We Understand.
We Care.
You Succeed.

Purpose

Elevate humanity

Mission

To shape the future of social care by innovating and implementing easy-to-use solutions that enable social workers to focus on what matters—the people they help. 

Our Mission

Our Values

Our core values shape every decision we make. They are the language of how things get done at Northwoods. 

Curiosity

We crave knowledge.

Community

We work together.

Stewardship

We protect Northwoods.

Resourcefulness

We find solutions.

Our People

Every day human services workers show up to help families and clients make positive change. Our team shares this commitment and shows up to support customers every step of the way.

Compassion meets experience.

We have licensed social workers, former caseworkers, and experienced agency leaders on staff who impact how our solutions are designed, implemented, supported, and updated. We listen to customers’ feedback and lead with compassion to help caseworkers feel seen and heard with technology.

Work hard, have fun, make an impact.

While it’s fun to work at Northwoods, we take our jobs and our mission very seriously. We work hard to deliver tools that help agencies find success, however they define it.

Our Story

Since 2003, we have focused only on human services. Our tools continue to evolve, but we remain focused on being the experts in helping human services agencies do what they do best: helping people.  

  • 2003

    Northwoods was founded and provides electronic document management solutions.

  • 2004

    Wood County Department of Job and Family Services in Ohio became our first customer in economic assistance, and we solidified or focus on human services.

  • 2005

    Established more partnerships with agencies across Ohio, providing solutions for economic assistance and child support.

  • 2007

    Implemented our solutions for economic assistance and child support for agencies in North Carolina and California.

  • 2009

    Sold statewide child support solutions in Nevada and West Virginia, while beginning to implement county projects in Minnesota.

  • 2011

    Partnered with Franklin County Child & Adult Protective Services in Ohio to launch our first mobile solution for social workers.

  • 2012

    Partnered with Xerox on its statewide project to provide integrated enterprise content management system for Louisiana DCFS across five program areas: economic services, child development and early learning, licensing, child support, and child welfare.

  • 2015

    Establish partnerships with county agencies in New York, providing child welfare mobility solutions and appointment management.

  • 2016

    Expand statewide solution in West Virginia to include economic assistance.

  • 2017

    Partnered with Houston County Department of Human Services in Minnesota to launch our flagship cloud-based software Traverse, providing document management, forms management, mobility, and case discovery.

  • 2018

    Ohio became our first state customer across all program areas, including child care, child support, child welfare, Medicaid, SNAP and TANF, while Erie County Children and Youth Services became our first county customer in Pennsylvania.

  • 2022

    Partnered with Carver County Health & Human Services in Minnesota to launch our secure client portal, Traverse Connect.

  • 2023

    Continue expanding Traverse ecosystem through new modules, including Reports and Workflow, while adapting the software to work for more program areas (child support, economic assistance).

  • 2023

    Partnered with Jackson County Department of Job and Family Services in Ohio to launch Case Aide Services, providing a variety of services to help improve caseworkers’ well-being and capacity to focus on families.

Our Impact

Agencies throughout the country use our software and services across multiple program areas to better collaborate to serve their community. As a result, they maximize productivity, decrease costs, and achieve better outcomes. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear directly from our customers about how our software supports their success and how our work translates to community impact.

Our Leaders

Our leadership team is a mix of technology, business, and industry experts who empower Northwoodians to do their best work, be their best selves, and drive meaningful results for our customers. 

Gary Heinze

Founder and Chairman of the Board

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Gary Heinze’s mission is a simple one: leave the world a better place than when he got here. Building a company that’s dedicated to shaping the future of social care is just one way Gary fulfills that mission.

Gary founded Northwoods in 2003 to provide software solutions that empower human services agencies and workers to focus on what matters—the people who need help. As chairman of the board, he provides strategic counsel to guide Northwoods’ future while focusing on new and different ways to help social workers in their important work.

