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 >>

Current open positions as of 9/1/2023:

Treasurer (can be appointed now)

Membership Chair (can be appointed now)

Continuing Education Chair (can be appointed now)

President-Elect (to be filled 7/1/2024)

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 >>

President
Kristten Buttermore, 2023-2025
Kristten (she/her) 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. Kristten has previous board experience in non-profits and started with IMHCA as treasurer. We appreciate her dedication to the organization over the years.  
Past President
Kenya Rocha, 2023-2025
Kenya Rocha earned her Masters of Education and Community Counseling from Drake University. Kenya is an EMDRIA Certified EMDR therapist, an Approved EMDR Consultant, EMDR Basic & EMDR special populations trainer. Kenya is an NBCC Nationally Certified Counselor. Kenya enjoys being a part of the learning process for new clinicians and EMDR talents. Kenya is committed to providing excellence in service provision for clients is the owner of MOSAIC FAMILY Counseling Center Inc. Kenya has worked in the Des Moines community for more than 35 years where she continues providing healing services to families, children, couples and adults. Kenya is fluent in Spanish and English and provides treatment to many Latino individuals. As an EMDR therapist Kenya has a strong commitment to treating trauma in individuals or families and believes fully that healing can occur in every situation. After serving as Secretary for multiple terms, Kenya has been appointed to fill the past president role for a partial term. We are grateful to her service to IMHCA. Email
President Elect
2024-2025
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Treasurer
2023-2024
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Secretary
Rachel Swanson, 2023-2025
Rachel Swanson completed her BS in Psychology at Iowa State University and her MS in Counseling Psychology at the University of Kansas. She currently works at Daybreak Counseling in West Des Moines, IA. Rachel is passionate about educating and normalizing healthy sexuality, as she pursues AASECT certification as a sex therapist and is a Sexual Offender Treatment Provider (level 2) through IBTSA and a clinical member of ATSA. Her dedication for growth and continued learning will help her serve as Continuing Education Chair. Rachel loves spending time with her cat Poppy, traveling, and reading in her free time. Email
Legislative and Public Policy Committee Chair
Ellyn Nitchals-Kellner, 2023-2025
Ellyn received her bachelors degree in Psychology from Iowa State University in 2012 and completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from South Dakota State University in 2014. Since then she has worked in a variety of settings and now is in private practice in Ames, specializing in trauma and LGBTQIA+ mental health. Ellyn is passionate about supporting and advocating for counselors in Iowa as the Legislative Chair for IMHCA.
Legislative and Public Policy Co-Chair
Dr. Allison Levine, 2023-2025
Dr. Allison Levine is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the University of Iowa in 2021, Dr. Levine worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Levine completed her doctoral training at Michigan State University and maintains certification as a rehabilitation counselor and a nationally certified counselor. As a counselor, she worked previously with adults with psychiatric illnesses and transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Levine conducts research on improving social justice and equity in the helping professions and particularly within counselor education. She produces scholarly work which seeks to advance the ways in which professionals in the helping professions experience social justice through their training and enact inclusion in their practices, with particular attention to disability and mental health biases.
Membership Chair
2023-2025
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Networking and Communications Chair
John Bisenius, 2023-2025
John received his Master of Science in Counseling from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa; and his undergraduate degree a BS in Liberal Arts/Psychology. John is also an adjunct faculty at Drake University and currently teaches Psychiatric Disorders, the DSM class within the graduate program for future LMHCs; he has taught this since fall semester of 2019. Prior to counseling John worked with children and adults with developmental, physical, cognitive needs. After graduating from graduate school John worked at New Beginnings Counseling Services. After 5 years (fully licensed) and 7 years total (provisional and full) John moved to private practice at Bisenius Counseling (creative name, right?). He has worked in private practice since February of 2020 in West Des Moines, and building a private practice in the midst of a pandemic was an interesting experience. John works with children and adults with neurotypical adolescents and adults, individuals with cognitive delays, ASD, and neuro-atypical individuals. John has taken trainings in EMDR, ACT, DBT, Polyvagal, and most recently completed training in Safe and Sound Protocol under the Polyvagal therapy/theory; which he hopes to integrate into his practice in the near future! John has been a part of the conference committee for several years, and most recently applied and accepted this position, the networking and communications chair.
Conference Committee Chair
Rebecca Spiess, 2022-2024
Rebecca received her 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. In 2022, Rebecca joined Drake University as a Clinical Visiting Assistant Professor, teaching courses and working to bridge the gap between coursework and practice. Rebecca thoroughly enjoys the Conference Committee Chair role and being a member of the IMHCA Board.
Conference Committee Co-Chair
Donna Soliday, 2023-2025
Donna Soliday received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa. She also received a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University in 2016. She is pursuing a doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision and currently working on her dissertation to complete the degree. She served as a teaching assistant to several university professors of counselor education while taking doctorate classes. She would like to be a part of influencing and promoting the field of counseling which is why she has joined the IMHCA board.
Continuing Education Chair
2023-2025
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Member-at-Large
Katrina Serfling, 2023-2025
Member-at-Large
Jackie Burke, 2022-2024
Jackie has been licensed in Iowa for 7 years with a wealth of professional work experience. She has experience in helping clients with stress and anxiety, coping with addictions, trauma and abuse, & motivation, self-esteem, and confidence. She believes that they are the expert of their story and that people have many strengths that can assist in overcoming challenges. She is a professor, volunteer, and dedicated therapist.
Student Representative
Lindsay Weyer, 2023-2025
Student Representative
Jolena Perri, 2022-2024
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
Brandi Stalzer, 2023-2025
Brandi Stalzer, LIMHP, LPCC, LMHC specializes in the treatment of binge eating symptoms and the underlying causes including. Most recently, Brandi served as the Clinical Director for the largest eating disorder virtual program in the country where her passion for virtual care grew. Ms. Stalzer has specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Binge Eating. She also uses approaches from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention. Brandi joined the IMHCA board in July 2022. Email