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.  She has experience in group private practice before transitioning to policy work outside of practice. Currently she is working for Telligen as a training specialist for Long-term support services and 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. She serves on committees with the American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA) such as membership and conference planning in addition to her IMHCA board position.
President Elect
Kristten Buttermore, 2022 - 2023
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. President elect is a one year term before transitioning to President. Kristten has previous board experience and started with IMHCA as treasurer. We appreciate her dedication to the organization.
Brandi Stalzer, 2022- 2024
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.
Kenya Rocha, 2019-2020
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 30 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. 
Public Policy and Legislative 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 and is excited to be the Legislative Chair for IMHCA starting in 2022 and filling the position for the remainder of our previous chair and has committed to a full term for 2023-2025.
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
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, 2022-2024
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.
Conference Committee Co-Chair
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Continuing Education Chair
Rachel Swanson, 2022-2024
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 Red Couch Counseling in Johnston, 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.
Jolena Perri, 2022-2023
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.
Jackie Burke, 2022-2024
Jackie Burke
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
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.
Website Coordinator
This board position is open! Click here to submit a nomination for this position.