Our Team

Our team has diverse skills and backgrounds but the same passion – helping Saranam families succeed.


Tracy Weaver

Executive Director

Saranam has benefitted from Tracy’s leadership and vision since its inception in 2004. She oversees all program activities, our strategy, fundraising, and our Westside expansion project. Tracy has decades of experience working with homeless populations and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Tracy enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and laughing with her three daughters.
Contact Tracy

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Joell Ackerman

Director of Operations

Joell is responsible for the overall operations and processes at Saranam.  She has a varied background in corporate, military and nonprofit work and more than a decade of experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness in Albuquerque. When not working she can be found in her home studio making pottery and listening to assorted podcasts.  She and her spouse are avid pickleball players and spend summers pickleballing with friends and family.

Contact Joell


Dianne Campbell

Director of Development

Dianne is responsible for fundraising at Saranam. She’s dedicated her career to fundraising for organizations whose missions align with her commitment to educational empowerment, children and families. Dianne values the diversity and culture in New Mexico and has never met a stranger. She enjoys walks in the bosque with her husband, son, and two Airedales.
Contact Dianne 

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Jennifer Mullen

Program Director

Jennifer helps Saranam families meet their goals and learn new strategies to manage daily challenges while ensuring they have what they need for their households and education. During her career Jennifer has worked with adoptive families and counseled emotionally disturbed adolescents. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in counseling from Webster University.
Contact Jennifer


Ian Vetter

Director of Education

Ian supports our team of instructors and designs and manages quality educational pathways for Saranam families. As an educator for more than 15 years, Ian has a wide range of experience including tutoring, supplemental instruction, math and science curriculum development and teaching, and working with ESL students. Ian has a bachelor’s in fine arts from UNM.
Contact Ian


Ellen Shepherd

Director of Continuous Improvement

Ellen tracks client data and Saranam’s measures of success to demonstrate the effectiveness of our program. She has a bachelor’s in computer science, an MBA in information systems, and more than twenty years of experience in software development, software testing, and project management.
Contact Ellen

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Clarissa Urbina

Case Manager

Clarissa works closely with families as our case manager, helping them set and achieve goals that will enable them to become independent and successful. She is a certified Circle of Security facilitator, is trained in Trauma Informed Care and has a bachelor's degree from UNM. In her spare time she loves spending time with her daughter, listening to various podcasts and learning new ways of thinking. 

Contact Clarissa

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Kim Breinholt

Family Activity Coordinator, Eastside

Kim plans engaging family and life skills activities for the Saranam families and maintains the Weil Family Center. She has a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University and has worked with children and teens in many capacities during the last 25 years. Kim loves reading, working in her yard, Broadway Musicals, and traveling with her family.
Contact Kim


Rachel Zepper

Alumni Coordinator

Rachel has a master’s degree in social work from New Mexico Highlands University and a financial coaching certification from Ramsey Solutions.  She has worked in a variety of human service roles, including helping newly-arrived refugee families navigate complex educational systems and adjust to life in Albuquerque.  Rachel loves using her experience to help Saranam alumni stay connected and continue their progress after exiting the program.
Contact Rachel


Jennifer Clear

Housing Coordinator

Jen started at Saranam as a volunteer and her passion for the work led her role as our Housing Coordinator. She ensures each family has a safe, furnished, decorated home. She oversees our donation warehouse and manages supply distribution to our families. Jen worked for 20 years as a corporate trainer, instructional designer and manager of learning and development before retiring in 2014 to start a family.
Contact Jen 


Olga Shapovalova

Administrative Coordinator

Before moving to the United States from Ukraine, Olga was a professor of metallography at the State Metallurgical Academy of the Ukraine. She was a senior process engineer at Intel for 15 years and worked at the New Mexico Material Laboratory for one year before retiring in 2016. Olga joined Saranam as an Intel Encore Fellow to develop systems for building organizational infrastructure. Today, she manages tasks that help our organization run efficiently.
Contact Olga


Julie Green


Julie has been Saranam’s bookkeeper since 2005.  In that time, she has seen many success stories unfold and is so excited to see these families thriving in the community she’s called home for 20 years. Julie holds a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Arizona and enjoys knitting, the outdoors, and spending time with her family.
Contact Julie


Sunny Holmes

Community Engagement Coordinator

Sunny coordinates marketing and volunteer activities at Saranam. She has a master’s degree in political science from UNM and has spent over a decade in the New Mexico nonprofit sector working in fundraising, community outreach and more to help the people of her home state. She loves to use her skills to tell the Saranam story and engage the community in support of our families.
Contact Sunny


Tifani Vincent

Outreach Assistant

Tifani shares the Saranam mission with the community through outreach, event management and digital marketing platforms. Tifani graduated from UNM with dual degrees in Psychology and Family Studies and has dedicated her career to helping families grow healthy relationships, even running a free community youth program and monthly art collaborations in her free time. On any given weekend, Tifani can also be found providing sound frequency healings by donation at local health and wellness locations.

Contact Tifani

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Dede Walden

Office Manager, Westside

As Saranam’s Westside office manager, Dede makes sure that our administration runs smoothly and provides the best possible experience for everyone who walks through our doors. Dede's interest in Saranam flourished when she started volunteering and serving on the Property Committee. She is thrilled to put her more than 20 years of experience in office and retail management to action in an organization that allows her to lead with her heart. She enjoys creating memories by living her life to the fullest. 

Contact Dede

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Stephanie Pankratz

Family Activity Coordinator, Westside

Stephanie plans life skills classes and activities for Saranam families on the west side.  She has a bachelor's degree in history from Brigham Young University.  Over the last 30 years, she has raised a family and worked with children, teenagers, and adults by volunteering through the public schools and community organizations.  She fills her spare time with home projects, reading, teaching adult literacy, and planning the next time she can be together with family.

Contact Stephanie

Saranam 2024 Board of Directors

We’re proud to have a group of accomplished community leaders guiding our work.

Christine Long  – Chair
Disciplinary Board of the New Mexico Supreme Court 

Mary Ellen Coon  – Vice Chair

Barbara Audet – Secretary
University of New Mexico

Ken Breinholt – Treasurer
Rinchem Company, retired

Brenda Cordova-Busick

Frank Fine
Sun Tours and Lieber's Luggage, Retired

Vera Olson

Graciela Plata
Enlace Communitario

Janie Rowe
Coldwell Banker Legacy

Walter Stern
Modrall Sperling Law

Rev. Andy Stoker
Senior Pastor, Central United Methodist Church

Aaron Thompson
Legacy Mortgage

Linda Weil
Real Estate