Chris 180 | Leadership
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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 clubhouse for teens/young adults, an adoption program, and a training institute – all of which focus on mental health, recovering from the impact of childhood trauma, and developing the skills needed for self-sufficiency.


Over the years Kathy has provided consistent leadership through innovation and initiatives that have resulted in outreach and help for underserved and invisible populations. New programs include the opening in January 2000 of the Southeast’s first program for homeless youth that targeted outreach to LGBTQ youth, 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 Leadership Award; and in 2013, Kathy was honored to receive the 2013 Leadership Character Award. CHRIS 180 programs and services have been recognized for expertise and leadership in trauma-informed care and most recently, the CHRIS Counseling Center received the TeleHealth Facility of the Year from the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, 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. Kathy is married, has two daughters, two dogs, two cats and enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling, and photography.

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


Cindy Simpson is the COO of CHRIS 180 and has over 35 years of experience working in Georgia’s social welfare, youth homeless and mental health systems.


At CHRIS 180, Cindy has been instrumental in initiating new and innovative programs aimed at filling the gaps in services for youth in foster care, homeless youth and in the provision of equitable quality mental health services. New model programs include the Gateway Foster Home program enabling siblings in foster care to stay together in a family setting and work toward reunification, adoption or kinship care; a trauma informed care adoption model; Summit Trail, a 44-unit supportive housing apartment complex for homeless youth and youth who have aged out of foster care with a mental health diagnosis; a Mental Health Clubhouse for transitioning age youth; and school based mental health services.


Cindy has led advocacy efforts in the modifications of state delivery systems and for LGBT youth in foster care helping to develop guidelines that enable LBGT 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.


She 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

Mark Phillips, MBA, CPA, Chief Financial Officer


Mark joined CHRIS  180 in 2015 with more than 30 years of experience in finance. During his career, Mark served as CFO, Consultant, VP of Finance, and Controller for large public, and small and mid-size private entities in the distribution, non-profit, technology, manufacturing, airline, hospitality, and real estate industries. Mark’s experience includes financial leadership, raising capital, controllership, financial reporting, turnarounds, bankruptcies, and financial analysis in non-profit, public, and in rapidly growing and distressed private companies. Mark is a licensed CPA and holds an MBA from Georgia State University’s Executive Program.


Melissa Robinson Graves, MS, LMFT, Director, CHRIS Training Institute


Melissa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with more than 16 years of experience serving children, adolescents, adults, and families in the mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and school systems. She is a human service professional with extensive experience managing multi-million dollar budgets, implementing start-up of system change, and developing programs in private, non-profit, and government sectors. As Director of Training at CHRIS  180, Melissa directs the planning, development, and implementation of training programs for internal staff and external customers. She has increased the revenue of the Training Department 62% in the past year. 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. She has presented at state and national professional conferences and is a P.O.S.T. certified Crisis Intervention Team trainer.


Monica McGannon, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Director, Fulton County Behavioral Health - Child, Adolescent & Young Adults


Monica has 29 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. She 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 for professional conferences, both locally and nationally. Monica is passionate about helping low-income and underserved people get high quality treatment.

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.

Janet Walker, Director, Human Resources

Janet joined CHRIS 180 in 2016 with over 15 years of experience in HR. Her specialty includes establishing and executing HR strategies that align with business objectives. She is a graduate of University of Louisville with an MA in Human Resources Management and a BA in Communications from Eastern Kentucky University.  Prior to joining CHRIS 180, Janet managed human resources for several metro Atlanta organizations.

Brittney Walters, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Director, CHRIS Counseling Center and Director, Transitionz and Drop in Center

Brittney joined the CHRIS 180 family in 2017 and brings a diversified background of Mental Health experience to the team. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. She obtained both her BS in Child and Family Development and MSW at the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the CHRIS 180 team, Brittney worked for several years at a local psychiatric residential treatment facility 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, and individual/group therapy. Within her many roles at CHRIS 180, Brittney is honored to work with a robust team of Clinical Supervisors, Program Managers, Therapists, Community Support Individuals, Life Coaches, and Administrative Staff. She aims to ensure that individuals receive the most effective and highest quality mental health services both in the clinic, as well as in the community.

