Meet the Founders
Gary H. Parker | CEO
Mr. Gary H. Parker is a graduate of Howard University School of Social Work with a Masters Degree in Social Work and a concentration in Program Development. Also, Mr. Parker holds degrees from Salisbury University with a Bachelors of Social Work and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. Mr. Parker has worked in the private Therapeutic Foster Care setting for over 20 years. Mr. Parker has held the position of Vice President of Management and Administration at a private Therapeutic Foster Care Company for 20 years. Mr. Parker has placed hundreds of children who are labeled hard to place in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia.
During Mr. Parker’s tenure as Vice President of Management and Administration, he helped start the agency from a startup company to one of the largest Therapeutic Foster Care Agencies in various states. Mr. Parker has always had a passion for working with the most difficult population and partnered with professional colleges to create Parker Therapeutic Services, Incorporated and Parker Social Services, Incorporated. Based on the experience and knowledge base obtain from working with the most difficult children, Mr. Parker developed the CHILD Model with the slogan “Social Services Without Wall”. The CHILD Model holistic approach was developed and prides itself with stabilizing youth in community-based settings who are hard to place.
Deanna Dishman I COO
Deanna Dishman is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work. She boasts the following resume: An administrator and manager with more than 20 years of experience providing services to the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and neglected. A Child advocate with more than 20 years of experience working with “at-risk” children and underserved families delivering educational, clinical, and therapeutic community-based services. Committed evaluator of performance standards to improve service delivery.
Ms. Dishman’s responsibilities in private therapeutic foster care have included Chief of Operations, VP of Quality Assurance, and Program Director. Ms. Dishman has experience with placing, monitoring, supervising and working with the most “difficult to place children and adolescents” in the therapeutic foster care system. Ms. Dishman is a certified Pride trainer and has conducted training and recruitment of therapeutic foster parents for the most difficult population. She is an accomplished leader, manager, and communicator.
Mekdem Alem I CFO
Mekdem Alem was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Alem Yimer and Dr. Asresu Misikir. Mr. Alem attended Indian National School in Addis Ababa and Lake Clifton High and Parkville High in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Alem continued his studies at Towson University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration concentration in Finance. Mr. Alem went on to receive his MBA at the Florida Institute of Technology University.
Mr. Alem has worked as an accountant, financial analyst, business operation manager, financial officer, and chief financial officer for over 20 years. Mr. Alem has overseen all company accounting practices and worked hard to continuously improve the business accounting/ financial practices and directed financial strategies, planning and forecasting for the business for over 20 years. Also, Mr. Alem managed budget vs. actual analysis, billing, payables, receivables, taxes, benefits administration, and payroll for over 20 years. Mr. Alem analyzed and supervised individual contracting opportunities and investment opportunities for expansion, cost-saving, and projection of future growth for over 20 years.
"Dreams without Goals is just a dream. Goals on the road to achievement cannot be achieved without discipline and consistency!!"
Meet the Executives
Kimberly Merritt I VP of Operations
Kimberly is currently the VP for Parker Therapeutic Services overseeing the clinical daily operation as well as directly supervising clinical social workers. She also oversees all clinical and operational components of Parker Therapeutic Services, Inc. She has been employed with PTS since the company was founded. Kimberly graduated from Coppin University with a B.S. in Business and Graduated with an M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She currently holds a clinical license (LCSW-C) and is a Certified CPR Trainer. Kimberly enjoys spending time with her children and husband. She also loves to travel, try new restaurants and dabble in fashion. She likes to consider herself a wine enthusiast.
“My motivation to do what I do comes from growing up in poverty in Baltimore City and having 2 parents who were drug addicts, a father who was incarcerated for a large part of my childhood and having to eventually be separated from my siblings to live with family members.