This Global Conversation will bring together thought leaders, change agents, advocates, policy makers and those with lived experience to share ideas, successes and challenges as we work to change how we think about and respond to mental health challenges, mental illness and substance use disorder.
We are approaching a tipping point – one that will ensure that we value our mental health just as we do our physical health. This shift will ensure that more resources will be devoted to understanding and addressing the mental health conditions that affect 1 in 4 of us. It will ensure that new techniques, treatments and opportunities are explored and developed so that those in need receive care that works for them.
In order to achieve our goals, we must raise our voices together. This is an opportunity to raise our virtually voices together, from the comfort of our own homes, offices or coffee shops to effect change. Join us to Change Direction!
What You Need to Know About the Global Conversation?
- Everyone is Invited
- It’s an Online, Virtual Conversation
- Join the Conversation from Anywhere in the World and Whenever you are Awake, Alert or Inspired!
- It’s Free
- It’s 2 Days Long: Pop In and Out as Much as You Like!
- All Conversations Will Remain Open Throughout the Two-Day Event
Join Mental Health Discussions Covering:
- Culture & Access Barriers
- Education & Suicide Prevention
- Work Environment
As a participant YOU can start conversations, review comments and post replies, take polls, follow topics of interest, as well as share and discuss emerging ideas!
VIP Guests and Hosts
Jennifer Ashton, M.D., is a doctor, mother, and friend ,and Chief Medical Correspondent for Good Morning America and ABC News, who has witnessed firsthand the impact of a loved one’s suicide. When her ex-husband killed himself in February 2017 soon after their divorce, her world—and that of her children—was shattered. Though she held a very public position with one of the world’s largest media companies, she was hesitant to speak about the personal trauma that she and her family experienced following his death. But with the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in 2018, Dr. Ashton recognized the importance of talking about her experience and the power of giving voice to her grief. In a quest to provide comfort and solace to the countless others who have had to face the aftermath of suicide, she first shared her story with her Good Morning America family on air in an honest and heartbreaking interview. Dr. Ashton’s moving new book, LIFE AFTER SUICIDE, is a call to arms against this dangerous, devastating epidemic and an affecting story of personal grief and loss. In her new book, Dr. Ashton opens up completely for the first time about her experience and gives an eye-opening and gut-wrenching view into the way suicide affects those left behind. Dr. Ashton also includes interviews and stories from others who have survived the death of a loved one by suicide and offers tales of resilience, hope, healing, and courage to show how those faced with the unthinkable are able to persevere. Plus, she tackles the vital roles that conversation and community play in a loved one’s recovery.
Talinda Bennington, Founding Partner, 320 Changes Direction and Executive Advisor, the Campaign to Change Direction
Talinda Bennington is the mother of a beautiful blended family of 6. She is the wife of the late singer, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. In the summer of 2017, Talinda lost her husband to depression and addiction. Chester Bennington died by suicide on July 20, 2017. Determined to prevent others in need from suffering alone, Talinda partnered with Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction and launched 320 Changes Direction – an effort named in honor of Chester. Most recently she has been invited to launch the 40 Seconds of Action Campaign with The World Health Organization.
Cheryl Bozarth, Deputy Director for Victim Services at the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG)
Cheryl Bozarth, LPC, NCC, serves as Deputy Director for Victim Services at the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG), Executive Office of the Mayor, Washington, DC. She has over 22 years experience in a variety of direct service and administrative roles in human services, for nonprofit and public sectors. Prior to joining OVSJG she served Arlington County, VA government as the Program Manager for Project PEACE; contracting officer for victim services, and subject matter expert on domestic and sexual violence to the Arlington County Board. Cheryl has worked independently in nonprofit consulting specializing in strategic planning, program design and evaluation, She has served as executive director for three agencies in western WA state; and Board President and public policy committee member for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Cheryl earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology from the University of North Florida. Cheryl also has a certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Washington, Evans School of Public Policy. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) in the state of VA, and National Certified Counselor (NCC) and trainer. Cheryl has a demonstrated commitment to building systems and programs through diverse partnerships. She has been successful in mobilizing substantial support across disciplines for victim services in both public and private sectors. Cheryl has been honored by The American Association of University Women, Soroptimist International, and recognized in the US Congressional Record for her efforts on behalf of victims.
As President of Brady, Kris Brown combines a lifelong background in policy, law, and grassroots activism with considerable strategic management expertise to help forge the direction of the organization’s programs and ensure the successful impact of its national and field assets. A veteran of gun violence prevention work, Ms. Brown started her career on Capitol Hill working for Rep. Jim Moran, advocating for the bill that would eventually become the groundbreaking Brady Act requiring background checks on federally licensed gun sales. At Brady, she has helped shape the conversation on gun violence as a national healthcare crisis, launched the organization’s groundbreaking safe storage campaign to End Family Fire, and formed Brady’s “Team Enough” youth initiative after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, FL. A noted speaker and media commentator, Ms. Brown was featured in the November 2018 TIME magazine cover article, “Guns in America,” in which she noted that Brady is working to move the discussion of gun violence beyond the polarizing politics in American life. “There’s a huge amount of common ground on this issue in this country and I hope we’re finally at a tipping point where we can move forward with legislation and [programs] that actually protect people, and are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.” Ms. Brown has also served as the Chief Legal Officer to a publicly traded company based in Switzerland and as a lawyer practicing at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. She lives in Arlington, VA, with her two teenage daughters.
Erin Brzezinski is the Clinical Manager for PsychArmor Institute. She joins the PsychArmor team with over 10 years of experience advocating for and supporting military service members, Veterans, and their families. Erin received her Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago.
Erin strives to bring awareness, representation, and inclusion into everything that she does in her personal and professional life.
She and her wife are a Navy family who are enjoying everything that San Diego has to offer.
As Senior Vice President of Commercial Business at Aetna, Sheryl Burke is responsible for leading
the design and operational execution of a differentiated and integrated product portfolio
strategy across our Commercial and Specialty businesses, balancing profitability and
member affordability by applying best practice actuarial and underwriting strategies
across all Commercial and Specialty segments and continuing to lead all of the Specialty
businesses including Behavioral Health, Voluntary, Dental and Vision, Student Health,
Workers’ Compensation, and the TPA businesses. These businesses represent
approximately $26 billion in revenue for the company.
With more than 25 years of experience in the health care industry, Sheryl has dedicated
the bulk of her career to Aetna. She has served in a variety of roles with increasing
responsibility, including head of Specialty Businesses, head of Enterprise Sales and
Distribution, head of National Care Management and head of National Account Customer
Operations. She also has held senior leadership roles in Sales, Underwriting and Client
Because of her results-driven leadership style and strong analytical skills, Sheryl has been
tapped to help lead Aetna through multiple acquisitions as well as to perform a number of
diverse leadership roles within most of the company’s business segments. She is currently
Aetna’s executive sponsor for talent advancement/development.
Outside of her daily responsibilities, Sheryl is passionate about giving back to the community. She served as a member of the Aetna Foundation Board of Directors for seven years. She also volunteers her time and talents with several Hartford, CT area nonprofit organizations, such as Arm2Arm and South Congregational Youth in Mission.
Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Bard College. She and her
husband, Doug, reside in Glastonbury. They have three children.
