Cornerstone Montgomery's Board of Directors
Our volunteer Board of Directors meet monthly. If you are interested in joining the Cornerstone Montgomery Board of Directors, please contact Cari Guthrie Cho at 301-896-4238 or via email: Cari.Cho@cornerstonemontgomery.org.
Ms. Briana Liston Black, Esq.
“I am inspired by Cornerstone Montgomery’s innovative, evidence-based programs and dedicated staff. I, like many other people, have family and friends who have struggled with mental illness. I joined the Board to support the organization’s mission to provide resources to people living with mental health disorders so they can integrate successfully within our community and live a meaningful life of their choosing. I feel privileged to work with an organization that has such a tremendous impact on the lives of people in our community.”
Briana Black is an attorney at Hogan Lovells US LLP in Washington, DC. In her practice, Ms. Black helps healthcare providers, insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other companies in the healthcare sector develop creative, real-world strategies in a wide array of civil litigation and healthcare-related compliance matters. She also provides pro bono representation, including serving as counsel to a court-appointed receiver of a public charter school and participating in Street Law, Inc.’s legal educational programs for high school students. Ms. Black’s longstanding interest in health sciences and mental health treatment started in high school, when she spent a semester conducting basic research at the National Institutes of Mental Health. And, before attending law school, Ms. Black worked at major academic medical center, managing the department of psychiatry and assisting with a variety of hospital operations and strategic and budgeting projects. Ms. Black currently serves on the Governance Committee.
Mr. James Washington
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Mr. Washington is a Wealth Advisor with Seventy2 Capital in Bethesda, Maryland. There he offers tailored advice and customized service employing goal based investing to help mitigate his clients’ life risk and give them peace of mind. He identifies their specific needs, goals and objectives and make sure they are taken care of as they transition through the different phases of life. Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, he graduated from the prestigious DeMatha Catholic High School in 2004. Mr. Washington enjoys spending his free time with friends and family. He is an avid Washington Redskins and Washington Wizards fan. His other hobbies include running, playing in recreational basketball and flag football games, watching movies and volunteering with a local Boy Scout Troop in Washington D.C.
Ms. Nhora Barrera
With a passion for the health and well-being of the most vulnerable, Ms. Barrera founded TMNcorp in 1999 to promote health and wellness in communities with little or no access to information on services and programs. Ms. Barrera is regarded as an industry leader in developing and implementing successful marketing campaigns. During her 25 years in the field, she has directed numbers successful campaigns for Federal, State and local governments, private, and not-for-profit sector clients. Her international background and experience give her a truly insightful perspective into the unique problems surrounding health, education and social disparities in the U.S. and abroad. It is solving these problems that drive her passion at TMN. Ms. Barrera has been widely recognized for her work as the founder and chief executive of TMN. She has been named to the list of Top 100 Hispanic Entrepreneurs by both Hispanic Magazine and Hispanic Business, and has been featured in the Washington Business Journal. She was also named to the 2008 list of Top 100 Women of Maryland by The Daily Record. Additionally, she has received awards for excellence from the National Association of Government Communicators and the Health Improvement Institute. Ms. Barrera holds a B.S. in health care administration from The Adventist University. She also graduated from the Tuck Executive Business Program and the Babson College/Goldman Sachs entrepreneurship Business Program. She is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and Leadership Maryland.
Ms. Jenica Cassidy, Esq.
Lerch, Early, Brewer
Jenica Cassidy is an elder law attorney who helps seniors and their families with legal issues relating to aging. She also works with health care facilities and their residents to secure benefits to pay for the cost of care. Her clients appreciate her empathetic approach to difficult and highly personal discussions about aging and end of life, which pave the path for plans that lead to peace of mind. Ms. Cassidy works with older adults of all income levels and their family members to plan for and resolve legal issues related to aging, such as long-term care needs, disability, and incapacity. These include guardianships (of the person and of the property), Medicaid benefits and appeals, and special needs planning. She also helps them with estate planning and probate. Ms. Cassidy received her law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon. She is admitted to practice in Maryland. Prior to joining Lerch Early she practiced at an elder law boutique firm. Ms. Cassidy and her rescue spaniel, Harper, volunteer at People. Animals. Love. (PAL), where dogs and their owners visit and provide comfort to nursing home residents, hospitals, and lower-income schools throughout the DC area. A Seattle native, Ms. Cassidy enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and skiing with her husband. She is also a fierce sports fan, cheering for her beloved Oregon Ducks and Seattle Seahawks, along with her adopted hometown favorite, the Washington Capitals.
