Track: Thriving and Vibrant Nonprofit Sector
Commitment: Partnering with Purpose; Innovating with Enterprise
North Star: Strategic Partnerships

Level of Learning: Doer

LifeSpan’s Financial Counseling and Education Program (FC&E) had been struggling financially for years to remain viable. After unsuccessfully trying to build on and enhance traditional credit counseling services, LifeSpan realized it needed to make a fundamental change or this valuable program would go away. By reframing how it described basic financial literacy activities, pulling back on some of it traditional credit counseling offerings, and developing relationships with new partnerships, LifeSpan is turning FC&E around.

FC&E began offering services to employers with a focus on job retention. This was in response to research that demonstrated financial issues significantly impact employee productivity, ability to advance, and retention. The reframing required LifeSpan to engage partners and clients in systems other than it had historically served. Another shift was being able to respond to situational crises in addition to the chronic situations with which LifeSpan was familiar. It soon became clear that the organization needed a change of leadership, hiring an individual with a background outside of financial issues who could lead with and implement a new vision.

FC&E continued to evolve when LifeSpan engaged a new concept in two counties it serves. In addition to job retention, LifeSpan is now embarking on a new contract for offering financial literacy services to reduce barriers for job seeker in the Butler County system, which had poor results for successful employment for their clients receiving benefits. In addition, LifeSpan expanded the role of FC&E and will be providing life coach services to job seekers in an effort to reduce other employment barriers. In the adjoining Warren County, LifeSpan has responded to a similar new concept of financial literacy as a barrier to employment.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand when it is time to fundamentally change a program direction to remain viable
  • Learn how to engage new opportunity partners and reframe service descriptions
  • Evaluate the benefits of building on partnerships to execute and implement a new strategy or program


  • Joyce Kachelries, chief operating officer, LifeSpan
  • Mary Day, financial counseling and education manager, LifeSpan
  • Mardia Shands, executive director of Partners for Competitive Workforce, United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Joyce Kachelries
Chief Operating Officer

Joyce Kachelries started her career as a hospital nurse in 1980. In 1991, she left the hospital world and moved to social services and has been with LifeSpan, Inc., a private nonprofit social service agency, ever since. As chief operating officer, Kachelries is responsible for overall direction, oversight, budget, and operations of LifeSpan, Inc.'s operating programs. LifeSpan’s multiple programs include elderly care management, information and referral, guardianship, representative payee, financial counseling and education services, and school-based services. In addition, she is responsible for the agency’s accreditation and leads quality improvement initiatives across the agency.

She is a member of the community advisory board of Hospice of Hamilton, Hospice of Cincinnati, America Saves' Savings at Work initiative, and the Butler County multidisciplinary team for safety of older adults. She is also a peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation.

Kachelries received an associate's in nursing from Ohio State University at Lima, a bachelor's in nursing from Xavier University, and a master's with a health care management specialty from University of Phoenix.

Mary Day
Financial Counseling and Education Manager

Mary Day leads and engages her team of skilled financial counselors and educators on behalf of LifeSpan’s mission to strengthen families and individuals who seek to improve the quality of their lives. As a seasoned advocate for older individuals, she leads AARP’s BankSafe initiative in Ohio, partnering with financial institutions to equip front line staff with the skills to prevent senior financial exploitation and scams.

Day taught teens at Center Academy, a private school in Central London, before joining the staff of St. Elizabeth’s Home in Essex. As staff development officer at St. Elizabeth’s, she was responsible for orientation and continuing education for staff. Day joined the staff of Pro Seniors in 1996, where she served as program director for the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for Southwest Ohio for over 18 years. She was also active in the Ohio Association of Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsmen, where she served two terms as chair. In 2015, Day expanded her advocacy for seniors by joining the staff of Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol at Pro Seniors, educating seniors on identity theft and how to recognize and avoid health care fraud and other scams. She led community education and outreach for Pro Seniors financial exploitation prevention project, offering workshops and individual advocacy. She was invited to join the staff of LifeSpan in June 2017 as manager of financial education and counseling.

Day earned her bachelor's in special education from Bowling Green State University.