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2018 Conference Speakers

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Keynote Speakers

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. His grant-funded research focuses on: (1) the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, relationship quality, and mental health; (2) the measurement of emotional intelligence; (3) best practices for teaching emotional intelligence; and (3) the influences of emotional intelligence training on children’s and adults’ effectiveness, health, creativity, and both school and workplace climate. Marc has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins Award for his research on social and emotional learning and an honorary doctorate from Manhattanville College. He also is a distinguished scientist on the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.

Marc is the lead developer of RULER (an acronym for the five key emotion skills of recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions) is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1,500 public, charter, and private pre-school to high schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Sri Lanka. RULER infuses social and emotion learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent. Research has shown that RULER boosts academic performance, decreases school problems like bullying, enriches classroom climates, reduces teacher stress and burnout, and enhances teacher instructional practices.

Marc regularly consults with large companies, including Facebook and Google on best practices for integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into training and product design. With Facebook, he has developed a number of products, including: social resolution tools to help adults and youth resolve online conflict, the bullying prevention hub to support educators, families, and teens, and InspirED, an open-source resource center to support high school students in leading positive change in their schools. Marc also holds a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art.


Autumn Calabrese has gone from living paycheck to paycheck as a personal trainer to being a mini-fitness mogul. Autumn doesn't believe in excuses - just hard work. Autumn takes a positive approach to training, motivating and inspiring you through even the toughest of workouts. When it comes to helping people achieve their goals, Autumn takes it very personally. Your struggles are her struggles and your wins, her wins.

People saw this for the first time with Autumn’s breakthrough workout programs 21 Day Fix and follow-up 21 Day Fix Extreme. Not only did she motivate and push you through these workouts to get amazing results - she revolutionized the Beachbody fitness model with her simple approach to portion control. Next for Autumn on her journey to help people lead healthy, fulfilling lives was a functional body-sculpting program, The Masters Hammer and Chisel, where she collaborated with bodybuilder Sagi Kalev to help take your results to the next level. Right when we thought we knew what to expect from this weight lifting, cardio strength training little machine, she surprised us again with Country Heat. Drawing from more than 15 years of dance training, including a major in it, she created a simple cardio dance fitness program that is fun and accessible for everyone. Her most recent program, 80 Day Obsession, launched in January of this year and includes three months of workouts along with timed, nutritious eating.

Fitness isn't Autumn's only passion, so is food. Her successful cookbook, FIXATE, based on the success of the nutrition Autumn created in 21 Day Fix, led to her cooking show by the same name. A healthy cooking series by Autumn and her chef brother, Bobby Calabrese, that features simple, delicious recipes. Their creation brings innovative, incredibly satisfying food to everyone who wants to eat right and lose weight. Autumn is always learning and growing so she can bring you the latest and greatest in fitness and nutrition. Most recently she has completed her certification to be a holistic health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. 

The Autumn Calabrese event lasts from 7:00 am to 9:30 am on Friday, June 15th. The event includes a morning work-out, breakfast, a speaking event, and a meet-and-greet. This event is included in the registration fee, but if you can’t make the full conference, you can still attend the session by purchasing an individual ticket.


Eugene Robinson uses his twice-weekly column in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and then put it back together again in unexpected and revelatory new ways. To do this job of demolition and reassembly, Robinson relies on a large and varied tool kit: energy, curiosity, elegant writing and the wide-ranging experience of a life that took him from childhood in the segregated South—on what they called the “colored” side of the tracks—to the heights of American journalism. His remarkable story-telling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably as the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African American president.

In his three decades at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award-winning Style section. He has written books about race in Brazil and music in Cuba, covered a heavyweight championship fight, witnessed riots in Philadelphia and a murder trial in the deepest Amazon, sat with Presidents and Dictators and the Queen of England, thrusted and parried with hair-proud politicians from sea to shining sea, handicapped three editions of American Idol, acquired fluent Spanish and passable Portuguese and even, thanks to his two sons, come to an uneasy truce with hip-hop culture.

We will hear from Eugene during the 4 p.m. hour on Thursday, June 14th and he has also graciously agreed to do a Meet and Greet at 5:00 p.m. as well as join our Beers Society members at a VIP reception that evening.


Abby Wambach is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history with 184 career goals. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. (She missed Beijing 2008 due to a broken leg.) Her ability to wear down defenses with her physical play, aerial game and hard running has long been a key to the USA’s success.

