Our Staff

Karey Padding

Executive Director

My name is Karey Padding and I am the new Executive Director for The Treehouse. I started in early December 2021 and am so happy to be here! I grew up in a small town in North Central Kansas. Trust me, there were more cows than people! My dad worked on and retired from the railroad and my mom was a nurse. Because of growing up in a “helping household,” this likely contributed to me becoming a social worker. I graduated from Kansas State University with Dual Degrees in Social Work and Family Studies and Human Services in 2000. I then moved to the Kansas City area, worked for a year and then went back for my Master’s Degree in Social Work, graduating in 2002. In my 22 years of social work, I have had the opportunity to use my degrees in a variety of settings; such as Senior Living/Nursing Facilities/Hospice, Domestic Violence/Crisis Advocacy, Hospital/Medical Case Management, Health Care Leadership and Managed Care. I am married and a mom to four children. My oldest son, now age 11, was born with cystic fibrosis and was diagnosed with Autism at age three and is mostly non-verbal. Though technically non-verbal, he is really vocal and has the best giggles and smile! We also have 8-year-old triplets who are full of love and life as well. Life if never boring in our home! 

I have been so blessed to be able to volunteer, march, advocate and share my special needs parent perspective over the last decade. Currently, I serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Heart of America Chapter, am active as the State Advocacy Chair and National Advocacy Mentor and serve on the CFF National Volunteer Leadership Council. Last year, I was appointed by Governor Kelly to serve on the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities and participate on the Governance Sub-Committee. I have been a parent advocate on the KDHE Special Health Services Family Advisory Council and State Newborn Screening Advisory Council for the past seven years and currently participate in the KDHE Bureau of Family Health Screening and Surveillance Unit’s Education & Outreach Advisory Committee.

In my spare time, I like to take long walks to the laundry pile, clean house incessantly, run kids to numerous activities and feed the mass of neighborhood children that reside in our cul-de-sac. For fun, I enjoy watching football, shopping, bootcamp, spending time with my family and friends, going to the movies with my hubby and volunteering for causes near and dear to my heart.

Cristin Coats

Operations Manager

Cristin has a knack for making connections with everyone she meets. Her kind-hearted nature is balanced by her strong desire to make a true difference in the lives of the moms and babies we serve at The Treehouse. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations, Cristin assists the Executive Director and manages the marketing and publications materials. Her goal is simple, to give donors a little insight into the blessings of The Treehouse. Cristin graduated from Newman University with an MBA in Leadership, and from Wichita State University with a BA in Marketing. Her passion for serving moms and babies stems from her own experiences as a mother and wife to her children Eli, Enzo, and Eva and husband Todd.

Jaleen Claassen

Client Services Coordinator

Jaleen Claassen has a passion for Treehouse moms and babies. While teaching 4th grade in the Wichita Public Schools, her desire to reach struggling moms before children entered school led her to The Treehouse. Jaleen will use her own experience as a teacher and mother to help build relationships with women needing support, expand The Treehouse classroom programs and Earn While You Learn. As a wife to Brandon, and mother of four children, Brady, Elias, Juliet and Pepper, Jaleen relates to the challenges all new moms face regardless of their circumstances.

Nicolette Ellison

Development Director

Nicolette comes to the Tree House as the new Director of Development and is excited to work alongside the team, support groups, and volunteers to help continue growing the vision and legacy of serving mothers and children!  She has a passion for building relationships and a purpose for serving all of which led her to the Treehouse.

Because of those callings Nicolette completed her coursework and earned her BS in Early Childhood Education in 2017.  Shortly after completion she founded and opened Forever Learners Childcare Program.  Forever Learners was a licensed program that served families for 4-years with childcare needs, resources, and parental growth programs.  She was then recruited to join The Center, a newly constructed neighborhood community outreach center, as their Director and lead member of the strategic team.  During that time, she oversaw programming, marketing, fund raising, and growth initiatives that served over 8,000 in the community.  

Board of Directors

Anna-Vaughn Ewertt


Hayley Cheatham

VP – World Impact

Misha Jacob Warren

Wichita State University

Tara Patterson


Janane Zayat

Community Volunteer

Frank Tritschler

PURE Workplace Solutions

Trent Frantz


Darren Minks

United Way of the Plains

DeeAnn Bragg

Ascension Via Christi

Tamara Woods

Community Volunteer

Leyanne Oller

Emprise Bank

Hayley Cheatham

World Impact

Lee Ann Vandervort


Sara Ayesh

Food Photographer