The Community Partnerships, Inc. team is made up of experienced therapists, job coaches, consultants, trainers, and other professionals. Members of the agency’s Leadership Team are below:
Laurie Stickney, President & CEO
Laurie Stickney has served in a leadership capacity at Community Partnerships, Inc. for over 15 years and was named President & CEO in 2017. Her position involves program planning and oversight, evaluation, cross-programmatic fiscal management and clinical consultation. A primary focus of her work is also on quality improvement initiatives.
Laurie has a strong clinical background, and previous experience includes direct services to individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities. With an undergraduate degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Rehabilitation Psychology and Counseling, she has been a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor for over 14 years.
She is passionate about the agency’s mission, and even though her role in it is not a direct one, she is most proud of the work that the staff does to help individuals live the lives that they choose and reach their goals.
Elaine Hickey, Chief Financial Officer
Elaine Hickey oversees the day to day operations of CPI’s accounting department and is responsible for fiscal reporting and compliance. With the support of a dedicated and knowledgeable team, Elaine ensures deadlines are met and provides assistance to management with developing and monitoring budgets. She takes pride in CPI’s reputation of outstanding financial audits and the numerous accolades from it’s funders with regard to the quality of the financial records.
Elaine earned her BBA in Accounting from Pace University in New York and was the Assistant Controller for a global market research firm before joining Community Partnerships in 1998. Elaine typically does not have direct contact with the agency’s consumers but finds her role rewarding knowing the administrative functions provide the infrastructure necessary for CPI to provide high quality services to its consumer and their families.
Carol Collins, Director of Vocational Services
Carol Collins is the Director of Vocational Services at Community Partnerships, Inc. She manages the day to day operations of the Brain Injury Support Services programs and provides oversight to the Youth Employed and Succeeding programs. A major area of focus for Carol is to make sure there are quality services available for individuals who are trying to overcome obstacles in their lives.
Carol began working in the human services field 19 years ago as a counselor at a runaway shelter. Her focus was to help youth find stability in their lives. Over the years her focus has remained the same although the population for whom she works has expanded. Ten years ago, Carol received her Master’s in Public Administration in order to prepare her to develop and implement strong, quality services for individuals who have a brain injury. Over the past 7 years Carol has been able to continue her focus of designing, implementing, and evaluating services at Community Partnerships, Inc.
Nikki Smith, Director of Communications & Donor Relations
Nikki Smith’s professional journey has included forays into several different career choices. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in English (with a minor in Theater), Nikki attended the North Carolina School of the Arts – School of Filmmaking. In the early years of her career, Nikki worked as everything from a ballroom dance teacher to a cataloger of rare books.
In 2000, Nikki volunteered as an intern at Coastal Carolina Press, a nonprofit book publisher. By 2005, she had worked her way up to Chief Editor. In 2005, she moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where she worked as a Content Strategist and then Editor for MicroMass Communications. Nikki ultimately decided that she belonged in the nonprofit world. She joined Community Partnerships as a part-time employee that same year.
Today, Nikki works full-time as the Director of Communications & Donor Relations for Community Partnerships. She feels honored to tell the remarkable stories of the people the agency serves.
Diane Murphy, Director of Quality Assurance
Diane Murphy is a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) with a BS degree in Health Information Management from East Carolina University. Diane has been working in Health Information Management/Quality Assurance for over 25 years with the majority of her experience being dedicated to supporting agencies that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Additionally, Diane has 16 years of educating adult learners in the areas of Health Information Management, HIPAA and Medical Terminology via the community college setting and independent consulting throughout North Carolina.
Diane first joined the CPI team in 2005 and served in her role until 2012. She returned to the agency in 2018. In the six years prior to her return to CPI, Diane worked as the HIPAA Privacy Officer for AccessCare (a network of Community Care of North Carolina), and also served as a Health Information Management Educator/Auditor consultant with Liberty Healthcare.
Diane oversees Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement activities to insure the agency remains in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Additionally, she oversees the medical records, the health/safety activities of the agency, chairs the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Committee, and serves as the HIPAA Privacy Officer. She is also a member of the Program Committee, a sub-committee of CPI’s Board of Directors.
Leigh Harrison, Manager of Supported Employment & IPS Programs
Leigh Harrison has dedicated her career to ensuring that individuals who want to work have access to meaningful employment.
Leigh has worked at Community Partnerships, Inc. for over 20 years. She has worked as an Employment Specialist with the agency’s Supported Employment program and as a Vocational Consultant with its Brain Injury Support Services program. For the past 17 years, Leigh has served as the Program Manager for the Supported Employment programs, overseeing day-to-day operations and providing leadership to her dedicated team. Leigh and her staff help approximately 150 people with intellectual/developmental disabilities each year as they search for and maintain jobs in the community that match their career interests and pay competitive wages. Recently, the Supported Employment program extended its outreach to include services for people who experience mental illness/ substance use. Community Partnerships implemented IPS (Individual Placement and Support) services in 2014. The programs continue to grow to meet the demand for so many who want to work but just need assistance to make it a reality.
Leigh also currently serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors for NCAPSE (North Carolina Association for Persons Supporting Employment First) and has previously served as Vice-President, President of the Board and Co-Conference Chair. Leigh is passionate about her work at Community Partnerships, and equally passionate about the members of the agency’s Supported Employment/ IPS teams, who do their jobs with dedication and perseverance every day.
Jenna Tarleton, Manager of Childhood Services
Jenna Tarleton has worked at Community Partnerships, Inc. for over 10 years with children and youth. She is the Manager of Childhood Services, overseeing the Partners in Inclusion and Early Intervention programs. Jenna manages the daily operations of these programs and provides direct service to consumers in the Partners in Inclusion program. She helps children and youth with special developmental and behavioral needs successfully participate in child care, after-school, or recreational programs with their more typically-developing peers. Jenna provides on-site consultation and training to the staff members of these facilities as well. Seeing a child go from struggling to be included to having a big smile because they had a successful day is her favorite part of working in the Partners In Inclusion program.
Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Community Services and a Master’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University. She has provided CAP services to children with special needs and has also served as a substitute teacher and intern in the Early Childhood Education Program at Wake Technical Community College. She has presented at both local and National conferences on the topic of Inclusion.
Jeanette Kelly, Manager for Community Connections, Community Guide, & TBI Case Management Programs
Jeanette Kelly originally joined Community Partnerships in 2007. Over the years, she has served in several different roles within the agency. Currently, Jeanette manages the Community Connections, Community Guide, and TBI Case Management programs. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Jeanette began her career by working with emotionally disturbed children and youth. Over the years at Community Partnerships, Jeanette has worked as: a Community Support Case Manager, a Targeted Case Manager, and a Youth Specialist. She became Program Manager in 2013. Jeanette is passionate about helping others, and has experience working with people with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, and with at-risk youth. She loves her job and the people she works with at CPI.