Kathy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 40 years of experience. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of CHRIS 180 since 1987. Under her leadership, CHRIS 180 has grown to include eight group homes, a permanent supportive housing program, a counseling center, a comprehensive community program designed to strengthen families, a drop-in center for homeless youth and young adults, an adoption program, a homeless outreach and community housing program, the At-Promise Center in partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation and a training institute – all of which focus on behavioral health, recovering from the impact of childhood trauma, and helping people develop the skills necessary for self-sufficiency.
Over the years, Kathy has provided consistent leadership through innovation and initiatives that break down barriers and result in outreach and help for underserved, invisible populations. New programs include the opening the Southeast’s first program for homeless youth that targeted outreach to LGBTQ youth in January 2000, creating the first supportive housing program in the state for homeless youth and youth aging out of foster care in 2010, creating new trauma-informed models for service delivery and adoption, and many other positive changes in services for children and families throughout the state.
In 2003, Kathy was humbled to receive the Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign; in 2010 Kathy was recognized with the Evelyn Ullman Innovative Leadership Award; and in 2013, Kathy was honored to receive the Turknett Leadership Character Award. CHRIS 180 programs, services, and staff have been recognized for expertise and leadership in trauma-informed care. Recent recognitions include the TeleHealth Facility of the Year Award from the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth for the CHRIS Counseling Center, and our Keeping Families Together Program received the National Innovation and Excellence Program Award from the National Center for Excellence and Innovation. Additionally, CHRIS 180 is the two-time winner of the Managing for Excellence Award (1998 & 2011) from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. In 2019, Kathy was honored as one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEO’s. Kathy is married, has two daughters, three dogs, three cats and enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling, and photography.
Cindy has more than 35 years of experience working in Georgia’s social welfare, youth homelessness, and mental health systems.
As COO of CHRIS 180, Cindy has helped develop several new programs including the TransitionZ program at Summit Trail, a 44-unit supportive housing apartment complex for homeless and transition-age youth with a mental health diagnosis; the Drop-In Center for homeless youth and young adults; the Voices Against Violence curriculum; a trauma-informed care training model (Trauma STARs); an LGBTQ training program; and a trauma informed adoption services model for special needs youth in foster care.
Cindy is also a published author with articles on subjects such as adolescent substance abuse and behavior management. Cindy has led advocacy efforts in the modifications of state delivery systems and for LGBTQ youth in foster care helping to develop guidelines that enable LBGTQ youth to feel valued and accepted. In 2011, Cindy was awarded the Gayle Bayes Vision for Children award for her leadership in social services. In 2015, the CHRIS Counseling Center received the TeleHealth Facility of the Year award and in 2016 the Keeping Families Together program received the National Innovation and Excellence Program award from the National Center for Excellence and Innovations. In 2019, The Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority named Cindy one of its Healthcare Champions for her tireless work in the community.
Cindy earned her BA from DePauw University and her MA and Ed.S from the University of Georgia. She is a mother of six adopted sons.
Gillis, H.L. & Simpson, C. (1991). Adventure-based counseling: An introduction and specific applications for substance abusing adolescents. Child and Adolescent Newsline, 2(2), 1-3.
Gillis, H.L. & Simpson, C. (1990) Project Choices: Beginning a model program for drug using adolescents. In R. Flor (Ed.) Proceedings Journal of the 18th Annual AEE Conference. Boulder, CO: Association for Experiential Education, (pp.71-73).
“Behavior Management through Adventure” a group model approach in de-escalation, reduction of explosive behaviors and reduction of physical restraints, 2004
Kevin joined CHRIS180 in 2018 with over over 30 years of non-profit experience in fundraising and program management at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, based in Washington, DC. He was most recently the Director of HRC’s midlevel giving program, the Federal Club. Clift is a graduate of the School for International Training and American University’s Washington College of Law. He is the father of an adopted son. He and his partner have two children and reside in Atlanta.
Queie joined CHRIS 180 in 2019 and is a versatile, compassionate Human Resources leader with experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sector. Queie utilizes continuous improvement and collaborative approaches to enhance major areas of human capital development to ensure continued organizational growth and success.
Queie holds degrees in Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and Biology from University of Missouri – St. Louis. She has held her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation since 2006 and her SHRM-SCP designation since 2015. Queie has extensive training in key HR accountability areas including: Six Sigma, Kaizen, safety and workers compensation. Queie is a member of SHRM and the South Metro HR. During her time at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, she founded the first closed Food Bank Toastmasters group to drive development and career progression of its members.
Most recently Queie was the Global HR leader with Pangborn LLC, organizing human capital on a global level, strategically preparing for employees continued leadership and ongoing success for the future.
Melissa Robinson Graves is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 18 years of experience serving children, adolescents, adults and families in community, school and private settings in Florida and Georgia. Melissa has worked extensively with individuals and organizations involved in the mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She worked for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities overseeing and implementing programming and best practices for the emerging adult population and enhancing statewide adoption of System of Care principles. She was a member of the Interagency Directors Team, a workgroup of the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, which promotes an integrated approach to children and adolescent system of care policy and practices in Georgia.
