- Centerstone of America Board Back to top
- A John Rose, Chair
- Lee Brackett, Vice-Chair
- Patricia Lucas, Secretary
- Jim Sweeten, Immediate Past Chair
- David Guth, Chief Executive Officer
- Gwen Watts, Board Liaison
- April Van Epps, Board Liaison
- Reed Farley
- Richard H. Fitzgerald
- Sara C. Huggins, JD
- Trish Lindler
- Joan Sivley
David Guth – Chief Executive Officer
David Guth is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest behavioral healthcare providers. The non-profit organization, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, serves nearly 180,000 individuals in communities in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, and nationwide through its national provider network.
Guth has served in the capacity of chief executive for Centerstone since 1991. With over 40 years of behavioral healthcare experience, 33 in executive leadership, his experience and expertise comprise a vast number of areas, both business and clinical. He has presented extensively before national and international audiences on the adoption of information technology in the healthcare industry, the integration of behavioral and primary healthcare, and the importance of improving the field of behavioral health through research-driven protocols. His insights on these topics and others have been featured in numerous professional journals. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from $6M in revenues and 300 staff serving 2,000 individuals to revenues of $327M and 5,200 staff serving nearly 180,000 people each year through 1,250 partnership locations and 211 facilities. In addition, Centerstone contracts with over 700 specialty credentialed clinicians nationwide.
The National Council for Behavioral Health publishes Guth’s first book on mergers entitled, “Strategic Unions: A Marriage Guide to Healthy Not-for-Profit Mergers. He has provided merger presentations through both the National Council and state trade associations and has consulted extensively with not-for-profits exploring mergers and with both for-profits and not-for profits in the areas of managing growth and business development. He is currently working on his second book on non-profit mergers.
Under Guth’s guidance, in 2013 Centerstone announced a joint venture with Unity Physician Partners to improve patient care and enhance the quality of healthcare across the U.S., by creating an environment in which primary care and mental health providers operate within a collaborative and co-located clinical model. Unity Medical Clinics are embedded within select Centerstone facilities today offering coordinated, whole-health care.
He is the recipient of numerous recognitions including the National Council 2010 Visionary Leadership award, and is recognized as one of Health Care’s Power Leaders in the March 2013 Nashville Business Journal. As well, he recently received the 2016 Douglas Henry Award for Service to Children and Families at Risk from the University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work.
Guth received his BA in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University and his MSSW in Social Work Administration and Planning from the University of Tennessee.
Melissa Larkin-Skinner, MA, LMHC – Regional Chief Executive Officer, Florida
Melissa Larkin-Skinner is the regional chief executive officer serving Florida. Overseeing all inpatient and outpatient services and programs, she is responsible for significant organizational growth since becoming CEO, expanding Centerstone’s presence from three to six counties.
As a licensed mental health counselor with 25 years of experience in all aspects of behavioral health, Larkin-Skinner has worked with children and adults of all ages in diverse treatment programs including inpatient, outpatient, crisis intervention, intensive community-based and child welfare. She has designed and operated innovative programs to meet community needs, including the first children’s Community Action Team (CAT) in 2004. CAT has been adopted as Florida’s statewide model serving youth who are struggling with severe mental health, behavioral and co-occurring disorders, along with their families.
A persistent voice bringing attention to the opioid epidemic, Larkin-Skinner is an authority on the disease of addiction and its devastating effects on communities. She regularly provides state and federal policy feedback and engages in legislative advocacy as a subject-matter expert in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. She has led Centerstone in the rapid expansion of treatment services for individuals fighting opioid addiction, including Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in hospital, clinic and jail-based sites. In August 2016, she received the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association Administrator of the Year for her efforts toward combating the opioid epidemic. Larkin-Skinner currently serves as the only behavioral health provider on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
She received an MBA in Healthcare Administration from Saint Leo University and an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Florida. She serves on Centerstone’s Executive Cabinet, contributing to enterprise mission, vision and growth.
