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AMHCA 2013 election: voting will again be by electronic ballot.

On the following pages are the statements and photos of the candidates for three positions on AMHCA's board of directors--president-elect, treasurer, and director-at-large. The term for the positions is July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2016.

Voting in the annual AMHCA election this spring will be by electronic ballots rather than paper ballots, just as it was last year.

Here's how voting electronically works:

Everyone eligible to vote in AMHCA's election will receive an email from Intelliscan <> in March that will include a link to a personalized ballot.

To vote, simply click the link within the email to open your ballot, which will include your name and the races you are eligible to vote on. The ballot will include a link to all of the candidates' statements and photos, which also appear in this issue on pages 16-21. After indicating the candidate you prefer for each race, you may review your choices before clicking "submit" to cast your ballot electronically.

Voting will be open from March 19 through April 30 at 11 p.m. EST. Members who do not wish to vote electronically may request a paper ballot. The Advocate will announce the election results in the May issue.

Candidates for AMHCA President--Elect


Stephen A. Giunta, PhD, LMHC, NCC

Professional Experience

* Program coordinator, Counseling and Psychology Program, Troy University, Tampa Bay Site (CACREP-accredited)

* Private practice:

Forensic family counseling services--custody evaluations, parent education, and post-divorce family counseling

* Counselor educator, 13 years;

* Master in Psychology from The University of West Georgia (1994);

* PhD in Family Counseling from the University of Florida (2002);

* Postdoctoral Clinical Internship (School Counseling, grades 5-12) at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

* LMHC since 1998; NCC since 1999; Florida Qualified Supervisor since 2005

Association Experience

* Past president (2011-12), Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (member since 1998); Counselor Educator Representative (2005-2006); current Licensure Board Liaison

* Past president (2009-10), Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association (member since 2007), servicing the Tampa Bay counties; current monthly meeting site-host

* AMHCA (member since 1998) Conference Planning Committee, 2012 and 2013

* AMHCA conference presenter 2011, 2012

* ACA (member since 1998) Public Awareness Committee member (2006-2007)

* Chi Sigma Iota (member since 1997) faculty advisor and founder: TAU Chapter (2004-2004)

* Florida Bar, Family Law Section (member since 2009);

* Ad Hoc Parenting Plan Committee (2010-2011);

* Ad Hoc Parenting Course Committee (2010-2011)

Community Service

* Consultant and volunteer: Be-COS, Inc. Nonprofit charitable organization committed to rehabilitating the homeless population of Hillsborough County (2011-to date)

* Guardian ad Litem volunteer: Guardian ad Litem Program, Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (1997-1999); Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Clearwater, Florida (2005-2011)

* Consultant and mentor: Duluth Area Family YMCA. Duluth, Minnesota (2002-2004)


It would seem that with every success our profession achieves, yet another pressing issue presents itself. My goal, if I have the honor of being elected AMHCA president, is to continue the work of those who came before me, helping to move our profession incrementally forward:

* Now that many of our members can become unimpeded Tricare providers, I intend to lead in the work toward including all licensed professional counselors as Tricare providers.

* Now that the Affordable Care Act is law, I intend to lead in the work toward insuring that all licensed professional counselors can become unimpeded Medicare providers.

* And now that LPCs and LMHCs are being employed within the Veteran Affairs healthcare system, I intend to work with the VA toward establishing the equivalent internal structures enjoyed by psychologists and social workers, so that licensed professional counselors can stand as equals among the other mental health professions.

If an underlying pattern can be ascertained from the aforementioned issues, it is this: Our membership and our profession must continue to strive for enhanced professional standards, both for the individual provider and for our profession's training programs. We must be determined in our efforts to have those standards recognized and rewarded.

If I have the honor of being elected AMHCA president, I intend to ask our membership to push toward implementing nationalized standards as the shortest road to licensure reciprocity between states and the rationale for unimpeded access as mental health providers for all of our membership. The environment that we practice in is changing. We must prepare ourselves for the impending change rather than react to the change after the fact. I believe that our association must maintain a leadership role in this process and continue to work closely with those other organizations equally affected.

The tragedy experienced by the Newtown community is just the latest in a string of violence that, beyond anyone's position on gun control, can be directly attributed to our country's failure to adequately address the needs of it citizens with mental health disorders. As a profession, and as individual mental health professionals, we cannot sit quietly. As AMHCA president, I assure you our voice will be heard.

