Mary Chitwood, Founder and Executive Director
Mary created Robin’s Home to provide Supportive Housing to homeless, unstably house and low-income women veterans and their children. Robin’s Home is the first housing program for homeless women veterans and their children. Robin’s Home provides supportive housing to five counties covered by the Butler VA Medical Center. These counties include Butler, Lawrence, Mercer, Armstrong and Clarion. Mary is employed with the CARE Center as a mobile psychiatric rehabilitation caseworker. In her role she works with individuals with Severe Mental Illness to develop skills to live a satisfied and valuable life in the community. Mary has experience working with veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. She has assisted over 200 veterans with housing needs, employment opportunities, and a variety of other supportive services.
Mary is a 1998 graduate of Butler High School. She served in the US Army from 2003 to 2006. During her enlistment she was stationed at Fort Irwin, CA. She was awarded Five Army Achievement Medals, Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. She attended University of Phoenix and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice Administration and Security.
Mary is a member at American Legion Post 778. Mary is a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 64. Also, Mary is mentor for Butler County Veterans Court. Mary is a member of Butler County Soroptimist.
Rita Lane, President
Rita is originally from Butler and has worked in the human service field for over 30 years. Her father, Pete Mudrick, was a WWII veteran and has been a huge influence in her life. Rita has worked in various capacities in human services, focusing on mental health and homelessness. She believes in inclusion, empowerment and recovery. Rita has a BS degree in Human Resource Management from Geneva College.
Joseph Hasychak, Treasurer
Joseph currently serves as the Finance Officer, American Legion Post 778
Donna Croft, Secretary
Donna was born in Stafford, N.Y. and graduated from Leroy High School in 1968. She received a B.Ed. from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where she also completed some post-graduate work. She was selected to participate in a Corrective Therapy/Kinesiology program at the Miami V.A. and was subsequently hired by the Veterans Administration Hospital in Butler, PA. She worked in the Kinesiology Department there for 3 years. Donna also became nationally certified as a Pharmacy Technician and was employed by Wal-Mart Pharmacy for 14 years.
Currently retired, Donna serves as Vice Regent for the General Richard Butler Chapter, NSDAR and is also the VAVS Rep for the Northwest District. She volunteers at the VAHCC as a VA Ambassador and at the CLC in the Recreation Department. She also participates in the Veterans History Project. In 2017, Donna received the VA Volunteer of the Year award and in 2016 the Service to Veterans award from the American Legion. She was also the winner of the DAR Service to Veterans award for the State of Pennsylvania in 2017.
As part of her DAR service, Donna started the Wreaths Across America program in Butler and continues to be a coordinator of this mission. She also organized the first Veterans Breakfast Club event in our area. She also has been a volunteer at the Community Health Clinic of Butler County as a patient advocate for many years.
Donna’s father was a proud WW2 Navy Veteran who loved his country and instilled strong patriotism in his family members. Though not a Veteran herself, Donna is passionate about her volunteer work with those who have served.
Karen Dunn, MSN, RN, Director
Karen is the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Program Manager and Patient Centered Care Coordinator for Butler VA Health Care System. She serves as the facility content expert for health promotion and disease prevention. She oversees the integration of health promotion and disease prevention program services into patient care throughout the facility and affiliated community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs). Karen manages the Wellness Center (gym) and fitness classes for Veterans and employees. She is knowledgeable on outreach and local community resources. She is required to perform statistical reporting, evaluation, consultation and collaboration with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care professionals and administrators as well as non-VA facilities.
Karen is a 1986 graduate of Carlynton High School. She attended the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) for her undergraduate degrees; Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Nurse (RN). She attended Duquesne University for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a minor in Forensics. Prior to her work at the Butler VA, Karen worked in many nursing roles including long-term care, critical care, rehabilitation, cardiac step down, medical/surgical, charge nurse and nursing supervisor. She also worked at Duquesne University as a Nursing Instructor.
In addition to her Butler VA work responsibilities, Karen gives her personal time to help Veterans with the Guitars for Vets Program. She is the Chapter Coordinator for Butler, PA and finds this role very rewarding.
Karen is a 2013 graduate of the Leadership Butler County Program and has been on the Leadership Butler County Board of Directors for the last two years.
Karen believes in helping those in her community any way she can. She organized a large fundraiser/awareness event for a friend/coworker diagnosed with ALS and she coordinates a Facebook page (Miles for Melissa) to continue fundraising and raising awareness for ALS. She is an ALS Advocate and has been to the White House and the State Capitol several times to advocate for ALS research and funding. Karen was awarded the Advocate of the Year from the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania in 2019. She volunteers at many local fundraisers, events and organizations.
In her free time, she enjoys photography and has shared her love of photography by donating her time to take photos at fundraisers, weddings, and events in the community.
Al Lane, Director
Al is originally from Carnegie, PA but relocated to Butler in 1990. Al has a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Slippery Rock, as well as over 30 years of experience in the human services field. Al has also taught a variety of Psychology and Social Work courses for both Butler County Community College and Allegheny County Community College. Al is current the Director of Peer Support Services at the Grapevine Center in Butler. Al’s father was a veteran from the Korean War.
Desiree Pannier, MS, MSPC, CAADC, Director
With over a decade of experience, Desiree, a Therapist at Silvermist Recovery, holds a Master of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Science Degree in Professional Counseling from Carlow University. She is certified as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Desiree earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Providing a compassionate and empathetic therapeutic approach to all individuals, Desiree facilitates individual, group and family therapy.
In the local community, Desiree proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Robin’s Home, a sober living environment dedicated to female Veterans of the United States of America.
Desiree enjoys spending time with family, running (yes, for fun) and traveling.
Albert E. Worsley III, Director
Albert E. Worsley III is retired from Sherwin Williams Corp where he was a sales representative & sales manager for 26 years and was also a Realtor for 5 years. He had previously worked at a family business for 17 years. Al also spent 4 years in the United States Air Force after graduating from high school.
He is currently 1st Vice Commander at American Legion Post 778 where he was also Commander and 2nd Vice Commander. Al also had been President and Vice President of Butler County American Legion Riders. His dedication to Veteran causes motivates his daily involvement at the American Legion Post 778 and being on the board of Robin’s Home. He has spent countless hours in other areas of volunteering to help Veteran causes.
Al has been married for 51 years to his wife Paula. They have 2 sons and 1 daughter and 8 grandchildren.
Al was born and raised in Butler and attended Butler High School.
He enjoys going on trips riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and also enjoys going camping in his RV.
Al is currently restoring a 1967 Dodge Coronet in between all his volunteering hours.