Central Regional Director
LaShondra Brown, MA, LMSW, CDP
LaShondra Brown is a native of Hampton, AR. She attended and graduated from Hampton High School in 1996. She then moved to Pine Bluff, AR to attend college at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). While attending college at UAPB, LaShondra worked as an Assistant Manager at Domino’s Pizza and a Substitute Teacher with the Pine Bluff School District.
After graduating from UAPB in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, she began a career in law enforcement. Her career in law enforcement started in 2005 with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, where she worked briefly as a Correctional Officer before transitioning to the Arkansas Community Corrections (ACC) as a Probation/Parole Agent (PPA). LaShondra worked as a PPA with ACC for 11.5 years. During her tenure with ACC, she was a certified BLS instructor and a CLEST certified instructor at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Melinda Duplichan, LMSW
Central Regional Director
Melinda is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Placenta Encapsulator, and Doula with an office located in Lafayette, Louisiana. Melinda is currently studying to take her Licensed Clinical Social Workers test (LCSW), and final school approval for her Doctorate in Social Work. Melinda is the owner of Zemora Pathways, LLC and has certifications in Sports Social Work, and completing certification in Sex Therapy. She works with children, young adults, couples, individuals, and families using an eclectic approach tailored to the unique needs of each new client. This is where she cultivated her passion for advocacy and social justice.
Melinda has over 13 years of experience in a variety of settings and with diverse clients, including both long-term and brief interventions. Areas of expertise include: Children and adolescents with behavioral and sexual issues, anxiety and depression (including postpartum depression), relationship challenges: couples and families, and life stresses and next steps.
Melinda graduated from the Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Melinda will be completing her doctorate degree from Capella University in Social Work in December with final approval.
Melinda is also continuously seeking to gain more skills and broaden her education. Melinda believes that change happens when people are given the guidance they need to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, happy lives. Melinda provides an environment of compassion and support to help individuals and families overcome obstacles to move forward and thrive.
Shevonne Matthews, LMSW
Eastern Region Director
Shevonne Matthews is a native of Baltimore, MD. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker with 11 years of experience in Child Welfare and 4 years in acute/chronic mental health. She began her career in the foster care system in 2007 as an intern with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. It was in this role where her passion for helping others was cultivated. It was her desire to make sure every vulnerable child she encountered was able to reside in a safe and nurturing environment. In 2018, after 11 years working with children, she decided to embark on a new adventure. After working as a Crisis Evaluator in a local emergency department for 2 years, she decided that she wanted to switch her focus. She transferred to Maryland Department of Health and accepted a position as a social worker at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital, the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric hospital for violent offenders. This new journey was not void of challenges but, Shevonne met them head on. Her role, as a part of a multi-disciplinary team, is to assist patients achieve legal competency through psycho and legal education, medication and milieu therapy. She has discovered that mental health is her niche, and this is where she thrives. Outside of work, Shevonne loves spending time with her family and allowing her creativity to bloom as her main avenue of self-care.
Dr. Shanel Bishop, LMSW
Great Lakes Regional Director
Dr. Shanel Bishop is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LMSW) with a specialization in children, youth, and families. She has worked in various settings including public, private, and charter schools; community mental health; residential treatment facilities; higher education; a community youth organization; and private practice. Dr. Bishop currently continues to work with children and youth as well as teaches full time in an MSW program where she is able to educate and mentor future MSW social workers. Dr. Bishop’s mantra is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” (Anonymous). This approach is lived out throughout all of Dr. Bishop’s interactions with others as she teaches, trains, mentors, and supports anyone that she encounters. Dr. Bishop frequently presents to social workers as well as school personnel at local, regional, and national conferences on topics related to the impact of mental health and education on school-aged youth, culture and diversity, self-care, ethics, clinical practice in online higher education, as well as mindfulness."
Southern Regional Director
Kristian Gibson-Ford, LCSW
Kristian Gibson-Ford, LCSW was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduating from Northwest
High School she attended and graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a
Bachelor’s degree in Applied Health Science with a double major in Human Development
Family Studies and Biology and minors in Psychology and Sociology. She is a GROUPS
Scholar and was a Residential Assistant for the Wright Dormitory. She also attended the Ohio
University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Summer Scholars Program.
After graduation, Kristian was interested in both medicine and therapy and even though she was selected to attend the Nursing Program at Indiana University she declined after finding her
passion working with children who have special health care needs and their families while
working at ProKids, Inc./First Steps. It was at that time that Kristian decided to pursue her
Master’s in Social Work degree from Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis. While
attending graduate school, Kristian opened up a special needs ministry called Guardian Angels
though New Life Worship Center where she was the Program Director for 4 years. Kristian
became involved in several community programs, organizations, and agencies relating to
children with special needs especially Autism Spectrum Disorder. She interned at Riley Child
Development Center where she learned about how to diagnose and treat children with special
health care needs as well as provide resources and supportive services for their parents.
Bianco Holmon, LCSWS, LCAS-A
Southern Regional Director
From the time she was 16, she knew she wanted to be a Social Worker, wishing to give voice to those who felt they were not listened to or understood. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC, a Masters in Human Resource Management from Central Michigan University and a Masters in Social Work from Boston University. She currently is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Supervisor (LCSWS) and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist-Associate (LCAS-A). Bianco spent 18 years working at different Department of Social Services in NC and the last 6 ½ years as a Clinical Therapist. She has two therapy businesses (1 co-owned): Recovery Behavioral Healthcare, LLC, located in McColl, SC and Changing Places Therapeutic Center, located in Fayetteville, NC. Bianco has written and conducted several trainings related to the mental health field.