After winning the Women’s World Cup in 2015, Wambach retired as one of the most dominant players in the history of women’s soccer. A true leader on and off the field, Wambach is dedicating the next chapter of her career to fighting for equality and inclusion across industries. She is the youngest of 7 children and claims she got her toughness from her 4 older brothers. She loves coffee, cooking, music and playing golf. 

We will hear from Abby during the 1:00 pm hour on Thursday, June 14th. This event is included in the registration fee, but if you can’t make the full conference, you can still attend the session by purchasing an individual ticket.


Breakout Speakers

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | R | S | T | W

Allyson Adams is a high school counselor and Board member at MHA North Shore. She is the co-founder of the Youth Advisory Board. Along with the 20-member youth board, she develops the topics for the contest and leads educational programs and discussions based on what we learn from teens who participate in the annual contests.

Josefina Alvarez teaches psychology and serves of Board President with MHA of the North Shore. She draws on her training in clinical and community psychology and experience with mental health promotion to develop educational programs on various topics related to mental health and wellness. Josefina is involved in coding the essays and helping develop educational programs based on what youth say for teens, caregivers, school personnel and mental health professionals.

Kenton Beachy has 20 years’ experience in executive administration with six organizations. His graduate research and pilot founded Occumetrics, which has been deployed with dozens of behavioral health providers licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services. In addition to a master’s degree focusing in public relations, Kenton most recently earned a Master of Public Administration and specializes in the application of research and data analysis to improving workplace dynamics. He teaches the importance of relationship building as the penultimate producer of Positive Sentiment Override (Gottman, 2015), a protective factor in interpersonal relationships that keeps employees engaged and productive.

Dr. Walter Bockting is a Clinical Psychologist and Co-Director of the Study of LGBT Health. His research interests are in LGBT health, sexual and gender identity development, Internet research methods, HIV prevention, and the promotion of sexual health. His research has been funded by the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Bockting is an internationally known expert in the assessment and treatment of gender dysphoria as well as in general mental health and psychosocial adjustment of transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming children, adolescents, adults, and their families.

Brooksi Bottari is a Combat Stress Recovery Manager for the Wounded Warrior Project and a U.S. Army Veteran. Brooksi has a MA in counseling psychology from Seton Hall University and is a licensed mental health practitioner in the state of Washington. She is a Certified Expert Trauma Professional (CETP) with specialization in Military Sexual Trauma and is a certified Compassion Fatigue trainer. She brings experience in community mental health settings, working with homeless Veterans with severe and persistent mental illness, women and children with severe trauma histories, writing & editing, and providing a voice for the marginalized.

Teresa Bowers is the Director of the Senior Visitors Program, which is a service program of MHA of Fredericksburg. Teresa is an Occupational Therapist with a 30-year specialization in the field of Behavioral Health. In addition to the Senior Visitors Program, her work experience includes the provision of Occupational Therapy treatment for patients receiving home health care in our local community.  She is a Clinical Faculty member of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health Professionals at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. Juliet Bradley is a Professor in the Human Services Department at Kaplan University.  She has her PhD in Human Development & Family Studies, a MSW, and a BA in Psychology.  She is also a Licensed Social Worker. Dr. Bradley has 9 years of experience teaching in higher education and has 17 years of experience as a practitioner.  She has worked in a variety of settings primarily with children, adolescents, and adults with mental health issues and/or developmental disabilities.  She also has experience writing grants for a nonprofit organization and has conducted research related to mental health issues in adolescents.

Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble is an adolescent and child psychologist, a clinical researcher in the area of mental health disparities, and currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of Georgetown University. Her research interests include reducing mental health disparities for African American and diverse adolescents; treatment engagement for depression in diverse adolescents; mental health stigma reduction in diverse populations, health equity in suicide prevention, Community Based Participatory Research with a specific focus on Faith Based Health Promotion and Mindfulness in diverse parenting contexts. The AAKOMA Project and Lab employs evidence-based, culturally relevant behavioral interventions to improve psychological/psychiatric treatment engagement by African American adolescents and their families for depressive disorders. Dr. Breland-Noble is currently involved in multiple initiatives with Faith Based and other community partners.

Dr. Darlene Brown-Williams is Assistant Commissioner for Whole Health and Community Resilience with the NYC Department of Veterans Services. She oversees the implementation and operation of the VetsThriveNYC initiative, which supports the First Lady of New York’s mental health roadmap and ThriveNYC campaign. VetsThriveNYC focuses on a coordinated integration of clinical and holistic services, including the identification of mental health symptoms, as well as overall mental wellness aimed at addressing the full impact of war and military service on the mind, body, and spirit.

