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From the President

Dear Members of the Ohio Counseling Association,

It is truly an honor to serve as the President of the Ohio Counseling Association for the 2023-2024 term.

Together, we will advocate for the highest standards of ethical practice, professional excellence, and continued growth and innovation within the counseling profession. Our aim is to empower counselors in their individual practices, strengthen the counseling profession, and improve the well-being of the diverse individuals and communities we serve throughout the state.

As we strive to prepare for the future of the counseling practices, we will prioritize diversity, equity and inclusivity. By embracing diverse perspectives, we can create counseling environments that honor the values and experiences of all individuals.

We will adopt an approach that builds bridges and fosters collaboration and engagement. It is crucial that we create spaces where counselors from diverse backgrounds (professional counselors, substance use disorder counselors, trauma counselors, college counselors, counselor educators and supervisors, etc.) can come together, share their knowledge and experiences, and collectively address the challenges we face.

We will strive to enhance support systems for our clients, students and stakeholders and address the unique challenges they face. This involves actively seeking input from our communities, amplifying their voices, and incorporating their perspectives in decision-making processes. Together, we will work towards creating counseling environments that empower individuals from diverse backgrounds and promote their well-being.

Additionally, our commitment to addressing disparities and promoting equity in access to counseling services will be an integral part of our work this year. We will advocate for policies that promote diversity, equality, and inclusivity, reduce barriers, and ensure access to mental health services for all individuals in Ohio. By leveraging our collective influence and promoting systemic change, we can create a more equitable landscape that recognizes and addresses the specific needs of diverse populations.

This past year in the President-Elect role, I have worked closely with Staci, DoHee, and the OCA Executive Committee to focus on increasing communication and engagement with members and stakeholders, to update our operational guidelines, to develop a strategic plan, as well as to increase legislative and advocacy efforts. I will continue these efforts, as well as work to expand OCA’s member involvement and leadership succession plan, and increase diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

I encourage each of you to actively communicate, engage through serving in a Chapter, Division, or Committee, serving in a leadership role, contribute your expertise, and collaborate with fellow colleagues.

Thank you for your dedication to the counseling profession and for being an integral part of the Ohio Counseling Association. This year, I want to connect with you. I invite you to join me in working toward the growth and long-term stainability of OCA.

Servant Leader,

Sherdene Simpson, Ph.D., LPCC-S, MFT, LMHC, CHT

2023-2024 President, Ohio Counseling Association

2023-2024 President Sherdene Simpson

Past Presidents of the OCA

2022-2023: Staci Tessmer
2021-2022: DoHee Kim-Appel
2020-2021: Jason McGlothlin
2018-2019: Martina Moore
2019-2020: Adrianne Johnson
2017-2018: Yegan Pillay
2016-2017: Martha Flemming
2015-2016: Kara Kaelber
2014-2015: Victoria Kress
2013-2014: Meghan Fortner
2012-2013: Christine Suniti Bhat
2011-2012: David Mann
2010-2011: Kelley Schubert
2009-2010: Jake Protivnak
2008-2009: William O'Connell
2007-2008: Daniel Cruikshanks
2006-2007: Thelma Greaser
2005-2006: Dana Heller Levitt
2004-2005: Cynthia Osborn
2003-2004: Jean Underfer-Babalis
2002-2003: Richard Hazler
2001-2002: Carol Pohly
2000-2001: Anita Jackson
1999-2000: Don Bubenzer
1998-1999: Scott Hall
1997-1998: Eileen Self
1996-1997: Michael Maly
1995-1996: Maude Ann Robinson
1994-1995: Martin Ritchie
1993-1994: David Santoro
1992-1993: Doris Rhea Coy
1991-1992: Sally Navin
1990-1991: Jan Gill Wigal
1989-1990: Hannah Dixon
1988-1989: Tom Davis
1987-1988: Bill Nichols
1986-1987: Sandy Weller
1985-1986: Susan Sears
1984-1985: Charlotte Huddle
1983-1984: Susan Huss
1982-1983: Bill Nemec
1981-1982: Patricia Lance
1980-1981: Jim Wigtil
1979-1980: Jack Cochran
1978-1979: Joel Chermonte
1977-1978: Daisy Takacs
1976-1977: George Parsons
1975-1976: Irene Bandy
1974-1975: Frank O'Dell
1973-1974: Charles Hayden
1972-1973: Donald Frericks
1971-1972: Russell Getson
1970-1971: H. Eugene Wysong
1969-1970: Miriam Brown
1968-1969: David Hathaway
1967-1968: Herbert Agnor

Questions and comments can be directed to Amy Barcelo, Executive Director at: PO Box 470001 | Broadview Heights, OH 44147 | 216.438.1994

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