TASK Services Staff

TASK Services Staff

Alexandra Dow, LMFT – Director, Community Based Programs

Alex received her Bachelor’s Degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from Pfeiffer University at Charlotte with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in NC and SC and a Licensed Professional Counselor in SC.

Alex’s areas of specialty include youth with problematic sexual behavior, parent-child conflict, youth delinquency, family structure, interpersonal functioning, healthy sexuality, marital conflict, domestic violence, and anxiety.  As a clinician, Alex primarily utilizes family-centered and systemic approaches. Her preferred therapeutic modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), family systems therapy, structural family therapy and strategic family therapy.

With experience providing therapy in outpatient settings as well as school- and home-based interventions, Alex began her career at CHA as a clinician in the Treatment Alternatives for Sexualized Kids (TASK) Program. She later demonstrated her leadership abilities as the TASK Program Manager and is now a Director of Community Based Programs. In this position, Alex provides clinical and administrative management of the TASK Program, Outpatient Services, and Intensive In-Home.

Ashville area

Cynthia L. (Cindy) Arnold, MA, NCC, LCMHC – Therapist

Cindy is a TASK Therapist in Asheville. She obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from Montreat College in December 2016, and was licensed in April 2017, at which time she started working for an agency as an Outpatient Therapist. Cindy joined CHA in December 2019, as a TASK Therapist as a fully licensed LCMHC. Cindy also has a MDiv. (Master of Divinity), 1997, from Candler School of Theology, Emory University. She is an Ordained Elder in the UMC and served local congregations for 20 years. Cindy maintains her role as Elder in the UMC and her current appointment is as a TASK Therapist. Cindy has a passion for genealogy and scrapbooking.

Mary Pearce – Case Manager

Mary Pearce, BSQP works with the Asheville TASK team as the Case Manager. She is primarily responsible for assisting clients and families in skill building, and coordinating care for clients and families. Before joining the TASK team in 2020 she worked with adolescents at various levels of care, from PRTF to foster care, utilizing in behavior intervention strategies and helping parents and teams manage crises. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Appalachian State University in 2015 where she also spent her time volunteering with the Women’s Center. She has experience in the Teaching Family Model, and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. She enjoys building a therapeutic alliance with families and clients through conversation and skill building activities. In her free time, she enjoys going camping.

Kelly Wagner, MSW, LCSWA – TASK Therapist 

Kelly is a passionate Master’s Level Social Worker and recent graduate from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She also earned her Bachelor’s degree in both psychology and sociology from Mercyhurst University in May of 2019. Throughout the years, Kelly has helped individuals and families in various settings including safety shelters, hospitals, colleges, and schools. She is also a strong advocate for the prevention of homelessness, domestic violence, and school violence. As a clinician, Kelly has adopted a trauma-informed, strength-based approach to therapy. She utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), and motivational interviewing (MI) to assist clients in coping with various concerns such as relationship issues, anxiety, depression, and trauma. Kelly is also a member of the Phi Alpha Honors Society, enjoys photography, and previously served in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Steve White, LMFT – Senior Clinician

Steve White, LMFT, is the Senior Clinician for the TASK program in the Western Region. He graduated from Southeastern College in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and went on to get his Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling in 1992 from Reformed Theological Seminary. Steve provides supervision and support to all of the TASK Therapists and Case Managers in the western region as well as overseeing how the program is run and creating partnerships with local stakeholders. Steve has been employed by Children’s Hope Alliance since 1999 and has served in various roles leading up to him becoming the TASK Senior Clinician for the Western Region in 2014. Steve is well versed in numerous treatment strategies and interventions including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Strategic and Family Therapy. Steve believes that the most effective ways for change to occur is within the context of the family and creating strong relationships with children and families is the most effective way to promote that change. When Steve isn’t spending time with his family, you can find him either in the woods hunting, working on a woodworking project, or construction project.

Burlington area

Zachary Khelah, LCMHCA – Therapist

Zachary Khelah is a therapist that immensely enjoys working with individuals and families by assisting them in working through their problems in a collaborative manner. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Hamline University in 2016 and his master of arts degree from the University of MN in 2021. He holds an associate license in the state of North Carolina and has served a variety of individuals in the human services industry for 8 years. Two of his core values are growth and reflection, and he enjoys backpacking and cooking in his free time.

Charlotte area

Dana Andrews, BS, QMHP – Case Manager

Dana received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Fayetteville State University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University with completion of degree in May of 2022. In 2016, Dana began the start of her career working as a mental health counselor at a psychiatric residential treatment facility. She fell in love with direct care and the need for wanting to make a change within children’s lives. She continued to explore the career path by gaining experience in Intensive In-Home, Day treatment and now as TASK Case manager. In 2021, Dana began with CHA as the Charlotte TASK case manager. TASK case manager is responsible for crisis management, intensive case management, skills training, safety planning and implementing components of the TASK model such as group, individual and family therapy.

