Who We Are

Message from the founder

Brian Conyer

Leadership Team

Connect-A-Kid takes pride in the mentorship program they have created and believe that it could not have been accomplished without the strong friendships you see reflected on the board, the leadership team, and within the group of mentors, we have across the nation. Connect-A-Kid is more than an organization, it is a family.

Connect with us

Leadership

Robin Kim
Executive Director/Board Chair
Robin Hong Soon Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea and adopted at 18 months to a family in Iowa. She is the youngest of five children and the only adoptee. Through her forty years on the adoption roller coaster, she has learned a lot from her own experiences and from listening to fellow adoptees from around the world share their experiences. Robin joined Connect-A-Kid in 2014 both as a board member and as group mentor and currently sits as the Board Chair.
Elizabeth Kolar
Programming Director
Elizabeth Kolar, Ph.D. has been involved with Connect-A-Kid for 4 years as a mentor for the Baltimore team, and now serves as the organization's Program Director. She received her B.S. from Salisbury University, and went on to receive her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Besides Connect-A-Kid, Elizabeth has sat on the Board of Directors of Adoption Links, DC, serving the adult adoptee community in the MD/VA/DC area. Currently, she is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Boston University Medical Center with her research focusing on Type 2 Diabetes. Elizabeth was born in South Korea, raised in Red Lion, PA, and currently lives in Boston, MA.
Julia McElhone
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Julia McElhone has been involved with Connect-A-Kid since 2014 where she started with the organization as the Social Media Manager and now acts as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Julia received her B.S. from Towson University and currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland where she works full-time in Sports Television and freelances running her own Event Planning, Marketing, and Public Relations agency. Julia, an adoptee who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, was raised in Maryland with her older brother who is also a Colombian adoptee. She is thrilled to be a member of this organization she calls family and can't wait to see what the future brings.
Emily Behles
Social Media Manager
Emily Behles is the new Social Media Manager for Connect-A-Kid. She is a Korean adoptee from Baltimore, MD and currently resides in Cockeysville, MD with her boyfriend of 12 years. She has been friends with several of past and current Leadership Team members of Connect-A-Kid and just this past year, after encouragement from them, she happily volunteered to maintain the social media accounts for this awesome organization. There were plenty of times in her youth that she wished there had been a Connect-A-Kid organization to help her deal with a lot of the issues of growing up as an adoptee and as a minority. It was a no brainer to want to be a part of an organization that provides such an incredibly needed service of support and community for the younger generation of adoptees. Given the current zeitgeist, she feels that it is more important than ever to create a world filled with confident, fully-supported and fully-encouraged youth and young people that will continue to uphold the positivity of diversity and multiculturalism in our society. Her goal is to provide information and current events that support and encourage that type of growth and understanding - helping us to become more inclusive of each other and our differences and to broaden each other’s minds of all the many incredible cultures, nationalities, and races there are in this world. Emily is thankful to be a part of the Connect-A-Kid family!
Meghan Schmitz
Program Consultant
Meghan was adopted from South Korea at four-months-old. She has four older siblings who are also all adopted. As a military family, they moved all over the world, but she only became involved in the adoptee community in 2012 after moving to Chicago for graduate school. Connect-A-Kid has been an invaluable part of her journey thus far. She currently resides in Colorado Springs with her husband and dog where she works in marketing.
Kristin Champlain
Program Consultant
Kristin Champlain was born outside of Busan, South Korea and grew up in Central Pennsylvania. She currently resides in Philadelphia, PA and joined CAK in early 2017 as an Operations Consultant. She looks forward to the continued evolution of meaningful dialogue among the greater adoptee community through the advocacy & services CAK provides. She enjoys yoga, banana whip, coffee and celebrating diversity in all forms.
Sara Campbell
Administration
Sara is an adult Korean adoptee who has been involved with post-Korean adoption services since 2003. She is mom to Noah, who is 11, and partner to another Korean adoptee, Brian. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. Sara has been involved with the Korean Adoptive Family Adoptee Network (KAAN) by being on the advisory council from 2010-2016 and assisted with planning the 2005 and 2013 annual conference. Sara began volunteering with Connect-A-Kid in 2014. Her hope is that young adoptees find mentors who can help and connect with them through their adoption journey. She currently resides in the Detroit, MI area.

Board of Directors

Karen Brown
Vice Chair
Karen Brown, a proud parent of three adopted children from China, Rwanda, and the Marshall Islands, recently relocated to the United States with her family from Hong Kong. Karen graduated from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and education. She began her career as a teacher before focusing on knowledge management and technical communications. During her years living in Hong Kong, Karen was elected chair of the International Montessori School's PTA and owned and operated a summer camp in Hokkaido, Japan. She is currently based in Los Angeles where she works as an independent contract technical writer and participates in many community- and adoption-based organizations. Karen’s experience living in diverse communities, coupled with the increasingly diverse world of international adoption, motivated her to join Connect-A-Kid. She hopes to help Connect-A-Kid continue to grow and to ensure its inclusivity.
Thomas Kaplan
Board Member Secretary
Thomas Kaplan (Lee, Sung Joo), is adopted from Busan, Korea and grew up Long Island, New York. He has been in reunion with his paternal birth family since 2000. As a board member, Thomas would like to enhance the team mentoring program to develop our children's adoption identity and creating lifelong friendship with mentors and mentees.
Kim Hanson
Board Member
Kimberly Mundala
Board Member