The professional team at Tanager Place is made up of compassionate care advocates, nurses, family support specialists and trained social workers. We’re 100% family-focused and driven to meet the unique needs of every child and family who walks through our doors.
Meet Our Team
Chief Executive Officer
Okpara Rice joined Tanager Place as executive director in July, 2013, and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer July, 2015. Prior to his arrival, Okpara served as executive director of Starr Columbus (Columbus, Ohio), which is a child and family services organization.
Senior Vice President of Programming
Mike Hines has worked at Tanager Place since 1986. Before becoming a full time caseworker for the sexual abuse program, he worked in the PMIC unit for two years. He soon became supervisor for the Community Based programs.
Vice President of Finance
Brad Thatcher joined Tanager Place in January 2016. Prior to starting at Tanager Place, Brad served for 4 years as the Controller for Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services, a year as the Controller for the University of Iowa Foundation, and 8 years as an auditor of not-for-profit and governmental organizations at McGladrey & Pullen, LLP.
Vice President of Operations
Kim Venner joined Tanager Place in 2013 as the Pediatric Integrated Health Administrator.
Director Inpatient Services
Andy Manternach joined Tanager Place in 2001 and has served in a variety of positions.
Director of Advancement
Joan Hackbarth has been an active member of the team at Tanager Place since 1991.
Lorrie Erusha joined Tanager Place in November 2014. Prior to joining the staff Lorrie served in a variety of administrative and management roles as a consultant, business owner, recruiter, trainer, and buyer.
Board Certified Music Therapist
Amber is a graduate from Wartburg College and holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education, having majored in music therapy.
MS, ATR Art Therapist
Bridget earned her Master of Science in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University and has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa.
LISW Clinician Supervisor
Abby earned her Master of Social Work from University of Iowa and attended Luth College for undergraduate degree with a double major in psychology and sociology.
LMSW Clinic Therapist
Whitney attended St. Ambrose University where she received her Master of Social Work degree. My passion is to help children express their thoughts and feelings through play and art.
Sonia (Lily) Liggins
M.A., LMHC-t Clinic Therapist
Sonia recieved a B.A. in Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University. She also earned a M.A. in Counseling Psychology and Latino Counseling
LMFT Clinic Therapist
Andrew has a degree from Mount Mercy University. Unlike many adults, being playful has never stopped being a part of my life. I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity
Marie earned a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of San Diego. My friends and family have always referred to me
Erin earned degrees at the University of St. Thomas for Clinical Social Work and Mount Mercy University for Psychology and English.
LMSW Family Therapist
Dawn attended the University of Denver where she received her Masters of Social Work. I love being able to help others to grow and become
LISW, CTP Clinic Therapist
Lindsey earned a MSW degree from St. Ambrose University. She also has a Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Human Relations from the University of Iowa.
Angelo attended Western Illinois University where he gained a BS in Psychology. At the University of Iowa he earned both an Educational Specialist degree and Ph.D. in School Psychology.
LMSW, BCBA Autism Program Manager
Blake is a graduate from Saint Louis University and holds a Masters of Social Work with emphasis in applied behavior analysis.
tLMHC, NCC Clinical Therapist
Megan attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling. Megan draws from a variety of theoretical orientations for each client’s unique situations and believes that the client is the expert
LMHC, CADC Clinic Therapist
Naomi earned her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. Tanager Place offers a wide range of services to help not only the child function better, but for the family as a unit to function better.
Outpt Clinical Dir
MFT-T Therapist, Mt Vernon
Nicole attended Loras College where she earned a BA in Psychology and Mount Mercy where she received her BS in Elementary Education.
Tawny earned her Masters of Social Work from the St. Ambrose University. She also received a BA in Social Work from Mount Mercy University.
Valerie attended Saint Louis University where she earned her Masters in Social Work. She also attended Mount Mercy University as an undergrad
Laura went to the University of Michigan where she earned her Masters in Social Work. She also received a BSW degree from Loyola University in Chicago.
LISW, CTP Therapist
Maggie attended St. Ambrose University where she earned her Masters of Social Work degree. She also received a BA in Psychology and Philosophy as an undergraduate at Coe College.
Ashley attended the University of Iowa where she received a degree in Social Work. She also was a Social Work undergrad at Winona State University.
Holly majored in Psychology at the Quincy University. She also attended the Liberty University where she received a Masters in Professional Counseling.
LMFT-T Therapist - Cleveland Elementary & Grant Wood Elementary
Emma has a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mt. Mercy University.
Kelsey attended the University of Northern Iowa where she received her Masters in Social Work. My dad was born into an impoverished, abusive home as the fifteenth of seventeen children.
Amanda has a Masters in Counseling and Human Services from the University of Colorado. She also has a BA in Psychology and a BS in Sociology from the University of Iowa.
Jennifer earned an MS degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. Everyone that I meet has a story to be told and heard.
LMSW, CTP Therapist- Harrison Elementary
Cassie attended the University of Iowa where she received her Masters in Social Work. She also has a BS in criminal justice and psychology at
Chandran has an MS degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. Chandran also attended the University of St. Thomas where she earned a BS in Psychology and Family Studies.