Meet Our Dedicated Staff

Joseph Sica, MS

Executive Director

Joseph Sica has served as the Executive Director of Adoption by Shepherd Care since 2001. He has been involved in adoption since 1988, first serving as a house parent for pregnant women in a maternity home and serving variety of other roles since that time. Much of his previous training and experience is in the field of education and learning disabilities, so he brings a unique perspective to many issues within the field of adoption. He believes the mission of ASC is to serve birthparents and adoptive families with competence, compassion, and passion. He enjoys providing oversight and direction to the ASC team so that this mission can be accomplished. When he is not at the office, Joe can always be found spending time with his wife and their four children. 

Marilyn Woolard, BA

Adoption Assistant

Marilyn joined Adoption by Shepherd Care in March of 2005 and has worked in a variety of roles since that time. She currently is responsible for many administrative tasks within our corporate office in Hollywood, and there is a good chance that hers is the friendly voice that greets you when you call this office. Marilyn enjoys seeing God work in people’s lives:  birth parents, families, children and our staff. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, walking, and classical music.

Jimena Villarreal

Office Manager and Assistant to the Director

Jimena comes to Adoption by Shepherd Care with a rich background in bookkeeping.  She serves as our office manager and assistant to our director.  She is married and has a 2 year old son and in her spare time she can be found enjoying life with her family.

Donna Payner, M.Ed.

Adoption Counselor

Donna came to Adoption by Shepherd Care from an education and counseling background.  She has experience counseling school age kids and families in an school setting. Donna conducts home studies and follows up with families after an adoption. She loves getting to know the families who come to Adoption by Shepherd Care as they go through the adoption process, but thinks the best part is seeing them become a family and watching them grow together as she follows up with them. She enjoys spending time with her husband of 15 years and her two school age kids as they travel together, play sports and serve at church. Her favorite down time activity is curling up with a good book. 

 

Michelle Chaplin, BS

Birthmother Counselor

Michelle assists birthparents in making an adoption plan for their child.  She works to empower each individual by coming along side them and provides  practical and emotional support. Michelle also enjoys working with the adoptive parents in helping to bring families together.   She appreciates her role and feels honored to be a part of this process. Michelle is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two dogs.  

Nidia Sica, MSW

Director of Social Services/International Program Director

Nidia has worked in the field of adoption since 1988. She began her work in adoption by serving as a house parent in a maternity home, and she has since had the privilege to work with several agencies and attorneys in a variety of roles. Throughout the years, she has worked with birthparents to make an adoption plan for their child, with adoptive families by providing home study and post adoption services, and in the fields of both domestic and international adoption. She has also had the opportunity to participate in birthparent, child, and adoptive parent reunions as well as providing training to birthparent and adoptive parent caseworkers. She currently serves as the Director of Social Services and the International Program Director at ASC. She feels that during her career in adoption, she has met the most courageous people who sacrifice everything for the sake of another’s best interests. She and her husband have been blessed with four children, one of whom came into their family through the miracle of adoption.

Terri Maikkula

Orlando Supervisor/International Program Coordinator

Terri came on staff at Adoption by Shepherd Care in 2007 after working for eleven years at a Pregnancy Center.  She has worked with biological parents who have chosen adoption for their child and has been forever impacted by the selfless love  of the bravest ,most amazing women and men in the world.           

Terri currently works as a team member with our Colombia program and also serves as the supervisor in our Orlando office.  Terri is married and loves spending time with her children and grandchildren and working in her garden.   

Mercy Peters, BS, RN

Adoption Caseworker

Mercy first worked at Adoption by Shepherd Care from 1999 to 2002 and is happy to be part of our staff again. She works with families and birthmothers, helping them to work through their adoption plans. Mercy has a background in psychology and is also a registered nurse.  

Anmarie Sica

Case Aide

Anmarie  is the only girl in a family with 3 brothers.  She is currently a student at Moody Bible Institute, majoring in Biblical studies and Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation.  Her goal is to one day work in international ministries.  Being a student, much of her time is invested in studies, but in her spare time she spends time outdoors participating in a wide variety of athletic activities.

