Our Guests

Brooke Jones

Brooke wants to live in a world where people choose kindness over violence, compassion over cruelty, and action over indifference. She studied in Paris and holds a degree in art history. She delivered a TEDx talk in 2017 where she shared her personal journey with mental illness. Outside of her time creating written content for the Foundation, she enjoys fiber crafting, creative writing and helping spread kindness in her local community with her teenage daughter. 

Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS

Brennan Spiegel is director of Health Services Research for Cedars-Sinai and Director of the Cedars-Sinai Master’s Degree Program in Health Delivery Science. He directs the Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CS-CORE), a multidisciplinary team that investigates how digital health technologies; including wearable biosensors, smartphone applications, virtual reality (VR) and social media; can strengthen the patient-doctor bond, improve outcomes and save money. Dr. Spiegel published the book “How Immersive Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine.”

Dr. C Neil Epperson

C. Neill Epperson, MD, is the Robert Freedman Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Epperson is internationally known for her unique lifespan approach to women’s reproductive and behavioral health in both the clinical and research realms. Learn more here: https://medschool.cuanschutz.edu/psychiatry/home/meet-the-chair

Meg Fredrick

Meg Frederick has over 15 years of experience teaching high school English and Interdisciplinary Courses. In response to rising teen suicide rates, Meg Fredrick helped to create the Mindfulness Club at the school to help students learn ways to manage stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. The success of the club  prompted the beginning of the nonprofit Mindfulness and Positivity Project to do outreach via conducting mindfulness workshops for businesses and groups in the Pikes Peak region.

 

Walter Greenleaf, PhD

Walter is considered to be the leading authority on the application of Virtual Reality for behavioral therapy. Viewed as one of the fathers of Virtual Reality itself, he brings over 30 years of research, development and advocacy for the adoption of this technology, and its potential to improve healthcare from a variety of approaches. Walter graduated from Stanford in 1985 with a PhD in Bio-behavioral Neuroscience, and immediately began developing technology to facilitate cognitive rehabilitation. 

Hillary Lum, MD

Hillary Lum, MD, PhD is an internist, geriatrician and palliative care physician.  She is passionate about working with community partners to develop innovative approaches to improving quality of life for individuals with serious illness, including a new virtual reality and music therapy intervention for hospitalized patients with palliative care needs.

Angela Wibben

Angela Wibben is a board-certified Music Therapist and has been practicing within adult and pediatric medical settings throughout her professional career. She has extensive experience as an integral member of hospital interdisciplinary teams for palliative care, pediatric and adult oncology, intensive care units, and general medical/surgical units.  Angela’s research interests include integrating innovative technologies into Medical Music Therapy practice as well as qualitative research for Music Therapy in Palliative Care. 

Adreanne Brungardt

Adreanne Brungardt, MM, MT-BC is professional research assistant for the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Her background as a board certified music therapist has been instrumental for serving on a wide variety of projects and programs ranging from dementia caregiving support to a novel virtual reality and music therapy intervention for individuals with serious illness.

Aaron Wisniewski

Aaron has been called the “Indiana Jones of Scent,” due to his lifelong obsession with the power of scent and how it can benefit the human experience. This has led him around the world collecting and bottling scent memories. . OVR Technology is the second olfaction-based company he has co-founded on his over 20-year journey combining the art and science of our oldest most primal sense and technology to produce meaningful, measurable human outcomes

Andrew Orvedahl

Andrew Orvedahl is a stand-up comedian from Denver, Colorado, who has spent the last fifteen years performing in clubs, colleges and comedy festivals from coast to coast. His stand-up has been seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, as well as Last Call with Carson Daly and Flophouse on Vice. He is also the co-creator and co-star of the sitcom Those Who Can’t, which aired for three seasons on TruTV.

Josh Blue

Josh Blue is an American comedian, following his groundbreaking win on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006, he has risen through the ranks to become a well-established headliner at venues throughout the world. In 2018, Josh crushed his set on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He wrapped up 2018 by recording his fifth hour special at his home club, Comedy Works in Denver, CO. Josh does over 200 shows a year, continuing to spread laughter and break down stereotypes of people with disabilities. 

