Juli is the founder of Billy's Place. She is the Director of Care and Compassion and works with Billy's Place families as she is one of the first points of contact as a Family Support Specialist. She is invested in continually learning - not only from her journey and that of her son, though expanding her knowledge on how to best help the children and families of Billy's Place. She has completed extensive training in grief support, including multiple seminars and workshops from a world-renowned grief expert, Alan Wolfelt. Since 2012, Juli has successfully managed all aspects of the organization since inception and is involved daily. Juli grew up in the Chicago area and moved out to AZ in 2008. Juli spends her time active in her church, relaxing with friends and family, and volunteering in her community. She has a passion for helping, loving, and encouraging others who are hurting. The title of Director of Care and Compassion is so perfect for her.
Kris is the Executive Director of Billy's Place. Through her own experiences encountering her father's death as a teenager and watching a dear friend's child deal with the loss of his father at an early age, she is passionate about helping children as they walk along their grief journey. Kris has been a business owner with an extensive marketing and fund-development background. She attended numerous seminars, including the yearly National Alliance for Grieving Children and continuing education from Dr. Alan Wolfelt. Kris began Billy's Place with the founder, Juli Schragel, in 2012. Grieving teens hold a special place in her heart, and she continues to help when she can with the Teens and Young Adults. Kris manages the day-to-day operations of Billy's Place, fund development, grant writing, outreach, and overseeing the staff. She grew up in the Chicago area, is an avid Bears fan, and enjoys the heck out of her husband, four kids, three grandkids, and three fur babies!! To say she loves helping others is an understatement as her heart is with each and every family that walks through Billy's Place door.
Melody is the Director of Programs of Billy's Place. She is a wife, mother of 3, and grandmother of 8. Before joining the staff, she was a volunteer at Billy's Place and especially loves the "Littles."
Melody has worked in the early childhood field for 25 years. Many of those years, she gave leadership and oversight to hundreds of volunteers. She recruited, trained, and supported them, helping them find the area where they could make a positive and rewarding contribution. She provided encouragement, opportunity, and good communication, creating a solid foundation for success.
Melody also has years of experience as a director of programs. She brings positive structure, creative systems, effective communication, and curriculum insight to help Billy's Place continue to develop meaningful peer group programs for our families.
Melody loves helping people and giving them opportunities for further growth and development. She's excited to be on Billy's Place staff and support them as they help others.
Kim is the Director of Operations at Billy’s Place. She is a native of Arizona, always living in the northwest valley. After playing volleyball at Grand Canyon University and obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, Kim worked in the medical field for eight years as a Clinical Microbiologist. In 2013, Erik, Kim, and Lily (their oldest daughter) welcomed twins Dutch and Mayzie. Immediately, the family realized that Mayzie was not healthy like her twin brother. This was just the start of a six-year journey with a medically fragile child. Kim was not only a mother to her three children, but she was also a 24/7 caregiver to Mayzie. In March 2019, Mayzie transitioned from Palliative Care to Hospice, where she died at home in the care of her loving family. Shortly after, Kim and her family came to Billy’s Place for grief support. They felt so welcomed when attending the Loss of Child Group. Their extended family was allowed to express grief by participating in the events Billy’s Place offered. One year after Mayzie’s death, Kim felt it was the right time to return to the workforce and found her home on the incredible team at Billy's Place. Kim chose to work at Billy’s Place because she wants to walk alongside kids and adults on their grief journey so they know they are not alone.
Kaylene is a School Bereavement Liaison and a Group Night Coordinator at Billy's Place. She is collaborating with the New York Life Foundation in the nationwide Grief Sensitive Schools Initiative, an endeavor designed to equip teachers and key members within the schools to care for grieving students. Kaylene has a solid educational background, previously working as a school counselor, classroom teacher, and most recently retiring from being a principal. She has witnessed firsthand the need to support grieving students, school staff, and families within the school system. She shares a passion for children and is a lifelong learner. Recently, Kaylene attended Dr. Alan Wolfelt's four-day training on "Companioning the Grieving Child" to further her skills while welcoming new families to Billy's Place while facilitating group nights as well as supporting our schools. She has lived in Phoenix since 1986 and is originally from the great state of Ohio- Go, Bucks! She graduated from Bowling Green State University, where she met her husband. Her grown son lives in Mesa. She also has a rescue Golden Retriever and a grand kitty. She is delighted to be a part of Billy's Place!
