Staff Profiles

WaTasha Barnes Griffin, Chief Executive Officer

WaTasha Barnes Griffin has led YWCA Central Indiana since 2015. As CEO, she is responsible for being the advocate for the organization – out in the community talking about the YWCA’s work and being at any table where the issues of women and girls, and their economic empowerment and advancement, are being discussed.

“The mission of the YWCA is to eliminate racism and empower women. Both of those things are closely aligned with my personal mission as well. For me, intentionality is important. Anything that I am involved with has to involve women, education or the advancement of women.”

Barnes Griffin’s many honors include being named the 2018 Athena International Leadership Award recipient for her commitment to social justice and advancing the lives of women and children, and being presented with Senate Resolution Forty-Four by Sen. Tim Lanane and the Indiana State Senate for her many contributions working to eliminate racism and empower women and children in Delaware and Madison counties. Among other things, she is a member of the Muncie Community School Board, chairs the MLK Dream Team Committee, is president of the Muncie Chapter of the Indiana Black Expo.

Leonard Tucker, Facilities Director

Leonard Tucker is the Facilities Director of YWCA Central Indiana, where he has worked since 2004. His primary duties are to make sure everything in the nearly 100-year-old building is operating as it should and that safety requirements are met. He says he loves the variety in his work.

“No two days are the same. I might be working on a sink one day and painting the next.”

Tucker sees the difference the YWCA programming makes in the lives of the women and children served. He said he hopes the community understands that just because you are temporarily homeless, you are not inhuman.

“People just need a helping hand. That’s why we’re here – to give them that hand,” he said.

Cheyenne Caldwell, Family Case Manager

Cheyenne Caldwell, who joined YWCA Central Indiana in August of 2021 as an intern and then in December 2021 as an employee, is the Family Case Manager. She assists families living at the YWCA with such tasks as enrolling children in school, finding clothing for families and seeking permanent housing for shelter residents. 

Caldwell said she works to make sure the children staying with mothers at the YWCA are safe and have a nurturing environment – working to ensure they have nutritious meals and can take part in hobbies and crafts. And for the moms, she enjoys helping them find jobs so they have a steady source of income.

“We support women who are struggling to get the skills and support they need to be successful. We don’t judge anyone. We’re just here to help. We try to make sure everyone feels welcome so they know we care for them.”

TK Thomas, Residential Coordinator

TK Thomas, who serves as Residential Coordinator, started with YWCA Central Indiana in November 2019. She oversees the residential department – ensuring the needs of residents are being met, which can range from reporting maintenance issues, to supervising case notes so they are properly entered in the system.

Thomas said she feels she learns as much from clients as they learn from her.  She believes strongly in advocating for those who often get overlooked, particularly homeless women.

“The YWCA values women,” she said. “In society, most of the time women are seen as second. At the Y, We are that place where women don’t feel second. They are treated as they should be treated. They are valued.”

Katie Bittermann, Emergency Shelter Program Director

Katie Bittermann joined YWCA Central Indiana in August 2021 and oversees the its residential programming, which includes the 45-day stay emergency shelter, C.O.T.S. (complimentary, overnight, temporary, shelter stay), Second Stage Housing, and permanent housing support.

Bittermann said one of her favorite parts of working at YWCA Central Indiana is being able to connect residents with the specific resources they need at the point in their lives where they are. She said all the work at YWCA Central Indiana is driven by the mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

When residents are able to leave and begin living on their own, they often seek out staff members to thank them and to say their goodbyes. Many residents will tell staff that they hope they’ve made enough progress to be self-sufficient and never return to the shelter.

“That’s a success,” Bittermann said. “We’ve supported them in their hard work to achieve their goals.”

Tracina Greenleaf, Operations Manager

Tracina Greenleaf joined YWCA Central Indiana in October 2021 as Operations Manager.  She is responsible for the day-to-day operations within the organization, including managing the front desk staff, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She also assists with the resale shop and accepting donations and deposits.

Greenleaf, who has worked for several social service organizations in the Muncie area, said she finds it a privilege to be able to serve her community and be part of a team that provides help to women in need. 

“We’re not just a place to stay, but we provide that extra support – to find housing, to take computer classes or parenting classes,” she said. “We’re an all-around support team.”

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