Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Cari A. Guthrie Cho, LCSW-C

Ms. Guthrie  is a licensed social worker who has been working in community mental health for over 25 years. She started her career working on the inpatient psychiatric unit at Montgomery General Hospital (now Medstar Montgomery) and then at Threshold Services residential rehabilitation program. She received her MSW from the University of Maryland in 1995 and worked for Johns Hopkins Bayview Mental Health Capitation Program Creative Alternatives in Baltimore for 3 years. She returned to Threshold Services in 1997 where she served as a Program Director, Rehabilitation Director and Clinic Director as well as the Chief Operating Officer. In 2012, Threshold Services merged with St. Luke’s House and became Cornerstone Montgomery. Cornerstone Montgomery is the largest provider of mental health services in Montgomery County serving over 2400 people.  In 2012, Ms. Guthrie became president and CEO of Cornerstone Montgomery.

Ms. Guthrie has been actively involved in implementing evidence based practices, including Family Psychoeducation, Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders, Motivational Interviewing, Illness Management and Recovery, Supported Employment, Stages of Change, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. She facilitates training and consulting on these topics in Maryland and DC. 

In 2015, she served on the Montgomery County Mental Health Court Task Force. Ms. Guthrie is a member and serves on the board of Bethesda Chevy Chase Rotary. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland and the National Council for Behavioral Health. Ms. Guthrie is a graduate member of the Leadership Montgomery Core Class of 2016 and in 2015-16 she was a member of the Vistage Executive Group. In 2016 Ms. Guthrie was one of 7 nonprofit leaders recognized by NonProfitPRO for her outstanding leadership, passion for the cause and paving the way for others to follow.  Under her leadership and vision, Cornerstone Montgomery’s budget has grown 30%, from $18 million to over $23 million.

Cari is speaking during Transformation Showcase: Making Mergers Work.

Carol Clayton, Ph.D.

Dr. Carol Clayton is a licensed, psychologist with 30 years of health care experience in the public and private sector, including non-profit and private practice work. Prior to joining OPEN MINDS as a Senior Consultant, she retired as the Translational Neuroscientist for Relias, where she specialized in health care solutions targeting workforce development and population health outcome improvement. Before joining Relias, Dr. Clayton was the CEO of Care Management Technologies, a health IT data analytics company. She also served as the Executive Director of the NC Council of Community Programs from 2000-2006. The NC Council is the predecessor organization to i2i.

Corina Casco, LCSW, MSW

Corina has a 15-year-career in the child welfare arena, most recently at Wayfinder Family Services as chief program officer over the past 11 years. During her time at Wayfinder, the agency grew its contracts from $10 million to $20 million, added six group homes, a medically fragile residential program, and shelter care. She also took the program lead of a merger/transition with another organization. Prior to Wayfinder, Corina worked as a regional administrator at McKinley Children’s Center, a chronic care social worker at The Children’s Clinic, and as a foster care social worker/clinician at Concept 7 Family Support & Treatment Center. For the last 7 years, she has been an adjunct guest lecturer at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs where she teaches several courses to MSW graduate students. Corina holds a B.A. in political science and a B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Irvine and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Corina is speaking during Recruiting Best Practices For A Competitive Labor Market.

Dana Royse, MBA

Erin Drummond

Faith Dyson-Washington, Ph.D., MBA

Faith is speaking during Women In Leadership: A Discussion Session.

Gary Mendell

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit focused on reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America. After losing his son Brian to addiction in 2011, Gary founded Shatterproof to spare other families the tragedy his had suffered.

Since founding Shatterproof in 2012, Mr. Mendell has been a national leader in the addiction field creating solutions that will ensure that substance use disorder will be prevented and treated for generations to come, including providing the support needed to those in recovery and removing the shame and stigma so often associated with those afflicted with this disease.

He is a frequent speaker on how our society can end the stigma unjustly associated with addiction, has been honored numerous times for his leadership related to reversing the course of the opioid epidemic, testified in front of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on Treating Substance Misuse in America, and has been a guest several times on CNBC and MSNBC to provide his perspective on commonsense solutions to the opioid epidemic, and his opinions are frequently reflected in The Wall Street JournalForbes, and The Washington Post. Mr. Mendell is a member of the National Leadership Steering Team for the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Stigma around Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder with the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, a member of the National Quality Forum's Technical Expert Panel for Opioid and Opioid Use Disorder and is an advisory member of The Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.  

