Who We Are
Families First Management Team is dedicated to improving the lives of Colorado families. Each team member brings their own special talent, training and skills.
Mary Hencmann – CEO/Executive Director Email: Mary
Mary has dedicated more than 20 years to Families First. She assumed the role of Executive Director in 2007, bringing her extensive experience in operations and financial management, human resource practices and effective marketing communications. Mary’s commitment to children and families is unwavering as she guides Families First in becoming a leading force in the prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Ann Afton – Children's Treatment Center Director Email: Ann
Ann joined Families First in 2001 and serves as the Children’s Treatment Center Director. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and brings over 30 years of experience and wisdom to the care and treatment of young abused and neglected children in residence. Ann is a recognized expert in the field of child abuse and neglect and ensures that all decisions are made in the best interest of the children.
Jennifer Richardson – Family Support Services Director Email: Jennifer
Jennifer has directed the Family Support Services since 1987. Her professional
credentials include Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Addictions Counselor
(CACIII), and national trainer for Circle of Parents®. Jennifer represents Families
First by serving on the Colorado Children’s Justice Task Force, the Colorado
Fatherhood Council, and the Douglas County Youth Initiative. A member of Gov. Ritter's Child Welfare Cultural Competence Action Subcommittee.
Claire Poole - Clinical Director Email:
Claire is the Clinical Director for the Children’s Treatment Center. His experience includes extensive clinical mental health services for children and families for more than 35 years. Claire earned his Doctor of Psychology from the University of Denver where he is on the adjunct faculty and has been leading and supervising the treatment aspects at the Children’s Center since 1991.
Rachel Merkel - Volunteer Coordinator Email: Rachel
Rachel, recruits and coordinates the activities of over 50 program volunteers. She also works closely with Friends for Families First to plan our fundraising events and promote awareness of our programs in the community. Rachel has been with Families First since 2004.
Emily Kasper - Director of Operations Email: Emily
Emily provides facility management for both the Children’s Treatment Center and the Family Center. She also coordinates employee benefits and is the main point of contact for computer issues and technical support. Emily volunteered at Families First for several years and joined the staff full time in 2003.
Alice Edwards - Development Associate Email: Alice
Alice joined the Families First Management Team in 2008 as the Development Associate. She works closely with the Director of Major Gifts to raise funds for our Family of Services. Alice is the editor of our e-newsletter and enjoys presenting Families First's "Family of Services" to service clubs, schools, business and community groups.