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Senior Leaders
Jonessa Alexander's headshot

Jonessa Alexander

President & Chief Executive Officer

Jonessa Alexander began working with UCP of Georgia as the Associate Executive Director of Day Supports in 2013. She later became UCPGA’s Chief Operating Officer overseeing the human resources, training, behavioral supports, day supports, and nursing departments. In 2022, Jonessa was promoted to Vice President of Operations, adding oversight of programs to her responsibilities. She began serving as President and CEO of both UCP of Georgia and UCP of South Carolina in January of 2024.

Prior to her work with UCP, she was with Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia for 15 years, serving as the Assistant Director before departing. Jonessa earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wake Forest University and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Georgia.

Jonessa lives north of metro Atlanta with her husband and son. She enjoys reading, music, spending time with friends and family, cheering on the UGA Bulldogs football team and the Atlanta Braves, and watching her son play baseball.

Terri Carter

Chief Human Resources Officer

Terri began work with UCP of Georgia in 2017 as the organization’s director of human resources. She has wide-ranging human resource management experience in the fields of education, transportation, banking, and manufacturing. As Chief Human Resources Officer, Terri oversees all human resources functions and focuses on recruiting and retaining top talent for the organization.

Before joining UCP, Terri was the Chief HR Officer for Magnolia Public Schools in Los Angeles. Terri earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Oglethorpe University, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

In her spare time, Terri volunteers on several nonprofit boards, and helps rescued animals find homes.

Laura Heise, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Laura has served as UCP of Georgia’s CFO since 2007. She leads the finance department, managing all business transactions including receipts, disbursements, payroll, and financial reporting. She is responsible for setting financial policies and procedures with an emphasis on internal control, and acts as liaison between UCP of Georgia and external auditors.

Before joining UCP, Laura was an auditor in CPA firms specializing in auditing and tax work for nonprofit organizations. From 2000 to 2007, she served as CFO for two different nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin, one of which provided disability services. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University.

Laura has one son in college. As an avid traveler, she is always looking for new places to go to experience other cultures.

Angela Easter

Angela Easter

Chief Administrative Officer

In 2001, Angela began working with UCP of Georgia as a residential program manager. She currently oversees marketing and development, communications, information technology, emergency preparedness, administration of operations for the Service Providers Association for Developmental Disabilities (SPADD), and operational support for UCP of South Carolina.

Previously, Angela worked in adult protective services, aging and mental health. As a volunteer, she serves on the board of directors for Ellis Center of Atlanta, and is a member of the Disability and Health Project Advisory Workgroup for Georgia State University's Center for Leadership in Disability.

Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Coker University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Kennesaw State University. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children, where she enjoys gardening and attending live music shows.

Stephanie Montwid, LPC

Chief Clinical Officer

With a background in professional counseling as a therapist, Stephanie began working with UCP of Georgia in 2016 managing the organization’s day programs and behavior supports. As Chief Clinical Officer, she provides oversight and support for the organization's nursing and behavior support services, along with the quality improvement team.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University and a MA in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University Atlanta. Stephanie is a licensed professional counselor (LPC). She loves spending time with her husband and three children, along with extended family and friends.

Kevin Walton

Chief Program Officer

Kevin joined UCP of Georgia as a Program Assistant for supported employment in 1991. Since then, he has managed numerous UCPGA programs including childcare, respite care and personal support services. Kevin currently oversees both community living – the largest program at UCPGA – and day programs, encompassing the two major support services the organization provides.

Before joining UCP, Kevin worked as a clinical assistant with Anchor Hospital, providing clinical services to people with chemical dependencies. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University in sociology with a minor in African American Studies.

Kevin has two busy fur babies (a beagle and a miniature schnauzer), and enjoys outdoor activities like cycling, fishing, and hiking in his free time.

Diane Wilush

Senior Director of Public Policy & Advocacy

Diane Wilush served as President and CEO of UCP of Georgia from 2016 to 2023, leading the organization through a period of tremendous growth. Previously, she worked as a fundraiser for UCP of South Florida and as a state IDD case manager. She currently serves in a part time capacity directing public policy and advocacy initiatives on behalf of the organization.