Mr. Mendell spent decades as an entrepreneur. He founded HEI Hotels & Resorts, a multi-billion-dollar company that oversees a portfolio of approximately 85 first class hotels. He raised and managed $1.2 billion in discretionary capital from some of the most prestigious universities in the United States and managed more than $2 billion in assets. He is also a former trustee and president of Starwood Lodging Trust. That business-world experience gives him a unique perspective in running a nonprofit organization like Shatterproof.

Mr. Mendell received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gina Forrest, Ph.D., MPH

Joseph P. Naughton-Travers, EdM

Joseph P. Naughton-Travers, EdM, Senior Associate, has more than 30 years of experience in the health and human service field. In this tenure as senior associate with OPEN MINDS since 1998, he has served as lead of dozens of client initiatives, served as editor of OPEN MINDS publications, and is the author of many groundbreaking articles and presentations.

Mr. Naughton-Travers brings to OPEN MINDS a broad range of experiences in private and public sector delivery of behavioral health and social services. He started his career as a behavioral health clinician, working in both child welfare and community mental health clinic settings. Subsequently, Mr. Naughton-Travers held a senior business operations management position for a psychiatric hospital system and its community mental health clinics.  Later, he was vice president of a firm specializing in information systems and billing and receivables management for community-based mental health programs.

Since joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Naughton-Travers has developed business solutions for provider and professional organizations, state and county government, technology companies, and venture capital firms. His primary areas of expertise include strategic planning and metrics-based management, electronic health record (EHR) and technology selection and implementation, operations improvement, and corporate compliance. For the past decade, over half his consulting practice has focused on aiding organizations in technology selection and implementation, including all aspects of strategic technology planning, functional specifications development, request for proposal development, vendor selection, and contracting.

He has written numerous articles, including “Winning the Human Resource Wars: Tried, True and New Strategies for Behavioral Health and Social Service Organizations,” “Five Pillars of Management Competency,” “Data Driven Decision Making: Moving to an Organizational Measurement Culture,” “Survival of the Smartest: What is Your Organization’s Information Literacy IQ?,” and “Strategic Human Resource Management: Aligning Compensation with Employee Performance and Organizational Strategy.” Mr. Naughton-Travers is also a nationally recognized speaker, having conducted hundreds of executive and professional executive training events around the nation.

Mr. Naughton-Travers received his Bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and his Masters’ of Education in Counseling Psychology from Boston University.

Karen Carloni

Karen Carloni serves as the Executive Director of Southern Maryland Community Network, Inc., a 501(c)3, non-profit community behavioral health organization. Since assuming the position in May 2013, Ms. Carloni has focused on working with community stakeholders to address service gaps over a three-county region. Ms. Carloni believes in building strong partnerships among service participants, other area providers, government and private entities in order to achieve the agency mission. She specializes in program development and bringing value through achieving impact.

Ms. Carloni has previous experience as a Deputy Director, Rehabilitation Director and private practice therapist. She also writes for Choosing Therapy and served as an officer on the Board of Directors of the Community Behavioral Health Association. Ms. Carloni is the Treasurer of the Maryland Behavioral Health Services provider network. In 2015 Ms. Carloni completed the Executive Leadership Program of the National Council and Leadership Southern Maryland in 2017.

Ms. Carloni completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Florida and a Master of Arts in Counselor Education at the University of South Florida. She holds CRC and LCPC licenses and is a Nationally Certified Counselor.

Ms. Carloni is married with four children and several adult foster children.

Karen is speaking during Transformation Showcase: Making Mergers Work.

