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

Allie Smith

International Program Manager
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

Sally Umbdenstock

Interim Family Services Manager
E-mail Sally Umbdenstock

With CAS since 1993
I am passionate about helping families and children and  have been a Social Worker for 40 years.  My career in Foster Care started in 1978 with Wake County Department of Social Services, and in 1985 I accepted a position with Catholic Charities as a Program Coordinator.  My journey with CAS began in 1993 as a contract Social Worker helping families through the adoption process, and continues as the interim Family Services Manager. I have lived in North Carolina my entire life; I am married and have two adult daughters.

Bachelor of Social Work – NC State University
Master of Social Work – UNC Chapel Hill

Anna Hull

Anna Hull

Post-Adoption Specialist | Interim CHOICES Coordinator
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

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

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

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

Debbie Cox

Administrative Assistant

With CAS since May 2017

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!