Thank You for Your Support!

Abigayle Sladick
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations
Grand Valley State University
PR Connect Chair

Click here to connect with Abbey.

I believe nearly every human can define their life's purpose with a single word. Mine is "service." I focus my time, talent and financial support in three main areas: Christian faith-based, education and health. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is an organization that fulfills all of these areas, and therefore it has been a calling to dedicate myself to spreading the good news about the services and programs offered at Pine Rest. I am one of the founding members of PR Connect and currently a co-chair, working alongside a group of inspiring, creative and motivating young professionals. Each of us has our own story about how mental/behavioral health has impacted us personally. We believe the more we share our stories and the stories of the survivors in our community, the sooner we begin to heal. If you're interested in getting involved with PR Connect, please contact me. I'd love to meet with you!

Mark Breon
Community Relations Officer
Lake Michigan Credit Union
PR Connect Board Member 

Click here to connect with Mark

I currently work as the Community Relations Officer for Lake Michigan Credit Union, where I collaborate with community partners and seek opportunities to improve our communities. I am a believer in giving back, and practice this by participating with several community boards and organizations. I currently serve as the Recruitment Chair for PR Connect, seeking out new members to join and support the efforts of our board and of Pine Rest. I want to do my part to break down stigmas around mental health care, and ensure that everyone realizes the benefits of having a stellar organization like Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services as a part of our community.

Danielle Josephine DeWitt
Donor Relations and Stewardship Manager
Grand Valley State University

PR Connect Board Member
Click here to connect with Danielle.

I am currently the Donor Relations and Stewardship Manager at Grand Valley State University, making sure that each and every donor sees the impact of their gift and is thanked appropriately. I am also the Co-Chair of the Partnerships & Recognition Committee on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids. I decided to get involved with PR Connect because I was treated by a therapist at Pine Rest in my young adult years, and this is an opportunity to give back and share their mission and message with the community. I can honestly say that Pine Rest saved my life and look forward to not only sharing Pine Rest’s mission and message with the community, but also letting people know it’s okay to ask for help when we need it.

Charles Kierpiec
McShane & Bowie, LLC
Click here to connect with Charles.

I am an attorney at the Grand Rapids law firm, McShane & Bowie, LLC, where I represent business clients contemplating or engaged in lawsuits. I want to devote significant time to serving the community, in addition to serving my firm and clients. I joined PR Connect to belong to an organization that is taking up the critical mission of promoting the importance of mental health care. I not only hope to promote the fantastic services that Pine Rest offers, but also advocate for public recognition that mental health care services are equal to other vital services that receive strong public support.

Kristin Long
Director of Endowed & Planned Giving
Grand Valley State University
PR Connect Board Member, Membership Co-Chair
Click here to connect with Kristin.

I am currently the Director of Endowed & Planned Giving at Grand Valley State University, where I work to engage individuals and the community in the work of building the long-term endowment support for the university. Volunteering and giving back are core values that I hold very close - each of us has a personal responsibility to, in some capacity, serve others and our communities. I decided to get involved with PR Connect because I feel that it's critically important to promote awareness and advocacy for mental and behavioral health services, while at the same time breaking down the stigmas and judgmental perceptions that are so unfairly associated with professional treatment. I hope that I can serve as a resource and a positive example for others....sometimes we simply need the confidence and reassurance to know that there are safe and non-judgmental avenues through which to ask for and to receive help.

Julie Ann Mulder
Neuromodulation Clinic
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
PR Connect Board Member; Chair of the Internal Awareness & Education Committee
Click here to connect with Julie Ann.

“Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something”. Henry David Thoreau                

My professional career in mental health spans 20+ years, and I have been blessed to serve at Pine Rest since 1998.  My roles have at Pine Rest have included Charge Nurse, Manager of the Staff Development Department, and now as the Coordinator for TMS in the Neuromodulation Clinic.  Educating future nurses about behavioral health is a passion I am also able to pursue through teaching psychiatric nursing part-time for several West Michigan nursing schools.  PR Connect allows me to go one step further by expanding outreach to other healthcare professionals, individuals experiencing mental illness, their families, their friends, and the community.  Education and awareness are crucial components in eliminating the pervasive stigma and stereotypes that people with mental illness are often still forced to endure. Ideally this awareness will be the impetus needed to begin to make changes in health policy, access to services, insurance coverage, and funding for research.  Being invited to serve with PR Connect is truly an honor. I am looking forward to doing my part in raising awareness about issues surrounding mental health and being an agent for change.

Eric Ryan
Lead Client Technology Technician
Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospital
Click here to connect with Eric.

I am the Lead Client Technology Technician for Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals.  Supporting two community hospitals, The Medical Group, and local offices, many hats are worn to support our customers which include staff, physicians, patients, and their families. 

Being part of the PR Connect team is a blessing to me.  I’m able to use my talents and work with others to help raise awareness of mental and behavioral health, remove the barriers in which stigmas are built, and bringing our communities together to understand the issues that sometimes tear us apart.  I also look forward to helping the community find all that Pine Rest has to offer.

Jason Schemmel
Digital Marketer
Harpers Collin Christian Publishing
Click here to connect with Jason

I am a Digital Marketer for Harper Collins Christian Publishing by day, and manage my business, ENTRPRSR, by night. I am a very empathetic person and I have always had a passion to help others. I want to help people realize and understand that mental health is just as, if not more important than, physical health. It's not demeaning in any way to seek or ask for help. That is why I joined PR Connect. Being someone who has struggled with self-confidence and self-esteem, my goal is to bring awareness to the fact that it's okay to reach out to others/professionals/counselors, that you don't have to do it alone

Latricia Trice
Senior Marketing Communications Director
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
PR Connect Board Member
Click here to connect with Latricia.

I work as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. In my role, I am responsible for creating and executing marketing strategies and leading communications initiatives. Volunteering is an important part of my personal life and I believe strongly in giving back to the community through service. I enjoy being a part of PR Connect and supporting its goal to raise awareness about mental and behavioral health treatment and services.

Amanda Van Essen
Van Essen and Associates PLLC
PR Connect Board Member
Click here to connect with Amanda.

I am the founder of Van Essen and Associates PLLC, a small law firm in Hudsonville, MI and a First Lieutenant in the JAG Corp of the Michigan National Guard Reserves. I joined PR Connect because of my passion for advocating for increased access to mental health treatment and improving the public perception of mental illness. I believe improving public awareness, perception is crucial to be able to change public policy and improve both access to care, and treatment options for those in need.