Board Members

President
Michael is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with Supervisory Designation (LPCC-S) in the state of Ohio, certified Dialectical Behavior Therapist (DBTC), and adjunct professor at a local university in Canton, Ohio. Michael obtained his master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and is co-owner of his own private practice, The Wellife, LLC, in Canton, Ohio. He has worked and served in the mental health field for the past ten years and has held several executive professional counseling organizations such as president of the Ohio Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values on Counseling (OASERVIC) from 2019-2020, the Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Association of Ohio (SAIGE-O) from 2016-2017, an emerging leader of SAIGE from 2017-2018, and the Ohio Counseling Association (OCA) membership committee from 2016-2018. He currently serves as president of the East Ohio Counseling Association (EOCA), on the membership committee for the Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC), and committee member of Behavioral Health Providers Insurance Advocacy committee of OCA. Michael has provided over 30+ presentations at national, state, and local venues on a number of topics including emotion regulation and mood disorders, affirmative therapy and pedagogy practices for LGBTQI+ populations, and wellness. He has published on Affirmative Therapy and Wellness and won 1st place in the entry-level category for the Chi Sigma Iota’s Wellness Leadership competition.
Past President
Carmella Hill, M.Ed., LPCC-S is the Director of Behavioral Health at Coleman Health Services (CHS) in Trumbull County. She has worked within the mental health profession for over 20 years serving the entire lifespan in various settings (e.g., community mental health agencies, nursing homes, private practice). Carmella enjoys clinical work, professional development, and supervising persons for licensure. She is a sought-after speaker for cultural diversity issues. She is often invited to conduct workshops and seminars on the topic for agencies, groups/teams, and organizations. She is passionate about helping professionals develop an awareness and sensitivity to multicultural issues. Carmella teaches, conducts workshops, and speaks at various conferences on other topics related to mental health, treatment, and documentation, to name a few. She has taught within higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to her role at Coleman, she is an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland State University and Youngstown State University.
Treasurer
Natalie Thornberry, Ph.D., LPC, LSC is the director of Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling Programs and an Assistant Professor at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. Dr. Thornberry is passionate about work with children, adolescents, families, parenting and work in schools. Additionally, she specializes in trauma, grief, loss, and bereavement. As an educator, Dr. Thornberry seeks to invest in each of her students to embody the sacred responsibilities of the call given to professional counselors. Outside of counseling, Dr. Thornberry enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her pug, teaching in her church, and reading all sorts of fiction. 
Secretary
Amanda (she/her pronouns) is currently a 2nd-year doctoral student at Kent State University in the Counselor Education and Supervision program. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Ohio and has experience as an adjunct instructor at John Carroll University and Youngstown State University. She is an active member of OCA, EOCA, and ACES and am currently serving as President-Elect for Kent’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. Amanda has an interest in self-compassion and finding ways that can be infused into her work as a counselor, educator, and leader in the profession. When she is not working, she enjoys playing video games with her husband, taking a walk with their dog, doing yoga, or reading. Amanda is excited to be a part of the EOCA executive board and looks forward to working with the team and members over the next year!
President-Elect
Abena Holben is a Master’s level Licensed Professional Counselor and received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health from Malone University. She has been in the Health and Wellness industry for over 12 years, helping to improve quality of life by managing physical rehabilitation programs and currently works at the Aultman Medical Group Behavioral Health and Counseling Center. She was elected as Emerging Leader of the Ohio Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values on Counseling (OASERVIC) from 2020-2021 and is eager to demonstrate continued service to the profession. By serving as president elect, she aims to contribute to the effectiveness of the team by providing a unique direction and multicultural oriented vision that elevates the field of mental health. By encouraging the professional and personal growth of our organization’s members and engaging in honest and open conversations about the inclusion of marginalized groups we can collectively experience the growing success of our profession.
Awards Committee Chair
Amanda is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at Kent State University. She is a lecturer in the School of Counseling at the University of Akron and is part-time teaching faculty at Kent State University. Amanda has more than 10 years of clinical counseling experience across diverse settings and is a licensed supervisor. Additionally, she is actively involved in committee work with the Ohio Counseling Association and currently serves as president of the Ohio Association for Specialists in Group Work. She has advanced training in psychodrama and has studied at the National Psychodrama Training Center and the Psychodrama & Creative Arts Therapy Institute of New York.