Who We Are

As the Illinois and Wisconsin branch of Holt International, we seek a world where every child has the support and resources to reach their full potential — a world where every child has a loving and secure home.

With a commitment to serving every individual with dignity and compassion, we provide support and resources for women facing unplanned pregnancy, and facilitate domestic newborn and international adoption for families in Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as step-parent and relative adoption in Wisconsin. We also offer lifelong post-adoption services for all who are touched by adoption.  

Always, we focus on each child’s unique needs — keeping the child’s best interest at the forefront of every decision.

What We Do


Unplanned Pregnancy Support

For women facing unplanned pregnancy, we offer options counseling, referrals, adoption planning, parenting support and a listening ear. We empower women to make a plan that is best for her and her baby.



Domestic & International Adoption

Our domestic infant program matches and facilitates adoptions between families living in Illinois and Wisconsin and birth parents in our program. We also have international adoption programs in nine countries.



Post-Adoption Support & Therapy

We offer post-adoption support, workshops, groups and therapy for birth parents, adoptive parents and families, and adoptees of all ages. We are dedicated to providing the tools and support to help all families thrive.


Our Services

Our Services

Our Impact

Since 2016 we served over 132 women facing unplanned pregnancy

Since 2014 we've placed over 35 children with loving families through domestic adoption

In 2016 we provided therapy and counseling to over 80 families and individuals

In 2016, we offered trainings and education to over 350 professionals in our community

Meet Our Team

The caring, professional staff at Holt International stands committed to serving birth parents, children and families throughout their lives — providing the education, support and resources needed for lifelong success. Throughout your adoption process, you may have questions and concerns, or may just need to talk to someone who understands. Our compassionate and experienced staff will be here for you every step of the way.

Nancy Crouch

Nancy Crouch, MA, LCPC
Domestic Program Director | IL
630-754-4526

I joined Holt in 2011 and adoption has been one of my passions for the last 25 years. I adopted my oldest son, Alexander, from Russia; my daughter, Catherine, from Ohio; and after many years of infertility treatments I was able to have one biological son, Jack. With my professional and personal experience with infertility and adoption, I am able to provide education, training and counseling services to families. I work with each family to develop a custom adoption plan that works for their unique situation as well as counseling and support services to women who decide to make an adoption or parenting plan. I've also had the exciting opportunity to develop our interstate adoption program.

I have a bachelor's degree in applied arts from Central Michigan University, a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University and am a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois. I feel my life's work is helping adoptive families experience the joy of expanding their family through adoption, as well as helping birth families by providing options and support during a very difficult time.

Loann Tan

Loann Tan
Resource and Options Counselor | IL
630-754-4510

I joined Holt in November 2017 and I feel honored to work with the Empowering Families Program. I am a Da Nang girl at heart, leaving my homeland [Vietnam] at the age of 9. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Having spent my 15-year career in the nonprofit/social service sector, I feel fulfilled to be at a place in my life with a mission and purpose. I grasp every opportunity given to me to give back for what America has given me, and I feel my life's work is helping others. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my two children and my husband — traveling, exploring new places to eat and watching Asian shows, mostly Korean.

Joy Quante

Joy Quante
Social Worker | IL & MO
314-471-7110

I live in Saint Louis, Missouri and am a licensed professional counselor with a master's of education in counseling degree. I work with families from both Illinois and Missouri to complete their international or domestic home study. I have been working with children and families for over 16 years. My experience includes individual counseling for both children and adults, group and family therapy, crisis intervention and pregnancy and adoption counseling. I've had the privilege of working with many adoptive families over the years to achieve their dreams through the wonderful gift of adoption. I look forward to the blessed opportunity of working with you!

Samantha Santo

Samantha Santo, MSW
Options Counselor | IL
630-754-4512

After interning at Holt's Illinois office, I now work with women experiencing unplanned pregnancy as an options counselor. I graduated in May 2020 with a master's of social work with a concentration in child welfare. Before coming to Holt, I worked with children in foster care and with runaway and homeless youth. I am passionate about advocating for women's mental and physical health. Aside from work, I enjoy climbing, lifting, playing with my dogs, taking care of my house plants and listening to true crime podcasts.

