Meet the CaringWorks Team

Professionals with a passion

CaringWorks’ staff is composed of highly qualified professionals with a heart that’s truly invested in this demanding work. Our people are both well qualified and deeply passionate about what they do, because we have seen that caring really does work. A large percentage of our team members have life experience in addition to their professional training and certifications.


Carol Collard, PhD, LMSW

President and Chief Executive Officer

With a background in marketing and residential real estate, Carol Collard became a passionate participant in the fight to reduce homelessness while working for Progressive Redevelopment, Inc. In 1998, Carol returned to school to study social work and ultimately earned a PhD in the field. Dr. Collard has worked for more than 20 years in supportive housing and in grappling with the complex issues that can result in homelessness. Her combined expertise has given her the ability to operate a nonprofit agency with a caring heart and a mind for business. At CaringWorks, which she co-founded, she oversees a 40-member staff that operates supportive housing programs across Metro Atlanta. Carol earned an undergraduate degree in Communications from Loyola University in New Orleans, and both a master’s degree and PhD in social work from the University of Georgia. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and is also an associate professor of Social Work at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. Carol works daily to ensure that those in CaringWorks' programs are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.


Chris Hester

Chief Financial Officer

Chris is a seasoned accountant with over 30 years of business and non-profit experience.  In his early career, he worked primarily in the telecommunications field, holding various positions from Controller to Director of Finance. His non-profit experiences in the Atlanta area include working as the CFO/COO for Quality Care for Children, Frazer Center, Georgia Legal Services Program, Jerusalem House, and the Center for the Visually Impaired.  He has extensive experience in budgeting, cash management, inventory control, general ledger management, human resources, information technology, and building operations management.  Chris holds both Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) and Master of Public Administration (Non-profit Management) degrees from Georgia State University. He brings not only strong analytical skills and a policy and procedural background, but also a passion for the work that CaringWorks performs in the community.  As an integral part of the management team, he ensures that CaringWorks complies with all financial and reporting standards and acts as a good steward of the funding entrusted to the organization.


Barbara Peters

Director of External Affairs

Barbara started her career in the corporate world and gained experience in staffing, operations, human resources and sales. She joined the non-profit sector in 1998 and has worked in services focused on employment, mental health, disabilities, and housing.  Barbara was the founding CEO of First Step Staffing and also held leadership positions with Goodwill of North Georgia and Jewish Family & Career Services. Prior to joining CaringWorks in 2017, she consulted with non-profits involved in social enterprise throughout the southeast region of the country. Barbara was born and raised in New York and has lived in Georgia since 1998. She has a Masters degree from Mercy College in Human Resource Management and is an active member of the Grant Professionals Association. In addition, she serves as a Board of Director for First Step Staffing, Inc., Project Community Connections, Inc. and the Atlanta Hospital Hospitality House.


Sophia Franklin, LCSW

Clinical Director - Behavioral Health

Sophia has extensive experience developing and implementing programs for individuals with SMI, SED, and COD, with a particular specialty in working with low-income and/or homeless adults. As Clinical Director of CaringWorks, her responsibilities include hiring, training and management of staff and contractors, policy and procedure development, adherence to regulations, fidelity to evidence-based practices, grant compliance, documentation and reporting, strategic partnership development, and outcome measurement. Prior to joining CaringWorks, she developed strong management skills by working for a CMO for three years, with primary responsibility for supervision, adherence to regulations, and budget management. Sophia gained her experience working with the target population working at Mercy Care and Grady Healthcare System. She was the Behavioral Health Manager at Mercy Care, a community-based health clinic. She supervised 12 staff members, including six LCSWs, two substance abuse counselors, two LPCs, one LMSW, and one CARES Specialist. She was responsible for hiring, training, payroll, grant management, and direct provision of both individual and group therapy. At Grady, Sophia led the Assertive Community Treatment Team and worked directly with consumers, providing outreach, engagement, assessment, treatment, and case management. Sophia holds a master’s degree in social work from University of Southern Mississippi. She has over 10 years of experience in direct care and program management.


Stephanie Burkes

Director of Residential Service

Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 10 years of clinical social work experience. She graduated from Marshall University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. In 2009, she graduated from Barry University with a master’s degree in Social Work. Stephanie has spent 15 years as a social worker in various settings, including outpatient behavioral health; inpatient psychiatric care; hospital-based medical social work; policy and administration; medical home health; psychiatric home health; and hospice/end-of-life care. In her efforts to become a more well-rounded and efficient advocate, Stephanie entered law school in 2014, graduating with a focus in family law, healthcare law, and criminal law. Following graduation, she began a dual career in law and social work, applying legal skills and knowledge to the practice of social work.



Dornisha Freeman

Program Manager

Dominic Johnson

Program Director

Ailene Gordon

Program Manager

Sharolyn Griffin

Program Manager

Karma Russell

Program Director

Michael Weatherspoon

Program Director

Marshall Marrotte

Program Manager

Stephanie Johnson

Program Manager



Makoto Ikegami

ASL – Therapist for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Kevin Henderson

Program Manager

Kasheena Griner

Assistant Clinical Director


April Woods

Operations Manager



Colin Edelstein

Board Chairman

NorSouth Constructs


Tyrone Rachal

Vice Chairperson

Red Rock Global


Allyson Mccarthy


Turco McCarthy Design and Architecture, LLC


Courtney Showell




Lawrence Elder

Board Member

City of Atlanta Public
Defender's Office


Ray Kuniansky

Board Member

Columbia Residential


Lorri Mills

Board Member


E. Anwar Reddick

Board Member

Greenlight Financial Technology


Aisha Tucker-Brown PhD, MSW

Board Member

Center for Disease Control
and Prevention

Beth White

Beth White

Board Member


Help everyone in our Atlanta Community reach their potential