Staff

Welcome to our Staff page where you will find some of the individuals that make Cortney’s Place a success!

Donnette Hermes, Cortneys PlaceChief Operating Officer

Donnette Hermes

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, Cortney's PlaceDirector

Chasidy Gray

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.

Program Staff

Sarah01IMG_7709Sarah Adkins

Support Coordinator

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.

For the most recent years, Sarah has been in the field of working with Disabled Adults. Beginning as Registry, she was able to gain knowledge and experience working within all Marc Community Resources, Inc. Day Programs.

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.


scott

Scott Chamberlain

Direct Support Provider

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.

Stephanie CrownerStephanie Crowner

Direct Support Provider

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 WilliamsStarr Williams

Direct Support Provider

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.

Aurelia Tahy 0862 600pxAurelia Tahy

Direct Support Provider

Aurelia is a Native American, full Navajo born and raised in Tuba City, Arizona. After graduating Tuba City High School, she attended Dine College studying liberal arts. Aurelia worked with PARC in Peoria, Illinois. Working with individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities lead to a passion to help others. After six amazing years with PARC, Aurelia moved home to Arizona.

In 2012 Aurelia began working with Dine Association managing a group home for disabled adults. She also volunteered with developmentally disabled juniors and seniors at Tuba City High School.

Aureila is the proud mother to her one year old son Luca Fowler. She is engaged to be married in 2014. The Tahy family is very traditional and values Navajo cultural beliefs. Aurelia enjoys making a difference in the lives of others and that is why she does what she does.

 

Aldo Ortega1036A 600pxAldo Ortega

Direct Support Provider

Aldo has two younger siblings with whom he is very close with. He strives daily to be a positive role model to his brother and sister. He credits his parents for the values he lives in life. Aldo is a heavyweight boxer with a goal to become a professional boxer. Ultimately he plans to have a career in law enforcement. He is majoring in Criminal Justice.

At eighteen years of age Aldo began working with delinquent youth at a juvenile prison. He gained experience working with a variety of personality disorders and went to work at the state hospital as a mental health program specialist.

Aldo joined the Cortney’s Place team to assist adults with developmental disabilities achieve their personal goals and perform advanced daily living skills independently.

 

Jamie White

Direct Support Provider

Jamie is a mom to three children, James, Connor and Keagan with her husband Geoff. She and Geoff recently celebrated fifteen years of marriage and welcomed a new grandbaby, Heath.  Jamie has been blessed to of stayed home with her children as they’ve grown into young men.

Working with others comes easily to Jamie. She has experience caring for others from infants to school age at the YMCA and Fitness One. She also has experience as a full-time caregiver to her grandmother.

Jamie finds importance in working with others. Teaching, nurturing and watching the success each individual achieves makes her heart happy. The students at Cortney’s Place offer her a growth experience and she hopes to give them an enriching experience as well.

 

Derrick L. Smith

Direct Support Provider

Derrick is originally from New Jersey where his mother still lives. As a United States Air Force Veteran he was awarded the Air Force Achievement medal. He has wide range of experience, from working in self-contained classrooms and as a Group Home Manager. Derrick currently works for CPS providing safe, secure shelter in a comforting, caring environment to children in transition.

Derrick received BA in Liberal Arts at Rutgers University. During his free time he enjoys hiking in the beautiful Arizona weather and listening to jazz music to relax.

He enjoys working with individuals with disabilities and achieves personal growth through assisting each student at Cortney’s Place.

 

Donna Swann

Direct Support Provider

Donna is an NAU graduate majoring in Social Work. Upon graduation she worked at the Coconino County JD Center assisting teens to develop increased social skills and self-esteem. Donna moved Hawaii and began working with the homeless at Hope Services. She assisted individuals in obtaining shelter, working with SSI and connecting each person to the proper community resources.

Donna was raised in a military family living in Germany and experiencing various cultures throughout her childhood. She grew up with an Uncle who was mentally handicapped with the loss of vision and sight. She admired her Grandmother who raised her Uncle in the family home during a time when it was common to relocate to a group home facility. Her life experiences attribute to her character and opening her home and heart to those in need. Working with the homeless in a variety of ways such as preparing meals, giving sermons and working with individuals’ strengths to promote personal growth is Donna’s passion.