Meet our CAS Staff

Phyllis Stephenson

Executive Director
E-mail Phyllis Stephenson

With CAS since December 2016

I am excited to continue my passionate work on behalf of children and families in my role as Executive Director of Carolina Adoption Services. I have expanded and developed family services programs at organizations including North Carolina Respite Care Coalition, Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina and Virginia, and Volunteer Families for Children. Advocating for vulnerable children and providing solutions to families, especially those brought together by adoption, has been the focus of my career in child welfare, mental health, and adoption services. I have had the honor of presenting on the treatment needs of children and families at the White House. I am active with the Family Focused Treatment Association and have served in a volunteer capacity with the Board of Directors.

My love for families and community is the core of my being. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, Randy, and two amazing sons, Preston and Nathaniel. Our family has always included many special people and four legged friends.  Our current four legged family members are two miniature dachshunds, Waffles and Brysun Joy and a horse, Lucy McGillicuddy, and our mighty pony, Hercules. We enjoy time as a family and love spending time outdoors enjoying the beauty of North Carolina from mountains to coast. My creative pursuits include writing, kayaking, and refinishing antique furniture. My family, friends, church community, and the work I am called to do are blessings in my life. I am thankful for the privilege to make a difference and create a legacy through my personal life and in my work at Carolina Adoption Services. I welcome the opportunity to meet our CAS families past and present, collaborate as we continue to grow CAS, and discuss the many ways CAS can meet your family’s needs.

Bachelor of Science in Social Work- University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Master of Public Administration- University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Contact Phyllis: 336.275.9660 ext.135

Ruth Hilton

Domestic Program Manager
E-mail Ruth Hilton

Contact me for home study and domestic adoption services.

With CAS/ABC since May 2017

Adoption is my personal and professional passion. My husband and I have had the honor of adopting three beautiful children and have also fostered many wonderful children.  For the past 20+ years, I have professionally served biological families, adoptive families, and children in various capacities and specialize in how adoption affects all persons of the Adoption Triad. Most importantly, I believe that each person deserves the opportunity to create their ideal future, and I feel privileged whenever I am able to support them on this journey.

I love spending time with my family at home as well as going to museums and local parks. I enjoy working in my flower garden, traveling and going to music and theater performances.

Bachelors of Arts in Government from Smith College
Masters in Clinical Social Work from Boston University

Contact Ruth: 336.275.9660 ext. 142

Angela Jackson

Angela Jackson

Director of Social Services
E-mail Angela Jackson

Contact me with questions regarding international adoption services through Haiti.
With CAS since September 2005
What drew me to CAS was the opportunity to work with families on a personal basis as they sought to build their family.  Having worked in various social service organizations, I was drawn to the opportunity to affect the lives of vulnerable children and make a difference in the world. What I like most about working at CAS is working with families to prepare them for adoption and seeing the positive results of the children as they are placed with their forever families. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time volunteering at my church and singing in the choir.

Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education- Gardner Webb College
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Contact Angela: 336.275.9660 ext.141

Allie Smith

Director of Programs
E-mail Allie Smith

Contact me with questions regarding Armenia, China, and Uganda.
With CAS since October 2006
My journey with CAS began when I requested to be paired with CAS for an internship. I have always had an interest in international affairs and serving children in need and found CAS to be the perfect fit. I am privileged to work daily with our overseas partners and client families knowing that I am part of a unique journey of growing families. I find it a true honor to be part of pairing a child to their forever family and then calling the family to introduce them to their new child. I also greatly enjoy traveling to the countries where I work, it enables me to further develop our partnerships, visit with the children, and to experience first-hand the incredible culture. I have many years of experience in assisting families with the necessary steps and preparations to complete their adoptions. I have also started several new country programs at CAS and enjoy creating new opportunities for families.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband and family at the lake or beach.

Bachelor of Arts in Human Services- Elon University

Contact Allie: 336.275.9660 ext.122

Tania Griasnow

Tania Griasnow

Bulgaria and South Korea Program Coordinator
E-mail Tania Griasnow

With CAS since February 1998
Having been brought up in an Eastern European family and knowing several Eastern European languages as well understanding the culture, provided me with the opportunity to establish sound relationships with our overseas partners in Eastern Europe. Working in the field of international adoption is very rewarding and gratifying, because I feel I’m helping to make the world a better place by uniting children with their forever families. I also enjoy cooking, reading, watching old movie classics and spending time with my children and grandchildren.

Bachelor of Arts in Social Services and Languages- Cleveland State University

Contact Tania: 336.275.9660 ext.132

Anna Hull

Anna Hull

Post-Adoption Specialist
E-mail Anna Hull

With CAS since December 2014
I got into adoption because, as an adoptee, I know the lifelong impact that adoption has on your life and recognize the importance of having others in your life who have had similar experiences. What I love most about working at CAS is getting to see children flourish in their new homes and providing opportunities and resources for families to remain connected to the adoption community after coming home. Contact me to learn more about the adoptee experience and ask questions about Haiti adoption.

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Poverty Studies- Furman University

Contact Anna: 336-275-9660 ext. 131

Heather Gordon

Home Study and Quality Assurance Coordinator
E-mail Heather Gordon

With CAS since June 2006
Adoption seems to have been part of my life since I can remember, with friends and family who are or have adopted. Adoption is also a social justice issue for me and a cause I feel passionately about. I like being part of a movement that brings about positive change in people’s lives. I enjoy helping families through the home study process and getting that first round of paperwork complete!  Contact me with any questions you have about the home study and I am happy to help! Outside of work, I enjoy dancing, reading, baking, and spending time with my husband and two cats.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology- Guilford College

Contact Heather: 336-275-9660 ext.144

Gwen Barnes

Gwen Barnes

Accounting Assistant
E-mail Gwen Barnes

With CAS Since November 2012
I have been in finance and accounting my entire career, but this was my first opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization. I love the variety and the challenge of the daily job flow. I am happy to help families learn about grants and fundraising for their adoptions. I also enjoy working with our donors for our charitable initiatives. I am always available by telephone or email to answer any questions or concerns our adopting families and supporters may have. I enjoy reading, college basketball, NFL football, and dancing to beach music in my free time.

Associates Degree in Business Administration- Guilford Technical Community College

Contact Gwen: 336-275-9660 ext.123

Mary Ellen Shores

Administrative Assistant
E-mail Mary Ellen Shores

With CAS since: August 2016
Transitioning from teaching preschool into the office of a nonprofit organization that handles adoptions offers me the opportunity to love children in a new way. I am excited to be part of a process that profoundly changes lives. As a writer, I am happy to extend my editing abilities in processing necessary documents. The documentation itself appeals to my appreciation for the required exactness gained from working in law offices. In my spare time, I create fiber art—most notably, “the bed bunny”—to sell at the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market on Saturday mornings and at their arts and crafts shows. I also write a blog.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism- Michigan State University
Master of Arts in Journalism- Marshall University
Board of Directors- UKirk Greensboro

Contact Mary Ellen: 336-275-9660 ext. 127

Our Social Services Team

Carolina Adoption Services works with numerous professional social work staff throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, offering families a local point of contact for home study and post-adoption services. A majority of the professionals in our network have been working with our agency for many years. The local worker you are matched with will become an integral part of the team helping to build your family!