Valerie Zegers Valerie Zegers
Birth Parent & Adoption Supervisor | WI
920-328-9495


Val has worked in child welfare for over 13 years, with the primary focus of her career in international and domestic adoption. She has had the opportunity to travel to different countries around the world to spend time with children waiting for families, experience diverse cultures, and work with government officials, foreign supervised providers and nongovernmental organizations. Val participated in the Philippines Ambassador Program through Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc. She has a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she currently resides in Green Bay, Wisconsin with her husband and two sons. In her spare time, Val loves to travel to new places and spend time with her family and friends.

Stacy Presley, CSW Stacy Presley
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
414-216-3322


Stacy's experience includes completing home studies in international, domestic, relative and step-parent adoption, birth parent counseling, and international and domestic post-placement services. She has a bachelor's degree in human services and is a nationally recognized certified social worker for the state of Wisconsin. Stacy has worked with children and families her entire professional career and loves community outreach and continuing education. Helping to build families is her passion and she looks forward to working with every family she gets the chance to serve. In her free time, you can find Stacy and her husband cheering on their oldest daughter at a dance competition or their youngest daughter at a horse show.

Tracey Randerson, CSW Tracey Randerson
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
920-428-0272


Tracey has been helping create forever families through adoption since 2017. She enjoys assisting birth families as well as adoptive families through their adoption journey. Tracey earned an undergraduate degree in family consumer science from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a second undergraduate degree in social work from Winona State University. Tracey is currently working towards attaining her master's degree in social work through Winona State University.

Tia Dulal, CSW Tia Dulal
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
715-204-4638


Tia earned her bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Wyoming. She has worked with children and families since 2016. Before working in private adoption, Tia worked with at-risk youth and families whose children were in and out of home care. Tia serves families and birth parents in western Wisconsin, and looks forward to supporting families and children who are going through the adoption process. Tia is married and has two sons. When not working, she enjoys geocaching, attending sporting events and traveling with her family.

Sheri Mayer, MSW, LCSW
Sheri Mayer Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
715-218-8569


Sheri has over 18 years of experience as a domestic and international adoption social worker, bridge care parent and birthparent counselor. Although she thoroughly enjoys working with families, Sheri's passion is providing support to parents facing an unplanned pregnancy — helping to them to make a well-informed decision for their child. Sheri has a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master's of social work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Sheri has a wide range of social work experience that includes mental health, intellectual disabilities, child protection, juvenile support, family services, adult protection and medical social work, as well as time in the elementary school setting. Sheri lives in Wausau and enjoys and spending time with her husband, children and granddaughter.

Amy Trotter

Amy Trotter, MSW, LCSW
Branch Director | IL & WI
630-754-4514

I joined Holt in 2008. In addition to supervising program activities, I prepare families for adoption in our international and domestic programs, provide training and education to families, as well as post-adoption services. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and hold both a bachelor's and a master's degree in social work. I received my master's degree from the University of Iowa. I've worked in the field of child welfare since 1995, including experience in the fields of foster care, housing, juvenile court, and adoption.

Nancy Crouch

Nancy Crouch, MA, LCPC
Domestic Program Director | IL
630-754-4526

I joined Holt in 2011 and adoption has been one of my passions for the last 25 years. I adopted my oldest son, Alexander, from Russia; my daughter, Catherine, from Ohio; and after many years of infertility treatments I was able to have one biological son, Jack. With my professional and personal experience with infertility and adoption, I am able to provide education, training and counseling services to families. I work with each family to develop a custom adoption plan that works for their unique situation as well as counseling and support services to women who decide to make an adoption or parenting plan. I've also had the exciting opportunity to develop our interstate adoption program.

I have a bachelor's degree in applied arts from Central Michigan University, a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University and am a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois. I feel my life's work is helping adoptive families experience the joy of expanding their family through adoption, as well as helping birth families by providing options and support during a very difficult time.

Jessica Augsburger

Jessica Augsburger, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker | IL
847-306-1329

I joined Holt in 2005 and love working in the adoption field. I conduct home studies for adoptive families and provide post-placement services in the domestic and international adoption program. I have a bachelor's degree in social work from Hope College and a master's degree in social work from Dominican University. I'm a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois as well as a certified W.I.S.E Up facilitator and TBRI® practitioner. I've worked in the field of child welfare since 2002 with experience in both foster care and adoption.