Janelle Banat

Janelle Banat is an executive coach and former health care administrator who started her boutique coaching and consulting firm Footlamp Consulting in 2018 so she could support physicians with coaching programs to increase their leadership confidence and competence, while lowering their stress levels.  

Hassan Latif

Hassan A. Latif, founded Second Chance Center (2012), a community re-entry agency dedicated to the successful transition of people returning from incarceration. Hassan conducts mentoring and reentry trainings for government and non-profit service providers nationally, facilitates transition planning sessions in Colorado Department of Corrections facilities statewide.

Rick Rekedal

In 2016, Rick finished 20 years with DreamWorks Animation,  most recently as Chief Creative of franchise development and the global franchise director of the hit movie “Trolls.” Among the other properties he worked on are “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” He has been awarded two Kids Choice Awards, two Annie Awards, and Toy of the Year. 

Nanea Reeves

As CEO of TRIPP, Nanea brings over 15 years experience in digital distribution, video game technologies and mobile application development. Prior to co-founding TRIPP, Nanea was President & COO of textPlus, one of the top mobile communications applications on the iOS and Android platforms. Nanea is an active mentor and enjoys public speaking having given 3 Tedx talks on various subjects – including one focused on why girls should play video games. 

Scott LoMurray

Scott is the Executive Director of Sources of Strength where he coordinates and facilitates trainings with community partners around the world.  Scott lives Colorado with his wife and 3 adorable children. Scott‘s go to strength is engaging in healthy activities by getting outdoors and his favorite hobby is growing facial hair at an incredible rate.

Patrick Bordnick

Patrick Bordnick, Patrick Bordnick, PhD, MPH, LCSW is a professor and the dean of the Tulane University School of Social Work. He is a pioneer in the use of virtual reality and other disruptive technologies for the assessment and intervention of substance use and behavioral disorders and is continuing to examine ways innovation can empower people to make long-term changes in their health and wellbeing.  

Solome Tibebu

Solome Tibebu is a behavioral health strategist and investor passionate about frontier technologies and solutions transforming mental health, equity and access. She is the founder and host of the Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech Summit and she is the co-author of ReThink Behavioral Health Innovation, the source for digital behavioral health technology startups. Solome leads a philanthropic fund focused on adolescent mental health, and she is board director or advisor to various mental health organizations and for profit companies.

Alex Doman

Alex Doman is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, music producer, podcast host, and TEDx speaker with twenty-five years experience in neruroscience. The third generation in a family of pioneers dedicated to improving brain performance, Alex is founder and Chief Product Officer of Vital Neuro, founder of Advanced Brain Technologies and Sleep Genius. He’s contributed to articles to peer reviewed scientific journals, magazines, and books, and is the host of the Advanced Brain Podcast. 

Paul Gilmartin

From 1995 to 2011 Paul Gilmartin co-hosted TBS’ Dinner and a Movie, and has been a stand-up comedian since 1987. His credits include Comedy Central Presents: Paul Gilmartin, numerous Bob and Tom albums, comedy festivals and the Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Since 2011, he has been the host and executive producer of the podcast The Mental Illness Happy Hour.

Missy Franklin

Melissa Jeanette Franklin Johnson is an American former competition swimmer and five-time Olympic gold medalist. She formerly held the world record in the 200-meter backstroke. As a member of the U.S. national swim team, she also held the world records in the 4×100-meter medley relay (short course and long course). 

Tamara Merritt

Tamara has been working in the Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies industry for more than 30 years providing oversight, management and program development for numerous therapeutic riding centers in Northern Colorado.  Currently Tamara is the Associate Executive Director at Hearts & Horses where she oversees the various program operations and development.