Gary is always looking for ways that Northwoods can do more, give more, and grow more to be not just a software company, but a place that leaves a lasting and meaningful impact on the world.

  

Dave Minning

Chief Executive Officer

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After two decades of leadership in industrial, healthcare, and medical technology companies, Dave Minning was drawn to Northwoods' focus on human services and purpose to elevate humanity. His goal is to encourage everyone at the company to live that purpose, while also translating it into business outcomes.

As CEO, Dave is leading Northwoods into our next phase of growth within human services by creating an environment that fosters innovation and creativity, while holding people accountable to their commitments to our stakeholders. He does this by promoting a culture of ownership and trust that empowers every individual and team to leave a measurable mark on Northwoods’ success.

Dave isn’t afraid to take risks, embrace new ideas, and step outside his comfort zone to achieve great things. Pairing this growth mindset with his “get-it-done” mentality, Dave will help Northwoods make the lasting impact its founders set out to achieve 20 years ago.

  

Rich Diers

Chief Advisor

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The world doesn’t just need companies that provide software and services; it needs companies that can find a purpose for the software and services they provide. That’s why Rich Diers comes to work every day.

Rich believes in “falling in love” with customers’ problems—watching what they do, how they do it, and where they struggle—and then using the insights he collects to create solutions that help solve those problems in new and unique ways.

As chief advisor, Rich is a catalyst for the future of Northwoods. He combines his love for technology and innovation with his desire to help people by determining the most meaningful ways that human services agencies can apply emerging tools and cutting-edge practices to make the biggest impact on the community. Most recently, he led the development of Case Aide Services to help agencies address their workforce capacity crisis. He’s also our “champion of change”—encouraging everyone at Northwoods to think more creatively about how we can grow as an organization in a way that benefits our customers.

As he explained what he does to his son one day, his son summarized it best: Rich’s job is to create really awesome solutions to help the people who help the people who need help.

  

Brian LaMee

Chief Marketing Officer

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Brian LaMee loves technology almost as much as he enjoys showing people how it can change their lives for the better. He works at Northwoods because he can see the impact our solutions have on social services agencies and knows that their clients can get the care they need faster because of what we do.

Brian is constantly learning, asking questions, and finding new ways to solve problems. He thrives on understanding how people communicate, learn, and research so he can break down complex topics in a way that makes them make sense to anyone. This all comes in handy in the technology world, which can be intimidating and hard to understand (often when it doesn’t have to be).

Bringing together his passion and prowess as Northwoods’ chief marketing officer, Brian oversees marketing, advocacy, and technical communication and training. His goal is to continuously adapt our channels and messages to help organizations find us, learn about our solutions, and understand how we can help them realize the benefits of our technology.

  

Nick Patel

Chief Financial Officer

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Nick Patel has spent the past 17 years helping large and small businesses make informed, smart financial decisions. What attracted him to Northwoods is our commitment to collaboration and working together toward a common, meaningful mission. More importantly, working here gives Nick the ability to combine his business and technically savvy with his own personal goal of making sure all children are healthy, cared for, and safe.

As chief financial officer, Nick is responsible for overseeing Northwoods’ financial health to ensure the business is in a position for continued growth, while investing in our people, products, and mission. He focuses on providing Northwoods’ leadership team with the insights and information they need to make data-driven decisions that help to push the company forward.

  

Steve Roth

Chief Solutions Officer and General Manager of Case Aide Services

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Steve Roth thrives working with smart, passionate people to build great products and services that make the world a better place. He gravitates toward mission-driven companies and joined Northwoods because of our people, purpose, and culture.

As chief solutions officer, Steve oversees product delivery, product design, product management, customer support, and solution delivery. He also serves as General Manager of Case Aide Services. He combines deep technical, product, service delivery, and business acumen with customer input to make sure our total portfolio of solutions deliver value, solve problems, and help human services agencies achieve their goals.

Steve knows it takes a village to create great software and services that users love. He focuses on removing obstacles, asking questions, and setting goals so his teams can realize their best results and focus on what matters most—improving the lives of customers who are doing incredibly valuable work.

