Our Leadership

Deanna Rhodes, Executive Director

Deanna Rhodes is the Executive Director for CONNECT Summit County. Deanna comes from Park City Community Foundation where she led their communications, marketing, and fundraising events including Live PC Give PC. During her time with them she brought new organization and focus to their efforts elevating their branding and community outreach. Strategic planning and fundraising is Deanna’s strongpoint, particularly around cultivating and stewarding major donors for a positive donor engagement experience.

Deanna has been passionate about Mental Wellness in Summit County since 2016 when the Board of Health decided to address the issue as a public health initiative. Personally, she has spent time working as a citizen advocate at the state legislature on issues that affect mental health and substance abuse such as Medicaid Expansion, banning conversion therapy and tracking other bills that could have an impact both positively and negatively.  She has served on the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance, which gives her a broad perspective and knowledge of the mental health landscape in our area and also a track record in promoting public awareness around mental health.

She has passion for the community and solving its most pressing problems. Deanna pursues goals with determination. She believes in leading by example and that being involved in the community is critical. Deanna is a member of Park City Toastmasters, Park City Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Fund, and the YWCA. She also writes and acts in local production of “Give A Bleep” and skis as much as she can.

Wendy O’Leary, Resource and Navigation Services Director

Wendy brings her own lived experience as a family member and over twelve years of professional Family Peer Support experience. Wendy has provided family peer support directly to families and for the last several years she has been training, coaching and certifying Family Peer Support workers Statewide. Her knowledge and experience in the field of peer support, advocacy, education and community resources is extensive. She has a passion for strengths-based approaches, self-determination and informed choice when it comes to addressing behavioral health concerns of self or loved one.

Wendy has volunteered and worked for NAMI Utah in many capacities since 2006. She has been an integral part of the Utah Family Coalition’s Family Resource Facilitator program since its inception in 2007.  She has extensive experience as a High Fidelity Wraparound Facilitator and Trainer/Coach.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Holistic Theology from the American Institute of Holistic Theology in 2014 and she has been a Certified Nurtured Heart Approach Advanced Trainer since 2011.

Wendy enjoys reading and researching, music and dancing, traveling to new places and getting outdoors as much as possible. Her favorites are camping and hiking in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with her kids and grandkids.

Amber Borowski Johnson, Communications Manager

Amber is originally from Canada and spent a number of years working as a publicist for Utah’s ski and outdoor industry whilst moonlighting as a radio personality and travel writer. She went on to build Colorado’s first and largest online community for moms, was a columnist for The Denver Post, a regular contributor for 9News Denver and Microsoft’s accredited blogger at the 2010 Vancouver Games. She has been named as Brand Enthusiast for many companies including  SC Johnson, Disney Social Media Moms, Nintendo and Skype. She is a strong advocate for mental health and passionate about community-building and storytelling.

Amber loves skiing, hiking, traveling, laughter, eternal winters and party-planning. She recently moved back to Utah with two teens in tow and her husband, a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

Faylene Weinman, SSW, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator

Faylene Weinman joined CONNECT Summit County in January 2018.  Faylene has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and has enjoyed an extensive career in health and human services. She has been an advocate for families caring for their aging and disabled loved ones, and for people suffering from domestic violence. Faylene has been a volunteer coordinator for senior programs and piloted a successful senior corps program.  Faylene also has library experience where she enjoyed connecting people to resources and promoted literacy.  She and her family have lived in Park City since 2010. In her free time, you will find her spending time with her family, helping her friends and neighbors, reading, gardening, and hiking.

Paul Yestrumskas, J.D., Vice President and Board Member

Paul Yestrumskas was born in Pennsylvania, received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a JD from Temple University where he was a member of the Law Review.  Paul began his legal career in the antitrust division of General Motors in Detroit, MI.  Most recently, Paul served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Playtex Products, a publicly-held company where he also headed government and press relations. In addition to serving on corporate boards, Paul was a director of Connecticut Legal Services for 15 years, and has served on the board of the Children’s Advocacy Center (“CAC”) in Scranton, PA for the past eight years. The CAC serves sexually abused children and their families and provides educational outreach throughout the state. Paul also served as President of the Corporate Counsel Association, comprised of 1100 members during 1991-1993.  Paul lives with his wife Marie Thrasher in Park City.

Jim Whitney, Board Member

Jim is a member of the CONNECT Board of Directors.  Jim became involved with CONNECT through association with fellow members of Park City Sunrise Rotary Club, Ray Freer and Father Charles Robinson. Having been recruited to help with a logo and marketing for the 2016 May Mental Health Awareness month, Jim found that need for awareness of brain health issues, and the stories of the people he met at the May events to be so compelling he “had” to stay involved with this emerging group.  Jim studied Advertising Design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, before moving to New York City to find fame and fortune on Madison Avenue.  After seven years working in big New York agencies, Jim and his new wife, Robin, picked up and relocated to Los Angeles, where they spent 8 years working in small, virtual ad agencies.  Jim and Robin moved to Park City, Utah, in 1995, joining forces to form Whitney Advertising and raising their two daughters, Grace and Claire.  Jim is currently President of the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club, loves skiing, the Sundance Film Festival and spending time at his family cabin in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Cindy Levine, Board Member

Cindy Levine is a 20 year resident of Park City and founder of C-Change Consulting and Intrigue Design. In the early 90’s Cindy worked in sales for Colgate-Palmolive and later as an analyst. From there she dabbled in the “dot.com” world and after a handful of failures landed a sales job with PowerSchool, which was  later purchased by Apple. Cindy covered the western states selling and implementing software in kindergarten through 12th grade school districts.

