Karen L. Le’Que Founder and Executive Director of Kee to Independent Growth, Inc. Karen has an extensive background in service coordination and ongoing experience working with individuals with disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and geriatric clientele. In addition, Karen has widespread knowledge in recovery, alcohol/substance abuse programs and working with those struggling with mental illness.
She became a service coordinator in 1997 and received her CORE training Certificate, required MSC (Medicaid Service Coordinator) as well as New York State Department of Health trainings. Karen was employed at a contracted OPWDD (Office for People with Disabilities) agency for several years, was manager/client advocate of a mental health business office, alcohol and substance abuse office manager, was a nurse at a large assisted living facility, and supervised at a local licensed home care agency, before building KIGI.
Karen is an LPN, has a Bachelor's Degree in Human and Community Services, and has earned CASAC-T (Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor in Training). Karen is dedicated and passionate about the Veterans program. She has had close ties with the military for the majority of her life. Karen's husband served in Iraq as a combat infantryman in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Two of Karen's brothers were also active in the military. Sadly, one of them died a homeless Veteran. This has greatly affected Karen's life; it has given her the inspiration and motivation to help other homeless Veterans who have courageously fought for our country.
Beatriz Aviles-Giannone brings over 25 years of experience in human services and client advocacy. She brings decades of experience of work dedicated to making lives better for children, adults, and families in our communities. Beatriz has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology. Bea has worked with children with serious emotional disturbance for over three years at Northeast Parent and Child Society where she was promoted to Clinical Supervisor. Bea worked for Catholic Charities for over 12 years. While at Catholic Charities she worked endless hours with the Prevention Program through Albany County Department of Social Services, Bea translated at Albany, Troy, Schenectady Family Court, provided anger management, and parenting classes to families at risk of losing their children. Bea worked as a Youth Director for Hispanic Outreach Services.
There she addressed all of the needs of the Hispanic youth and their respected families. She obtained housing, furniture, summer programs, after school programs, and built a tutoring program with the support of volunteer student from Siena College. Bea is also a therapeutic foster parent. She fostered many children through Saint Catherine's Center for Children. Bea's reputation as a tireless advocate sets the high bar in serving clients, while setting her apart in the field of human services. She is a true leader who is respected by her peers and co-workers and, most importantly, the people she serves. Bea models professionalism perfectly blended with compassion and fortitude. It is a distinct honor to have Beatriz as a Director at Kee to Independent Growth, Inc. On Beatriz's free time she loves to make memories with her family.
" I would do for my clients as I would do for my mom, dad, brother's, sister's and children." Bea
Nicole Miceli is the Clinical Director with a decade of experience holding dual Masters in Anthropology and Mental Health Counseling. Nicole specializes in the knowledge of and ability to apply counseling and diagnostic theories and techniques to a full range of diverse client populations as well as co-occurring disorders. Nicole is passionate for the mission and philosophy of Kee to Independent Growth along with the knowledge of company history, culture, identity, and goals. Nicole enjoys a good Netflix binge, traveling, and a good bonfire.
Amy Leininger is the director of Day Services. Amy graduated from Empire State University with a Bachelor’s in Community and Human Services. Amy has years of experience working with people with disabilities and caring for people in a variety of capacities. Amy has worked/cared for diverse populations including those with developmental disabilities, IDD, ADHD, Spina bifida, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Behavioral Health, and more. Amy has professional as well as personal experience caring for those with complex special needs. She has enjoyed working with children and adults with disabilities through the OPWDD waiver programs (day program, day program country supervisor, residential services, residential management, clinical assistant and service coordination). She has also worked with other populations such as those with dementia and geriatrics. Amy has extensive management experience and training since 2008.
Amy enjoys helping people improve their quality of life by giving people respect and dignity while providing positive quality services to those who are in need. Amy grew up with a sibling who had special needs that included physical as well as intellectual disabilities. In 2015, Amy’s sister passed away from the complexity of her needs. Amy’s sister has inspired her to care for others and improve the quality of services being provided with the same expectations that she expected for her sister and more. Some things Amy enjoys during on her free time is to be with her family, go kayaking, do crafts and go to the beach.
Martha brings experience that blends human services with business administration. She has worked in assorted industries in both the private and public sectors, where she focused on strategic planning and business development. Martha applies a compassionate, yet analytical approach, to deliver solutions leading to improved circumstances. Martha is particularly interested in all aspects of health care and public policy. Her hobbies include everything outdoors and, especially, hiking, biking, swimming and gardening.
Martha Devaney – Director of Finance
Donna Nelson – HR/Administrative Assistant
Kristina Whitt – Finance Manager