Mental Health Director
Candace is an active-duty Army spouse to her husband, Jonathan, with which she has three children and two Welsh Corgis. She has served in multiple volunteering positions, and has been recognized with the Commander’s Award for Public Service. While supporting the Soldiers and families of the First Infantry Division, she was awarded the title of 2020–2021 Armed Forces Insurance Fort Riley Spouse of the Year.
Candace is passionate about community service to support military families. Inspired by the formative examples of several other Army spouses early in her experience, she is motivated by a desire to help other spouses become involved in their communities and find a sense of belonging in their military lives. She has enthusiastically volunteered within each military community that her family has been a part of, and she continues to support her local spouses club, the USO, and other organizations that benefit the military community and spouses.
Candace has a baccalaureate degree and masters degree in Clinical Psychology. She is excited by the opportunity to apply her professional knowledge to her personal passions and focus on providing the ever-growing military family with impactful and positive improvements within the mental health fields.
Mental Health Manager
Nicole Pingel has been a clinical therapist for 10 years. Although her experience has primarily been with adolescents and families, she has always been passionate about improving mental health and services within our military communities. This passion arose from experiences within her own family and friends and witnessing some of the hardships they experienced, and wanting to help create a different story for someone else.
She is currently trained in EMDR, Sensorimotor psychotherapy, Brainspotting phase 1 & 2, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, and Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga.
She is excited to bring her expertise in intensive family work and in the areas of trauma and the body to begin to reduce the stigma surrounding the need for mental health care, and to reduce shame and guilt amongst our service members.
Kayla Lyon is a Navy veteran, Marine wife, Mom to 3 kids under 4, and a Certified Life Coach. She helps military spouses and families love this crazy life now, instead of just counting down to retirement. Her unique perspective of both the service member and the spouse, combined with her training and experience as a Certified Life Coach allows her to understand where her clients are stuck and help them actually get to where they want to go, no shear will power and intense discipline required. Whether it’s a big tangible goal like starting a business or running a marathon, or you want to yell at your kids less or feel better during deployments, she can help you get there in a sustainable way.
Nicolette is a born & raised Jersey girl. She is a military spouse living with her husband & dog Jack on the gulf coast of Mississippi. Her passion is helping people gain their confidence through their weight loss journey! She went to Dominican College in NY originally for nursing. After having an internship with a business coach she fell in love with the coaching method and switched her major to Psychology. Nicolette enjoys being active and focusing on her own wellness, so she decided to merge coaching with what she truly loves. The way she sees her clients light up when they learn something new about themselves or have a breakthrough is truly fulfilling for her. Nicolette earned her health & life coaching certificate as well as her mastery certificate through Health Coach Institute (HCI). In her spare time, Nicolette loves to binge TV shows, read, hike, go on walks with her dog, and go to the beach.
Counselor - Colorado & Texas
Brandy is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) holding active licenses in both Colorado and Texas. She graduated from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado with a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2017. She has served in many roles working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings to include Special Education Counselor, Department of Human Services Caseworker and Certified Addictions Counselor. She has experience working inpatient and outpatient settings. Currently, she is the owner of a private practice in Texas.
Brandy has extensive knowledge in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and trauma informed care. She brings a bottom-up approach to therapy incorporating coping skills, distress tolerance skills and mindfulness. She believes that everyone has the capacity to create a life that they are proud of regardless of barriers that might be in the way.
Brandy is an active-duty Army spouse, mother of 4 children, and dog-mom to two rescue pups. She is passionate about working with military families and giving back to the community in which she lives.
Counselor - South Carolina
Shakiyah Demelien is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and Certified Life Coach. She is the CEO of Intrinsic Growth, LLC a Counseling and Coaching Organization. She can help you develop your inner strengths and talents and accomplish significant goals, such as going from burnt out to living your best life or just learning how to work this ‘life thang’ so that you can live life stress-free and still enjoy it.
Coach Shakiyah utilizes her signature proven technique the 3E’s model (Enrich, Encourage, and Empower), which utilizes her years of experience with developing young minds into leaders and her knack for identifying and developing individuals’ inner strengths. She makes a living as a young professional what it should be - “fun and fulfilling.
Coach Shakiyah has a witty personality and never sugarcoats the truth; this makes her coaching techniques so effective. (No more hand-holding) She is devoted to continuing her growth as an individual and a professional. Coach Shakiyah can help you see your dynamic future.
She is a Nationally certified counselor. She earned her Master’s from Liberty University in Professional Counselling. She is also a Certified Life Coach from the Life Coach Institute of Orange County.
"The Power of Growth is Within You"
Counselor - Oregon
Robin is a Doctor of Social Work student at Capella University and earned her Master of Social (in Clinical Research and Practice in Substance Abuse and Mental Health) from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2003. She has practiced in clinical social work roles for many years, in Minnesota, Idaho, and Wyoming, and as a Qualified Mental Health Professional in Oregon. Robin also holds an M.A. in Sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington, a Master of Studies in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, and an MSC in Evidence-Based Health Care from the University of Oxford. She has published four books and over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters.
Robin lives in Medford, Oregon, with her two cats, Xena and Rafikini. She enjoys watching movies, via streaming and at the local cineplex, and also enjoys eating out with friends.