AASC Staff
  Janice C. Monks, President/CEO
Janice C. Monks is the founder and president/CEO of American Association of Service Coordinators (AASC). Her 30+ years of experience in the senior housing industry includes housing management, social service administration, public policy development, designing supportive service programs, and developing and implementing service coordinator programs in both HUD and tax credit housing.

Janice is a nationally-recognized consultant and trainer of service coordinators, managers, developers and owners of affordable housing. She is a member of several national housing and social service organizations and has provided written and oral Congressional testimony on the expanding role of service coordination in affordable family and elderly housing as well as their important role in health care reform. She has received a number of awards in her tenure in the affordable housing industry and has served on several boards including the Alzheimer’s association, aging councils and the White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA.) She is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. 
     

  Melody Cardenas, Senior Director of Professional Development
Melody Cardenas has over 13 years in association management, event management and professional development. Melody began her training and education career 19 years ago at Nationwide as a training developer and facilitator for annuity products. Since then she has rounded out her experience as an adult learning champion, planning and delivering a variety of education programs and events from soft skills and ethics courses to technical job training. Melody holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism from Heidelberg University and a master’s degree in mass communication from Bowling Green State University. Melody interned during her undergraduate studies at the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services as a migrant food stamp caseworker. She also interned at WEWS News Channel 5 Cleveland during her graduate study program. Melody’s role with AASC is planning and delivering the professional development programs, including those offered at the annual National Service Coordinators Conference.

     

  Arlyne Alston, Senior Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs
Arlyne Alston joined AASC in 2018 as senior director of marketing, communications and public affairs. With nearly 15 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, she has directed teams responsible for public relations, branding, media relations, advertising, social media, website development, special events, executive communications and fundraising. In her role at AASC, Arlyne leads the marketing department that is responsible for communicating industry updates, public policy news and AASC events to members. Her work has been recognized by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the Visual Excellence in Multimedia Arts community, and the National Council of State Housing Agencies for exceptional publications, websites, commercials, videos and marketing campaigns. Arlyne earned a bachelor’s in journalism with a concentration in public affairs from The Ohio State University.

   

 

Paula Hammer, CAE, Director of Membership and Governance
Paula Hammer joined AASC in November 2015 as director of membership and governance. She has more than 25 years of association management experience in the operation and administration of all areas of programs, services, communications, and events. Paula has held positions with local, state and national organizations, and has served on the board of trustees for several nonprofits.  She earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2007 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from The Ohio State University. At AASC, Paula is responsible for developing and implementing membership recruitment and retention programs, overseeing the state chapters, developing partnerships, and managing governance activities.

     

  Rebecca Hill, Operations & Finance Manager
Rebecca Hill joined the administrative team of AASC in 2013.  In her current position of operations and finance manager she oversees the office maintenance and support functions of the organization.  Rebecca is responsible for the daily accounting activities and financial reporting. She assists with the receptionist duties and finds great pleasure in talking to the members of AASC. Rebecca has more than 20 years of experience in office management and accounting in both the public and private sectors. She received her associate degree from Bowling Green State University. 
     

  Melissa Harris, Government Affairs Manager 
Melissa Harris joined AASC in March 2018 with a decade of experience in journalism and communications. In her most recent role as an Ohio Statehouse reporter, she closely monitored policies and politics, with a focus on education and health. She has served as a board member of the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association and her work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and Cleveland Press Club. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University. At AASC, she works in the marketing department, tracking public policies that impact members, advocating for positive policy outcomes and providing news updates.
     

  Teresa O'Donnell, Assistant Operations Manager
Teresa O'Donnell joined AASC in February 2015 and will typically be the smiling voice on the phone when you call the AASC office. With 13 years of experience in office administration, Teresa assists our members with conference registration, webinar registration and membership.  She also manages group registrations for AASC national conferences. Teresa has experience managing a portfolio of multi-family properties in Dayton and Cincinnati and working for a national real estate company that appraises HUD and LIHTC properties.  Teresa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University. 
     

 

Ikea Haralson, Education Projects Coordinator
Ikea Haralson joined AASC in June 2015 as a temporary assistant and was hired full-time in January 2016. Prior to joining AASC, she worked as an enrollment specialist in childcare for low-income families. Ikea has also done extensive volunteer work mentoring and tutoring teenage children, providing holiday food and gifts for low-income families, and providing clothes, shoes and food to people in need. A graduate of Franklin University, Ikea earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration and Human Resource Management in 2016. Her duties at AASC include webinar logistics and moderating, speaker and topic research, and member support for AASC University and the Professional Service Coordinator program.

     
AASC Consultants
     

 

Kareena Gibson, Event Planner
Kareena Gibson joined the AASC team in February 2015 as a part-time event consultant and coordinator.  In October 2016 she began working exclusively for AASC as the Event Manager.  With over 20 years of event management experience, Kareena coordinates many of the details for AASC’s annual conference.  Since 1995 she has managed many events, including business-to-business trade shows, member-based professional conferences and ticketed public events.  In her role at AASC, Kareena manages pre-and-post conference planning and is responsible for onsite execution.  She coordinates the meeting space, manages the hotel block, and serves as the liaison for AASC’s event partners and contractors.  She also enjoys collaborating with industry leaders on AASC’s exhibit and sponsorship program.  Kareena holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University.

     

 

William Benson, Principal, Health Benefits ABCs
Bill Benson has worked in the aging field for more than four decades at the local, state and national levels including as a State LTC Ombudsman, Senior Congressional Staffer in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, and a political appointee at the U.S. Administration on Aging including as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Aging. Since 1998 he has run a successful consulting practice in aging/human services and public health serving dozens of clients from the government, not-for-profit and proprietary sectors. He provides public policy services for AASC. Bill is co-founder and President of the International Association for Indigenous Aging focusing on American Indian elders. For the past 19 years he has led conversations with Holocaust survivors before live audiences at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 

     

 

Alayna Waldrum, Consultant, Health Benefits ABCs
Alayna Waldrum is a senior housing and services consultant with more than 20 years of experience in affordable, supportive housing. She currently advises and represents senior housing, service coordinators, and community-based service providers at the federal level. Alayna served as the Associate Director of Policy at LeadingAge California representing nonprofit affordable housing. She also served as the Associate Director of Public Policy at the California Association of Homes and Services for the Aging where she represented affordable, supportive, senior housing providers. Alayna began her work in affordable housing in 1994 working with the first-time home buyer’s program in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed and conducted homebuyer education sessions for low-income, first-time buyers. Alayna holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California.  

     

 

Kendra Kuehn MSW, Policy and Research Analyst, Health Benefits ABCs
Kendra Kuehn serves as policy and research analyst for Health Benefits ABCs from local to federal level projects. She provides policy support to AASC as well as other national associations including the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) and the International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2). Kendra’s work has included funding analysis and advocacy, exploration of emerging topics including APS partnerships with civil litigators, elder fatality review teams, and various community partnerships benefiting seniors. She provides technical writing, copy editing, and general business management for HBABCs. Kendra has a Master of Social Work focusing in social change from the Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service including an internship at the Administration for Community Living’s Office of Elder Rights influencing her focus on seniors and other vulnerable adults.