Meet our passionate management team:
Irene Paxia, MBA, MS, grew up in Venice, Italy. She has a master’s degree (Laurea) from the University of Bologna, Italy, in International relations, and an MBA from IPFW. Irene held the position of Community Development Specialist in the Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services for the city of Fort Wayne. While working as Community Development Specialist, she supported public relations and the coordination of federally funded projects, outreach activities, research, and administration of federal housing and community development programs. Previously, Irene directed the MIX (Multicultural Information Exchange) program of the American Red Cross, where she oversaw international services, community engagement, document translation, and interpreting. During that time, she launched the disaster plan for immigrants and refugees and developed the first community based language interpreter training program in the community. Irene also is co-founder of the Public Safety Committee of the Multicultural Council and oversaw the four editions in three languages of “International Guide to Greater Fort Wayne.”
Irene is a Leadership Fort Wayne and NINA graduate, is certified as First Aid Rescuer and in Disaster Relief and International Humanitarian Law, and is a certified interpreter trainer. Irene's native language is Italian and she has extensive knowledge of French and Spanish. She has traveled across the United States, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa and has experience teaching medical interpreting and cultural awareness programs.
Ewelina Connolly, MS Ed, LMFT, LCAC, serves as the Clinical Director at Amani Family Services. Ewelina is native of Plock, Poland and has been living and working in Fort Wayne, Indiana for the past 20 years. She is an IU Alumna and graduated with a Master’s of Science in Education degree in 2009.
Ewelina is a Pre-Clinical Fellow Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and is licensed in the state of Indiana as a Marriage and Family Therapist, as well as Clinical Addictions Counselor. Ewelina has an extensive experience working in the mental health industry, as well as in a higher education setting. She is also highly involved in community initiatives focused on justice and advocacy, and serves on a number of advisory boards and collations.
Mandeep Kaur, CPA, was born and spent most of her childhood in India, before moving to Battle Creek, Michigan. She began her career working for the big four public accounting firms, Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Detroit, Michigan, after earning her BA in Economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her Masters in Accountancy from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She also completed the Summer Institute Program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California. Since then, she has been working for local public accounting firms for over 7 years. She recently moved to a Fort Wayne home, where she resides with her husband and her 6 year-old daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, dancing and doing yoga.
Human Resources Manager
Amy Saleik, BS, has worked in marketing, communications, and project management for the past 15 years and brings her skills and expertise to Amani to direct our human resources needs. She also serves as our liaison to the many contractors we use as well as manages our IT needs and contract compliance. Amy's work includes partnering with the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation to manage and coordinate an interpreter training class several times a year to train community interpreters on best practices in medical interpreting. A native of Fort Wayne, she obtained her bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and her work has focused on serving the education, religion and non-profit sectors in a variety of capacities. She is passionate about family and its role in society.
Jordan Crouch, BSW, graduated from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jordan was elected in recognition of merit and accomplishment by Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities & Colleges, received a certificate of honor for Academic Achievement in Social Work, and was recognized as an Advocate for Social Justice for her work and planning of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2013. She has experience from mentoring juvenile delinquents at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, volunteering with SOCAP (Status Offender Court Alternative Program), and her current position as Outreach & Prevention Coordinator at Amani. Jordan has also helped coordinate and lead the local One Billion Rising movement, generating awareness of violence and abuse towards women. She is an active member in the community and is a part of many local task forces/community groups including the Multicultural Council and was a previous member of the Community Advisory Board at NIPR. She is active in and facilitates the Anti Trafficking Network in Northern Indiana. Jordan was named one of the “Twenty Millennials Making a Difference” by Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly and received the Hope Award from the YWCA in recognition of her contribution in the area of racial justice. Her free time is spent exploring her city and traveling.
At Amani, Jordan supervises the Network for Safe Families Program, coordinates outreach opportunities, and provides direct service to families.
Victim Care Manager
Manuel Bernal Carmona II is an Indigenous Mexican person with roots in Michoacan Mexico who shares a gratuitous connection to the Purépecha people. He graduated with a BA in political science and an MA in public policy from Indiana University. Manuel has worked as a community educator at the YWCA Northeast Indiana facilitating education on racial justice, the economic empowerment of women, and domestic violence. Manuel has worked as a facilitator for the men’s batterers’ intervention program at the Center for Nonviolence in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he helped unpack the internalization of violence with the participants and introduced nonviolent concepts to encourage an enduring nonviolent way of life. Manuel is currently an apprentice/facilitator in training with Crossroads AntiRacism Organizing & Training whose mission is to dismantle systemic racism and build antiracist institutions and communities. Manuel has worked closely with Crossroads and ERACCE, a Crossroads regional partner in Kalamazoo, MI, where he continues to collaborate in anti-racism and anti-oppression work. He has written two articles published in Philadelphia Printworks: White Privilege in the Mexican Community and Colonization by Citizenship.
Family Support Manager
Antionette Johnson has worked in the human services and mental health fields for over 17 years. Her career started after she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Indiana University-Purdue University. Antionette specializes in case management services and has a long history of partnering with the Department of Child Services. Her past experiences include working with teenage mothers practicing self-sufficiency activities, assisting children in an intensive care residential facility, and facilitating substance use groups (Moral Reconation Therapy with a domestic violence component, Seeking Safety, and The Matrix Model). She has partnered with many community agencies, such as Allen County Probation and Choices, and volunteered her time for social progress events like Child Abuse Awareness Month, A Day of Caring, and Veterans Day at Wayne Township. She has also volunteered at Turnstone in their preschool program. Antionette has contributed to the creation and development of several family support programs and strengthened the organizational leadership at local agencies. She is a part of multiple multicultural committees and currently develops supportive services in partnership with immigrants and refugees at Amani Family Services. She is working on her Master’s in Social Work at Walden University.
Additional Staff Member information can be found on our staff directory page.