Board & Leadership


Vickie Pitney

Board Member

Occupation: Retired Administrator for Special Education
Anoka-Hennepin School District
Years on the Board: 4

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Vickie joined the board in 2014, after retiring from working in the field of special education for over 34 years.  She brings an understanding of organizational change, strategic planning, program development and use of data to make informed decisions.

"I have a great deal of respect for children, adolescents and families dealing with mental health challenges.  We need to understand the unique needs of each individual and family we serve and work in a collaborative manner with other agencies in order to provide quality mental health services in our community.  It is critical staff continue to receive support, information and training on best practices in the field of mental health to be able to expand programs and services to meet the changing needs of the community.

I am honored to be on the board for Lee Carlson Center because they provide affordable mental health services to individuals and community based programs to help adults, youth and families to advocate for themselves, build healthy relationships, and develop skills to lead a meaningful and productive life."

Bobby Thibault

Board Member

Occupation: Supply Chain Management Analyst
Boston Scientific
Years on the Board: 1

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Bobby joined the Board in August 2019. He has strong planning, organizational; problem solving, and analytical skills. He currently works in Supply Chain at Boston Scientific and has also worked in Global Supply Chain at Medtronic. Along with volunteering, Bobby enjoys beekeeping, spending time outdoors, and raising two wonderful children with his wife, Cecilia.

“Mental health impacts everyone at some point in their life, and the Lee Carlson Center positions itself to be there for whoever needs help whenever they need it. Mental health services have helped people close to me, and I hope others who need that help are able to find it as well.”

Lenny Austin

Board Member

Occupation: Chief of Police
Columbia Heights Police Department
Years on the Board: 1

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Chief Austin has been in law enforcement for 28 years, 22 of which has been with the Columbia Heights Police Department.

Over the last several years, Chief Austin has been involved in many of the police community initiatives with Columbia Heights which has been a key factor in the Columbia Heights crime rate at a 40 year low. The Columbia Heights Police Department has been recognized for its Community Policing initiatives to include the 2012 IACP Community Policing Award, 2015 IACP Community Policing Award Finalist, the DOJ COPS Office L. Anthony Sutin Award for Community Engagement, and others.

Chief Austin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University, St. Paul, and a Master’s Degree in Police Leadership from the University of Minnesota.

“Lee Carlson Center does incredible work in Columbia Heights and surrounding communities, and I look forward to serving on the board and being part of this important work.”

Steve Helseth

Board President

Occupation: Estate Planning and Probate Attorney
Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm
Years on the Board: 4

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"I have always been interested in, and passionate about, mental health. With a degree in psychology, I can't help but notice how much mental health and mental illness affect my life.

Awareness of mental health issues is critically important to my law practice; whether I'm working with a family after the loss of a loved one, helping clients develop an estate plan, or working with parents of a child with special needs.

My goal is to be understanding and compassionate when it comes to mental illness. I want to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and open-up the conversation regarding mental illnes in our community."

Sue Butler

Board Member

Occupation:Retired Director of Special Education
Anoka Hennepin School District
Year joined board: 2017

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Sue joined our Board in October 2018.  She has over 30 years of experience as Director of Special Education in the Anoka Hennepin School District, the largest school district in MN.

Sue worked closely with agency founder, Lee Carlson for many years and was inspired by her compassion for underserved families from Anoka County.

Sue believes there is hope and healing for all who experience emotional health issues and is passionate and energized by her role as a Board Member.

Kevin Rohe

Board Treasurer

Occupation:Internal Audit Group
Fairview Health Systems
Year joined board: 2018

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Kevin joined our board in June 2018.  He has over 15 years working in the healthcare field.

Kevin has worked for Medica and other insurance companies throughout his career.
He has volunteered the past seven years on various not-for-profit Boards including, SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), Bolder Options, and Touchstone Mental Health.

Kevin believes strongly that everyone needs access to behavioral health services and recognizes the need to reduce the stigma and other barriers for individuals living with mental illness to achieve wellness.

Alan Wiley

Board Member

Occupation: Loan Consultant - Peoples Home Equity Mortgage
Year joined board: 2019

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Alan coaches youth and high school wrestling in the Osseo school district and serves as an ambassador for the I-94West Chamber of Commerce.

"We all could use better tools in our mental health toolbox. I love the Lee Carlson Center's mission, especially when it comes to providing accessible mental health services in the schools. I am honored for the opportunity to serve on the board for this amazing team of professionals."

Alan lives in Dayton with his wife Jen and their son Summit.