Kashunda Williams, Ph.D., BCABA-D

Dr. Williams serves as the director of Quality and Data Management for MHSD. Dr. Williams is a licensed clinical psychologist and a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst – Doctoral Level. Dr. Williams has over 15 years of professional experience. Among her roles, she is a consultant, trainer, practitioner, and researcher. Her clinical experiences focus on direct services to youth (e.g., individual, group, and family therapy) for a variety of presenting psychopathology and utilizing ABA methodologies in treatment planning. Her administrative experiences are in healthcare operations including behavioral health program development, accreditation, federal grants, informatics/analytics, and complex project management. She has developed and facilitated trainings and workshops for mental health centers, schools, and community organizations. Dr Williams has authored book chapters and her research can be found in peer reviewed journals.

Dr. Williams brings an in-depth understanding of quality and data management to MHSD. The Quality and Data Management division strives to establish a data driven environment, that includes but is not limited to system infrastructure, data management, and service delivery monitoring, that supports continuous quality improvement across MHSD.

Kashunda is speaking during Women In Leadership: A Discussion Session.

Ken Carr

Ken Carr brings over 20 years of finance, technology, data analysis and reporting experience in the health and human service field to OPEN MINDS. He currently ia a Senior Associate with the OPEN MINDS consulting practice. In this role, he served as a subject matter expert in the OPEN MINDS consulting practice where he has led numerous engagements in strategic planning, merger and acquisition prospecting, business process improvement, financial analysis of service lines, and technology selection.

Before joining the OPEN MINDS team, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of The Centers, a community mental health center in Ocala, Florida. In this position, Mr. Carr led a realignment of the organization’s financial management functions. This included revenue cycle management, EHR bill implementation and reporting, cash management enhancement, and strategic financial analysis.

Prior to his role at The Centers, Mr. Carr served as Chief Financial Officer of Guild Incorporated, an organization providing residential and community based mental health services in St. Paul, Minnesota. As CFO, Mr. Carr led the financial, billing, IT, quality, informatics, compliance, and facilities activities. During his tenure at Guild Incorporated, Mr. Carr used his expertise in change management and business process improvement to lead the EHR implementation team, align service data reporting and financial performance, and lead the financial and data capture activities for new service initiatives.

Mr. Carr has also held the positions of Administrative Director and Finance Director at the St. Paul National Testing Laboratory, a biomedical testing facility of the American Red Cross. In those positions he oversaw activities to enhance inventory management, align financial results to industry standards, and improve financial and facilities performance through problem analysis and quality management initiatives. He also was involved in directing human resource functions during laboratory closing near the end of his tenure.

Mr. Carr earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Sioux Falls Seminary. He maintains an active CPA license with the State of South Dakota.

Kimberly Bond, MS, LMFT

Kimberly Bond, MS, LMFT, brings over thirty years of experience providing behavioral health treatment in the public and community settings to the OPEN MINDS team. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President, Payer/Provider Market. In this role, Ms. Bond provides executive oversight and leadership to all Provider and Payer client engagements for OPEN MINDS.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Bond served concurrently as a Program Coordinator III and Clinical Manager of Adult Services and a Program Coordinator II and Clinical Manager of Recovery Services for the Ozark Guidance Center. In these roles, Ms. Bond was responsible for the administrative and clinical oversight of the adult outpatient and adult intensive mental health services on the Springdale Campus as well as the adult recovery/co-occurring services, including domestic violence and anger management treatment.

Prior to joining the Ozark Guidance Center, Ms. Bond served as the Executive Vice President of Center Point, Inc, a large substance abuse provider agency in California. In this role, Ms. Bond was responsible for the clinical and administrative supervision of all community-based programs as well as the women and children residential programs. In addition, Ms. Bond also managed budgets, interacted with funding agencies, and built positive relationships with all stakeholders. Ms. Bond was also in charge of proposal and grant writing, staff management, and training, facilities’ licensing and certifications renewals. Additionally, she prepared and submitted monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual reports to various funders.

Previously, Ms. Bond served as the President and CEO of Mental Health Systems, Inc. Ms. Bond was very instrumental in growing the agency from $12M in annual revenue to over $100M and becoming one of the largest providers of behavioral health services in California. In this role, Bond was responsible for the strategic, clinical, financial, and administrative health of the agency, including direct supervision of Senior Executive Staff. In addition, Bond ensured contract compliance of the agency’s 125 different contracts across federal and state agencies and eight counties.

Ms. Bond received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology, with Honors, and her Masters in Counseling Education from San Diego State University. She is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Arkansas.