Mr. Christopher Coger
The Afterlife, LLC
Mr. Coger graduated from American University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Since then he has established himself as executive and leader in both technology and politics. He has utilized his skills to innovate new technologies, win elections, and craft data-driven solutions to complex problems. He has successfully founded a technology startup and has lead teams of data scientists, analysts, and software engineers. After serving as the Nevada State Data Director for President Obama's Campaign in 2011 & 2012, Mr. Coger founded a technology startup, Politech. Under his leadership Politech established a high growth business and created and launched Blocks, an innovative software platform for political organizations, issue advocacy campaigns, nonprofits, and corporations. In early 2017, after 4+ years of leading Politech he acheived a successful exit and founded The Afterlife, LLC.
Ms. Catherine Costopoulos
RMR Real Estate Services
“I love property management, every day is an adventure. I look forward to working with the Cornerstone Montgomery team and assisting them in any way I can with their commercial and residential property management needs.”
Ms. Costopoulos is a seasoned Real Estate Professional with over 25 years’ experience in Property and Construction Management. Ms. Costopoulos has worked for the RMR Group since 2009 and manages over 1.5M square feet of commercial and flex space. She is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) as well as an Real Property Administrator (RPA) with the Building Owners and Managers Institute.
Rev. Laura Edwards
"As a priest and a chaplain I have seen the spiritual distress caused by mental illness and have also seen how a person or family affected by mental illness can find a sense of healing and increased peace when support and acceptance are offered. Our sisters and brothers with mental health disorders are vulnerable and often ostracized but Cornerstone Montgomery brings them into community and a safe space to live their lives as whole individuals. I look forward to learning from our clients and other board members through this highly regarded and effective organization."
Rev. Edwards has been an Episcopal priest for 30+ years. She has served as a chaplain at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in NYC, the Augusta Mental Health Institute and Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice in Maine. Additionally, she served as the Pastoral Care Coordinator for PenBay Medical Center in Maine where she also led a spirituality group for people who were hospitalized due to mental illness. Rev. Edwards is currently serving as a chaplain at Montgomery Hospice. She finds meaning in providing spiritual support to patients and families as they cope with illness and approaching death. She brings a compassionate presence and a listening ear, holding sacred space for each individual to tell their story, to be heard and to be honored. Rev. Edwards is a parishioner at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Bethesda where she serves on the Human Rights, Dignity, and Safety - Community Engagement Cluster and the Garden Guild. In her spare time you will find Rev. Edwards outside gardening with her hands in the dirt.
Erkan Erdem, PhD
Dr. Erdem is a Principal at KPMG, LLP with training and experience in program evaluation, policy analysis, statistical modeling, econometrics, and data analytics. He has extensive experience with health care reform, Medicare payment systems, risk adjustment, value-based payment models, and analyses based on health care claims databases. In recent years, Dr. Erdem has led health care projects for many Federal and state clients, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), New York State Department of Health, and Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) in Maryland, which involve program evaluation, data analytics, economic analyses, and development of tools and visualizations to. Dr. Erdem has authored many peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented his research at national conferences. Dr. Erdem holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University.
Ms. Ashley Freeman
DON'T DIE AFRAID
"Cornerstone Montgomery continuously makes a major impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community. I admire the organization’s dedication to providing holistic services that address the needs of housing, vocation, and psychiatry. I have worked as a mental health advocate for several years in my local community so I am honored to have the privilege of serving on the board so I can contribute to Cornerstone Montgomery’s mission.”
