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Executive and Clinical Leadership

Our Team

At Alexander Youth Network, we’re proud to have a dedicated and experienced leadership team that is committed to driving our organization forward and delivering exceptional results for the children and families we serve. Meet our leadership team below.

Craig Bass, MSW, ACSW

Chief Executive Officer

Ashley Conrad, MSL

President and Chief Operating Officer

Kelli Headshot

Kelli Carson, LCMHC-S

Chief Strategy Officer

Manuel Gomez, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Van Catterall, Ph.D

Chief Clinical Officer

Carolyn Spence

Chief Information Officer

Sandy Pizarro, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MBA

Chief People & Culture Officer

Stacia Jackson, MBA

Chief Marketing Officer

Buddy Plummer

Vice President, Performance Improvement

Leonard Shinhoster

Vice President, Residential Services

Blaine Sanders

General Counsel

Lynn Crutchfield

President,
Alexander Children’s Foundation

Trish Hobson

Executive Director, The Relatives

Sarah Roethlinger, LPC

Executive Director, Youth Focus

Amanda Pottinger

Director of Human Resources

Ashley Sparks, MSW, LCSW

Executive Director, Facility Based Crisis

Xavier Dunbar, MA, LCMHC

Executive Director, Charlotte Residential Treatment

Mike Harris, MBA, LCMHCS

Executive Director, Greensboro Residential Treatment

Adrienne Leach, MSW, LCSW

Executive Director, Triad/Southern Pines Region

Nikki Cannon, MHA

Executive Director, Mecklenburg/
Partners Region

Tiffany Santos, MS, LMHC

Executive Director, Therapeutic Foster Care

Taylor Justice, MA, LCMHC

Director, Care Management and Access

Jami P. Gomes, MSW

Regional Clinical Director, Mecklenburg/
Partners Region

Clinical Leadership

Na'imah Sedegah, Ph.D

Senior Psychologist

Cynthia Shahan, MD

Psychiatrist

Brad Reddick, MD

Psychiatrist

Onoriode Edeh, MD

Medical Director, Facility-Based Crisis

Craig Bass

Chief Executive Officer

Craig Bass first joined Alexander in 1979 as a resident counselor, living in a cottage with six emotionally disturbed children. He left two years later to complete his education, and returned in 1990. He was named CEO in September, 1992. Under Craig’s leadership, Alexander Youth Network’s behavioral healthcare programs have grown from serving 38 children per year in 1993 to 8,800 in 2016.

Craig earned a B.A. in Human Services from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (magna cum laude) and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina.

An Eagle Scout, Craig was a volunteer leader in the Boy Scouts of America for more than 30 years and served for many years as a member of the Council’s Executive Board. Craig has served on many boards, including the North Carolina Association of Residential Child Care and Family Services, Mecklenburg Area Mental Health Providers and Benchmarks, an alliance of agencies serving children, adults and families across North Carolina.

Ashley Conrad

President and Chief Operating Officer

Ashley Conrad, MSL, QP, joined Alexander in 2007 as Program Manager for the Beacon Hall Day Treatment program in Dallas, North Carolina and transitioned into the role of Executive Director for the Pathways/Partners Division in 2009. She was the CEO of Youth Opportunities in 2015 until full consolidation under Alexander Youth Network in February 2016. She has over 20 years of experience in human services – in both the health care and behavioral health care industries. Prior to joining Alexander, Ms. Conrad worked at Thompson Child and Family Focus for nine years, supervising several departments. As a Certified Recreation Therapy Specialist, she has extensive experience in designing and implementing therapeutic recreational activities, which aligns with Alexander’s Day Treatment programming. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Change and Leadership through Pfeiffer University.

Kelli Carson, LCMHC-S

Chief Strategy Officer

Kelli Carson joined Alexander in May 2024 as the Chief Strategy Officer.  

As our new Chief Strategy Officer, Kelli brings a strategic focus to our mission, driving forward our goals and seeking out fresh opportunities to expand our impact in serving children across our footprint. 

Prior to Alexander, Kelli was the Chief Operating Officer at Eastpointe Human Services. She also held the position of Chief of Clinical Operations for Eastpointe and Vice President of Operations for Monarch.

