Our Leadership

Deanna Rhodes, Executive Director

Prior to becoming the Executive Director for CONNECT Summit County, Deanna worked for Park City Community Foundation where she led their communications, marketing, and fundraising events including Live PC Give PC. 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. 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 on the community. She has served on the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance Communications Task Force, 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 a 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 a local production of “Give A Bleep” and skis as much as she can.

Wendy O’Leary, Impact Director

Wendy brings her lived experience as a family member of someone with a serious mental illness and more than thirteen years of professional Family Peer Support experience. She has worked for Utah’s National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Utah Family Coalition providing family peer support and high-fidelity wraparound directly to families. For the last several years, Wendy has been training, coaching and certifying Family Peer Support Specialists, High Fidelity Wraparound Facilitators and Family Support Partners Statewide. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Holistic Theology, is a Certified Advanced Trainer for the Nurtured Heart Approach and is currently in the process of completing certifications in Nonviolent Communication and L.E.A.P.  She is committed to empowering individuals and family members through self-determination, informed choice and being strengths-based when it comes to addressing behavioral health challenges. She has a passion for community-building and strongly believes that “none of us are well until all of us are well.”

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.

Linda Steadman, Peer Navigation Specialist

Linda is a Utah Certified Peer Specialist with a degree in Education from the University of Kansas.  As a former teacher, Linda has diverse experience in nonprofit organizations, including teaching families how to cope with mental illness and addiction, leading support groups, advocating about mental illness/mental health,  and serving on the Board of Directors for NAMI and various mental health associations.  After vacationing in Park City for many years (and volunteering with CONNECT during her visits), she recently moved here and is happy to be part of our team.
Linda has many years of lived experience helping family and friends find mental health treatment. She has a unique knowledge of the struggle of trying to find the right therapist, the right treatment center, the best medication and good support groups.  Knowing she cannot solve all the issues herself,  her search for help has continued for many years, in many different places.  She is grateful to use her experience in surviving and thriving…and to help people in Summit County get the help they need.

Betty Morin, Event Logistics Coordinator

Betty Morin lives in Francis, Utah in the Kamas Valley and is a Utah native with a BA in English from Westminster College. Her background is in yoga event planning and teaching wellness professionals to plan, organize and run their own events. She is excited to share her event planning expertise with ou CONNECT Summit County community. Betty is a wife, mother of two young boys and loves living in the Kamas Valley. In her spare time, she teaches yoga and meditation. She loves to cozy up by her fire with her family and she loves to play outside sunshine, snow, and even rain!

Board Members

Natalie Herron, Board Chair

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 the chair 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.

Ian Crossland, Board Member

Ian Crossland currently serves as the Head of School at Park City Day School, a local Preschool-Grade 8 independent school.  Before moving with his family to Park City in 2017, Ian was the Head of School at Colegio Los Nogales, in Bogotá Colombia where he lived with his wife, Wendy, and four children for seven years. Ian has earned a B.A. in English Literature from University of Puget Sound, a J.D. from University of Washington School of Law, and a M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  In addition to his school headships, Ian has practiced law and worked as an educator in a wide variety of settings including public and private schools, K-12 systems, and colleges and universities, in the U.S. and abroad. Ian is honored to serve on the CONNECT Board of Directors and hopes to leverage his experience in the field of education and passion for the healthy and holistic development of children to bear in his work with the organization.

Cindy Levine, Board Member

Cindy Levine is a 20 year resident of Park City and founder of C-Change Consulting and Intrigue Design. Cindy worked in sales for Colgate-Palmolive, as an analyst, Regional sales for Apple Computer and as a local coordinator and producer of the Park City Women’s March in January 2017. She has an intense passion to alleviate the stigma attached to substance abuse disorder.

Cindy is a member of CONNECT Summit County, a member of the Summit County Democrats, Women’s Democrats of Utah and League of Women Voters. She continuously drives energy and awareness to the many causes in the greater Utah and Park City communities.

Kathy Meyer, Board Member

Kathy specializes in therapeutic placements for teens and young adults. As a mom of three young adults and a mental health professional, she offers parents genuine and compassionate support as they navigate the process of getting their child help. Her areas of expertise are students with anxiety, depression and students who are struggling with social skill deficits. She also loves working with young adults and is skilled at getting them to engage in their process. Kathy is involved with many community nonprofits, consults with the local school system on mental health issues, facilitates teen groups, and teaches workshops in the local schools. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travel, hiking, trail running, and spending time with her family and friends.

Sandra More, Board Member

Caroline Nurse, Board Member

Caroline Nurse is a brand and content marketing professional currently employed at Park City Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States. Previously, Caroline worked as the Digital Manager for the non-profit OCEARCH by sharing their story of ocean research and shark conservation. She graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in New Media. She is passionate about connecting the residents of Summit County with mental health resources and working to destigmatize mental wellness.

Jim Whitney, Board Member

Jim became involved with CONNECT through association with fellow members of Park City Sunrise Rotary Club, Ray Freer and Father Charles Robinson, to help with 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 felt 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 seeking 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 and 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 a past President of the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club, loves skiing, travel, the Sundance Film Festival and spending time at his family cabin in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

 Former Board Members & Co-Founders

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, 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, Co-Founder and Former Board Member

Lana is a co-founder of CONNECT and a former member of the CONNECT Board of Directors. She understands first-hand the impact that mental illness has on families when a loved one is struggling and recognizes the importance of raising awareness and improving services. As a member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), she has co-taught the NAMI Family to Family Education Course and co-facilitated a NAMI Family Support Group. She volunteered with the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance Clubhouse Task Force to help make that service a reality in our community. Lana graduated from Brigham Young University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She enjoyed teaching Kindergarten at Parley’s Park Elementary in the Park City School District for 20 years, retiring in 2018. She and her husband, Rob, raised their family of four in Utah, Oklahoma, and England. They have lived in Park City since 1995 and enjoy spending time with family, especially their grandkids. Lana enjoys reading, yoga, and walking in our beautiful mountain community.

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.

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