Leadership Team

Saint Francis Ministries' leadership team brings a breadth of executive, public policy and clinical healthcare and human services experience to our mission to provide hope and healing to children and families in the communities we serve. Click each picture to learn more about our leadership team.

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Fr. Robert Smith

Dean, President, Chief Executive Officer

Fr. Robert Smith

Dean, President, Chief Executive Officer

The Very Reverend Robert Nelson Smith works in collaboration with the Board of Directors to provide leadership and direction to the Saint Francis mission. Fr. Bobby became the sixth president of Saint Francis in 2014, following a successful 20-year career in health care administration in Wisconsin and Illinois. Prior to that, he worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant for a member of the House of Representatives, focusing on environmental, transportation, and infrastructure issues related to rural communities. An Episcopal priest, he has also served parishes within the Diocese of Chicago. As a result, Fr. Bobby brings to Saint Francis extensive executive experience, nuanced understanding of policy issues, and a pastor’s temperament with which to serve the children and families in our care.

Tom Blythe

President/Chief Operating Officer

Tom Blythe

President/Chief Operating Officer

Tom has spent most of his career in hospital and health systems management. Prior to joining Saint Francis Ministries, he was system vice president for human resources at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, a health care system that included 1,900 health care workers and two acute-care hospitals, serving 300,000 people in a nine-county area of Illinois. He joined Saint Francis in 2015 to serve as chief human resources officer and was named to his current position two years later. As COO, Tom provides strategic direction for residential programs and child and family service programs, which include adoption, reintegration, foster care, and family preservation. He also oversees human resources, training, systems improvement, international ministries, marketing, and communications.

Fr. David Hodges

Chief Development Officer
President of The Saint Francis Foundation

Fr. David Hodges

Chief Development Officer
President of The Saint Francis Foundation

As chief development officer for Saint Francis Ministries and president of The Saint Francis Foundation, Fr. David serves in dual leadership roles, both of which help ensure Saint Francis has the resources to sustain our ministry to children and families. An Alabama native, Fr. David left a career in law enforcement several years ago to become a priest. Prior to joining Saint Francis, he served as vice president for external affairs at Holy Family Cristo Rey High School in Birmingham, Alabama. Before that, he served as rector of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, both in North Carolina. In addition to his Saint Francis responsibilities, Fr. David also serves as the 18th dean of Christ Cathedral in Salina, Kansas.

Dr. Page Walley

President/Chief Public Policy Officer

Dr. Page Walley

President/Chief Public Policy Officer

A licensed clinical psychologist, child welfare policy expert, and community advocate, Page brings a wealth of expertise in child welfare practice to Saint Francis Ministries. As a minister and former member of the legislative and executive branches of government in Alabama and Tennessee, Page understands how child welfare practices and systems directly affect families. As Saint Francis’ president/chief public policy officer, he leads our advocacy efforts, crafting consensus and building partnerships across the country. At the local, state, and federal levels, he meets with leaders to learn what they need to best provide for the children and families they serve. Mostly, Page helps strengthen human communities by sharing resources and supporting Saint Francis partners as we work together to heal and sustain at-risk families.

Cheryl Rathbun

Chief Clinical Officer

Cheryl Rathbun

Chief Clinical Officer

Cheryl joined Saint Francis four decades ago as a social worker and therapist. A licensed specialist in clinical social work, she has served as an individual and family therapist, supervising all social work and clinical services provided through Saint Francis’ outpatient and residential facilities. She has also co-authored several professional papers on treatment for children and youth. As Saint Francis’ chief clinical officer, Cheryl provides strategic direction on all of Saint Francis’ clinical care initiatives - both nationally and internationally - and oversees accreditation standards, operating procedures, performance improvement, and professional ethics for all clinical services.

Bill Whymark

Chief Technology Officer

Bill Whymark

Chief Technology Officer

A passion for using data-driven approaches to transform organizations and systems led Bill to Saint Francis Ministries, where he serves as chief information officer. After garnering more than 20 years of analytical leadership experience with organizations like Northwest Airlines, General Electric, GE Capital, and IBM, he now provides expertise to every Saint Francis initiative to improve innovation and performance. A frequent international lecturer on Big Data topics, Bill has also served as an adjunct professor on quantitative methods at New York’s Stern Business School. As CIO, Bill explores ways to couple data science with clinical services to better guide Saint Francis in creating innovative approaches to social services and therapies and to better understand the needs of those we serve.

David Schaffer

Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

David Schaffer

Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

After spending 32 years primarily in private practice, David joined Saint Francis. As Saint Francis’s general counsel, David’s broad expertise and strategic advice strengthen our mission to continually improve and expand services for those under our care. David is admitted to practice law in New York and Illinois and in federal trial and appellate courts. David is a graduate of The College of the University of Chicago and the Law School of Harvard University.