As a resiliency activator, Ashley Freeman empowers individuals to realize that their circumstances don't hinder the future, instead they are stepping stones to success to reveal how resilient a person truly is. Her parents were substance users so her 72-year-old Nana raised her. The void left by her parents led to depression and suicidal ideation until realizing obstacles aren’t meant to hold you back, they propel you forward.
Ashley utilizes her platform, DontDieAfraid.com to create inspirational content, facilitate mental health workshops, and advocate for the de-stigmatization mental health. Ashley finds joy in impacting the lives of youth through re-assuring them that someone believes in them, sharing her journey, and providing resources to help them achieve their goals. She transforms her life experiences into a message of resiliency to act as a catalyst to encourage others to "Don't Die Afraid."
Ms. Soma Ganesh
Ms. Ganesh, CPA, has over 15 years of public accounting experience working with a wide variety of industries, She has developed a niche in the nonprofit industry serving various types of tax-exempt organizations, associations, and private foundations. Ms. Ganesh is committed to achieving success for her clients by thoroughly reviewing, executing, and following through on the completion and delivery of all tax returns. Ms. Ganesh has continuously been recognized by her peers for her ongoing leadership capabilities. Ms. Ganesh gives back to the organizations she serves by organizing various voluntary projects for her team throughout the year. When she is not at work or giving back to the community, she enjoys running, learning Indian classical dance, and spending time with her boys.
Ms. Laura Kay-Roth
Ms. Kay-Roth is pleased to be a client of Cornerstone Montgomery, which has given her the opportunity recently to appear as a patient advocate on Capitol Hill. She has been both a consumer and shaper in the behavioral health field for many years, having served in key staff roles with the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. She is originally from New Jersey, where she enjoyed a long career in state and local governments, including managing health services for the state inmate population. Her education includes both a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University, and she has taken courses toward a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at American University. Currently she serves as a docent at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring. She enjoys life with her husband, two wonderful stepdaughters, and two cats. They are fans of the Orioles and the Ravens.
Mr. Jon Kia
"Having lost a handful of family members and close friends to circumstances related to mental illness, I understand how imperative it is to address and tackle these devastating challenges head-on. I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve Cornerstone Montgomery and everyone this incredible organization caters to."
Mr. Kia is the Vice President of Corporate Relations at Life Happens, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and equipping consumers with insurance products through a variety of innovative communication and engagement avenues. His responsibilities include corporate partner and client acquisition, relationship development and management, marketing and sales strategy development and execution, and new product/program development and fulfillment. Mr. Kia's professional background includes soft skill/technical training and leadership development in the medical, utility and insurance industries in addition to sales/marketing and program/product development. He graduated cum laude from Liberty University with a BS in Pre-Law Studies and was an active member of the Student Government as well as the university’s Wrestling and AFROTC programs. Jon is also the founder and president of a technology solutions company as well as two separate automotive-related businesses and enjoys creative writing in his spare time. He recently published a children’s picture book titled The Faraway King with proceeds donated to several different military associations for the continued support of children who struggle through the deployment of a loved one.
Dr. Tami Mark
“Cornerstone Montgomery is dedicated to ensuring that their clients receive the services that will allow them to reach their full potential. I joined the board to support their mission of continuous innovation and quality improvement in the delivery of effective, patient-centered mental health and substance use disorder treatment.”
Dr. Mark is an internationally known expert on behavioral health care financing and services. Dr. Mark has authored 95 scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous government reports. She was a contributing author to the report Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. She has served on technical expert panels for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Quality Forum (NQF), and other organizations. She directed the development of the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Spending Accounts. She has led numerous projects for SAMHSA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), and other agencies to support the development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA). Under contract to CMS and SAMHSA, she contributed to the development of substance use disorder quality measures. She has worked with state governments to improve their substance use treatment systems through analytics and technical assistance. She is frequently asked to speak at national conferences and with the press about behavioral health policy.
Mr. Steve Ritter
“I have witnessed some of the challenges and hardships associated with mental health disorders and I am grateful for organizations like Cornerstone Montgomery that make it their mission to empower people living with mental health disorders to live full and meaningful lives.”