Last, if I have the honor of being elected AMHCA president, I will set aside a dedicated block of time to reach out to both our current membership and to our future members via audio/video Web conferencing. It is my promise to be in contact with every state chapter and make myself available to their executive boards and newsletter editors. In turn, I intend to make myself available to those counselor educators training the next generation of licensed professional counselors.

My experiences with the association at the local, state, and now national level have been both professionally rewarding and personally gratifying. While an old cliche, it has been an honor just to be nominated. I look forward to serving the association in some capacity for years to come.

Jason King, PhD, CMHC


Professional Experience

I hold a CACREP master's degree in Mental Health Counseling and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, with specialized training in Interpersonal Neurobiology for trauma resolution. I have over 10 years of clinical mental health counseling experience in private practice, outpatient, public, correctional, and counselor education settings.


* Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)

* NBCC National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)

* Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) and Certified Advanced Facilitator (CAF)

* Certified Behavioral Health Crisis Counselor (BHCC)

* Core faculty at Walden University's CACREP Mental Health Counseling Program.

* Chairperson of the Utah Clinical Mental Health Counselor licensure board.

* Co-owner and clinical director of Life Enhancement Center, a public outpatient mental health and substance abuse clinic (

* CACREP Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization team member.

* Assistant director of a nonprofit, outpatient substance-abuse clinic.

* Lead faculty and area chair for University of Phoenix's CACREP Mental Health Counseling Program.

* Professor of Practice and director of Training for Argosy University's Mental Health Counseling Program.

Association Experience

Since 2002, I have been actively involved with AMHCA and its Utah state chapter, UMHCA, in various capacities and leadership roles. I have co-chaired AMHCA's Professional Development Committee, chaired AMHCA's Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee, and served as board member of UMHCA.


* AMHCA Foundation: Founding Supporter donor.

* Advocated with AMHCA state chapter for permission from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation granting psychological testing and DSM diagnostic privileges to mental health counselors for Vocational Rehabilitation clients.

* AMHCA DSM-5 revision task force member.

* AMHCA 2010 Code of Ethics task force member.

* AMHCA 2011 Clinical Training Standards task force member.

* Participated in AMHCA's 2009 legislative and advocacy training to lobby Congress for Medicare reimbursement for mental health counselors.

* Presented at six AMHCA Leadership Training sessions since 2003.

* Committee planning member for three AMHCA Annual Conferences and Leadership Trainings.

* Influential in getting CACREP to add "Clinical" to the 2009 Mental Health Counseling specialization training standards.

* Obtained over 400 signatures for a national mental health stamp petition.

* Authored article on psychiatric medications for AMHCA's Mental Health Connections brochure.

* Coordinated activities for AMHCA's annual Mental Health Awareness month during May each year.

* Contributed to AMHCA Utah chapter's annual conference program development, professional advocacy endeavors, and membership acquisition projects (unified dues).

* Acquired signature of Utah governor declaring 9/11/03-9/10/04 the Year of Mental Health Awareness.

Awards and Honors

Received the 2012 national AMHCA Mental Health Counselor of the Year award and the 2002 state of Utah AMHCA chapter's Outstanding Counseling Graduate Student award.

Publications and Presentations

* Peer-reviewed publication on psychopharmacology in AMHA's Journal of Mental Health Counseling

* Three articles published in AMHCA's Advocate newsletter

* 17 presentations since 2002 at the national AMHCA conference, Western Region AMHCA conference, and Utah state AMHCA conferences.


I am passionate about clinical mental health counseling. If elected, I will mobilize AMHCA's individual and collective leadership to:

* Decisively advocate in Congress for CMHC Medicare reimbursement.

* Prepare CMHCs for clinical openings, prevention services, and integrated behavioral medicine mandates from the Affordable Care Act and its resulting Affordable Care Organizations.

* Promote the full integration of mental health and substance abuse (dual diagnosis) treatment into graduate curriculum and agency settings, and lobby Congress and state legislatures for needed changes to both federal and state mental health systems.

* Continue our alliance with CACREP to promote the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) hiring and reimbursement requirement of "clinical" level training and licensure to receive federal agency and national insurance recognition of CMHC.

* Collaborate with AASCB to ensure clinical mental health counselor licensure portability across the nation.

* Standardize our profession through nationwide, uniform NBCC testing standards (National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Exam) and a uniform professional title (Clinical Mental Health Counselor).