Colleen Martinson

Colleen Martinson, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker | IL
773-383-4704

I joined Holt in May 2015. I have a bachelor's degree in social work from Bethel University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota. I was a Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholar during my graduate program, which is how I was introduced to the adoption field. I've worked in adoption and foster care since 2009, in both Minnesota and Illinois. At Holt in Illinois, I conduct home studies for families adopting internationally and domestically and also provide post-placement services. I work part-time while also caring for my two children.

Diana Jiminez

Diana Jiminez, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker | IL

It has been wonderful to return to a role as an adoption social worker this year at Holt. I worked previously at Holt in the late 1990s and have 10 years of experience in both domestic and international adoption. I have been a social worker for over 20 years and received my master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois. My favorite part of adoption is post-placement. I love seeing young children grow and thrive with their new families. A highlight of my career was traveling to China in 2000 and assisting with the placement of 15 children with their new adoptive families.

Holly Berry

Holly Berry, MSW
Social Worker | IL
224-208-5506

Holly received her undergraduate degree in social work from Azusa Pacific University and her master's degree in social work from Long Beach State University with an emphasis in children, youth and families. Holly started her career in child welfare with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services' Emergency Response Unit and has additionally worked with the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Protective Services and Holt's foster care program. Holly has since relocated to the central part of Illinois and now provides home studies and post placement services for families adopting internationally and domestically. Holly and her husband are parents of three children and she enjoys exploring the outdoors and spending time with her family. She is passionate about creating safe, loving and permanent homes for all children.

Joy Quante

Joy Quante
Social Worker | IL & MO
314-471-7110

I live in Saint Louis, Missouri and am a licensed professional counselor with a master's of education in counseling degree. I work with families from both Illinois and Missouri to complete their international or domestic home study. I have been working with children and families for over 16 years. My experience includes individual counseling for both children and adults, group and family therapy, crisis intervention and pregnancy and adoption counseling. I've had the privilege of working with many adoptive families over the years to achieve their dreams through the wonderful gift of adoption. I look forward to the blessed opportunity of working with you!

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith, MSW
Social Worker | Eastern IA
309-489-6168

Danielle joined Holt International in 2016 after working in the adoption field for more than 26 years. Her experience includes international, domestic and special needs adoption. Danielle has a bachelor's degree in social work from Illinois State University and a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana. A married mother of two sons, Danielle also has personal experience in international adoption as she has a sister who joined her family through adoption from India and a niece who joined their family through adoption from China. Danielle loves working with children and families, especially in adoption. "Working with children and families in the adoption field has always been a passion of mine," she says. "I am excited to work with Holt International and assist families in their adoption journey."

Valerie Zegers Valerie Zegers
Birth Parent & Adoption Supervisor | WI
920-328-9495


Val has worked in child welfare for over 13 years, with the primary focus of her career in international and domestic adoption. She has had the opportunity to travel to different countries around the world to spend time with children waiting for families, experience diverse cultures, and work with government officials, foreign supervised providers and nongovernmental organizations. Val participated in the Philippines Ambassador Program through Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc. She has a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she currently resides in Green Bay, Wisconsin with her husband and two sons. In her spare time, Val loves to travel to new places and spend time with her family and friends.

Amy Trotter

Amy Trotter, MSW, LCSW
Branch Director | IL & WI
630-754-4514

I joined Holt in 2008. In addition to supervising program activities, I prepare families for adoption in our international and domestic programs, provide training and education to families, as well as post-adoption services. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and hold both a bachelor's and a master's degree in social work. I received my master's degree from the University of Iowa. I've worked in the field of child welfare since 1995, including experience in the fields of foster care, housing, juvenile court, and adoption.

Stacy Presley, CSW Stacy Presley
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
414-216-3322


Stacy's experience includes completing home studies in international, domestic, relative and step-parent adoption, birth parent counseling, and international and domestic post-placement services. She has a bachelor's degree in human services and is a nationally recognized certified social worker for the state of Wisconsin. Stacy has worked with children and families her entire professional career and loves community outreach and continuing education. Helping to build families is her passion and she looks forward to working with every family she gets the chance to serve. In her free time, you can find Stacy and her husband cheering on their oldest daughter at a dance competition or their youngest daughter at a horse show.

Tracey Randerson, CSW Tracey Randerson
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
920-428-0272


Tracey has been helping create forever families through adoption since 2017. She enjoys assisting birth families as well as adoptive families through their adoption journey. Tracey earned an undergraduate degree in family consumer science from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a second undergraduate degree in social work from Winona State University. Tracey is currently working towards attaining her master's degree in social work through Winona State University.

