President – Ron Begley, LCSW
Ron Begley is a therapist in private practice in Cary, where he specializes in anxiety, couples issues, and clinical hypnosis. He works extensively with workplace issues. He performs trainings, onsite crisis response, and federally-mandated substance abuse assessments, as well as Employee Assistance Program work. He is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional, and a Substance Abuse Professional under federal DOT regulations.
Vice President – Hayden Dawes, LCSW, LCASA
Secretary – Christie Smith, LCSW
Christie Smith is an LCSW with 16 years of experience in the field. She received her MSW from Loyola University in Chicago and worked for many years in anticipatory grief and bereavement at the former Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center. Relocating to Durham in 2008, she worked at Duke University Medical Center with families facing chronic and terminal illness. She is currently in private practice focusing on adults and adolescents facing anxiety, depression, and diverse types of grief. With collaborative exploration, she uses warmth and humor assisting individuals coping with illness and challenging life transitions.
Treasurer – Matt Kreiner, LCSWA
Matt Kreiner graduated from the MSW program at NCSU in May 2016. He is working as a therapist with Triangle Center for Behavioral Health in Durham. Matt earned his BS in business administration in 2006 and worked for 5 years in various accounting and finance roles before transitioning to social work as the volunteer coordinator for the Mid-Ohio affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. Matt also served as treasurer of the non-profit professional organization, The Volunteer Administrators Network, in Columbus, Ohio.
Program Committee Chair – Semra Kecelioglu, LCSW
Semra is an LCSW who has been in practice for over 30 years in NY where she has worked in various treatment settings including schools and several group practices. She has recently relocated to Durham, NC where she maintains a private practice. Several areas of her expertise are in EMDR, treatment of dissociation of children, adolescents and adults, and utilization of the Comprehensive Resource Model for healing complex trauma. Semra is committed to the sacred and lifelong journey of healing body, mind and soul in herself and others.
Advocacy Committee Chair – Michelle Topal, LCSW
Michelle Topal, MSW, LCSW, has been in the field of social work for over 30 years; providing direct and supervisory services in many different community based organizations. Michelle has also focused her professional, educational and volunteer experiences to advocating and caring for the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, including being on the original Board for the LGBT Center of Raleigh and developing and running the first Triangle LGBTQ+ youth program for about five years. After running two group practices for about 10 years, she now runs her solo practice. Michelle focuses her practice on serving the LGBT+ community, children, families and couples. Michelle is also somewhat of a policy and political wonk, and in this capacity, she has served as Advocacy Chair for the NCSCSW for the past two years. There she has actively participated in state wide professional committees that have, for example, worked on representing the needs of LCSW’s and consumers with Medicaid Transformation, the Heath Information Exchange and the State Health Plan.
Ethics Committee Chair - Laurie Conaty, LCSW, LCAS
Laurie Conaty is coming with 30 years of experience providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment. One of the leaders in obtaining licensure for LCSW’s in NC, third party vendorship for LCSW’s and for LCSW’s to complete the First Examination for IVC’s, she is passionate about the profession and practice of Clinical Social Work. This in part informs her interest in ethics, ethical practice and risk management.
She is a Past President of the NC Society for Clinical Social Work and was named Clinical Social Worker of the Year in 2007. She has been involved with the NCSCSW as the Ethics Chair and Insurance/Managed Care Chair. She is a member of both NCSCSW and NC-NASW. She is EMDR trained, trained in “Love First Clinical Interventions,” and a member of Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. Currently, she consults, trains and provides outpatient treatment through her practice, Laurie Conaty, LCSW, LCAS, PA, located in Sanford, NC.
Membership Committee Chair – Chenita Rountree, LCSW, LCAS
Chenita Rountree, LCSW, LCAS has 17+ years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in outpatient, inpatient, residential, and crisis-based facilities in both rural and urban treatment settings. Her professional background also includes 6+ years of inpatient psychiatric experience as a social worker and a substance abuse counselor. Chenita is skilled in facilitating individual, family, and group counseling sessions with her identified populations. Her delivery, sense of humor, and ability to engage others have made her years as a social worker both rewarding and enjoyable. Her current role is Medical Social Worker at a local hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina in the Emergency Department.
