The External Consumer Design Planning Committee (or Planning Committee) is comprised of individuals who expressed interest in being part of the creation of this event. All mental health consumers who expressed interest through a survey were offered an invitation to participate. The Internal Planning Committee reviewed the known diversity of the group and decided to invite a few more people to broaden the inclusion of those with diverse perspectives related to lived mental health experiences. Members of the Planning Committee who submitted information are listed below in alphabetical order by first name.

Anna H. Gray, CPS

Member of the COntent/ Programmatic and Outreach/ Inclusion Committees

Employed By: Prosumers International as the Executive Director

Hobbies & Interests: Reading and advocating for people with lived experience of mental health concerns

Favorite Wellness Tools: Solitude and meditation

"In the wider world, few people (especially opinion leaders) know that we [survivor/ex-patient/consumer movement] even exist.  Even among those who belong to the various organizations, it is still only a small percentage who are involved in actively fighting a liberation struggle.  Certainly, in 1977, when I was writing the book, we were a much smaller group, but we had a fervor that I'm afraid has been largely lost.  These days, too many people seem all too comfortable with their psychiatric labels, and with a mental health system that still assumes it knows what is best for people."--Judi Chamberlin

Anne Kurtz, CPS

Member of the Outreach/ Inclusion and Welcome/ Hospitality Committees

Volunteers For: Harris County Mental Health Court as a Certified Peer Support Specialist and Recovery Coach

Hobbies & Interests: Writing, reading, gardening, biking, travel

Favorite Wellness Tools: Meditation, diet, friends, exercise

"Accept, Intention, Action." --Unknown


Certified peer specialist

Employed By: Austin State Hospital

Hobbies & Interests: Crocheting, making jewelry, drawing, painting, reading, hammock lounging, people watching, and meditating

Favorite Wellness Tools: Making mischief with my mother, annoying my cat, laying in the park, cleaning my stone and crystal collection, as well as all of my hobbies and interests

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." --Joseph Campbell

Eileen Rosen, CPS, LPCS


Employed As: Part-time eCPR Trainer for the National Empowerment Center, and volunteer for Drive a Senior and Keep Austin Fed

Hobbies & Interests: Biking, walking, gardening, piano/singing, personal growth in general, talking to my husband and friends about what’s on my mind/in my heart, reading, playing and laying down with my dog, hanging out with my daughter and friends, making lists and crossing things off them, being open to knowledge and inspiration that comes my way

Favorite Wellness Tools:  See ‘Hobbies and Interests’

"No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." --Heraclitus




Employed As: Consultant / National Trainer /Life & Recovery Coach /NLP

Hobbies & Interests: Dancing, singing, skydiving, zip lining, horseback riding, hiking, biking, metaphysics, teaching & learning

Favorite Wellness Tools: Prayer, meditation, Authentic Love, Reiki Healing, NLP, hugs and laughter

"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."     

--Mother Teresa

Imani K. "Ike" Evans

Member of Marketing/ COmmunication COmmittee

Employed By: The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin as a Public Affairs Specialist

Hobbies & Interests: Reading, podcasts, home brewing, writing, games

Favorite Wellness Tool: Taking a walk

"No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." --Heraclitus

Janet Paleo

Member of Marketing/ Communication and Content/ Programmatic Committees

Employed By: Texas Council of Community Centers as Director of Recovery-Based Services

Hobbies & Interests: Creating new projects (a radio station currently), painting

Favorite Wellness Tools: Talking with my friends, singing and painting

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Reed

Jim Lemon, CPS, ALWF

Member of the Outreach/ Inclusion COmmittee

Employed By: East Texas Beahvioral Healthcare Network (ETBHN) as the Peer Support Coordinator for the East Texas Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (ETCMHR)

Hobbies & Interests: Gardening, woodworking, kayaking, environmental activism, and promoting a healthy community

Favorite Wellness Tool: Gardening at a local elementary school

"May the forest be with you." --Unknown



Employed By: Beaumont Hope Center, secretary of the Board of Directors

Hobbies & Interests: Cooking and reading

Favorite Wellness Tool: Progressive muscle relaxation

"Nothing is impossible; in fact, the word itself says 'I'm Possible.'" --Audrey Hepburn

jose magdaleno, CPS


Volunteers For: El Paso VA Health Care

Hobbies & Interests: Certified yoga instructor and listening to oldies music

Favorite Wellness Tool: Swimming laps every morning

"Live in the present." 

Kate Anderson

Employed By: Austin State Hospital as a Peer Support Specialist

Hobbies & Interests: Unique finds at thrift stores, trying new Thai and Vietnamese spots, learning how to cook and seeing local music around town

Favorite Wellness Tool: Playing with my doggies

"Only in the darkness can you see the stars." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Laura J. Khalil

Content/ Programmatic Committee Chair

Hobbies & Interests: Theatre, dance, art (especially collage and photography), creative writing/ poetry. thrift stores, country music, going on adventures with my partner.

