Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS), an organization committed to ending multigenerational child abuse through innovative children’s services, announced the leadership appointments of Robert Leal as Executive Vice President of Programs, Krystale Bezio as Vice President of Foster Care & Adoption and Demereal Owens as Vice President of Residential Programs & Compliance.
“Lutheran Social Services of the South is thrilled to have Robert and his team of experts, Krystale and Demereal, leading our efforts to provide high quality children’s services in Texas,” said Michael Loo, LSS Chief Operations Officer. “Their combined experience in the social services sector and commitment to our mission will help LSS lead and innovate in the years to come.”
Leal, who has served as LSS’ Area Director, Regional Director and Vice President for Foster Care & Adoption, is assuming his new position as Executive Vice President of Programs with 20 years of experience in the child welfare field. Now responsible for the overall operations of six LSS programs encompassing children’s services and community services, he received his master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington.
During her 10-year tenure with LSS, Bezio has excelled in a variety of roles including FSW, area director and regional director and is now stepping into her role as Vice President of Foster Care & Adoption. Her role now includes ensuring quality care, supervision and program direction for both foster care and adoption. A licensed child placing agency administrator (LCPAA), Bezio holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Owens, who joined LSS in 2013 as the Compliance Officer, assumed the role of Vice President of Residential Programs & Compliance effective May 2014. In her position, she provides oversight of LSS’ residential treatment centers, including the Bokenkamp Children’s Shelter, as well as the foster care programs for unaccompanied minors placed through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Owens brings 30 years of experience working in senior management with non-profit and for-profit organizations providing behavioral/mental health, foster care, adoption and social services. Owens holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.
About Lutheran Social Services of the South
Lutheran Social Services of the South is committed to breaking the cycle of child abuse in Texas through innovative children’s services, including foster care, adoption, education and residential treatment. LSS is a 501(c)(3) faith-based nonprofit organization that currently serves more than 32,000 individuals in need annually, including children, the elderly, the disadvantaged and those affected by disasters in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.