Our People


Click on any of the names below to get more detailed information:

Kathy Colbenson, LMFT, President and Chief Executive Officer

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 Simpson, MA & Ed.S., Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

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.

 

Publications:

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

Sheila Katz Cohen CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Sheila joined CHRIS 180 in March 2020 with 10 years of nonprofit experience at Honeymoon Israel and Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta where she was Chief Financial Officer for both organizations. Sheila spent most of her career in accounting and financial leadership roles in the for-profit world. Sheila is a Certified Public Accountant and earned her BS in Management from the A.B. Freeman School of Business of Tulane University in New Orleans. She enjoys playing tennis, practicing yoga and going on outdoor adventures with her husband and two teenage sons.

 

 

Kevin Clift, Chief Development Officer

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 Barnett, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director, Human Resources

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.

Chaundra Luckett, Chief Marketing Officer

Chaundra joined CHRIS 180 in 2018 as our Director of Marketing and Communications, before being promoted to Chief Marketing Officer in 2020.  With more than 15 years of extensive experience in journalism, marketing, communications and nonprofit public relations, Chaundra uses her unique abilities as a storyteller to leverage CHRIS 180’s brand throughout Atlanta. Chaundra holds a BA in Mass Communications from Bennett College and her award-winning career in television news helps her bring a one of a kind insight to her work leading the strategic internal and external communications, marketing and advertising 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-Elect of Learning & Development  for The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc., where she just wrapped up a successful year on the board of directors as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the 104 year old nonprofit. Additionally, she serves as Parliamentarian for the Atlanta Chapter of the Bennett College National Alumnae Association and is the Public Relations Chair for the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance. She is a proud graduate of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2019, a member of the LEAD Atlanta Alumni Association and is a member of 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.

Selima Morrow, MSW, Director of Outreach & Community Housing

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 Thompson, MS, Vice President, Community Programs

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.

Monica McGannon, MSW, LCSW, Vice President of Training

monica-mcgannon_2016

Monica brings 33 years of experience in the field of behavioral health and expertise in training to her position as CHRIS 180’s Vice President of Training.  Her experience includes expertise in trauma-informed care, forensics, children and adolescents, refugees, substance abuse and hospice. Monica is a nationally certified grief counselor, a public speaker and has provided numerous trainings at professional conferences, both locally and nationally. Prior to serving in this role, Monica was a Clinical Director at CHRIS 180 and managed several programs. As VP of Training, Monica oversees all professional and clinical trainings offered by the CHRIS Training Institute and the Institute for Spiritual Health and Wellness Education Program which provides chaplaincy training for residents and interns.  The CHRIS Training Institute offers training in school systems, professional and clinical trainings and workshops, leadership seminars and much more.  Since 1988 Monica has been an active volunteer with the American Red Cross serving as a Disaster Mental Health Clinician. She is passionate about providing training and guidance that enables underserved people to receive high quality treatment and services.

Carol B. Pitts, PhD, LPC, LMFT, CPCS Approved Supervisor, AAMFT Clinical Director, CHRIS Counseling Center DeKalb

Carol brings a wealth of experience to her role as a supervisor and Clinical Director of CHRIS Counseling DeKalb. She joined CHRIS 180 in March 2020. Before arriving at CHRIS 180, she was Clinical Director and Director of Counseling at the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. Carol is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, and a Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor.  As Clinical Director of CHRIS Counseling DeKalb, she oversees the Counseling Program that serves adults, adolescents, and children; and the iThrive Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adults; she provides supervision, consultation, and direct services.  Carol has been supervising clinicians for 25 years and has been a counselor for 30 years.  In her leadership, supervision and counseling, she works from an integrated, holistic, person-centered, systemic and culturally sensitive philosophy.

 

In addition to her leadership and supervision, she enjoys therapy work with individuals, couples, and families and she leads groups for women.  She also serves on faculty for the Solihten Institute, and trains clinicians nationally in spiritually integrated psychotherapy.  Carol received her BA in journalism from Drake University in 1981, her MDiv. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1989, her MA in psychology from Duquesne University in 1990, and her PhD from Emory University in 1995.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and being outdoors.