Ana Cristina Cash is an American singer-songwriter, raised in Miami, Florida by her Cuban parents who moved to the United States in the early 1960s during the onset of the revolution. Growing up listening to a multitude of genres, Cash’s sound was influenced by an eclectic array of inspiration from gritty Blues and Jazz to Pop-Country. Writing directly from the heart, the singer-songwriter’s recordings exhibit a broad vocal range, spanning from an expressive and resonating contralto to a soaring coloratura soprano, otherwise known as the “whistle register.”
The bilingual artist started her professional music career debuting her talents at age 6 on the Spanish-language variety show “Sabado Gigante,” where she continued to film regularly until the age of 14. At the age of 16, she signed to Sony Music’s Latin division and released her first album Ana Cristina in the Spanish-language, working with multiple Grammy Award winning producers. Following quickly after her first release, Cash lent her unsurpassable voice to Sony’s successful Christmas compilation album, Nuestra Navidad, with her moving version of Shubert’s “Ave Maria,” cementing her place in the bilingual music scene.
At the young age of 19, Cash was given the honor of singing “ The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration, making her the first Hispanic in history to do so. Cash was then asked to return in 2006 as she was invited to perform at the White House for the President of the United States, the Crowned Prince of Spain and notable world ambassadors. That same year, she released “You Can Change the World” as a duet with Michaelangelo. The song’s bilingual counterpart, “El Mundo Puedes Cambiar,” went on to become the theme song for the World Cup Germany 2006.
On Oct. 29, 2016, Ana Cristina married music producer John Carter Cash and has since been writing and recording the music she feels she was born to sing. Writing from her heart first, all of Ana’s projects reflect her connection to Rockabilly and gritty Blues, along with a flavor of Country and Soul.
In March of 2017, Ana Cristina released, The Tough Love EP. The debut single, “Tough Love Woman,” embodies the power of female strength and sets the tone for the entire album.
Ana Cristina then released a full-length Christmas album in 2018 titled, My Christmas Collection. With a little help from her husband, John Carter Cash, the two sing a heartwarming duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” while also penning an original tune called “Santa Claus is Real.” The album also includes classics such as: “O Holy Night,” “White Christmas,” and a breathtaking bilingual version of “Silent Night.”
Currently living in Nashville, Ana Cristina prepares for the release of her upcoming project, “Shine,” slated for an early 2020 release date. Produced by John Carter Cash and recorded at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn. (in which Johnny Cash built himself in 1978), “Shine” displays an array of musical influences including folk, jazz and blues, fused with a country background. Fans can get a taste of the new album with the release of her first song off the record, “Broken Roses.” Released on World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10, 2019), “Broken Roses” tells a heartbreaking story of the trials and tribulations that go along with loving another who struggles with mental health and/or substance abuse. Ana hopes to create awareness and promote an open conversation with purpose via her music and the release of “Broken Roses.”
Eric Christiansen is an acclaimed documentarian who has built his brand around socially responsible filmmaking that educates, inspires and heals. A seven-time Southwestern Region Emmy ® Award recipient, he has the ability to identify an issue within a specific population and have it resonate with a general audience through compelling storytelling. The New York Times has called his work, “strikingly photographed” and “…sure to give comfort and support to countless veterans and their families.” Christiansen’s last film, Searching for Home: Coming Back from War has aired more than 2,300 times on PBS stations across the country.
As a trauma survivor himself, having lost his home in the Santa Barbara Painted Cave fire disaster, he understands trauma, the resilience of the human spirit, and how important HOPE is to the healing journey. Christiansen’s films (Faces in the Fire, Homecoming: A Vietnam Vets Journey, Searching for Home: Coming Back from War) have migrated from the entertainment arena into clinical environments at top mental health institutions to help the recovery process for thousands of people whose lives have been compromised mentally, spiritually and physically by trauma.
By spotlighting survivors and their journeys, Christiansen has unified audiences around the power of HOPE, and continues to educate the general population about the complexities of trauma.
Christiansen’s work has been seen on major networks including Discovery, TLC, PBS and MTV. He has also produced an IMAX film.
Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television, theater, and live events. He won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2000, alongside producing partner Dan Jinks, for Sam Mendes’ AMERICAN BEAUTY and earned additional Best Picture nominations for Gus Van Sant’s MILK and David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. He also produced both the film and Broadway musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s BIG FISH. More recently, Cohen produced the Ben Younger’s BLEED FOR THIS starring Miles Teller and Danny Strong’s REBEL IN THE RYE starring Nicholas Hoult as iconic author J.D. Salinger. In television, Cohen executive produced ABC’s LGTBQ rights miniseries WHEN WE RISE, created and written by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for producing the 83RD ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS and also served as an executive producer on the Emmy-winning series PUSHING DAISIES as well as the event specials MOVIES ROCK and BROADWAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE for First Lady Michelle Obama. Cohen is a graduate of Yale University and started his film career as the DGA Trainee on Steven Spielberg’s THE COLOR PURPLE. Cohen resides in New York City with his husband and their daughter.
Chris Colbert began his career with Sirius Satellite Radio. While simultaneously earning his degree from Seton Hall University, he helped create Oscar & Grammy award winner Jamie Foxx’s comedy and music channel “The Foxxhole”, which led Chris to create and manage multiple SiriusXM Radio channels. Upon leaving SiriusXM, Chris became Vice President of Programming for the podcast company, Cadence13, before eventually creating his own media production company, DCP Entertainment, which provides a voice & platform for underrepresented communities & conversations.
Nobody is more surprised than me at what my life looks like today! When I was a young, girl
who dropped out of school due to mental illness I would have thought the life I have now to be
Despite, and perhaps because of, my many years of struggling with Bipolar II, I more fully
appreciate my current life as a successful international artist, mother and wife. I’ve learned
that even in its darkest days, life isn’t hopeless, no matter how much one might feel that it is.
There are always ways to find resilience and personal strength. My story is an ongoing
testament to that.
My work not only echoes my own struggles and personal and artistic achievements, it speaks
to all women who rise up, take back power and lead the way. The best way to challenge the
perception of what a person with mental illness looks like, and combat the stigma of mental
illness, is to use your voice.
Barbara Cole is an award-winning Canadian photographer known for her underwater,
figurative work. Her photographs have been exhibited widely in both private and public
institutions, with solo exhibitions at the Canadian Embassies in both Tokyo and Washington,
and inclusions in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto, the Art Gallery
of Ontario, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. She has completed several largescale commissions for notable sites, including the M. Lau Breast Cancer Centre in Toronto’s
Princess Margaret Hospital. In 2012, the acclaimed documentary series Snapshot: The Art of
Photography II featured an episode devoted to Cole’s photographic practice; in 2015, she was
commissioned to create the promotional artwork for the National Ballet of Canada’s
production of Le Petit Prince. Cole is also the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Festival
International de la Photographie de Mode in Cannes. She lives and works in Toronto,Canada.
For more information: barbaracole.com
Paul Dommel is the Global Director for Health and Social Programs for IBM Government Industry. He leads IBM’s HHS Center of Excellence and works with clients and teams in the US, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the role of technology to strengthen government and improve lives.
In recent years, Paul has become passionate about the importance mental health and culture change. Mental health issues underpin challenges facing communities, governments, and corporations across the world.
Before joining IBM, Paul worked in the Strategy and Change Practice at Booz-Allen & Hamilton. He lives near Washington DC with his wife and four children.
