Meet Our Staff
We rely on dedicated staff with diverse experience, education, and backgrounds to ensure we meet the unique needs of the people we serve. Our staff is small in number, but closely connected with a vast community of social workers, nurses, psychologists, elder law attorneys, financial planners, advocates, and other professionals who may be of assistance to you. Together, we aim to provide the highest quality services to those we serve.
Dorian Sylvester, Executive Director, joined the CoG team in May 2014. As Executive Director, Dorian ensures all operations within the organization are consistent with CoG’s values, mission, goals and policies. Dorian received a BA in Political Science and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Gerontology from UNC-Greensboro. Dorian earned her Master of Social Work with a concentration in Aging from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has a background in geriatric mental health and community-based social work practice with older adults. She has also served as an adjunct instructor teaching Elder Law at Guilford Technical Community College and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro teaching Social Services for the Aging. Prior to CoG, Dorian served for 11 years as Long-Term Care Program Manager and Senior Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging. Dorian is active in numerous local, state, and national advocacy organizations. She is a passionate advocate for elder justice and is a champion for the rights of older adults and individuals with disabilities, especially those who are vulnerable or who have been victimized.
Hannah Vaughan, Legal Consultant, has been an Independent Contractor with CoG since September 2016. Her area of focus is facilitating the Umbrella Pooled Trust Relaunch Project as well as providing guidance and support for corporate compliance issues, risk management, and legal consultation for client matters. Before coming to CoG, she was the Director of the Elder Law Clinic at Elon University School of Law. The Elder Law Clinic provided free civil legal services to low income senior adults who are residents of Guilford County. Prior to joining Elon Law in 2012, she served as a Visiting Assistant Professor, directing the Elder Law Clinic, at Syracuse University College of Law. Previously, she was an attorney at Booth Harrington and Johns of NC PLLC in Greensboro, where she practiced Elder and Special Needs Law. Hannah is a member of the State Bars of North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama and she is certified by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to represent claimants regarding their VA benefits. She graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University, where she earned a B.S. degree and earned her J.D. from the University of Alabama where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law and Psychology Law Review. Hannah is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation & North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Elder Law.
Sonya Tomlinson, Administrator, has been with CoG for more than 30 years, almost since the organization’s inception. Originally hired as a Case Manager, she now serves as Administrator and oversees CoG’s fiduciary responsibilities. Sonya works closely with clients to assess their financial needs and ensure appropriate use of their resources. Sonya graduated on the Dean’s List from NC A&T in 1984 with a BA in Sociology and a Minor in Psychology. Prior to CoG, she worked in supportive housing with individuals diagnosed with autism, mental illness, mental retardation, and/or aggressive behavior. She also worked at Goodwill Industries as an Industrial Services Supervisor.
Anne Johns, Director of Care Management, officially joined the CoG staff more than 10 years ago, although she worked as a consultant beginning in 1983. Anne began her education at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Pre-Med program and completed a BS in Nursing from UNC-Greensboro. While working as a Public Health Nurse, Anne finished a 1-year Nurse Practitioner’s Program and became a Clinical Regional Director. She also received a Graduate Certificate in Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her professional background includes serving as School Health Nurse for Greensboro City Schools and later becoming the Health Director for the Exceptional Child Services Department. While working for the school system, she received a BA in Special Education with an emphasis on Learning Disabilities and Autism from Greensboro College. She has pursued additional graduate studies in Education at UNC-Greensboro and received certification as a Neuro-Feedback Practitioner from UCLA.
Saskia Barnard, Trust Care Manager, officially joined CoG as Trust Care Manager on July 1, 2017, but had previously been working as an Independent Contractor with CoG for more than a year. Saskia serves as the primary point of contact for all Special Needs Trust Beneficiaries, their families, and legal representatives. Saskia comes to CoG with over 16 years of experience as a care manager focused on specialty areas including Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, mental health diagnoses, aging/elderly populations as well as the Military. She received her BA in Sociology with a Concentration in Health Care and Aging and continued on to receive her Master of Science degree in Gerontology, graduating with Honors. Saskia is currently an active Board Member with The Bryan Family YMCA and AFAA Certified Personal Trainer facilitating fitness classes to adults with I/DD.
Sheilagh Harrington, Clinical Care Manager, joined CoG in May 2019 after serving as an MSW intern for a year. Sheilagh graduated Summa Cum Laude with her BSW and completed her minor in Gerontology at UNCG in 2018. Sheilagh served her bachelor’s level internship with the Congregational Social Work Initiative where she had the opportunity to work with people experiencing homelessness through the Interactive Resource Center in downtown Greensboro. She graduated with her Master of Social Work degree through the Joint Master’s program at UNCG and NC A&T in 2019. Throughout her education, Sheilagh served as a volunteer with adult day programs as well as hospice. Sheilagh practices social work using a person-centered humanistic philosophy heavily influenced by the work of Carl Rogers and makes it her mission to interact with her clients in the least restrictive, most uplifting manner while honoring each person’s strengths and abilities.
Marquita Laughlin, Financial Care Manager, rejoined the CoG team in May 2019 in the role of Financial Care Manager after previously serving as Rep Payee Care Manager for one year while she was attending graduate school. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received her Master of Social Work degree. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Community Services from East Carolina University and a Master’s degree in Gerontology from UNC-Charlotte, and over ten years of experience working in the field of aging. As CoG’s former Rep Payee Care Manager, Marquita gained experience managing finances and developing spending plans for clients receiving Rep Payee services. As Financial Care Manager, Marquita works directly with clients to develop interventions that integrate financial and psychological well-being. Marquita is pursuing Financial Social Work Certification and offers CoG’s clients high quality, person-centered financial support.
Sarah Ward, Client Services Coordinator, has been with CoG since June 2018. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in Family Life and Community Service and brings a combination of human services and administrative experience to CoG, with her most recent position being a Customer Care Specialist at LeBauer Physical Therapy. Sarah is responsible for coordinating and overseeing all client information management and provides support and assistance to the care management staff. Sarah is an active volunteer and part-time staff person at the YMCA of Greensboro. She is an ASHI certified CPR/First Aid/AED facilitator, leading new staff training for Y employees one Saturday a month. Sarah is an active member of Women Impacting Greensboro, a local philanthropic group that gives to non-profits supporting women and children. She is a proud mother of two and stays busy supporting her children at their schools and in all their extra-curricular activities.
Lisa Huffman, Office Manager, joined the team in October 2014. Lisa performs a wide range of duties at CoG including clerical tasks, office administration, and assistance with bookkeeping and financial management. Lisa graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Finance. Upon graduation, she began working for GMAC Insurance in management and marketing for over 10 years. Lisa also served in administrative assistant positions with the Piedmont Triad International Airport Authority and, most recently, with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council for 7 years.
Maria Gonzalez, Care Assistant, has been with CoG for more than 10 years. As Care Assistant, Maria assists clients with a variety of needs including transportation to appointments, house cleaning, running errands, and providing companionship. Originally from Puerto Rico, Maria is fluent in Spanish and provides translation services for CoG’s Spanish-speaking clients. Maria has a background in personal care and private duty caregiving and has dedicated her career to caring for others. She says that her favorite aspect of her work at CoG is “knowing that I can make a difference in the client’s lives, especially those who have no one else.”