Creating a Family Staff
Dawn Davenport, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Dawn sets the direction for Creating a Family, along with our Board. She is involved with grant writing and program development, but the most fun thing she does is plan and host our weekly podcast, where she interviews leading experts in the world of adoption, foster care, and kinship care. She also hangs out on our online support group, so if you want to get to know me better, join us. .
Things I do in my spare time: Run (slowly), play tennis and pickleball (mediocrely), cook and dirty up lots of pans, love on my dog, read, and lose at dominoes and cards when playing with my family.
What you really need to know about me: I’m a bit of a research geek and am living my dream getting to interview experts each week on the Creating a Family show. Oh, and I’m a mom of four through birth and adoption.
Jamie Gilmore, Assistant Director
Jamie is a Jack (or Jill) of all trades. She manages projects and relationships with partners and handles all the details related to the website and technology.
Things I do in my spare time: I enjoy traveling and exploring new places with my family. We especially like camping adventures in our VW bus.
What you really need to know about me: I have two active boys and one “big kiddo” (my husband) who keep me on my toes and add great joy to my life.
Cressa Megown, Operations Director
Cressa keeps us organized. She is our prime project manager and our LMS (learning management system) guru. She also works her behind-the-scenes magic on the website and inquiries.
Things I do in my spare time: I spend part of everyday outside feeding horses or chickens . . . or cleaning up after all of them. You might find me on the tractor, in the garden, collecting eggs, petting the cat, or even walking the dog. When that’s all done, I relax with cooking, reading, or chatting with the family.
What you really need to know about me: After 22 years on the move with the US Marine Corps, my husband and I are living our best life on the farm. We are a full house that includes three children (1 1/2 out of the house), a dog, a cat, two horses, and 13 chickens. We love to work on our property, hang out in nature, or follow our children throughout their many activities and adventures.
Melissa Stegle, Development Director
Melissa assists with the development goals for the organization. This includes fund development, grants, marketing, & relationship development with partners.
Things I do in my spare time: My husband and I spend our weekends exploring Asheville, NC and hanging out with friends at local breweries. If we’re not doing that, you can catch us on a local hike with our dog, Darryl. We also love finding new shows to watch while relaxing after work. If you know of any good ones, be sure to let me know!
What you really need to know about me: Cooking and finding new recipes is a passion of mine. My poor husband is always a guinea pig. Food has always been a centerpiece in bringing people together in my family and I love that I can carry on traditions through food while my husband and I also work to create new ones of our own.
Peter Johnson, Financial Manager
Peter, otherwise known as “the money guy”, keeps the financial wheels on the Creating a Family bus moving.
Things I do in my spare time: Swim for exercise, kayak, camp in our Alto, big property=lots of work.
What you really need to know about me: I am a lucky guy! Great family, wonderful wife and I am a new granddad.
Tracy Whitney, Content Manager
Tracy is our social media guru who manages all of our online accounts as well as writes and edits various types of content for the website. She reviews books for our Best of the Best Adoption book list for kids broken out by type of adoption and age of the child. She also leads our support groups.
Things I do in my spare time: I am a voracious reader and I’m always trying to find a good balance of light fiction and equipping non-fiction. I enjoy doing lunch with a friend or one of my grown-up kids. I might also be a tad addicted to blogs and social media groups that focus on running a home more efficiently or frugally. I find that stuff fascinating and fun!
What you really need to know about me: I have 6 kids and 3 in-law kids, and a large extended family. My happiest days are the times we can all be together in one place. Now that four of my kids are adults, those moments are particularly precious to me.
Cait Johnson, Resource & Training Developer
Cait adds content to our site and is responsible for much of the content in Parent Support Group Curriculum & CE.
Things I do in my spare time: Read, write, run, and play Candy Crush instead of cleaning my kitchen
What you really need to know about me: I make travel plans around how many historic ruins I can see, I can hold entire conversations only quoting 30 Rock and I like cheese more than most people.
Sarah Moser, Resource & Training Developer
Sarah has been instrumental in the development and implementation of our prenatal exposure training. She has worked alongside experts to develop the content, outline videos, and work with teachers, preschool teachers, daycare providers, after school providers, and foster parents to pilot the program.
Things I do in my spare time: Play the piano, hike, backpack, mountain bike, fish with my husband, and travel, often to see my children.
What you really need to know about me: I love kids! I retired from teaching elementary music for over 30 years and love spending time with my husband and our two adult daughters.My husband and I are also licensed foster parents.
Jacob Bullard, Video Guy
Jacob is our videographer and animation creator.
Adopted into a family of outdoor enthusiasts, he immediately fell in love with the outdoors, all things traveling and learning how to see the world in different ways. “As I grew older I expanded my leadership and outdoor knowledge while simultaneously creating a passion of being able to share and capture the world through my eyes.”
Things I do in my spare time: I love going out and getting lost in the woods either hiking, biking, climbing or whatever you’d expect at a summer camp. Skating and surfing when available to me are also fun outlets.
What you need to know about me: My nickname growing up was Mowgli from The Jungle Book because I would climb everywhere and eat bananas.