Mr. Ritter is a Controller at Surescripts LLC. Surescripts operates a data network for physicians to send prescriptions and medical records electronically. Mr.Ritter was previously an Assurance Manager at Ernst & Young. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Virginia. He serves on the Finance Committee.
Ms. Rebecca Urland Monzi, Esq.
Friedlander Misler, PLLC
“Cornerstone Montgomery has a mission that people from all walks of life can relate to, as mental illness affects all races, cultures, ethnicities and social classes. I am excited to serve on the Board of an organization that sees the import of treating multiple diagnosis simultaneously andempowers individuals.”
Ms. Urland is a partner at Friedlander Misler, PLLC where she concentrates her practice in real estate development, working with developers, investors and financial institutions in all aspects of the acquisition, development, sale and financing of commercial, industrial and mixed-use property, multi-family housing, affordable housing projects, construction lending, mezzanine financing, bridge financing, syndicated loans, securitized financing, like-kind exchanges and leasing matters. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of the ins-and-outs of commercial real estate.
Ms. June Nolan
Bethlehem Baptist Church; HUI
“I believe an individual must have a healthy mind in order to lead a healthy life. As both a client of and member of the Board of Directors, I want to do what I can to help people with mental illnesses receive the best help, which will move their minds towards healing and to assist Cornerstone Montgomery in its mission of empowering them to lead successful lives.”
Ms. Nolan is working towards completion of her MA in Applied Economics through American University. She is a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force, and she previously served on the Finance Committee. Ms. Nolan’s past volunteer experience includes serving as a hostess at the 2014 Thanksgiving Dinner, and the annual Thanksgiving Community Meal sponsored by her church. Ms. Nolan serves as the Secretary for the Resurrection Power of Deliverance Center, which is an outreach program operated by her church. Ms. Nolan's interests include music, dance, reading and writing. She loves gardening and cooking and is an active member at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Mr. Mark Robins
" I believe in the Cornerstone Montgomery mission and that services provided to people with mental health disabilities are imperative to our local society, and can be life changing for the client. The postive community impact provided by Cornerstone Montgomery is inspiring."
Mr. Robins is a manager with Aronson, LLC. He works in the firm’s Nonprofit and Association Industry Services Group. Mr. Robins specializes in assurance and consulting services for foundations, public charities, schools and service organizations. His experience with fair value concepts, investment portfolios, federal compliance and revenue recognition issues allows him to be a valued resource for nonprofit organizations. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of financial reporting and internal controls. He is a member of the Finance Committee.
Dr. Barbara Wood, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice
“I feel excited about serving on the Board after learning about the great breadth and depth of the services offered by Cornerstone Montgomery. I especially admire the commitment of this organization to provide affordable and high quality care to clients who have complicated and multiple diagnoses.”
Dr. Wood is a licensed psychologist with a general psychotherapy and forensic practice in Bethesda, Maryland. She provides individual, family and group psychotherapy and specializes in the treatment of trauma, alcoholism and other substance use disorders. Dr. Wood also performs forensic evaluations and provides expert testimony in cases where plaintiffs or defendants have been affected by traumatic events and/or substance use disorders. She is the author of two books that explain the impact of alcoholism on families and describe a path toward recovery. Washingtonian Magazine has identified Dr. Wood as one of the top 123 psychotherapists in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a Disaster Mental Health Volunteer with the American Red Cross and the APA Disaster Resource Network Coordinator for Maryland.
Ms. Celia Young
Montgomery College (retired)
“Cornerstone Montgomery is a place where I can feel at home with people who care about each other and our community. Providing mental health services is so important and so meaningful. I look forward to learning and sharing as a member of the Board.”
Ms. Young is a social worker who is a counselor and faculty member at Montgomery College. She started at the College teaching ESL and now, among other things, she teaches Success Group, a class that helps students get and stay on track to their goals and dreams.
She serves on the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council for Montgomery County and several years ago was chair of the Mental Health Advisory Council for the County.
She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her M.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and her MSW from the University of Iowa. She lives with her cat and enjoys listening to Bob Dylan.