Tamara Fleck-Myers, Executive Director, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and practicing Clinician has over 25 years of experience within the Non-Profit sector treating children and families experiencing generational cycles of abuse and complex trauma. Tamara began her career working directly with adolescents in a residential setting with a psychiatric hospital component at Devereux Georgia Treatment Network, while obtaining her M.Ed. at the University of Georgia and becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. During her tenure at Devereux, Tamara developed expertise with adolescents experiencing complex trauma and more specifically, torture, ritualistic abuse, and sexual exploitation. During her time at Devereux, Tamara quickly advanced through the ranks including roles as Residential Counselor, Behavior Specialist, Vocational Counselor, Clinical Therapist, and Program Manager and ultimately she became a consultant prior to moving back to San Diego with her husband and children in 2002.
Tamara continued her work with child maltreatment once in San Diego and accepted a position as the Director of the Salvation Army, Door of Hope, a residential program for 24 pregnant and parenting foster youth and their babies. During her time at the Door of Hope, Tamara was instrumental in identifying issues related to sexual exploitation and trafficking of foster youth placed at the Door of Hope. Tamara’s desire to expand her understanding of the issues facing complexly traumatized youth within the foster care system lead her to San Diego Youth Services (SDYS) where she ultimately functioned as the Division Director of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Intervention Services.
During her time at SDYS Tamara also completed additional course work to obtain licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist and maintains a private practice with Psychiatric Centers of San Diego where she specializes in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of complex trauma within the family system. Tamara joined Casa de Amparo in 2010 as the Director of Programs, prior to becoming the Executive Director in 2013, and has dedicated her time, energy, and focus on the creation of an emotionally healthy, high functioning, trauma informed agency culture in which all who enter feel the warmth and genuineness of respect for each individual without judgment. Tamara is open and active within the agency culture providing clinical supervision, training, and direct treatment and interventions designed to facilitate learning across the culture and cultivate safety and transparency throughout the system. Tamara is a highly regarded leader and clinician know to conduct exhaustive literature reviews and research best practices in the field of complex trauma in order to educate, implement, and disseminate information to others with the goal of improving the knowledge base and ultimately the outcomes for the children she care so deeply about.
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 travelling with family and friends, with favorite destinations being island and beach vacations and Napa/Sonoma winery trips.
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 dog, Stibby.
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 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.
Director of Programs, Sarah Okugawa, is responsible for oversight of the Residential Services Program, the New Directions Program, and the Family Visitation Program. Sarah joined Casa de Amparo in 2015 as the Child Development Center’s Program Therapist before transitioning to the CDC’s Clinical Coordinator in 2016 and the Associate Director of Programs in 2017. Sarah is currently a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
Sarah began her career working with homeless youth, adults, and families at a free clinic in Riverside, providing short term crisis counseling. She then provided inpatient therapeutic services for children and adolescents at the Loma Linda Behavioral Medicine Center. Sarah has since provided therapeutic services for children, adolescents, and families in the San Diego community. Sarah is trained in ARC, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Ending the Game, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Play Therapy, and Trauma Informed Therapy.
Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Redlands where she also played softball and coached for 6 years. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband, Alex.