Thriving With ADHD SymposiumFeatured Presenters
Nurse Practitioner, ADHD Life Coach, Founder–International ADHD Coach Training Center
Laurie Dupar is a Senior Certified ADHD Coach, a Certified Mentor Coach and trained Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. At Coaching for ADHD, she combines her coaching and medical training to offer specialized ADHD Coaching for clients that is rooted in an understanding of how the ADHD brain works and a deep appreciation for the gifts that come along with it. She is the creator and editor of the ADHD Awareness Book Project and author of Brain Surfing & 31 Other Awesome Qualities of ADHD and Unlock the Secrets to Your Entrepreneurial Brain Style. In 2015 she founded the international ADHD Coach Training Center (IACT Center) where she trains and mentors emerging ADHD Coaches to help them build a successful and profitable coaching business they love.
Lawrence Choy, MD
Medical Director, Elite Focus Clinic
A San Francisco native, Dr. Choy earned his Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from UC Berkeley, where he graudated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Molecular and Cell Biology. He studied Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he returned home to the Bay Area to complete his medical and psychiatry training at Stanford.
After finishing his schooling and training, Dr. Choy learned that he himself has adult ADHD. Discovering his own diagnosis after struggling through years of living with a disorder unbeknowst to him, he has made it his personal and professional commitment to help others recognize and manage the lifelong condition. His unique treatment approach incorporates the most up-to-date medication strategies, while combining his expertise in clinical neuroscience, psychotherapy, and wellness practices.
Thriving with ADHD Symposium Co-Executive Director, ADHD Coach
Judy Beth Brenis attended the ADD Coaching Academy, graduating with a AAC designation, and has been working with teens and adults with ADHD since 2000. She also runs two ADHD Support Groups, one for Adults with ADHD and one for parents of children and young adults with ADHD.. She is also the author of ADHD Heroes. Judy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Kent State University and worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer for many years. Judy’s interest in ADHD began when her now 28-year-old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5. She is passionate about helping clients develop the tools and strategies to overcome challenges and acknowledge the strengths and hidden gifts ADHD brings. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Judy moved to La Selva Beach, CA, in 1985 where she lives with her husband, two Golden Retrievers, and whichever of her three daughters happens to be visiting at the moment.
Hannah Jones, MA, ACC
Thriving with ADHD Symposium Co-Executive Director, ADHD Coach
After many years of teaching high school English, most recently at Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills, where she served as English Department Chair, Hannah transitioned to ADHD and Executive Function coaching in Summer of 2017. Her own midlife diagnosis of ADHD inspired Hannah to undergo ADHD coach training through JST Coaching and to start her own business, Seabright Coaching. Hannah coaches both teens and adults with ADHD and Executive Function challenges, focusing on leveraging the wonderful strengths of ADHD while developing strategies to overcome the frustrations. Hannah holds a BA in English from Oberlin College, and an MA in American Studies from the University of Southern Maine. She earned her ACC in June of 2017. Hannah loves reading, creative writing, playing tennis, and singing in her band, Honeytone.
Gerard Chambers, Psy.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Gerard Chambers has served children, adolescents and adults with a multitude of mental health concerns. Most of his career has been focused on the neuropsych evaluation of mental disorders. Dr. Chambers trained under renowned behavioral psychologist and Autism expert Dr. Charles Stevens. Dr. Stevens is the psychologist that worked with the original “Rainman,” the basis of the 1980’s movie that highlighted the life of the autistic savant. Dr. Chambers also has an extensive forensic background and appeared as a guest forensic expert on the LMN show Killer Kids Season 3, Episode 3. He also lectures nationally and has been an adjunct faculty at Eastern Florida State College since 2004 teaching online, on campus and hybrid classes in the subject areas of Abnormal Psychology, Human Adjustment, Developmental Psychology and General Psychology.
Rachael Barretto, LCSW
Elite Focus Clinic
Rachael is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Elite Focus Clinic where she works with individuals and couples diagnosed with ADHD and struggling with executive function deficits. She is passionate about walking with people on their personal journeys, and believes in celebrating every success, whether big or small.
Throughout her career, she has worked in a variety of roles including case manager, clinician, and program manager where she has been able to work on program redesign, professional staff development, and improving processes and program efficiency. Additionally, Rachael provides clinical supervision to individuals working toward licensure.
Rachael earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in criminal justice at CSU Bakersfield, and obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work from San Jose State University.
Trainer at Reinvention Fitness
Doug Barsanti of Reinvention Fitness, has a Masters of Kinesiology and has worked in the fitness industry for more than 10 years. Currently he is a personal trainer at Toadal Fitness, and leads core training and running/walking mechanics at Fleet Feet Sports in Aptos.
During his fitness career, Doug has designed Cross Training and Fit For Life programs at Precision Wellness Center in Santa Cruz, worked in Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab at Dominican Hospital and CHOMP, developed a fitness and injury prevention program for Santa Cruz City Fire Dept., was an adjunct Kinesiology faculty at Cabrillo College and is a contributor to Women’s Health, Shape and Men’s Journal magazines.
