Meet our CAS/ABC 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

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

Anna Hull

Anna Hull

Post-Adoption Manager | CHOICES Manager
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

Alexis Sullivan

International Program Team Leader
E-mail Alexis Sullivan

Contact me for information on Uganda or Ghana.

I have extensive experience working with children and families in international settings. My passion for adoption began when I was exposed to the vast amount of orphaned children around the world. I believe that every child deserves a forever home with a loving and caring family. I am excited to be alongside families who are beginning the process of welcoming a child into their home. I am involved with several international nonprofit organizations and have also spent time doing mission work overseas. I am a dedicated and passionate person who is eager to serve families on their adoption journey. My experience in Africa includes living and serving in Uganda as a ministry social worker and traveling the United States on an 11 month tour with a group of ten Ugandan children and two Ugandan adults with the Ugandan Kids Choir. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, exercising, and live music.

Three fun facts about me:

1. My favorite food is peanut butter

2. I was a cheerleader at East Carolina University (“game day” cheer for two years and competitive club cheer for two years)

3. I love doing puzzles (crossword and jigsaw!)

Bachelor of Social Work- East Carolina University

Master of Social Work- East Carolina University

Lianna Mills

International Coordinator
E-mail Lianna Mills

Contact me for information on Armenia, Bulgaria, China and Moldova.

With CAS Since July 2017
When I was nine months old, I was adopted from Hefei, China. It has always been my dream to work for an adoption agency, as I want to share the spirit of adoption with everyone! It is incredibly rewarding to be involved in our families’ adoption journeys, as this life-changing process is nothing short of magical. I am honored to be a part of this agency and feel privileged to work alongside individuals who share my passion for uniting children with their forever families.
In my spare time, I love to travel, visit museums, listen to music, and go on walks with my rescue dog, Maggie.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and English- Elon University

Contact Lianna: 336.275.9660 ext. 144

Shana Gary

Family Services Supervisor
E-mail Shana Gary

With CAS since March 2018 

My passion is working with children, adolescents and their families.  My love for children fuels my passion for making sure children of all backgrounds have a chance to grow and excel in environments that are safe and nurturing. Having the opportunity to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children who need it most is one thing I love about working at CAS.  

I have been a social worker since 2008.  I started my career in social work with a local department of social service and department of public health in the family and children’s programs.  I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology specializing in child development and a Master’s degree in Social Work specializing in clinical interventions.  I am currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Social Work.  

I have lived in North Carolina all my life.  I was born and raised in the Triad area.  In my spare time I enjoy exercising, practicing meditation, reading, cooking and spending time at parks with my son and four legged boxer son.  

Mary Ellen Shores

Home Study Coordinator
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

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

Debbie Cox

Administrative Assistant

With CAS since May 2017

Cindi Rager

Business Office Manager

For most of my career I have worked for non-profits or religious organizations running the office.  I worked for Carolina Adoption Services from June 2007-October 2014 and returned April 2018.

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!