Cassandra Royal, MA, LPC, CCM Clinical Director, Fulton County Behavioral Health

Cassandra joined CHRIS 180 in June 2020 as the Clinical Director of Fulton County Behavioral Health programs with 20 years of experience in the behavioral health systems in both Georgia and Ohio. She has a strong record of leading accreditation processes, operational processes, and strategic planning with optimal successes resulting in the development of high quality, cost effective and integrated services among community agencies and medical insurance services over her professional career.  Cassandra’s area of expertise includes adult and child/adolescent disorders/therapy, crisis response and prevention, domestic violence, forensics, family systems, intensive family interventions, mental health disorders, personality disorders, sexual offending, sexual trauma, and substance-related disorders. These are all imperative skill sets she utilizes as the Clinical Director for Fulton County Behavioral Health within Adamsville, Club House, TREE House Substance Abuse Program, Gwinnett, North Annex, and Oak Hill counseling and services.  She enjoys supporting her discipline by providing professional development and educational trainings in various topics of criminal justice, behavioral health, supervisory issues, and medical insurance related topics for close to two decades.

Cassandra prides herself in her ability to balance self-care and her professional responsibilities. She enjoys the arts, baking, painting, being creative, reading, photography, and embracing nature.  She loves spending time with family; her husband, Casey, her four children Tylor, Andre, Jaelyn, and Madison; and their dogs Bailey, Jax, and Bella Blu.

Ashleigh Dennis-Silas, MA, LPC, CPCS, Clinical Director, CHRIS Counseling Center Gwinnett

Ashleigh is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor with over 14 years of professional experience in the mental health field. Ashleigh earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Special Education from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She earned her Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Since beginning her career, Ashleigh has worked in both community and agency settings, with diverse populations toward her goal of supporting the healthy development of children youth and families. While working for the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board in Newport News Virginia, Ashleigh coordinated and facilitated the delivery of Botvin’s Life skills Curriculum to over 750 public school students. While in Virginia she served as a community organizer and worked extensively to support community-based youth serving organizations in gaining millions of dollars in federal funding to support substance abuse prevention programs.

 

Since joining CHRIS 180 in 2014, Ashleigh has focused her work on providing trauma-informed care to youth and families involved in the Juvenile Justice system. Ashleigh has served as Program Manager of the Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant, Multisystemic Therapy Supervisor and Program Manager. In her current role as Clinical Manager, Ashleigh manages the day to day operations of the counseling center and provides direct clinical supervision to Therapists and Community workers. She is a part of interagency and interdisciplinary teams which work to improve access to and ensure effective implementation of counseling services to children adults, youth and families in Georgia. Ashleigh oversees service delivery of Multisystemic Therapy and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs in both Gwinnett and Fulton Counties.

Brittney Walters, MSW, LCSW, Vice President of School Based Mental Health

Brittney joined CHRIS 180 in 2017 and brings a diversified background of mental health experience to CHRIS 180. From 2017-2020, Brittney served as our Clinical Director of our Atlanta CHRIS Counseling Center in addition to supervising our Drop-In Center for young adults at risk or experiencing homelessness, our Permanent Supportive Housing Program (TransitionZ), and our Integrated Health Clinic. 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, 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 working with complex trauma and high acuity cases. Brittney is honored to work with a robust, dynamic team of clinical professionals as they lead the charge for providing quality trauma-informed services within our school communities. She aims to ensure that barriers are broken down and access is increased for all individuals, with the goal of receiving the highest quality mental health services and supports possible.

Traci Willis, M.Ed, Ed.S, LPC, JourneyZ Director

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.

Board of Directors

Susan O’Farrell (Chair), BlueLinx

Julia Houston (Vice Chair), Equifax
April Estes (Treasurer), PwC
Cyril Turner (Secretary), Community Volunteer

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

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

Advisory Council

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

Andrea N. Smith, The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc.

Carla C. Smith, Community Volunteer

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

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