Executive Team

Mike Barnett: Chief Executive Officer

Mike Barnett comes to Casa de Amparo with more than 30 years of professional experience in the public and private sectors. As Chief Executive Officer, Barnett will oversee all aspects of Casa de Amparo’s programs, services, and administration. Barnett will work with Casa de Amparo’s Board of Directors and staff to lead the organization’s strategic initiatives to help abused and neglected children and young people heal and thrive.

Barnett was commissioned as a San Diego County deputy sheriff in 1992 and rose through the ranks, leading teams of all sizes across multiple disciplines. In 2017 he was appointed as the Sheriff’s chief deputy and second-in-command. As the Undersheriff he commanded the 4,500-employee organization with a budget of just under $1 billion. He oversaw the medical and mental health care needs of thousands of people in county institutions and was responsible for providing the full scope of police services to almost one million people in San Diego County. He was also responsible for providing regional support including jail and courts systems, a nationally accredited crime laboratory, along with aviation, and emergency services to the San Diego region.

Mike is a graduate of San Diego State University and has completed the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston and the FBI’s National Executive Institute in Virginia. He has collaborated with domestic and international partners on numerous initiatives.

Chelle Sutyak, MA: Associate Executive Director

Associate Executive Director Chelle Sutyak, M.A., is responsible for overseeing Casa de Amparo’s operations, fiscal sustainability, and program quality assurance, and has been with Casa de Amparo since 2003. She participates in the organization’s broad strategic planning and decision–making and explores potential expansion opportunities for the agency’s continuum of services.

Chelle holds nearly two decades of social and human services experience. Her initial experience was as a Manager working in the field of developmental disabilities. After a brief foray into the international business field which included for-profit positions in Belgium, Singapore, and Malaysia, Chelle returned to the U.S. to resume her work in social services and pursue further education. Her work at Home of Guiding Hands in Lakeside, CA, and her graduate practicum work with Alpha of San Diego, Inc., where she provided child/family therapy and parenting classes and worked with families in the child welfare system or those at risk of entering, eventually led to a position with Casa de Amparo as a Program Manager. She became Casa de Amparo’s Director of Programs in 2007, transitioned to the Director of Program Development & Quality Assurance in 2012, and was appointed to Associate Executive Director in 2013.

Chelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Sociology from Grove City College (Pennsylvania), a Master of Arts in Counseling with a Marriage and Family Therapy focus from the University of Phoenix, and participates in the Fieldstone Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Network. She lives with her significant other, Ravi, and her stepdaughter Shauna in Rancho Santa Margarita. Chelle loves traveling with family and friends, with her favorite destinations being island and beach vacations and Napa/Sonoma winery trips.

Scott Ryder: Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Scott Ryder is responsible for directing the fiscal functions of Casa de Amparo. He has 25+ years of executive leadership experience in finance and operations in the non-profit and for-profit sectors

Before joining Casa de Amparo, Scott Ryder was the CFO of Motivating the Masses, Inc. whose mission is to help clients develop the strategy, motivation, and accountability required to succeed in their business and personal lives. He also served as CFO for The ManKind Project USA, a global nonprofit charitable organization with nine regions around the world. Previous to his work at The ManKind Project USA, Scott was the COO / CCO for McGladrey Capital Markets, a global mid-market investment bank. During his tenure, the company sold more than 300 companies and generated more than $8 billion in liquidity for its clients.

Scott earned an M.B.A. from the Paul Merage School of Business at U.C. Irvine, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from University of Redlands. He lives in Carlsbad with his wife Lisa, son Wyatt, daughter Nora and their dog, Apollo.

Katherine M. Karpé, CFRE: Director of Development

Director of Development Katherine Karpé, CFRE, has over 17 years of fundraising experience and has been with Casa de Amparo since 2003. Through vigilant stewardship and strategic planning, the Development Department is responsible for providing reliable financial, volunteer, marketing, and in-kind resources to support Casa de Amparo’s mission.

Kathy oversees all fundraising and leads a Development team responsible for capital and major gifts efforts, all levels of donor relations (individual, corporate, foundation), special events, volunteer recruitment, gift drives, and public relations. Before joining Casa de Amparo, Kathy worked at The Agency for Jewish Education.

Kathy is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and makes her home in San Marcos with her husband, Kevin, and their daughter, Enya, and their dogs, Stibby and Minnie.

