Board and Staff
2019 Board of Directors
President: Matthew Endress, MBA, Cardinal Health
Vice President: Stephanie Pavol, BA, Cardinal Health
Secretary/Treasurer: Susan Jagers, JD, Ohio Poverty Law Center
Hanna Balla, BA, NiSource
Nicholas Breitborde, PhD, The Ohio State University
Robin Canowitz, Esq., Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease
Kristin Chek-McChesney, JD, IGS Energy
Yi-Ruei Chen, MBA, MA, PMP, Grange Insurance
Jeannette Dagam, DO, Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare
Daniel Ehrman, The Ohio State University
Rev. Niki Hampton, MBA, Fresh Start Worship Center
Todd Lacksonen, JD, AstraZeneca
Nathan Lemke, BA, Syneos Health
Karen L. McDonnell, MBA, SPHR, Accenture
Allison Mitsui, BS, Northwoods Consulting
Kanesha Moss, MSN, RN, OhioHealth
Erik Slangerup, BA, Bold Penguin
Dave Speas, CPA, NiSource
Kenton Beachy, MA, MPA
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 101
Change and growth with a competent and passionate group of staff, volunteers, and trustees have been the theme since Kenton joined the team in 2015. A strong believer in strategic opportunity, Kenton has helped the agency broaden its footprint in the Central Ohio community and around Ohio by expanding mental health services in new arenas. He especially enjoys organizational dynamics and coalition-building around mental health issues. Over 20 years in non-profit management, with more than 15 years in behavioral health, have helped him narrow his focus to mental health and providing the resources that people need to get better and stay better. Kenton holds graduate degrees in public administration from Wright State University and public relations from The Ohio State University and specializes in research, people management, strategic planning, and putting resources to work. At one time a professional custom cabinetmaker, he loves both working with his hands and also working with people, helping them shine and giving them the autonomy and support they need to succeed. He looks forward to the day when the way people think about depression or anxiety is as normalized as how they think about heart disease or diabetes.
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 104
POEM Support Line: 614-315-8989
As MHAFC’s Associate Director, Tonya oversees the Community Engagement, Education, Healthy Connections, Get Connected, and POEM programs. Tonya is a Certified Mental Health First Aid USA Instructor, and also teaches de-escalation, work-life balance, and perinatal mental health workshops. She is the co-founder of Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms (POEM), formerly a nonprofit organization now within MHAFC’s umbrella of services. POEM is one of the largest and long-running programs of its kind in the US, and was the recipient of the 2017 Innovative Programs in Care Award from the Marcé Society of North America and 2020 Mom Project. Tonya is a Postpartum Support International (PSI) Founder’s award winner for her “outstanding contributions to related to emotional health and childbearing,” and is a co-author of PSI’s guidebook Developing a Sustainable Perinatal Support Network in Your Community. She is a graduate The Ohio State University in Political Science and Communications.
Director of Workplace Health
Maggie Hallett, EdS, LPC
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 105
Maggie spent a decade in for-profit marketing before returning to school for her MA and EdS degrees in Counseling. As a counselor, she’s worked in community mental health, private practice and in-patient hospital settings. At MHAFC Maggie manages Occumetrics, a workplace health assessment designed to help create mentally healthy work environments and improve retention, morale and productivity. Maggie feels fortunate to have found a position that allows her to use her varied marketing and mental health experience to promote MHAFC’s life-changing services and break the stigma of mental illness. Outside of work Maggie enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and son, who are soccer fanatics.
Get Connected Program Director
LeeAnn Mattes, MSW, LISW-S
LeeAnn is an independently licensed social worker supervisor, who has worked in the mental health system in Franklin County for 15 years. LeeAnn graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and continued on at OSU to earn a Master of Social Work. LeeAnn has worked in a variety of settings including the community mental health system, emergency psychiatric services, inpatient hospitals and maintained a private counseling practice for 12 years. She joined the MHAFC team in 2014 as the Pro Bono Counseling Program director and is currently the director of the Get Connected Program. LeeAnn lives in Clintonville with her husband, daughter, and their dog Archie.
Pro Bono Counseling Program Director
Sheronda Palmore, MSW, LISW-S
Sheronda began serving as the Director of the Pro Bono Counseling Program in the spring of 2016. Since obtaining her MSW from Howard University she has worked in a variety of settings providing trauma informed care to both adults and children. Sheronda enjoys her current role because it allows her to work with dedicated professionals who volunteer their time to provide a critical service for those seeking mental health support. Being a member of the MHAFC staff has also afforded her the opportunity to participate on panels addressing mental health in communities of color. Sheronda says that mental health is important to her because it contributes to total wellness, which leads to healthier individuals, families, and communities. Sheronda can be found enjoying sushi, a concert, or the podcast Code Switch when not engaged in the work of mental health support and recovery.
Director of Development & Marketing
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 117
Amy is a nonprofit management and development professional with over 25 years’ combined experience in administration of nonprofit and for-profit human services organizations. Inspired by the impact that a community of caring individuals can make in removing barriers to mental health and transforming the way people think about mental illness, Amy has joined our team in this interim role to plan and lead the growth in our development and marketing efforts. She earned a B.A. from The Ohio State University and is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals pursuing recognition as a Certified Fundraising Executive. Her favorite hobbies are pottery and gardening.
Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition Director
Michelle Vargas, MA, LPC
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 114
Michelle received her MA in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Cincinnati and has been working in the field of public health for over five years. Her experience in suicide prevention began while working as the Project Coordinator for Suicide Awareness and Prevention at Miami University. She later worked in public health policy and evaluation at United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Ohio Department of Health. In her MHAFC role as the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition Director, she is committed to the Coalition’s goal of preventing suicide and increasing awareness and prevention education in Franklin County.
Barb Rockwell, CPA
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 112
Barb graduated from Otterbein (College) University with a BA in Business Management. She later obtained an accounting certificate from Columbus State and earned her CPA license. Barb has spent much of her career working for entrepreneur businesses, structuring their finance departments, implementing controls and improving efficiencies. Barb enjoys yardwork, walking and a good steak. She is also a cat lover.
Megan Daugherty, LISW, LICDC
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 109
Megan is the Communications Manager and facilitator of MHAFC’s program, Healthy Connections. Prior to joining the team at MHAFC, Megan worked in the fields of child welfare and AoD counseling. She has experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities, the homeless, and victims of crime. Megan has her BA in Social Work and German from Ohio University and has her MSW from The Ohio State University. She also enjoys hikes in the mountains and long, luxurious movie marathons.
Maureen Traverse, MFA
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 115
Maureen began her career at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, as a writer-editor, but found her true calling in non-profit work when she became Operations Director for Direct Care Alliance, where she managed programming and planned trainings and other events. In her other life, Maureen is a writer who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from OSU, where she also taught composition and fiction writing, and later worked in the Rare Book Department at The Strand in New York City. Maureen is drawn to literature and non-profits for the same reason—both have the power to enhance empathy and to change how we think for the better. Given how profoundly mental illness is misunderstood and the stigma that too often prevents those in need from seeking help, mental health is an area ripe for change. Maureen is proud to support MHAFC’s mission by coordinating training programs that raise awareness, build empathy, and promote recovery.
Get Connected Program Coordinator
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 110
DeAnna first discovered her passion for mental healthcare over 10 years ago when she was employed at North Central Mental Health Services as an administrative assistant. Since then, she has held positions at Disability Rights Ohio, Concord Counseling and COAAA, assisting people all over Ohio with their behavioral health needs in her roles as Case Manager and Recovery Manager. In her current role at MHAFC, DeAnna hopes to provide a friendly and warm voice to those seeking help. She continues to want to end the stigma of mental health, especially in the African American community. DeAnna has her Bachelor of Criminal Justice from Tiffin University. Outside of work, DeAnna enjoys singing loudly along to Beyonce, cooking and the guilty pleasures of Bravo and TLC reality TV.
Client Rights Advocate/Pro Bono Counseling Program Coordinator (Delaware County)
Client Advocate (Fairfield County)
Catherine Petrowski, MA
Phone: 740-480-1801 (Delaware County)
740-475-0415 (Fairfield County)
Cate is the Client Rights Advocate and Pro Bono Counseling Program Coordinator in Delaware County. She also helps Fairfield County residents navigate the mental health and substance use recovery system by serving as a Client Advocate. Prior to joining MHAFC, Cate worked in a variety of settings, always with a particular focus on psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery-oriented care. She operates under the motto that “the professional is political,” and believes that folks in psychology have a responsibility to advocate for both personal and social change. Cate earned a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University. She is currently writing a dissertation on the experiences of families living with serious mental illness so as to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a special emphasis in Community Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Chillicothe V.A. Medical Center. Cate lives in Columbus with her cat, Theodore.
Peer Support Services Program Manager
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 106
Becca started with Mental Health America of Franklin County as a support group facilitator and volunteer with the POEM program. As a passionate mental health and peer support advocate, Becca continues to work within the program as the Peer Support Services Program Manager for MHAFC. Becca is a former high school teacher, data analyst, and yoga instructor, and she draws upon these previous roles to connect with people with a diversity of life and mental health experiences. She is proud to work within an organization that eliminates barriers to mental health care and believes strongly in the importance of mental health as a critical determiner of overall health outcomes.
POEM Program Equity Coordinator
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 111
Kelli’s years as a labor and postpartum doula, childbirth educator and lactation counselor have given her a unique perspective on the highs and lows that women (especially new mothers) face from day to day. When she gave birth to her own children, she experienced increased anxiety, delayed postpartum depression, and a variety of issues that she wasn’t prepared for as she transitioned into motherhood. Kelli is excited to be POEM Program Equity Coordinator and brings many creative ideas of how women of color with mental health struggles can be better served in our community.
Kelli lives in the Westgate neighborhood of Columbus with her husband and their two children. Some of her favorite things include dates with her husband, outings with her family, coffee, wine, beaches along the ocean, sunrises, sunsets, listening to podcasts and live music, and pretty much anything having to do with potatoes!
Phone: 614-221-1441, Extension 107
After graduating with her BA in Communication & Psychology from Oakland University, Lauren moved from Metro Detroit to Wooster, Ohio to work for a college campus ministry. After spending three years in the quaint town that stole her heart, she realized it was time to relocate to a bigger city in the interest of more opportunity. Lauren is excited to be a part of an organization committed to work she’s passionate about. Lauren loves traveling, spending time with friends, running when the weather is cooler than 80° and laying by the pool when it’s hotter than 80°, and exploring new coffee shops.