Tia Dulal, CSW Tia Dulal
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
715-204-4638


Tia earned her bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Wyoming. She has worked with children and families since 2016. Before working in private adoption, Tia worked with at-risk youth and families whose children were in and out of home care. Tia serves families and birth parents in western Wisconsin, and looks forward to supporting families and children who are going through the adoption process. Tia is married and has two sons. When not working, she enjoys geocaching, attending sporting events and traveling with her family.

Sheri Mayer, MSW, LCSW
Sheri Mayer Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
715-218-8569


Sheri has over 18 years of experience as a domestic and international adoption social worker, bridge care parent and birthparent counselor. Although she thoroughly enjoys working with families, Sheri's passion is providing support to parents facing an unplanned pregnancy — helping to them to make a well-informed decision for their child. Sheri has a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master's of social work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Sheri has a wide range of social work experience that includes mental health, intellectual disabilities, child protection, juvenile support, family services, adult protection and medical social work, as well as time in the elementary school setting. Sheri lives in Wausau and enjoys and spending time with her husband, children and granddaughter.

Connie Usiak, M.S., CSW, LPC Connie Usiak
Birth Parent & Adoption Social Worker | WI
715-308-3635


Before joining Holt, Connie spent over 10 years assisting families with international adoption through Lutheran Social Services. Connie has a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies and psychology from Ripon College in Wisconsin and a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She holds licenses with the State of Wisconsin as a certified social worker and also as a licensed professional counselor. Connie has many years of experience in county child welfare services, both as a social worker and as a supervisor. She also currently provides training to county child welfare professionals through UW-Madison. She says it is always an honor to walk alongside a family that is welcoming a child into their family through adoption. Connie is married and has two adult children, one of whom joined her family through international adoption from India. In her spare time, Connie tries to meet the seemingly endless needs of her two rescue cats!

Beth Ilnyckyj, MA, LCPCBeth Ilnyckyj
Empowering Families Supervisor | IL
630-754-4532


Beth joined Holt in 2016 after working in the adoption field for more than twenty years. Her experience includes special needs, domestic and international adoption as well as post-adoption services. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University, a master's degree in clinical psychology from Bradley University and is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois. Beth loves working with children and families and strongly believes that every child deserves a family to call his or her own.

Loann Tan

Loann Tan
Resource and Options Counselor | IL
630-754-4510

I joined Holt in November 2017 and I feel honored to work with the Empowering Families Program. I am a Da Nang girl at heart, leaving my homeland [Vietnam] at the age of 9. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Having spent my 15-year career in the nonprofit/social service sector, I feel fulfilled to be at a place in my life with a mission and purpose. I grasp every opportunity given to me to give back for what America has given me, and I feel my life's work is helping others. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my two children and my husband — traveling, exploring new places to eat and watching Asian shows, mostly Korean.

Samantha Santo

Samantha Santo, MSW
Options Counselor | IL
630-754-4512

After interning at Holt's Illinois office, I now work with women experiencing unplanned pregnancy as an options counselor. I graduated in May 2020 with a master's of social work with a concentration in child welfare. Before coming to Holt, I worked with children in foster care and with runaway and homeless youth. I am passionate about advocating for women's mental and physical health. Aside from work, I enjoy climbing, lifting, playing with my dogs, taking care of my house plants and listening to true crime podcasts.

Kristina Knapp

Kristina Knapp
Community Outreach & Educational Specialist | IL
630-754-4508

I joined Holt in May 2014 and am excited about sharing my passion for adoption and building partnerships within our community. Through meeting with staff at hospitals, medical centers, churches, schools, social service agencies and attending other Chicagoland events, I raise awareness and share information and resources about our counseling and support for women facing unplanned pregnancies. I have a bachelor's degree in advertising from the University of Illinois and previously worked in the corporate sector. I have two children — one biological and one adopted domestically. My husband and I have spoken on several adoption panels and we love sharing about how our adoption story and relationship with our daughter's birth family is such a positive part of our lives.