Trish Bryant

Vice President, Children & Family Services

Trish Bryant

Vice President, Children & Family Services

Trish’s entire professional career has been spent in the service of children and families. She joined Saint Francis more than three decades ago, and over the years has occupied multiple leadership positions within the ministry. Her current responsibilities include oversight of Saint Francis residential programs, including our Salina West Residential Treatment Facility, Clover House, two Youth Residential Centers (Willow House and Cottonwood House), Secure Care, Bridgeway Apartments and Cheshire Homes, and Saint Francis at The Mount. Trish’s leadership and strategic planning have been integral to Saint Francis’ expansion of residential treatment and trauma services to the children, families, and adults we serve.

Kevin Carrico

Vice President, Legal Services

Kevin Carrico

Vice President, Legal Services

Most of Kevin’s legal career has been dedicated to children in need of care and juvenile offender work. Initially joining Saint Francis as a staff attorney in 1998, Kevin now oversees legal file reviews and a staff of field attorneys serving in offices throughout our mission area. Kevin is also responsible for coordinating and conducting quarterly legal training for front-line staff and ensuring employees understand the expectations of the court. To improve operational efficiency, Kevin also meets regularly with the rest of the legal department to discuss ways to reduce involvement of high-level employees on low-level issues.

Diane Carver

Vice President, Foster Care Reintegration

Diane Carver

Vice President, Foster Care Reintegration

A tireless advocate for children and families, Diane spent 20 years working with the Kansas Department for Children and Families before joining Saint Francis Ministries to serve as vice president for the Wichita Region. A graduate of both the Executive Development Program at the University of Kansas and the Kansas Leadership Center, Diane was named “Outstanding Person of the Year” in 2007 by the Kansas Conference on Social Welfare. In her current role as vice president of foster care reintegration, she oversees foster care, reintegration, and adoption programs for Saint Francis. Having spent more than three decades of her life in social services, Diane considers it her life’s mission to advocate for children in need of protection, prevention, reintegration, or permanency services.

Tracy Hervey

Vice President, Administrative Services

Tracy Hervey

Vice President, Administrative Services

A lifelong human resources professional, Tracy has always applied her skills to the service of children, starting with the Kansas Children’s Service League more than 20 years ago. Joining Saint Francis in 2007, she has served as director of human resources for our offices in Wichita and throughout western Kansas, as well as Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Tracy currently provides leadership over critical support functions within the Saint Francis ministry that include human resources, training and development, compensation and benefits, organizational excellence, marketing, communications, facilities, safety, and strategic planning.

Rachel Marsh

Vice President, Advocacy

Rachel Marsh

Vice President, Advocacy

As an attorney, Rachel has always advocated for the welfare of children. Since 2006, she has held various positions with Saint Francis Ministries, the most recent of which was executive director of public policy. Her work has always focused on community engagement, collaboration with public and private partners, and support for social workers, mental health professionals, and administrators – all aimed at better serving the needs of children and families. As Saint Francis’ vice president for advocacy, Rachel builds relationships with legislators and public policy advocates; monitors state and federal policy developments in areas of child welfare, human trafficking, substance abuse, immigration, and poverty; and leads Saint Francis’ advocacy efforts on other critical issues.

Angela Smith

Vice President, International Ministries

Angela Smith

Vice President, International Ministries

leadership-angela-smith

For more than a decade, Angela has been working to advance peace and human dignity internationally, addressing issues of poverty and violence in the U.S. and Central America. She co-founded and directed TELA Women, a non-profit focused on women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in El Salvador before joining Saint Francis Ministries in 2013, where she has led creation and ongoing development of programs serving immigrants, refugees, and survivors of sexual exploitation. Today, she leads U.S.-based programs including Refugee Resettlement, Immigrant Child and Family Services, and the China Fellows program as well as our growing work in Central America which focuses on education, opportunity creation, and strengthening the field of social work to benefit children and families.

Matt Stephens

Vice President, Innovation & System Improvement QA/PI

Matt Stephens

Vice President, Innovation & System Improvement QA/PI

Matt began his career as a social worker with the State of Kansas, then later served as administrator of Neuvant House, an adult care facility in Lawrence, Kansas. He joined Saint Francis in 2016 as Director of the Innovation Center, where he helped guide and support process improvement and performance excellence initiatives. In his current position, Matt coordinates Saint Francis’ Kansas Quality Award efforts, while providing oversight to our performance improvement and quality assurance programs.

Leadership History

Guided by the example of “Fr. Bob,” five presidents have served Saint Francis over the years, leading our growth and expansion of services.

Starting with the founder and first president of Saint Francis, The Rev. Robert Mize Jr., Episcopal priests have led our ministry, and we have maintained that tradition for over 70 years. Our sixth and current president is The Very Rev. Robert Nelson Smith.

A senior executive team works closely with Fr. Bobby under his leadership, while a Board of Directors – comprised of clergy, businesspersons, and community leaders – oversees the ministry of Saint Francis.

Father Bob Miser Photo

The Rt. Rev. Robert H. Mize, Jr.

Founder and President
1945 - 1960

The Rev. Dr. William E. Craig

1960-1980

The Rev. Canon N. Kenneth Yates

1981-1990

The Rev. Canon Philip j. Rapp

1990-2002

The Very Rev. Edward W. Fellhauer

2002-2014

The Very Rev. Robert N. Smith

2014-present