Kristine Bashore

Kymberly Garrett, MBA, GPHR

With over 30 years of progressive Human Resources experience in varying disciplines, Kymberly Garrett has a background using a holistic Human Resources Management style. Kymberly supports all levels of professional development and has created cutting edge programs in Talent Acquisition, Talent & Performance Management and Executive Coaching.  Whether creating customized leadership training programs or facilitating change management initiatives – Kymberly utilizes her experiences in both Fortune 500 companies and start-ups, as well as, private and nonprofit organizations to help guide teams into becoming sustainable high-impact and high performing teams. Kymberly is certified through various Human Resources and Training organizations and also teaches Human Resources Practice.  Additionally, she serves on various Advisory Boards and is listed as a Subject Matter Expert with many labor-related governmental agencies. Kymberly, a Chicago native, has called Southern California home for the last 18 years.  She holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kymberly is speaking during Recruiting Best Practices For A Competitive Labor Market.

Luanne Welch

Luanne Welch is President and CEO of Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia, an industry leader supporting 20,000 children, adults & families living with intellectual and behavioral health challenges.

With more than 35 years of non-profit experience, Luanne is recognized as a turnaround leader, reorganizing financially challenged organizations and positioning them for sustained, healthy growth. In addition, she is adept in portfolio management, service line mission/finance analysis, strategic execution and leadership talent development. Mission driven, Luanne is passionate about influencing culture change, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and developing leaders and teams where employees feel valued, safe and encouraged to use their voices.

Luanne is a successful relationship builder across all stakeholders including the board, staff, volunteers, donors, public and private payers and community influencers. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Benchmarks NC, as Board Secretary of i2i Center for Integrative Health and is Vice Chair of UCP Regional Affiliate Council.

M. Lauren Sims

Lauren Sims is an accomplished professional with expertise providing strategic leadership in all facets of clinical and program services, program evaluation, standing up new products, and training across national markets. Using a systemic approach as a leader, she loves the opportunity to educate patients and staff, improve operational processes and increase benefit utilization. She has proven successes in implementing improvement strategies focused on cost efficiency and quality care. Clinically, she has a background creating, launching, managing and improving case management programs and creating initiatives to connect patients with valuable resources. Anthem is a leading health company serving more than 118 million people through its affiliated companies. Ms. Sims was a key leader in launching the first behavioral health value-based payment program for Anthem and continues to lead program expansion and initiatives focused on improved treatment outcomes.

Monica E. Oss

Monica E. Oss, M.S., Chief Executive Officer and Senior Associate, is the founder of OPEN MINDS. For the past three decades, Ms. Oss has led the OPEN MINDS team and its research on health and human service market trends and its national consulting practice. Ms. Oss is well known for her numerous books and articles focused on the strategic and marketing implications of the evolving health and human service field. She has unique expertise in payer financing models, provider rate setting, and service pricing. She has led numerous engagements with state Medicaid plans, county governments, private insurers, managed care programs, service provider organizations, technology vendors, neurotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations, and investment banking firms – with a focus on the implications of financing changes on delivery system design.

Paul M. Duck

Paul M. Duck brings over 30 years of experience in leadership and management focusing on managed care, health information technology organizations, strategy, business development, and market expansion, and customer experience optimization to the OPEN MINDS team.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Duck served as the Vice President, Strategy & Development at Beacon Health Options. In this role, Mr. Duck led the organization’s strategy and business development efforts – responsible for a 30% increase in net revenue and initiated over $1 billion in revenue generation. Mr. Duck was active in national behavioral health initiatives as an executive of Beacon Health Options, including participating as a speaker at national and state association meetings.

Before joining Beacon Health Options, Mr. Duck was the Vice President of Business Development at Netsmart Technologies. During his tenure, Mr. Duck was responsible for business planning, including, the oversight of strategic activities including acquisitions, development, and execution of strategic initiatives, and positioning, and sales of large strategic customers. He also led the rollout of the company’s benchmarking and data analytics product suite.

