palsy. She knew at a young age she wanted to work with disabled people. She began working at Independent Life Services and volunteering for track and field, power soccer and bowling with Mesa Association of Sports for the Disabled.
Melissa is certified in Respite and Attendant Care and works with the Community Living Services program during her time away from Cortney’s Place. With 2 years registry experience, Melissa brings a caring touch to Cortney’s Place.
The loves of her life are her 2 daughters, LillyAnne and Amelia. They are the youngest cheerleaders for our program.
Scott is an AZ native who spent time studying at the Arts Student League in New York City. As an artist, he has previously owned and operated his own gallery where live portrait sessions provided a cherished means of gaining insight to the individual. He also spent 32 years in the newspaper business, in a manager/supervisor capacity.
He has several years’ experience within the healthcare field, beginning at Marc Community Resources, Inc. prior to joining the team at Cortney’s Place. He also worked within in Community Living Services, as a Group Home staff.
Scott and his wife, Stephanie has been married for 39 years. They have 8 children and 19 grandchildren. No one can describe their passion for this field quite like Scott can. It’s the student’s unconditional love, kindness and enthusiasm for life that he loves.
Rosa began working in an Assisted Living Facility for seniors while becoming a certified Phlebotomist. She is a certified Respite and Attendant Caregiver and works with the Community Living Services department on weekends.
She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys teaching bible school to the children at church. Her goal is to open and own an Assisted Living Facility and continue helping others with the best care she can give.
Rosa was born and raised in Mexico, she moved to Arizona 16 years ago. She lives in Mesa with her daughter, Nichelle and helps her mother care for her father. Nichelle plans to become an Obstetrician Nurse.
Stephanie worked as a State Licensed Site Director and a Membership Child Watch supervisor for 16 years. Looking for growth and opportunities, she received her Medical Assisting degree through AZ College of Allied Health in 2011.
Stephanie put her degree to work with a doctor specializing in podiatry. After 2 years, she felt the urge to return to non-profit and focus on making a difference in the lives of others.
Stephanie’s volunteer work is with the Girl Scouts of America, LDS Church and her children’s Elementary School. She has been married to her husband, Richard for 17 years. They have 4 children, Shaina, Chelsey, Shelby and Riley. Family favorite is camping.
Starr graduated from Tomlinson School of Fine Arts in 1986. She began her career in the Graphic Design field and dedicated 25 years to the profession. In 2005 she completed schooling for Real Estate, earning her Arizona Real Estate license.
Within the most recent years, Starr discovered her passion for caring for others. Her Father-in-Law suffered a heart attack and diagnosed of Alzheimer’s disease. She began caring for him and other family members. Returning to the workforce, she entered the non-profit world working with preschooler children and seniors.
Starr is an artist, wife and mother of two sons. She has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House and believes in giving back to the community. Starr and her husband Jay have been married 20 years. Her youngest son, Jimmy is exploring the idea of a military career. Her oldest son, Jonathon is an AZ State Representative after serving 5 years as a Marine.
While working with Community Living Services, Rene came to visit Cortney’s Place. Not long after, she joined the staff team. Prior to working at Marc Community Resources, Inc., she studied at Phoenix Community College. Rene earned her certificate in Accounting. Part-time, she tutored through the work study program, helping peers.
For 26 years her mom has been in a Nursing Home facility. Rene is a consistent volunteer with the folks who live there, helping with lunch, playing games and enjoying social time. In 2006 she held the community position as a dispatcher for the Circle City/Morristown Fire department.
Her future goal is to focus on Autism and work towards her degree in Behavioral Health. Renee is certified in American Sign Language, (ASL). Rene has 2 children, Cameron and Jessica. Rene and Jessica live in Phoenix with their dogs BigEars and Snow.