Kathleen Kilbourne, M.Ed. (she/her)
BS in Special Education & Elementary Education, College of St.Joseph, 1994; M.Ed in Educational Administration, St. Michael’s College, 2000; Certificate, Center for Creative Leadership, 2019
Kathleen brings to the role of Executive Director a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, three state license endorsements (Elem. Education, Special Education, and Administration), as well as over twenty-eight years of service in public education in VT. She has served as a classroom teacher, special educator, not-for-profit director, and most recently, as a principal over the past decade. She is a nationally certified Crisis Prevention Institute instructor and consultant who uses restorative practices to support healing and repair relationships. Kathleen also guest lectures at four institutions of higher learning in VT.
Since Kathleen is an adoptive and biological mom and has served as a foster mom in the past, she has both personal and professional experiences that drive her passion for this work. Within her cross-cultural parenting journey of the past 22 years, she shares that her experiences as ‘“a consumer of services” is as valuable to her learning and growth as her time as “a provider of services to others.” She brings a deep and relevant understanding of systems, accessibility, and equity and the continued need for improvements for ALL consumers.
She enjoys balancing her work life with personal interests that include: live music and theater, traveling, reading, puzzles, cross stitching, card making, and most of all, the gift of time with her family!
Lorie Holtgrave, B.A., MPA (she/her)
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
B.A., University of Massachusetts; MPA, University of Wisconsin.
Lorie joined CHL in September 2021 as the Director of Operations. She brings operational experience from her administrative role at Loyola University Maryland and from her budget and policy analyst position at the Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
Her responsibilities at CHL include Organization Strategy and Business Development, Financial Performance and Sustainability, and Human Resources and Operations. Lorie enjoys improving systems’ efficiency and effectiveness and knows her way around a spreadsheet.
When she’s not working, she is either stitching an intricate embroidery piece or volunteering with a German Shepherd rescue, assisting in finding loving homes for abused and neglected dogs.
Beth M. Shrader, B.S., M.S. (she/her)
SENIOR PROGRAM SPECIALIST
B.S. Rutgers University 1984, M.S. NC State University 1986
Since 2014, Beth Shrader has been the principal of a consulting organization serving nonprofit organizations in the Northeast. During that time, she worked with the Center for Health and Learning on project management, training, and facilitation projects. Beth has served as a federal grant reviewer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Prior to taking on a consultant role, Beth was the Director of the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition in Vermont for ten years. Before joining the Coalition and moving to Vermont, Beth had been involved in nonprofit management, higher education, and volunteer administration for twenty-five plus years in New Jersey.
Kirk Postlewaite, MS, LCMHC (he/him)
VTSPC DIRECTOR | SENIOR PROGRAM SPECIALIST
B.A., University of Georgia, 1993; MS in Community Mental Health, Southern New Hampshire University, 2013; Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
Kirk is a seasoned public and community health professional with 20 years of experience in program management, clinical work, and community health initiatives. During this time, Kirk has worked with children, families, and adults in Vermont across systems of care and many settings. Most recently, he worked as the Population Health Director at Rutland Regional Medical Center and as the Communications and Development Director at Washington County Mental Health in central Vermont. Kirk’s expertise is focused on creating systems of care that are effective and efficient while remaining person-focused, and he brings a well-rounded clinical perspective to this work.
When not at work, Kirk thoroughly enjoys recreating outdoors in beautiful Vermont with his family and friends, eating good food, and seeing live music.
Deana Chase, LICSW, ACM, CCM (she/her)
SENIOR PROGRAM SPECIALIST
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Accredited Case Manager, and Certified Case Manager
Deana has over 25 years of experience in the Social Work field within systems of care, including community mental health, inpatient hospital settings, schools, and primary care. Most recently, Deana has had program management experience in Integrated Behavioral Health and has provided input to various community health initiatives.
This year, Deana was a member of the planning team for the St. Albans Health Service area’s learning collaborative on reducing suicide and drug overdose deaths. Deana was the lead in organizing and implementing the collaborative’s first session, “Preventing Death by Suicide: Involving the Whole Community in Suicide Prevention.”
Deana’s expertise is focused on creating and implementing workflows within systems of care. Deana brings a clinical perspective to the work as well as intimate knowledge of primary care workflows. As Program Manager for the Integrated Behavioral Health Program, Deana has played a lead role, along with others at NCSS, in implementing a workflow for a suicide-safe pathway within primary care sites in the St. Albans Health service area.
In 2020 Deana was the primary lead on Vermont’s Suicide Safe Pathway Mini-grant in the St. Albans Health Service area. This project supported program activities in which the goal was to build suicide-safer care pathways in Primary Care Practices (PCPs) that were part of Blueprint Patient-Centered Medical Homes and part of a system of care with a Designated Mental Health Agency.
Deana loves to spend time with her partner and their son when not at work. They enjoy their summer camp on Lake Champlain. Deana also enjoys cooking for friends and family.
Karen Carreira, MA, LHMC (she/her)
Suicide Prevention and Umatter Program Specialist
B.A. Music/Psychology, Wheaton College, Norton, MA; MA Expressive Therapy, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LHMC)
Karen has over 20 years of experience in the human service field, working as an LMHC, Board Certified Music Therapist, and Program Director for service providers, including inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, residential, and post-secondary special education.
Her skills and attitude support a person/client-centered focus, respect for peers and co-workers, and dedication to superior standards for service delivery. She is focused, determined, and led by a personal drive to support others and make a change.