Sam Dutton, Associate Dean and the Director of the Social Work Program in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences with the University of Phoenix
Dr. Samantha Dutton is an Associate Dean and the Director of the Social Work Program in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences with the University of Phoenix, where she is creating the Bachelor of Science Social Work program. The program is currently in the accreditation process with the Council of Social Work Education. Previous to this position she held positions of Deputy Commander of Medical Operations at Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center, Nevada as well as the Medical Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. She also commanded the Mental Health Clinic at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Her military experience spans 27 years with increasing levels of leadership. She has been the recipient of numerous Air Force level awards and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom where she was the lone mental health practitioner for 2500 personnel.
Dr. Dutton’s passions include military transition, single parents serving in the military and ensuring veterans have access to services. She has spoken in different forums surrounding these passions as well as publishing an article on single parents in the Air Force. Dr. Dutton created the military social work curriculum for another online institution where she brought real world experience and research to the program.
Dr. Dutton lives in Chattanooga, TN, is married and has 4 children and a granddaughter
In November of 2013, Melissa Fitzgerald joined the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) as senior director of Justice For Vets. She has recently expanded her role as director of NADCP’s newly launched Advancing Justice Initiative to lead justice reform.
As an actor, Ms. Fitzgerald is best known for her seven-year role as Carol on the award-winning television series The West Wing. She is also widely recognized as an advocate for people in need. She co-founded Voices in Harmony, a theater-focused mentoring organization for underserved teens. She then took Voices in Harmony to war-torn northern Uganda to work with former abducted child soldiers, an effort that resulted in the award-winning documentary After Kony: Staging Hope. She is also the co-executive producer of Halfway Home, a film that profiles several returning veterans as they share their struggles reintegrating after experiencing the trauma of war.
Ms. Fitzgerald is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a guest lecturer at universities all over the country and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post and the book The Enough Moment by John Prendergast and Don Cheadle. She has made numerous media appearances on behalf of NADCP and Justice For Vets, including Hardball with Chris Matthews, Morning Joe, CBS Sunday Morning and NPR. In 2017, she received the Secretary of the Army’s Public Service Medal.
Jake Flaitz is the Director of Benefits at Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ) the leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing services for small-to medium-sized businesses. Paychex has 15,000 employees that work in over 100 locations in 40 states. Jake has been in his position since January 2006 and is responsible for the strategic direction and management of all corporate benefits including health and group, retirement, wellness, food services, and employee programs. During his tenure, Paychex has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach in integrating the company’s employee benefits and well-being programs.
Prior to Paychex, Jake was the director of national accounts for a regional healthcare plan (1.5 million members), and before that a principal/senior consultant at one of the largest international employee benefits consulting firms. He began his career in hospital administration working for both for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare systems.
Jake is active in health care issues, nationally and locally. He is a board member for the National Business Group on Health’s Health Innovations Forum board. He has been both a board member and chairperson for two Rochester-based health care organizations, the Community Technology Assessment Advisory Board, and Common Ground Health (formerly the Finger Lakes Health System Agency). He is a member of Causewave’s Cancer Reduction Steering Committee. Jake is also on the board of the Rochester RHIO, a health information exchange (HIE), and HealthVantics the RHIO’s technical services provider.
Mark Friedlander joined Aetna in 2002 as a Medical Director for Aetna Behavioral Health. Since 2010 he has been Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health with responsibility for oversight of patient management processes, accreditation and quality management, clinical policy, and design, development and implementation of behavioral health products and programs. He was the clinical lead in the development of a Behavioral Health Predictive Model, combining clinical, administrative and demographic inputs in combination with clinical algorithms to identify priorities for case management activities. He developed an Alcohol Disease Management Program, and an industry-leading depression program in primary care settings. He leads the behavioral health production team that built the infrastructure and support of standard healthcare utilization, outcomes research, return on investment, wellness, disease management and clinical program data. He is Aetna’s enterprise-wide subject matter expert in the Autism field, with involvement in legislative responses; lobbying efforts; outreach to advocacy, professional, academic and public stakeholders; development of claims and clinical policies and communications with customers. Other Aetna responsibilities include Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Patient Safety, Medical Operations and Clinical Policy Committees; and tactical and strategic development of short and long term operating plans and business models for the Behavioral Health area.
Mark began his career in 1991 as a staff psychiatrist at York Hospital located in York, Pennsylvania. In addition, he served as a medical consultant to Hoffman Homes Residential Programs, Rehabilitation Communities, and Children’s Development Center. In 1993, Mark became Acting Medical Director for the Child Guidance Resource Centers with responsibilities including consulting for the Community School and evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents for special education placements.
In 1997, Mark became Medical Director for the outpatient department and adolescent inpatient unit at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia. He served as consulting psychiatrist for LifePath and a physician reviewer for PENN-Friends Behavioral Health. His contributions included the establishment of a clinic for individuals with developmental disabilities.
From 2001 through 2002, Dr. Friedlander served as the Corporate Medical Director for PENN-Friends Behavioral Health System, a provider-owned managed behavioral health organization jointly operated by the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Friends Behavioral Health System.
Dr. Friedlander completed his training in psychiatry at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and is board-certified in both Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a recognized clinical leader in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Neuropsychiatry and has been recognized as a “Top Doc” in Philadelphia Magazine.
Michelle Garcia, Director of the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG)
Michelle M. Garcia was appointed Director of the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) in December 2015. As Director, Ms. Garcia provides leadership and coordination of District funded programs that serve crime victims, prevent crime, and improve the administration of justice for victims and offenders. OVSJG also provides policy making expertise, advice, and counsel to the Executive on evidence-based practices that respond to, intervene in, and prevent violence.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Garcia worked with the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime for nearly a decade, serving as the Director for over nine years. She previously served as a Program Specialist with the US Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime and has over twenty years of experience working on the local, state, and national level in the movements to end stalking, sexual assault, and domestic and dating violence. Michelle has trained internationally on these issues and has published numerous articles on stalking. Michelle received her Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago.
Nicole Gardner, Vice President in IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS) and Leader of the Public Service Eminence Academy
Nicole Gardner is a vice president in IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS) and founder of the emotional well being and resiliency program for veterans and military service members called GRIT. She currently serves as a senior leader in the Federal Healthcare market, having served as the team leader for 2 years and the Global Industry Leader for Social Services, Social Security and Government Healthcare for 5 years. Ms. Gardner has worked with senior leaders from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs, the Defense Health Agency and military health system, and the Social Security Administration. She has spent the past 3+ years focused on a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of Veterans affairs to bring technology to the mental health and suicide prevention arenas. Ms. Gardner was recognized by FedHealth IT magazine in 2017 and 2018 as a Federal Health IT100, an honor which recognizes individuals for driving change and advancement in the Federal Health IT market. In 2018 she was also recognized with a Woman of Impact Leadership award from the same organization. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for c-suite relationships, strategy, thought leadership, solution and business development for government organizations across the world.
Ms. Gardner is a member of the class of 2012 of the IBM Industry Academy and is a recognized thought leader in Government, with more than 30 years of experience. She is a member of the American Public Human Services Association and a former Board member of the National Center on Family Homelessness, a not-for-profit dedicated to eliminating family homelessness in the US. She has been recognized as an EDI Global Pioneer – 1993 (EDI Forum-The Journal of Electronic Data Interchange) in the field of Electronic Data Interchange for her work in the United Nations Economic Commission of Europe for 14 years, rising to the vice chairmanship of the Working Party on Trade Facilitation and as a founding member of the UN/EDIFACT global community. She is a guest lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs University of Texas, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and American University’s Kogod School of Business, serving there on the Dean’s executive advisory council on IT for 20 years, and as its chair for 4 years. She is a frequent speaker and has published numerous books and articles on healthcare and social services, e-business, change management, aging and organizational best practices, most recently in Modern Healthcare, “Using open innovation and cognitive computing to solve healthcare’s vexing problems” (December 2015); as a co-author of IBM points of view published by the IBM Institute for Business Value: “Shifting Gears: Changing methods and mindsets to address long term unemployment” (June 2015) and “Sustainable Employment: Youth, Economic Vitality and why government needs a new approach” (May 2014).