* Strengthen AMHCA's relationship with state chapters through promoting unified dues, participating at annual Leadership Training, and collaborating with AMHCA regional directors.

* Grow the life force of AMHCA by developing new and innovative methods to recruit and engage mental health counseling graduate students, especially among emerging online mental health counseling programs.

* Champion the uniqueness of our profession's focus on the positive aspect of mental health by developing a signature product that serves the public and counseling professionals.

* Develop an AMHCA smartphone application, and use technology to communicate with AMHCA members to strengthen our connections and to mobilize for necessary political action.

Candidates for AMHCA Treasurer.

Sarah DeHaan, NCC, CMHC, HS-BCP


Professional Experience

I am currently the program manager for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at the University of Phoenix-Utah Campus.


I am also a licensed clinical mental health counselor and have had the opportunity to

work in both inpatient and outpatient mental health agencies.

Association Experience

I have been a member of the Utah Mental Health Counselors Association for six years and served in the capacities of committee member, board member, president-elect, and president of this state chapter. I have also been a member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association for five years.

My involvement with AMHCA has strengthened my own professional identity and allowed me the opportunity to advocate for the profession. My experience with the national association and state chapter has had a profound impact on me and has only increased my desire to become even more involved in order to advocate for and elevate the mental health counseling profession.


As AMHCA's treasurer, my main goal will be to ensure that the association continues to be financially responsible while meeting its strategic plan and mission. I will accomplish this by working with the Finance Committee to form an annual plan of action and budget, which will be submitted to the board of directors for approval. Continued strong communication between the board of directors and the Finance Committee will also be part of this.

I know the importance of advocacy and the advancement of the profession and members of the association. As treasurer, I will be able to contribute to these causes by successful completion of the above goal.

I would consider it a privilege to serve in the role of the treasurer.

Gale Macke


Association Experience

Currently, I am the CEO of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCA). Since joining LPCA of Georgia in 2002, the association has moved from an austere to a solid financial status; membership has grown from 700 to over 2,800; and custom accounting and Web software has been installed. LPCA is celebrating its silver anniversary with our 25th Annual Convention and Regional Conference in Savannah, Ga.

In addition, I have developed the LPCA Foundation, increased grant awards, developed advanced marketing, and worked with legislators to increase the awareness of the skills and expertise of licensed professional counselors.

As current treasurer of AMHCA, it has been a very rewarding experience working with a diverse board and experienced CEO. AMHCA membership has grown, more member benefits have been added, and professional development has brought national reorganization to the profession.


My goals as the treasurer for AMHCA are similar to my goals as LPCA executive director:

1. First and foremost, to work with the executive director and

Strategic Planning Committee, continuing a sound financial plan that will allow AMHCA to carry out its mission statement. This support includes budgeting and integrating with an intelligent marketing plan and the requirements/duties associated with this role.

2. To manage, account, and accurately present the financials/monies for AMHCA.

3. To provide integrity, honesty, and values when accounting and dispersing the organizational funds.

4. To work with the CEO of AMHCA and the board of directors to provide and assure financial peace of the organization.

In this unprecedented climate of change, I look forward to the opportunity of working with the AMHCA board of directors, using my role as treasurer to gather, promote, and assist the AMHCA staff and board in implementing the current projects, new ideas, and future activities. I hope that by encouraging a broad range of activities and joint projects, we can foster a cohesive, diverse, and open environment to which all the present and future members of AMHCA can feel a strong connection and endorse.

Candidates for AMHCA Director-at-Large.

LaMarr D. Edgerson, PsyD, LMFT, Cht


My name is LaMarr D. Edgerson. I appreciate the opportunity to apply for this position. First and foremost, I would like my reasons for desiring this position to be known.

I strongly believe that our country is at the cusp of some of the most serious mental health crises it has ever experienced. The mental capacity of our citizens is being taxed at greater depths each and every day as we attempt to pull ourselves from the pits of chaos and back into a sense of normalcy.

From war and poverty to financial crisis and home foreclosures, from combat trauma to the unexplainable reasons why a young male would senselessly shoot and kill innocent children, the limits of our society are constantly being tested. There is no easy solution to the multitude of problems we currently face, but I firmly believe that mental health professionals hold some of the keys necessary to bring society back from the abyss of confusion and into a world of logic.

Strong organizations such as AMHCA have to lead the way in this daunting task, and I would like to be a part of that solution.