Robin Gabriels, Psy.D

Dr. Robin Gabriels, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Gabriels has over 30 years’ experience developing intervention programs along with assessing and treating a variety of pediatric and adult populations. Dr. Gabriels established the Neuropsychiatric Special Care program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, one of the few nationally-recognized specialized psychiatric inpatient and day treatment units for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or intellectual disabilities

Elissa Wolf-Tinsman

Elissa Wolf-Tinsman teaches Upper School social studies and is chair of the department, as well as an Upper School advisor at a local independent school. She earned her BA at Wesleyan University and her MEd at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. While at Harvard, Wolf-Tinsman published two articles, both based on her teaching experiences. Wolf-Tinsman has taught a variety of social studies and English classes, seventh through twelfth grades. 

Zach Smith

Zach Smith is an intern with NMHIC and will be a Junior at the University of Washington in Autumn 2020. He is a Psych major with a minor in Environmental Sciences. Within NMHIC, he works with the Tech Innovation Network, helping with a variety of different projects and tasks.

Lena Schneck

Lena Schneck has been an intern for the National Mental Health Innovation Center since 2019. She has a deep interest in creating innovative mental health solutions and in making treatment accessible for all. Through her internship, Lena has worked on projects relating to improving emotional intelligence in children and destigmatizing mental health issues through social media, literature, podcasts, and valuable discussions. She is a rising sophomore at a small liberal arts college and hopes to continue to work in the mental health field.

Aimee Sullivan, PhD

Aimee Sullivan, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and senior instructor in the School of Medicine.  At the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center, she uses evidence-based psychotherapies to work with children and adults with mood and anxiety symptoms, and has a special interest in using Family-Focused Therapy to treat bipolar disorders. Current research interests are focused on the role of family variables in the development and course of early-onset bipolar disorders.

Christopher Schneck, MD, is the medical director for the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center, and oversees patient care delivered by the clinic providers.  In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Schneck teaches in the divisions of Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neuroscience and the University of Colorado Medical School. He has been recognized annually as one of Denver’s “Top Doctors” in 5280 magazine since 2004.

Barry Raphael

Barry is the Administrator/Archivist at the Lumonics School of Light Art in Denver, CO.  The Lumonics Light & Sound Gallery is a multi-sensory environment intended to bring you into a state of comfort and expanded awareness. It utilizes the Tanner light sculptures, music, and video by Dorothy Tanner and Marc Billard.

Jomar Suarez, MD

Dr. Suarez is an adult psychiatrist trained at the University of Colorado and a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In 2014 Dr. Suarez founded the 7 Healing Stars Oneness Center in Colorado, a platform of empowerment that combines principles of nutrition, sustainability, education, holistic health, artistic expression, spirituality and community integration. 

Jon Sockell, MBA

Jon is a technology entrepreneur and co-founder at Limbix. Prior to Limbix, Jon ran marketing at KeepTruckin and key product marketing verticals at Medallia, and helped drive each company’s valuation to over $1B. Jon has a BA in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. His hobbies include golf, travel, basketball, and scrabble.

Ben Lewis, MBA

Ben is an experienced entrepreneur who started Tapjoy and Karma Science before founding Limbix. Ben has also worked as an Engineering Manager, Engineer, or Product Manager at Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. He has a B.S.E. in Computer Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is married with two children and claims to have a killer game of disc golf.

Jared Wigdor

Jared is the Vice President & Chief Devlopment Officer for Bright by Text. He manages their fundraising and communications, engaging foundations, corporations, and individual supporters to fuel Bright by Text’s program supporting children’s physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development. Jared is committed to charting a path to long-term, sustainable development growth that lets Bright by Text focus on what it does best — helping give children the best start in life. 

Alexis Decosimo, PhD

Alexis is currently working as an art therapist in Asheville, NC and is the Founder and Executive Director of Playing to Live! She specializes in trauma informed art therapy, program development, and international work.  She has worked as a clinician in  wilderness therapy settings, autism, substance abuse, at risk youth in diverse populations, PTSD, military, and with homeless and displaced persons.  

Aubrey Schick

Aubrey has an intense passion for developing technology to improve people’s lives. Whether surgical robots, assistive agents or AR enterprise tools, she is driven by meeting the needs of users. Leading with passion, she delivers earlier product outcomes by cultivating user-empathy across stakeholders with agile, actionable deliverables. 

