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 >>
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 >>
Courtney Ackerson, 2019-2021
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 to her home town of Urbandale after graduation. She has since worked for Orchard Place as a PMIC therapist, supervisor of community based services, and outpatient therapist. She has worked in group private practice with New Beginnings Counseling Services as an outpatient therapist in their office and in two Des Moines elementary schools. 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.
Kacey Peterson, 2017-2019
Kacey has worked as a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) since earning her Master’s from Drake University in 2010. She served as a school-based counselor and eventually as Clinical Director for an accredited mental health and substance abuse agency until 2014 when she opened a play therapy place in rural Iowa. In 2017, Kacey was appointed Executive Director of the IA Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers, but returned to private practice in early 2019 as an independent consultant, grant writer, and training facilitator. Throughout her career, Kacey has served in both urban and rural settings across many of Iowa’s “frontier counties”. Her significant involvement in the nonprofit sector, and her position as IMHCA’s Government Relations Chair for nearly 5 years before stepping into the role of President has fueled her passion to advocate on behalf of underserved Iowans and the providers that strive to support them. Since 2011 she has worked to identify legislation and government policy that could significantly improve Iowa’s mental health delivery system and is dedicated to continuing those efforts as she works to educate our Senators and Representatives on the concerns and barriers facing counselors today.
This board position is open! Click here
to submit a nomination for this position.
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.
Public Policy Co-Chair
Renu Suddapalli, 2019-2021
Renu Suddapalli is currently a student at Drake University, pursuing a Master of Counseling degree with a focus in Clinical Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation. She graduated from Iowa State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s in Economics and History. She currently works in Ankeny providing behavioral support services for children with Autism. Renu is passionate about advocating for the counseling profession and serving the needs of her community. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing and spending time with friends and family.
Adrienne (Dree) LaToure, 2017-2019
Dree is a graduate of University of Northern Iowa’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She has a passion for serving individuals through mental health services, and believes in our responsibility to advocate for our community’s needs. Dree looks forward to using her skills and passion to serve as IMHCA’s Membership Chair, advocating for issues in Iowa and supporting member needs. When she is not working as a Mental Health Counselor, Dree enjoys spending time with her two fantastic dogs, reading, and traveling to new places.
Fundraising & Resource Development Chair
This board position is open! Click here
to submit a nomination for this position.
Networking and Communications Chair
Kyla Loucks, 2017-2019
Kyla is a recent Drake University graduate with an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Through working with individuals receiving special needs services and at-risk youth, she developed a passion for client advocacy. With a background in community outreach, Kyla is eager to combine experience and passion to help advance the profession of mental health counseling and mental health advocacy issues in the state of Iowa. She is a native of rural Iowa, now living in the Des Moines area. She spends most of her free time drinking caffeine so she has energy to keep up with her kids!
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.
Erin Carter, 2019-2021
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.
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.
Sheena Bahls, 2019-2021
Sheena Bahls obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Iowa State University and is currently enrolled as a graduate student at Drake University in the Master of Counseling program, with a focus on Mental Health and Clinical Rehabilitation. Sheena is also a licensed MRI technologist and 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). Her background in MRI/fMRI piqued her interest in neuropsychology, as well as research that bridges the gap between human behavior and the brain. Sheena’s other interests include canine therapy, play therapy, wellness, yoga and hiking. She looks forward to acting as a liaison between students and the IMHCA board.
Emma Hendricks, 2019-2021
Emma Hendricks completed her undergraduate degree with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience from St. Ambrose University. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Iowa in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track. 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 and student perspective to the IMCHA board.
Jason Stark, 2017-2019
After working as a school teacher and pastor for many years, Jason chose a new career path and graduated from Drake University with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling. Currently he is practicing as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Affinity Therapy and Counseling in Des Moines. Although not really an IT guru, Jason is a bit of a renaissance man, and it appears that is how he managed to land the job of the web coordinator for IMHCA. Jason grew up in Michigan but has lived in Iowa with his wife and three children for more than 20 years. When he isn't working, Jason enjoys trying to protect motorists by reducing the deer population, and riding his old-school 1980 Honda motorcycle.