Kate McCloskey, Executive Director
B.A./Certified in Special Education & Autism
Certification: Nonprofit Management
Certification: Support Broker - DDA
Currently pursuing Masters in Clinical Social Work
Kate has more than 22 years of experience working with families, children and adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs. While working in the field, she created personalized life skill and vocational programs, developed HR programs and policies, managed community social groups, spent multiple years working as a Parent Navigator and managed various programs as Director of Operations. Kate has been the Executive Director of Kinera Foundation since 2018. During the pandemic, Kate created a new telehealth program at Kinera Foundation so that therapists could continue providing services and this program is still a strong program at our nonprofit. In 2022, Kate worked with local high school and college academic programs to create our first internship program to assist teens and adults in the community so they can experience the various aspects of healthcare offered at our clinic in hopes that we can play a role in building the network of therapists and providers on the eastern shore of Maryland.
When Kate isn't working on her passion to help others, you will find her busy at work on her other passions & hobbies: relaxing on the water, spending time with her fiancé and bonus son, family, friends and 2 adorable dogs, reading, writing, stringing beads and jewelry, traveling, music, attending festivals, exploring new places, and playing boardgames.
Julie Vallecillo, Parent Navigator
B.S. Communications, University of Baltimore
Julie has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience in the health care industry, as well as government and nonprofit sectors. While working in health care, she developed and implemented community benefit programs with an emphasis on community-level, evidence-based prevention strategies. She also coordinated health fairs, free wellness screenings and a variety of support groups.
As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, Julie started attending Kinera Connect monthly support group meetings in 2013 to network with other parents with children with special needs. Kinera helped Julie’s family and inspired her to get involved, so volunteering eventually turned into employment with Kinera. In her role as Parent Navigator, she assists families with identifying resources, programs, therapies and services that will enhance their quality of life and help their children reach their full potential--and not just survive, but thrive! Julie is constantly enrolling in trainings and workshops to increase her knowledge base, and she has completed FETA (From Emotions to Advocacy) and Wright's Law training programs. She loves to assist families with 504 Plans and IEPs and encourages families to be the best team players and advocates for their children. Julie is committed to providing hope, support and inspiration to families, while increasing access to community events and resources.
Julie loves spending time with her husband, sons and dog, Larry, and enjoys boating, fishing, kayaking, reading, cooking and native plant gardening.
Abigail Brannon-Horney, Office Coordinator
B.S. Speech & Language Pathology, Towson University
Abigail ("Abby") earned her degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Townson University and is working toward her SLPA. One of Abby's strengths is communication, both written and verbal. She strongly believes that strong communication skills are key to working in the field of Speech Therapy, and she takes great pride in listening to others and responding/providing productive feedback.
Abby enjoys working in the field of nonprofit because it allows her to use her creativity and to be resourceful and to contribute in unique ways, while helping others and supporting Kinera's mission. She believes in "giving back" and is driven to make the world a better place for all, even through the smallest acts of compassion and kindness.
In her spare time, Abby enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling to new places, baking and volunteering in and around her community. She has two four-legged friends ("her side-kicks"), miniature Dachshunds, Baxter and Jax, who love to go on car rides and more!
Drew Wise, Administrative Assistant
Drew joined Kinera in 2017 and brings a wealth of experience earned from his job at the Queen Anne’s County Post Office. Drew has also volunteered for both the Department of Social Services and the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education. He takes his work very seriously, and he is a valued member of the Kinera team. One of his favorite things to do, to bring a smile to the face of all who enter the office, is to place a weekly motivational quote (often from his favorite Disney movies) on the message board for all to see. Drew also loves basketball, karaoke, going to the library, music, movies, and strawberry-frosted donuts with sprinkles!