Counselor and Faculty Member, Cabrillo College
Peggy Church has been a college counselor serving students with ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and other learning disabilities for over twenty years. Currently, she is a counselor and faculty member in the Accessibility Support Center at Cabrillo College. Previously, she was the Director of the Disability Resource Center at UCSC for over twelve years. During that time she built a strengths-based college success course and a peer mentoring program. She also enjoyed teaching study skills and counseling students with disabilities at San Jose State College, West Valley College, and Monterey Peninsula College.
Deborah Smith is a local professional organizer dedicated to helping her clients achieve a less stressful environment through sustained order. Her goal is to find solutions which will enrich their day to day lives by establishing long term methods to reduce and control everyday clutter. She aims to create order where there is chaos.
Deborah works with clients at all stages of life, many of whom have ADHD and other Executive Functioning challenges. She treats everyone and their projects with sensitivity and an non-judgmental perspective.
Deborah services Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties and is a green organizer who will donate your unwanted items to charity.
Director, Developmental Learning Solutions
John Fleming has a Master’s degree in Special Education with concentrations in Learning Disabilities, and in Emotional Disturbances that Affect Learning. He was Coordinator of the Cognitive Development Program at the Reading Center of George Washington University, and helped develop the Educational Therapy certificate program at the University of California-Santa Cruz Extension Program where he teaches.
In his role as director of Developmental Learning Solutions, he oversees a staff of more than two dozen learning professionals. He also provides direct consultation, therapy, and in-depth training. He also works as an advisor and board member to schools that serve students with learning differences.
Michelle Mason, Ph.D.
Founder and Director, Mason Educational Mentoring
Michelle Mason, founder and director of Mason Educational Mentoring, has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, an M.A. in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and four teaching credentials and certificates.
Michelle has a passion for helping and motivating struggling learners. As a teacher, she saw that many students were not getting the assistance they needed to thrive at school. This is why Dr. Mason decided to start Mason Educational Mentoring, LLC. For each child, she develops an individualized learning plan to help them meet their potentials. She also advocates for children to get the services and programs that will help them succeed.
Dr. Mason has over a decade of experience working as a teacher, tutor, and a university professor. As an educator, Dr. Mason taught K-8 grades as well as undergraduates. She has published papers and presented at national and international conferences on achievement motivation (motivation for learning and excelling at school), love of learning (exploring what it is and how to define it), and teacher attrition. Her research focuses on how environments affect motivation in school and love of learning.
Deanna Kim is an Educational Therapist specializing in academic coaching and math interventions. Currently she provides her services at Summit Center, Walnut Creek. Deanna’s passion is to empower adolescents to grow in executive functioning skills through collaborating with parents, for which she coined the term T.O.P.S.skills (Time Management, Organization, Planning, and Self-Understanding). Deanna graduated with a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.A. from the University of San Francisco, and an Educational Therapy Certification from Holy Names University. A lifelong learner at her core, she continues to set goals and build sustainable habits. On the weekends, she loves to ride bikes, play board games, or snuggle and read with her twins.
Leslie Tremaine is a human services administrator with a 40 plus year career primarily in public mental health and substance abuse services. In leading several state and local systems, she has focused on how community resources could work in a collaborative manner to improve the quality of life for all of those affected by these conditions. As county director here in Santa Cruz she continued this focus working closely with criminal justice, primary care, social services, education, and housing/employment services to bring together needed resources and supports. Now semi retired, Leslie continues this focus on more integrative approaches by serving as a mindfulness teacher in a range of settings, working with educators, Homeless Service Center staff, and caregivers as well as older people in retirement facilities. Her work builds on research regarding the effectiveness of mindfulness skills in enhancing well being for people affected by a range of mental health and substance abuse conditions.
As the sandwiched middle of three generations with ADHD in her own family, Donna has learned a lot about being an adult with the disorder. Donna was diagnosed with ADHD only when her children received their diagnoses and after half a century of coping and compensating without knowing why she had struggled. Donna has worked with NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) for three and a half years, providing mental health outreach, recruiting and training speakers, and sharing her own lived experience in high schools and colleges around the county. NAMI’s education program provides warning signs for mental illness and suicide and challenges students to help end the stigma of mental illness by talking about it so people will get the help they need when they need it. In addition to helping her own teens navigate the daily challenges of ADHD, Donna also provides resources to, co-facilitiates and handles the social media for the Santa Cruz ADHD Support Group. Appreciating her differently wired brain has led Donna on some wild adventures that a neurotypical person would never have imagined.
Diane Berry-Wahrer and Team
Team Manager, Department of Rehabilitation Services
Diane Berry-Wahrer has a B.A. in Special Education and Masters of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Iowa. After completing her B.A., she worked as a Special Education teacher in New Orleans for several years and then returned to graduate school. For the past 24 years, she has worked for the California Department of Rehabilitation; 13 years as a counselor and 11 years as a Supervisor/Manager. She is a past Board Member of SPIN (Special Parents Information Network) and a parent of an adult son with ADD and Learning Disabilities.
Diane, along with two of her co-workers, Diana Rodriguez, Vocational Counselor; and Scott Winslow, Work Incentive Planner; will be presenting on the services the Department of Rehabilitation provides and how to access them. They will also share information about new student services for in-school youth 16-21.