Ep. 10: Champion Leaders Address Justice, Innovation, and Mentorship

Published Nov 15, 2022
By: LSS Staff

High-impact leaders get real In the Ring with Héctor Colón

Marian Baldini

Marian Baldini is the CEO and President of KenCrest, a human services and early learning provider throughout Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware; that serves over 12,500 people annually. She is an unwavering advocate for the equality and inclusion of people with disabilities, as well as access to early education for all. Marian has over 40 years of leadership in executive planning, administration, academia, and operational oversight; and began her career as a Direct Support Professional in the 1970s, at the same Agency where she now serves as CEO. Throughout her journey she has never lost sight of her “WHY,” and has inspired a shared vision amongst many in the IDD industry for what true inclusion looks like for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Marian has testified at legislative hearings on the closures of institutions; rallied for the certification of direct care workers; and published numerous op-eds on innovative service models to offset the nation-wide DSP crisis.


Kelli Dobner

Kelli Dobner joined Samaritas’ leadership staff in 2017 as Chief Advancement Officer. Her accomplishments include the creation and chairmanship of the IDEA committee (inclusion, diversity, equality, action) including crafting the tier 1 policy, establishing annual goals in this body of work and spearheading organization-wide inclusive culture training, and board development and diversification.
In collaboration with community, corporate and congregational partners, Dobner helped direct a $100M statewide capital campaign, and launched new Substance Use Disorder services across Southeast and Mid Michigan. More recently, she co-founded the Afghan Refugee Network to support the influx of new arrivals. She also has doubled fundraising, and expanded development programming by adding foundation relations, corporate and community engagement, and major events programs to Samaritas.  Bringing prior experience as Chief Development Officer of the Judson Center, where she was most proud of creating “a culture of ambassadorship,” Ms. Dobner has built a career on the principles of communication, community-building and concern for the greater good. She also held development positions in the Southfield, Michigan offices of the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.


Kristyn Peck


Kristyn is Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), which was the 2022 recipient of Lutheran Services in America’s Micah award for its work advancing equity and justice. Prior to joining LSSNCA, Kristyn served as the founding CEO of West Michigan Partnership for Children, a nonprofit piloting an innovative performance-based child welfare model. Here, she was named the Michigan Federation of Children and Families Advocate of the Year. Kristyn also served as the associate director of children’s services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) overseeing national family reunification and foster care programs for unaccompanied children and as chair of the Vulnerable Minors Working Group of Refugee Council USA. Kristyn has also testified before Congress on protection needs for unaccompanied children, and represented USCCB as a subject matter expert on unaccompanied children at the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) Annual Consultation meetings in Geneva.

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