After enjoying a stint in the world of technology and sales, she took a break to focus on activism along with non-profit work and started her own interior design business. Within 5 years she both opened her own interior design store and chaired several fundraising events for local private schools.  She focused on creating awareness of child trafficking via social media. The organization she focused on was Maiti Nepal –  the character from the film was named CNN Hero of the Year in 2010.

Since November 2016, Cindy has put her design business on pause. She acted as local coordinator and producer of the Park City Women’s March in January 2017, founded the online mailer “Shaking the Blues,” joined forces with Summit County Recovery, and accepted a position as a board member of CONNECT. She has an intense passion to alleviate the stigma attached to substance abuse disorder.

Cindy is a member of Summit County Recovery, CONNECT Summit County, a state delegate, a volunteer for a handful of local non-profits, a member of the Summit County Democrats, Women’s Democrats of Utah, League of Women Voters, and a Board Member of Utah Women Unite.  She continuously drives energy and awareness to the many causes in the greater Utah and Park City communities.

“I love surrounding myself with people who give their heart to issues that matter to them. I feed off that love and hope my energy and passion does the same for those I work with. I’m all about connecting the dots, building bridges and elevating those who share this enthusiasm.”

Natalie Herron, Board Member

Natalie Herron spent her professional career working with post surgical, elderly populations, and people facing end of life challenges. Most recently, Natalie served as the director of Applegate Homecare and Hospice for Summit and Wasatch counties.  Natalie also served on the Summit and Wasatch care giving coalition board.

Struggling with caring for a family member struggling with depression, Natalie left her full time job to focus on the needs of her teenage daughter and her diagnosis of depression. Her own struggles with coordinating efforts between school, counselors, and medical professionals, left Natalie knowing that more needed to be done to help educate families and support teens struggling with depression as they transition into life after high school. Natalie became affiliated with CONNECT by joining, and then leading, the Parents Roundtable, and now serves as a member of CONNECT’s board of directors.  She wholeheartedly believes in CONNECT’s mission of de-stigmatizing mental illness – it is of utmost importance to our community.  Natalie volunteers her time during May Mental Health Awareness Month each year and is committed to bringing more educational programming and resources to the community.

Mary Closser, Board Member

Mary Closser has been involved with CONNECT since its creation in January 2016.  She was drawn to the organization through personal challenges she was experiencing with a loved one, and suddenly entered the mental health world at the same time CONNECT was being launched.  Surrounded by stories of others experiencing similar mental health challenges, Mary wanted to deepen her involvement with CONNECT.  Mary hopes to lend her recent lived experience by demonstrating compassion and reassurance to others in need. Outside of CONNECT, Mary is the Education Director at Recycle Utah, a local non-profit.  She teaches children from 3-18 about conservation and natural resources, in addition to running a green business program for local businesses. She has a BA in English from the University of Colorado and an MA in Environmental Policy and Management from Denver University. Mary has lived in Park City for eight years, and spends spare time with her two sons when she’s not hiking, skiing, mountain biking, or swimming.  Her volunteer efforts are currently focused on hospice care.

Edwin P. Rutan II, J.D., Co-Founder and Former President & Board Member

Ed is a co-founder of CONNECT and a former member of the CONNECT Board of Directors. He was deeply involved in planning the Summit County activities for Mental Health Awareness Month in May 2016. Ed served as the City Attorney for Salt Lake City for ten years until he retired in 2013. He received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Utah chapter of The American Society for Public Administration in 2013. Ed previously worked as an attorney for AT&T, including positions in Dallas as Law & Government Affairs Vice President for the Southwest Region and in Belgium as counsel for Europe and the Middle East.  Ed began his legal career as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City. He graduated cum laude from both Harvard Law School and from Columbia University. Ed also serves on the board of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah. In retirement, Ed is now “working” as an historian. He published his first book, 179th New York Volunteer Infantry, last year and is now in the midst of his second.  Ed has lived in Park City with his wife Lynne and son since 2002. His hobbies include hiking, skiing, traveling and gardening. He wishes he could find time to play golf.

Lynne Rutan

Lynne Rutan, Co-founder and Former Secretary & Board Member

Lynne Rutan is a co-founder of CONNECT and a former member of the CONNECT Board of Directors. Lynne became an avid mental health advocate when her adult son was diagnosed with severe mental illness and the whole family was impacted by the difficulties of finding adequate treatment for him. She is a member of the Summit County Mental Health Needs Assessment Survey Steering Committee. Lynne previously worked as a reporter in the Boston area and for almost two decades as a public relations and marketing executive specializing in travel and tourism. As a community volunteer, she has helped raise more than a million dollars for academia, the arts, and other local non-profits. Lynne is a member of P.E.O., Leadership Park City Class 23, and the Women’s Giving Fund. Lynne graduated with a BA in Political Science from Vassar College. Lynne has lived in Park City with her husband Ed and their son Matt since 2002. Her best job ever? The 13 winter seasons she has spent with the fantastic Skier Services team at Deer Valley Resort.