Diane is a founder of the Service Providers Association for Developmental Disabilities (SPADD). She is the past president of the UCP national board of trustees and currently serves on the board of the 501c Trust organization.

Diane holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Florida Atlantic University, along with course work in grant writing and grants management at Barry University Miami. She lives in Marietta with her husband, and enjoys visiting her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren in Chicago whenever she can. Diane is learning to knit and loves crossword puzzles.

Department Directors

Tsahai Allen, FNP

Director of Medical Services

Tsahai is a skillful nurse practitioner with extensive experience in nursing care and medical case management. She began working with UCP of Georgia in 2016. Before coming to UCP, Tsahai was a registered nurse wtih Piedmont Henry Hospital.

Her hobbies include shopping, traveling, and tasting different foods from around the world. Tsahai is a member of her church nursing guild, and is married with two children. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Clayton State University.

Christina Blair

Director of Day Supports

Christina joined UCP of Georgia in 2022. Currently serving as the Director of Day Supports, Christina focuses on supporting adults with IDD in achieving meaningful and fulfilling lives. Previously, Christina worked with the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest GA, and Lutheran Services of Georgia.

She first fell in love with working with adults with IDD as a Direct Care Support worker and has since dedicated her career to improving their quality of life. Christina holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Ashford University. In her free time, Christina enjoys hiking and spending time with her husband and three sons.

Machelle Dawson

Director of Community Living Services

Machelle came to UCP of Georgia in 2017 with over 24 years of experience in social services with the state of Georgia. Currently serving as the Director of Community Living Services, she is responsible for facilitating the independence and well-being of adults with IDD.

Machelle holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading mystery novels, and shopping.

Stephanie Flikeid

Director of Quality Improvement

Currently serving as the Director of Quality Improvement, Stephanie oversees compliance and service delivery standards across UCP of Georgia. She began her journey with UCP of Georgia in 2010 as the Assistant Associate ED of Community Living. Prior to working with UCP, Stephanie worked in an early intervention program and for a national accreditation organization.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Masters in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the University of Georgia. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her husband and adult son.

Scott Gundrum

Associate Director of Finance

Scott is an accomplished financial professional with extensive experience in accounting, budgeting, and financial management. He began his journey with UCP of Georgia in 2008. Prior to joining UCP, Scott worked with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and the Dispatch Management Services Corporation.

He has experience with nonprofit and for profit enterprises, fund accounting and startup ventures, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Accounting from Queens College.

Zandreal Mills

Human Resources Director

Zandreal serves as the Human Resources Director at UCP of Georgia, where she is responsible for managing the organization's day-to-day HR functions. Zandreal first joined UCP of Georgia in 2009, where she worked in the finance department for six years. She returned to UCP in 2018 and eventually transitioned to the area of human resources.

Zandreal holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of West Georgia and a Master's in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

Shirley Samuel


Shirley Samuel is an accountant and financial professional currently serving as the Controller at UCP of Georgia where she is responsible for managing day-to-day accounting and financial functions. She joined UCP of Georgia in 2018.

Before joining UCP, Shirley worked in diverse industries, including printing, real estate, and jewelry, where she developed her expertise in the financial arena. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from St. John's University, New York. Outside of work, Shirley is involved with Operation Christmas Child as a volunteer and is an active Sunday school teacher. She is also a travel enthusiast and loves watching movies.

Tyrone Zimmerman

Director of Infrastructure

Tyrone has an extensive background in technical infrastructure management. Serving as the Director of Infrastructure at UCP of Georgia, Tyrone manages the day-to-day operations of information technology, security, assistive technology, and other technical infrastructure needs. He joined UCP of Georgia in 2013.

Previously, Tyrone worked in human resources in the federal government in Philadelphia. He also has a customer service background, has worked with a child abuse prevention agency in New York, and in logistics in the dairy industry in Georgia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Temple University and is presently working toward certification in cybersecurity.

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