Meet Our Staff

Amanda Kennedy

Executive Director, Learning Never Ends/Putting Abilities to Work

akennedy.lne@gmail.com

Amanda Kennedy, Executive Director Learning Never Ends/Putting Abilities to Work

Amanda completed her undergraduate studies in the field of Psychology at Capital University. During this time, Amanda also began her career experience in the field of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities through a position of employment as a Psychiatric Care Technician at The Ohio State University Medical Center where she provided direct care and facilitated group activities as well as seminars to patients with mental health disorders.

Upon completing her undergraduate studies, Amanda accepted an opportunity to work as an ABA Therapist for Haugland Consulting. While working for the consulting agency, Amanda completed training in Applied Behavior Analysis through the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and was later promoted to work as an Intensive Behavior Classroom Instructor for children in Pre-Kindergarten at Haugland Learning Center.

Amanda later advanced within the field when she was offered a position as Program Manager with The Association for the Developmentally Disabled where she was responsible for the development, implementation and daily management of operations for all Adult Day Waiver programs. After working as a Program Manager for nearly three years, Amanda was afforded the opportunity to join The Upreach Group in 2012 when she was offered the position of Day Habilitation Director for Learning Never Ends, LLC.

After continued efforts to further develop and expand program services, Amanda was promoted in June 2013 to the position of Managing Director for Learning Never Ends, LLC where she is now responsible to provide oversight to the operations, growth, development and continued expansion of services provided at all program sites in Franklin and Fairfield Counties, which currently include “LNE North”, “LNE South” and “Camp LNE.”

Amanda also serves as a part-time Adjunct Faculty Member and Field Liaison with Columbus State Community College on behalf of the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Department and currently supervises student interns completing practicums at Learning Never Ends.

Tamara Johnson

Associate Site Director – LNE South

tjohnson.lne@gmail.com

Tamara Johnson, Associate Site Director, LNE South

Tamara Johnson, Associate Site Director, LNE South

Tamara Johnson holds an Associate’s Degree in Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities from Columbus State Community College. Tamara began her career providing adoption and foster care to children with mental health diagnoses and developmental disabilities in her home, a service that she provided for over fifteen years.

Tamara also held the position of Independent Provider and Home Health Aide for over five years. After several years of in-home care experience, Tamara embarked on a new venture within the field when she accepted the position of Activity Leader with The Association for the Developmentally Disabled where she was responsible to facilitate community engagement and employment building activities for more than 100 individuals with developmental disabilities.

Tamara was later promoted to the position of Program Supervisor within her final role at the agency. Tamara later joined Learning Never Ends, LLC in August 2012 as a Day Habilitation Specialist and was quickly promoted to the position of Program Coordinator in November 2012. With the expansion of services and opening of the new Learning Never Ends program location in Southeast Ohio in September 2013, the opportunity was provided to Tamara to serve in the position of Assistant Director.

Desirea Strickland

Desirea Strickland, Manager of Quality & Program Supports

Desirea Strickland, Manager of Quality & Program Supports

Manager of Quality & Program Supports

Dstrickland.lne@gmail.com

Though Desi is a recent college graduate of the University of Hawaii, she is no stranger to the Upreach and Learning Never Ends families. Four years ago, she was the assistant director of Camp Learning Never Ends, a summer camp which provided services to adolescent youth with developmental disabilities. Also while completing her degree, Desi worked at Upreach as both a support specialist and an administrative intern. Upon graduation, Desi has expanded her journey by taking on the exciting new role as Manager of Quality and Program Supports at Learning Never Ends. Greeted with friendly faces daily, and consistently faced with new challenges and experiences, Desi truly loves her job. The work done at Learning Never Ends is very fulfilling, and it is a pleasure to watch the participants of Learning Never Ends further their learning and development.

Jeremy Lamson

Employment Services Manager

Jeremy Lamson, Employment Services Manager

Jeremy Lamson, Employment Services Manager

jlamson.lne@gmail.cohe

Jeremy Lamson graduated from Tiffin University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland Security. He is married to wife Katelin who together have a son named Asher. Jeremy began working in the field of Developmental Disability in 2012 as a Residential Assistant/Vocational Trainer for the Palm Beach Habilitation Center located in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2015 he and his wife moved back to Ohio, where he was born and raised, and settled in Columbus, Ohio.  Jeremy started working at Learning Never Ends as an Employment Specialist and since has been promoted to Employment Services Manager. He believes that the best aspect of his job is that “he gets to watch each individual grow and succeed in the goals they set for themselves every day at Learning Never Ends.”

Heather Whitt

Community Engagement Coordinator

Heather Whitt, Community Engagement Coordinator

Heather Whitt, Community Engagement Coordinator

hwhitt.lne@gmail.com

Heather Whitt has been employed with Learning Never Ends for more than two years and she loves her job! Heather began working with the agency in July 2014 as a Community Engagement Specialist at LNE Central. Heather’s genuine care for the individuals served and her willingness to assist however and wherever needed resulted in her being promoted to the position of Program Coordinator in October 2015 shortly after LNE opened its third location in Grandview, Ohio. Heather is a beloved staff member at LNE West and serves as a valued contributor to the LNE administrative team.

David Smith

Job Developer

David Smith, Job Developer

David Smith, Job Developer

ddsmith529@yahoo.com

David Smith was born and raised in Columbus Ohio. He graduated from Mifflin Senior High School in 1990 and The University of Wisconsin in 1995 with a degree in Early Childhood Development. After school, David worked as a daycare teacher from 1995-1999 before going to work at United Methodist Children’s home as a unit supervisor from 2000-2011.  David then transitioned to Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare as a mental health staff in the prison unit. Later, David worked second shift at the Alvis House as a house manager before starting his own Security company which secures venues and apartment complexes surrounding the Columbus area. David applied at Leaning Never Ends, and it has been wonderful for him ever since. He has two daughters that he cherishes aged 20 and 6. David is also a touring standup comedian.

Antoine Peterson

Community Engagement & Transportation Coordinator

Antoine Peterson, Community Engagment & Transportation Coordinator

Antoine Peterson, Community Engagment & Transportation Coordinator

apetersonlne@gmail.com

Antoine Peterson is from Columbus, OH and graduated from Brookhaven High School in 1999. Antoine began his wonderful journey more than 8 years ago, working for Upreach. Later, he was afforded the opportunity to become a Community Engagement Specialist with Learning Never Ends. Antoine’s desire was always to help others, so he established a career that allowed him to carry out his dream. Antoine has had the pleasure to work one on one with individuals with Developmental Disabilities at Learning Never Ends and his favorite activities have included; playing basketball and soccer, fishing and providing Job Readiness Trainings.

Due to Antoine’s great work ethic, he was quickly promoted to the position of Community Engagement Coordinator in 2013 when LNE opened its South location in affiliation with Fairfield County Board of DD. Antoine has played a significant role in establishing LNE South as a thriving location for LNE and has helped to affirm LNE’s positive reputation within the Fairfield County community. Antoine has also filled the role of Transportation Coordinator and maintains the agency’s fleet of vehicles used for non-medical transportation in Fairfield County, as a support to the agency’s Transportation Manager.

Antoine is a family oriented person who enjoys cooking and grilling, and making others laugh and smile. Antoine feels that LNE is the best company he’s ever worked for and it has become a second family to him.