Who we are

Jane Dowling
, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Dowling has conducted evaluation research studies over the past 35 years for State and Federal agencies including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Department of Interior, U. S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Department of Education; the State Departments of Education for Arizona, New Mexico, and Kansas; the Governor’s Office on Drug Policy and Youth & Children in Arizona; and the Arizona Department of Health Services. At the local level, Dr. Dowling has worked with urban and rural school districts, conducting evaluation studies for the Chicago Public Schools and numerous school districts throughout Arizona. Dr. Dowling has also conducted process and outcomes evaluation studies for a number of nonprofit organizations and agencies. Dr. Dowling has published numerous technical reports for Federal and State-funded programs on various evaluation topics including: conducting impact evaluations, developing project management plans using program evaluation and review technique; and enhancing program evaluability through feasibility analysis. She brings experience and expertise in planning and organizing evaluation projects, planning, implementing and assessing effective communication with key project staff, client and stakeholders, and project grantees; conducting needs assessments; designing and conducting focus groups, personal interviews, phone surveys, written surveys to assess needs; collecting, analyzing and interpreting both primary and secondary data, synthesizing quantitative and qualitative data, and developing project reports that are accurate, comprehensive, and understandable to key stakeholders. In addition, she is proficient at developing research plans, and developing surveys, interview/focus group protocols, and other instruments required for the plans. Prior to founding Wellington Consulting Group in 1996, Dr. Dowling was Evaluation Director for the Center for Research in Urban Education, University of Illinois – Chicago. She held the position of Director of the Evaluation Technical Assistance Program, Transition Institute, University of Illinois-Champaign, and was the Executive Director of Education and Counseling for University of Phoenix. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Administration.

Lyra Contreras,
Director of Operations and Planning, Evaluation Project Manager
Lyra Contreras holds a Masters degree in Public Health with a specialization in Health Education and Promotion, and a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences, both from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Lyra brings extensive experience and expertise in areas of grants and contracts development, review, and management for local, state, and federal grant funding through her work at First Things First, the Arizona State School Readiness Board and the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families. Her work with various non-profit agencies, including the Association for Supportive Child Care, I.C.A.N., and the American Cancer Society has lead to her wide-ranging knowledge and expertise with program development, implementation and evaluation in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, and early childhood education and health programs. She has been certified in OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Circular Grants Management Certificate Program and has expertise in budget projection, budget analysis and fiscal accountability and is a member of the American Evaluation Association. Lyra served on various boards and commissions including the First Things First Central Maricopa Regional Partnership Council parent representative, the Early Learning Advisory Committee of First Things First, the Arizona Disease Control Research Commission and as the Vice President of Community Impact for the Junior League of Phoenix. Her work with the Wellington Consulting Group, Ltd. involves evaluation and database management projects for State agencies including the Governor’s Office for Youth Faith and Family and the Arizona Department of Health Services, for non-profit communities serving communities across Arizona, as well as involvement in conducting strategic planning, group facilitation and training and grant writing for a variety of clients.

Karina Duran, MA
User Experience & Media Designer

Karina Duran is a native of El Paso, Texas and holds a Master's Degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from Webster University, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Ms. Duran has accrued 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector collaborating in various design projects for marketing and health promotion for the El Paso community within the fields of early childhood, substance abuse prevention treatment and recovery, behavioral health, and mental health awareness. Her background as the Health Promotion and Design Specialist for El Paso Project LAUNCH, a federally funded community based early childhood mental health prevention framework, included promoting the program and building capacity through presentations to various community agencies and program participants living in low-income areas of El Paso County. As a graphic artist, Karina Duran has the unique experience of understanding and implementing the marketing techniques used within the non-profit industry with the development and execution of visual and layout design such as public billboards, identity branding and promotion, print design, data visualization, user interface design, web design and digital media and also launched El Paso’s first community wellness mobile app in collaboration with 2-1-1 and United Way of El Paso County.

Danielle Garcia, MPA, MPH
Director of Professional Services, Evaluation Project Manager
Danielle Garcia, a native of El Paso, Texas, holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Public Administration both from Walden University, and received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Texas at the Permian Basin. Danielle has extensive experience in non-profit organizational and project management, strategic planning, performance improvement, coalition building, and cross-disciplinary capacity development through training, technical assistance, and various public education/awareness activities. For over 10 years, she has worked in El Paso, Texas in the fields of behavioral health, substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery, and early childhood, with a special focus on infant mental health. Danielle has managed a number of state and federally funded grant projects focused on community and capacity development and has lead organizational level performance improvement initiatives for behavioral health providers. She managed the El Paso Project LAUNCH program that increased community level collaboration and has become a model for Texas early childhood partnership projects. Over the course of her work, Danielle has had the opportunity to work with multiple non-profit organizations and community collaboratives working to improve community behavioral health services through cross collaboration and policy development. She has facilitated and participated in various state and community level improvement projects such as state and local recovery oriented systems of care transformation groups, state and local infant mental health associations and early care and education associations, local youth alcohol prevention policy groups, local behavioral health task forces, state and local early childhood comprehensive workgroups, and community and academic health science partnership workgroups. Danielle is a certified trainer for the National Council of Behavioral Health as an Adult and Youth Mental Health First Instructor and is a trainer for the Ages and Stages Developmental and Social Emotional Screening Questionnaires. Danielle is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Southern Early Childhood Association, and the Texas Association of Infant Mental Health.   

Stephanie Heyde, BA
Program Evaluator

A native of Puyallup, Washington, Stephanie Heyde has served as an Evaluation Specialist for the Wellington Group since 2012. She is involved with several community-based program evaluation projects including federally funded Project LAUNCH in Arizona and El Paso, the Arizona Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project, the Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MEICHV), in addition to several other projects. In addition to her evaluation work of community development projects and educationally-based programs, she also manages the financial functions of all special projects. Before joining the Wellington Group, Stephanie served as the Local Child Wellness Coordinator for Project LAUNCH at Bayless Behavioral Health Services, where she oversaw the development of programs that addressed the wellness of young children in identified communities around Phoenix. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Samantha Martin, PhD 
Senior Research Analyst 
Dr. Samantha Martin is a Senior Research Analyst with the Wellington Group and has a Ph.D. in Anthropology and holds two Master’s degrees, one in Anthropology and the second in American Indian Studies. She has worked in the field of program evaluation for over 10 years and specializes in the integration of qualitative and quantitative analysis. She was the Lead Evaluator for the evaluation team on the MIECHV (home visiting) grant for the State of Arizona. Her responsibilities included training new staff on how to use MIECHV data collection tools and overseeing data collection quality control. Dr. Martin is also the Lead Evaluator for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention programs for the State of Arizona, which include federally-funded Title V and Personal Responsibility Education Programs (PREP) as well as state-funded abstinence and comprehensive sex education programs. She has developed tools to assist contractors with tracking program participants that align with federal and state reporting requirements. She has worked with non-profit organizations, medical institutions and government entities. Her research and work experience encompass multiple prevention programs, including HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy prevention, and alcohol and drug use prevention.