Manuel Gomez

Chief Financial Officer

Manuel Gomez joined Alexander in 2011 through the acquisition of former Youth Opportunities where he served as CFO since 2007. Manuel started his career at Alexander as Director of Accounting and was named CFO for the organization in 2012.

Manuel earned a B.A. in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Finance from Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala City. He also earned an MBA degree from Wake Forest University.

Dr. Van Catterall Ph.D

Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. Van Catterall joined Alexander Youth Network in 2019. Prior to joining Alexander, Dr. Catterall served as Director of Clinical Services at Youth Focus, and as Director of the Youth Focus PRTF program.

Dr. Catterall received his MA and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his B.S. in Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He completed his Predoctoral Internship at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, MD.

Carolyn Spence

Chief Information Officer

Carolyn Spence first joined Alexander Youth Network in 1997 as a case manager. Carolyn has experience using skills in clinical case management, administration, billing, utilization management, EHR development and implementation, and data analysis. The foundation of her success is partnerships with the clinical and IT staff, interdisciplinary teamwork, and relationships with technology vendors. These partnerships combined with Carolyn’s dedication and gift for innovation have produced improved efficiency and effectiveness of systems and processes throughout the organization.

Before joining Alexander Youth Network, Carolyn studied Social Work at Lakehead University in Thunderbay, Ontario Canada. She volunteered with different organizations as a buddy to adults with developmental disabilities and has coached soccer to young children new to the sport.

Sandra Pizarro, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MBA

Chief People & Culture Officer

For over 15 years, Sandra Pizarro has been dedicated to effectively leading all functions of human capital ensuring organizational capacity to meet challenging business needs and maintaining a leadership position in the business community.

After beginning her career in Human Resources Management in New York City, Sandra transitioned to Charlotte North Carolina where she joined the Mecklenburg HR Consulting Division. In 2010, Sandra first came to Alexander Youth Network where her focus was on positioning the organization for success as a high-quality mental health provider and community partner. Sandra then became the EVP for the Talent Operations division of INLIVIAN, where she created efficiencies in HR processes.

In 2022, Sandra returned to Alexander as the Chief People & Culture Officer and will focus on designing and implementing programming for our staff that contributes to long-term goals, evaluating workforce capacity, examining policies and practices from a cultural and diversity lens, and more.

Sandra earned her B.S. Magna cum Laude in Business Administration at the City University of New York and her MBA at St. John’s University-Honors Thesis Program. Her professional certifications /affiliations include SPHR Certification and SHRM-SCP Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources Management. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management, National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

Stacia Jackson, MBA

Chief Marketing Officer

Stacia DeBerry Jackson, MBA, has worked in marketing and communications in several industries including healthcare, education, tourism/attractions, and sports. Driven by her passion to help organizations market and communicate their mission, Stacia held several marketing positions within Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System) where she led multiple system-wide campaigns to support women’s health and physician marketing. She led advertising, media relations, and promotional efforts for Discovery Place, and served as the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Stacia worked for Alexander Youth Network as the Director of Marketing and Business Development in 2018 and returned to the organization in 2021 as Chief Marketing Officer. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2003 and completed her Master of Business Administration at Pfeiffer University in 2009.

Stacia is passionate about Alexander’s mission and believes that mental health services should be accessible to all children.

Buddy Plummer

Vice President,
Performance Improvement

Buddy Plummer, BS, QP, joined Alexander as part of the acquisition of group homes from Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare in 2003. In 2007 when Alexander strategically decided to cease group home operations, Buddy lead the efforts to successfully transition the children and staff to other identified services and departments. Then, as Alexander’s Charlotte Day Treatment Program Manager, he led the implementation of the innovative Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics approach. In 2010, he began his work in the Performance Improvement department as the Program Integration Manager ensuring Alexander’s new programs were integrated fully into the Alexander array of services. In 2012, he broadened his role to Performance Improvement Manager where he managed the day-to-day operations of the department. After a brief return to Program Operations in 2015 as the Executive Director of Day Treatment, he was appointed to his current role in 2016.

Buddy earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Wingate University.

