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Division: Child & Youth Services

Christine Walkons

Christine Walkons is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 35 years of experience working in the behavioral health field in both the non-profit and for-profit arenas. She has led business and clinical development as a clinician, administrator, clinical supervisor, and consultant. Christine started her accreditation career in 2001 while working as the Executive Director of an integrated substance use disorder/mental health residential and intensive outpatient program in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After retiring from this position and moving to northern Michigan, she returned to Grand Rapids to assist in the development and management of a new treatment center, focusing on gender-specific residential treatment, outpatient services, inpatient detoxification, and residential and outpatient programs for persons with eating disorders. She has worked in both program and staff development and has guided her organizations through nine successful accreditations.  Christine is a past member of the Michigan Health Professional Recovery Committee, representing the Michigan Board of Counseling. She has assisted in writing curriculum for the Specialty Degree in Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SPADA) for Western Michigan University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University and has specialty certifications as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) and Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS-M).

For the past 22 years, Christine has provided results-orientated consultancy to organizations seeking CARF accreditation. Her reviews have improved the effectiveness of clinical services delivery to CARF accredited organizations throughout the United States. She is passionate about recovery and has worked with various support groups to endorse healing from alcohol and drug addiction and mental health disorders. As a strong supporter of the CARF accreditation process, Christine believes that organizations who earn and live accreditation enhance their services and produce quality outcomes to ultimately improve the lives of the persons served.

Marie Dennis Cooter

Marie is a well-respected professional who combines knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide superior service to her clients.  She holds an MSW from Adelphi University and MS from Chapman University and is a Certified Risk Manager with 35+ years’ experience as a clinician and administrator.

From 2005 to the present, she completed over 250 CARF surveys across the US and Canada as a Survey Team Leader. Her reviews improved effectiveness of service delivery and promoted efficient business practices for clients ranging from large organizations to community-based facilities.

For the past ten years, she provided results-oriented consultancy to organizations seeking CARF accreditation. Her collaborative hands-on approach focuses on areas of improvement, enhancing existing strengths, and ensuring positive changes at all organizational levels.

Carol Sherer

Carol has 32 years of experience doing CARF surveys. Her work experience includes working with persons with developmental disabilities, persons who experienced Traumatic brain injury, and severe orthopedic injuries. Carol also has knowledge and experience with special populations to include Autism and Dementia. Carol had worked within the foster care system, designed behavioral health program for those with co-occurring diagnosis, early intervention, employment services, and aging service.

In addition, to the areas Carol has a vast knowledge of emergency response for general and catastrophic emergencies. She is FEMA trained and has done FEMA training for first responders in the area of Special Need Populations. Carol has background and expertise in Home and Community based programs for those with disabilities and those who are aged. Carol also has experience in the area of case management. In total Carol has worked more than fifty years in the industry. Her Masters Degree is in the areas of Therapeutic Recreation and Community (non-profit) development.

George Molano

George has been a surveyor for over 25 years. Over the course of his career he has held leadership positions in both large and small organizations. He has conducted CARF seminars on Performance Measurement and Management. George was responsible for strategic planning for one of the largest organizations in the country. In addition, he served as District Director for a wide array of services throughout the largest county in California.

Warren Helfrich, Ph.D, RCC

Dr. Warren Helfrich is a human services researcher, consultant and trainer focused on the areas of performance measurement and evaluation, strategic planning, governance, and human services accreditation. Warren has more than fifteen years of consulting experience in the health and human services sector working with both public and private organizations across Canada, the US, the Middle East and Central America. He has helped dozens of organizations to successfully complete their CARF accreditation and to develop internal systems/process that support accreditation. He has been directly involved in diverse initiatives aimed at improving service delivery, including Community Living BC’s ‘Quality of Life’ Initiative and the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s province-wide review of residential services for children and youth in BC. Based out of Penticton BC, Warren has been a surveyor and trainer for the accrediting body CARF for more than a decade. He is also a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and a Certified Daring Way Facilitator. He holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto and a PhD from the University of Calgary. His dissertation research focused on the impact of leadership on client outcomes within human service organizations.