Captain Dave Giroux is a 24-year veteran of the Arlington County Police Department and is currently assigned as a Patrol Section Commander and the Peer Support Team Commander. His prior assignments include: Patrol, Community Policing, FTO, Tactical Unit, Internal Affairs, Vice / Narcotics, District Commander, and Civil Disturbance Unit Commander. Dave has been involved in officer wellness issues, training and programs throughout his career. Dave’s involvement in Peer Support began after the suicide of one his friends and co-workers in 2012. He works with officers on a regular basis to find resources and methods to mitigate the stresses and trauma that can come from a career as a first responder.
Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, strategist, founder and global depression adviser and advocate. She her own brand Mood-lites™, achieving over 35 million dollars in retail sales and successfuly executing the first nationwide cause marketing campaign for mental health, raising over 1 million dollars. As her current role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory, her goal is to improve moods and increase happiness through presence and sensory engagement. Armed with an MBA in International Marketing, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and over 25 years of experience with small and Fortune 100 companies, she aims to do just that with her new product lines based on how scents impact moods and courses aimed at improving happiness, increasing energy, deepen sleep, and reduce stress.
As a strategist, she works with other companies to help them create, develop, launch, and grow new products and services, or rebrand current offerings, and how best to integrate social impact models.
Goetzke founded a nonprofit for depression called iFred, dedicated to eradicating stigma using the sunflower, a focus on hope, celebrity engagement, and education on the biology of the brain. Her recent program, Hopeful Minds, teaches hope based on research it is a teachable skill. It was recognized as an innovation by the World Bank, and is reducing anxiety and increase confidence, hope and resilience in youth around the world. It is free and available to all: www.hopefulminds.org
Goetzke has been featured in Entrepreneur, Home, InStyle, Parents, BBC, Today Show, Scholastic, and more. She presented at the United Nations, the Global Mental Health Movement, World Bank, MHCA, The Kennedy Forum, OneMind at Work, Guggenheim Partners, The Scent Marketing Institute, and more. Goetzke is a contributor to PsychCentral, ThriveGlobal, and The Huffington Post and serves on advisory boards for FundaMentalSDG, Y Mental Health, Women’s Brain Project, and the Global Mental Health Movement.
David Gowel is a U.S. Army veteran turned entrepreneur who is now the CEO of RallyPoint, the world’s largest online military network. Dave began his military career as a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point (’02) and of the US Army Ranger School. He then served two tours in Europe during which he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as an armor platoon leader. Dave’s last active duty Army position was serving as an Assistant Professor of Military Leadership at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was while he was at MIT that he found the value of social media, which led to his cofounding of a consulting firm to help people leverage social media tools more professionally. He authored The Power in a Link: Open Doors, Close Deals, and Change the Way You do Business Using LinkedIn (Wiley 2011) and cofounded software company RockTech to help people use business software better at scale. Dave is a board advisor to Vets in Tech.
RallyPoint Profile: www.rallypoint.com/rp/dave
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidgowel
Brian Ishmael, Senior Director of the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs at University of Phoenix
|Brian Ismael is Senior Director of the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs at University of Phoenix. He is responsible for ensuring consistency and compliance across the University as it relates to military-affiliated students. He is the primary university representative for the Department of Defense and military-affiliated partners. Brian leads his team to develop programs, partnerships, policies, and operations that enhance the military-affiliated student experience and enable successful outcomes. He works closely with leadership to ensure staff are prepared to provide these students with quality support and information.
A former Army Sergeant, Brian served two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) prior to joining the University in 2007. There, he began in the finance department and transitioned to the College of Security and Criminal Justice as Assistant Dean of Operations. In 2016, he became Director of College and Campus Programs for the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs and in 2017, was appointed Senior Director of the department. Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in business/management at the University before completing his MBA.
Brian serves as board president for Honoring America’s Veterans, the non-profit organization that presents the annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, the third largest in the country.
Dr. William Kassler, MD, MPH, has spent his career working at the intersection of clinical care and population health; as a practicing primary care internist, epidemiologist, health services researcher, public sector administrator and health policy expert. Dr. Kassler currently works at IBM Watson Health as Deputy Chief Health Officer and Chief Medical Officer for the Government Health & Human Services business unit.
Prior to joining Watson Health, he served as Chief Medical Officer for the New England Region of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and was a founding member in the CMS Innovation Center’s Population Health Models Group. Before that, he served as the Chief Health Officer for New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, with leadership and administrative roles in public health, social services and Medicaid. Dr. Kassler started his career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an EIS officer, medical epidemiologist, and Senior Advisor for health policy in the CDC/Washington Office.
Dr. Andy Keller is a psychologist (licensed in CO, MI and TX) with more than 20 years of experience in behavioral health policy and is a recognized leader in health and human services integration, behavioral health financing, managed care systems and purchasing, and implementation of empirically supported practices for adults and children. Dr. Keller’s career has centered on large-scale system reforms, beginning with his work as a post-doctoral fellow, senior manager, and executive team member in the Denver mental health system in the 1990s implementing and managing large-scale ACT and housing developments for super-utilizers, continuing from 1999 through 2015 in his national consulting work, and focused now in Texas through his leadership in developing and now leading the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.
Dr. Keller was also a founding partner of TriWest Group, a national behavioral health systems consulting firm focused on human service evaluation, community collaboration and management. His work has centered on helping local systems implement evidence-based and innovative care, as well as helping local and state governments develop the regulatory and financial framework to support them. Prior to forming TriWest, Andy worked in Colorado at the health plan level with a leading Medicaid HMO and at the provider level with the Mental Health Center of Denver. He has directed and led a range of community-based programs, including assertive community treatment teams, adult and child outpatient clinics, school-based and early childhood programs, and specialty programs for older adults and Latino communities.
CAPT Matt Kleiman has served as the Director of Psychological Health for the National Guard Bureau (NGB) for the past three years. In this role, he has designed, developed, and directed an enterprise-wide system for psychological health fitness and resilience for over 450,000 National Guard members and their families. In July 2019, he was hand-selected by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to lead NGB’s new Office of Warrior Resilience and Fitness, created to synchronize well-being, resilience, and prevention efforts across the National Guard, to enhance efficiencies, and improve behavioral health outcomes for the total force. In this role, CAPT Kleiman serves as the principal advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau on the continuum of psychological health and resilience services provided to/for Guard members and their families. He is specifically responsible for providing oversight, implementation, execution, and quality control for Psychological Health, Resilience and Suicide Prevention operations across the joint services.
CAPT Kleiman is a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service and was previously detailed to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) from 2010-2016 as the Chief of USCG’s Behavioral Health Services. In this capacity, he directed, oversaw, and was responsible for the management and oversight of all Coast Guard’s Behavioral Health Programs.
Prior to his assignment to USCG Headquarters, CAPT Kleiman served as a principal advisor in the Office of Health Affairs to senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security on resilience and behavioral health policies across the organization. He has also been previously assigned as the National Mental Health Coordinator for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, responsible for coordinating the mental health care for all detained undocumented migrants in the United States.