John Markley, MBA – Regional Chief Executive Officer, Illinois
John Markley serves as Regional CEO, Illinois, serving residents in eastern and southern Illinois through more than 30 locations, providing treatment, support and educational programs and services to individuals who have mental health and addiction disorders and specialized services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Centerstone employs over 525 staff in Illinois and serves more than 17,000 individuals annually.
Under Markley’s leadership, Illinois’ operations have expanded from serving residents in southern Illinois to include western Illinois following a 2015 merger with Wellspring Resources in Alton, IL (now Centerstone).
He has served on several national and statewide boards and is currently a member of several state and national associations.
Markley began his behavioral health career in 1985 as a staff accountant, was promoted to Director of Financial Services, and became CEO in 2005. He received his bachelor’s in criminal justice and in accounting from Murray State University in Kentucky, and he earned his MBA from Century University in New Mexico.
As CEO, Markley is responsible for the leadership and operational oversight of Centerstone’s clinical divisions, specialized services and strategic business development and fiscal accountability in Illinois.
Suzanne Koesel – Regional Chief Executive Officer, Indiana
Suzanne Koesel serves as Regional CEO, Indiana for a network of more than 60 facilities in 17 Indiana counties throughout south and central Indiana and nearly 900 employees serving nearly 30,000 Hoosiers annually, and an annual revenue of over $52 million.
Suzanne is responsible for the leadership and operational oversight of Centerstone’s clinical divisions and specialized services as well as strategic business development and fiscal accountability in Indiana.
Under her leadership, Centerstone has continued to expand operations in Indiana and has developed numerous state- and nationally-recognized services, including substance abuse treatment, peer support services, employment services and specialized re-entry services for adults.
Suzanne is a licensed clinical social worker and received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Suzanne is currently a member of the Mental Health America of Indiana Board of Directors. She is an active member of her community, serving on a variety of nonprofit boards and local human services committees. She has been with Centerstone since 1996.
Abbreial Drane – Regional Chief Executive Officer
Abbreial “Abby” Drane has been named the Regional Chief Executive Officer, Kentucky. Previously, Drane served as the Uspiritus President and CEO of Uspiritus where she lead the treatment, outcomes, regulations, human resources, financial and advancement programs helping vulnerable children in Kentucky.
Abby is an experienced leader in the behavioral health industry, with more than 25 years as a chief financial officer, having served in that capacity in two of Kentucky’s largest community mental health centers — Seven Counties Services and Communicare. She has also served as adjunct accounting faculty for several regional universities and managed a small financial service business.
Abby earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Missouri State University and her MBA from Western Kentucky University. She has also held a CPA license since 1990.
With a passion for helping those in need, Abby has dedicated her professional career to serving children and families across Kentucky. Abby has the faith and vision to see a better life for those struggling with mental health and substance use issues at Centerstone.
Robert N. Vero, EdD – Regional Chief Executive Officer, Tennessee
Dr. Robert “Bob” Vero serves as the Centerstone Regional CEO, Tennessee and Georgia. He has worked in behavioral health care since 1976 and is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Psychological Examiner. He has also worked as a psychological consultant to the Nebraska State Highway Patrol and the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department.In 2018, he was named as co-chair to Nashville Mayor David Briley’s Community Behavioral Health and Wellness Advisory Council, which advises the Mayor in setting priorities around behavioral health, mental illness and substance use issues. Vero is a two-time recipient of the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organization’s Volunteer Leadership Award and has served three terms as president of the organization.
He received his undergraduate degree in psychology and his master’s in counseling from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Vero earned his doctorate in human development counseling from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kevin Norton – Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Norton provides day-to-day leadership and management to Centerstone’s regional CEOs to ensure Centerstone grows and maintains operational excellence. He is responsible for spearheading the development of Centerstone, including the communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and measuring the effectiveness of all internal and external processes.