Leonard Shinhoster

Vice President,
Residential Services

Leonard Shinhoster joined Alexander Youth Network in February, 2001. Mr. Shinhoster has a vast array of healthcare experiences in multiple settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, day treatment programs, and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Before becoming Executive Director, Mr. Shinhoster started his professional career at Alexander as a Behavioral Health Counselor, transitioning to a Special Education Teacher and was eventually promoted to a supervisor in a residential facility. Mr. Shinhoster has dedicated his career to serving the underserved and ensuring quality behavioral healthcare to all.

Before joining Alexander, Mr. Shinhoster was a Special Education Teacher at Thompson’s Children’s Center and still maintains his Professional Educator’s Licensure. Mr. Shinhoster is also a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention trainer and has been certified for 10 years. Mr. Shinhoster received his BA in Sociology from Queens University.

Blaine Sanders

General Counsel

Blaine Sanders began serving as Alexander’s Outside General Counsel in October 2016. He has been an attorney with Robinson Bradshaw since 1985, with an emphasis on business litigation. Blaine formerly served as the associate general counsel of United Dominion Industries. He advises Alexander on litigation, regulatory, employment, corporate governance, contractual and real estate matters.

Blaine received his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, magna cum laude, and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review and a Patrick Wilson Scholar. He has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America since 2006 (sports law) and North Carolina Super Lawyers since 2008 (business litigation).

Blaine is a member of the North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society and a long-time board member of The Center for Community Transitions.

Lynn Crutchfield

President, Alexander Children’s Foundation

Lynn Crutchfield serves as President of Alexander Children’s Foundation. Alexander Children’s Foundation is responsible for raising all the philanthropic and volunteer support for Alexander Youth Network. Lynn received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia and her Masters of Education in Psychological Services and Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in the field of mental health as a therapist for 5 years in Philadelphia and Chicago before moving to Charlotte 20 years ago. Lynn’s relationship with Alexander began when she served as a Guardian ad Litem for a child receiving services, and then she continued as an advocate, major gifts officer, and board member. She was the founding Board Chair for the new Foundation and has been leading the organization as President since January 2018.

Trish Hobson

President
The Relatives

Trish Hobson has served in leadership roles in non-profits in both volunteer and staff roles for over 20 years. She served as President Elect and President of the Junior League of Charlotte from 2004 – 2007. Joining the Emergency Winter Shelter in 2007 as a part-time Director of Development, she quickly became a leader in the organization. When the Emergency Winter Shelter merged with the Uptown Shelter in October, 2009 to become the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Trish took on the role of Associate Executive Director for Community Development. Trish is passionate about ending homelessness in Charlotte and worked with the Board and staff at the Men’s Shelter to develop a strong housing program.

Trish joined Alexander Youth Network in 2015 and successfully secured resources to help children with severe emotional and behavioral problems and their families. A transition to the President role at The Relatives seemed a natural transition in December of 2016. Because The Relatives is a subsidiary of Alexander Youth Network, Trish was able to stay within the organization and get back to her true passion of solving issues surrounding homelessness and unstable housing.

Trish’s passion lies in helping those with the most critical needs in our community. Trish came to Charlotte in 1984 to attend Queens College. Upon graduation, she stayed in Charlotte and started a family. Trish and her husband, Ross, have two adult children, two dogs and a cat.

Sarah Roethlinger

Executive Director, Youth Focus

Sarah Roethlinger serves as the Executive Director for Youth Focus, an affiliate of Alexander Youth Network. Before joining the team at Alexander she was the Supportive Housing Program Director for Youth Focus. She supervised several programs that serve youth experiencing homelessness including Act Together, The Transitional Living Program and My Sister Susan’s House. She is a rostered Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and uses her expertise to help youth and staff who support our programs feel safe.

Sarah has served as Board Chair of the Guilford County Continuum of Care and serves on the Executive Committee which helps support those experiencing homelessness in Guilford County. She is a native to Greensboro, NC where she and her husband, Erik, live with their two children.

Amanda Pottinger

Director of Human Resources

Amanda Pottinger joined Alexander Youth Network in 2005 as a Behavioral Health Counselor. Through the years, Amanda has been a Group Home Supervisor, Service Authorizations Specialist, Process Integrity Auditor, Traffic Manager, Project Manager – Office of the CEO,  Referral Development Director, and now, Director of Human Resources. She sits on the Employee Dispute Resolution Panel, the Employee Engagement Committee and is the Assistant Secretary for Alexander Youth Network’s Board of Directors.