Favorite Wellness Tools: Creative expression and nutrition

"You've seen my descent. Now watch my rising." --Rumi
"In the times of anarchy and in the era of terror, I lit the fire of love." --Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati

Magdalena Caballero-Phillips, CPS, ALWF

Member of the Welcome/ Hospitality Committee

Employed By: The Hope Concept Wellness Center as the CEO and Founder

Hobbies & Interests: Hair and networking

Favorite Wellness Tool: Prayer

"Don't cry because it's over, smile that it happened."--Dr. Seuss

Michelle Lee

Member of the COntent/ Programmatic and Evaluation COmmittees

Hobbies & Interests: Reading, ultimate Frisbee, board games, volunteering at the Free Store in Austin, hanging out with cats

Favorite Wellness Tool: Yoga

"We need to see progress not in terms of 'having more' but in terms of growing our souls by creating community, mutual self-sufficiency and cooperative relations with one another." --Grace Lee Boggs

Nicholas holstein, CPS

Chair of the Entertainment Committee and Member of the Content/ Programmatic and Marketing/ Communication Committees

Volunteers For: Helping to Unite by Generating Mental Empowerment (HUG ME) Ink as the President/ Co-Founder/ Director and Playwright/ Screenwriter

Hobbies & Interests: Writing plays, musicals, and screenplays; watching pretty much anything on Ion television (Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Blue Bloods), watching Jeff Dunham specials and Madea movies; listening to music (show tunes, country and some pop), hanging out with family, going out to eat and hanging out with friends, helping other people achieve their dreams

Favorite Wellness Tool: Playing with my cat, Socs

“To be a good leader, you must be a good follower" --JROTC
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players:
they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time
plays many parts, his acts being seven ages." --William Shakespeare

Rhonda Douglas

Chair of the Welcome/ Hospitality COmmittee

Employed By: The Salvation Army Georgetown Service Center as the Emergency Assistance Coordinator

Hobbies & Interests: Martial Arts movies (especially  Wu Tang Collection), riding my bike, spending quality time with friends and family, watching fish, and I am a foodie.

Favorite Wellness Tools: Self-help talks, breathing techniques,  natural oils for calming

"Listen intently with a view to understanding yourself better." --Unknown


Member of the Welcome/ Hospitality Committee

Employed By: The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin as a Program Officer and Consumer & Family Liaison

Hobbies & Interests: Home improvement projects, camping, fishing, hunting, personal freedom

Favorite Wellness Tools: Guided Imagery 

“Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.”    Miguel Ruiz

Tammy Heinz, MS, CPS, ALWF

PeerFest Coordinator/ CHair

Employed By: The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas at Austin as a Program Officer and Consumer & Family Liaison

Hobbies & Interests: Anything that helps create joy for my children, Greyson and Delilah; reading, learning, painting, coloring, organizing, traveling, movies, yoga, yoga, yoga

Favorite Wellness Tools: Hugs and kisses from my kids, snuggling in kitty cat fur, Yoga

"If love was personified, what would LOVE say and what would LOVE do? Now act accordingly." --Unknown

Teena ROberts-Adler, CPS

Chair of the Marketing/ Communication COmmittee and member of Content/ Programmatic COmmittee

Volunteers for: NAMI Dallas as a Certified Peer Specialist

Hobbies & Interests: I dig educating people about recovery, fishing, camping, walks in the park, hiking, biking, going to the lake/ beach, swimming, snorkeling, church/ church activities, domestic and international traveling, volunteering, socializing with family/ friends, horse riding. I enjoy quiet evenings at home reading a good book, reading the Bible, journal writing, watching movies, listening to all kinds of music, dancing, vegging out & laying still like broccoli, soaking in peace and quiet, mindfulness exercises, laughing, loving, living, smiling, playing in the rain, cloud watching, people watching, day dreaming.

Favorite Wellness Tool: Meditation

"What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen. " --Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Terri Harris, CPS

Member of the Content/ Programmatic, Entertainment and the Marketing/ Communication Committees

Employed As: Guest Services Agent, Peer Support Specialist and a Distributor of Young Living Essential Oils

Hobbies & Interests: Reading, self-education, advocacy, alternative therapy/ modalities

Favorite Wellness Tools: Journaling; my cat, Bitsy; and aromatherapy

"When you learn, teach, when you get, give." --Maya Angelou


Tuesday Marler, CPS, ALWF

Member of the Marketing/ Communication Committee

Volunteers For: Day of Grace as the CEO

Hobbies & Interests: Painting, reading, farming

Favorite Wellness Tool: Lavender

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'". --- Erma Bombeck

Wendy Latham

Member of the Content/ Programmatic and Evaluation Committees

Employed By: Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Substance Use as a Recovery SPecialist

Hobbies & Interests: Comparative religion, meditation, women's spirituality, organizational dynamics, systems theory, the brain

Favorite Wellness Tools: Making mischief with my daughter, my cats Izzy and Charley and silence

"Be bold and mighty forces will come your way." --Goethe