The work we do at Pathways To Promise is crucial in creating inclusive and supportive environments for individuals facing mental health challenges and those who support them. Our staff members and trainers are committed to making a positive impact nationwide by using their expertise and skills to serve faith communities and other organizations. Meet the team behind our success.
National Trainers Directory
George Williams, PhD
Dr. George Williams, with over 24 years in the social helping profession, passionately promotes mental health. His extensive experience and commitment benefit faith-based and community organizations. Having personally navigated the intersection of faith and mental illness, he deeply understands the challenges faced by individuals and families. Dr. Williams holds a Ph.D. in Family Studies from Kansas State University and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University. His specialization includes research, theory, assessment, evaluation, and practice in mental health and human relationships. Dr. Williams has served in pivotal roles as the Executive Director of the Urban Father-Child Partnership at the National Center for Fathering, the Director of Addiction and Prevention Services, and Assistant Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Kansas Department for Children and Families. Additionally, he has contributed to the welfare of foster youth as the Executive Director of Avery’s Village Youth Residential Center and Deputy Director of Kansas Foster Care at Cornerstones of Care. Advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Williams actively engages in volunteer work. As an expert in impactful learning experiences, Dr. Williams designed national, state, and local curricula. He firmly believes that mental health support is a social justice issue, an urgent matter of saving lives that demands innovative action. Dr. Williams and the Board of Directors aim to revolutionize access to mental health support programs for anyone, anywhere. In his personal life, Dr. Williams is a lifelong learner, enjoying roles as a do-it-yourself car mechanic, bicyclist, writer, and guitarist. An active member of Crosspoint Community Church, he and his wife Trudy, with three adult sons and a daughter, reside in the greater Kansas City area.
Annette Miller, mBA
Director of Operations
Annette Miller enjoys serving at the intersection of mental health and faith. She oversees the departments of Pathways and supports administrative functions. Annette serves as the primary contact for our programs, including Companionship. With a background in small businesses and startups, she brings valuable experience in operations, leadership consulting, and executive coaching. In addition to her role at our organization, Annette actively contributes to mental wellness initiatives. She is a member of the Mental Wellness Interfaith Alliance of North Texas and is a trained Stephen Minister. Her diverse experiences include life coaching, acting as a peer facilitator for a mental health support group, and being an author. Among her writing projects are spotlights in college textbooks, the development of the healthy brain workshop curriculum, and a workbook on her life coaching best practices. Annette openly shares her lived experience with mental health issues through speaking engagements. As an engaged member of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, known for its emphasis on inclusion and social justice, she founded the Chronic and Undiagnosed Illness Community Support Group at Wilshire. Beyond her professional endeavors, Annette enjoys hosting murder mystery parties based in Paris and indulging in knitting. She resides in North Texas with her husband, Rich, and Schnoodle, Pixie Dust.
Abi Dodrill brings over a decade of experience assisting non-profits, businesses, and churches with their marketing needs. In recent years, she has extended her commitment by dedicating time to running a Little Free Pantry and actively participating in committees through her church and the broader community. As a trained social worker, she recognizes the crucial need for mental health support and loves contributing to the vital and life changing work at Pathways to Promise. In her role, Abi's responsibilities encompass a range of tasks, including email communications and editorial support for both Mental Health Ministries newsletters and Pathways to Promise. She manages the Pathways to Promise and Mental Health Ministries' social media presence on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and creates graphics for promotions and fundraising efforts. Additionally, Abi provides essential support for various communication and marketing needs. Abi shares the joy of parenting with her husband, Matt. Together, they are raising four children – Paisley, Adeline, Silas, and Mabel Anne – along with their two dogs, Vinny and Clementine.
Jane Bustos brings a wealth of experience and dedication to her role as a part-time assistant at Pathways to Promise. Retired after a 37-year career in education spanning both Indiana and Texas, Jane's expertise encompasses a diverse range of age groups, from Pre-K to adult education. Her background includes working with special education and gifted students, showcasing her versatility and commitment to fostering educational growth. Beyond her contributions to education, Jane has also served as a group home manager for disabled adults and as a church secretary. In her leisure time, Jane finds joy and cherishes moments with family and friends, engaging in church activities, and enjoys hiking, bicycling, and fishing.
Amy McNicholas, MA, LCPC
Amy McNicholas partners with and supports faith-based communities around issues of mental health and emotional well-being. This entails consulting with faith leaders on issues they are facing with their members and communities; strengthening faith communities to be places that reduce stigma around mental health issues and offer support and care; advocating for policies and funding that support health equity. Amy is a licensed clinical professional counselor with a Master's degree in clinical psychology with a focus on trauma. For the past 10 years, she has specialized in working with children, adults, and families coping with trauma and grief. Amy has provided clinical consultation, training, advocacy and education to medical teams, schools, and community agencies throughout the Chicagoland area and throughout the country.