Laura Bullock works at Centerstone Kentucky and is an exercise physiologist whose life work is to help adults living with serious mental illness. It is her goal to help others in their journey to health and wellness through fitness and nutrition education. Laura has 12 years of clinical exercise and fitness experience and believes that achieving better physical health will lead to better mental health.

Judy Calloway has 30 years of experience in community mental health and is currently a Unit Manager at Centerstone Kentucky. She has a master’s in rehabilitation counseling, is a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner, and is dedicated to the recovery of all persons living with mental illness. Judy is respected by her peers for her innovative ideas and efforts.

Dr. William Casile is an Associate Professor in the Counselor Education Program at Duquesne University. He is the former director of the doctoral program in counselor education and served as the original director of the School of Education’s Leadership Institute. His background as a father, coach and teacher, counselor, and counselor educator and supervisor influence his interest in developmental and constructivist approaches to learning and wellness. 

Ana Contreras graduated from California State University, Bakersfield, with a B.A. in Sociology with a human service concentration. Currently she is a Wellness Coordinator and a Personal Service Coordinator for MHA-LA, at their Antelope Valley location. Ana co-developed The Power of Wellness program, which provides coaching, counseling, mentoring, positive reinforcement, and training on areas such as money management, grooming and hygiene, transportation, and healthy meal preparation. For three years, she has coached clients on how to gain independent living skills using wellness techniques and community engagement.

Marion Cooper is the Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association for Manitoba and Winnipeg. She has worked in the mental health and addictions sector for over 25 years. She previously worked in the public health sector leading mental health promotion, illness prevention and early intervention programs and services. She was the co-investigator on numerous population health research projects including "Towards Flourishing: a mental health promotion strategy for vulnerable families in urban and rural communities". She is the past president of the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention. She is also the past chair of the Pan-Canadian Committee for Mental Health Promotion and Mental Illness Prevention.

Sarah Davidon has led policy and systems-building initiatives related to children's mental health and coordination of human services systems and practices and has provided leadership and direction for 20 years in Colorado, and in Massachusetts prior to that. She is graduate faculty at the University of Colorado School of medicine, and the Research Director at Mental Health Colorado. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and received her doctorate in education focusing on public policy related to educational equity and school discipline practices.

Dr. David Delmonico is a Professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Delmonico is a graduate of Kent State University’s Counseling and Human Development Services Program. Dr. Delmonico has research interests that encompasses wellness and self-care among clients, counselors, and supervisors. His research includes geocaching as a holistic method for achieving multiple dimensions of wellness. Dr. Delmonico is an avid geocacher himself and enjoys teaching others about the hobby that uses GPS coordinates to help get people outdoors and build interpersonal relationships with others. Dr. Delmonico is also currently involved in a project examining Karate as an activity to address multiple mental health issues and addictive behaviors.

Dr. Kelli Dunlap holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and a master’s in game design. She has presented on mental health and games at national games industry and mental health conferences including the Eastern Psychological Association, the Game Developers Conference, and the Maryland Psychological Association. Her research has focused on the intersection of games and mental health, including the impact of games on mental health, how mental health is represented in games, and how games can be used in mental health settings.

Eric Eaton is the author of The Thrival Guide and The Raging Sloth. His desire is to show people how to find more impactful work in their own lives, so they can live a thriving life. Through his writing and speaking, he helps individuals and organizations realize they’re not alone in their struggles. By eliminating those distractions keeping you from a better story, you can truly live a thriving life. He has spent the last 20 years teaching people to eliminate the physical, mental, and social distractions which keep someone “stuck” in life. He helps guide people through a process to find harmony in their own lives despite their current circumstances.

Jon Evans is the president and CEO of Innova-Tel Telepsychiatry. Jonathan has been employed in the behavioral healthcare field for over 30 years. His career began at Hamot Institute for Behavioral Health where he was initially employed in the emergency department providing initial evaluations for patients presenting in the emergency room. During his tenure at Hamot IBH he worked in many departments including emergency/ crisis intervention, outpatient therapy, Director of the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center(DEC) and the Director of the Adult Division, including inpatient behavioral health, substance abuse and geriatric units, outpatient services and the partial hospitalization programs. In addition, Mr. Evans served on the trauma rehabilitation team. Jonathan left Hamot IBH in 1993 to become the founding President and CEO of Safe Harbor Behavioral Health. Safe Harbor was established to provide intensive outpatient services to patients with serious mental illness and to provide 24 hour a day crisis intervention services to anyone in Erie County.