Henrietta Fishman, LCSW, CASAC

Henrietta has been active in behavioral health services for over forty years as a clinician, supervisor and administrator in hospitals, residential care facilities and outpatient programs serving children, youth, families and adults with mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities. She received a MSW from Columbia University and has had extensive post Masters training in counseling, psychotherapy and administration. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, she has had leadership roles with city, state and federal government organizations and community agencies, developing programs and services for special populations including children, youth and adults with life threatening illnesses, victims of sexual abuse and trauma as well as veterans and clients who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. She has publications about performance improvement, homelessness and innovative practices with special populations. As a CARF surveyor for over 21 years, she has surveyed behavioral health, employment and community services and child and youth programs throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Guam, Japan and South Africa. Her leadership, teaching and clinical expertise have been recognized with numerous local and national awards.

Mike Mamot

In 1983, while teaching special education in Paso Robles, CA, Mike Mamot saw the need for additional residential services for children. With the help of a student loan, he created the second group home in San Luis Obispo County in 1984. From that humble start grew a nonprofit organization that became to be known as OPTIONS Family of Services.

Mike’s vision was for a continuum of services to meet the needs of the persons served by OPTIONS. Through the years, services were greatly expanded as new innovative methods to help persons with disabilities were designed and developed. The organization gained a reputation for providing services to behaviorally challenged adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and persons who had a traumatic brain injury. Services were provided in a professional manner. This is most exemplified by the fact that OPTIONS became CARF accredited for the first time in 1990. Between 1997 to 2011, OPTIONS only had two recommendations from their accreditation reviews.

The way services were delivered was important to Mike. He stressed taking an ethical approach when caring for persons served. All staff received on-going training on what it means to provide unselfish ethical services respecting the rights of all persons and treating them with dignity. It was his belief that all staff members, including himself, should be held accountable for being trustworthy and compassionate for persons served.

OPTIONS was able to grow due to creative financing and by being awarded various grants. Founded on a small student loan, Mike facilitated the sale of tax exempt bonds in order to reduce interest expense. During his tenure, OPTIONS was granted over a million dollars.

In 1990, the same year OPTIONS became accredited, Mike became a CARF surveyor. He has stated on more than one occasion that the worse CARF survey he had conducted was better than the best conference he ever attended because of the information he was able to bring back to the organization he founded. Many of the concepts and procedures that became the foundation of the services provided by OPTIONS is a direct result of what Mike saw in the field while conducting accreditation surveys.

In 2013, Mike retired as the Founder/CEO of OPTIONS. He remains active in the field by consulting and acting as an expert witness for legal cases. He has conduct over 200 CARF surveys and has trained more than 50 new CARF surveyors.

John Collins, II, MPH

John T. Collins, II, MPH, has been a consultant since 1984, providing management and quality assurance consulting services to health and human services providers. John’s consultant practice focuses on assisting organizations prepare for CARF Accreditation. To date, every organization that has used John’s services for CARF accreditation preparation has received the coveted three-year accreditation outcome.

As part of his consulting practice, he has provided interim executive services to organization’s serving homeless veterans and people with disabilities. As an active CARF Surveyor for almost 25 years, he has conducted more than 140 CARF Surveys. Mr. Collins has held positions in both the private and non-profit sectors.

John was employed as Senior Vice President of Workforce Development and Rehabilitation Services for Goodwill Industries of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties from 1987 to 2015. The programs he led served more than 17,000 people a year. He was also responsible for the company’s strategic planning efforts and Community Relations efforts. Prior to his career at Goodwill, Mr. Collins was a Program Director for Dominican Hospital and helped start the Employee Assistance Program and a 28-day Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program. While serving in the US Army, Mr. Collins was in charge of the Army Navy Transplant Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

As Senior Vice President, Mr. Collins was very active in the support and implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Workforce Investment Act and many educational strategies. He was part of a national team selected by Goodwill Industries International to provide business and program assistance to the United Arab Emirates. He provided technical assistance to the UAE Ministry of Rehabilitation on CARF Accreditation and quality standards.

Mr. Collins is very active in community and national affairs. He served on the Workforce Investment Boards of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties as well as having served on The Monterey County Tourist and Travel Alliance, the Board of the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce and Monterey County Hospitality Boards of Directors. He was elected and completed ten years as a Trustee and past president of the board of Santa Cruz City Schools.