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The New Directions Team

Our team is dedicated to helping women achieve their potential

Linda Warden

Linda C. Warden, Executive Director brings more than 30 years of experience in fund development and management to her position at the Center. Her primary responsibility is to lead the overall direction of the Center. She focuses on ensuring that the quality and quantity service goals are met; promoting NDCC programs and services in the community; fund-raising to support the Center’s work; maintaining appropriate financial controls within the organization; and working with the Board of Directors to see that the mission of the organization is carried out.



Kat Cochrane-Yamaguchi, Program Director – joined the NDCC team in May 2020 and leads a dedicated and dynamic team committed to supporting women in achieving meaningful career goals. Kat brings 20 years of professional nonprofit experience in developing, implementing and evaluating effective, evidence-based programs and services. Prior to NDCC, she led affordable housing, workforce development, and adult education programs for partner nonprofits in the Central Ohio area. She is passionate about creating safe spaces and experiences for individuals to flourish and effect positive change for themselves and their communities. She holds a Master’s of Education in Curriculum Development and Teacher Leadership and a Bachelor’s of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Urban Geography, Women Studies, and Education from Miami University.

Celeste Gamble, Development Directorjoined the NDCC team in February 2020, and is responsible for events, fundraising and development. Celeste brings over 20 years of professional experience in philanthropy, management, event planning, individual and large donor giving and corporate fundraising campaign management. She most recently served as Director of Women’s Leadership Council at the United Way of Central Ohio, where she was responsible for the E3 – Educate, Empower and Elevate program. In that role, she worked closely with NDCC clients and staff. Celeste is passionate about improving financial stability for women and their families and is thrilled to be a part of the NDCC team. 
Margaret Monroe, Office Coordinator – joined NDCC in January 2019. Margaret received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2018 from Franklin University. She has over 10 years of experience in working with client relations, something that she truly enjoys. She strives to provide a listening ear and a comforting word to all who visit the Center. Margaret thrives on using her skills to to positively impact the Center and the clients we serve.
Jami Jami Phillips, Employment Specialist – received her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University in 1989 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Since 2006, Jami has volunteered in the classroom, conducted mock interviews, led informational sessions at several Columbus Public Library branches and currently is working on a contract basis in Employment Services working with NDCC graduates who are in search of new career opportunities. Prior to becoming associated with New Directions, Jami worked as a Recruiter for more than 15 years where she assisted client companies in Central Ohio fill vital positions with top talent. 
Saundra Cunningham, Support Services Coordinator/ Mediator – joined the NDCC team as a contract staff member in 2017 and prior to that, as a volunteer in 2010, serving to connect participants to community programs and resources. She is passionate about using her skills to educate and empower women on their journey. She has over 20 years of experience providing mediation, supportive services and coaching for Franklin, Delaware and Cuyahoga County Courts, Mortiz College of Law, Capital Law School, and the Equal Justice Foundation. A Supreme Court Certified Mediator, Saundra is a graduate of Capital Law School ADR program and holds SOAR Certification SSI/SSDI Children and Adults.
She is a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother who enjoys live music, singing and helping others. An extremely proud career moment was receiving the 2015 NDCC “Women of Promise” award.
Debra Debra Scholten, LPC, CRC, Career Counselor and Program Instructorjoined the NDCC team in December 2019. She has provided career counseling and vocational guidance and counseling for 20 years in a variety of settings including government, academic, and private practice. She taught career counseling as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton and traveled the state of Ohio training Motivational Interviewing skills to healthcare professionals. Throughout her work, it has been her goal to empower people to bring their unique skills into the world. She has a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and Certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Practitioner. 
Jill Jill Hammonds, MSW, LISW – E3 Project Manager/Career Counselorjoined NDCC in January 2020 and oversees the E3 program operations and tracks the success of each participant. Provides career counseling and case management services to the E3 participants. Jill earned her BA in social work from Ohio University and her Masters in social work from The Ohio State University. She has over 11 years of vocational rehabilitation counseling experience as well as 5 years of program management experience. Jill values assisting others in achieving their success and walking alongside them in their journey.