Bettye Foster is a Family Advocate for Mental Health Association of Alameda County. She has over 20 years of lived experience as a family member to someone with a mental health challenge. She is dedicated to helping family members find tools that will help them cope while working with their loved one on their journey to wellness and recovery. She is currently the Program Supervisor at the Family Education and Resource Center. Bettye is a NAMI-trained facilitator for family/caregiver support groups and facilitates Provider Education workshops and the Public Education Campaign for Future Mental Health Providers.

Suzanne Frey is a Mental Health Triage Clinician for Teen Health Connection, working with the organization’s medical team to address the mental health and related needs of their patients. She is an LCSW and provides supervision to colleagues pursing licensure. Suzanne has worked in a hospital setting for the past 12 years, including Levine Children’s Hospital with chronically ill children and adolescents. Suzanne assisted in the implementation of a program providing a virtual care social worker to outpatient medical practices, enabling the patient to be evaluated by a mental health clinician during their visit with their doctor. 

Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, strategic consultant and global depression advocate. She is the entrepreneur and innovator behind Mood-lites, a brand that achieved over 35 million dollars in retail sales. As her role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory, her goal is to improve moods by teaching consumers how to get in the present moment through engaging senses. Kathryn has he MBA in International Marketing, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and over 20 years of experience with small and Fortune 100 companies. Goetzke founded a non-profit organization for depression called iFred (the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression) and is currently working on the initiative Hopeful Minds, a curriculum targeting 8-10-year-old children, that teaches Hope based on research it is a teachable skill.

Maggie Hallett brings a unique skillset to Occumetrics as a clinician as well as someone who has worked on in-house employee wellness initiatives at a large private sector company. Maggie is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s degree and Ed.S. from Seton Hall University. She has worked in community mental health, private practice, and in-patient settings before landing at Mental Health America of Franklin County, where she’s responsible for Occumetrics and the agency’s Development program.

Gregory Hancock is a 9- year Navy veteran.  He served as a Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Hospital Corpsman.  Upon his discharge in 2003, he continued in health care as a surgical tech, assisting with surgery in the operating room.  He returned to school to receive a BA in Communications. He received a Master’s in Public Health from Rutgers University. Greg began working in mental health while doing his graduate research at Vet2Vet and Vets4Warriors at the University Behavioral Healthcare (UBHC) at Rutgers University.  While there, he worked the veteran’s lines as well as the National Suicide Lifeline.  He has worked at Wounded Warrior Project now for 4 years facilitating retreats for combat veterans with combat stress.

Thomas Hart is the Disability Policy Engagement Director at Anthem. In this role, he supports the execution of an advocacy strategy for people with disabilities with a specific focus on individuals with mental health and substance use conditions, and individuals in foster care across the enterprise.  Prior to his position at Anthem, he was the Project Manager, Services Development for the Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. He is a graduate of Wittenberg University and the University of Miami School of Law.

Carol Hartmann, MA, LCPC is the Director of Behavioral and Mental Health Services for Ascension Health, the largest non-profit health system in the country. In her role, Hartmann directs and leads the provision of mental health and substance abuse service delivery with attention to health disparities and social determinants for Ascension’s 2,500 sites of care. Hartmann has experience in clinical counseling, patient-center evidence-based programs, healthcare operations including the development of mental health call centers, professional training initiatives, behavioral health integration into primary care, psychiatric recruitment, payer contracting, and community network development.

Patrick Hendry is the Vice President of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America. He has worked as a mental health advocate for the past twenty-four years. His areas of expertise include peer-provided services, self-directed care, recovery-based trainings, organizational development, and management and sustainability. Patrick received MHA's highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award in 2012, and a SAMHSA Voice Award and Eli Lilly Reintegration Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He is the former Executive Director of the Florida Peer Network and has assisted in the development of numerous peer-run programs and organizations. Patrick is a strong supporter of the inclusion of mental health consumers in all aspects of the behavioral health system.