CAPT Kleiman began his active duty career over 20 years ago as an Air Force clinical social worker, where for six years he provided a broad array of direct behavioral health services to Air Force members and their families at multiple duty locations. He received his Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia, and is a licensed clinical social worker and board certified diplomat.
Heidi Squier Kraft received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the UC San Diego/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in 1996. She joined the Navy during her internship at Duke University Medical Center, serving as both a flight and clinical psychologist. Her active duty assignments included the Naval Safety Center, the Naval Health Research Center and Naval Hospital Jacksonville, FL.
While on flight status, she flew in nearly every aircraft in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory, including more than 100 hours in the F/A-18 Hornet, primarily with Marine Corps squadrons. In February 2004, she deployed to western Iraq for seven months with a Marine Corps surgical company, when her boy and girl twins were 15-months-old. Rule Number Two is a memoir of that experience.
Dr. Kraft left active duty in 2005, after nine years in the Navy. At PsychArmor Institute, she provides oversight for all clinical course content and supervises Masters level mental health providers. She is frequently invited to speak at conferences and panels on combat stress, stigma and caring for the caregiver. She is an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, where she teaches stress, trauma and the psychological experience of combat, as well as abnormal psychology.
She lives in San Diego with her husband, a former Marine Corps Harrier pilot, and twins, who have no memory of their mother’s time in Iraq.
Dr. Kraft will be covering Suicide Prevention in Veterans, she would like to speak at 0600-0630 (PST) on Friday October 11th. She is good with you sharing her participation on social media and email.
Dr. Harold Kudler received his M.D. from SUNY Downstate, trained in Psychiatry at Yale and is Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke. He reported to Congress as co-chair of VA’s Special Committee, served on the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Board of Directors, co-led development of joint VA/DoD Guidelines for Posttraumatic Stress, and advised Sesame Street’s Talk Listen Connect series for military families. He co-founded VA’s Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center on Deployment Mental Health and the North Carolina Governor’s Work Group on Service Members, Veterans and Their Families and was appointed to the NC Institute of Medicine. In 2014, he joined VA Central Office as Chief Consultant for Mental Health and served as Acting Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Patient Care until his retirement in 2018. Dr. Kudler is currently working to integrate mental and public health efforts on behalf of service members, Veterans and their families.
Matthew Leone is the Executive Director of 501C3, CHARITY BOMB, and its event production arm, and services agency, Strange Entertainment. Matthew is a twenty-five year music, lifestyle and entertainment culture industry veteran. Ten of those years that were spent touring the world with his band Madina Lake. This experience imbued Matthew with the knowledge, resources and relationships that necessitate the successful production of one-of-a-kind, fully immersive, live-music. Consequently, producing the STRANGE benefit concert series is the organization’s primary method of fundraising and awareness for partnering organizations.
The Charity Bomb mission is to identify the over-looked or under-serviced constituencies in need and enlist the most effective, impactful services partners (i.e. 320 Changes Direction) to produce events for. Featuring top-level rock stars and entertainers performing short sets of the anthems of an era or theme, Strange Entertainment recreates the atmosphere of a time and place with bespoke production builds, interactive installations, props and photo activations. Proceeds generated from our annual events are donated to our services partners to activate what they do best and make life better for as many people we as we can.
Since 2017, Charity Bomb & Strange Entertainment have produced five, sold-out events, three Strange 80s in Los Angeles, two Strange 90s in Chicago raising over $200,000 for a variety of mental health organizations and cancer survivors. In 2019 & 2020, Charity Bomb is producing Strange 90s in Nashville, Strange Halloween in Las Vegas and Strange Odyssey in New York City.
- Governor Quinn of Illinois proclaimed July 27th of every year as “Matthew Leone Day” for his heroism in rescuing a stranger on the streets of Chicago
- Member of the Tribal Planet Advisory Board
- Matthew and Twin brother Nathan are Fear Factor Champions
Cara McNulty, DPA is President of Aetna Behavioral Health, a leading provider of mental health and employee assistance program (EAP) solutions to members around the globe. She oversees a national team that spearheads the development of programs, products and capabilities designed to offer individuals easy access to quality, innovative treatments and meet people along their health care journey, while driving engagement and improving health outcomes through an easy and meaningful experience.
Cara is a highly regarded executive leader and population health scientist whose success in driving population well-being outcomes spans the employer, government, payer/provider, start-up and education sectors. She is known for her ability to integrate confirmed health science into practical business models that drive measurable outcomes.
Cara previously served as the North American leader of Integrated Wellbeing for Willis Towers Watson. Her responsibilities included advising clients on strategies focusing on employee engagement, clinical outcomes and productivity. She sat on the company’s Health and Benefits Specialty Practice Leadership team and focused on integrated wellbeing, intellectual capital and service development across physical, emotional, financial and social dimensions.
As the former head of Population Health, Team Member Wellbeing and Guest Wellness for Target Corporation, she led efforts to implement the company’s health agenda. She developed strategies that improved all team members’ health, driving value and business growth while decreasing health care expenditures. Through the advancement of Guest Wellness, she successfully led strategy and advanced products and services to meet the demands and desires of the consumer and local communities.
Cara is nationally recognized for her strategic design and implementation of Minnesota’s transformational population health care legislation, which to date is one of the largest financial allocations in the country for initiatives known to be reducing health disparities and chronic diseases.
She holds a doctorate in public administration from Hamline University, a Master of Science in applied health science from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in community health education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Dr. Matt Miller is the Acting Director, Suicide Prevention Program for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Miller previously served as Director of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) and was privileged to oversee expansive growth of the crisis line, including the creation of a third call center and increased total staffing to 900+ fulltime employees. Under his leadership, the VCL has become the world’s largest crisis call center. At VCL, through implementing an industry-leading Quality and Training program, obtaining certification via nationally recognized oversight organizations, and innovating cutting-edge research projects in the field of suicide prevention, Dr. Miller ensured top quality care for Veterans and their families and friends.
In June 2019, Dr. Miller was appointed the Acting Director, Suicide Prevention Program for VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Prior to joining VCL, Dr. Miller served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Saginaw VAMC. He received his PhD from Michigan State University, East Lansing, and his MPH from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Glen Moriarty, Founder and CEO, is a psychologist passionate about the Internet’s power to help people lead better lives. He has been involved in a number of services and organizations that support people in need. 7 Cups of Tea is his most recent endeavor; marrying his background in psychology with his love for technology. Glen lives with his wife, Nicole, and their four children, Colin, Madeliene, Avery, and London.
Christina Moses has a passion for social justice and telling stories; stories that enliven, awaken our minds and hearts to challenge stereotypes and the status quo. Christina has been performing on stage in Los Angeles and New York City on and off for years. She toured with Rainbow Theatre, a multi-culture theatre group, performing at inner city high schools to promote opportunities in higher education. Her Off Broadway credits include starring roles in two original plays, Walter, Bullets, and Binoculars and Saydee and Deelores, both premiered at the Black, Brown, High Yellow Theatre Festival at the Chelsea Playhouse in New York City. In 2009 she toured, MIXED, a woman show written by Maya Lilly. In 2012 she starred in a workshop production of The Escape Artists Children written by Steve Harper produced at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles.
Christina’s currently starring in the ABC’s ensemble dram A Million Little Things. Her most recent television credits include a starring role in CW’s Containment, recurring roles in CW’s The Originals and the new one hour dram due to premier June 6th 2018, Condor, co-starring opposite Mira Sorvino and William Hurt, for Audience Network Direct TV.