Lana Youngberg

Lana Youngberg, Co-Founder

Lana is a co-founder of CONNECT and became involved as the organization was taking shape in early 2016.  She is a member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), teaches and facilitates the NAMI Family-to-Family course, and is Co-Facilitator of the NAMI Family Support Group that meets twice monthly at the Summit County Health Department. She understands the impact mental illness has on families and is excited about how CONNECT is helping to raise awareness and improve services in Summit County. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and has taught Kindergarten in the Park City School District for 18 years. She and her husband have lived in Utah, Oklahoma, England, and in Park City for the past 21 years. They have four grown children and eight grandchildren. She enjoys walking, reading, yoga, and spending time with family.

Dyan F. Pignatelli, Co-Founder

Dyan is a co-founder of CONNECT. She feels lucky to now call Park City her full time residence after owning a home here since 1982. Dyan’s background is as an educator, having taught elementary school and also English as a Second Language to adults. She has completed graduate work in Marriage and Family Counseling and Education from The University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University, and California State University Fullerton. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from The University of Colorado at Boulder. Her volunteer service has passionately focused on children and their families. Most recently, Dyan and her husband established a Chair at the University of Arizona: The James S. Pignatelli and Dyan Pignatelli/Unisource Clinical Chair for Audiologic Rehabilitation in Adults. The program provides education and communication skills for adults with hearing loss. Because of the success of this program, Dyan has become very interested in offering outreach and continuing education programs to the Park City community, including as a co-founder of CONNECT. In addition to her work with CONNECT, Dyan serves on the Foundation Board at the Park City Hospital, on the Advisory Board at the LiVe Well Center located at the Park City Hospital, as a volunteer at the People’s Health Clinic, and is a member of the Women’s Giving Fund. Dyan is proud to be a co-founder of CONNECT and is hopeful that it will continue to touch lives in our community.

Ray Freer, Co-Founder

Ray is a co-founder of CONNECT. His passion and advocacy for increased mental health awareness and reduced stigma is personal. Ray’s son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and battled mental illness for 15 years before taking his life in 2002. Despite valiantly surviving numerous psychotic episodes, Ray’s son ultimately succumbed to progressive illness. Ray is the designated liaison between Connect and NAMI Utah, an organization for which Ray served on the Board of Directors for ten years. Ray also assists with organizing and facilitating community programming for Connect. Ray is also a member of the Summit County Mental Awareness Survey steering committee and the Summit County Advisory Committee. Ray received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and has worked in the real estate industry for many years, managing, appraising, financing, and developing real property. He is an emeritus member of The Hope Alliance Board of Directors and is involved with both Westminster College, generally, and the University of Utah in its health care areas. Ray has many interests, both present and past. Those interests include having been a part of the Tournament of Roses Association (I can get you great Parade tickets!), The Rotary Club of Pasadena, CA, and the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club. His favorite hobby is tennis.

Rev. Charles Robinson, Co-Founder

Charles Robinson is a co-founder of CONNECT and a member of CONNECT’s programming and event committee. He has served as rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Park City since 2004. Throughout his career as an Episcopal priest, Charles has been active in both church work and mental health services. Charles was ordained in 1975 and has served several churches as youth minister, associate pastor, hospital chaplain, and senior pastor. In 1990, he became a Clinical Member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. In the 1990’s he was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist and became a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He previously served as a staff psychotherapist, supervisor, and clinical director with Phoenix Interfaith Counseling for twelve years. He holds graduate degrees in divinity studies, clinical psychology, business administration and philosophy. His hobbies include watching movies, hiking, and biking.

Laura Waugaman, Co-Founder

Laura is a co-founder of CONNECT and a passionate advocate for the mentally ill. Laura is a member of NAMI and co-facilitates a Family-to-Family support group in Park City. She is also a member of the Summit County Suicide Coalition. Laura has been employed as a school counselor by the Park City School District for seventeen years. Laura holds a Professional Educator License for the State of Utah Level 2 and is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Clinician for the State of Utah. Laura previously served as a Certified Mental Health Counselor and Child Mental Health Specialist for the State of Washington. Laura received an MS in Art Therapy from the College of New Rochelle and completed her undergraduate and graduate training at the Yale New Haven Hospital, Adolescent Psychiatric Unit in New Haven, Connecticut. Laura has worked as a Child Family Therapist for The Children’s Center in Salt Lake City, as a Clinical Team Leader and Child Family Therapist for Children’s Mental Health in Bellingham, WA, as a manager for Project Return, a residential group home for adolescent girls in Westport Connecticut, and as a mental health counselor for Community Crisis Intervention in Stamford, Connecticut.