In 2015, she joined CHRIS 180 as the Director of Training and directed the planning, development and implementation of training programs for internal staff and helping professionals in the community. She led the organization’s efforts to educate social service professionals and educators on understanding and implementing trauma-informed care practices at the individual and organizational levels. In late 2018 Melissa transitioned into her current role where she executes and sustains key external and internal strategic initiatives including school-based mental health services, addressing community trauma and employee engagement and recognition activities. Melissa earned her BA in Psychology from Georgia State University in Atlanta and her MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.
Chaundra joined CHRIS 180 in 2018, with an extensive background in journalism, marketing, communications and nonprofit public relations experience. Chaundra holds a BA in Mass Communications from Bennett College and her award-winning career in television news helps her bring a unique insight to her work leading the strategic internal and external communications and marketing efforts for CHRIS 180. Chaundra spent several years as the Public Relations Manager at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, where she led and contributed to both paid and earned media campaigns around major fundraising and awareness events. Chaundra spent 10 years in the television news industry producing newscasts, webcasts, current events shows, election night coverage and breaking news. She is a three-time Southeast Emmy Award Nominee, a Telly Award winner and was honored with the Associated Press Award for South Carolina’s Best Newscast. In 2019, she was inducted as a member of the inaugural Forty Under 40 Class presented by the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Chaundra is an avid community volunteer and is a member of The Ivy League of South Gwinnett- an official Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. Interest Group, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., Parliamentarian for the Atlanta Chapter of the Bennett College National Alumnae Association and a member of the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance. Chaundra, is graduate of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2019, a member of the LEAD Atlanta Alumni Association and serves on the Newsletter Committee for the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive (PAACT) Communications Committee and the Marketing Committee for Ferst Readers. Chaundra resides in Brookhaven and is a member of Buckhead Church, where she volunteers with the college ministry.
Rita is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 30 years of experience in the mental health field. As the Director of Training for the CHRIS 180 Training Institute, Rita is responsible for designing and overseeing training programs at CHRIS 180 for clinical professionals and for the community at large. Rita leverages her experience as a seasoned therapist and a clinical supervisor to apply innovative methods of helping other helping professionals develop and harness their skills.
Rita has been a mental health therapist for over ten years and is passionate about helping clients address mental health issues that negatively impact their lives through a variety of approaches, including Trauma-Informed Treatment modalities, Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
She also provides supervision for other clinician professionals to ensure that they continue to develop their skills for the benefit of their clients and has a specialty in working with LGBTQ+ clients.
Monica has more than 30 years of experience in the field of mental health including, forensics, child and adolescents, refugees, substance abuse and hospice. She oversees CHRIS 180’s contracted services with Fulton County Behavioral Health for children, adolescents, and young adults. Prior to this she was the Clinical Director of the CHRIS Counseling Center. Monica has been an active volunteer with the American Red Cross since 1988 serving as a Disaster Mental Health Clinician. Monica has been deployed on numerous disasters including California earthquakes and Atlanta floods. She is a certified grief counselor, and a public speaker and trainer for professional conferences, both locally and nationally. Monica is passionate about helping low-income and underserved people get high quality treatment.
Selima Morrow is an advocate for equality and believes every person deserves the right to be safe in stable housing. She has close to 30 years of program development, cultivating partnerships and social services in many diverse communities. Selima passionately supports the needs of youth who are experiencing homelessness, trauma, and mental illness through trauma-informed service delivery to guide individuals and help them achieve their own emotional and physical stability.
Selima holds a BA from Temple University and obtained her Masters of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University. Additionally, Selima has professional development certificates in effective black parenting, trauma-informed services, crisis interventions, supervision and management and program development.
Selima is committed to achieving results through advocacy, program and policy development for those individuals who are battling homelessness and mental illness in under-served communities of Atlanta.
Emily joined CHRIS 180 in 2007 and has more than 17 years experience working within Georgia’s social welfare and mental health systems. At CHRIS 180, Emily has been an innovator of change, developing several successful programs to address the gaps in services for family and children, including the inception of the CHRIS Counseling Center, statewide intensive community-based wraparound services, the adoptions program, and reentry services for young adults. She chairs the DeKalb Local Interagency Planning Team and is part of several committees including the DeKalb Board of Health Coalition and Region 3 Crisis Collaborative. The Keeping Families Together department received the 2016 Program of the Year award from the National Center of Excellence and Innovation under her leadership. Emily earned her BS and MS degrees in Psychology from Georgia College and State University. She is a passionate advocate for at-risk youth and their families within the mental health systems of Georgia and is working to change the systems to better suit those that historically would fall through the cracks.