Tim Enwall

Tim is the Head of Misty Robotics, Inc. Based in Boulder, CO, who are building the robot that could spark “robots for everyone.” Misty Robotics’ vision is to put a robot in every home and office. These robots will be seen and treated as our friends, our teammates, and a part of our families — performing helpful tasks, providing safety, and interacting with humans in entertaining and friendly ways that have only been seen before in science fiction.

Brian Griese and Brook Griese, PhD

Brook and Brian Griese are both Co-Founders of Judi’s House/JAG Institute; Brian is an ESPN Football Analyst and Former NFL Quarterback and Brook is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Judi’s House was founded on the belief that all bereaved children and families should have access to effective and compassionate care. It is the only free-standing organization in Metro Denver devoted solely to supporting grieving youth, ages 3-25, and their caregivers with research-based care. The mission of Judi’s House is to help children and families grieving a death find connection and healing, while JAG Institute helps further this mission through comprehensive research, training, and advocacy initiatives. 

Sharon Raggio, LPC, LMFT

Sharon Raggio has over 35 years of experience  in the behavioral health industry and currently serves as the CEO of Mind Springs Health, Inc. and West Springs Hospital, Inc.. She is a loyal advocate of integration of behavioral and physical health and has worked diligently to develop new models of care that both improve health outcomes and reduce costs.

Wes Williams, PhD

Dr. Wes Williams serves as Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the Mental Health Center of Denver, overseeing their information systems. Wes’s clinical background and technical expertise help him provide solutions to the challenges of building systems that meet the needs of clinicians, payers, regulators, and the people we serve. His current focus is on starting up Mental Health Center of Denver’s Innovation Lab, using human centered design to find digital health innovations to improve access, engagement, and treatment efficacy.

Rob Valuck, PhD

Rob is the CEO and CO-Founder of OpiSafe, the leading solution provider of platforms designed to manage the opioid response for prescribers, dispensers, public health agencies, first responders and the general public. He is also a professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO.  

Dion Gonzales

Dion is a successful entrepreneur and speaker with a proven history of creating and delivering products domestically and internationally. After personal challenges, mental health became his passion and he co-founded, iRel8 – an anonymous, peer-to-peer social network dedicated to mental wellness. We believe people have the innate need to connect and we proactively use technology to stop the stigma and provide access to help 24/7/365 in 54 languages. 

Jeff Dorchester

Jeff Dorchester is a designer, entrepreneur, and executive with decades of passion and innovation in the technology space. Previously he co-founded Loyl.Me, and through an acquisition, Monetary. Data science, marketing automation, customer engagement, and merchant payment processing were central to the platforms created. After finding success building and launching those companies, Jeff parted ways to begin helping people with technology he creates. Today, he brings an emotional side of life with his company iRel8, a social network for mental wellness. 

Don Bader, MD

Don is the co-founder of Osiris Labs. Osiris uses immersive storytelling in virtual reality to create real engagement and behavior change at work by connecting the entire workforce to the core business purpose and values. 

James Oury

James is the co-founder of Osiris Labs. Osiris uses immersive storytelling in virtual reality to create real engagement and behavior change at work by connecting the entire workforce to the core business purpose and values. 

Q Saaed

Mr. Saeed has over twenty-five years of proven executive leadership in the execution and delivery of scaled, advanced technologies. His clients in the past five years on M&A, financial due diligence, AI, machine learning and 5G strategies have included, Panasonic, Kymeta, Google, Softbank, ARK Multicasting, and Allo Communications. 

 

Stephen Berkowtiz, MD

Dr. Steven Berkowitz, is the Director  of Stress, Trauma, Adversity Research, and Treatment (START) Center at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Center. 

Laura McGladrey, PMHNP

Laura McGladrey is a Family and Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her background is in emergency medicine, humanitarian aid and wilderness medicine. She is currently working as faculty UC Health Emergency Department the psychiatric consult service and staffs a stabilization unit for child and adolescent population. 

