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 the first point of contact providing new family orientations. She is invested in continually learning - not only from her own 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 on a daily basis.
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 the death of her father 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 lead the teen group as well as the YA Grief group. Kris manages the day to day operations of Billy's Place as well as fund development, grant writing, outreach, and overseeing the staff. She grew up in the Chicago area, is an avid Bears fan along with her husband, 4 kids, 2 grand kids and 3 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. She was a volunteer at Billy’s Place before joining the staff 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 to 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 opportunity for further growth and development. She’s excited to be on the Billy’s Place staff and help them as they help others.
Kim is the Director of Operations of Billy’s Place. She is a native to 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. Kim and her family came to Billy’s Place for grief support shortly after. 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. She loves working with families and sharing her passion for children of all abilities. Kim chose to work at Billy’s Place because she hopes to help others along on their grief journey, however that may look.
Kaylene is the School Bereavement Liaison and also works with family orientations and 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 better equip teachers and key members within the schools to care for grieving students. Kaylene has a strong educational background, previously working as a school counselor, classroom teacher, and most recently retiring from being a principal. She has witnessed firsthand within the school system the need to support grieving students, school staff, and families. 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 that she uses while welcoming new families to Billy's Place during their orientations and also while facilitating group nights. 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!
Courtney is the Social Media Guru at Billy's Place. She works to find and create amazing content for our social media. Courtney is a native of Arizona and graduated from Sandra Day O’Connor here in the valley. While attending high school, she took courses in Early Childhood Development and then furthered her education in child psychology at Glendale Community college. Helping guide children during such an important emotional, mental and developmental time gave her purpose. While growing up and watching family members struggle with the grief process, Courtney quickly settled into a role in life where her main desire was to help others. She loves to lend a helping hand but most of all, she loves to make a difference! Courtney has a self started boutique that she began about two years ago with the intention of giving women confidence through fashion. She is driven, motivated, caring and passionate. She came on to the team with the hopes that her presence, selflessness, creativity and willingness to tackle anything will help her contribute to Billy’s Place and the families greatly!