Dr. Darryl T. Jenkins
National Trainer Apprentice
Dr. Darryl T. Jenkins brings over 30 years of expertise in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, Health, and Wellness Advising, as well as Executive Level Coaching and Facilitation. His extensive career spans Fortune 500 companies, where he held key leadership positions and led diverse information technology teams across North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. As a consultant, Dr. Jenkins has played a pivotal role in organizational transformation, working with clients such as Elgin Community College, Judson University, Wheaton College, Rush University Medical Center, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Advocate Hospital, Alive Faith Network, and various State and Local Government Agencies. He specializes in developing strategic DE&I assessments, facilitating executive DE&I councils, creating metrics, and leading DE&I implementation teams. Dr. Jenkins is a National Trainer in Mental Health First Aid and a Companionship instructor, having trained and coached professionals and community faith leaders in DE&I competencies. He has trained 300 professionals in leadership, mental health first aid, EEO, change management, benchmarking, customer service, and information technologies. Currently serving as the President of the Judson University Board of Trustees in Elgin, Illinois, Dr. Jenkins is a published author and professional consultant to both corporate and non-profit sectors. His board leadership at Judson University resulted in significant achievements, including securing $11.84 million in gifts, launching new academic programs, and supporting initiatives like RISE – Road to Independent Living, Spiritual Formation, and Employment for differently-abled students. In addition to his leadership roles, Dr. Jenkins is a facilitator, consultant, and subject matter expert in information technology, robotics, and machine automation ethics. He serves on the Rush-University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine's Community Advisory and Review Council, contributing to collaborative efforts with various institutions and securing substantial grants. As a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Dr. Jenkins actively contributes to trauma-informed and resiliency training. Beyond his professional commitments, he is deeply involved in social, civic, and global causes, volunteering in countries such as Nairobi, Kenya, Uganda, Belize, Burma, Haiti, India, Ukraine, and the U.S.A. In his leisure time, Dr. Jenkins enjoys quality moments with his wife and family, exploring different cultures and arts, engaging in outdoor activities like fishing and golfing, and pursuing his passion for photography.
Dr. Keely Holland Petty
National Trainer Apprentice
Dr. Keely Petty joyfully shares her life with her husband Pastor Lee Petty of Bethel Int’l Christian Fellowship and their family Jirah, Jonathan, Fallon, two grands. She is the founder and CEO of Kick Start Your Life™ with Dr. Keely! A global wellness coaching, counseling, and consulting firm with an acute focus on Trauma and Mental Health. She is blazing trails in BIPOC congregations, and among faith leaders helping to dismantle silence, stigma, and shame. Dr. Keely is a highly sought after and recognized educational expert and trainer in trauma and mental health bridging the gap between BIPOC Churches and mental health resources, and support. Dr. Keely has earned certifications as a Mental Health Instructor, Master Life Coach, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Temperament Therapy, Mindfulness Practitioner, Recovery Coach, Psychological First AID, Spiritual First AID, SafeTALK, ASIST, Sanctuary Mental Health, certified Psychological First AIDER, ACE Interface Trainer of Trainers, Crisis Prevention Verbal De-escalation Specialist, Certified Epigenetics Coach, and so much more! She serves on the board Center for Health Care Services Foundation, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness San Antonio Community Mental Health Wellness Network. Dr. Keely serves as the Faith-Based Lead with the South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium (STTICC) as the Trainer Coordinator with the WestCare Foundation Trauma Informed Ministry Model Trainer (TIMM) program. She is a graduate of The University of Incarnate Word with a BA in Communication Arts, a Master’s, and Doctorate Degree in Christian Counseling from the Royal Priesthood, and a graduate of Light University, the FBI and DEA Citizens Academy. She is a professional clinical member of the National Christian Counselors Association, the American Association of Christian Counselors, and the National Cognitive Behavior Therapists. Dr. Keely has received numerous awards for her service in uplifting the human spirit.
National Trainer Apprentice
Rita Rippentrop is currently the owner and therapist at a private counseling practice, Courageous Counseling Services based in St. Charles, Illinois. Rita holds a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor license in the state of Illinois, having completed a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. Rita has worked in the mental health field for over 25 years, as a clinician, group facilitator, conflict resolution ministry, school counselor, mental health awareness coalitions, and has held some leadership positions in corporate healthcare, community based mental health organizations, and private mental health practice. Being passionate about raising awareness around mental health and wellness and reducing the stigma around mental health challenges, Rita is honored to be a part of the Pathways to Promise National Trainer team. One of the community coalitions she has served with is Interfaith Mental Health Coalition (IMHC) in Illinois. Through their work together, Rita became familiar with Pathways to Promise and has been involved in the Companionship model for many years. She brings a warm and compassionate demeanor to the role of trainer.
Rev. Mark Stephenson
National Trainer Apprentice
Mark Stephenson’s journey has given him a big heart for the mental health challenges that people face, and it has given him great joy to serve on the board of Pathways to Promise since 2006 in his mission to connect mental health, faith, and culture. Mark is passionate about his faith, and the ways faith commitments and faith communities can help individuals with mental health challenges flourish. Like the undertow along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, anxiety pulled at him and sometimes threatened him throughout his life. For much of his life, Mark tried to deny its existence, and once he was fully aware of its presence, he tried to eliminate it, but that was impossible. In recent years, Mark has finally learned that, like the common presence of undertow and rip currents in Lake Michigan, he needs to make peace with his anxiety and live with it in his journey with family, friends, and fellow believers. Taking the Enneagram a few years ago helped him immensely in this regard. (Mark is an Enneagram 6.) Ordained as a Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed denomination in 1989, Mark served as a pastor of two congregations for 17 years. He recently retired after serving another 16 years as a leader of Christian Reformed denominational ministries, primarily Disability Concerns, helping congregations engage healthily with people with disabilities and mental health challenges. Early on, Mark coined Disability Concerns’s tagline “Everybody belongs. Everybody serves.” to describe in a few words what that healthy engagement looks like. Having a heart for people at the margins, he also served as interim director of his denomination’s ministries of race relations, social justice, and chaplaincy. Mark has two advanced theological degrees, and has two units of training in Clinical Pastoral Education. He is a certified Companionship workshop leader, serves various volunteer roles in his local multicultural congregation, serves his denomination as a facilitator for Race Relations training events, and is a Sandan (third degree black belt) in Shorin Ryu karate. Mark and his wife have lived in west Michigan most of their lives. They have five living children, and one child who passed away. Their oldest daughter lives joyfully with severe, multiple disabilities, and they adopted their youngest child when he was 19 years old. Two of their children are married, and they take great delight in their three grandsons.