Meet Our Staff

It’s always nice to have a face to go with an email message or the voice on the telephone. Here we are!

Dwyatt picDwyatt Gantt – Executive Director
Administration and Fanner of the Flames to “Keep Hope Alive”, our outreach for orphan and vulnerable children along with our compassionate Partners in Hope.  We are committed to the mission of giving Homes, Health and Hope to vulnerable children in need.  Dwyatt has over 8,000 adopted “grandchildren.”

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Melody Zhang -China Director / Foundation

Executive Director of China Foundation, including Alenah’s Home and the far-reaching medical, educational, nutritional and protective services for children.  Melody’s passion for helping orphans is reflected in her own formal and informal adoption of 3 orphan girls in China.
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Nicky Losse – Adoption Director
Giving leadership to all adoption programs and social services.  Nicky is a wife and also mother to three children including a daughter from China. Nicky has been with CHI for almost 20 years.  Contact Nicky and see how you can adopt as well.

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Tina Qualls – Financial Director

Tina started work with CHI when adopting Tori, who is now in university!  Eli, also from China, joined the family later.  Tina has worked in all areas of the agency but now focuses on finances and China travel and intake of new adoptive families.

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Angie Thorn – Adoption Specialist
Angie is here to answer your questions and help you with questions regarding all adoption programs.  She knows the process well, also being the mother of 3 adopted children, 2 from China and one from Vietnam.  She has head and heart to respond to your questions.

mh2Mary House – Communications and “Keep Hope Alive”
Mary is a strong and dedicated advocate for adoption, being the mother of an adopted brother and sister from China.  She is our webmaster, yes, but involved from the heart on behalf of the waiting special needs children and getting the word out to the world about how to help.

nikki desimoneNikki Pauls DeSimone, MSW – Social Worker KC Area
Nikki’s been with us since 2004. She started as an intern during her MSW program and has  worn many hats for CHI. Nikki has enjoyed serving families on the western and northern side of Missouri for more than a decade. She has a passion in educating and serving families through the international adoption process. Nikki lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and daughter, adopted from China in 2014.


Janis Simpkins
Janis Simpkins, MSW, LCSW – Social Worker

Janis is a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Missouri since 1992 and a long-time member of the National Association of Social Workers. She has been an associate with Children’s Hope in the Springfield area since 1998. Her primary focus in social work is towards working to educate, prepare and assess prospective adoptive parents for domestic, intercountry and relative adoptions.


tammy watkinsTammy Watkins, MSW – Social Worker in Beijing 
Tammy and her husband Chris and 3 kids live in Beijing where she is active in many good works, including a deeply appreciated part of Children’s Hope as a social worker and much more.  Tammy and Chris were instrumental in getting us into the present facility of Alenah’s Home.  They are great friends of children in need.


lina xu
Lina Xu. Adoption and Travel Coordinator in China.
Lina has been a beautiful part of Children’s Hope in China since 2004 as Adoption and Travel Coordinator for literally hundreds of adoptive families for that magical ‘Gotcha Day’ moment.  And the music goes on!  Lina says, ‘I feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful work’.