Staff

Christy Buck, Executive Director

Christy Buck, Executive Director

Christy Buck has worked in the mental health field for 26 years as a professional licensed social worker and as a volunteer. After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation, she began her career as a recreational therapist in the day program at Transitions Community Support Programs in Grand Rapids (now part of Cherry Street Health Services). In her current position of Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, her passion has turned to saving lives.

Christy has done extensive presentations on mental health, suicide prevention and the effects of bullying on your mental health to communities all over West Michigan. Since 2006, she and her staff have presented these messages to over 10,000 students in West Michigan. Through her presentations, faculty, staff, administrators and parents learn more about mental health and depression, more about themselves, and more about stigma and its disastrous effects on people living with mental illness and those who love them. The messages are of hope, recovery and treating people with respect in your schools and community. 

Christy is a member of the Grandville School Board, the Kent County Suicide Prevention Coalition, YMCA Strong Beginnings Impact Program Committee and Corporate Health and Wellness Committee, the Department of Community Health Anti-Stigma Campaign Steering Committee and the Grandville Community Leaders Forum. She is also a youth advisor to the local chapter of Greek Orthodox Youth of America and in 2012 she was recognized as Grandville’s Distinguished Person of the Year.

 

Larissa Payton

Larissa Payton

Larissa has been working with the Mental Health Foundation since 1999. She graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design in 1997 with a BA in Visual Communications. Larissa, among other things, is the staff liaison with the Board, arranges meetings, takes minutes, and  managing corporate files.  She triages calls from the community, does graphic design, manages orders and invoicing for be nice. merchandise, and assists with our events.

Therran Hines

Therran Hines

Therran Hines has been both a volunteer and an employee at the Mental Health Foundation of WM.  He started with the MHFWM in 2006.  An alumni of MSU, Therran's college studies were in finance.  His most recent employment, prior to being with the Foundation was in building maintenance (volunteer) with the Food Bank of East Michigan.  On the side, he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and has had great success with his recovery.

Kandice Sloop

Kandice Sloop

Kandice has been working at the MHF since 2008. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2007 with a BBA in Marketing.  She is now pursuing her Masters in Social Work from Western Michigan University and will graduate in June of 2013.  In her free time she enjoys shopping, golfing and hanging out with her family. She is also a big fan of reality TV shows.

Catherine Lanting

Catherine Lanting

Catherine (Cat) started at the MHF as an AmeriCorps member in 2011. She has recently been hired at the Foundation as our Student Engagement Specialist, orchestrating be nice. leadership groups across the state.

Cat graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies - Health Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Social Work.

In her free time, Cat races sailboats around the world.

Emily Underwood

Emily Underwood

Emily started at the MHF in 2015. As Fund Development and Community Relations Director, Emily works to establish and sustain relationships with donors and third-party fundraisers, increase visibility and awareness of Foundation in West Michigan, maintain social media outlets (facebook, twitter, linkedin, blog) and position MHF as thought leader through securing speaking engagements and creative community partnerships. Emily helps with event logistics and coordinates with volunteers.

Michelle Geerlings

Michelle Geerlings

Michelle is the Program Advancement Coordinator for the MHF. She will be responsible for seeking opportunities to provide a Hope Bridge movie and/or other community events in efforts to grow our programs. In addition, she will be helping grow the be nice. program at the corporate and business level. Michelle is a graduate from Hope College and Loyola University of Chicago receiving her Masters in Social Work with a specialization in Mental Health. She is also pursuing her Health Coach Certificate through the Institute for Integrated Nutrition.