Norton joined Centerstone in 2018, and brings 25 years of experience in behavioral health care, having begun his career as a therapist. Prior to joining Centerstone, he served as chief executive officer for Lahey Health Behavioral Services, a $105 million behavioral health subsidiary of $2 billion dollar not-for-profit health system. Prior to that, he worked as chief executive officer of Northeast Behavioral Health, Inc. and led the integration of their organization, a $20 million substance abuse treatment agency, into Lahey. This integration involved restructuring with a focus on quality of care and financial viability. Norton has also held executive leadership positions at CAB Health and Recovery Services, Inc.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from SUNY at Fredonia, a Master of Science in counseling psychology from Salem State University in Salem, Mass., and a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University in Boston, Mass. He has served as a board member for the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Association for Behavioral Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Steve Holman – Chief Financial Officer
Steve Holman is the Chief Financial Officer of Centerstone, the nation’s largest community based behavioral healthcare provider. In this role he directs fiscal operations for all of Centerstone’s companies (including Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Florida and Kentucky), assesses the organization’s performance, oversees financial reporting and analysis, and develops annual budgets and long-term financial strategies.
Steve brings more than 30 years of financial and management experience in a wide range of healthcare settings. Prior to joining Centerstone in 2013, he served as a founder and CFO for Precedent Health, Inc., a health care company based in Nashville, TN that worked with providers and payers to manage accountable care organizations and bundled payment programs. His experience includes mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings and providing quality reporting programs.
Previously, Steve worked at Heritage Health Systems/Universal American Corp. (UAM) where he was CFO for the multi-state Medicare Advantage HMO division. He was an initial member of the Heritage management team which founded physician IPAs and HMOs that were focused on aligning the incentives of providers in gain-sharing models. While CFO of the HMO division of UAM, revenues grew from $120 million to $750 million.
Steve also has held executive management positions in finance at Lakeside Community Health, FHP International Corporation and Deloitte & Touche where he was a partner in charge of the Los Angeles office health care audit practice.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business.
Ramona Rhodes – President, Centerstone Foundation
As President of the Foundation, Ramona Rhodes is responsible for advancing Centerstone’s mission through philanthropy. She works in direct collaboration with Centerstone’s Foundation Board of Directors in the areas of endowment investment and management, stewardship of donor intent, growth of philanthropic support to Centerstone, and day-to-day operational management of the Foundation team located across five states.
During Rhodes’ 27-year tenure, the Centerstone organization has grown from a small, Nashville-based agency to a national multi-state, multi-tiered organizational enterprise serving over 150,000 individuals annually.
Under her leadership, the marketing team has received numerous recognitions.The 2002 Centerstone branding campaign was named a finalist by the Nashville Business Journal for the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Salute to Excellence Awards. Multiple advertising campaigns and publications have also received marketing and communication awards over the years, including several Telly and Addy® awards for creative excellence. Rhodes was also named a Health Care Hero in 2011 by the Nashville Business Journal.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and is a member of the American Marketing Association. She has been with Centerstone since 1989.
Debbie Cagle Wells – Chief Marketing Officer
Debbie Cagle Wells is well-known and respected in the health care marketing, behavioral health and managed care industries, with more than 20 years of experience in the field. She has worked at Centerstone in a variety of roles for more than ten years, including executive leadership for Advantage Behavioral Health, a behavioral health managed care company; Centerstone Military Services, which provides programs and services to veterans and their families; and Centerstone Health Partners, which recently established integrated care clinics for clients with physical and behavioral healthcare needs.
Today, she leads marketing and business development for Centerstone, creating and driving business strategy for revenue growth and market share. This includes strategy and oversight of payer relations and contracting, referral marketing, grant writing, branding and communication.
Prior to joining Centerstone, Debbie served as Chief Operating Officer of ValueOptions of Tennessee; Vice President of AdvoCare of Tennessee, a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services, and she has directed behavioral health managed care services contracting for HCA, Inc. and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Cagle Wells graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a bachelor’s degree, dually certified in special education, mental retardation/ learning disabilities and in elementary education.
Wayne Easterwood – Chief Administrative Officer
As Chief Administrative Officer, Wayne Easterwood leads administrative and support teams for Centerstone, the nation’s largest community-based behavioral healthcare organization.
