Karla Ward Executive Director

karla@nbowensboro.org | ext 101

Karla Ward is the Executive Director of New Beginnings and is responsible for guiding the organization while overseeing its clinical and educational programs of the agency as well as grant writing and fundraising.

She is currently Chair of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs that make up the 13 rape crisis centers in the state and is Chair of the Program Implementation Committee that oversees the statewide initiative of the Green Dot Program. She is part of Impact 100 and Kiwanis of Owensboro.  Karla sits on the board of directors for Owensboro Regional Suicide and Prevention Coalition where she serves as Treasurer and Audubon Area Community Care Clinic.  She is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Owensboro, a member of the Kentucky Colonels, and the 2022 Athena award winner.

Karla has been with New Beginnings since 1998 when she joined the organization as Community Educator.

Karla earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education from Western Kentucky University in 1994.

Julie Campbell Assistant Director

julie@nbowensboro.org | ext 102

Julie Campbell is the Assistant Director for New Beginnings and is responsible for managing the business and accounting functions of the agency. In addition, she presents community education programs and covers the crisis line when the need arises.

She is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants and a member of the Tri-State Payroll Association.

Julie has been with New Beginnings since 1999 and has twice briefly served as interim director for the organization.

Julie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Murray State University in 1995 and a Masters of Business Administration from Murray State University in 1997.

Ronda Howard Prevention Coordinator

ronda@nbowensboro.org | ext 103

Ronda Howard is the Prevention Coordinator for New Beginnings and is responsible for educating high schools and the community on violence prevention, as well as guide the prevention education programs for elementary and middle schools.

She is a member of the of the Program Implementation Committee that oversees the statewide initiative of the Green Dot Program and is the Chair of the Daviess and Henderson County Community Prevention Teams that plan community level activities for high school students.

Ronda has been with New Beginnings since 2007, having spent the previous years as an elementary school teacher. Ronda earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Western Kentucky University in 1994.

Check out my virtual classroom! 

Rebecca Roby Clinical Coordinator

becky@nbowensboro.org | ext 105

Rebecca Roby is a Clinical Coordinator for New Beginnings and is responsible for providing educational and individual therapy to those affected by sexual victimization. In addition, she provides medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. Rebecca is trained in EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Child-Centered Play Therapy.

Rebecca has been with New Beginnings since 2009.

Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Brescia University in 2005 and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville in 2006. She earned a Certified Social Work License in 2006 and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2011.

Tara Gann Clinical Therapist

tara@nbowensboro.org  | ext 104

Tara Gann is a Clinical Therapist for New Beginnings and is responsible for providing therapy services for clients of all ages in Henderson, Union & Webster counties.  In addition, she provides medical & legal advocacy to survivors of sexual assault and conducts crisis, educational & family sessions.

Tara has been with New Beginnings since 2007.  She earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Brescia University in 2004 and a Master of Science in Social work from the University of Louisville in 2005.  She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2011.  Tara has been trained in EMDR and utilizes CBT & child-centered play therapy for individualized treatment of clients.

Emalee Hedges Clinical Therapist

emalee@nbowensboro.org | ext 108

Emalee Hedges is a Clinical Therapist for New Beginnings and provides therapy services for children and adults in need in Henderson, Union and Webster Counties. She provides crisis intervention, trauma treatment, education, and as-needed services for secondary survivors (family/partners, etc.). Emalee uses a variety of prescriptive techniques suited to each individual and is trained in EMDR, NARM, SSP, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Child-Centered Play Therapy as well as a variety of other techniques proven to be effective with trauma recovery.

Emalee is also a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher (2018) and often offers yoga practices as an additional tool for recovery as this has been proven to be highly effective in helping survivors reach their goals and improve their quality of life and wellbeing.

Emalee obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Indiana in 2008. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2013. She has been at New Beginnings since 2011.

Jennifer Francis-Gehring Clinical Therapist

jennifer@nbowensboro.org | ext 110

Jennifer Francis-Gehring, LCSW was born in raised in Owensboro, KY.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Bellarmine University in 1998, her Master of Social Work from Spalding University in 2003, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Spalding University in 2010.  Jennifer has worked for The Center for Women and Families as a counselor for survivors of domestic violence and sexual harm, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as a Social Services Clinician for youth in foster care, and Day Spring as residential support professional for individuals with different abilities, the University of Louisville Hospital as their weekend social worker and Owensboro Health Regional Hospital as their weekend Emergency Department social worker and then as the ICU RN Case Manager, before coming home to New Beginnings in 2016.  She also teaches part-time for Western Kentucky University Department of Social Work.   Jennifer is the co-creator of the New Beginnings podcast – Start By Listening. 

Jennifer became an LCSW in 2019 and currently works with children, adolescents, and adults in Daviess, McLean, and Hancock counties providing therapy for survivors of sexual harm.  Jennifer is trained in EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy, Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), and uses Polyvagal Theory as a lens to provide therapy to survivors of sexual harm, that helps survivors begin to embody safety and connection within the nervous system.  Jennifer is passionate about educating the community about Trauma Stewardship and Polyvagal Theory and has created training for community agencies that help our community learn about trauma and the ability to build resilience.  Jennifer loves spending time learning about cutting-edge treatments for trauma, being in nature, puttering in her backyard, and resting. 