She was a co-star in the independent film Odd Brodsky winner of 21 film festivals awards and is available on Amazon and iTunes. Christina also starred in the indie film How We Met which is premiering later this year on Amazon Prime.
Christina has directed and produced two documentary shorts. Her first documentary short was an undergrad thesis project, depicting the struggles gay and lesbian high school students face when coming out. The second documentary short she produced for Elevate Festival for Film and Music, which premiered at the Kodak Theatre.
Dr. Priya Narayanan received a BA in Biology graduating summa cum laude from Smith College, MA. She received her MD degree from McGill University, Montreal and completed her Psychiatry Residency at New York University Medical Center. She went onto a Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry from Albert Einstein Medical Center and spent several years working at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility in New York. She currently heads an Assertive Community Treatment program in Los Angeles working with people diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.
Dr. Narayanan is a senior faculty member with the Art of Living Foundation and travels around the country to teach meditation and self-development workshops with a focus on addressing burnout and increasing resiliency among health care professionals. She is a strong advocate for the role of alternative modalities of healing and promotes the role of yoga, meditation and healthy living as adjuncts to conventional psychiatric treatment.
Dr. Narayanan has a Masters in Screenwriting from the London Film School and her short film “The Breadfruit Tree” was screened and won awards at numerous film festivals around the world. Inspired by Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” which exposes the corporate corruption in the psychopharmaceutical industry, she is currently working on a feature film that exposes the pitfalls of the current drug-based paradigm of care.
After graduating from Brown University, DJ Nash headed right to Manhattan to begin his career doing stand-up in the New York comedy scene. In 2000, he was named Best New Face at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, which led to a deal with CBS where he co-created and starred in the CBS pilot, “Life with David J” along with Elliott Gould. DJ has been writing (and not acting) ever since.
In 2014, DJ created and executive produced the NBC series “Growing Up Fisher,” starring Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Jenna Elfman. The show was based on DJ’s childhood growing up with a father who is blind and with parents who got divorced. The show featured the first visually impaired lead character in a comedy series. (As well as the first guide dog.)
In 2015, DJ created and executive produced his second series, “Truth Be Told,” starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tone Bell, directed by Pamela Fryman.
There’s an old saying: “Friendship isn’t a big thing… it’s a million little things.” Loosely based on DJ’s real-life experiences, “A Million Little Things” is an hour-long dramedy for ABC in the tone of “The Big Chill” and “Big Little Lies,” about a group of friends who, for different reasons and in different ways, are all stuck in their lives, but when one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake up call the others need to finally start living.
Lastly, the only thing on DJ’s bucket list is to play the drums with Sting to Message in a Bottle. Anyone who can help make this happen, please let DJ (and Sting) know.
Ann M. Ordway, JD, PhD is a counselor educator and a core faculty member for the on-campus Counseling program at the University of Phoenix. She was a practicing attorney in New Jersey for 25 years, with a practice concentration in Family Law. Ann has been a Guardian ad Litem for children, a mediator, and a parenting coordinator. She has written several articles related to family issues and the military and is currently involved with research regarding the impact of PTSD on military members and their families. Her husband is a Vietnam era veteran, who served in Special Forces.
MSG (R) Leroy Petry was born on July 29, 1979 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1999; something he wanted to do since he was seven years old.
After completion of Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Airborne Course, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He served as a Rifleman, Grenadier, Squad Automatic Rifleman, Fire Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, Assistant Operations Sergeant, Weapons Squad Leader, and Liaison Officer for United States Special Operations Command Care Coalition-Northwest Region, providing oversight to wounded warriors, ill and injured service members and their families.
He has deployed eight times in support of the Global War on Terror with two tours to Iraq and six to Afghanistan.
His military education includes the Airborne Course, Combat Life Saver Course, US Army Ranger Course, Warrior Leader Course, Jumpmaster Course, Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course, and Combatives Level-1 Course. He earned the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Basic and Senior Parachutist Badges, and Canadian Parachutist Badge.
His awards and decorations include the Medal of Honor, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal
(1OLC), Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (1OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 Combat Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Three campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 3 ), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 2), NATO Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Valorous Unit Award. He was also inducted into the Distinguished Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment and the Ranger Hall of Fame in June of 2017.
MSG (R) Petry and his wife Ashley have four children, Brittany, Austin, Reagan and Landon. He is currently enrolled in college with goals to earn a degree in business management and own his own business. In addition he is on several boards: AUSA counsel of trustees, GE Veteran’s Network (advisory), Boulder Crest Retreat, Halo for Freedom Foundation, Senior AdvisorHorses for Heroes NM, Patriot Project, regional director Medal of Honor Society, Medal of Honor Foundation Board member and works as a warrior liaison for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation all geared to improving the lives of veterans and our military.
Randy Phelps, Ph.D., served on the Give an Hour Advisory Board for over a decade, was a formal consultant to the GAH Board of Directors in 2017, became GAH’s Vice President of Operations in 2018, and was appointed GAH’s Chief Executive Officer in 2019. He formerly worked at American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Health Care Financing, a component of the APA Center for Psychology and Health. In that role he led APA’s advocacy efforts for sustainable health care financing for both health systems and practitioners. He was formerly the APA Deputy Executive Director for Professional Practice, and as well as APA’s liaison to the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a decade and a half. Dr. Phelps received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Utah in 1981. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Distinguished Member of the National Academies of Practice, Clinical Member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and recipient of APA’s Karl Heiser Award for advocacy. He has also received an APA Presidential Citation for his national contributions to professional psychology.
Antonio Puente, PhD was the 2017 president of APA. Puente received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Florida and his master’s degree and PhD from the University of Georgia. He has holds appointments as Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (since 1981), a visiting professor of psychology at the Universidad de Granada (Spain) and the University of California Los Angeles. Prior to these position he taught at St. George’s University School of Medicine (neuroanatomy). Puente founded and edited two journals Neuropsychology Review and Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice as well as a book series in neuropsychology. He is the author of 8 books, 83 book chapters and 110 journal articles (in English, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic). In addition to his position at UNCW, Puente maintains a private practice in clinical neuropsychology. He also is the founder and co-director of mental health services at the Cape Fear Clinic, a bilingual multi-disciplinary health center serving the indigent. Puente completed two terms on the Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology and, prior to that, served as APA’s advisor to the panel from 1992-2007. He has been a member of the APA since 1979 and fellow of nine divisions and also served as president of the North Carolina Psychological Association, North Carolina Psychological Foundation, Hispanic Neuropsychological Association, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40 of APA).
Haley Quinn is a storyteller, creator and mental health advocate. She’s currently the community manager of The Mighty’s 2.7k online digital health community where she works to build programs and develop initiatives to make sure those who are struggling with their mental health feel safe, seen, supported and empowered.
A nationally recognized leader in the field of suicide prevention, Jerry Reed, PhD, is an EDC senior vice president for practice leadership. Through advocacy, authorship, and effective program leadership, he has raised awareness about suicide as a leading cause of death and driven public policy changes at the state and national levels.
Reed works closely with EDC’s Suicide, Violence, and Injury Prevention body of work, which among other initiatives includes serving as co-director with partners at the University of Rochester Medical Center for the CDC-funded Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention, as well as working closely with project directors overseeing the Zero Suicide Institute, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the Children’s Safety Network. Until 2017, Reed directed the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, which has been operated by EDC since 2002.