Anne Wilson, Director, Marketing and Communications

annewilson_2016_smallAnne joined CHRIS 180 in 2016 with more than 16 years experience in strategic communications, marketing, and public relations. She is a graduate of Hollins University with a BA in Communication Studies. Prior to joining CHRIS 180, Anne managed all communications and marketing for Hands On Atlanta and her experience includes brand management and strategy, event planning, nonprofit and corporate public relations, and internal and external communication strategy. Anne and her husband Terrell have three children: Chase (10), Hannah (8), and Caroline (3).

Board of Directors

Mona B. Harty (Chair), Delta Air Lines
Susan O’Farrell (Vice Chair), BlueLinx
Debbie Sessions (Treasurer), Porter Keadle Moore, LLC
J. Gabriel Banks (Secretary), Weathington McGrew

Conroy Boxhill, Gladiator RMS

Randy Buhlig, Community Volunteer

Isys Caffey, Stripe Reputation
Ron Carmichael, Verifone
Kathy Colbenson, CHRIS 180

Lenore Cusick, CIBC Private Wealth Management
Carolyn C. Donnelly, CIBC Private Wealth Management

April Estes, PwC

Pamela Goode, Community Volunteer

Kevin Heath, Georgia-Pacific
Thomas J. Houle, Homrich Berg
Julia A. Houston, Equifax
Susan Somersille Johnson, SunTrust Bank

Robert “Bo” Keatley, Savills Studley

Rob Kight, Delta Air Lines
Valarie Mackey, WrightNow Solutions

Hon. Todd Markle, Superior Court of Fulton County

Terrin McKay, Community Volunteer

J. Scott Mosteller, Genuine Parts Company

Terry Russell, FrontDoor Communities
Becca Sherrill, BMC Software, Inc

Cyril Turner, Delta Air Lines (retired)
Thomas Watson, Hyundai

Rebecca Woods, Seyfarth Shaw

Advisory Council

The Honorable T. Jackson Bedford, Jr., Fulton County Government (retired) (Co-Chair)
Nandy Millner, Merrill Lynch Private Bank  (Co-Chair)
BA Albert,  ba. agency

Alice Ball, Community Volunteer

Pamela Babineau, Home Depot

Angele Barrow, New Hope Enterprises

Patty Bedford, Community Volunteer
Jay Bernath, C&S Wholesale Meat Company
Brian Bowling, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Kathy Bremer, BoardWalk Consulting

Kenneth F. Britt, Alston & Bird LLP (ret.)

Ann Cramer, Coxe Curry & Associates

Lee Crump, Rollins Inc.

Cheryl Custer, Community Volunteer

Curley Dossman, Jr., Georgia-Pacific Foundation

Chad Duncan, Accenture
Ken Felts, NFP Executive Benefits
Susan Grant, CNN (ret.)
Marcel Hannah, Bank of America
Robert S. Harkey, Delta Air Lines (ret).
Patrick Healy, Peach State Health Plan
Marc Heilweil, Gratus Capital
Doug Hooker, Atlanta Regional Commission
Tad M. Hutcheson, Delta Air Lines
Jonathan Karron, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
J.D. Kellum, Keller Williams Realty
B. Mitchell King, Georgia Power
Kip Kirkpatrick, Alston & Bird LLP (ret.)
Steve Kolski, Community Volunteer
Bertram L. Levy, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

Sheila Lowden, HR Partners, Inc.
Kenneth Menendez, Ellis Funk

Araya Mesfin, UBS
Martha Pacini, Community Volunteer

Claudia Patton, Edelman

Brooke Pendleton, Community Volunteer
Marietta G. Petters, Community Volunteer
William C. Philbrick, Sitara International, LLC
Eric Pittman, Vital Solutions
Dr. Mark Rapaport, Emory University School of Medicine
Bill Rosenberg, Northwestern Mutual

Marilyn Rosenberg, Kidd Rutherford Designs

Natalie Ross, BrightBlue Partners
Arnie Silverman, Silverman Construction Project Managment

Sheila Weidman-Farley, Georgia-Pacific

Mark Weinstein, Brightwell Talent Solutions

Karen Wilbanks, The Robert & Polly Dunn Foundation

Gil Wolchock, LexisNexis
Curtis Wooten, Delta Global Services
Frank Wrenn, Habitat for Humanity International

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