Welcome to our "Meet the Staff" page. Please read on and meet our featured staff. They are talented, friendly, skilled professionals, who provide quality services to our clients. As you read, I think you will understand why we are so proud of them and why we appreciate them so much.
I started Strategic to provide a place for children to receive quality services that include their families. Along the way, I have come to understand that one of the most important criteria for providing quality services is having a quality staff.
I am proud to work with this outstanding group of professionals. It is through them that we are able to help children and families in Central, Southside, and Southwest, Virginia.
Les Blondino, Jr., LPC, LMFT
Prior to retirement, I was employed with Department of Social Services and periodically referred clients to Strategic, finding their work with clients to successful.
In retirement I consult with Strategic as Supervisor of therapists with Masters of Social Work degrees, to help them attain licensure for clinical social work.
I have been impressed with the supervision and training offered to the therapists. It is thorough and consistent, continually reinforcing theory and practice. Having received training in Structural Family Therapy and in experiencing the practices at Strategic, I now understand why we are so successful with those we help.
Bill Aiken, LCSW
As a newcomer to Lynchburg, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the incredible team at Strategic Therapy Associates. The environment is on e of warmth, professionalism and dedication to respecting the unique experience of each family served. The Strategic approach builds hope, recognizes strengths and restores loving relationships. Its a dynamic method of addressing some of the most difficult family challenges. As a clinical supervisor I am honored to join this dedicated team committed to supporting the families and communities in Central Virginia.
Heather Fronheiser, LCSW
When the non-profit group that I worked for began to dwindle in funding, it sought out to merge with an established agency to ensure continuation of services in the Danville-Pittsylvania county area. This non-profit was most impressed with Strategic, because of their reputation for long-term success. The agencies merged on July 1, 1998.
After the merger, I remained with the agency and quickly learned to appreciate the genius of the Strategic model. Having been a Behaviorist prior to my time with Strategic, I realized that the Strategic model is what I had been searching for to fill the void between the real world and laboratory research. It has been reassuring to be able to help clients achieve long-term success when crises arise.
Mike Irby, M.Ed.
I heard about Strategic through the career center at college. I was eager to learn more about family therapy and to gain experience in the field, so I started working at Strategic as an intern. Following my internship, I joined the staff as a Therapeutic Companion where I gained experience interacting with different children, families, and school systems, as well as working as a co-counselor on cases.
I've supervised our home-based team and day treatment team. These different experiences help me to inspire the staff to think therapeutically and creatively about our client work and remind me that though we have varied services and programs, we are all working towards one goal: instilling hope in families.
Angela Watkins, B.S.
Children Services Coordinator - Lynchburg Area
Before I was hired, I knew that Strategic had a very specific approach to solving family problems and a reputation for success. I wanted to be a part of that, because I knew it was a place that I could be a successful therapist.
Being able to help a family overcome the identified problem; restoring family hierarchy; providing parents with the tools to address future behavior; and most importantly, helping build healthy relationships within the family, is my passion. At the end of the day, I like to know that I have been able to help someone. I know I have succeeded when a parent says, "I feel like I am a parent now."
Nikki Craft, M.S.
Child Therapist - Lynchburg
From being a Peer Mediator in elementary school, to a Safety Patrol in middle school, and for always being the "go-to" person for advice, I knew early in life that I wanted to help people solve problems and to be happy with themselves and their choices. As I searched for a job with meaning and opportunity for growth I found Strategic Therapy. I was excited to start working with at risk youth. Little did I know, not only would I be helping kids and families, I would be working with some of the most compassionate and goal-oriented people I have ever met. I fell in love with the job, the people, and most of all the differences made in each life that Strategic Therapy Associates helps.
Amber Irby, QMHP
Having been employed for several years with Strategic, I have come to appreciate and enjoy the opportunity to work for an agency that understands the value of family. Strategic provides a positive environment of growth and advancement, not only for the many families served, but for me personally. I look forward to a continually growing relationship with the agency as it moves into the future.
Cynthia Wallace, B.S.
I learned about Strategic Therapy Associates while attending graduate school. While working at Strategic as a Family Therapist, with the guidance of my supervisors, I learned that in-home counseling is an effective and powerful way to assist children and families in making positive and significant changes in their lives. I have had the opportunity to manage both our Day Treatment program and our Home-Based team in the southside area. All of this experience has afforded me even greater clinical perspective as I pursue professional licensure at the agency.
Lisa A. Taylor, M.Ed.
Family Therapist - Southside
Some do not understand the impact a person can have on a youth, thus the entire community. The Nurtured Heart explains it best: "Children who feel successful, think and act successfully." I want to be known as one who encourages children to strive toward achieving their goals.
The structure and the foundation of Strategic is exactly what I was looking for, an agency that stands for the rights of children while treating them like who they can be, not just the labels attached to them. At Strategic, I have the opportunity to gain more knowledge while doing the things that I really love- helping the youth in our community.
Dominique Coles, B.S.
Children Services Coordinator - Southside Area
When I first met Les, he shared with me his dream of starting an agency that specialized in working with families in their homes and preventing the unnecessary placement of their children. His passion for this dream was contagious, and I found myself wanting to be a part of making it come true.
Soon after, Strategic was born. Since that time, I have had the honor and privilege of helping to create it and am proud to be helping children and families lead happier, more fulfilled lives.
Laura Blondino, MBA
When I found Strategic, I was new to Virginia searching for a job that could be meaningful. I saw an agency that was committed to helping children by strengthening their families. I believe the family is the core of society. How can society be OK if the family isn't OK? I was fortunate to become the Human Resources Manager for the agency. Now, I get to help find incredible people to carry out an incredible mission, and through them, I am going to positively impact families throughout the region.
Erika Eades, PHR
Human Resources Manager
I grew up in the Chatham area and moved to Lynchburg after getting married. Shortly thereafter, I was hired by Strategic as an Office Assistant and now work as the Utilization Management Specialist. It has been a great experience. Being able to help the many children and families to obtain our services really means a lot to me, because I know they will be successful. I love the fact that I am able to work with so many great people and help families at the same time.
Utilization Management Specialist