Jennifer Flowers, MBA
Founder & CEO
Jennifer is an experienced accreditation consultant and has dedicated her career to the areas of accreditation and nonprofit management. Her 20+ years of accreditation experience includes serving as Director of Volunteer Services and Accreditation Commission at the Council on Accreditation (COA), as well as working with a variety of nonprofits in the education, health care, religious and social service sectors. Her background gives her an intimate knowledge of what Peer Reviewers look for during an onsite survey and what Commissioners need to make an informed accreditation decision. This, in turn, will give your agency an inside track on the road to accreditation.
Jennifer is exceptionally qualified to lead client organizations through the initial accreditation process, as well as to guide those already accredited to successfully earn and maintain re-accreditation. Her professional knowledge offers clients additional expertise in organization-wide long-term strategic planning, board of directors development, retreat facilitation, quality improvement, risk management, the creation of policies and procedures necessary to comply with accreditation and licensing standards and the formation of effective volunteer management programs. She also develops and delivers customized training workshops on a variety of governance topics, including board roles and responsibilities, exceptional governance practices, accreditation preparation techniques and more.
Prior to founding Accreditation Guru, Inc. in 2009, Jennifer has held key management positions in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Jennifer is also certified in Nonprofit Board Education by BoardSource.
Throughout her career, Diane has played an integral role in the (re)accreditation of many nonprofit organizations while serving as a manager, as a board member and an independent consultant. She has successfully led organizations to become (re)accredited through her internal roles as a hospital director and as the COO of a mental health and substance abuse center, among others.
Diane is widely recognized for her ability to effectively work with and guide employees from within all levels of an organization including staff, managers, board members and volunteers to successfully achieve (re)accreditation while maintaining a focus on the agency’s mission. Her experiences with the Council on Accreditation (COA), the Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) and the Commission on Accreditation and Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) provide her the unique ability to assist organizations in determining appropriate accreditation needs. Her workshops in the areas of strategic planning, cultural diversity, team building and board development have received rave reviews nationwide.
Diane has successfully consulted with organizations of varying budget and size, faith-based and secular, local agencies and those providing services in multiple states across the country. She believes that developing and maintaining the highest standards of excellence are must-have characteristics for every successful organization. She approaches her client organizations as true partners throughout the (re)accreditation process – before, during and after accreditation is achieved.
Brandi Ledesma-Burney, LMSW, PHR, SHRM-CP
Brandi is a licensed social worker with many years of experience in the accreditation field. During her 7 years with the Council on Accreditation (COA), Brandi worked as an Accreditation Coordinator, facilitating the (re)accreditation process for US & Canadian private and public organizations to ensure best practice across an array of social services. In this role, Brandi provided on-site technical assistance, reviewed documentation, provided implementation recommendations, and conducted webinar trainings on preparing for, organizing, and completing the accreditation process. Brandi also assisted COA’s Hague Department by reviewing adoption agency financial information and conducting third party complaint investigations filed with the US State Department’s Hague Complaint Registry.
Prior to COA, Brandi worked and volunteered for a myriad of non-profit organizations in rural and urban areas serving an array of populations, including children with developmental disabilities, at-risk teens, and homebound older adults. Her vast experience and expertise qualifies her to partner with organizations and agencies to assist in a variety of areas, including policy and procedure drafting, staff training, administration and management standards implementation, and self-study compilation and review. Brandi received her BA in Women’s & Gender Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds her MS in Social Work from Columbia University.
Debbie MacCarry, MS, Special Education
Debbie is a seasoned accreditation expert with more than 35 years of experience working in the nonprofit arena. Throughout her 10 years as a peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA), Debbie shared her extensive knowledge about the accreditation process and accompanying standards, participating in numerous team reviews. Debbie’s focus is to assist organizations seeking (re)accreditation to reach their greatest potential, including the demonstration of extraordinary ethics and standards befitting of accredited agencies.
Presently serving as the Associate Executive Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance for a large human services agency in New York, Debbie’s responsibilities include coordinating all accreditations, certifications, and audits throughout the organization. She has earned a reputation among her colleagues for her capacity to collaboratively bring together and lead staff from various levels within organizations to work toward, and ultimately earn, the shared goal of (re)accreditation.
Debbie also serves as a team leader for the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES), is a lead visitor for the American Camp Association (ACA), and has coordinated the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation for a nursery school.
Maddi Noleen, MSW
In addition to earning a master’s degree in social work, Maddi has more than 25 years of accreditation experience in areas including child welfare, behavioral health, and adoption; she also serves as executive director for a state-wide, faith-based child welfare agency for 15 years. Maddi currently is a Peer Reviewer, Team Leader, Hague Evaluator and Military Reviewer for Council on Accreditation (COA). She volunteers her services to private and public organizations in the US and abroad with a focus on multiple program best practices within the social services, private, and intercountry adoption realms. Maddi has provided technical assistance and implementation recommendations, including the organization and reviewing of documentation, to complete the accreditation process for several of her employers. She is exceptionally knowledgeable about US Department of State regulations for intercountry adoption (Hague Accreditation Standards).
Maddi’s experience and expertise allow her to partner with organizations in a variety of areas, including policy and procedure development, staff training, administration and management standards implementation, and self-study compilation and review. Maddi received her BSW from the University of Southern Colorado and holds her MSW from New Mexico Highlands University with a concentration in Administration and Family Services.
Laurie is an accreditation expert, a Florida-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Life Coach, and Founder and President of Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc., a service-disabled Veteran and woman owned and operated small business based in Central Florida. She is an experienced voice on the topic of Parent Abuse (what is internationally known as Child to Parent Violence). Laurie is also an expert in behavioral health quality management, assessing and improving clinical operational and financial performance, behavioral health accreditation preparation, clinical documentation, and Florida Medicaid documentation regulations. Her accreditation expertise focuses on Joint Commission and CARF.
She is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and earned a B.A. degree in Sociology from Wichita State University and a M.S. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University. In addition, she is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Recovery Educator by the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery and a Mental Health First Aid trainer through the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Throughout her 35-year career working in the behavioral health field as a clinician, supervisor, administrator, and consultant, Carol brings a variety of human services experiences serving others to Accreditation Guru. Her experiences include working in prevention and education, outpatient and intensive outpatient care, residential and inpatient care, sub-acute detoxification, and psychosocial and vocational programs. She also has worked in programs dedicated to special populations, including adolescents, those in the criminal justice system, and persons with co-occurring disorders. Ms. Smith presently serves as the clinical director for Catholic Human Services, Inc., a Catholic Charities organization that provides services throughout 21 counties in northern Michigan.
Ms. Smith’s experience as a surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for the past 24 years provides her with an exceptional foundation from which to guide our clients through the accreditation process. In addition, she is a survey report editor, trainer and mentor, and serves on the appeals board for CARF.
Carol received her MA in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Advanced Addiction Counselor.
Our team has direct experience with the following accreditations,
plus dozens of other international, national and state accrediting bodies:
COA – Council on Accreditation
The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO)
Hague – Intercountry Adoption Accreditation
ACCME – Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
ACPE – Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
ANCC – American Nurses Credentialing Center
IACET – International Association for Continuing Education and Training
MSCHE – Middle States Commission on Higher Education
NASW – National Association of Social Workers
PMI – Project Management Institute