Dan Fink, LMFT
Dan oversees operations, managing and developing programs and services and providing support to the leadership team. During the dot com movement of the nineties he worked as a computer and networking technician and by the turn of the century he was the manager of an information technology department at a large insurance company. Seeking to refocus his career on improving the well-being of others, he returned to academia and completed his Bachelors degree in Psychology with a focus on Cognitive Science at UCLA. Incorporating his technology experience with this degree, he went on do cognitive psychology research at UCLA. Striving to put these new skills to work in a community context, he continued his education and earned is Masters degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Applied Community Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Dan’s desire for social responsibility led him to be an organizational consultant at The Relational Center, where he is also gaining hours of experience toward his Marriage and Family Therapist license as a counseling trainee. Dan is also a Founding Partner of Open Roots Consulting and a board member of the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council.
Jami Winkel, LMFT
Jami is responsible for all of the clinical training and supervision for counselors working in our Community Project. She is passionate about supporting counselors to develop clinical skills from an embodied and socially just approach. She relies upon relational gestalt theory, mindfulness practices, neurobiology research, and community psychology to inform her approach to mental health care. Jami is a founding staff member of The Relational Center. Prior to her work here, Jami was the Director of Care Services at Common Ground – The Westside HIV Community Center in Santa Monica, California. Here she led a diverse team in delivering mental health and case management services to multiply diagnosed, actively substance using, high-risk communities infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. Jami is passionate about working with those most disenfranchised by dominant culture. She strives to develop spaces to support healing and promote leadership with clinicians and clients. Jami completed four years of training with the Pacific Gestalt Institute. She also recently began training at the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. Jami also maintains a private practice in Los Angeles.
Malcolm Jay, NCC, APCC
Malcolm has built a career dedicated to organizational management and leadership roles. For the last 15 years, he worked in both clinical and information technology roles for several large hospital systems.
Penny Timmons, LMFT
Manager of Professional Development, Clinical Supervisor & Trainer
Penny was born and raised in Montana and received her BA in History and Political Science from The University of Southern California. She also holds Master’s degrees in Psychology and Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She has been a Law Librarian for over 25 years working in both academic settings and in large, international law firms. Penny is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a member of the training faculty at The Relational Center. She has served on TRC’s board for several years and is currently Chair of the Development Committee. Penny is also actively involved in TRC’s Civic Engagement programs, which she helped develop.
Rafael Angulo, LCSW
Magie Shelton, LCSW
I have a career in leading conversations that focus on strengths and resources, enhance resiliency, lean on creativity, and create change. I do this in systems of many sizes in my practice as a consultant, coach and psychotherapist. My passion is working with groups of people committed to finding ways of working collaboratively to bring about social change.
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors
Left to right: John Hamilton, Heather Huff, Lisa Fisher, Gabrielle Zhuang-Estrin, Michelle Heather, Kaitlin Kindman, & Paul Kindman.
President, Board of Directors
Bennie Harris is a 4th-year Clinical Psychology Candidate enrolled in Pacifica’s Psy.D. program. He suggests that his life has come full circle, growing up on military installations in the United States and abroad during the Vietnam War, then seeing first-hand the residual effect of war, racism, and marginalization on his Central California coastal community during high school. His time served in the United States Marine Corps, time served in Iraq, and experience with Veteran’s suffering through homelessness, has rekindled his desire to be a part of the solution. He’s committed to asking the questions that invite ALL parties to reconsider their cherished biases in consideration of our common humanity and potential for good. Bennie is completing his practicum training experience at The Relational Center (TRC) in Los Angeles, where he shares in their mission to “lead a shift to a culture that values empathy, diversity, and interdependence.” As a result of his experience at TRC and his volunteerism on the Los Angeles County Board of Psychology as the Graduate Student Liaison, and with the California Psychological Association Board for Graduate Students, he continues to seek ways to inspire, and encourage fellow graduate students to serve their fellow students, their campus communities, and clients, with empathy as agents of change.
Paul Kindman (Iskin), LMFT
Vice President, Board of Directors
I have always been in awe of the resilience of human beings. We live; we stumble, we hurt, we heal. If we have the courage to reach for a helping hand, together we can learn to thrive again.
Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology, Antioch University Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of California San Diego
Certificate in The Relational Center’s Advanced Training in Community Gestalt Therapy, 2016-2017
Certificate of Completion, Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, 2015-2016
Match Support Specialist at Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, 2016-present
Mental Health Specialist at St. Joseph Center, 2015-2016
Counselor at Ohlhoff Recovery Programs, San Francisco Intensive Outpatient Program, 2013-2015
Treatment Counselor at Westside Methadone Treatment Program, San Francisco 2011-2012
Secretary, Board of Directors
John is an active member of the Board of Directors for The Relational Center and has been involved with the organization since 2017. John studied communications at Chapman University and worked in Public Relations and brand strategy since 2007. John focuses his philanthropic efforts on providing access to underrepresented communities and the disenfranchised. He utilizes his expertise in brand awareness and publicity to create further reach and visibility for The Relational Center. John hopes to help The Relational Center become a prolific resource for those who would benefit most from our programs, counseling and other offerings.
