National Executive Officers
Melrita M. Johnson, LCSW
National Grand President/Organizer
Melrita Johnson is a native of Forrest City, AR. Melrita attended Forrest City High School. Melrita graduated from FCHS in 1995 and enrolled in college at THE Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA. While matriculating, Melrita was a member of the World Renown Blue Machine Marching Band and developed a love for Social Work. Transferring back to her home state of Arkansas, Melrita enrolled in East Arkansas Community College and transferred to Arkansas State University where she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work.
Phaedra Ruddock-Dunn, LCSW
National First Vice President
Phaedra Ruddock-Dunn, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of New Jersey who is committed to working with families, individuals and couples. She is currently the owner of Dunn Therapy and Wellness, a private practice in Montclair, NJ. Phaedra has spent the last twenty years working in communities in Buffalo, NY, New York City, Charlotte, NC, Newark, NJ and Montclair, NJ. It is in these environments where Phaedra gained experience in working with trauma, therapeutic foster care, adoptions, domestic violence and school settings. During her time in one of her beloved communities, Newark, NJ, as a School Social Worker, Child Study Team Member and School Administrator, Phaedra was and continues to be devoted to her goal of inspiring individuals, children and families.
She has experience using various treatment modalities, and specializes in utilizing therapy, which not only strengthens the mind and body connection but better enables the person to understand and heal from their trauma.
National Second Vice-President/Founder
Labrenda Thomas, LCSW
LaBrenda Thomas, a native of Little Rock, AR, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Arkansas and Tennesseen and a Licensed School Social Worker for the Tennessee Department of Education. She currently serves as the Dean of Social Emotional Learning for Perea Elementary School in Memphis, TN. She is also the owner of Empowerment Counseling and Consulting, LLC in Germantown, TN where she provides psychotherapy and clinical supervision. She is a clinical therapist for an online and mobile platform, TalkSpace and a clinical contractor for Knowledge Quest/Universal Parenting Place. With over 13 years of experience, LaBrenda has served in the social services and mental health field in various capacities. These areas include medical social work, school social work, community mental health, acute behavioral health and systems of support programming supporting the IDD population. LaBrenda earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas in 2008 and immediately enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock to obtain her Master’s in Social Work in 2010.
Catiya Welch, LMSW
Catiya C. Welch is a native of Homer, Louisiana, and currently resides in Maumelle, AR. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker with over 17 years of experience providing case management, mental health, medical, and supportive services in the field of social work. She started her career in 2003 with the Arkansas Department of Human Services-DCFS as a Family Social Worker where the majority of her work was in Lafayette and Columbia counties. Her passion has always been to strengthen children and families. Catiya has received awards such as the Arkansas DHS/DCFS Area IV Family Service Worker of the Year and the Story Award for being a visionary advocate for children, who promote the heart and mission of the Arkansas Department of Human Services; Children & Family Services division. She later joined UAMS-Kids First in February 2012 as a Licensed Social Worker. In January 2013, she relocated from Magnolia, AR, to the Little Rock area to pursue her desire to obtain a master’s degree in social work. After completing her master’s degree and obtaining her master’s level licensure, Catiya transferred to the position of Outpatient Transplant Social Worker at UAMS where she’s currently employed.
Shuvonne Johnson, LMSW
Shuvonne is a Licensed Master Social Worker and a Clinically Certified Criminal Justice Specialist.
She is a native of Little Rock, AR and currently employed by the AR Department of Corrections as an LMSW in the Mental Health Department. Shuvonne also works as an adjunct professor for Shorter College in the National Second Chance Pell Program. Shuvonne is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She attends St. Mark Baptist Church in LR, AR.
National Executive Board Chair and
Risk Management Director
Bethany Jones, LMSW
Bethany B. Jones is a Licensed Master Social Worker in the state of Tennessee. Born and raised in Knoxville, TN, Bethany has served in the field of Social Work for over 9 years in a variety of areas including: community mental health, foster care, hospice/home care, and currently works in a private practice setting. Bethany received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and following graduation, immediately attended graduate school at THE Ohio State University where she obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work. Bethany serves as a mentor to two separate community programs that aim to guide and support upcoming Social Workers within her community. Bethany is also affiliated with several community organizations that include: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Coalition of Black Social Workers, and the TN Association of Healthcare Social Workers. Bethany is a certified OUTcare Health provider, Immigration Court Hearing Assessor, and an Accelerated Resolution Therapy trauma therapist in her state. Bethany is currently working on completion of clinical licensure within her state and continues to make strides within the field of Social Work to improve the lives of her clients and others that she serves.