Board of Directors
The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a board of directors. Meet our board!
Peter Ashenden, President
Peter Ashenden has recently retired as the vice president of consumer affairs for Optum’s behavioral solutions business. Peter was responsible for developing and implementing behavioral health programs that help people with mental illness achieve long-term recovery and resiliency. He is also a mental health consumer.
Patti Bitney Starke, Treasurer
Patti Bitney Starke is the Director of Mental Health Recovery and Wellness Employment Services at Kaposia. In addition, she is the Director of the Kaposia International WRAP Center of Excellence. She has accumulated over 30 years of experience as an advocate for mental health recovery and wellness within a multitude of agencies and organizations, reaching out to adults with mental health challenges, transitional youth and Veterans and military family members. Under her development and leadership, Kaposia, Inc. has received the distinction of becoming an International WRAP Center of Excellence (one of three within the USA).
Patti earned her undergraduate degree in special education, her master’s degree reading and her PhD-ABD in curriculum from the University of Wisconsin. Patti is a licensed teacher, reading specialist, and curriculum specialist. She is an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, and is certified as an emotional CPR facilitator. She additionally serves as an Executive Board Director on the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, on the Hero Care Advisory Council for Veterans seeking mental health recovery and wellness services and supports beyond the VA, and is a member of APSE, among other affiliations.
As a 25-year resident of Minnesota, Patti is privileged to be a wife of a Veteran, mother of 4 children, and she enjoys quilting, cooking and discovering vintage treasures in antique stores and thrift shops.
Mae Stiles, Secretary
Yvonne Z. Smith
Yvonne Z. Smith was born in Lynchburg VA and currently resides in Washington, DC. Ms. Smith received her BA from the University of Maryland. She is a consumer advocate and master level facilitator in wellness recovery action planning (WRAP). She is also co-founder and supporter of the Patient Council at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Yvonne testifies at various hearings before the DC City Council and the U.S. House of Representatives on issues effecting persons with disabilities. She also founded two nonprofit 501c3 organizations, The Recovery Group and the Capital Clubhouse, and she is Co-Vice Chair of DC Center for Independent Living. Ms. Smith has served on several local Mental Health Organizations including NAMI, Laurie Mitchel Employment Center, and the Recovery Group. Yvonne is an avid museum goer and traveler including trips to Bolivia, China, and Hong Kong.
Cheryl Sharp, Vice President
Cheryl Sharp holds the unique perspective of a person who has recovered from significant mental health challenges, a trauma survivor, a family member of a loved one who died as a result of mental health challenges, and a provider of substance abuse and mental health services. Sharp has worked with adult trauma survivors for over 30 years and trains and speaks internationally on trauma-informed approaches and suicide prevention. She received a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Voice Award in 2015 for her work and personal stories educating the public about trauma and behavioral health and the Lou Ann Townsend Courage Award for her contributions to persons with psychiatric disabilities. Sharp believes in the limitless possibilities found within each of us to live our lives from a place of personal power. She has been a longtime supporter of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery and enjoys living her life to the fullest as a mother and grandmother in eastern North Carolina.
A Member of the Board of Directors, Wali is also a Professional Certified Coach, Certified Peer Specialist, Advanced Level WRAP® Facilitator, Amazon.com #1 Best Seller Co-Author of the book, "The Art and Science of Success", and a Harry S Truman Scholar 1982. Wali has thirty years of experience in transforming people. Currently, Wali serves as the President of the Behavioral and Mental Wellness Coaching, Inc. (BMWC). BMWC is based in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. BMWC purpose is to provide needed services through the US Federal Procurement Program Small Business Administration, such as behavioral and mental health services, social work and educational services, including recruiting medical staff and transformational leadership coaching. As a Transformational Leadership and Organization Coach, Wali facilitates individuals and organizations to experience permanent lifestyle changes by unfreezing old moods, old emotions, old habits/patterns, and old conversations; to co-create new eyes, in becoming different observers with new conversations, so people can live the life they want. He is a US Marine Veteran, Vietnam Era. Wali said, that he "gets to facilitate a process for sustained wellness and recovery, passion, and purpose for individuals and organizations."