Board Members

Our volunteer board members work hard to support mental health counseling through networking, advocacy, and public relations. Please contact them if you have questions, suggestions, or to learn about volunteer opportunities.

If you are interested in nominating yourself for a board position, please check out the job descriptions for various positions on our news page: Job Descriptions >>

We are actively looking for a number of positions…many of these involve learning from the outgoing officer for a year before you are on your own! The open positions currently include: President Elect, Conference Committee C0-Chair, Public Policy and Government Relations Chair, Public Policy and Government Relations Co-Chair, Networking and Communications Chair, Member Outreach and Communications Chair, Web Coordinator, Member at Large, and Student Member.

Here is the nomination form where you can apply for any open position, or apply for a position that is not open currently, but will open soon. Board Nomination Form >>

Kayla Bell-Consolver, 2021-2023
Kayla has worked in the mental health field since 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Drake University in 2016 and received her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Drake University in 2019. Following graduation, she worked as a Milieu Treatment Counselor and PMIC therapist at Orchard Place Campus. Kayla is currently the Director for the Student Counseling Center at Drake University. She is trained in EMDR Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and specializes in trauma informed practices, especially as it relates to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC experiences. Kayla is passionate about utilizing a systemic approach to enhancing mental health services for counselors to better serve underrepresented groups and people from marginalized communities, in addition to continuing to support and advocate for continued learning and growth for Iowa mental health counselors. In her free time, Kayla enjoys dancing, singing, playing basketball, lifting weights, and baking.
Past President
Courtney Ackerson, 2021-2023
Courtney Ackerson studied forensic psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and graduated with her masters degree in 2010. Being a big fan of Iowa, and particularly Des Moines, she moved back after graduation. She has since worked for Orchard Place as a PMIC therapist, supervisor of community based services, and outpatient therapist.  Currently she is working for Telligen as a quality improvement specialist for home- and community-based services. She enjoys volunteering, community development, traveling and being creative in her free time. Courtney has served at Treasurer, President Elect, and President and has been involved in IMHCA since 2015.
President Elect
, 2022-2024
This position will open July 1, 2022
Kristten Buttermore, 2019-2021
Kristten graduated from Iowa State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She went on to graduate from Drake University in 2003 with a Master’s in Education in Community Counseling. She has been providing mental health and substance abuse services since 2000, working in a variety of settings and roles. Kristten is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). In 2008 she founded Creative Counseling Services in Ames, IA where she provides substance abuse and mental health services.
Kenya Rocha, 2019-2020
Public Policy Chair
Lynn Giang, 2021-2023
Lynn received her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and minor in Philosophy from Iowa State University in 2015. She is currently a graduate student at Drake University major in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track. She worked with autistic children at Balance Autism and currently working at House of Mercy as a residential counselor providing mental health services to women in recovery. Lynn is extremely passionate in advocating and promoting mental health services to the minorities. She is excited to work as a Public Policy Chair on IMHCA board to support and advocate for mental health services. In her free time, she likes to read, baking, travels, do origami, and crafting.
Public Policy Co-Chair
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Membership Chair
Emma Hendricks, 2021-2023
Emma Hendricks completed her graduate degree with a Masters of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is currently a temporary licensed mental health counselor. She works full time as a mental health counselor at House of Mercy, providing co-occurring services for woman and children with substance abuse and mental health disorders. She is passionate about promoting wellness for individuals in any circumstance and advocating for the needs of others. Emma is eager to bring her passions for serving others to the IMCHA board.
Networking and Communications Chair
Erin Carter, 2021-2023