An outspoken advocate of the importance of both a public health and mental health approach to injury, violence, and suicide prevention, Reed serves on the executive committee of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, has testified before the U.S. Congress, and speaks frequently both nationally and internationally.
Reed has a PhD in health-related sciences, with an emphasis in gerontology, from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MSW from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
Matt Resteghini is Chief Marketing Officer at Total Brain, a neuroscience-based mental health and fitness platform. He is a seasoned executive with extensive digital, brand and product marketing experience. Matt has scaled startups and driven meaningful growth at mature businesses, and is skilled at marrying performance marketing rigor with creative storytelling. He is personally committed to removing the stigma associated with mental health, and brings a deep passion for the topic. Prior to Total Brain, Matt served as SVP of Marketing at Monster, a Randstad Digital Ventures company. Matt holds a B.A. in Communications from Boston College.
Mr. Phil Ritter, JD, serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. He oversees the judicial, university research, commercial insurance, and resource development activities of MMHPI.
Prior to joining the Institute, Phil served as Executive Vice President for Government and Stakeholder Affairs at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Before joining the airport, Phil held the position of Senior Vice President, Public Affairs with Texas Instruments Incorporated, with global responsibility for government affairs, community relations and corporate political activities. Prior to joining Texas Instruments, he served on the staff of the Texas Senate Jurisprudence Committee and as an attorney with Sun Exploration and Production Company in Dallas.
Phil currently serves an elected Trustee of the Dallas County Community College District. In 2004 he led a successful campaign to secure voter approval for $450 million in real estate purchases and facility construction for the DCCCD. He is past Chairman of the Development Board of the University of Texas at Dallas and was a member of the Board of Governors of the Dallas Symphony Association. Mr. Ritter served as Campaign Chair and Chairman of the Board for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. As a member of the Board of Governors of The Dallas Foundation, he chaired the Advisory Board for the $12 million Texas Resources for Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment (TRIAD) Fund.
Mr. Ritter earned an undergraduate degree with honors in Urban Studies, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is admitted to the practice of law in Maryland and Texas.
Carie Rodgers, Ph.D., ABPP, currently serves as the Education Director at PsychArmor Institute, and is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine. Prior to joining the team, she was the Associate Director of the Education & Dissemination Unit at the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health in San Diego, California.
She has served as a National Trainer for the VA’s Cognitive Processing Therapy initiative and as a consultant for the National Center for PTSD. She has provided training and consultation to hundreds of mental health providers in the VA and the Department of Defense, as well as in the broader community. Dr. Rodgers was also a Consultant for the VA’s national roll-out of Prolonged Exposure Therapy and was the Director of the VA San Diego Military Sexual Trauma Program. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2000 from the University of Oregon, and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at UCSD and the San Diego VA. A licensed Clinical Psychologist in the state of California, Dr. Rodgers is also Board Certified in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Rodgers will be covering Veterans and PTSD treatment, she would like to participate at 1000 to 1030 PST Thursday October 10th. She is good with you sharing her participation on social media and email.
Sue Rosenstock Midanek is a children’s advocate, accountant, event planner, mother, and the leader of the young adult suicide prevention organization called umttr (you matter).
In 2013, Sue suffered the sudden loss of her son Evan, to suicide. Evan’s friends had the idea to honor his memory, take action for suicide prevention and to send a message to all the other young people in their community that: YOU MATTER.
In the six years since Evan’s passing, Sue has empowered the voices of children to grow into a peer-led, strength-based, youth suicide prevention movement with international reach. Her ability to communicate, educate and motivate all ages to understand the signs of someone that may be suffering and how to get them help and support is unending.
Sue represents umttr as founding members of the Campaign to Change Direction in Mental Health and in 2018 launched the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of The Positive Coaching Alliance. She continues to lead the umttr Team of Champions, a dedicated group of young adult volunteers, in pursuit of their goals: reducing the stigma of mental illness and depression, creating a positive compassionate culture free from bullying in schools and youth athletics, and putting an end to suicide.
Melissa Rowan, Executive Vice President for Program Implementation, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Melissa Rowan has worked in Texas and national health systems for 25 years, focusing on broad health care issues, managed care, and behavioral health. She has worked on a range of projects with a primary focus on service expansion and quality improvement in real world settings and health care financing.
She has previously served as Healthcare Policy Director for the Texas Council of Community Centers in Austin, working closely with the 39 community mental health centers across the state on innovation and design of behavioral health programs for adults and children.
Sarah Schuster is a writer and editor who has reported extensively about suicide prevention. Her pieces focus on telling the stories of those with lived experience and de-stigmatizing the experience of being suicidal. She’s currently the editorial director of The Mighty’s contributor network and lives in Los Angeles.
Anna Shinoda is the author of Learning Not to Drown (Atheneum 2014), a story about a young girl who struggles to preserve her own identity amidst a chaotic, dysfunctional family unit. With her husband, Linkin Park musician Mike Shinoda, she has led environmental and humanitarian efforts for Music For Relief in the U.S. and abroad. As a mental health advocate, she serves as a senior advisor to The Campaign to Change Direction, directing the development of their Books Change Direction initiative. Visit her at annashinoda.com or on Twitter @AnnaShinoda or Instagram @AnnaShinoda.
Howard and Jean Somers are the parents of California Army National Guard SGT Daniel A. Somers, who took his own life in June, 2013 after struggling for nearly ten years with Post Traumatic
Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and Gulf War Syndrome. Since Daniel’s death and the subsequent publishing of his suicide note, Howard and Jean have dedicated themselves to increasing the awareness of mental health and transition issues afecting service members, Veterans and their families. They regularly provide the family perspective to those involved in creating policy in these important areas.
In January, 2014, they founded Operation Engage America. OEA’s mission is to connect members of
the military, Veterans, first responders, and their loved ones who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, with appropriate resources in their local communities. Howard, who is a native of New York City, is a retired private practice urologist. Jean is a paralegal, and was Howard’s practice manager. She is from Canton, Ohio. They raised their family in Phoenix AZ.
Scott Stapp is a Grammy-winning songwriter, solo artist, and frontman for Creed, one of the biggest rock bands in recent history, with over 50 million albums sold worldwide.
As a solo artist, he released the platinum-certified The Great Divide (2005) and Proof of Life (2013). In July 2019, after five years of sobriety, Scott’s commitment to recovery, health, and family led to his best album yet. The Space Between The Shadows debuted in the Top Five and Top Ten on rock and album charts in the US and UK. The album “operates as a reflection on Stapp’s trip through hell and subsequent salvation,” stated Billboard Magazine and it reflects the technicolor clarity of self-awareness as he roars, rages, and copes with personal and universal injustice. The album’s first two singles, “Purpose For Pain,” and “Name,” share the silver lining of survival, returning Stapp to the radio charts once again.
“Scott Stapp is one of rock’s all-time great vocalists, an extraordinary songwriter, and performer, both with Creed and as a solo artist,” said Ray Waddell, president of OVG Media & Conferences, who invited Scott to speak about his return to music this February at Pollstar Live!, the world’s largest gathering of live entertainment professionals and the flagship event for Pollstar magazine.
“Over the course of a fascinating life and career, Scott has learned many lessons and we look forward to him sharing his perspective on life, the music business, and reprioritizing what matters most.”
