Get to Know Mendy Smith, Central Regional Site Director
We’re excited to introduce Mendy Smith as the new Regional Site Director in our Central Region. She takes over for Lisa Pieper, who retired as the Regional Vice President of the Central Region in August 2018. First hired in 1998 as a teacher in the infant room at the Scott Early Learning Center, Mendy brings with her more than 20 years of experience at Children’s Home & Aid. She has specialized in partnering parent support groups with home visiting services.
Mendy is a leader in early childhood home visiting and has presented at national conferences in Washington, Texas and Florida. She is particularly proud of the expansion of home visiting services within the Central Region, highlighting the importance of prevention services and Children’s Home & Aid’s commitment to strengthening families. “When I first started, we had four home visitors in Bloomington, serving only McLean County,” Mendy notes. “Today we’re serving children and families in eight counties across Central Illinois with just under 30 home visitors, doulas and facilitators.”
As the Regional Site Director, Mendy works directly with the Central Regional Advisory Board to secure funding, reduce gaps of services within the large geographical area that the Central Region covers, and raise awareness of Children’s Home & Aid. Mendy is responsible for day-to-day administrative operations and oversees a number of programs including early childhood education, family support services and child welfare in collaboration with the Vice President of Welfare Services, Melissa Ludington.
“I grew up here,” Mendy says of her career at Children’s Home & Aid. “I began as a teacher here right out of college then found a love for prevention services. Over the past 20 years, I’ve been part of an incredible organization and a team that encourages me to be the best that I can be in order to create new opportunities for the communities we serve.”
Now for a few fun facts about Mendy:
- Mendy was born and raised in Bloomington, IL.
- She has been the Assistant Varsity Basketball Coach at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington since 1998—the same year she started at Children’s Home & Aid and married her husband!
- Mendy and her husband enjoy traveling, especially road trips that involve throwing their bikes on the back of the car and hitting the trails.
- She is an avid sports fan and her favorite teams include the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears, the University of Illinois, the University of Missouri, and Eureka College now that her son plays baseball there!
- Mendy is a mother of four and recently became an empty nester this fall when her two youngest sons began college.