Each role within the career path has allowed Dana to become familiar with client problematic behaviors, parent-to-child conflict, anxiety, environmental factors, healthy sexuality, family dynamics, and closer understanding of DSM diagnoses. Specific interventions such as CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and solution-focused therapy are skills that Dana utilizes with clients. In the near future, Dana plans to become licensed with NC state board to become a therapist.

Timeria Barber, MSW, LCSWA – Therapist

Timeria Barber graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She earned a Master’s of Social Work degree in 2021 from Winthrop University, also in SC. Timeria is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Associate in the neighboring state of North Carolina. She has over a decade of experience working with diverse populations. She discovered her passion for helping people to have hope through voluntarism at Atrium Health hospitals and non-profit organizations. Her training and certifications include: Question Persuade Refer Institute-Suicide Prevention, What is Prevention-Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, and Trauma Focused-CBT. At Children’s Hope Alliance, Timeria works on the TASK team as a therapist. She provides children and their families with the fundamentals needed to allow for healing and growth. Timeria takes pride in helping individuals, groups, and families overcome adversities and maintain mental wellness. In her leisure time, she enjoys trying new things like candle making and indoor skydiving. She lives by the Golden Rule which is to “treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Lexington area

Christian Immel, LCMHC – Senior Clinician

Christian Immel, LCMHC, graduated with his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Appalachian State University after receiving his Bachelor’s in Psychology from North Carolina State University. While attending school in Raleigh, he discovered a passion for working with youth with diverse needs after accepting a position working as a paraprofessional serving children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Throughout his career trajectory, he has maintained a dedication to working with individuals experiencing marginalization or finding themselves on the periphery of society because of neurodiversity or who they are as human beings. He currently serves as the Senior Clinician for the East Region of the TASK Program, and provides clinical oversight and community outreach for close to 40 counties in North Carolina. Christian is an avid musician and vocalist – having covered R&B and soul artists from the likes of Mariah Carey,  Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder. He was never fond of cats, but is now the proud “parent” of two cats that he rescued unexpectedly from grocery store parking lots.

Joshua May, LCSW-A – Therapist

Joshua May is an LCSW-A with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (2017) and a Master’s in Social Work (2020) both from Appalachian State University. In both degrees, Joshua took courses that focused on the impact of family systems on individuals and their behaviors. His treatment approach focuses on hands-on interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, Solutions focus therapy, and person centered treatment. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Dylan Spake, BSW, AP – Case Manager

Dylan Spake is the Case Manager for Lexington TASK. Dylan is a pretty quick learner and very dedicated to those on her caseload which helps to make her an effective case manager. Dylan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with her Bachelors in Social Work in May of 2021. She currently attending a Masters of Social Work program through the University of Denver. At UNCG, Dylan graduated Summa Cum Laude in the top 10% of her class. She was also admitted to the Master’s Program she currently attends under Advanced Standing. As a social worker, Dylan really believe in the social work core values, ethics, and principles. She specifically really enjoys the principles of social justice, dignity and worth of the person, and the importance of human relationships. Her belief in these principles before becoming a social worker is what brought her to wanting to become a social worker. As an individual she values respect, honesty, and compassion. In her spare time, Dylan enjoys spending time with her husband and children, as well as working with children in her community as a summer league swim coach. She has about 100 kids each summer that she coaches. When she is not coaching her kids, she keeps up with them during the off season making sure they know she is always there to support them. 

Statesville area

Kristen Lovelace, LCMHCA – Therapist

Kristen Lovelace graduated Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and holds a Master’s degree from Liberty University in Professional Counseling. Kristen is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate and holds a certification as a National Certified Counselor. In addition, Kristen is also certified in EAGALA, a modality of equine assisted therapy and serves as a Guardian Ad Litem in her home community, supporting children in foster care.

Kristen has worked for CHA since 2013 and has almost 9 years of mental health experience, working with kids and adolescents. Kristen has a passion for serving at risk youth and individuals who have experienced trauma. Kristen aims to build a strong rapport with her clients while assisting them in developing healthy coping strategies that build self-confidence and elicit positive change.

Claudia Pollex, AP – Case Manager

Claudia Pollex graduated from North Carolina State University in 2021 with honors, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Communication (Interpersonal, Organizational, and Rhetorical Concentration) and a bachelor’s degree in General Psychology. While in school, Claudia served as Mental Health Ambassador with the NCSU Counseling Center, and helped to break the stigma surrounding mental illness on campus. Claudia also took part in a mentorship program in Johnston County schools where she assisted youth with skill building and preparing for their future. Claudia is very passionate about helping individuals understand and care for their mental health, along with learning how to process and cope with trauma. In her free time, Claudia enjoys getting outside in nature and enjoying all that North Carolina has to offer.

