About Us

A Place for Me

At the Open Arms Home for Children, we believe that healing and learning take place when a child’s deepest needs are met, both physically and mentally. We are dedicated to helping children who have been abused and neglected by recognizing their emotional, behavioral and familial problems and providing quality short-term residential care that includes access to life enrichment and character building programs.

Select a highlighted name to view bio.

Interim Director

  • Phillip Kolodziej
    Has provided over 40 years of expertise in nonprofit administration and management including Executive Director, Children’s Home of Stockton, CA (a 130 year old residential treatment center for children, including 52 residential beds and a $7.5 million budget with over 120 staff), President/CEO, Family Counseling Center of Brevard, FL (a multi-service agency including family and child counseling, Certified Domestic Violence programs, Adult and Juvenile Sexual Offender programs and in-school counseling programs), Executive Director, Children’s Home Society of Florida, Melbourne, FL (managed the Brevard Division with initial budget of approximately $1.7 million and 32 staff members), Executive Director, United Methodist Youthville, KS (Administered largest private child care agency in the state, encompassing residential treatment for 50 children on two campuses, four group homes, foster homes, after care and a Family Counseling Center) and more.


    University of Wisconsin-Madison, MS Social Work, 1979

    Concentration in Social Services Administration and Planning

    University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, BS Sociology, 1971

    Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Assisted Living Facilities Certificate of

    Professional Activities – Highlights

    2015 Recertified as Peer Reviewer for Council on Accreditation (COA)

    2011-2016 California Alliance for Child and Family Services, Membership Committee

    2011-Present Certified California Child Care Administrator

    2006 National Organization for Victim Assistance Crisis Response Team Training

    2000- 2011 Brevard Schools SEDNET Executive Board Vice Chair

    1996- Present Blue Ridge Institute for Southern Community Service Executives, Board of Directors, CEU Chair

Human Service Provider

  • Abigail Rice

Executive Board

  • Peter Knutzen - President
    Peter Knutzen

    Peter brings 20 years of executive level sales and marketing to the Open Arms Board. Peter is also a Blue Ridge real estate developer, currently developing Old Toccoa Farm.

    Past Board Member – Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, Founding Member – Project Healing Waters, Blue Ridge, Past Executive Committee Member for the Georgia Children’s Health Alliance, 2007 graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development – Leadership Program, 2007 & 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia Fanning Institute Leadership Program.

  • Nikki Mull – Secretary
  • Rita Kirby – Treasurer

Board Members

  • Cyndi Hunt
  • Elizabeth Lynch
  • Jack Meunier

Enrichment Partners

  • Studio 1 Performing Arts
  • Old Toccoa Farm
  • Blue Ridge Cotton Company & Gather
  • Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters
  • Harry Norman, REALTORS
  • Project Chimps