Prior to Netsmart, Mr. Duck served as the Chief Executive Officer for Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management, a large group practice with five clinic locations and two ambulatory surgical centers. As the organization’s chief executive officer, Mr. Duck was responsible for significant positive changes in leadership and corporate culture, financial and operational performance, compliance, and governance. Mr. Duck improved net collections by over $1 million per month and grew the practice through negotiating better contract rates with payers. He also implemented an organizational rebranding initiative and launched a new marketing campaign.

Prior to Coastal Orthopedics and Pain Management, Mr. Duck served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Florida Radiology Imaging, one of the largest outpatient diagnostic imaging service companies serving the greater Orlando market. During his tenure, Mr. Duck led the construction of three new, full modality, diagnostic imaging locations. Mr. Duck revolutionized the company’s culture by creating a highly attractive and functional work environment.

Mr. Duck earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Case Western Reserve University. He earned his Associate of Arts in Electronic Engineering Technology from the Electronic Technology Institute. Mr. Duck received an award by Inc Magazine for leading Florida Radiology Imaging as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Mr. Duck recently served as a contributing author to the book The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America.

Ramona Osburn

Ramona Osburn, MBA, MHA, FACHE, brings 20 years of experience in the behavioral health field to OPEN MINDS. Prior to joining the OPEN MINDS team, Ms. Osburn served as the Regional Vice President of Operations, Strategic Behavioral Health, providing leadership, strategy, and operational support to behavioral health hospitals and outpatient centers in multiple states. In that role, she created numerous outpatient telehealth programs, developed a strategy for community-based care programming, and was responsible for business development and marketing planning.

Previously, Ms. Osburn was the Chief Executive Officer for Summit Behavioral Health. At Summit, Ms. Osburn led a program to integrate the operations of a large addiction treatment center; an addiction medicine practice with more than 40 addictionologists and psychiatrists, and a medical health care system. She facilitated the development of a strategy for the newly-integrated system, developed its marketing plan, created a physician council, and negotiated its payer contracts including pay-for-performance arrangements.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Osburn was the Market Chief Executive Officer for Universal Health Services (UHS).She was recruited to design, build, and open a new behavioral health hospital and multiple outpatient centers to support a partnership with a regional medical center. Ms. Osburn was also responsible for the operations of four other behavioral health hospitals, managing the CEOs of those facilities. In this role, Ms. Osborn also recruited psychiatrists, led a initiative to integrate behavioral health into the medical center’s emergency services, and negotiated numerous health plan contracts and partnerships.  

Before UHS, Ms. Osburn was the Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health for Texas Health Resources. In that role, she provided operational leadership for multiple behavioral health hospitals, residential addiction treatment centers, eating disorder programs, and outpatient centers. She developed the organization’s direct employer contracting strategy and negotiated Center of Excellence contracts with health plans. Ms. Osborn also led Texas Health Resources involvement in an ACO initiative to integrated behavioral health with primary care and created a systemwide mobile assessment team for 55 hospital emergency departments in the greater Dallas metro area.

Ms. Osburn received her MBA and MHA from Texas Women’s University and Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Excelsior College at the University of New York.Edit Speaker 

Ray Wolfe, J.D.

Raymond “Ray” Wolfe, J.D. brings over 40 years of experience in the health and human services sector to the OPEN MINDS team. Mr. Wolfe currently serves as a Senior Associate, a position in which he utilizes his expertise to successfully lead varying projects for OPEN MINDS. His areas of expertise include financial analysis and management, mergers and acquisitions, performance improvement, and strategic planning.

Before joining OPEN MINDS, Mr. Wolfe served in a 22 year tenure with Pittsburgh Mercy Health System in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most recently, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) where he was responsible for oversight of all system operations, strategic planning, and performance management. Under his direction Pittsburgh Mercy achieved over $850K in value-based reimbursement contract quality bonus awards, integrated three organizations through merger/acquisition, and adopted a new performance management program for managers.

Before acting as Pittsburgh Mercy’s COO, Mr. Wolfe served as the organization’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and was responsible for the development of internal costing methodologies, contract rate negotiations, and financial forecasting activities. In addition, he coordinated an integrated care program with local partner hospitals to develop a series of diversion and respite programs, as well as, specialized primary care, integrated care management and high utilizer teams, while maintaining 15 straight years profitability.