Key Areas: Leadership and Management, Program Development, Public Speaking, Advocacy, Mental Health, and Suicide Prevention.
Zan Lewis, MA (she/her)
B.A., University of Colorado 2008; M.A. Medical Anthropology, San Francisco State University 2015
Zan has worked in the nonprofit sector in roles dedicated to community outreach, recruitment, program implementation, and event planning. Her graduate studies focused on community- and clinical-level interventions to health disparities influenced by social/structural determinants of health.
Zan was a Program Specialist at CHL from 2016-2019 and worked on projects including Umatter, the Suicide Prevention Symposium, Connecting Rural Communities, Zero Suicide Webinar Series, CAMS training, and Promoting Community Resilience in Vermont.
Zan loves designing ecological and edible landscapes, propagating plants, knitting, and spending time outside with her family
Michael Ruggiero, MA (he/him)
PROGRAM AND POLICY SPECIALIST
B.A. in Psychology, Clark University, 2010; M.A. in Psychology, American University, 2015
Michael joined CHL in January 2023 as a program and policy specialist. He spent eight years before joining CHL working in the field of clinical research. From 2015 to 2018, he worked at a substance abuse treatment center in Baltimore, where he took on a myriad of roles and worked on projects related to opioid maintenance medication and outpatient retention. He moved to Connecticut in 2018 and took a position working as a clinical lab manager at Wesleyan University, where his work focused on suicide prevention. His responsibilities at CHL include managing grants and organizing legislative events.
When not working, Michael loves to spend time traveling with his wife. He enjoys working in his garden, tending his sourdough starter, playing soccer, and writing.
Sunny Naughton, (she/her)
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS | SUICIDE PREVENTION TRAINER
Sunny Noelle Naughton is a Vermont native located in the Northeast Kingdom. Sunny is passionate about connecting and creating work to help reduce the stigma surrounding Mental Health. With a background in human services, journalism, and the entertainment business, Sunny accesses collaboration, education, and facilitation to support individuals, communities, and organizations to further these conversations. In 2023, Sunny accepted the Director of Communications position with the Center for Health and Learning, an organization she has trained with and consulted for since 2016.
Over the past eight years, Sunny created and ran Sunshine Silver Lining, LLC, a Communications and Mental Health Consultancy. Sunny is a National Alliance of Mental Illness and The Stability Network member. Sunny is a teen, youth, and adult certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer, a Umatter Suicide Prevention and Awareness Facilitator, a certified Communications Support Specialist, and an active Recovery Coach with Working Fields as a friend to those with Substance Use Disorder. Sunny has trained staff members from Better Up, the United Nations, the National Parks Department, and many universities and community organizations across the United States. Sunny also sits on the Communications Committee for the 988 Lifeline in Vermont and teaches COPE, a class to help adults help youth who are experiencing separation, divorce, or parentage, for the University of Vermont.
Named one of the top 100 Mental Health First Aid facilitators in America in 2019 and the top trainer in Vermont the same year, Sunny holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and has studied Substance Use Disorder at the Community College of Vermont. Sunny started her educational journey a decade ago (after a dozen years working on Broadway) with a self-designed Media and Journalism degree at The New School’s Eugene Lang in New York City. Sunny is now pursuing a second master’s degree at Southern New Hampshire University, focusing on non-clinical psychology.
Sunny is a pop-culture enthusiast who enjoys volunteering with her rescue cats and Goldendoodle, reading, writing, cooking, going to the Nordic Spa, and staying connected virtually, in person, and through snail mail with her friends and family.
Bekah Hughston, (she/her)
TRAINING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR
Technical Theatre & Arts Administration • Brooklyn College
Bekah Hughston is excited to be amongst one of the newest members to join the CHL family. Bekah will be CHL’s Training and Events Coordinator. She comes to us by way of Philadelphia, PA, from the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) as their Community Events Coordinator, where she fused her passion for the Arts while promoting recovery and healing. Bekah’s background in planning and coordinating events brings the focus to awareness, learning, and healing. Bekah’s passion has brought communities from all walks of life within environments that encourage wellness.
Bekah attended Brooklyn College studying Technical Theatre & Arts Administration. She has combined her working knowledge as a Producer and General Manager in the Mental Health field, creating spaces that promote healing and empowerment. Bekah’s special Interests include reading, long walks, and attending the musical theater. She describes herself as a team player, dependable, and always ready to step in when needed.
Bekah will be working from her home office located in Philadelphia, PA. She is excited to be working alongside champions!
Eric Jones (he/him)
MARKETING AND TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST
Recording Engineering at the University of Maine at Augusta, Electronics at Southern Maine Tech, CompTIA at Lane Community College
Eric has worked in Technology since 1990, with an early career as a technician at Digital Computers. His love for music brought him to UMA, where he earned a recording degree and spent many years as a sound engineer and DJ. He studied electronics at SMTC and CompTIA A+ Certification at LCC in Eugene, OR, to further his knowledge.
After moving to Vermont to raise his family, he began volunteering and co-founded with his wife the Guilford Recreation, an all-volunteer commission dedicated to bringing recreational opportunities to Guilford residents. Over the years, Guilford Recreation has become an indispensable organization that hosts many annual events and ongoing activities, created the nordic skiing lending program, and has taken leadership in developing the new natural playscape in Guilford Center.
He also founded Discover Guilford, an organization that provides local residents and businesses an opportunity to stay engaged with stories, local events, and a directory of local businesses. When not working or volunteering, he loves gardening, photography, hiking, biking, and spending time with his wife and three kids.