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 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 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.
Brittany joined CHRIS 180 in 2015 and has more than 12 years of development experience. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Furman University with a BA in Business Administration and Communication Studies and earned her MBA from Georgia State University. While at Furman, she was the recipient of the Winston Babb Memorial Award which is given to the woman in each class who has demonstrated the most outstanding qualities of leadership, scholarship, and service to the university. Prior to her non-profit experience, Brittany worked in sales and support for Cyrolife and Xerox. She joined United Way of Greater Atlanta in 2003, and during her 11 years there, she managed the workplace giving campaigns and helped raised more than $926 million for the greater Atlanta area. She was the recipient of the President’s Award in 2011. Outside the office, she is heavily involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was recently named to the 2016 National Leadership Council. Brittany and her husband Jeff have two children, Hiatt (5) and Sutton (3).
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 Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Georgia State University in Atlanta and her Master of Science 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. She is also a member of the Junior League of DeKalb.
Monica has 29 years of experience in the field of mental health including, forensics, child and adolescents, refugees, substance abuse, and hospice. She oversees the CHRIS Counseling Center, which has seen a 306% growth over the past five years. 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.
Alie has 26 years of experience in the field of social work and has served various populations as a direct service provider, clinician, clinical supervisor, advocate, advisor, administrator, and executive leader. Alie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Memphis, a Master of Social Work and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work Policy Planning Administration and Social Science with a cognate in Public Administration from Clark Atlanta University. Her areas of research interest include: social and child welfare policy; commercial sexual exploitation of children; secondary trauma of social workers; refugee and immigration; racial identity; and military families.
Anne 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 serves on the Friends Board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Anne and her husband Terrell have three children: Chase (9), Hannah (6), and Caroline (2).
Mona B. Harty (Chair), Delta Air Lines
Susan O’Farrell (Vice Chair), BlueLinx
Debbie Sessions (Treasurer), Porter Keadle Moore, LLC
Todd Markle (Secretary), Superior Court of Fulton County
Pam Arnold, Cox Automotive
J. Gabriel Banks, Weathington Smith
Conroy Boxhill, Edelman
Ron Carmichael, Elavon, Inc.
Kathy Colbenson, CHRIS 180
Carolyn C. Donnelly, CIBC Atlantic Trust
April Estes, PwC
Bernadette J. Faber, UBS Private Wealth Management
Rich Gilmore, The Sherwin-Williams Company
Thomas J. Houle, Homrich Berg
Julia A. Houston, Equifax
Susan Somersille Johnson, SunTrust Bank
Valarie Mackey, The Coca-Cola Company
Jonathan Karron, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Rob Kight, Delta Air Lines
Kim King, Kaiser Permanente
Terrin McKay, Community Volunteer
Martha Pacini, Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Terry Russell, FrontDoor Communities
Becca Sherrill, BMC Software, Inc
Thomas Watson, Hyundai
Sheila Weidman-Farley, Georgia-Pacific
The Honorable T. Jackson Bedford, Jr., Fulton County Government (retired) (Co-Chair)
Nandy Millner, Merrill Lynch (Co-Chair)
BA Albert, Big Table Agency
Alice Ball, Community Volunteer
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
Sheila Dramis, HR Partners, Inc.
Chad Duncan, Accenture
Ken Felts, NFP Executive Benefits
Susan Grant, CNN (ret.)
Marcel Hannah, Bank of America
Robert S. Harkey, Delta Air Lines (ret).
Angele Hawkins, New Hope Enterprises
Patrick Healy, Peach State Health Plan
Marc Heilweil, Gratus Capital
Doug Hooker, Atlanta Regional Commission
Tad M. Hutchenson, Delta Air Lines
Robert Karem, UBS Private Wealth Management
J.D. Kellum, Keller Williams Realty
Timothy V. Killenberg, N3
B. Mitchell King, Georgia Power
Dow (Kip) N. Kirkpatrick, II, Alston & Bird LLP (ret.)
Steve Kolski, Community Volunteer
Bertram L. Levy, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
Kenneth Menendez, Ellis Funk
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
Arnie Silverman, Silverman Construction Project Managment
Cyril Turner, Delta Air Lines (retired)
Karen Wilbanks, The Robert & Polly Dunn Foundation
Gil Wolchock, LexisNexis
Curtis Wooten, Delta Global Services
Frank Wrenn, Habitat for Humanity International