Chuck Maikkula, MA

Home Study/Post Adoption Caseworker

Chuck joined Adoption by Shepherd Care in 2008 and works as an adoption caseworker in the Orlando office. He provides home study and post adoption services to families adopting both domestically and internationally. He has previous experience working for the State of Florida and working in church ministry. He enjoys his work with adoptive families to see their dreams come true. Personally, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family.

Laura Wolfe, MS

Birthmother Counselor

Laura loves working with birthparents who are making an adoption plan for their child.  She sees this as a process and comes alongside them each step of the way with practical as well as emotional support based on their needs.  She holds these women and men in high regards as they make such a sacrificial choice and loves offering glimpses of hope to help them achieve their dreams for themselves and their child.  She is married and loves spending time with her husband at the beach or going to state parks.

 

Melanie Kassandji, BA

Canadian Program Coordinator

Melanie has served as the Canadian Program Coordinator with Adoption by Shepherd Care since 2010, and prior to that, she has over two years of experience as a birthmother counselor with ASC.  She has worked for many years in the area of child welfare, specifically with children in state custody who resided in therapeutic foster homes and emergency shelter care.  She enjoys working with families through the adoption process, and then seeing their journey completed with the placement of a baby.  She is married and enjoys being a mom to their two young children.

Claudia Martinez, P.A.

Colombia Program Coordinator

Claudia works at ASC in the role of Colombia Program Coordinator.  Claudia is an attorney and worked with the Colombian government for over ten years.  From this experience, she is knowledgeable in regards to the Colombian legal system which is an asset for ASC as she works with families through the adoption process.  She is fluent in both English and Spanish, and she loves working with families in helping them achieve their goal of being parents. She enjoys reading novels and spending time with her family.  Claudia lives with her husband Ricardo and their three children  in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Martha del Castillo Schrader, MS

ASC Colombia Representative

Martha has served as Adoption by Shepherd Care’s Colombia Representative since 2008. ASC is very fortunate to have a representative with her level of dedication, experience, and competence. In ASC’s Colombia adoption program, Martha manages all matters in the country and serves as a support to families during their travel.   She has been working in the field of adoption since 1999, with years of previous training and work as a journalist. She feels that children have always held a special place in her heart, and for many years she has been very active in volunteering with at-risk children in Colombia. Martha lives in Bogotá with her husband and two grown children

Laura Love, MSW

Adoption Program Assistant

Laura joined Adoption by Shepherd Care in 2007 and has worked in a variety of roles since that time including providing home study and post adoption services to families and working with birthmothers making an adoption plan for their child. She previously served as the International Program Coordinator and worked primarily with families adopting from Colombia. Laura loves her work and enjoys finding ways to simplify the process of adopting.  She works off-site and lives with her husband and two sons in Atlanta, Georgia.

Trey Miller, P.A.

Attorney

Trey Miller is the attorney who handles the legal aspects of all adoptions completed through Adoption by Shepherd Care. He obtained his law degree from Nova Southeastern University and is a member of the Florida Bar. Trey has represented ASC since 2007 and has been the attorney of record in over 250 adoptions.  He feels that many attorneys work their entire career and never feel their work made a difference in people’s lives or society—he has no doubt the work he does touches people’s lives and our community in a meaningful way. He finds it a true privilege to work in adoptions and represent Adoption by Shepherd Care. He has extensive experience in adoption-related trials and appeals.  Additionally, Trey represents adoptive parents in dependency cases, step-parent adoptions, grandparent adoptions, relative adoptions, and re-adoptions. He loves spending time with his wife and three children.

Beth Lawson, BA

Legal Assistant

Beth is the Legal Assistant to Trey Miller, the attorney who provides legal services for ASC adoptions. Beth has worked in this role since 2008. She loves being able to be a part of such a joyous occasion in families’ lives. In her spare time, Beth enjoys arts such as theatre and music, as well as reading and travelling to new places.

Vanessa Cahil

Adoption Advocate

Vanessa in an integral part of ASC's staff in the Hollywood office, and she works in a variety of roles at the agency.  She assists birthparents with their needs and also manages many administrative responsibilities.  She currently works part-time while pursuing a degree in education.  When she is not at work or school, she can often be found reading books or watching movies.   Vanessa enjoys an active lifestyle and spending time with her fiancé.