Ruquiayah is a School Bereavement Liasion, Family Support Specialist, and Group Night Coordinator at Billy's Place. She is originally from Chicago and relocated several years ago with her mom and three other siblings. She earned her Bachelor's in Sociology with an Emphasis in Social work and minored in psychology. She is passionate about serving others and utilizing her ethics and skills to service vulnerable populations. She truly enjoys working with teens and young adults and learning new intervention techniques to support them best. Attending the University of Denver's MSW online program, her concentration and/or focus are mental health and trauma. She hopes to earn her Licensed Clinical Social Worker certification, where she can build her own private practice that specializes in trauma-informed interventions for children and adults. If she is not working, she enjoys reading, attending Zumba classes, spending time with her boyfriend and closest friends, and of course, her doggy Sammy.
Dee Ann is a Group Night Coordinator at Billy's Place and a volunteer hostess. She has been a volunteer on the HIke for Hope committee for the past four years and has contributed to the success of the hikes. Dee is passionate about dance and helping people, and especially has a heart for kids. After dancing in a dance company for six years, Dee earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from ASU and a post-bac in education from ASU West. She has been a dance teacher at Alhambra High School for the last 25 years and has been part of students' lives through teaching, mentoring, and coaching. In addition to teaching, Dee Ann is also a member at Christ Church of the Valley and has volunteered there for the past five years, being part of the children's ministry for the past two. Dee has five beautiful children and four amazing grandkids.
Iva is the Director of Development at Billy's Place. She works with community partners from all over to promote the sustainability of Billy's Place. She is a native of Arizona and the Northwest Valley and a graduate of Arizona State University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice and a graduate of Northern Arizona University, where she earned her Master of Administration. In addition to being an alumnus, she currently serves as Faculty of the MLFTC at Arizona State University. Throughout her career, Iva has continued to advocate in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors. She has been successful at developing and implementing multiple community service programs. She has extensive experience with fund development and grants management. In 2013, Iva was recognized by the Arizona Attorney General for Distinguished Service in recognition of Outstanding Leadership.
Netty is the Administrative Assistant at Billy’s Place. She is a native of Arizona who loves desert sunsets. She is married and is a mom of two boys, five dogs, one hamster, and many plants. Previously, she worked as an Environmental Health Inspector, but after having her first child, Luke, she decided to be a stay-at-home mother for a stint. Then, she decided it was time to change career paths and re-enter the workforce. She has taken several business classes at Rio Salado Community College and plans to further pursue her education in accounting. Billy’s Place has been in her thoughts ever since her second son, Elias, was stillborn, and she was looking for grief resources. She feels grateful to be part of Billy’s Place because of its mission and contributions to the community.
I’m Moose, AND I’m kind of a big deal...
I’m such a lucky guy. It’s always been easy for me to make friends, and I just made a whole bunch more! Mom (people call her Kris) started bringing me to Billy’s Place this year, and I didn’t know what to expect—just that this is a safe community for kids and families who have lost someone special. Some kids I meet are a little shy at first and need me to hang out... others are more hesitant because I am a stranger... most come running right up to me with the biggest and warmest hugs!
I LOVE HUGS! Loooooooooove them!
Do you know what I learned about the cool people I met? They’re all coming to Billy’s Place because they’re dealing with something really sad (and because they love to see me!) but they still all have their own stories and each story is so different. Jacob’s mom needed someone to sit with her at first and I love resting my head on her lap. RJ totally wanted hugs and rough-housing from the second he came in the door. You bet I was up for it!
Emma seemed a little scared at first. Not just of me, but everyone at Billy’s Place. It makes me sad when people are scared of me because I’m actually so FUN! I figured maybe if she warmed up to me, we could meet other friends together, and she’d feel less alone. And that’s just what happened!
I can’t wait to meet and love more new friends! These are awesome kids and I can tell that sometimes they feel sad and scared and all sorts of feelings. But, we are here and we are going to try our hardest to make them feel at home!
21448 N 75th Avenue Suite 5, Glendale AZ 85308
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Equal employment opportunity for all members of our society is an important value of Billy’s Place. We will not discriminate in hiring, employment, conditions of employment, or access to services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, veteran, or military status.