Ronil Shah, MD

Ronil is currently a third year psychiatry resident at the University of Colorado where his academic interests include the crossover of technology and psychiatry, telepsychiatry, cultural psychiatry, and psychotherapy. He is currently involved in the implementation of a VR program into the outpatient clinic and participates in a psychotherapy scholars focused track as part of his residency training.

Zach Demko, MD

Zach is currently a third year psychiatry resident at teh University of Colorado.  He studied psychology at the University of Florida and received his Medical Degree from Florida International University in Miami. In July, he will be beginning a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

Stephen Goldberg, MD

Stephen has over 20 years’ experience both in Maryland and nationally working with the Mental Health and Criminal Justice communities, government agencies and local health departments around the country. He is a board certified psychiatrist with added qualifications in forensic psychiatry who trained as a psychiatric
resident and fellow in forensic psychiatry at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins.

Sharon Lipford

As Program Development Officer with the Mental Health Association of Maryland, Sharon Lipford oversees Engage With, an interactive training program designed for professionals serving older adults.  Prior to joining MHAMD, Sharon brings over 30 years of leadership experience in non-profit and government. 

Andy Mathis

Andy leads partnerships and business development at Oculus VR, working with a range of partners to drive VR distribution and engagement. He has spent the last 16 years working in the technology industry in leadership roles that span business development, account management, and sales across Motorola, Esmertec, Google, and now Oculus.

Barnaby Perks

Barnaby joined Oxford VR as Founding CEO in March 2018. He has some of the most extensive experience in creating value from digital technology in mental health conditions, having spent the previous seven years as Founding CEO of Cambridge -based Ieso Digital Health. He built the company from its initial clinical trial into the UK’s leading provider of live online cognitive behavioural therapy, delivering evidence-based mental health therapy services in multiple NHS contracts and also to Medicaid patients in the US.

Pete Docter

Peter Docter is an American animator, film director, screenwriter, producer, voice actor and chief creative officer of Pixar. He is best known for directing the animated feature films Monsters, Inc., Up, Inside Out and the upcoming Soul, and as a key figure and collaborator at Pixar

Justin Kruger

Justin Kruger was inspired to start Project Helping in 2014 after years of regularly volunteering himself in the community. Kruger realized the power that volunteering had in his own life and wanted to share that experience with others. Project Helping organizes volunteer events specifically designed to make an impact — both on you and your community. Through the act of volunteering, participants actively invest in their communities while also reaping the benefits of increased mental wellness. 

Representative Leslie Herod

Representative Leslie Herod (HD-8) was elected in 2016 as the first LGBTQ African American in the General Assembly, while receiving the highest number of votes of any candidate running in a contested election. She serves as the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Vice Chair of the Committee on Legal Services. Rep. Herod also chairs the Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus and the Arts Caucus.

Noah Robinson

As a graduate student in the Hollon Research Group at Vanderbilt University, Noah is exploring how virtual reality can be used to treat addiction. He is using virtual reality at an in-patient drug rehabilitation center for patients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Noah eventually plans to conduct clinical research through Internet-based virtual reality treatments.

Elizabeth McMahon, PhD

After more than 30 years at Kaiser Permanante, Elizabeth opened her own private practice in San Francisco.She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, phobias, and Positive Psychology Training. As one of the first psychologists to implement Virtual Reality in her therapy practice, she’s a pioneer in this innovative new treatment method.

Dama Dipayana

An innovator through and through, Dama is the definition of a Renaissance Woman: Snowboarding instructor, filmmaker, and years of experience in the startup world. Dama is currently developing software to help children with behavioral disorders learn skills they need to manage them in collaboration with their parents. Manatee  uses a combination of AI and gamification to provide families with a strategy work together.

Walter Greenleaf, PhD

Walter is considered to be the leading authority on the application of Virtual Reality for behavioral therapy. Viewed as one of the fathers of Virtual Reality itself, he brings over 30 years of research, development and advocacy for the adoption of this technology, and its potential to improve healthcare from a variety of approaches. Walter graduated from Stanford in 1985 with a PhD in Bio-behavioral Neuroscience, and immediately began developing technology to facilitate cognitive rehabilitation.