Jeanine Hoff is the founder and visionary leader of Where is the Sunshine?, a Northeast Florida-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization and social media resource dedicated to peer support for mental health and the Co-Founder of The Studio:Jax, Jacksonville, FL's upcoming peer-led support center. Jeanine is a 2016 TEDx Jacksonville presenter and recently served as a member of MHA’s nationwide Peer Specialist Accreditation Certification team. In addition, Jeanine served as a panelist for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Recovery Summit (ROSC) speaking on peer support and served as the Panel Moderator at the Exchange Club Family Center’s 24th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference.

Katherine Hogan is the Director of Research and Evaluation for Teen Health Connection. Kate holds a master’s degree in Clinical-Community Psychology and is a Health Psychology doctoral candidate. Kate has experience as a researcher in integrated settings as well as a triage clinician and has spearheaded efforts around integration within Teen Health’s medical practice. Kate has published in four peer-reviewed journals, including Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, and the Global Journal of Community Psychology.

Ken Houseknecht is the Executive Director of MHA of Erie County, a position he assumed in 2011 after volunteering for nearly three decades with the organization. Prior to MHA of Erie County, Ken spent 30 years as a senior executive, leading corporate development initiatives, business growth, brand development, cultural change, crisis communication, and reputation management programs/initiatives.

Dr. Zorana Ivcevic is a research scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, received her doctorate from the University of New Hampshire, and did postdoctoral work at the Interpersonal Communication and Interaction laboratory at Tufts University. Dr. Ivcevic studies the role of emotion and emotional intelligence in the workplace, and especially their role in creativity and innovation. She collaborated with colleagues from Denmark, Spain, China, Germany, and Croatia and published her research in journals such as Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Creativity Research Journal, Journal of Creative Behavior and others. She is Associate Editor of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and the International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving.

Dr. Rakesh Jain is a Clinical Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Dr. Jain attended medical school at the University of Calcutta in India and attended graduate school at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, where he was awarded the National Institute/CDC Competitive Traineeship. He graduated from the School of Public Health in 1987 with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. After graduate school, he was a postdoctoral fellow in research psychiatry, under the Gerontology Center of the University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute in Houston, where he received a national research service award for the support of the postdoctoral fellowship. He served a three-year residency in psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and two years of child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship.

Pamela Sue Jones is responsible for the creation and development of MHALA’s The Power of Wellness Program. As a Personal Service Coordinator, Financial Planner, and Employment Job Developer Specialist for more than eleven years, Pamela has field-tested many wellness practices with clients, using them to develop the interpersonal skills for recovery in the following areas: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, and financial.

Christianne Kernes is the co-founder of LARKR and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Chris also serves as Director of Clinical Services at the nonprofit HealthRIGHT 360, where she oversees the treatment of clients seeking integrated care, and treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. Her responsibilities also include managing various outpatient and residential substance use disorder treatment programs in San Mateo County. Since 2004, Chris has treated clients in her positions as Clinical Supervisor at HealthRight360, Clinical Supervisor and therapist at Women’s Recovery Association, and therapist at San Mateo County Mental Health. Chris received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University in 2004.

Dr. Corey Keyes holds the Winship Distinguished Research Professorship at Emory University. He was a member of a MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development, and he co-chaired the First Summit of Positive Psychology held in 1999. Dr. Keyes is a founding member of the Society for the Study of Human Development, was a member of the National Academies of Science Keck Future’s Initiative on The Future of Human Healthspan. He was a contributing author to the World Health Organization’s publication entitled Mental Health Promotion. His research introduced the scientific concept of “flourishing” and focuses on illuminating the two continua model of health and illness.

Anuja Khemka is the Interim Acting Executive Director for The Steve Fund. Khemka has 15 years of experience working in the corporate and philanthropic sector focusing on corporate social responsibility, grants management and program implementation, thought leadership, and fundraising. ​Most recently, Anuja was a Vice President at the JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy group focusing on business management, strategy, communication, and developing board presentations for the JPMorgan Chase & Co. board. Previously, Anuja was a Program Officer at the Goldman Sachs Foundation working on program development and planning, due diligence and evaluation, and reputation enhancement and branding. Anuja was a Management Fellow at Columbia University and received her master’s in social work in Social Enterprise Administration. Anuja completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University with a BA in Business Economics. Her work in philanthropy has been featured in the Forbes, Huffington Post, New York Times and Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Kelley Kitley is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice and author of an autobiography of survival, MY self. Kelley is a sought after international women's mental health expert who has appeared in over 100 publications, podcasts, live news, and radio. Her areas of expertise include anxiety and depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, enhancing relationships with couples, using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Kelley also works with patients in longer term treatment to work through trauma, (including rape and sexual abuse) eating disorders, substance abuse, loss and phase of life issues. She's an action-oriented therapist who believes the therapeutic process is a partnership and works with clients to define and ultimately achieve their goals. She uses positive psychology and coaching to help people be the best version of themselves. 