Julie Tschida

Board Vice-President

Occupation: Learning and Organization Development Consultant
Metropolitan Council
Year Joined Board: 2018

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Julie has thirty years’ experience in Human Resources as a leader, practitioner, educator, and consultant. Currently Julie serves as Learning and Organization Development Consultant at Metropolitan Council, designing and implement leadership development curriculum and coaching leaders. Julie previously owned and operated a consulting business, Right4Your Business, specializing in providing HR solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. In an previous HR Leadership role at Land O’Lakes, Inc., she led the Corporate HR function and aspects of a $341 million merger, successfully integrating two businesses and achieving objectives and provided executive, manager, and individual coaching and designed and delivered leadership development curriculum.

Julie was full-time faculty for five years and has taught in the Human Resources Management Program at Concordia St. Paul for the past 12 years. Julie holds a Doctor of Management Degree from the University of Phoenix, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of St. Catherine’s, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Metropolitan State University.


Rob Edwards, MSW, LGSW, PACC

Chief Executive Officer

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Rob has been serving the Non-Profit Human Services Sector for more than 20 years and has served as Lee Carlson Center's CEO since 2015. Rob's expertise spans the areas of program development, quality improvement and leadership in the field of mental health, child welfare and family services.

Rob holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Saint Mary's University and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota where he was a Child Welfare Scholar and Minnesota Department of Human Services Fellow. Rob holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Permanency and Adoption Competency (PACC) and served as a committee member on the Minnesota Statewide Foster Care Workgroup.

In 2012, Rob was awarded the Early Career Excellence Award from NASW-MN and is currently the President of the National Association of Social Workers Minnesota Chapter. He also serves on the Board of Directors for AspireMN (formerly the Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies) and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Anoka County Children and Family Council (ACCFC).

Rob is also a member of the community faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and lectures and trains across the state, nationally and internationally on topics ranging from leadership to ethics to evaluation and program innovation. In 2020, Rob joined the Council of Regents for Saint Mary’s University Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.

Susan Fullerton, MS, RPT-S & LPCC

Chief Operating Officer

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Susan provides operations and clinical oversight for all agency programs at Lee Carlson Center. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Susan brings to her work a 30+ year background in program innovation, project management, School linked mental health, In-home therapeutic services, Play therapy, and crisis care treatment. She is currently a member of the American Counselors Association, the Association of Play Therapy, and is active with the child and family services association AspireMN of which Lee Carlson Center is a member.

Rance Rand, BS, Business, Finance and Accounting

Chief Financial Officer

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Rance oversees all financial and administrative operations including: accounting, finance, human resources, and administrative support. He received his Bachelors of Science in Business, Finance and Accounting from the University of Minnesota Curtis L Carlson School of Management. He has volunteered with multiple nonprofits including the Ronald McDonald House and Special Olympics Minnesota. Rance was selected as a top 50 Entrepreneurial Leader at the U of MN and was a former Minnesota Daily Business Employee of the Year.

Alyssa Larson, MA, LPCC

Director of Community Based Programs

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Alyssa is Director of Community Based Programs for Lee Carlson Center. She believes in the uniqueness of each individual and is passionate about working with teenagers and their families. Pulling from their strengths and values, she enjoys helping individuals realize their full potentials. Alyssa has worked at Columbia Heights High School for three years as well as partnered with other schools in Anoka County. Alyssa has experience supporting teenagers through anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, adjustment difficulties, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She also has experience working with adults with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness and is trained in DBT.

Katie Rudek, MA, LPCC

Director of School Linked Mental Health

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Katie is Director of School Linked Mental Health. Katie’s therapy style is relationship oriented and insight focused. She enjoys group work and believes group therapy can be a highly effective change agent. Katie specializes in working with adolescents who are in need of a high level services. She is a member of the Association for Specialists in Group Work and has experience working with people who struggle with depression, anxiety, social skills, trauma, self-harm, and suicidal ideation.

Amber Haley, MA, LPCC

Director of Intensive Mental Health Services

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Amber is Director of Intensive Mental Health. Amber’s approach to therapy is trauma informed and relationship based. Amber works primarily with adolescents between 14-18. Amber has extensive clinical experience in trauma (physical abuse, sexual trauma, neglect, complex trauma) and related issues like self-harm, emotional regulation and relationships. Amber is trained in implementing the ARC model in trauma work, balanced and restorative justice practices and mindfulness strategies.

Katie Metcalf, MS, LPCC

Director of Domestic Abuse Programming

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Katie is Director of Domestic Abuse Programming.  Katie considers herself person centered and holistic.  While primarily practicing under Cognitive Behavioral styles of therapy, she employs an eclectic combination of approaches, depending on client needs. Katie's clinical issues include working with Depression, Anxiety, Personality Disorders, SPMI, Legal Concerns, Sexual/Pornography Addictions. She primarily works with clients age 16+.