Communications Committee Chair – Alyssa Draffin, LCSW
Alyssa Draffin, LCSW, is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she earned her MSW in 2013. Alyssa has been a member of the clinical society for 2 1/2 years while serving on the communications committee. Her experience includes 6 years of Clinical work with HIV positive adults, performing psychotherapy, group therapy and case management. She is a certified facilitator of the CDC intervention; W.I.L.L.O.W. which aims to empower minority women to prevent HIV related psychosocial difficulties. Alyssa now works for the UNC Cancer hospital, providing case management and supportive counseling. She is also a co-facilitator for a community group for widowed women of all ages. Alyssa utilizes clinical work and program development to help reduce health disparities.
Member-at-Large – Kay Atchison, LCSW
Kay Atchison has been a member of the NCSCSW since 2000 and is currently serving as chair on the NCSCSW Program Committee. Since relocating from the Boston area to Raleigh in 1998, she has maintained a private practice in N. Raleigh working with adults and couples facing relationship difficulties, trauma, addiction related struggles, work challenges, or difficult life transitions. Ms. Atchison received her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and has worked in a variety of settings including in the Employee Assistance Program field as a counselor and executive account manager, psychiatric and forensic inpatient programs, and the department of corrections.
Member-at-Large - John Craichy, MBA, LCSWA
John Craichy is a management consultant, personal coach and family therapist. After years of volunteer work with men and adolescents, John pursued training and licensing in clinical social work with an emphasis on change models and substance use disorders. As a business development professional, consultant and coach, John focuses on helping individuals turn their unique capabilities and vision into sustainable ventures. He has a passion for helping people lead with clarity and purpose in order to make an impact. He has over 20 years experience commercializing technology, including executive roles in four start-up companies. He applies similar processes to coaching adults and adolescents, using business planning tools to develop personal leadership. He creates individual leadership opportunities, group processes and workshops to help people communicate and lead more effectively. He created a unique visual model for understanding the entrepreneurial process and developing effective business plans.
Member-at-Large – Brittney Asch, LCSW
Brittney Asch graduated from NC State University’s Department of Social work in 2014 and has been a member of the clinical society since 2016. She has been serving on the membership committee since October 2017. She is trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and is provisionally licensed as a clinical addictions specialist. She works with a variety of populations including clients struggling with addiction, clients experiencing relationship problems, LGBTQ, young professionals, and entrepreneurs. She is currently working as a team lead for a community based clinical team in Wake County and also owns a private practice in downtown Raleigh.
Mentorship - Amanda Eaves, LCSW
Amanda Eaves is a therapist working in private practice in Raleigh, NC. Amanda earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She has worked in clinical practice since 2008, and is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Systems. Her special area of focus is working with families to create change and promote confident parenting in order to launch adolescents who thrive.
NC State Student Representative - Priscilla James
Priscilla James is currently pursuing her MSW at NC State University, where she has been a Research Assistant, is Vice President of Phi Alpha, and a member of Graduate Student Social Work Association. She is in the final year of her program and will graduate in May with her MSW. She has been a member of the Clinical Society for a year and has been enjoying being on the Membership Committee and attending the great trainings and events that have been put on by the society. As far as experience is concerned, her previous practicum was with First Step Services, LLC in Raleigh, NC where she co-facilitated the Daytime Intensive Outpatient group and assessed clients with substance use disorders/legal charges. She recently interned at the Durham Veterans Affair in the Inpatient Medicine Unit. After graduation, she plans to receive her LCSW and continue with hospital social work. Her interest in social work lie in working with LGBTQ Adults and Youth, Geriatrics with Addiction, and Trauma with a concentration in Adults who witnessed Intimate Partner Violence as Children.