Susan Klusman Turner is a survivor of mental health with an abundance of life experiences. She has taken her illness and applied it to over 25 years of working with adults with serious mental illnesses. Susan has transitioned from a clubhouse aide to a counselor at a personal care home to a peer specialist supervisor to creating a whole health program. She is both a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner and a Certified Peer Support Specialist. She has received numerous awards and speaks locally, statewide, and nationally. Susan believes in the recovery of everyone living with a mental illness. She is proof that recovery is possible.

Jeffrey Kwong is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Columbia and Director of the Collaborative Access for LGBT Adults (CALA), an integrated behavioral health and primary care demonstration project. Dr. Kwong is a certified adult-gerontology primary nurse practitioner and has worked with the LGBT community for over 20 years. At Columbia University, he has served as Director of the Elder LGBT interprofessional Collaborative Care Program, which was designed to provide collaborative care for LGBT older adults and helped create and design a multi-disciplinary course for health professional trainees on caring for older LGBT adults.

Gregory Kyllo is the National Director of Program Innovation at the Canadian Mental Health Association. Greg comes to CMHA from Renascent, an accredited, publicly-funded, non-profit, residential addiction treatment center based in Toronto. There he worked as a front-line Addiction Counsellor before becoming Clinical Manager of Client Care. Greg worked previously in the business world and has 15 years of experience in progressive leadership roles with three Fortune 50 industry leading companies. This experience enabled him to build national teams as well as develop innovative chronic disease management programs to support Canada’s health care professionals. Greg has a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree with a double major in marketing and business policy and is currently completing a master’s in social work at the University of Windsor.

Kari Little is the funder of Live Now. She created Live Now to share her wisdom and insights through compassionate workshops and training sessions. Her mission is to encourage others to share their stories, provide tools to overcome adversity, learn, grow and empower people to focus forward. She has 30+ years of business experience and currently serves on the board of Ransom Ministries of Mobile, AL where she teaches life and job skills to men and women who are ready to move out of dependency and into fulfilling careers and relationships.

Victoria Lonzi joined MHA of Erie County in 2016 as the Manager of Workplace and Community Well-Being. In this role she hopes to reduce the mental health stigma at companies around WNY, while providing the tools necessary to help employees become both physically and mentally well. With over 7 years of experience in workplace wellness and working with over 150 companies, she has learned that every wellness program has to be unique to the employee demographics and there is no one size fit all program. It takes careful assessment of the company and employee needs to build an impactful employee wellbeing program. In March of 2017, she launched the Mindset program. This program addresses mental health in the workplace. Victoria has a Master of Science degree in Health and Human Performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Human Development.

Dr. Leslie Lundt is the Medical Director, Neurocrine Biosciences. She is an internationally recognized clinician and educator in the neuropsychiatric field. She is board certified in psychiatry and has over 29 years’ experience in active clinical and research practice. Her “You Can Think Like a Psychiatrist” book series has been a popular introductory text for psychopharmacology courses. Dr. Lundt received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago. She was trained in psychiatry at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco where she was Chief Resident and had additional training in addiction medicine at the Haight-Ashbury Clinic.

Drue Metz is an award-winning writer and director. Drue has written and directed feature films, three independent television shows, music videos, commercials, branded video content, and more.  As a writer, Drue has written and re-written content for musicians, organizations, non-profits, agencies, production companies, individual clients, and even love letters, proposals and obituaries.  Drue is currently writing and directing for production companies Swanky Flicks and Replay Collective. He is the co-founder and Creative Director for The Love Effect Organization, an organization raising awareness on depression and suicide, while uniquely demystifying and advocating the art and understanding of “love” in contemporary American culture.  He is currently giving presentations on “THE LOVE EFFECT” around the country and is finishing a new novel titled “The Greatest Love Story of Our Time” that blends genres of storytelling, multi-media, self-help, and love philosophy.

Liam Miranda is the Senior Research Manager at the Human Rights Campaign, where he conducts and collaborates on research that helps shape HRC’s public education work to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community. Liam is also involved in data collection with RTI International to assess the FDA’s LGBTQ public health efforts and does population data management work for YNPN to increase diversity in nonprofit leadership. Liam is a Duke graduate, former student-athlete, and proud trans man. He has previously worked on research projects exploring LGBTQ coach/athlete dyads, resiliency in college students, identity formation, moral decision making, and attitude formation.