Tymesia Mason: Director of Human Resources

Tymesia is originally from Chicago and received her B.S. at Northern Illinois University majoring in Textile, Apparel & Merchandising with a double minor in Broadcast Journalism & Marketing. She went on to earn a Masters of Business Administration at Indiana Wesleyan University majoring in Human Resource Management. She has worked in Atlanta and Dallas in her professional life. In her prior role, she worked in HR for one of the third-largest school districts in the United States, at Chicago Public School Headquarters. She provided guidance and support to executives that managed the school districts throughout the city of Chicago. Her accomplishments include decreasing turnover by more than 58%, improving processes, performance management, and providing strategic concepts that saved money.

Erin Gospodarec, BA, Associate Executive Director of Operations

Erin Gospodarec has held many key positions at Casa de Amparo since joining the organization in 2006 as Grant Writer. Erin has been in her current role as Director of Quality Assurance since 2016, providing organizational support to programs to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, accreditation standards, contractual obligations, and fidelity to evidence-based practices. She also oversees Casa de Amparo’s trauma-informed policy and procedure development and leads the organization’s Quality Assurance Committee. Erin’s passion for ensuring that children and families have access to safe, high-quality, effective behavioral health care guides her commitment to creating agency-wide systems that provide accountability and continuous compliance.

A native of San Diego, Erin attended the University of San Diego, where she received a Bachelor’s in English and was a member of the Torero’s NCAA Division I Softball team. After graduating, Erin joined Casa de Amparo and continued working with USD’s Softball program as a Pitching Coach until 2014. Today, Erin is a new mom and spends her time enjoying San Diego with her husband Todd, son Jackson, and dog Beaux.

Michele Solomon, LMFT: Clinical Director

Michele Solomon, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), joined the Casa team as Clinical Director in April 2019. The Clinical Director position provides oversight of the clinical department and therapists, clinical contract management, as well as assists in further integration of clinical and residential components of the Casa programs utilizing a trauma-based approach in order to continue to improve the care for the kids and families we serve.

Michele brings with her over 25 years of clinical experience, including 13 years in supervisory, management, and leadership capacities. She has been trained in multiple therapeutic modalities, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), with expertise in at-risk emotionally disturbed teens. While completing her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara, she worked at a 24-hour crisis hotline. While completing her graduate degree, she was a residential care worker at group homes throughout Orange County and Los Angeles. After completing her Master’s degree in counseling from California State University Fullerton, she relocated to San Diego to pursue licensure while performing therapy and social work at private/non-profit group homes. In 1998, she began an extensive career working for the County’s Health and Human Services Agency as a Protective Services Worker where she gained a comprehensive knowledge of the Child Welfare System.

Board Of Directors

Chair of the Board

Richard Berwick (10/13-12/22)
President, Cross Armory

Vice Chair of the Board

Vanessa Negrete (08/18-12/21)
Attorney, Negrete Law Group, P.C.

Immediate Past Chair

Kayleen Huffman (10/13-12/22)
CFO, Bassett Home Furnishings


Debbie Slattery (03/06-12/21)
Branch Manager & Vice President, California Bank & Trust


Mary Ann Bosanac (11/13-12/22)


Board Members

Theresa Akatiff (10/21-12/23) | General Dentist

Liese Cornwell (05/17- 12/22) | Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, San Diego International Film Festival

Marilou Dela Rosa (10/09-12/21) | Owner, Access Care Culture of Caring

Jim Grant (8/12-12/21) | President, Grant General Contractors

Michele Lambert (08/22-12/25) | CFO, Vista Community Clinic

Tim Lesmeister (12/15-12/21) | V.P. Marketing, WD-40 Company

Dr. Jon Montgomery (06/21-12/24) | Medical Officer, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

Michael Platis (03/07-12/21) | Senior Project Manager, Cumming Construction Management

Jose Rodriguez (08/22-12/25) | Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Total Quality Management, Rubio’s Coastal Grill

Jerry Stein (12/03-12/21) | Member of the Board of Directors, Stein Family Foundation

Sharon Stein (6/93-12/20) | Member of the Board of Directors, Stein Family Foundation

Honorary Board Members

Lou Ferrero

Stephanie Hanson

Stephen Hoffman

Paul Judge

Duffy Keys

Diane Martin

Corky Mizer

Dustin Plantholt

Jeffrey Strauss