Mr. Wolfe was promoted to CFO after serving as the Director of Fiscal and Information Security/Compliance for the health system. In this role, he was responsible for managing the transition of service contracts from fee-for-service (FFS), leading all compliance activities, and implementing a next generation electronic health record (EHR) system.

Prior to his time at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, Mr. Wolfe served as Chief Fiscal Officer with the Summit Center for Human Development in Clarksburg, West Virginia, where he was responsible for reporting and budgeting functions and preparing Summit Center’s programs for FFS billing.

Previously, Mr. Wolfe served in billing and collections for two Pennsylvania-based hospitals. First, as an Accounts Receivables Manager for Brownsville General Hospital in Brownsville, PA, where he managed the accounting and billing system transition systems. Later as a Patient Account Manager for St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA, where he improved collections to hit 95% rate through the implementation of new billing software and department reorganization.

Prior to working in the health and human services market, Mr. Wolfe spent five years practicing as a Lawyer with at Law Offices of Arch A. Moore in Moundsville, WV. In this role he provided general legal practice, created and established bylaws for multiple corporation, and handled West Virginia licensing of first vision insurance plan.

Mr. Wolfe earned his Juris Doctor from the West Virginia University School of Law in Morgantown, WV and his Bachelor’s degree with a focus in Political Science and Sociology from West Liberty University, in Wheeling, WV, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Robert Prosperi

Robert H. Prosperi is one of the foremost experts on the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a U.S. Army veteran. He served for 17 years as one of the two historians at the Gettysburg National Military Park. During this time he served as a personal tour guide and battlefield escort for numerous dignitaries and celebrities. He had the distinct privilege of providing a personal tour for Presidents Carter and Sadat and Prime Minister Begin during the Camp David Summit.

Ross Teemant

Sharon Hicks, MBA, MSW

Sharon Hicks, MBA, MSW, has more than 20 years of experience in the health and human service field. She has extensive expertise and a wide range of experience in health plan management, clinical operations management, and technology. A recognized thought leader among her peers, Ms. Hicks is a regular keynote speaker at industry conferences and association meetings, as well as an author of hundreds of articles and resources for professionals in both clinical and executive roles.

Prior to joining OPEN MINDS, Ms. Hicks spent two decades in a number of executive positions within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) system. She served as the Chief Operating Officer for Community Care Behavioral Health, UPMC’s managed behavioral health organization responsible for $800 million in annual revenue. At Community Care, Ms. Hicks was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s operations, including fiscal, information systems, the claims processing department, and the design of clinical systems. She also managed the day-to-day operations of human resources, facilities, purchasing, and security.

Ms. Hicks also served in a variety of tech leadership roles for UPMC. In 2002, she was appointed as the Vice President of Technology Strategy for the UPMC Insurance Services Division before becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Askesis Development Group, a leading provider of electronic health record software for behavioral health and social service organizations. In this role, Ms. Hicks was responsible for the growth and profitability of the company and the direction of software development. In addition, Ms. Hicks was the President of U Squared Interactive, a UPMC-owned organization with the exclusive United States rights to Beating The Blues – the renowned computerized cognitive behavioral therapy solution for treating anxiety and depression.

Ms. Hicks started her impressive career as a psychiatric social worker and an Assistant Director of Social Work. Prior to her promotions, Ms. Hicks served as a Clinical Administrator for both Ambulatory Services and Emergency and Intake Services at the UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. In this role, Ms. Hicks managed the behavioral health division, the budgets for all departments, and implemented new software replacing paper billing for clinical services.

Ms. Hicks received both her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Social Work degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before pursuing her graduate education, Ms. Hicks received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Point Park College, Pittsburgh, PA.

Simona Cataldo

Born and raised in Italy, Dr. Simona Cataldo is an experienced executive with a multicultural background and the ability to drive change and lead execution in fast-paced environments. She has over 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in the non-profit industry, both in mental health and traditional healthcare.

Dr. Cataldo describes herself as a mom, a wife, a leader, and a traveler. She is committed to her own lifelong development as a leader and believes that good leaders are first good humans. Her goal is to be a positive influence in the world by being an authentic and compassionate leader and teaching others what she has learned in her own journey of serving and developing people and organizations.

