Kerry Martin is a seasoned and savvy Harvard-trained strategist with three decades of experience crafting innovative solutions to a wide range of social, business and marketing challenges. Keys to her success are being intensely strategic, insanely organized and an inspired communicator coupled with a sound educational foundation and unique interdisciplinary background. Kerry founded Hope Xchange in 2013 after battling with a bipolar diagnosis and invites you to read more about her story at Founder's Message.
Kerry is also CEO and Founder of Hope Xchange Timebankand Founder of Give a Grape, a cause-marketing initiative in collaboration with the wine industry to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention and other social causes. She was also a cause-marketing strategist, consulting with heart-centered entrepreneurs to grow mind and market share by adopting a cause. She also held senior marketing, business development and program management positions at three dot.com start-ups, was a Project Manager at an environmental-economics consulting company and Director of Finance for a US Congressional Campaign.
Christina Huff - Chief Operating Officer, Mental Health Advocate & Blogger
A Chicago native, Christina Huff devoted the first part of her career to law, one of her many passions. She attended the John Marshall Law School after receiving her B.A. and B.S. at Southern Illinois University, and spent several years working as a paralegal in several prestigious Chicago law firms.
After a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, Christi began the second part of her career with the same zest and passion she gave to studying law. In learning about her own struggles with mental illness, Christi developed a calling and talent for helping others. Her first venture was writing for the website, Ask A Bipolar, which then led to becoming the President of the initiative. She also blogged monthly for International Bipolar Foundation, with her articles published in their book, Healthy Living With Bipolar Disorder. She then began blogging on her own website, Musings of a Bipolar Hot Mess, where she shares her everyday struggles in hopes of inspiring others so they too can find hope in living with a mental illness. She also guest blogs on other sites and does interviews on living with bipolar and mental health issues.
Burton Danet, Ph.D. - Retired Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalyst, Lead Strategic Advisor & Hope for Bipolars Mentoring Team Guide
Burton Danet, Ph.D. is a retired Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst who practiced for 15 years in the States of Minnesota, New York and California. Since retiring he has not rested but instead has built and oversees two different and very inspiring nonprofit organizations, A Better Community For All and a Better Community for All Legacy.
His organizations focus on the betterment of citizenry and communities through a give-back model of conducting business in the world, Maximizing Charitable Contributions on and off the Internet wherein support is offered for charitable causes worldwide and ABC4AllWorldSolutions™ which provide opportunities to reach unimagined Health Heights.™ We are truly blessed to have him on board our team not only as our in-house mentoring mentoring team guiding light but also as our lead strategic advisor.
Kristin Molinaro - Mental Health Advocacy Program Coordinator
Kristin Molinaro graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Bloomfield College and is now attending Rutgers University obtaining a Masters of Social Work and a certificate in violence against women and children. To help prepare her for her upcoming work with vulnerable populations, she now volunteers at TeenCentral.net, helping teens with the issues they face in a changing society in an anonymous and judgement free zone.
Kristin has also used her savvy social media skills to continue to help others by volunteering at the Fledgling Arts Council Initiative where people facing mental illness, discrimination or LGBTQ issues can come together in a private setting and show their art and speak openly and freely about their problems.
Helping people is Kristin’s passion and she is continually looking for ways to grow as a person and strive to help other people when she can. Her goals are to leverage her experience to develop programs for people who feel different or need a helping hand to receive support and encouragement and to create a stigma free environment for the youth of today so they can lead happy, healthy and independent lives.
Kira Kirk - LGBTQA+ Mental Health Advocate & Marketing Intern
Kira Kirk is a high school senior, currently pursuing a diploma and figuring out future educational goals. They know, however, that they plan to be the first in their family to earn a college degree. Originally born in New Hampshire, they currently reside in the Dallas Forth Worth area of Texas. Their previous volunteer experience includes 3 years serving as an online help-chat provider specializing in assisting youth, LGBTQA+ community, and those suffering from mental illness. They have also participated in several years of speech and youth leadership programs, giving talks regarding a topic very close to their heart: bullying, suicide, and the importance of kindness, awareness, and empathy, along with practical preventative measures that anyone can adopt in the fight against bullying. Along with this work, Kira is Autistic and has a passion for spreading awareness of neurodiversity. They also have a diagnosis of long-term depression and suffer from anxiety.
Kira's background has been a difficult one with a lot of trials, however, they are a fighter and dedicated to advocating against the pain of isolation, misunderstanding, and hatred for them self and others. They are heartbroken that such a vast amount of lives are taken each year, especially through suicide of those who are young, and are dedicated to the mission of fighting against the statistics and saving lives. They believe that empathy, knowledge, and a passion for helping others are incredibly important personal qualities, and their goals are to educate, assist, and spread love and human decency in the hopes that lives can be changed, and all struggling will someday thrive.