In 2005, Amanda graduated Cum Laude from Johnson C. Smith University earning a B.A. in Communications.

Ashley Sparks, MSW, LCSW

Executive Director, Facility-Based Crisis Center

Ashley Sparks joined Alexander Youth Network in August 2013 in the Southern Pines Office as the office manager. In May 2014, she transitioned into the Licensing and Recruiting role for Therapeutic Foster Care in the area. In August 2017, she became Executive Director of the Southern Piedmont Region.

Prior to her experience with Alexander, Ashley was a worked in the office of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving at Appalachian State University. Ashley has been involved in working with youth in a behavioral health capacity since her teenage years.

Ms. Sparks has a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Children, Youth and Families from the University of Southern California completed in 2020 and a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University. In addition to her work at Alexander, Ms. Sparks also dedicates her time to non-profit activities local to Moore County.

Xavier Dunbar, MA, LCMHC

Executive Director, Charlotte Residential Services

Xavier Dunbar, LCMHCA, received his BS in Psychology from Winthrop University and an MA in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University. Xavier has over 15 years of experience with children and families. He has served in roles to include: Child Protective Services Investigator, Mobile Crisis Clinician, and program management for residential settings. Prior to becoming the Executive Director for Charlotte Residential Services, Xavier served as a therapist in the iPRTF, then as Program Manager with our Intensive In-Home program.

Mike Harris
MBA, LCMHCS

Executive Director, Adolescent Residential Treatment Center – Greensboro

Mike Harris is the Executive Director of the Adolescent Residential Treatment Center-Greensboro. Mike is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor and has over 25 years of experience in the field of Health & Human Services. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services from Boston University in 1997, and his Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling with Psychiatric and Vocational Rehabilitation specializations from Boston University and 1999. Additionally, Mike completed his Master of Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management in 2007.

Mike has served on the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of Greensboro and his personal goal is to do his part to ensure that quality care continues to be delivered. 

Adrienne Leach

Executive Director, Triad/Southern Pines Region

Adrienne Leach is the Executive Director of the Triad/Southern Pines Region. In her role, she provides oversight of Alexander’s community-based programs (Day Treatment, Intensive In-Home, and Multi-Systemic Therapy, and Outpatient Services) in those areas. 

Adrienne brings with her 17 plus years of experience in the mental health field working with children and adolescents. Prior to merging with AYN, Adrienne was the Assistant Director of Operations with Youth Focus and supervised both day treatment and outpatient counseling staff. She began her career as an outpatient therapist and moved to day treatment shortly after as a Program Manager where she found her passion for working with adolescents and their families, as well as staff development and program implementation. Through her tenure with Youth Focus, she has worked closely with Guilford County Schools to foster and improve relationships between the two agencies along with working to implement the Building Futures Day Treatment Program. In addition to working with the school system, she has served on the JJSAMHP initiative that works to ensure that at-risk youth and their families have adequate access to mental health services in the community. Adrienne completed her Master of Social Work in 2003 at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University and received her LCSW in 2005.

Nikki Cannon

Executive Director, Mecklenburg/
Partners Region

Nikki Cannon, MHA, began her career in healthcare as a Licensed Recreational Therapist. Driven by her desire to help youth persevere through some of their challenges that could potentially impede on their health, happiness and overall lifetime success, she joined Alexander Youth Network in 2009.

Nikki began her career with Alexander as a Mental Health Clinician in Day Treatment. Since then, she obtained her Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration, and has held many positions within the agency, including Lead Recreational Therapist and Supervisor in our PRTF, Program Operations Manager, in which she provided support to all of the programs within our array, and now Regional Executive Director for our Charlotte/Partners region.

Prior to joining Alexander Youth Network, Nikki worked as a Recreational Therapist, providing therapeutic activities to individuals receiving long-term care and rehabilitation services.

