About us

About Us

Our Mission

Development and Research Innovations (DRI) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing mental health services to people in need within our local Delaware communities and worldwide. We achieve this through creating innovative, research-driven mental health programs. We also partner with organizations with similar visions, missions, goals, and values to create such programs. Our chief partnership at the moment is our Partnership for Trauma Healing in Africa, which you can read more about here. If you are interested in partnering with us, click here

Our Vision

We envision a world where all people have access to mental health services and thus have the opportunity to experience an improved quality of life, empowered contribution to society, healthy relationships, peaceful and collaborative co-existence within communities, and hope.

Our Goals

DRI has two goals: The first being to develop and establish community programs that are creative, state-of-the-art, and accessible to those who would benefit from them. The second goal is to positively impact local communities to the extent that the quality of life for those who live and work in those communities is significantly enhanced.

Our Values

  • High quality services that are accessible to all regardless of income, language, gender, race, geographic location, or creed

  • Excellence in all endeavors

  • Education as foundational to growth and change

  • Collaboration within and between communities and organizations

  • Faith as central to life and hope

  • Safety as vital

  • Research as a means to developing better, more effective services

  • Culturally sound program development

  • Developmentally appropriate services for children

  • Prevention as a cost-effective means to promoting community health and wellness

meet the board:
Kim Champion
J.D. Willetts
Vickie Young Beam

President & Co-Founder

Dr. Kim Champion is a licensed psychologist. She earned her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Delaware. She has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, residential treatment facilities, community-based services, and private practice. Dr. Champion has been in private practice with Pike Creek Psychological Center since 1995 and treats a variety of issues, including anxiety, trauma disorders, and depression.  She is president and co-founder of DRI for which she designs and develops community-based prevention programs and teaches trauma treatment methods internationally.

Vice President & Co-Founder

J.D. Willetts is the founder of Pike Creek Psychological Center and co-founder of DRI. Currently he is vice-president of DRI and actively involved in all its projects. He is also the pastor of Abide Foundation and proprietor of Brewed Awakenings, a coffee shop in Newark, Delaware. Follow his humorous take on the Africa team's three trips to Burundi and random other topics at his blog site, Psychopastor.com


Vickie Young Beam earned a Bachelor’s degree from Friends University in 1989 and attended the University of Delaware in 1995-1996 for further studies in accounting. Vickie serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of DRI, and leads teams of volunteers to the war-torn African nation of Burundi to assist in the healing process for children and traumatized communities. In addition, she serves on the Board of Community Cup, LLC. Vickie is currently a Manager in the Audit Department of Cover & Rossiter, where she runs many of the region’s most prestigious non-profit and for-profit audits. Vickie has recently authored various articles that were published in the former "Get Involved" section of the Wilmington News Journal.

Chris Champion


Chris Champion is a social worker, coach, and educator. He has worked in community mental health with at-risk youth and seriously mentally ill adults. Mr. Champion taught 5th grade and middle school at a private school in Newark, DE and was a high school principal at Urban Promise Academy for at-risk youth in the city of Wilmington.  Mr. Champion coaches girls’ middle school and varsity basketball, has coached both boys’ and girls’ basketball and soccer at a variety of levels, and has served as Athletic Director for a middle school sports program. Mr. Champion currently serves as Treasurer on the board of DRI.

Judi Willetts


Dr. Judi Willetts is a licensed psychologist and co-director of Pike Creek Psychological Center in Newark, DE. Dr. Willetts earned her Ph.D. in 1993 from Biola University in California, where she had training in both psychology and theology. She has worked for over 30 years providing psychotherapy to adults, adolescents and couples in varied settings such as the VA Medical Center, a community clinic and a private group practice. Dr. Willetts has also provided professional supervision to many upcoming psychotherapists. She specializes in the integration of psychology and theology in both her clinical work and her teaching in the community. Dr. Willetts has had the opportunity to teach both locally and in Burundi, Africa. She is on the Boards of the following nonprofit groups: DRI, Community Cup LLC, and the Abide Foundation.

Fred Beam

Board Member

Chris Pennington 

Board Member

Chris brings over two decades of research and grant writing experience in assistive technology for people with disabilities, natural language processing, intelligent tutoring systems, speech synthesis and more recently bioinformatics. His involvement in the activities of DRI flows from a sustained desire to help improve the lives of underserved communities through research and technology. 

Roynell Sanders

Board Member

Roynell Sanders is currently employed as a Social Worker for the State of Delaware's Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Wilmington, DE. Originally hailing from North Philadelphia; Roynell studied Political Science and Social Work and graduated with a BSW from Temple University in 2012. Roynell has worked as a Clinical Social Worker for several non-profit organizations in NJ, PA, and DE over the course of his professional career. Roynell's passion for community service and dedication to enhancing and enriching the lives of marginalized, vulnerable populations in America and abroad attracted him to serve on DRI's board. When Roynell is not operating as a public servant; He enjoys writing, bowling, and remaining active in his local church.

development &
Research innovations



8 Polly Drummond Hill Road
Newark, DE 19711

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