His teams include technology, technical infrastructure, business intelligence, data analytics, human resources, and project management. The work involves planning, implementation and support of innovations as well as ongoing operations across the five-state organization. While often leveraging technology for improvement, the focus is always on improving the delivery of care.
Wayne was the architect of Centerstone’s first electronic health record in 2001 which was among the very first in the nation for behavioral health.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Belmont University. Easterwood is the father of three sons, all of whom are way too actively involved in social media for his liking.
Dan Smith – Chief Human Resources Officer
Dan Smith is Chief Human Resources Officer for Centerstone. In this role, he has responsibility for all aspects of human resources with emphasis on developing and maintaining a positive employee culture that promotes employee engagement and world class client care.
Dan oversees important aspects of the organization’s operations such as employee recruitment, benefits administration, developing and implementing human resources policies and ensuring that Centerstone complies with regulations such as Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Dan’s career in human resources spans nearly 20 years with organizations such as Getty Oil, Mobil Oil and Humana. Prior to Centerstone, Dan served as Vice President for Human Resources at Seven Counties Services, a not-for-profit community behavioral health organization based in Louisville. When Seven Counties Services affiliated with Centerstone in 2016, he was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer for Centerstone.
Smith is a graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He has earned the professional designation of Senior Professional – Human Resources and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management. He has served on the Board of Stop Child Abuse and Neglect and held local and regional leadership positions with Boy Scouts of America and several youth athletic and development organizations.
Prasad Kodali – Chief Information Officer
Prasad Kodali is the Chief Information Officer at Centerstone. In this role, he sets the strategic direction of the technology department including the management of approximately 80 staff members and budgets over $20 million in total. He is responsible for ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget while aligning deliverables with core business needs as well as Centerstone enterprise’s technology infrastructure.
In addition to having served as Vice President of IT, Kodali has led projects as a developer, solution architect, project manager and director of enterprise applications at Centerstone and at previous companies. He has managed teams that span multiple states in addition to staff in India and China.
Richard C. Shelton, MD – Chief Science Officer
Richard Shelton is the Chief Science Officer.
He attended medical school at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He became a resident and Chief Resident at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (now the Longwood Program), a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. After residency, he was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Program in Washington, D.C. before entering the faculty of Vanderbilt University in 1985. There, he became the James G. Blakemore Research Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry. He also became a professor in the Departments of Psychology and Pharmacology.
Richard joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in February of 2012 as the Charles Byron Ireland Professor, Vice Chair for Research, and head of the Mood Disorders Research Program. He has served on NIH study sections and was the chair of the Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging review group. He has also actively served as a teacher and mentor.
He has won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the residents of the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry four times and the residents of UAB Department of Psychiatry twice. He was recognized by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for his service to persons with serious and persistent mental illnesses with the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award in 1994 and 2012. He also received the Dorothea Dix Professional Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Centers in 2007 in recognition of his impact on the practice of Psychiatry in the State of Tennessee.
Richard’s research focuses on the development of new treatments for depression and bipolar disorder (experimental therapeutics), including the identification of new targets for treatment, prevention of serious mental illnesses, testing novel therapies and identifying biomarkers of both disease and treatment response.
Jennifer Lockman, PhD – Chief Executive Officer, Research Institute
Dr. Jennifer Lockman is the Chief Executive Officer for Centerstone’s Research Institute.
Lockman joined Centerstone in 2007 and has extensive grant experience, having served as the principal investigator of two Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grants and two National Strategies for Suicide Prevention grants (funded by SAMHSA). She earned her PhD in counseling psychology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. and her MS in professional counseling from Lipscomb University. She has published in professional journals and speaks regularly at national conferences focusing on suicide prevention and translational science.
Ashley Newton – Chief Operating Officer, Centerstone Research Institute. Vice President, Center for Clinical Excellence
Ashley Newton, MPS, PMP is Chief Operating Officer for Centerstone’s Research Institute and Vice President of Center for Clinical Excellence.