 

Tiffany Santos

Executive Director, Therapeutic Foster Care

Tiffany Santos, MS, LMHC, serves as the Executive Director of Therapeutic Foster Case at Alexander Youth Network. In this role, she provides vision and oversight to one of North Carolina’s largest and most successful Therapeutic Foster Care programs.

Before joining Alexander, Tiffany enjoyed a wide array of leadership and direct clinical experience in the healthcare industry including psychiatric facilities, residential substance use and mental health programs, day treatment, crisis stabilization programs, hospitals, and supportive housing programs. She is passionate about seeing her clients achieve their goals and live a fulfilling life.

Tiffany is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and obtained her master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful daughters.

Taylor Justice, MA, LCMHC

Director, Care Management and Access

Taylor Justice, MA, LCMHC, is the Director of Care Management and Access at Alexander Youth Network. In her role, she provides oversight of the Care Management Division, patient access, and service authorization. 

Taylor first joined the Alexander Youth Network team in 2015 as an Intensive In-Home Therapist for the Partners Region. During her career at Alexander, Taylor has also served as a Day Treatment Therapist, Day Treatment Program Manager, Director of Outpatient Services and Community Executive for the Partners Region.

Taylor is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and obtained her master’s degree from Lenior Rhyne University in 2014. She lives in Charlotte area with her husband and son.

Jami P. Gomes

Regional Clinical Director,
Mecklenburg/Partners Region

Jami P. Gomes  is the Regional Clinical Director for the Mecklenburg/Partners region. In this role, she provides clinical support and guidance to Alexander’s community-based programs (Day Treatment, Intensive In-Home, and Multi-Systemic Therapy, and Outpatient Services) in those areas.

Jami first joined the Alexander Youth Network team in 2014 as the Clinical Supervisor for the Therapeutic Foster Care program. Over the past five years Jami, has lead clinical and operational advancements for the Therapeutic Foster Care and Intensive Alternative Family Therapy (IAFT) teams including; managing IAFT Joint Commission process, completing law enforcement and community trainings, and piloting virtual case note submissions.

Prior to joining Alexander, Jami, gained over nine years of clinical experience working as a Psychotherapist throughout New York and North Carolina. She completed her Master of Social Work degree at Fordham University in 2006 following her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2002.

Na'imah Sedegah

PhD, Senior Psychologist

Dr. Na’imah Sedegah joined the Alexander Youth Network team in 2023 and serves as our Senior Psychologist. Dr. Sedegah is a Licensed Psychologist in North Carolina. Her focus is to help individuals heal, restore and become aware of their inner strengths. Dr. Sedegah currently provides psychological testing and consultation in our 30-Day Assessment program in Charlotte. She brings over 15 years of clinical experience as a licensed mental health professional and is dedicated to serving youth and families in North Carolina who are in greatest need. Her areas of expertise include developmental psychopathology, psychological evaluation and clinical consultation as well as risk assessment. She earned her B.A. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Applied Psychology, M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Coppin State University and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Howard University.

Cynthia Shahan

MD

Education:   B.S. degree from Meredith College and her M.D. from East Carolina University School of Medicine. General Psychiatry residency training and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina

Board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry. Member of the American Psychiatric Association, the North Carolina Psychiatric Association and the North Carolina Medical Society

Clients:  Dr. Shahan has been practicing psychiatry since 1994 and has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in outpatient, inpatient, and residential settings.

Specializations:   Mood disorders, including bipolar disorder and depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Brad Reddick

MD

Education:  B.A. degree from Davidson College, M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. General Psychiatry residency training and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital via Harvard Medical School. Additional training in Adult, Child & Adolescent Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral therapies from Two Brattle Center, MGH/McLean. Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Currently serves as the President of the North Carolina Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Member of the North Carolina Medical Society. Serves as the Medical Director of Alexander Youth Network.

Clients:  Children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems

Specializations:  Mood and anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Onoriode Edeh

MD, Medical Director – FBC

Education:  BSc, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
MD, St Matthew’s University School of Medicine
Residency, University of Connecticut
Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic

Clients:  Adult psychiatry and Child & Adolescent psychiatry

Specializations:  ADHD or ADD, Mood Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, Adjustment Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Delusional Disorders, Psychosis Due to Mental Illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Personality Disorders

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