Frances Miyamoto is a write and health coach who has 40+ years of personal experience with the mental health benefits of fitness. Her parents were outdoor sports enthusiasts and her father’s disturbing PTSD episodes were never triggered when he was skiing, fishing or hiking. As a high school and collegiate athlete, she found emotional comfort in the strenuous workouts and team camaraderie. In the 1980s she managed a corporate wellness program designed to reduce workplace stress and recently as a caregiver to her elderly mother with dementia, she managed her grief and anxiety with her triathlon training.

Jamison Monroe is the founder and CEO of Newport Academy, a teen treatment program in the United States. Monroe works to reduces social stigma around mental health and substance use challenges by sharing his experience and lifting others who have experienced these challenges. He is a certified yoga teacher and a spokesperson and advocate for healthy living and compassionate care for struggling teens. Monroe is a regular correspondent for CNN, FOX, ABC, and other major networks.

Shannah Mulvihill is the executive director of Mental Health Minnesota. Shannah has worked in the non-profit/public sectors for over 20 years in the areas of communications, development, public policy and organizational leadership. She holds a master’s in counseling psychology from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and has served as a volunteer counselor for the Walk-In Counseling Clinic and Crisis Connection. She serves on the Cancer Benefit Fund of Minnesota board, is a former board chair of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless and is a former disaster services volunteer for the Twin Cities American Red Cross.

Ricky Neal is a first-generation college graduate from Laurens, SC. He holds a BA from Morehouse College. Ricky is the Marketing Manager at Crisis Text Line where he is head of Diversity and Inclusion which includes managing the collaboration of organizations and universities that target African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Veterans, people over 55, and the d/Deaf HOH community.

Theresa Nguyen is Vice President of Policy and Programs for Mental Health America. Her areas of special interest include prevention, early intervention, education, and building a full recovery-oriented mental health system of care. Along with supporting MHA’s federal and state policy agenda, Theresa manages various programs including MHA Screening, The State of Mental Health in America, and Workplace Wellness. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she has over 11 years of experience in mental health as a clinician, educator and advocate. Her clinical experience focused on working with children and adults with serious mental illness, homelessness, dual diagnosis treatment, and early intervention of psychosis. She was an adjunct professor in California and North Carolina teaching Mental Health Recovery, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Social Welfare Policy. Prior to joining MHA National, Theresa worked at both MHALA (Los Angeles, CA) and MHAOC (Orange County, CA).

Jennifer O’Callaghan is a National Trainer for the well-renowned SilverSneakers Fitness Program. She has more than 30 years of experience as a fitness education provider. Jenny’s current role with Tivity Health includes virtual training programs, curriculum development, workshop coordination and fitness instruction for the western United States.

Monique Rada is the Whole Health and Community Resilience Coordinator at the NYC Department of Veterans' Services.  She oversees all initiatives related to mental health healing through innovative arts and cultural programs. Ms. Rada is also responsible for reducing the stigma of mental health through conducting mental health first aid training to the NYC community.

Cristina Ramirez is a high school psychologist and long-serving board member of MHA-North Shore. She is the co-founder of the Youth Advisory Board and co-leads this group with Allyson Adams. Along with Allyson and the 20-member youth board, she develops the topics for the contest and leads educational programs and discussions based on what we learn from teens who participate in the annual essay and multimedia contests.

Dr. Rebecca Regeth is a Professor at California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Regeth graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Psychology, specializing in statistics and research methods. Her current research interests have focused on using a specialized freshman seminar to assist new students with the transition from high school to college. 

Dr. Susan Rivers is a social psychologist who applies her expertise in emotional intelligence and designing social and emotional learning interventions to inform the development of games. As iThrive Games' Executive Director and Chief Scientist, she oversees the organization's strategic direction and supports the talented and passionate iThrive Games team in their collective efforts to collaborate with game developers in the creation of meaningful games for teens. She has been awarded over $6M in federal and foundation grants to support her research and has published extensively in peer-review journals.

Dr. Doris Rusch is a game designer, researcher, play aficionado and holds a position as assistant professor at DePaul University. Before that she did post-doctoral work at GAMBIT Game Lab, MIT, and Vienna University of Technology (Austria). Rusch's work is focused on the theory and practice of game design, particularly regarding games that model the "human experience”, create empathy and can be used for mental health activism.

