Our Executive Director's Story

"Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love." - Mother Theresa

Julie VanHoose-Wells has worked at Greater Love Adoption Decision, Inc (GLAD) since 1997. She began as a Case Manager and became the Executive Director in 2014. Julie’s parents, Rick and Nancy VanHoose, founded GLAD after their own adoption experience. Julie waited 9 years to become a big sister, which was like “dog years” for an only child. The whole family celebrated the gift of adoption when Julie’s brother, Jeron, was placed with the family.

As the agency grew, Rick and Nancy housed many young women who had been kicked out from their homes or just felt uncomfortable living in their hometowns while pregnant. Living with women who were pregnant, sometimes afraid, and considering adoption was a powerful experience for Julie as an adolescent. She saw many of these women as “big sisters” and enjoyed spending time with them. She also witnessed the agony that they experienced when trying to consider what was best for their baby. This was a type of education that could not come from any textbook. This was an up-close, personal look into many unique adoptions and it developed a love and deep concern for all people who are touched by adoption.

In 1995, Julie graduated from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She chose to further her education at the University of Southern Indiana, and graduated in 1997 with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Julie is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Indiana. She has been trained in Play Therapy and Trauma Informed Care. Julie is able to provide individual, family and group therapies. Her passion is to work with women who have suffered traumas and have encountered crisis. In addition to working in adoption, Julie has worked periodically as a Psychiatric Mental Health Therapist at the Evansville Psychiatric Children’s Center, which is the children’s division of the Indiana State Hospital. As a therapist, Julie worked to provide mental health services to children who received inpatient care for approximately 8 months while providing family therapy to re-stabilize the home. Julie has been a volunteer with EPCC since 1999, and by participating on the Patient Right’s Committee since 2016.

In 2018, Julie was awarded the Top 30 John C. Maxwell Transformational Leadership Award. In 2019, Julie received the Top 100 John C. Maxwell Transformational Leadership, and was a featured guest on the Transformational Leadership Podcast.

To listen to the podcast, visit https://johnmaxwellteam.com/podcast/ and search for "Julie Wells."

Or you can play or download the podcast by clicking here.

Julie is an approved Field Supervisor for BSW and MSW students, and has trained students from Indiana University – Purdue University, University of Southern Florida, University of Southern Indiana, University of Evansville, and Ivy Tech.

In 2007, Julie became an ordained minister licensed by the International Ministerial Association. She is part of the Pastoral Team at The Cathedral in Evansville, Indiana.

Julie and her husband, James, have been married more than 25 years and are raising three girls, one dog, and three fish. Julie can be found walking the dog, attending soccer games, cheer practice, hosting endless sleepovers and driving kids all over town on Saturdays. Her favorite inspirational quote comes from Mother Teresa and says, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”