MEET our Directors and ADVISORY BOARD JO JONESFounder / Executive Director Jo’s commitment to improve the lives of Arizona’s most fragile stems from her own experience, as a mother of five children—four of which are adopted, including her beloved Jake. She has been involved with foster care and adoption for almost 29 years, serving on the AZ Supreme Court Foster Care Review Board for over 15 years. Determined. Impactful. Jacob’s Hope fuels Jo’s passion for the tiniest infants and families in need of a fresh start. AMIT AGRAWAL, MDMedical Director Quality improvement and educational excellence are two of Dr. Agrawal’s interests. With these pillars, Dr. Agrawal directs our medical staff at Jacob’s Hope. He is certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine, and is associated with Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. He currently is the Regional Medical Director and Interim Site Medical Director for Neonatology with Envision Physician Services. Dr. Agrawal draws on his excellence of care and strives to improve the quality of life for each newborn recovering from the pain and discomfort of drug withdrawal. TALLIA DOYLE, LCSWBehavioral Health Director Tallia has been devoted to strengthening family relationships as part of her therapy practice since 2014. As an ASU graduate in social work, she has experience working alongside parents and facilitating support groups for adopted and foster-placed children. Tallia also works as a weekend clinical lead for a behavioral health agency serving the Gila River Indian Community. She brings expertise and passion for care to our families at Jacob’s Hope. MATT WATSON, CPABoard Treasurer Matt Watson brings over 40 years of experience in finance and accounting to Jacob’s Hope. He is an ASU graduate in accounting, and received his CPA license from the AZ State Board of Accountancy in 1989.He is the co-owner of Watson, CPA PC in Gilbert, Arizona. Matt has served the community in leadership roles at Bethany Learning Center, Chandler Horizon Rotary Club, Chandler High Band Boosters, and East Valley Runners. Matt is honored to be a part of Jacob’s Hope. CYNTHIA HANDY, BSCustomer Relations Cynthia has worked in the mental health field in Arizona for 20 years as a director of claims and billing for several behavioral health agencies. Cynthia served as a founding board member for a local adoption agency. She volunteered as an AZ Supreme Court Foster Care Board member for almost 20 years.As a foster mother for four years, Cynthia knows firsthand the challenges and rewards of caring for substance exposed infants. It is easy to see how foster care and adoption hold a special place in her heart. Cynthia enjoys reading, hiking, and cooking in her spare time. SYRIA WATSON, MA EdCommunity Relations Syria has a passion for children and worked as an educator in the east valley for 25 years. Communication is key. Syria has experience presenting parent and teacher education, organizing family events, and serving on the board of directors for Bethany Learning Center. Syria was a member of the Mahnah Club of the East Valley, supporting organizations including Save the Family and Child Crisis Arizona. She’s a member of the East Valley Runners, and finds great meaning in supporting the community at Jacob’s Hope. LESLIE BLOWERS, AACo-Founder Jacob’s Hope is close to Leslie’s heart, having known Jacob since he was a baby. Leslie has more than 25 years of administrative experience; most recently in the insurance industry. She has a passion for at-risk children and has tutored many young children. Leslie has three daughters, one whom is adopted. Her passion for Jacob’s Hope mission is to care for prenatal substance exposed babies in order that they may have a bright future regardless of their challenging start in life. MICHAEL J LUCHERINI, MD, MS Board Member Massachusetts born and raised, Dr. Michael Lucherini’s extensive education includes multiple degrees from Brown University and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In 1998, he and his wife, Mary Ellen, made their home in Mesa. He began a combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics in Phoenix hospitals. Dr Lucherini has been in private practice for over 20 years. In 2013, he launched his Direct Access Medicine® practice, Summit Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Mike and Mary Ellen love life and are very proud of their two beautiful daughters whose education and careers are rising to great success. LINDSEY AUGERI, BSBoard Secretary Lindsey is a former Mesa Public School teacher who recently decided to stay at home with her young daughter and infant son. She loves kids and is passionate about working with at-risk children. She and her husband were also foster parents for two years. Lindsey remembers growing up with Jacob and looks back fondly on the way he loved others so well. Lindsey has a desire to see kids grow up with a strong support system. She believes that Jacob’s Hope is a necessary step for that to become a reality in the lives of these infants. BRIAN JONES, MA Ed, M Div.Board Member As a resident of Arizona for over 59 years, Brian enjoyed a 28-year career as an elementary school teacher. He retired in 2014 and established an independent painting contracting company. He serves alongside his wife, Jo, on the board for Jacob’s Hope. Brian is Jacob’s father, so this center is near and dear to his heart. Being involved in foster care and adoption has given him the skills needed to help these newborns. He brings a caring heart for babies and a nice warm lap for them, as well. Jacob’s Hope is dedicated to Brian and Jo’s son, and will always be a very important part of their lives. LARRY BREWER, MSDirector Emeritus Larry has been active in the foster/adoption effort for over 12 years. He was a kinship foster parent, plus subsequently a foster parent for several children. He created and led the Palm Valley Church Foster/Adoption program, impacting several organizations and families. He was an executive board member for the West Valley Child Crisis Center for over 7 years. He also served on the AZ Supreme Court Foster Care Review Board. We thank him for everything he has done to allow us to open and carry on.