Kathy Salas - Bipolar Mentor & Personal Coach Specializing in ADHD & Bipolar
Kathy Armas Salas is a personal life coach specializing in ADHD and bipolar life coaching. Because coaching is accomplished in phone and Skype sessions, she works with clients across the US. Kathy started her training in 2000 with Limitbusters ADD Coach training and has just completed additional training from ADD the Coach Academy is is now an ADDCA Associate Coach (AAC). Prior to becoming a life coach, Kathy spent nine years in sales and sales management at Symantec and three years at a Software Publishing Corporation. She believes each person is whole, creative and resourceful and that, working together in coaching sessions, each person will discover they already have what they need but just need to learn how to access it. To learn more about Kathy, we invite you to visit her coaching website, kathysalas.com.
Karen Renken is a native New Yorker now residing in Florida. She is a Mental Health First Aid Responder and has participated in Crisis Intervention Training to help police recognize mentally ill people to stop mistreatment and violence towards them. She has participated in training films to teach therapists new treatments, filmed documentaries on Bipolar Disorder and spoken at DBSA and other notable mental health conferences.
Karen has published numerous articles on mental health including "Breaking the Chains of a Bipolar Mentality". She has been featured in stories in Bipolar Magazine, Web MD and Everyday Health. Karen is currently receiving treatment from a Psychologist specializing in LGBTQ affirming therapy, as well as trauma resolution. She is also a passionate mental health advocate, helping wherever and whenever she can, so no one feels driven to commit self-harm or suicide.
Mindy Morgan - Bipolar Mentor & Mental Health Blogger
Mindy Morgan is a social worker who received her Masters Degree from the University of Maryland. She is currently director of a mental health center in Maryland. She has worked as a social worker for a variety of populations since 2000 and has recently taken a more active role as a community advocate. In her current role she fosters cooperative relationships between the police, courts, and mental health system and provides training to law enforcement on mental health. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since the age of 21, but only began recovery efforts with the help of a psychiatrist and therapist at the age of 34. She believes in the power of recovery and the importance of supportive relationships to help in the recovery process.
Kevin Goldman - Bipolar Mentor, Mental Health Advocate & Blogger
Kevin Goldman is a seasoned IT Professional leveraging over 10 years of experience and IT certification in an independent computer consulting business. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kevin is highly organized, efficient and skilled in multiple technologies, environments and industries.
As someone who has experienced much in life with his own struggles, he is both empathic, a great listener and goes above and beyond the call of duty. Kevin is a personal friend of our founder and she is thrilled to have him on board our mentoring team and are those he mentors. Kevin also blogs at iheartkevin.com and is a guest blogger on our website.
Allie Tamer - Bipolar Mentor & Technical Genius
Allie Tamer has been building and leading support teams in the tech world for the past decade. Currently, she is the CEO and Chief Consultant at the Lossless Leadership Company, whose mission is helping first-time people managers succeed. She's passionate about helping companies retain their culture as they scale, open and honest communication and cotton candy.
Formerly, Allie was the IT Manager at Culture Amp in San Francisco and IT Support Lead at Palantir Technologies in Palo Alto. She has also worked as the Lead Genius and Mac Genius at Apple, Inc. And, yes we do concur she indeed a genius!
Lisa Richards - Bipolar Mentor & Mental Health Advocate
Lisa Richards is thoughtful and caring person that loves to help others deal with their mental health and problems in life stemming from their illness. She is a Certified Peer Support Specialist with Utah's Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and has extensive knowledge relating to mental health and its effects.
Lisa currently works as the front desk coordinator and insurance verifier at Rock Run Physical Therapy as well as a medical receptionist at Ogden Clinic. Prior to that she was Unit Secretary in the ER Department at .Davis Hospital and Medical Center.
Motivated, ambitious, extremely organized with a high level of integrity, Lisa has excpetional people skills and we're truly honored to have her as part of our mentoring team.
Nia Jones - Marketing & Nonprofit Administration Intern
Nia Jones works for the President of Taft Companies, a financial consulting company. She is a recent graduate from Towson University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology in the fall at Towson. She previously worked with the Refugee Youth Project, a nonprofit that supports resettled refugees through a host of mentoring and after-school programs in the Baltimore metropolitan area and worked closely with the International Rescue Committee.
Nia studied psychology and culture abroad in Italy and co-authored an article published in Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. During Nia's studies at Towson University, she supported research studies focused on assessing student’s exposure to multicultural experiences and relationships with cross-cultural adaptability. She also has been actively engaged in the dance community for more than 16 years as a performer and instructor.