What can you expect when you come to New Beginnings:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yzNXI-CMoQ2mFUtriX-qpjZre6dVwyh7/view?usp=sharing

What is EMDR?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IPsBPH2M1U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGYxH8_SISE

What is SSP?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IPsBPH2M1U

What is Polyvagal Theory?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdIQRxwT1I0&t=1s

What happens to my brain after experiencing abuse or neglect in childhood?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYBUY1kZpf8

How does trauma, abuse, and neglect experienced as a child, affect my health across my lifetime?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ovIJ3dsNk

 

Crystal Wall Prevention Educator

crystal@nbowensboro.org | ext 109

Crystal Wall is the Prevention Educator for New Beginnings.  She is responsible for the Play It Safe program and Internet Safety program for elementary schools.

Crystal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Western Kentucky University in 2002.  She has been with New Beginnings since 2016.

Check out my virtual classroom! 

Crystal Newton Clinical Therapist

Crystal Newton is a Clinical Therapist for New Beginnings and is responsible for providing educational and individual therapy to those affected by sexual victimization in Ohio County. In addition, she provides medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual assault.

Crystal worked for New Beginnings for 11 years before changing her career to be a teacher at Owensboro High School.

In 2016, Crystal earned the Fonetta Elam award for Excellence in Clinical Supervision Service.

Crystal earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work in 1996 from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Louisville in 2000. 

Marcie Vooris Clinical Therapist

marcie@nbowensboro.org | ext 116

Marcie Vooris is a Clinical Therapist for New Beginnings and is responsible for providing educational and individual therapy to those affected by sexual victimization in Daviess, Hancock, and McLean counties. In addition, she provides medical and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. Marcie has been trained in EMDR and utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy and child centered play therapy for individualized treatment of clients.

Marcie has been with New Beginnings since 2019.

Marcie earned a Master’s of Education from Lindsey Wilson College in 2014. She obtained full licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in 2017 and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in 2016.

Visit Marcie's virtual counseling page! 

Rebekah Toney Prevention Educator

rebekah@nbowensboro.org | ext 117

Bekah first started with New Beginnings as a VISTA Member in February 2019, while also completing her Bachelors in Social Work practicum hours. She is a graduate from Western Kentucky University class of 2019.

Bekah joined the staff as a prevention educator in February 2020 and will implement Shifting Boundaries for the middle schools. She is also certified for Green Dot Community and High Schools.

Check out Bekah's google classroom for middle school. 

 

Megan Gross Advocacy Coordinator

megan@nbowensboro.org | ext 119

Megan Gross is the Advocacy Coordinator for New Beginnings, overseeing the advocacy programming of the agency and working directly with clients, assisting them throughout the legal process. Megan also provides training to community partners on issues related to sexual violence, conducts crisis and education sessions, and provides medical advocacy for assault survivors in the emergency room.

Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis on community, environment, and development from Western Kentucky University in 2018, is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Owensboro and serves on the Ohio County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She has been with New Beginnings since January 2020.

Shannon McLimore Victim Advocate

shannon@nbowensboro.org | ext 111

Shannon has joined the agency as Victim Advocate.  Shannon is responsible for providing legal advocacy for our clients and community trainings for professionals. Shannon holds a Bachelor degree in Criminology from Western Kentucky University.

Shelby Silsky Victim Advocate

shelby@nbowensboro.org | ext 106

Shelby Silsky is a Victim Advocate for New Beginnings. She is responsible for providing legal advocacy to our clients.

Shelby earned her BA in Media & Communications from the University of Sussex in 2016 and has been with New Beginnings since January 2021. 

Breanna Smith Prevention Educator

breanna@nbowensboro.org  | ext 121

 

Breanna Smith is the high school Green Dot Prevention Educator for New Beginnings and is responsible for providing Green Dot in our local high schools.

 

Breanna earned her Associate of Science degree in 2016 and was with New Beginnings for a year prior to re-joining the team in March of 2021.

Briana Jarboe Victim Advocate

briana@nbowensboro.org  | ext 114

Briana Jarboe is a Victim Advocate at New Beginnings. She is responsible for providing legal advocacy for our clients.

Briana earned her Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Psychology from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2021.

Briana has been with New Beginnings since June of 2021.

Megan Jackson Systems Advocacy Specialist

meganj@nbowensboro.org | ext 118

Megan Jackson is the Systems Advocacy Specialist. In her role as systems advocacy specialist, Megan assists victims throughout the criminal justice process by attending court proceedings, providing information regarding court procedures, as well as support for the victims. In addition to legal advocacy, Megan facilitates with local law enforcement agencies, court personnel, and health care providers to develop an integrated system of assistance for survivors. Megan received her undergraduate degree from Brescia University in 2014 and later obtained a Master’s in Social Work from Brescia University’s advanced standing program in 2017.

Aaliyah Rodgers Crisis Counselor

Aaliyah@nbowensboro.org ext 113

Aaliyah Rodgers is a Crisis Counselor at New Beginnings. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Work in 2019 and her master’s degree in SW in 2020. She is studying to become licensed to practice psychotherapy in the future. She is a loving mother to her two fur-babies Lilo and Nani, the biggest Lilo and Stitch fan you’ll ever meet, and has a bubbly and goofy personality. She is proud to be a part of the New Beginnings OHANA (means family- Lilo and stitch reference).

 

Sydney Krawiec Community Engagement Coordinator

Sydney Krawiec is the Community Engagement Coordinator for New Beginnings and is responsible for outreach, recruiting and training agency volunteers, as well as networking and fostering relationships with community agencies, groups, and individuals.  

Sydney earned her Associate of Art degree in 2020 and is currently completing her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with interest in horticulture therapy. Sydney is passionate about gardening as she has a love for growing plants and believes they are therapeutic. Sydney is also a member of Chamber Young Professionals with the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, as well as a Chamber Ambassador.