Pam Shepard

Pam Shepard, MSW, LCSW
Supervisor of Clinical Services | IL
630-754-4522

My passion is educating adoptive parents and assisting adoptees of all ages as they navigate through their own adoption journey. I provide individual, family and group therapy for anyone connected with adoption, and specialize in common adoption-related issues such as trauma, attachment and identity. I'm a TBRI® practitioner and educator and have also been trained in Theraplay® and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. With experience in the child welfare field since 1996, I've worked in foster care, domestic and international adoption, and birth parent counseling. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology from Olivet Nazarene University and a master's of social work degree from Dominican University. I am also a licensed clinical social worker and a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO and United Healthcare provider for behavioral health services. My husband and I live in Frankfort with our two children.

Amy Trotter

Amy Trotter, MSW, LCSW
Branch Director | IL & WI
630-754-4514

I joined Holt in 2008. In addition to supervising program activities, I prepare families for adoption in our international and domestic programs, provide training and education to families, as well as post-adoption services. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and hold both a bachelor's and a master's degree in social work. I received my master's degree from the University of Iowa. I've worked in the field of child welfare since 1995, including experience in the fields of foster care, housing, juvenile court, and adoption.

Christi Lanham

Christi Lanham
Branch Coordinator | IL & WI
630-754-4502

Christi is very happy to be a part of the Holt International team. She has worked with families and children in different capacities for over 25 years, nine of which have been in the adoption field. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and began her career as a 5th grade teacher. Her other experiences include operating a licensed home daycare, secretary for an adoption agency, and secretary at a primary school in Glendale Heights. Christi is passionate about Holt's work and is eager to help families with the adoption process.

Our Story

The Illinois and Wisconsin branch of Holt International has a long and unique history of serving children — with roots planted as early as 1926 by a man named Reverend John Klinberg.

Reverend Klingberg had already created a home for children in Connecticut when he sent his daughter, Mabel, to Chicago in hopes of opening another one. Mabel was able to find a house and on October 17, 1926, the Klingberg Children’s Home of Chicago was born. In 1953, the home moved to a 36-acre farm in Wheaton, Illinois named “Sunny Ridge Farm,” which led to a new name for the home — “Sunny Ridge Home for Children.” Here, children from 4 to 18 years old who were orphaned or separated from their families lived together, building life skills.

In 1979, the first child from Sunny Ridge home joined a family through adoption — creating the foundation for the Sunny Ridge Family Center domestic adoption program. Two years later, Sunny Ridge placed their first child through international adoption. Over the next 10-20 years, Sunny Ridge Family Center grew enormously. By 1986, they were placing over 100 children through domestic adoption every year, and by 1994, they had placed over 750 children from China.

After 50 years in Wheaton, Illinois, Sunny Ridge decided to move their location to Bolingbrook, Illinois in 2007. Here, they continued to serve children and families domestically and around the world. In April 2014, Sunny Ridge began yet another exciting chapter when they merged with Holt International to become Holt-Sunny Ridge. Then, in June 2019, Holt-Sunny Ridge became licensed in Wisconsin and acquired Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS)’s private domestic adoption services in Wisconsin.

With these many organizational changes, Holt-Sunny Ridge also evolved in name — officially becoming “Holt International, Illinois and Wisconsin branch” in November 2020. With a unique and expansive history and evolution in identity that began over 90 years ago, the Illinois and Wisconsin branch of Holt International today remains dedicated to the mission of strengthening families at risk of separation and finding loving, permanent homes for children — in Illinois, Wisconsin and around the world.

If you need free unplanned pregnancy support, we're available day or night.

CONTACT

  • Main Office
  •      630-754-4500
  •      illinois@holtinternational.org
  •     270 Remington Blvd., Suite D
  •     Bolingbrook, Illinois 60440
  •      8:30 am to 4:00 pm (CT) M - Th
  •      8:30 am to 12:30 pm (CT) F
  • Wisconsin Office
  •      920-328-9495
  •     414 E. Walnut St. Suite 261
  •     Green Bay, WI 54301
  •      8:30 am to 4:00 pm (CT) M - Th
  •      8:30 am to 12:30 pm (CT) F

LOCATION

  • Serving women in:
  •      Chicagoland,
  •      Northern Illinois,
  •      Central Illinois,
  •      Southern Illinois,
  •      Northern Wisconsin,
  •      Southern Wisconsin,
  •      Eastern Wisconsin,
  •      & Western Wisconsin

Holt International is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. EIN: 23-7257390.