Erin received her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, with a concentration in providing psychological services for Spanish speaking populations. From there she worked several years in Texas as a therapist providing therapy for families with children, working with chronic pain patients in an interdisciplinary setting, administering neuropsychological assessments, and ultimately as the Lead Clinician in a foster care program that provided care for unaccompanied minors from Mexico and Central America. Erin then worked in a private practice setting in Wisconsin before moving to Iowa, where she now sees clients at Mosaic Family Counseling Center. Erin also teaches Abnormal and Developmental Psychology at DMACC and has taught Multicultural Psychology with an emphasis on Latino clients as an adjunct instructor at Drake University. Erin recently coauthored her first published academic article, where she provided a behavioral health perspective for pharmacists preparing to practice in Latin America. Erin is excited to work as a Member-At-Large on IMHCA board to support and advocate for current and future LMHCs in Iowa.
Conference Committee Chair
Rebecca Spiess, 2020-2022
Rebecca received bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Biochemistry from the University of Northern Iowa in 2008. She completed her master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Drake University in 2014 and has been providing outpatient therapy services with New Beginnings Counseling Service since. Building upon a passion to continue to learn and develop therapeutic skills for her clients, Rebecca became certified in EMDR in 2017 and a Registered Play Therapist in 2019. She is trained in AutPlay, TheraPlay, and DDP. Rebecca began providing supervision in 2019 with the goal to help future counselors in developing their own areas of expertise and continuing to pursue professional development. Rebecca is excited to expand and share her love for professional development in her role as Conference Committee Chair.
Continuing Education Chair
Rachel Swanson, 2020-2022
Rachel Swanson completed her MS in Counseling Psychology at the University of Kansas in 2017. She is currently working at Youth Homes of Mid-America as a mental health therapist for both residential and outpatient clients. Rachel is passionate about educating and normalizing healthy sexuality, as she pursues AASECT certification as well as IBTSA membership to address client's positive and negative sexual behaviors. Her dedication for growth and continued learning will help her serve as Continuing Education Chair. Rachel enjoys pugs, traveling, and reading in her free time.
Conference Committee Co-Chair
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Ellyn Nitchals-Kellner, 2021-2023
Ellyn earned her BS in Psychology from Iowa State University in 2012 and then her MS in Counseling from South Dakota State University in 2014. Following graduation she returned to Iowa and worked in community mental health before joining a group practice. She now owns her own private practice in Ames. In her free time Ellyn enjoys baking, riding bikes, and traveling. Ellyn is excited to join the IMHCA board as a Member-at-Large to support and advocate for counselors in Iowa!
Nicole Scherle Scheidel, 2020-2022
Nicole received her Master of Education in Community Counseling in 2001 from Loyola University Chicago.  Following graduation, she worked in Chicago as a therapist at a residential program for pregnant and parenting teens for four years. In 2005, Nicole decided to move back to Iowa to be closer to family.  Since returning to Iowa, Nicole has held multiple positions, initially she provided outpatient and in-home therapy to at risk families.  She then served as a Program Coordinator at Orchard Place PMIC campus.  In 2015, Nicole became a partner at a group private practice for several years until she opened her own private practice in 2019.  She has a passion for working with perinatal women experiencing PMADs (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders).  In her spare time Nicole likes spending time with her husband and their new twins on their acreage outside Des Moines.
Student Representative
Sean Abramowitz, 2021-2023
Sean is currently working on his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.  He has an 11-year career in human services, where he primarily ran day programs for adults with intellectual disabilities.  For years, Sean has been a public advocate for marginalized populations, and for the legitimacy of human services professionals.  Sean is a professional writer, meditation coach, artist, and student.
Student Representative
Jolena Perri, 2021-2023
Jolena has been apart of the mental field for several years. She first started working at group homes and understanding the complexities of the lives for individuals who have been diagnosed with a disorder. Jolena understands that everybody has their own narrative that is an important aspect of who they are. Jolena works with her clients individually to see what they are wanting to get out of therapy. She works with clients in order to assist them becoming the best versions of themselves that they want to be. She attended undergraduate and graduate school at Drake University. She is attending graduate school to obtain a Masters of Counseling in mental health, rehabilitation and school counseling. Jolena has been a substance use disorder counselor for several years. She has continually attended conferences and training in order to continue her learning about the field and be up to date on research based practices.
Website Coordinator
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.