  

Debra Voss

Vice President of Business Development

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Debra Voss is a connector. Whether it’s people, products, or ideas, she thrives by finding the similarities between two things and bringing them together to achieve greatness. This passion for connecting the dots is rooted in her innate ability to put people at ease by talking, sharing struggles, and collaborating to solve problems.

As vice president of business development, Debra leverages these superpowers to identify opportunities to impact outcomes for human services agencies in new and better ways. She’s here to help our sales, customer success, and leadership teams develop and execute on a growth strategy that empowers us to go further faster.

Debra previously spent more than 20 years working with hospitals and health systems to innovate and improve patient engagement. Now, she looks forward to making this same mark in human services—helping agencies leverage emerging technology and automation to increase efficiency and client engagement. Her ability to connect, lead, and inspire will allow Northwoods to have greater impact on both the people who use our technology and those they serve.

  

Jill Nemoir

Vice President of Solution Delivery

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Jill Nemoir has spent over 15 years leading organizations across an array of industries to find success in their service operations. She puts that experience to work at Northwoods because she believes in our people and their passion to make an impact.

As vice president of solution delivery, Jill is responsible for creating a scalable and repeatable process for delivering our software and services. This process will allow Northwoods to provide an exceptional customer experience—from implementation and training to change management and ongoing success.

Jill excels at both strategy and execution and will use these dual superpowers to harness the incredible talent of our solution delivery teams and execute best-in-class professional services. Investing in every individual on her team is how Jill will help take the organization to the next level.

  

Bill Gray

Vice President of Financial Analysis

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Social workers go to school to learn how to strengthen individuals and families. Yet when they get into the field, they spend more time filling out forms and scanning documents than doing actual social work. Bill Gray has worked since day one to find ways to reduce the time it takes social workers to manage routine tasks, so they can spend more time helping people.

One of the company’s first employees, Bill is the bridge between Northwoods’ past and future, ensuring we never lose our founding focus on making frontline workers’ lives easier. Today, as vice president of financial analysis, this means combining historical perspective with projections and planning models so that we can continue to invest in new and better solutions for our customers.

Bill also applies Northwoods’ outward approach to business—observing customers to identify ways they can be more efficient—inwardly to streamline financial processes and improve collaboration between teams, from sales to support and everyone in between. The better we work together, the bigger the impact we can have on the organizations we help.

  

Michael Drabek

Vice President of County Sales

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Success at Northwoods isn't about the software we sell, it's about the people whose lives we impact by selling it. Michael Drabek thrives on knowing we offer solutions that empower the human services workforce to provide holistic benefits, treatment, and services to the vulnerable people they help.

As vice president of county sales, Michael focuses on growing and nurturing business at the county level. One of the original members of our sales team, Michael knows the challenges of government buying better than anybody in the business. He uses this insight to develop more structured and proactive approaches to selling, while providing agencies with the information they need to make technology decisions that support their mission and position them to achieve long-term success.

  

Jeff Turner

Vice President of Engineering

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Whether it's using raw materials, team members, or code, Jeff Turner likes to put things together that solve real-world problems. He also tries to learn something new every day that might have an impact on what we build in the future. Jeff's figure-it-out mentality and passion for always thinking beyond the status quo are the driving factors of his work.

As vice president of engineering, Jeff empowers Northwoods' product delivery (PD) teams to build quality, scalable software without sacrificing security or performance. He also spearheads our ongoing efforts to address customer feedback and add value to our solutions through new features and functionality.

One of the most seasoned members of Northwoods' PD, Jeff knows the intricacies of developing and deploying software for human services agencies better than anybody in the business. He thrives knowing that every minute we can give back to caseworkers through our solutions compounds their ability to find balance and create positive outcomes for underprivileged kids and families. 