Trent Gerdeman currently attends Chapman University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Economics with expected graduation in May of 2017. Upon graduation, Trent aspires to work in the nonprofit space after graduation, and by interning with Hope Xchange, hopes to gain experience to position himself to secure such a position.
Trent was a Research Fellow and Intern at the Economic Science Institute, a founding member of Chapman University Men’s Track and Field Team and a Volunteer and Treasurer in the Character Counts Club and Jamboree. He has also given back, working as with anti-bullying groups in high school.
Ritika Jain - Strategic Marketing Intern
Ritika Jain has a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington and Bachelors in Technology from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in Delhi, India. Her experience working in the hi-tech industry, including as a WIFI test engineer at Aruba Networks and in engineering intern positions at Qualcolmm, Broadcom and Bharat Heavy Electricals for the past three years, has taught her that marketing a new idea is as important as the technical development and research supporting it.
She is now taking a year off to pursue a Certificate of Marketing at the University of California, Berkeley and is collaborating with our CEO and graphic designer on strategic marketing initiatives and the design of marketing collateral for Hope Xchange.
Chandni Patel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University and now attends Cypress College for ultrasound imaging medicine. She is working to attend medical school in the coming years and prepares for this new endeavor by volunteering with the Orange County Needle Exchange Program in order to aid with harm reduction.
Additionally, she works with medical students at the University of California in Irvine for providing a better sex education curriculum for high school students in Santa Ana. Chandni's ultimate goal is to use her experience in the medical field to help those often neglected and mistreated by society and the law by starting a low-income health clinic with a holistic focus.
Leslie Chu - Marketing & Website Design Intern
Leslie Chu is currently attending California State University, Fullerton pursing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, expecting to graduate in the spring of 2018. She completely a study abroad program at National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei, TW and is on the Dean's List and Academic Scholarship (i.e., she is bright and fluent in Chinese).
Leslie is the Union and Special Program Coordinator on Associated Students, Inc., a tutor at Kumon in Math and Reading, and also volunteered for the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society. She is interested in utilizing her leadership and communication skills to positively contribute to an organization’s corporate and departmental objectives, and is helping our team extend our social media reach as well as in our mental health advocacy efforts.
May Torres - Marketing, SEM & SEO Intern
May Torres is a graduating senior at California State University, finishing a degree in International Business with a minor in Japanese. Last fall, she completed a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She has experience in social media marketing and management, Google Analytics, Adwords, SEO, and creative writing.
Most recently, she was a CEG intern at Yamaha Corporation of America, assisting managers with marketing campaigns and promotions including analytics, adwords, content curation and creation, and social media; a Marketing Intern with Emplicity curating, writing and editing content for the company blog; and a Marketing and Visiting Assistant for the City of Buena Park. In the future, she would like to work in global marketing strategy and work abroad in Japan. Her passions include music, traveling, and philanthropy.
People Who Inspire Us & Give Us Hope
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, US Senator, and First Lady, Child and Family advocate (picture with our CEO & Founder, circa 1996)
Natasha Tracy, Mental Health Advocate Award Winner, Best-Selling Author and Leading Bipolar Blogger at NatashaTracy.com
Maria Shriver, journalist, producer, author & mother. Her mission is to inform, inspire & ignite people to be Architects of Change in their own lives & communities.
Personal Shout-Outs from our CEO & Founder
My amazing parents, Talia and Geoff, and my beautiful siblings, Tony, Tania, Shae, Kye and Laine and their wonderful life partners who have bootstrapped Hope Xchange from Day 1 and never stopped believing in me.
Kim Obsniuk, Kelly "Rosie" Joniec, Leanne "Beanne" Jacobsen, & Shelly "Bells" Welcome, my best friends who love me unconditionally and without whom, I would not be here today.
Allie Merrick (Creative Genius @ The Allie Way and marketing consultant for Hope Xchange) and Babette Wolff, our Founder's sisters from other misters.
Fellow bipolar advocates, Julie Fast, Natasha Tracy, Rudy Caseres, Jessica Gimeno, Martin Baker and Diana Stinson to name a few.
Auntie Kerry's amazing and inspiring nieces and nephews: Sara, Morgan, Mac, Connor, Chase, Caleb, Laura, Taresse, Joe (x2), Jen (x2), Rylie, Aiden, Arlo, Lexie, Isabel, Ethan, Emlyn, Britton, Iver, Gael and Hope.
If our suicide prevention and mental wellness programs align with your corporation's giving back and employee matching programs, please consider joining forces and becoming a Hope Xchange Corporate Sponsor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the benefits associated with our sponsorship options and which may be the best fit for your organization.