Dr. Elizabeth Rula is Executive Director and Principal Investigator at Tivity Health, where she directs the company’s research to deepen understanding of older adults and evaluate program outcomes. Dr. Rula and her team conduct studies to evaluate, innovate, and optimize the impact of Tivity Health’s programs aimed at engaging older adults to enable healthy aging. Additionally, Dr. Rula leads collaborations with academic and industry experts to understand the benefits of SilverSneakers and to establish the importance of well-being improvement.

Peter Shalek is the CEO and co-founder of Joyable, a digital health company that aspires to free the world of anxiety and depression. Joyable’s flagship digital therapy programs generate adherence and outcomes that are comparable to face-to-face therapy at a fifth the cost. To date, Joyable has reached over 500,000 people suffering from anxiety or depression. Pete has been named a 34 under 34 rising star in healthcare and has been featured in The Atlantic, Fortune, and on Fox Business.

Karl Shallowhorn is the Director of Community Advocacy for the Mental Health Association of Erie County and Compeer Buffalo. He is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor and worked in both the addictions and mental health fields. Karl is the author of Working on Wellness: A Practical Guide to Mental Health and is a contributing writer and blogger for BP magazine and writes his own blog: The Hope Shot. He is a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor for adults, children, veterans, higher education and older adult communities. Karl is the Chair of Affiliate Relations for the Mental Health Association in New York State Board of Directors, the Erie County Mental Hygiene Community Services Board, the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network and the 4th and Forever Foundation. He has a master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration from SUNY Buffalo State.

Dr. J.D. Smith is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Preventive Medicine, and Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. His research focuses on the development of implementation science methods and the translation of evidence-based interventions to real-world service delivery systems, particularly the primary healthcare system and other contexts that provide services to disadvantaged populations. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and completed postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Oregon Prevention Science Institute and at Arizona State University’s REACH Institute. He is author of more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, is a fellow of the Implementation Research Institute, and received the 2015 Outstanding New Investigator Award for early career contributions to implementation science from the Society for Implementation Research Collaboration.

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, inspirational international speaker and an impact entrepreneur. Dr. Spencer-Thomas was moved to work in suicide prevention after her younger brother died of suicide after a difficult battle with bipolar condition. Known nationally and internationally as an innovator in social change, Spencer-Thomas has helped start up multiple large-scale, gap filling efforts in mental health including the award-winning campaign Man Therapy and the nation’s first initiative for suicide prevention in the workplace. In 2016 she was an invited speaker at the White House. Her goal is to elevate the conversation and make suicide prevention a health and safety priority in our schools, workplaces and communities.

Dr. Shawn Talbott received dual bachelor’s degrees in Sports Medicine (B.S.) and Fitness Management (B.A.) from Marietta College, his master’s degree (M.S.) in Exercise Science from UMASS, and his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Rutgers. His research is focused on natural products to support human performance and psychological vigor (physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being). Dr. Talbott’s recent projects include two academic textbooks, an award-winning documentary film, and several best-selling books translated into multiple languages. His work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House.

Betsy Thompson is the Manager of Mental Health Services for Teen Health Connection, supervising a team of six licensed therapists. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a licensed school counselor. For ten years, Betsy has worked with adolescents in a variety of settings, including as the Clinical Program Manager for two locked psychiatric treatment facilities.  Betsy has worked in the school system with expelled youth and youth involved with the Juvenile Justice System and served on the Gang Intervention Task Force in Gaston County, NC. Betsy is trained and rostered in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and has presented at a variety of conferences and school districts related to trauma and adolescent development.

Michele Wms-Smith is a Family Advocate with the Family Education and Resource Center, a program of Mental Health Association of Alameda County that provides an advocacy program that assists family member/Caregivers of those who have loved ones with MH challenges. Michele is passionate about helping families so that they do not have to go through the same learning curve that she experienced while getting help for her loved one. She is certified as a facilitator for Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Wellness Recover Action Plan, and the NAMI Family to Family and Family Support Group.

Dr. Glenda Wrenn is the Director of the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity, the Director of Behavioral Health at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, and an Associate Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. Dr. Wrenn is a public speaker, health policy researcher, and mental health advocate. Dr. Wrenn is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, University of Pennsylvania and the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. She serves as a board member for Mercy Corp Atlanta, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and MHA of Georgia.

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