Board of Directors
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Danny Porter, MSW, LICSW, President, has over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families in public, residential, hospital, and day treatment programs. He is currently a District School Social Worker for Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916 on special assignment to incorporate mental health initiatives district-wide, along with community partnership and grant initiatives. Additionally, Dan provides Group and Individual Clinical Supervision to Social Workers for the Profession Matrix. He received his B.A. in Social Work and Sociology, his Masters in Clinical Social Work, and has a Director of Special Education License. Porter serves on the Board of Directors for (MSSWA) Minnesota School Social Workers Association. He has presented at numerous conferences throughout Minnesota on topics such as: Supervision and ethics, strategies for supporting youth, promoting self-esteem, and school-based social skills programs. He was an examination item writer for Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and he has been published multiple times in the School Social Work Journal. Porter was named Minnesota School Social Worker of the year in 2012. Dan and his husband Tony are adoptive parents of two amazing boys with special needs.
John D Pace, CRCM, Vice President and Treasurer, is the parent of an adopted son with several mental health diagnoses, including (ARND) Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder. John, along with his wife Brenda, has raised their son since taking him home from the hospital the day after he was born. John earned a Bachelor’s of Science in General Business from St. Cloud State University. He is currently an Audit Manager with USAA. John hopes to use the experiences of his wife and himself to provide valuable insight on the Board and to advocate for other parents and caregivers like him.
Brandon Jones, MA, Executive Director
Brandon was appointed Executive Director of the Minnesota Association for Child’s Mental Health in 2021. He has a consulting and training background in addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Historical and Intergenerational trauma, Social/Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Leadership, and Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Brandon holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, a Masters in Community Psychology from Metropolitan State University, and a Masters in Psychotherapy (MFT) from Adler Graduate School. Brandon is also a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow.
Today, he provides the MACMH staff and board with the leadership and vision necessary to keep MACMH at the forefront of education and advocacy issues. He lives by the motto of “Live life with Purpose on Purpose.”
Michele Fallon, LICSW, IMH-V®, is a licensed clinical social worker endorsed in Infant Mental Health at Level IV through the Minnesota Association of Children’s Mental Health Infant and Early Childhood Division (MACMH-IEC) with 40 years of experience working with young children and their families. Currently, she is serving as the co-chairperson for MACMH-IEC which is committed to championing the social-emotional development/mental health of children prenatal to five and building capacity for a statewide network of multidisciplinary professionals in Minnesota with the competencies needed to meet the unique developmental and relational needs of young children and their families. Michele provides IECMH reflective consultation and training for multidisciplinary professionals working with young children and their caregivers and is an instructor for the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.
Elizabeth (Liz), Franklin MSW, LICSW, received her BAs from the University of Kansas in Spanish and in American Studies with a concentration in human sexuality in American culture. She received her MSW from the University of Minnesota in 2007 and earned her clinical license in January of 2010. Previously, Liz worked as an elementary school Latino Family Liaison in Independent School District 196, and as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager and later a School-based Therapist at Washburn Center for Children. She is currently the Senior Manager of Community-based Mental Health Services at Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES). Liz also teaches the Advanced Clinical Practice with Children and Adolescents course in the School of Social Work’s graduate program at the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, she has focused on working with kids and families, often in under-served communities, who have experienced complex trauma and/or symptoms of anxiety, depression, Autism, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and other learning or developmental differences. Liz is fluent in Spanish and frequently works with first, second, and subsequent generations of Latinx immigrants. Reducing barriers to inclusive, culturally responsive services through provider development has been a core part of Liz’s work. Her professional experiences have demonstrated to her the importance and difficulty of navigating mental health, educational, and social service systems, and she is passionate about helping families and caregivers understand and work with the multiple systems that impact their children in a more empowered way. While working at Washburn Center for Children, Liz helped create an internal consultation group for the Spanish-speaking providers at Washburn in 2011, helped found the Twin Cities Spanish-speaking Provider Consortium in 2012, and co-developed the three-part Diversity, Inclusion, and Culturally Responsive Practice training currently offered through Washburn’s Training Institute. She has presented at MACMH’s annual conference, served as a panelist for the Minnesota chapter of the NASW, and provided the Early Warning Signs training to educators. Liz continues to facilitate the Twin Cities Spanish-speaking Provider Consortium, an interdisciplinary group of over 200 Spanish-speaking mental health providers, social service providers, medical social workers, and school social workers.
Tricia Grimes, MA, earned her Master’s Degree in Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Before she retired she worked as a non-partisan legislative fiscal analyst at the Minnesota House of Representatives and for many years at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. At the Office of Higher Education, she advocated for funding and legislation for the agency at the Minnesota Legislature and with Minnesota’s congressional delegation. In the past she served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Paul. She is the parent of a child with mental illness and her brother had bipolar affective syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tawnya Heinsohn is the mother of three teenage girls, as well as a licensed teacher with over 20 years of experience working with children and families in various environments. Her roles have included elementary teacher, early childhood screener, Title 1 teacher, afterschool program coordinator, team member of the Educator Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) Covid-19 response report, and parent volunteer. Currently, she is an early childhood educator in an inclusive classroom, where she specializes in early intervention, child development, and in teaching social emotional skills. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education from UW-River Falls, but has discovered our youngest learners are entering schools needing more support than ever. As the first point of contact for many families, she takes her role seriously as she helps families navigate connections with school psychologists, social workers, and community programs that foster home and school relationships.