  

Laura Haffield

Director of Advocacy

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A former social worker in public child welfare, Laura Haffield has seen first-hand how social workers quietly do what needs to be done to help and heal those in need, often while receiving little recognition or community support. Social work is an underserved profession in many ways, but Laura will never stop trying to change that.

Laura excels amplifying voices of those long gone unheard, getting curious and asking questions to understand problems, and communicating in ways that make sense to each person based on what motivates them. This combination serves her well as director of advocacy, where she’s the bridge between Northwoods’ internal and external audiences. Laura’s job is ensuring that the needs, challenges, and voice of human and social services agencies are known and listened to by everyone at Northwoods. She also engages industry groups and associations to share how Northwoods’ solutions and approach to business can help solve important problems.

Laura thrives knowing that working for Northwoods means working for a company that makes the social worker the most important person in every decision, from what we build, to how we implement, to how we support our partners along the way.

  

Aaron Caldwell

Director of the Northwoods Support Center

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Aaron Caldwell is passionate about the work our customers do and is always looking to help them solve problems using his experience and knowledge of technology. Aaron’s enthusiasm for helping our customers rubs off on everyone he works with to create a culture at Northwoods that puts customers first in everything we do.

Aaron has over a decade of experience implementing and supporting technology solutions for human services agencies. As director of the Northwoods Support Center, Aaron leads Northwoods’ support and upgrades teams who keep our customers’ systems running at peak performance so they can focus solely on helping clients. He makes sure both Northwoods and our customers are prepared for future technology and business changes that will impact them.

  

Lauren Hirka

Director of Product Management

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Collaboration and a love for our customers are two of the key things that keep Lauren Hirka coming back to work every day. She values the opportunity to form meaningful partnerships with the agencies we serve and have ongoing dialogue around how to continuously improve our products to support their incredible work.

Lauren’s passion for making a difference drives her role as director of product management, where she’s responsible for making sure that both customers and employees have what they need to realize the impact of new products and functionality as changes roll out. Lauren also works with partner agencies across the country to understand challenges and insights to inform future features.

Lauren has spent hundreds of hours with human services professionals to research and develop our products. In doing so, she’s learned how to translate feedback from the field into something that makes sense to our technical teams, and vice versa. This loop, with Lauren at the center, ensures that both our internal and external audiences are on the same page and moving forward together.

  

Tiffany Himmelreich

Director of Marketing

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It’s easy to make assumptions and judgments about what social workers and caseworkers do. Movies, newspapers, and other forms of media tend to focus on the negative, fueling misperceptions as a result. Tiffany Himmelreich knows for every negative story or outcome shared, there’s an equally positive one that wasn’t … so it’s her job to help tell those stories.

Tiffany oversees strategic communications, content creation, demand generation, sales enablement, and public relations initiatives as director of marketing.

Whether that’s publishing customer stories or planning messaging to support a product launch, Tiffany’s role revolves around getting to know customers—observing how they think, how they use information, and how they respond to different messages—and using those insights to tell stories and create resources that empower Northwoods to help as many people as possible.

  

Noah Pugh

IT Director

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Noah Pugh thrives by empowering other people to succeed. Whether it’s his own team or the whole company, he knows that each of us needs to do our best work to help Northwoods impact the most agencies and families.

Noah’s goal as IT director is using technology to improve Northwoods’ mission through quick resolution and the right solution while being fiscally responsible and mitigating risk. He does this by always asking questions, listening to the needs of the business, and probing at technology issues to guide employees to the best decisions, while making sure everyone learns something along the way.

Having worked in several different business units within Northwoods, Noah pairs his deep understanding of our past and vision for the future to make sure we continue heading in the right direction. By providing top-notch service to employees, they can do the same for our customers.

Next Steps

Now that you know a little more about us, what’s next? 

Join Our Den

Join Our Den

Become part of a team that’s passionate about helping human services workers show up to serve their community.

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See Our Solutions

See Our Solutions

Learn more about our products that are designed to help state and county human services agencies find success.

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