Scott Stapp is an inspiration to others who struggle with the often over-lapping illnesses of addiction and depression. Scott Stapp’s With Arms Wide Open Foundation helps military vets and their families with issues of drug addiction, PTSD-triggered mental health issues and suicide prevention. In 2017, the Florida Association of Broadcasters awarded Scott Stapp with the Florida Service Award and in 2018 he was inducted into the Florida Music Hall of Fame.
French-American actress Stephanie Szostak never thought of becoming an actress. She left France to study business and play varsity golf at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Upon graduating, Szostak landed a job in marketing at Chanel in New York. At 29 years old, Szostak took her first acting class in New York City and knew that she had finally found her passion.
She is currently starring on the ABC hit show A Million Little Things as Delilah Dixon.
Other credits include: The Devil Wears Prada, Dinner for Schmucks, We Bought a Zoo, Iron Man 3, USA drama Satisfaction and guest-starring roles in Younger, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, Bull amongst others
Luke “the Dingo” Trembath is a one of a Kind personality whose fun loving spirit and contagious energy has made him a mainstay on television for years. The former pro snowboarder is the CO founder of “FIND YOUR GRIND” A self-discovery platform helping individuals define their road map to discover who they are, where they are going, and the first steps to get there. A leading voice of the action sports world & beyond, where he has done everything from announcing high profile sporting events, The MTV MUSIC music awards to starring in 5 seasons of fuel TV’s “The Adventures Of Danny & The Dingo”. Once you’ve meet him, you’ll agree – there’s only 1 Dingo A true social chameleon – The Dingo’s ability to find common ground with anyone and adapt to any social situation makes him the perfect role model for kindness and acceptance among today’s youth.
Hyong Un, Vice President, Chief Psychiatric Officer, Head of Resources for Living Employee Assistance Program, Aetna
Hyong Un, M.D. is the Chief Psychiatric Officer for Aetna and Head of Aetna Employee Assistance Program. Dr. Un has been with Aetna since January 2002. In his role, Dr. Un supports the development of behavioral health care strategy as well as the development of innovative behavioral health disease and care management programs that promote overall optimal health and integration of behavioral health with medical management. Dr. Un also has strategic, programmatic, operational and financial oversight of Resources for Living, Aetna’s Employee Assistance Program.
Prior to joining Aetna in 2002, Dr. Un was the Psychiatrist-in-Chief of Friends Hospital, the nations’ first private psychiatric hospital and Chief Medical Officer for Penn-Friends Behavioral Health System of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Un’s clinical interests and expertise include behavioral and psychosocial determinants of overall health and productivity as well as fields of neuropsychiatry and psychopharmacology. Dr. Un serves on numerous national committees including advisory board to the Director of NIMH, Workplace Mental Health Board of the APA, and National Centers of Excellence for Depression. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Un graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine in 1981 and completed his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1985.
Barbara Van Dahlen, Executive Director PREVENTS Task Force, Office of the Secretary, Veterans Affairs
On March 5, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13861, The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). This Executive Order created a dedicated Task Force to coordinate efforts across the Government and to build a national strategy focused on improving overall mental health to prevent suicide. To lead this multi-agency national effort, Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, was selected as Executive Director of the PREVENTS Task Force. Named to TIME magazine’s 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Dr. Van Dahlen is the Founder of Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that provides free mental health care to those in need including service members, veterans and their families. Dr. Van Dahlen led the organization as President until 2019. A licensed clinical psychologist who practiced in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years, she received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland in 1991.
Dr. Van Dahlen also founded the Campaign to Change Direction® in 2015, a global initiative focused on changing the culture of mental health. Change Direction is a public health approach that encourages everyone to learn the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering that tell them that someone they know may be suffering emotionally and may need help. Change Direction has gained tremendous momentum in the United States and internationally.
Dr. Van Dahlen is an expert on the psychological impact of war and a thought leader in mobilizing constituencies to create large system change. She is widely recognized for her work in changing the culture associated with mental health. Dr. Van Dahlen has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and TIME, and has been interviewed by major media outlets such as AP, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Newshour, and such military media outlets as Stars & Stripes, AUSA Magazine, and the Pentagon Channel. Dr. Van Dahlen is also the host of a podcast, Inner Space and the mental health consultant for the ABC television drama, A Million Little Things.
Leonor Colon, Major League Baseball Players Association’s Senior Director of International and Domestic Player Operations
Leonor Colon, Sr. Director of International and Domestic Player Operations, was born in Brooklyn and raised in New York City/West New York, NJ. For her entire career, including nearly 20 years in baseball, she has worked in professional sports. Through her range of work, she has the distinction of being the only person in the history of the game to work at MLB’s central offices, a Club (the NY Mets) and the Players Association. Having studied the game from each of these three distinct angles, she has a very rare and valuable perspective and leverages it to advise Players. She has dedicated much of her time to working with baseball constituencies around the world in connection with the global development and of the game, including the World Baseball Classic. In her role, Leonor has negotiated educational assistance and opportunities for Players designed to impact them not only while they’re playing, but also after their careers have ended. Leonor was featured in a New York Times article for one of her most notable accomplishments – the creation of the first-ever Player Good Will Tour to Cuba, an event that included eight big league players – including four Cuban nationals returning to Cuba for the first time since they departed. In all areas of her work, Leonor continues to be committed to supporting Players on and off the field. She currently oversees the Major League Baseball Players Trust, which is the charitable entity formed to support all Players in their charitable goals. Further, she is a board member of both the MLBPA/Youth Initiative Foundation and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which collectively work to inspire and create an affordable platform and opportunity for youth to play baseball and softball. She continues to be inspired by players, their commitment and dedication to being Major League Baseball players, and their passion for giving back.
Antoniette Costa graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania as an English major with a minor in Italian Studies. During her undergraduate degree, she studied Italian film, fashion, and art as part of her curriculum, developing a passion for the industry. In 2016, she earned a J.D. from Fordham Law School, selecting to concentrate her studies in Fashion Law. Here, she studied under Professor Susan Scafidi, the first Professor to offer a course in Fashion Law at an American law school, where she gained valuable insight into the legal frameworks surrounding the industry. Since graduating, Antoniette has worked in the legal departments of Louis Vuitton and the Yankees.
Antoniette is also a singer-songwriter, topping the Billboard Classical Crossover Charts in 2016 with her album “The Triptyq Sessions”, which featured Grammy Award winning cellist-beatboxer Kevin “K.O.” Olusola of Pentatonix as well as pianist and violinist, Tara Kamangar. She also wrote the song “Void of a Legend”, which debuted #2 on the iTunes Classical Chart. She later produced the music video for this single, which went viral upon release. This song has since been covered internationally by bands such as the French trio L.E.J., and has garnered over 3 million views. Antoniette’s upcoming projects include collaborations with The Roots crew and Model/Rapper TK Wonder.
Antoniette speaks both English and Italian, having spent time living and studying in both the United States and Italy.
Tom Hall, PhD. served as a Military Police Sentry Dog Handler with the 18th Military Police Brigade in Vietnam during 1969 and 1970. Following his military service and education, he has held clinical, faculty, and administrative appointments. These ranged from teaching/counseling in Secondary Education, serving as clinical professional and administrator at several treatment facilities, performing duties of the Executive Director of the Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax Commission (a.k.a. COMBAT Commission), and, most recently, administering the Addiction Counselor training program at Kansas City Kansas Community College. For the past 10 years he has served as National Chair of PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee for Vietnam Veterans of America, whose primary mission is to improve access to behavioral health services for America’s veterans and their families. Dr. Hall has been a veterans’ advocate for over 30 years.
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