Meet our Team

Leadership Staff

Jane Anderson

Executive Director

Tina Miller

Finance Director

Jessica Michels

Clinical Director

Ashley Pester

Development Director

Donna Knasel

Foster Care Manager

Robert Bruce

Independent Living Manager

Samantha Lakes

Home-Based Services Manager

Board of Trustees

Joe Varabkanich


Lori Simms Parks

Vice Chairperson

Chris Brill


Samuel A. Gradwohl


Quatez Scott


Tina Lastowski


Heather Heinz-Buttery


Kate Clark


Eve Mayes


Our History

CHOICES, Inc. – Children Have Options in Caring Environments – was founded in 1986 by Gina Frazier and Anita Johnson Patten. Led by their dreams and dedication to provide options in safe and caring environments for youth, Gina and Anita started a foster care agency. They were able to train and license five homes very quickly and provided six children with caring environments in those homes within months of opening their doors. The Foster Care Program has grown steadily over the years. Gina and Anita worked as an amazing team. Gina served as Executive Director of CHOICES, while Anita explored how we could provide even more services for kids and families in our community.

In April 1988, the Independent Living Program was added. Through this important program we provide scattered-site apartment living for older teens aging out of foster care, a relatively new concept in Ohio in 1988. The CHOICES, Inc. program was one of the first in Ohio and has continued to grow over the years.

Gina served as the Executive Director until October of 1997, when she was shot and killed by her estranged husband. She was a gentle woman who valued harmony and peace very much. She earned a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Antioch and was a professional mediator. She is still missed by family, friends and colleagues. Anita, our other visionary co-founder, was appointed Executive Director and guided the agency through this difficult time.

Anita led CHOICES through years of growth before retiring in 2005. To this day, she continues to support the dream she and Gina had back in 1986 – to make a difference in the lives of our community’s most vulnerable kids and families.

In addition to Foster Care and Independent Living, CHOICES identified ways to help even more kids and families in our community and added our Home-Based Services.

Gina and Anita created a solid foundation for the continued development of CHOICES, Inc. as an agency devoted to assisting youth and families in need. A passion for providing high quality services and care for youth and families guides the agency today and will continue to be their legacy.

Would you like to work with us?