Our Staff

Lara Kiefer
Executive Director

Lara Kiefer is the new Executive Director of the Wayne County Children’s Advocacy Center.  Lara received her business degree from Malone University in Organizational Management. She started her career at Legal Aid for 9 years, and then was the Associate Director at One-Eighty, formerly STEPS and Every Woman’s House in Wooster.  Most recently, Lara was the Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Wayne, Holmes, Ashland, Richland, Huron, Erie and Lorain Counties.  She is married to Joe, who is a Lieutenant at the Wooster Fire Dept. and together they have 5 children. 


Michelle Budzinski
Forensic Interviewer

Michelle Budzinski graduated from Kent State University in December 2003 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Family Life Education. For over 6 years Michelle worked as a Protective Services Caseworker & Investigator at Wayne County Children Services. During that time, Michelle received Forensic Interviewer Training and became an investigator in the specialized sexual abuse unit conducting forensic interviews of children with allegations of sexual abuse. Michelle found her niche and passion in the field of child sexual abuse. In 2010, Michelle accepted a position at the Wayne County Children’s Advocacy Center as the Coordinator of Case Management and transitioned to the Forensic Interviewer position in 2016. Michelle continues to embrace her passion by providing Forensic Interviews and working with the Multi-Disciplinary Team. Michelle is trained in Beyond the Silence, Advanced Forensic Interviewing, Forensic Interviewing for Individuals with Disabilities and Child Sex Trafficking Forensic Interviewing. Throughout her 17-year career, Michelle has completed well over 1,000 forensic interviews. 



McKenna Bowman
Coordinator of Case Management/Victim Adovate

McKenna Bowman started in July 2020 as the Coordinator of Case Management/Victim Advocate at the Wayne County Children’s Advocacy Center. McKenna has her Bachelor's degree from Kent State University in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Family Life Education.  McKenna has experience working at several Children Service’s agencies. McKenna was an Intake Caseworker at Wayne County Children Services for 5 years prior to working at the WCCAC. McKenna has extensive training in domestic violence, substance use, human trafficking, child abuse and neglect and child sexual abuse. McKenna is also a trained Forensic Interviewer. McKenna continues to follow her passion to advocate for children and families.



Joey Kline
Chris Hawkins

Chris Hawkins was born and raised in Wooster. She is a middle child of 7 & grew up on a dairy farm. She married her High School sweetheart Steve after college. Chris graduated from Triway HS and Akron University College Of Nursing with a Bachelors degree. She has 2 daughters who are both married and has 8 grandchildren. Chris spent her entire Nursing career at WCH and still works there as a PRN in Cardiac Rehab. She started her SANE career at WCH from 1999-2017 where she worked with the adult population. Chris is currently one of the SANE pediatric nurses at the CAC & has been since 2007. She is a member of Grace Church in Wooster & plans to travel to Europe, Africa, and around the USA.

Lydia Taylor