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Thank you for a successful 2023 Conference!

About Us


Executive Committee Officers

  • President: Kristin Dempsey, EDD, LPCC, LMF
  • President-Elect: Sabrina Morris, LPCC (CA), LPCC-S (OH), MSED, BA
  • Past President: Suzette Garcia, LPCC 
  • Secretary: Abbey Ronquillo, MS, LMFT, APCC, PPS

Board of Directors

Photo: Kristin Dempsey

Kristin Dempsey, EDD, LPCC, LMFT

Kristin is a psychotherapist, counselor educator, and trainer. Kristin has worked over 27 years in community mental health non-profit, county-based, and school programs. She specializes in working with individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Kristin also trains in evidence-based practices including motivational interviewing, suicide intervention, trauma-informed programming, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapies.

Kristin is an associate professor at the Wright Institute’s Counseling Psychology Program and a counseling lecturer at San Francisco State University. Her private practice is located in San Francisco and Burlingame where she works with individuals, families, and groups.

Kristin’s additional areas of interest include implementing best practices and systems change, providing clinical consultation and supervision, and training and supporting peer mental health providers.

Photo: Sabrina D. Morris

Sabrina D. Morris, LPCC (CA), LPCC-S (OH), MSED, BA

Sabrina is a humanistic counselor whose passion is building stronger global communities one individual at a time. Ms. Morris possesses 28+ years of experience in comprehensive behavioral health care development and administration. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision while practicing for United Health Group’s Optum division. Over the years, Ms. Morris has served infants, youth and adults, with innovative program development and evaluation as core passion areas, and has served in leadership roles for several professional organizations. One of her most notable accomplishments is the highly acclaimed Teen Talk Responding Program--one of 2 ground-breaking diversion programs in the country (led by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network).  Currently, Ms. Morris is committed to advocating for mental health justice and equal care for all. She looks forward to serving her profession, community, and California state in her role as a Board Member. Ms. Morris resides in San Diego with her daughter, enjoying the beach, concerts, and international travel.

Photo: Suzzette Garcia

Suzzette Garcia, LPCC
Past President

Suzzette's desire to serve CALPCC is rooted in her passion for creating a culture of wellness and diversity within organizations and communities. She believes in CALPCC's mission and wants to support CALPCC members in providing quality therapeutic services and achieving professional advancement.

Suzzette is currently the Outpatient Clinical Program Manager for Rebekah Children's. She oversees clinicians that empower families through community strength-based therapeutic treatment. Her position allows her the privilege of collaborating with mental health providers, county representatives and community members in improving systems of care and mental health awareness.

She hopes to utilize the experience she's acquired through previously serving on nonprofit boards, coordinating community outreach, serving on marketing and fundraising committees, mentorship, development of programs and training curriculum to support CALPCC in addressing needed policy reform, legislative changes, advocacy and promotional efforts on behalf of current and future Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors. 

Abbey Ronquillo, MS, LMFT, APCC, PPS

Abbey is a therapist working in a group practice located in the San Fernando Valley as well as a Substance Use Navigator (SUN) in the hospital setting. She has a humanistic approach to therapy and believes it’s important to address an individual’s unique needs. For the past decade, she has worked with a variety of individuals specializing in at-risk and transitional-aged youth. Abbey is passionate about social justice and providing psychoeducation in her community and does so by volunteering for several organizations specializing in homelessness and outreach.

As an LMFT and APCC, Abbey is excited to support CALPCC members through obtaining dual-licensure as well as traversing the intricacies of the field. Abbey received her Masters of Science in Counseling from California State University, Northridge in 2014 and returned in 2018 to obtain her Pupil Personnel Services credential. Currently, she is working towards an EdD in Educational Leadership from California State University, Fullerton.

Photo: Anthony Rivas

Anthony Rivas, EDD, LMFT (CO), LAC (CO), MAC, SAP 
Legislative & Advocacy Committee

Dr. Rivas is currently serving as the Coordinator for the Rehabilitation Counseling program at CSUS. He has previously taught at the undergraduate level at MSU Denver, and at the graduate level at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the Department of CHS. Here he taught: clinical mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, student development theory, educational psychology, educational leadership; and within the Air Force Officer Commanding (AOC) Leadership program, which works directly with US Air Force Academy Officers.

Dr. Rivas has clinical experience providing mental health & substance abuse counseling in both private practice and working with court-mandated offenders. Dr. Rivas holds clinical licensure in Colorado as both a Licensed Addiction Counseling and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with national credentials of Master Addiction Counselor and Substance Abuse Professional (US DOT credential). His research interests focus on student development of 1st generation students and the effect of socio-economic-status on clinical relationships, diagnosis, and prognosis.

Angel Brutus, PSYD, LPCC, ACS, BC-TMH, CMPC®
Education & Training Committee 

Dr. Angel Brutus is Director of Mental Health Services of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Sports medicine department. Previously, she served as the inaugural Assistant Athletic Director of Counseling and Sport Psychology for Mississippi State University; and managed a private practice based in Atlanta, Georgia, where she provided clinical and sport performance services. There, she served as a medical advisory board member and training facilitator for the Eating Disorders Information Network (EDIN). Her training includes Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Licensed Professional Counseling, Certified Rehabilitation Counseling and Sport-Performance Psychology. Angel is certified in Mental Health First Aid for adults and is also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant as recognized by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Dr. Brutus' desire to serve on the CALPCC Board stems from her passion to support the advancement and recognition of the greater community of professional counselors.  