Philip Kampa, Growing up, Phil was “on the patient end of mental health”. Over his childhood years, he received several different mental health diagnoses which changed as he grew up. At age 12 he began experimenting with drugs, by age 18 he had developed an addiction – often using drugs to self-medicate. In July 2008, Phil went to treatment for his addiction. Now sober and a student at Inver Hills Community College he is excited to share what he has learned about drug abuse, addiction, and mental health to help others. Phil also works part-time as a PCA in a group home for men with mobility issues and cognitive disabilities. Before becoming a MACMH board member Phil donated his time as a volunteer at the MACMH annual child and adolescent mental health conference.
Margaret “Peggy” Larkin, JD, is a parent of two girls, one who is now an adult with a family of her own and a teenager, each with mental health diagnoses. Peggy is a member of the State Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health, Minnesota Coalition to Lower MA TEFRA Parental Fees and is a PACER parent leader. She is also an active member of the Parent Catalyst Leadership Group, a division of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative. Peggy grew up in South Minneapolis, working with adults with disabilities as a young volunteer at Powderhorn Park and volunteered to work with special education students at Washburn High School while in high school. She earned her B.A., graduating summa cum laude, from Augsburg College in Minneapolis majoring in psychology and continued on to complete her Juris doctorate at Mitchell | Hamline School of Law. Peggy is a licensed attorney and has experience in family law, municipal law and criminal law, including problem-solving courts aimed at improving the lives of individuals with a mental health diagnosis, veterans, women involved in prostitution, individuals experiencing homelessness, and people struggling with addiction who come in contact with the criminal justice system. In addition, as a practicing student attorney, Peggy helped start up a small business and non-profit organizations. She has been a volunteer advocate at a shelter for women experiencing domestic violence, has testified for tenant rights before the Minnesota Legislature, and lobbied congress in Washington D.C. for increased education funding for college students who are low-income, first-generation college students, or disabled. Peggy’s compassion for families and children struggling to overcome the challenges encountered when a child in the family is diagnosed with mental illness grew out of her personal experiences, compounded as a single parent, helping her own children manage their symptoms to ultimately lead a fulfilling life.
Suzanne Renfroe’s introduction into disabilities began in 1990, when she gave birth to a daughter who was considered medically fragile. After researching how to give her daughter as typical a life as she could have, they moved to Minnesota in 1992. For the first time, Gabby was able to attend school part time and receive other services. Suzanne was able to join a support group and become a member of the state’s task force dealing with PCA services for children under 17. That experience taught her a lot about physical and developmental disabilities, as well as finding resources for taking care of her daughter. She became involved in many state, county and local councils. In 2001, her son was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. Once again, she needed to become knowledgeable and advocate for him, and sought out similar supports from the mental health community. She was saddened to learn that having a mental health diagnosis is not met with the same sensitivity. She continues to mentor parents and work with organizations to help reduce stigma and make sure the parent’s voice is included in decision-making and system change.
Thad Shunkwiler, LMFT, LPCC, ACS, CCMHC, is a mental health professional who works as an Assistant Professor in the College of Allied Health and Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. With over 15-years’ experience providing behavioral health treatment across a wide variety of settings, he uses what he’s learned on the job to teach the next generation of providers. Professor Shunkwiler’s research focus is on adolescent substance use trends, prevention science, and workforce development. In addition to his academic work, he is the founding director of the Center for Rural Behavioral Health at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he has the ambitious goal of ensuring outstate Minnesota has access to high quality behavioral healthcare. In 2021, he was named a Presidential Teaching Scholar and a Fellow of the National Rural Health Association. Having spoken at numerous state and national conferences, to include several MACMH events, he is committed to ensuring those who treat children’s mental health have access to evidence-based trainings. He and his wife, Lisa, make their home in North Mankato and spend their free time chasing 3 boys, which include a set of toddler twins.
Corri Stuyvenberg, PT, DPT, MA, is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy with over twenty years of experience in early intervention settings, serving, most recently, in Early Intervention for Minneapolis Public Schools until 2019. After completing the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program at the University of Minnesota in 2016, Corri became Endorsed in Infant Mental Health at Level III. She currently is the instructor of Pediatric Rehabilitation and the Pediatrics Elective in the Division of Physical Therapy in the Medical School at the University of Minnesota. Corri is also a PhD candidate in the Rehabilitation Science Graduate Program with a minor in Child Development from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation and future research will explore infant health and the developing parent-infant relationships in the transition from the neonatal intensive care unit to the home environment. Corri believes in the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration for the wellness of children and families across Minnesota.