Katy Wogatzke — Therapist

Katy graduated with her master’s degree in School Counseling from Salem College after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Theology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010. She also holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Military and Civilian Trauma Studies from East Carolina University and has spent time volunteering as a domestic violence crisis advocate through Davie Center for Violence Prevention, as a suicide crisis advocate through the National Crisis Textline, and she also served on the Board of Directors for Family Promise of Davie County. Katy is passionate about working with youth and families who are experiencing tough situations. Her counseling philosophy is, “It’s your journey, I’m just holding the light and bringing supplies.” In her free time, she enjoys yoga, river kayaking, and momming.

Sylva area

Maiden (Beth) Carnes, LCMHCA – Therapist

Maiden Carnes, LCMHCA is a therapist with the TASK program in Sylva, NC and believes this is the job she has searched for her entire life. Maiden, or Beth as she prefers to be called, graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Master’s of Education in Community Counseling in 2004. She pursued a PhD in Counselor Education at the University of South Dakota from 2004 to 2008, but discovered working with children, and eventually accepted an Education Specialist degree in School Counseling with no regrets. She is currently enrolled at USD in a certificate program in Child Advocacy, a two-year program. Beth has worked across many culturally diverse populations in South Dakota, Nebraska, Georgia and North Carolina. She is a certified School Counselor in Georgia and North Carolina and holds Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA) in North Carolina as well. Beth utilizes CBT, Person Centered Therapy and Motivational Interviewing in counseling but firmly believes the relationship between the client and therapist is pivotal in helping clients move forward. An avid reader and shopper, Beth lives in Western North Carolina with her family which includes a dog, two cats, three geese, two roosters and 16 hens.

Stephanie Herrera, BS QMHP – Program Manager

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Western Carolina University, Stephanie Herrera is a Qualified Mental Health Professional providing case management services to client’s and families served in the TASK program. Stephanie is earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Advanced Clinical Practice from Walden University. Stephanie plans to obtain her License as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) post-graduation. Prior to joining the CHA team in 2018, Stephanie worked with clients in various settings, including adult care homes, client homes and group homes, schools, and crisis settings.  Stephanie has prior experience working  with developmental disabilities and individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses.  Stephanie provides supportive skill building interventions and techniques using a strengths based approach in order to build resilience in children and families.

Samantha Unterhorst – Case Manager

Samantha Unterhorst is the TASK Case Manager in Sylva, NC. Samantha graduated from the University of West Florida in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. Prior to joining the CHA team, Samantha previously worked within the Federal Service for nine years. While working with the Department of Defense as a Medical Records Technician, she was awarded the Civilian Service Achievement Medal, the fifth highest award in the Department of the Army Honorary Awards field for their employees. Most recently, she was part of the Mental Health field for the Veteran Affairs providing administration support to various providers. Samantha highest belief is that integrity is everything- professionally and personally. Integrity encompasses one’s principles, honor, dependability, trustworthiness, and moral compass. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, playing sudoku, birdwatching, and hiking.

Wilkesboro area

Saralynn Brown, MSSW, LCSWA – Therapist

Saralynn Brown is a TASK Therapist in Wilkesboro, NC. Saralynn received her Bachelor of Social Work from Appalachian State University and her Master of Science in Social Work from University of Tennessee.  Before beginning her role as TASK Therapist, Saralynn began with Children’s Hope Alliance as a TASK Case Manager. Saralynn utilizes a variety of evidence-based practices including strength-based practice and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)  to assist clients and families in multiple areas. Saralynn also advocates for families in various settings to assist with overcoming barriers and obstacles faced. When she is not working Saralynn is spending time with her family and indulging in her obsession of all things Disney. Walt Disney once said, “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children,” and Saralynn tries to hold true to this belief to identify strengths and support all future possibilities with all the youth she works with.

Julie Johnson – Case Manager, QP

As the TASK Case Manager in Wilkesboro, Julie Johnson is dedicated to working with the clients and families to ensure they receive appropriate services based on their needs. Julie attended Arkansas State University and received a bachelor’s degree in Middle School Education in 2008 with a 4.0 GPA. She is currently working on her MSW through Florida State University and will graduate in August 2023. Before joining the CHA team in 2022, Julie worked with children and families in various settings including a wilderness program, alternative schools, and juvenile justice. Julie provides supportive skill building interventions using hands-on and strengths-based approaches along with group therapy, crisis intervention, and group therapy. In her free time, Julie enjoys watching sports, being outside, listening to music, and spending time with her kids, grandkids, and her dog.