Member, Board of Directors
Major Brenda Threatt is the Director of Veteran Services at El Camino College. She oversees the programs and services that assist veteran students in achieving academic success, graduation, and ultimately, successful careers.
MAJ Threatt has served as a military officer for 12 years with the California State Guard (Army Division). She is a military chaplain whose responsibilities include chapel services, ministering to soldiers of every denomination and faith tradition, addressing issues of faith, trauma, family, suicide, and all issues of life and death.
MAJ Threatt was ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She served as Executive Assistant to her pastor and mentor, Rev. Dr. Cecil L. “Chip” Murray, at the historic First A.M.E Church (F.A.M.E.) for 15 years.
MAJ Threatt was the previous Executive Director of U.S.VETS Long Beach, which provided daily housing and services for over 600 homeless and formerly homeless veterans. She served in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration as the Veteran Liaison, advocate for homelessness and anti-poverty initiatives, and South Los Angeles Area Director. She has also served as the Shelter Systems Manager for Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) addressing policy and process issues in support of persons experiencing homelessness.
MAJ Threatt was born and raised in Los Angeles, attended St. Mary’s Academy all-girls Catholic School, CSULA, and San Francisco Theological Seminary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Theology, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Public Administration at California Baptist University. MAJ Threatt holds numerous military certifications, citations and awards for her work in the community with veterans and vulnerable populations. In 2001, MAJ Threatt designed the 9-11 commemorative license plate for the State of California which has raised millions of dollars in support of anti-terrorism in the State.
MAJ Threatt’s credo is from Anne Frank – June 12, 1942, Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Germany:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
IMPROVE THE WORLD!
Gabrielle Zhuang-Estrin, LCSW
Member, Board of Directors
Since 2007, Gabrielle has served people from diverse communities in the Los Angeles area who have faced many complex challenges. With a Master’s of Social Welfare from UCLA, she has worked with survivors of human trafficking (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), older adults with chronic mental illness (Department of Mental Health), children and families (Jewish Family Service) and with Veterans (Veteran’s Administration). She has a personal mindfulness practice and is training as a community facilitator with Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. She is also training with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and is interested in how historical and inter-generational trauma resides in the body. Gabrielle enjoys working with folks who are exploring the frontiers of bi-cultural identity and historical and inter-generational trauma. She is also currently serving as the Assistant Director of the National Association for Social Workers-West LA. Gabrielle is working toward a PhD in Community Liberation and Ecopsychology (CLE) at Pacifica Graduate Institute with a particular interest in spiritual justice/sacred activism. Gabrielle also has a small private practice in the Mid-City area.
Kaitlin Kindman (Dull), LCSW
Member, Board of Directors
In addition to managing our community outreach team, Kaitlin coordinates some of our leadership and professional development programming, including Community Gestalt Training and the PsychoBabble Speaker Series. Kaitlin volunteers as a Counselor-in-Residence in our Community Project, serving individuals, groups, and couples of diverse cultural backgrounds. Kaitlin holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sarah Lawrence College and received her Master of Social Work degree from New York University’s Silver School. She has previously held counseling internships with David Plotkin, Ph.D. & Associates and New York Counseling and Clinical Social Work Services. Kaitlin has also worked as a Social Work Intern with The Leadership Program, a school-based community agency that cultivates the leadership potential of high-school students. Kaitlin envisions a more meaningfully-connected network of helping professionals in Los Angeles, where practitioners experience fewer barriers to accessing much-needed support and professional development. She is helping The Relational Center to bring about this vision through the development of in-house programming that boosts staff morale and engagement as well as by offering low-fee events for members of the public to come together to build relationships with helpers across a diverse array of practice settings.
Lisa Fisher, MSW
Member, Board of Directors
Lisa is currently the Director of Member Programs at the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC). In this role, she works to influence and advance the transformation of Los Angeles’s healthcare system. Specifically, she works to enhance and support retention and recruitment of the workforce required to meet the evolving needs of community health centers. Prior to her work with CCALAC, Lisa worked as Executive Director and Director of Programs for Common Ground, a non-profit agency providing prevention and care programs for people living with and at-risk for HIV. Lisa has a long history of working in community based programing, reaching out to underserved and disenfranchised communities with specific emphasis on youth and people struggling with homelessness and isolation. Lisa is a native of Los Angeles. She earned her MSW from San Francisco State University and her BA in History from the University of California Berkeley.
Mark Fairfield, LCSW, BCD
Founder & Former Executive Director
In addition to founding The Relational Center, Mark has been a community organizer in community health, an organizational coach and consultant, an author and a teacher. After completing his graduate studies at Columbia University in the 90s, he took various leadership positions in the AIDS movement for over a decade, including his role as Clinical Director for Common Ground – The Westside HIV Community Center. Mark has provided training and capacity building support to Gestalt Therapy training institutes internationally. He also works with community leaders and nonprofit boards and management teams, offering strategic vision clarification and strategic planning facilitation, with a focus on catalyzing organization-wide culture shift.