Professional Experience

My first career, from age 18 to 38, was with the United States Air Force. After retiring from the Air Force, I promptly began working and completing the Master of Counseling in Marriage and Family Therapy. Since then I have also completed a Doctorate of Psychology. My first job was working at a treatment foster-care agency, where my primary role was to help children and families heal and reunify back into a healthy home and environment.

My work with individuals and families continued as I moved from that first location into working with more and more diverse populations such as a Native American community hospital, home-based counseling services, convicted felons, sex offenders, Albuquerque police and sheriff's department ...

Much of my work has been helping people heal from traumatic experiences. I now have a private practice dedicated to helping victims of traumatic stress.

Association Experience

My involvement with AMHCA began in 2005. I was invited by one of my instructors to help make our profession better by getting involved with the New Mexico AMHCA state chapter. As a member of that organization, I've since served as:

* President,

* Chair of Public Policy & Regulation,

* Chair of Professional Development, and

* Member of the AMHCA Public Policy and Legislation Committee.

I am AMHCA's current director-at-large, a position I was appointed to when the then-director-at-large became president-elect.


The goals I have as director-at-large are simple, but challenging. Along with the written duties of the director-at-large, my first priority is to assist the president with achieving her goals for the organization. My secondary goal is to assist all the regional directors with their duties as needed. My final goal is to be a part of a psychological bridge of success between mental health professionals, mental health organizations, and U.S. service members and their families.

Nancy Truett, NCC, LPC-MHSP


Education, Certifications, and Training

* MS, Educational Psychology: Concentration in Community & Mental Health Counseling, University of Tennessee, 1997

* BA, University of North Carolina, 1984

* Certified Level II Trainer, "Parenting with Love & Limits," 2001

* Critical Incident Stress Management: AMHCA, July 2000

* Certificate of Need for Emergency Admission Training, 2001

* "Why Try" Program, 12-hour training, 2009

Professional Experience


* Private practice, 2002-

* Cornerstone of Recovery, family therapist, 2011-

* Pellissippi State Community College, adjunct faculty and academic advisor, 2009-

* Tusculum College, adjunct faculty, Graduate and Professional Studies/Behavioral Health, 2012-

Recent Past:

* National College of Business & Technology, adjunct faculty, 2010-2011

* Lenoir City Schools, private practice contract, 2006-2010

* Lorman Education Services, faculty instructor, Continuing Education, 2008

* Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, director/Counseling Program, 2000-2005

* Peninsula Behavioral Health, clinical therapist, 1998-2006

Association Experience, Awards, and Honors

* AMHCA conference attendee since 2000. Served on various committees, including Professional Issues, and Public Awareness. Currently serve on the Awards Committee, and am a conference proposal reviewer. Have attended many Leadership Training conferences.

* Founding member, Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association (TLPCA); East TN regional representative; recipient: Susan Hammonds-White Leadership Award 2009; currently nominated for TLPCA president.

* Member of former Knox Area Task Force on Eating Disorders.

* Featured columnist, Around Town magazine, 2008.

* Invited speaker, Tennessee Counseling Association (TCA), plus local high school and community college.

* Current advisory board member, University of Tennessee, Mental Health Counseling Program.

* Past advisory board member, Youth Services International, Reflections Treatment Agency, 1997-2000.

* Active member of Knoxville church community since 1986. Have served in several leadership roles and currently serve on The Shared Ministry Discernment Team.


For more than 25 years, I have worked in the mental health counseling field in agency, school, and private-practice settings. I have been a very active mental health professional in my community, and at the state and national levels. I would bring extensive experience and compassion for the issues that we face as mental health professionals.

I feel passionate about the work we all do, each in our own way, and in our own settings. The mental health profession faces so many challenges that it would be easy for any of us, with our often overextended schedules, to simply ignore the issues we face.

If elected, I would be honored to work as your director-at-large, helping raise awareness, and working alongside AMHCA board members, and with each AMHCA member and potential member, to develop relevant strategic plans to meet our goals.

My strengths include energy and zeal for working with people in a variety of capacities, including using clinical, creative, and leadership skills. Through many of my varied and entrepreneurial endeavors, I have worked diligently and respectfully building strong relationships with individuals, families, colleges, universities, and organizations.

I am a proud member of AMHCA, and if elected, hope to help move our association to the next level.
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Publication:The Advocate (American Mental Health Counselors Association)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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