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OUR LEADERS

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Denise Leonard, MS, LPC
Executive Director, Pegasus Program Director
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Denise holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.  She did her internship at the Olalla Center, and upon graduation obtained a position as a mental health counselor at the Lincoln County Health and Human Services office.  After two years she decided to return to Olalla.  Now with 8 years experience and after serving as Clinical Director and Pegasus Program Manager, Denise is now Executive Director. 

 

Denise believes that everyone has the power to make positive changes within themselves.  She employs an eclectic therapeutic approach with an emphasis on supporting clients as they discover tools and develop skills to accomplish their goals.  Denise enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, horses, and all their animals. She has enjoyed living on the Oregon Coast since 2003.

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Diana "Dee" Russo Teem
Development Director
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Dee brings 25+ years of leadership and public administration experience from nonprofit, higher education, and public sectors to her role at Olalla Center.  Passionate about supporting vulnerable and marginalized people, Dee serves on the boards of the Oregon Relief Nursery Association and Child Development Network; and the IHN-CCO Health Equity Committee and Lincoln County Community Advisory Council; Linn-Benton Health Equity Alliance; Oregon Health Authority Community Partner Collaborative; OHA COVID-19 Response Task Force; Lincoln County Latino Community – Building Back Better; Inter Agency Planning Team and Lincoln County Crisis Outreach Planning Team.
 
Earlier in her career, Dee worked in youth services at Hale Kipa, Hawaii, residential treatment at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, Wyoming, and Developmental Disability Services at Venture, Inc., New York.  She worked in executive leadership for Community Services Consortium (CSC), Big Brothers Big Sisters and Goshen County Economic Development, where she oversaw functions such as resource development, communications, program development, project management and marketing. 
 
Dee is a former 2 term Oregon State Commissioner with Oregon Volunteers.  Received notoriety for the fastest growing mentor program in the nation in 2002.  Studied psychology, liberal arts and business at New York State University–Rockland, earned a BA in Political Science from University of Hawaii-Manoa, and completed graduate studies in Public Administration at the University of Wyoming-Laramie. 

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Benjamin Williams, MS, LPC
Clinical Director, Walden Project Director
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I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  I started at Olalla over 12 years ago when it was only a day treatment center in a large home in Toledo.  I started the outpatient program and worked to strengthen relationships with the Lincoln County schools.  I then began the Walden Project outdoor therapy program in 2016.  This program represents the more holistic way I view health.  This program adapted the 8-Shields Model for Mentoring into a mental health model.  Samaritan funded the start of the program as "an innovative approach to healthcare delivery" and have since rated it in their top 3 of programs they ever funded.  The program focuses on connecting youth and families to nature, while also building positive relationships in their lives and a sense of community here on the coast.  We are trying to blend much of this work into our other programs.  Working with the kids and families in the community who are in poverty, and slip through the cracks of the traditional healthcare system is what we do.  Their smiles and success are all the reward we need.

 

Oregon State University- Bachelor's of Science in Psychology

Walden University- Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

Board of Licensed Counselors and Therapists- LPC

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Alex Llumiquinga
Arcoíris Cultural Program Manager
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My name is Alex Llumiquinga.  I was born in the country of Ecuador.  As a teenager I left Ecuador, to travel around countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia performing traditional Andean music.  I moved to the US in the year 2001. For many years I worked as a full time musician to support my growing family.  A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to work for the LCSD as a bilingual tutor with K-2 students.  Currently I work part-time for the Migrant Education Program and the Olalla Center as an OHP Outreach Coordinator. My job provides me the opportunity to have a direct connection to the Latinx and Migrant populations in Lincoln County.  I am committed to helping the community and being there when they need me.  My goal is to make a difference in people's lives and empower them so they can be the change in the future. 

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Jessica Denio, MS, QMHP
Day Treatment Program Manager
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I grew up in Scholls Oregon, a small town in Hillsboro, Oregon.  I attended Western Oregon University and received my Bachelor's in Psychology.  I earned my Master's of Clinical Psychology from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona.  I received 3 years of course work in theoretical modalities, psychopathology, multicultural matters, psychometric testing, and ethics.  I had 3 individual yearlong placements including an adolescent inpatient placement, outpatient child facility, and a geriatric neuropsychology testing facility.  I worked for 3 and a half years as a child and family therapist for Trillium Family Services at the Children’s Farm Home.  I currently work as the weekend center supervisor for the same facility.

 

I believe that every behavior serves a purpose and in order to understand challenging behaviors, we must look at their function.  What benefit has that behavior served in the past and how can we create adaptive behaviors that fill that same function.  I draw my therapeutic practices from an eclectic variety of modalities.  I utilize techniques from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Collaborative Problem Solving, and Attachment Theory.

 

Midwestern University for Masters of Clinical Psychology 

Western Oregon University for undergrad BA in Psychology

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Maygen Blessman, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor, Child and Family Therapist
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I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 7 years of experience working with children and families for Olalla Center.  I have worked with children ages 3-17, adults of all ages, as well as natural, foster, and adoptive parents.  I have helped many people manage and overcome symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, physical, emotional and sexual trauma, behavior/parenting challenges, and more.  I have a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and am licensed in the State of Oregon.  My clinical approach is eclectic, which allows me to design personalized treatment based on the individual strengths of each of my clients.  People are individuals so I believe their counseling should be as well.  Some of my favorite techniques utilize narrative therapy and mindfulness practices but that is not appealing to everyone.  I believe my job is to help identify what works for you to reach your personal goals and help walk the path toward healing with you.  

Boston University- Master's degree in Clinical Social Work

Oregon Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers- LCSW

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Rev. Gavin Shumate, MD
Project Bravery Program Manager
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I have wanted to be a doctor since I was very young.  When I graduated from medical school in 2003, I devoted myself to women’s health. I completed my residency in OB/GYN in New Orleans in 2007.  After practicing medicine for 4 years in Seattle, the opportunity arose to move to the Oregon Coast and continue providing excellence in women’s health care.  Answering a call in 2015, this time to ordained ministry, I graduated from Church Divinity School of the Pacific with a Master’s in Theological Studies in 2017, and was ordained an Episcopal Priest in June of that year.

 

My call, whether medical or clerical, has always been to service, to love my fellow human beings, and to respect the dignity of every human being.  As physician owner of Integrity Women’s Health & Wellness in Newport, and as priest-in-charge at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Toledo, I am living into that call.  I know that as an Olalla Board Member I can continue to make a difference in my community, as an extension of my service as physician and priest.

 

On a personal note, I am a husband, son, brother, and uncle, and father to four great kids and two amazing dogs.  I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family, exploring new adventures in cooking, and curling up with a good book (or two, or three). 

Integrity Women’s Health & Wellness, LLC

Priest-in-charge, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Olalla Center Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Member

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Amy Shumate
Relief Nursery Program Manager
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Amy completed her master’s degree in Elementary Education at Western Oregon University in 2017.  After teaching in the public school setting in California and Oregon for over 20 years, she decided to expand her career by becoming the owner and director of ABC Educational Center in
Newport.  She believes that a positive start to a child’s schooling years gives them the best possible opportunity at continued success throughout their education. 

 

Fervently dedicated to helping and serving the working families and the children of this community, her new position with the Olalla Center will help her continue to bring these services to the families in our area. 

 

While not teaching, Amy loves to spend time with her family.  She has two grown daughters and twin boys.  She and her husband have made their home in Newport and are dedicated to helping our community in any way possible

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