Brittney joined CHRIS 180 in 2017 and brings a diversified background of mental health experience to CHRIS 180. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a graduate certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. Brittney obtained both her Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development and her Masters of Social Work at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining CHRIS 180, Brittney worked for several years at a local Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) as Unit Director and Clinical Program Manager, responsible for supervising the long-term care and treatment of children with both acute and chronic psychiatric disorders, complex trauma backgrounds and co-occurring developmental disabilities. She also has extensive experience working in outpatient Community Service Boards across the state of Georgia specializing in assessment, crisis intervention, developmental disabilities and individual/group/family therapy. Brittney is honored to work with a robust team of Clinical Supervisors, Program Managers, Therapists, Community Behavior Specialists, Life Coaches, Physicians, Nurses, and Administrative Staff. She aims to ensure that individuals receive the most effective and highest quality mental health services in the clinic, as well as in the community. During the next year, Brittney is looking forward to piloting CHRIS 180’s Autism Initiatives, overseeing our new Integrated Health Clinic and providing leadership on the Dekalb Youth Prosperity Initiative Strategy Team alongside several community partners.
Traci joined the CHRIS 180 team in 2016 with a wealth of knowledge and experience. She is a licensed professional counselor with more than 15 years of experience in the social services field. She earned a BS in Psychology with a minor in Business, Masters of Education in Counseling and Human Development and an Educational Specialist in Community Counseling. She is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery. Prior to joining the CHRIS 180 staff, Traci was an MST Supervisor and has experience in mental health counseling, CPS work, advocacy, case management, supervising clinical staff, substance abuse, anger management training, and working with youth with autism. As the JourneyZ Director; Traci has strategic and operational responsibility for all areas of the JourneyZ Program with supervision of the Program Managers, JourneyZ staff, physical homes, coaching, support and assisting the Program Managers with their direct reports. Traci strives to ensure she advocates for youth as well as staff. She has a desire to ensure that the JourneyZ Program is a place where CHRIS 180 makes houses homes.
Susan O’Farrell (Chair), BlueLinx
Julia Houston (Vice Chair), Equifax
April Estes (Treasurer), PwC
Cyril Turner (Secretary), Year Up
Ana Amato, Protiviti
Gabe Banks, Weathington
Jay Bernath, C&S Wholesale Meats
Isys Caffey-Horne, Stripe Reputation
Emily Chambers, Community Volunteer
Kathy Colbenson, CHRIS 180
Lenore Cusick, CIBC Private Wealth Management
Dan Diffley, Alston & Bird
Todd Ellis, KMPG
Kevin Heath, Georgia-Pacific
Susan Somersille Johnson, Truist
Robert “Bo” Keatley, Savills US
Rob Kight, Delta Air Lines
Paula Larson, Dugan Unlimited
Valarie Mackey, WrightNow Solutions
Maney Mazloom, MM Investment Holdings
Terrin McKay, Community Volunteer
Araya Mesfin, UBS
J. Scott Mosteller, Community Volunteer
Terry Russell, Stanley Martin Homes
Maria Smith, Federal Reserve Bank
Steve Tedder, Live Oak Capital Partners
Rebecca Woods, Seyfarth Shaw
Chad Duncan, Accenture (Co-Chair)
Martha Abbott Pacini, Leo A Daly (Co-Chair)
Alice Ball, Community Volunteer
Angele H. Barrow, New Hope Enterprises
Patty Bedford, Community Volunteer
The Honorable T. Jackson Bedford, Jr., Fulton County Government
Brian Bowling, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Kathy Bremer, BoardWalk Consulting
Kenneth F. Britt, Alston & Bird, LLP (retired)
Ann Cramer, Coxe Curry & Associates
D.J. Dammann, AT&T
Lawrie Demorest, Alston & Bird LLP (retired)
Carolyn C. Donnelly, CIBC Private Wealth Management
Kimberly Euston, PwC
Ken Felts, NFP Executive Benefits
Cheryl Fisher Custer, Community Volunteer
Kurt Ford, Delta Air Lines
Mary Hare, Vital Solutions
Robert S. Harkey, Delta Air Lines (ret).
Steve Hart, HLGstudio
Mona Harty, Delta Air Lines
Marc Heilweil, Gratus Capital
Tad Hutcheson, Delta Air Lines
Melissa Jewkes, Community Volunteer
Jonathan Karron, American Cancer Society
J.D. Kellum, Keller Williams Realty
Mitchell King, Georgia Power
The Honorable Cassandra Kirk, Chief Judge Fulton County Magistrate Court
Kip N. Kirkpatrick, Alston & Bird LLP (retired)
Marybeth Leamer, Cox Enterprises (retired)
Bertram L. Levy, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
Mark Lindenbaum, JLL Capital Markets
Sheila Lowden-Frazier, Georgia-Pacific
Kristen McGuffey, Serta Simmons Bedding
Gregg McPheely, Pratt Retail Specialties, LLC
Nandy Millner, Merrill Lynch Private Bank
William Muller, Community Volunteer
Claudia Patton, Edelman
Brooke Pendleton, Community Volunteer
Mark H. Rapaport, Emory University School of Medicine
Natalie Ross, FullSurge
Debbie Sessions, Wipfli LLP
Arnie Silverman, Silverman Construction Project Management
Carla C. Smith, The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc.
Thomas Watson, Hyundai Capitol
Sheila Weidman-Farley, Georgia-Pacific
Mark Weinstein, Brightwell Talent Solutions
Karen Wilbanks, The Robert & Polly Dunn Foundation
Gil Wolchock, mLevel
Curtis L. Wooten, Community Volunteer
Frank Wrenn, Habitat for Humanity International