Ashley joined Centerstone in 2006 and has held both clinical and leadership roles. In 2017, she was named Vice President for Center for Clinical Excellence, leading all the clinical transformation efforts including identification, development, implementation and evolution activities in three separate areas: clinical models, processes and pathways.
In her current role, Ashley continues to work closely with strategic business units to implement high value treatment in the context of the local environments. Within CCE and the Research Institute, she will oversee the team’s operations management and collaboration.
Newton holds a BA in psychology and an MA in professional studies and strategic leadership from Middle Tennessee State University. she is a certified ACRA-ACC clinical supervisor and a Project Management Professional (PMP), the highest certification for project management.
Gwen Watts – Administrative Chief of Staff
As Administrative Chief of Staff, Gwen Watts provides executive support to CEO David Guth, facilitates all board meetings and serves as the liaison for the organization’s boards of directors including maintenance to the board website.
Gwen works closely with the executive team to ensure that projects are completed in a timely manner and that all details are carried through. All of Centerstone’s CEOs work closely with Gwen to coordinate all enterprise-wide projects. She also works with Centerstone’s lawyers and transition teams. Gwen orchestrates all of Centerstone’s board meetings and aids the All Boards Executive Committee in planning the board conferences and board leadership summits.
Working closely with CFO Steve Holman and COO Barry Hale, she organizes audit teams, affiliations, and due diligence projects.
Gwen often serves as the organization’s de facto historian, having served in various key positions at Centerstone for more than 25 years. She graduated from Lipscomb University with a degree in Social Work.
Michael Butler – Corporate Comptroller and Treasury Officer
Michael Butler serves as Treasurer and Corporate Controller for Centerstone. He maintains Centerstone’s principal banking relationships, negotiates and monitors debt financing and cash balances, develops treasury policies and ensures the company is in compliance with bank reporting and covenant requirements.
In his role as Corporate Controller, Michael submits monthly consolidated financial statements and metrics to the CFO and Board of Directors, assists in the integration of newly affiliated organizations and provides support to the CFO and regional finance officers as needed.
He graduated from St. Bernard College in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).
Sherry Harrison, MSSW – Corporate Compliance Officer
Sherry Harrison is the Chief Compliance Officer for the Centerstone enterprise and has worked in health care compliance for nearly a decade. She is certified in Healthcare Compliance, (CHC), Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC) and Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC) through the HealthCare Compliance Association.
Sherry reports to the Chief Financial Officer of Centerstone and is accountable to the Centerstone of America Board of Directors. She administers and oversees the Centerstone Compliance Program which includes privacy and security. The Compliance/Privacy Officers in the various states, as well as the regulatory security officer, report to her.
Under Sherry’s direction, the Compliance staff work to detect and prevent improper conduct and to promote adherence to the organization’s legal and ethical obligations. Minimizing Centerstone’s financial and reputational risk is the primary focus of the Compliance department. Centerstone’s Compliance policies include the seven elements of an effective compliance program as specified by the Office of Inspector General.
Prior to joining Centerstone, Sherry had an extensive career in Tennessee State Government. Her career spanned more than 30 years and included leadership positions in the Tennessee Department of Human Services, the TennCare Bureau and the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Sherry graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s in social work.
Jodie Robison, Ph.D., LPC-MHSP, NCC – Executive Director, Centerstone’s Military Services
Jodie Robison, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Centerstone’s Military Services. With more than 18 years of behavioral health and management experience, Robison oversees Centerstone’s military-related services, programming, operations, business development and fundraising activities.
She previously served as the lead clinician for Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone and prior to that as Director of Clinical Services for Centerstone’s Military Services. She first joined Centerstone in 2007 as a behavioral health worker in Pediatric Integrated Care before establishing her own private behavioral health practice in 2012.
Robison received her master’s in counseling and personnel services from the University of Maryland and her doctoral degree in human services, social and community services from Capella University. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counseling Association and Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association.
She is a military spouse, a military parent and has collaborated with numerous military related organizations throughout her professional career.