Dr. Cataldo currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Victor, a partnership of two non-profit organizations offering specialty mental health services in community-based settings, residential treatment, and foster care and adoption services throughout California. Victor has a consolidated budget of over $100 M.

Simona is speaking during Women In Leadership: A Discussion Session.

Terry G. Fox

Terry Fox is a sixth-generation resident of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and a battlefield guide emeritus with Gettysburg National Military Park. He taught American History in the public schools for 33 years, serving as department head and as a member of the Carnegie Foundation for teaching American History. Since his retirement he has taught as an adjunct professor at Gettysburg College and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. He has presented leadership seminars for U.S. Air Force chief master sergeants as well as employees of the U.S. Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in addition to teaching in Johns Hopkins’ Police Executive Leadership program. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Shippensburg College.

Vic Armstrong

Victor Armstrong serves National Director of Soul Shop for Black Churches, a national initiative to equip faith community leaders to minister to those impacted by suicide. Victor previously served as Chief Diversity Officer of RI International with responsibility for developing, creating, and implementing the Diversity Equity and Inclusion framework throughout the organization. Prior to this role Victor served as North Carolina DHHS Chief Health Equity Officer, with responsibility for leading the overarching strategy and operational goals to promote health equity, diversity, and inclusion across all the agency’s health and human services.

Victor originally joined NC DHHS as ‪Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March of 2020, with responsibility and oversight of the public community-based mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, substance use, and traumatic brain injury system in North Carolina. Prior to accepting this role, Victor spent six years as Vice President of Behavioral Health with Atrium Health. Based in Charlotte. Victor has over 30 years of experience in human services, primarily dedicated to building and strengthening community resources to serve individuals who have been historically marginalized. He is a nationally recognized speaker on issues regarding health equity and access to healthcare, particularly as it relates to individuals living with mental health challenges.

Victor currently serves on the board of directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- North Carolina and is the host of the “Strong Talk” podcast. He is a member of NC Institute of Medicine (NCIOM), and serves on the National Response Steering Committee for the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.  

Victor’s awards and recognitions include:

  • Living Waters Annual Mental Health Summit 2022 “Lifetime Mental Health Champion” Award
  • National Association of Social Workers North Carolina (NASW-NC) 2022 Social Worker of the Year
  • Addiction Professionals of NC (APNC) 2021 DEI Leadership & Impact Award
  • Mental Health America’s 2021 H. Keith Brunnemer, Jr. Award for “Outstanding Mental Health Leadership”
  • Black Mental Health Symposium 2019 Mental Health Advocate of the Year
  • Atrium Health 2019 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award
  • East Carolina University School of Social Work 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award
  • i2i Center for Integrative Health 2018 Innovation Award for "Whole Person Care"
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) NC, 2012 Mental Health Professional of the Year.

Victor graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and received a Master of Social Work (MSW) from East Carolina University. He is the husband of Dr. Charletta Armstrong and the father of 3 sons, Carter, Alonzo, and Victor Jr.

Vic is speaking during Developing A Talent Management Strategy For The Future.

William M. Lopez, M.D., CPE

As the National Medical Director for Virtual Care Dr. Will Lopez is the clinical leader in the implementation of Evernorth and Cigna Healthcare’s national virtual care strategy. In this role he is directly involved in coverage policy development, reimbursement, government affairs issues, and assessing new technologies coming to market. In addition he oversees a medical director’s team responsible for medical necessity reviews, case management, and claims activities.  He provides clinical expertise to Cigna’s sales and marketing teams during client and stakeholder meetings.

Prior to joining Cigna in 2006, Dr. Lopez was a staff psychiatrist and Medical Director for psychiatric services at Snowden at Fredericksburg, a private behavioral health center in Virginia.  Dr. Lopez was a captain in the U.S. Air Force where he practiced aerospace medicine.  As a veteran of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, he is passionate about supporting and leading veteran related initiatives.

Dr. Lopez lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and youngest daughter who is a junior at NC State University. When not at work, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, bicycling, and whitewater rafting.

Will is speaking during The Cigna/Evernorth Centers Of Excellence Model: A Briefing & Discussion Session.