Sarah Kelly
Membership Development Committee

Sarah brings to our Board her current and previous experience managing San Diego CAMFT's website and social media presence, overseeing and executing their email marketing and member retention digital strategies, and helping to produce and monetize virtual CE events. She has a 10+ year career in digital marketing (web, content + social strategy), including projects with Fortune 500 consumer brands.

Emery Cowan,  MS, LPCC, LMHC
Ethics Committee
Legislative & Advocacy Committee

Emery is currently the Interim Behavioral Health Director for Solano County, and serves in CBHDA and liaison to the state plan with DHCS and other statewide groups. Her experiences here and across 2 other states as a bilingual Spanish speaking Hispanic/Latina in direct service and leadership capacities offer a unique set of experiences to advocate for equity: for both staff and clients served. Her areas of focus include working with people with severe and persistent mental illnesses, co-occurring substance use disorders, implementation of evidence based practices and expanding areas of counseling to be focused on social justice, whole health, community inclusion and recovery.

Svanfríður “Swany” Arnardóttir,  MS, LPCC
Ethics Committee, Legislative & Advocacy 

Swany is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) working in a group practice located in the High Desert area where concentrates on working with clients who have experienced abuse, trauma/PTSD, grief, cults and/or religious trauma. Swany is passionate about the human behavior and has a humanistic approach to therapy and believes it's important to address an individual's unique needs. Before transferring over to the group practice environment, Swany provided therapy to the homeless population, to court mandated clients and foster youth.

As an LPCC, Swany is excited to support CALPCC members through finding likeminded professionals, where a safe space is created through variety of group of peers. Swany received her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University in 2017. Currently, she is working towards EMDR credentials.

Photo: Patty Jaime

Patty Jaime, MS, LPCC 

Patty is licensed as as a Professional Clinical Counselor with a Master of Science focused in School Counseling from Sacramento State University, and is a Mental Health Director/Clinical Supervisor at RISE, Inc. in Esparto. Prior to that, she worked as a Rural Program Services Coordinator at Yolo Family Service Agency in Woodland, CA. She has a demonstrated history of working in the prevention and treatment of behavioral and mental health issues and is skilled in the management of Non-Profit contracts and grants, community outreach, volunteer management, curriculum development, and public speaking. 

As a board member, Patty is committed to driving the growth and advancement of the counseling profession through continuous learning, strategic advocacy, and fostering collaborative partnerships. She aims to  empower counselors to thrive in their roles as agents of positive change.

Photo: David Hart

David Hart, PHD, LPCC

David is the acting Director of Community Health at Always Best Care Senior Services, and also serves as the Clinical Training Director in the Department of Counseling at California State Fullerton. California State Fullerton's focus on developing a culturally competent curriculum that emphasizes anti-racism, diversity, and the importance of addressing systemic inequities in mental health services aligns perfectly with CALPCC's mission.  

David intends to actively promote and advocate for policies that further these goals at CALPCC, ensuring that licensed professional clinical counselors are equipped to provide culturally sensitive and socially just counseling services to all Californians. 

Photo: Erin Miller-Brennan

Erin Miller-Brennan, LPCC (CA), CMHC (UT)

A Bay Area native, Erin is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) who is additionally licensed in Utah and Florida. She works in private practice and as a clinical therapist at Headspace Health, where she also serves on their Clinician's Council. Erin also works with children and adolescents at Strides Pediatric Therapy (Utah) and the Homeless Children's Network in San Francisco.

Erin is a staunch advocate and ambassador of the LPCC license, and has been a part of the CALPCC community since 2015.

Photo: Nahyune (Gina) Lim

Nahyune (Gina) Lim, LPCC (CA), LPC (TX)

Gina is Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and serves as the Director of Staff Management at Stephens Therapy Associates in San Diego, where she is also part of their Leadership Team. 

Gina leverages her role there as an opportunity to advocate for the LPCC, and is heartened to see the strides the license is making with increased visibility and in now being recognized by Kaiser and various county (and other government)-funded agencies. We're excited about the considerable experience and enthusiasm Gina brings to our team.

Photo: Kenneth Edwards

Kenneth Edwards, MA, LPCC, LCPC (IL)
Executive Director

Kenneth earned his M.A. in Clinical Psychology and is currently working towards his PhD in Business Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Kenneth has specialized training in working with LGBTQ, Latino, and marginalized populations and has a wide range of experience from young to elder adult counseling. Kenneth previously worked as a VP in Business Banking. With his previous career experience, Kenneth has a depth of knowledge in organizational management as well career counseling and development from a clinical perspective. Kenneth is currently in private practice in San Francisco, California. Kenneth hopes to continue to advance the mission and vision of CALPCC, work with all partners internal and external in implementing a sustainable growth strategy, and helping to create renewed excitement around the LPCC license.


Kenneth Edwards, MA, LPCC, LCPC (IL)
Executive Director

Savannah Ey
Administrative Assistant

G.V. Ayers
CALPCC Lobbyist

Devra Polack, Spinster Design
Web Specialist

Stephanie Ballard
Advertising Manager

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