Board Members


Executive Officers:

Chair, Tyler Steinebach, Missoula

Identifies With Lived-Experience & Emergency Medical Services



I was born and raised in Superior, MT. I have worked and lived all over the state, as well as California, Colorado, and Hawaii. I am currently enrolled as a student of social work at the University of Montana. I got my EMT-Basic license in 2009, then my Advanced EMT license in 2014. I also carry Lead Instructor and Medications endorsements. I joined the WSAA in 2006, then started the Mineral County BHLAC later that same year and have been a member ever since. I worked closely with the Children’s System of Care Planning Committee from 2004-2007 and the Montana Tobacco Prevention Advisory Board during the same time. I was the Vice Chair of the WSAA from 2019-2020 and now the Chair until 2021. I love the outdoors and hiking in the mountains. I identify as a person with lived experience and have lived with Bi-Polar Disorder and PTSD since adolescence.


Vice-chair, Micole LaCounte, Missoula

Identifies With Lived-Experience, Peer Support Specialist, Missoula Co. LAC


Bio: I was born and raised in Missoula/Frenchtown, MT, but spent a few years in southern Oregon (2016-2020) exploring and working as an Office Manager and Intake Coordinator for a Co-Ed Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Center (OnTrack Rogue Valley)(2018-2020). While working in Oregon I received my first Peer Support Specialist License, which was the inspiration for me beginning to join in on the WSAA (and Missoula Co. LAC) meetings after moving back home. Recently I obtained my Certified Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist License with the State of Montana,  as well as completed Tyler Steinebach’s Emergency Medical Responder Course. In September I was elected into the Vice Chair position of the WSAA beginning October 2020 until September 2021. As an identified person with lived experience, I have battled with Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD since adolescence and have history of SUD.


Secretary, Denelle Pappier, Hamilton

Ravalli Co. LAC



RN, BSN, MS Counseling. I’ve been a member of the WSAA since 2008 and board secretary since 2012; and co-chair/secretary of the Bitterroot Valley LAC (BVLAC) of Ravalli County since 2005. I’m a 3rd-generation native Northern Californian and (at least) 3rd generation person living with a mental illness.
Raised in a very dysfunctional family of origin, when my son was born with autism, we moved from Tahoe City/Sacramento to the Bitterroot Valley, Montana in 1995. I’ve been unable to work as a nurse due to a series of extreme physical injuries and limitations, but enjoy creating graphic designs by computer and volunteering in my community as I can.
Since my son Jordan died by suicide in 2017 and my mother passed in 2018 after caring for her for six years with advancing dementia, I’m now living alone; but I keep too busy to be lonely!

Treasurer, Kari Auclair, Missoula

Western Montana Mental Health Center

Bio: Area Director, Region 2- Ravalli, Missoula, Granite, Powell, Deer Lodge, Beaverhead Counties

Board Members:


Beaverhead Co. LAC-

Katherine Buckley-Patton, Dillon


Katherine Buckley-Patton is newly appointed to WSAA in 2020 as the Beaverhead County Mental Health Local Advisory Council representative.  The former director of the Montana CHIP and Healthy Montana Kids Programs is retired but now active in southwest Montana supporting integrated behavioral health, trauma informed communities, and reducing underage substance use.  Katherine’s consumer/lived experience is connected to her family. She is a strong advocate for mental health services and funding.

Flathead Co. LAC-


Lake Co. LAC-

Douglas Schimmel, Polson

Lincoln Co. LAC-


Madison Co. LAC-

Claire Leonard, Virginia City

Mineral Co. LAC-

Dawn Sandberg, Superior

Missoula Co. LAC-

Kristie Black, Missoula

Pintler District LAC-


Sanders Co. LAC-


Silverbow Co. LAC-

Demetrius Fassas, Butte

Member at Large-

Brenda Desmond, Missoula

Member at Large-

Rena Ayres, Missoula


Montana native, born in the Eastern side of the state. I was blessed to have a son and daughter. My personal experience with mental illness includes a mother diagnosed with bipolar illness; a sister who was diagnosed after 18 yoa with schizophrenia; an uncle with schizophrenia, and  other relatives as well. Lots of “lived experience,” myself. I have an AAS in Medical Office Technology; current Cosmetology License; a BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) and a MSW degree (Mental health Emphasis). Have spent the most of my social work training working as an Investigative Specialists with Adult Protective Services (APS) in the Senior and Long-Term Care Division at the State of Montana in both Kalispell and Missoula. Also worked as a Probation Officer for a period of time. Now, currently enjoying “retirement”, and discovering interests from the past and present!



Consumer Org.- NAMI

Monique Casbeer, Missoula

Consumer Org.-

Sylvia Carollo, Missoula



Sylvia got involved with the WSAA about 15 years ago by the urging of a NAMI member and has been a Board member for 7 yrs. Sylvia is a person with lived experience and also has family members experiencing mental illness.She has also been a longtime member of the Missoula Local Advisory Council (LAC)  and currently serves as its Treasurer. She is a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Board member and facilitates support groups for adults living with mental illness. Sylvia’s purpose is to support, advocate, and educate people about mental illness.

Member at Large-

Doe Adair, Missoula


Dodie has lived experience with mental illness as a daughter, parent, sister as well as herself.  She has written and performed songs about her recovery with mental illness.  She served on the Board of NAMI Missoula for 2 years. She is a Peer Support Specialist and presently serves as Secretary on the Board of Hope Health Alliance, a non-profit organization which provides peer support services.

Consumer Org.-

Geri Stewart, Missoula

Family of Consumer-

Stacey Wheeler, Missoula


Stacey has participated on the Board for over 10 years, is a past Chair and Vice Chair, and currently represents Family Members.  She has lived experience, children with mental health issues, and is a provider.  Stacey has been in recovery for 25 years.  She is a licensed clinical social worker and owns her practice, Hope Consulting and Counseling.  She is Vice President and Clinical Director for the Hope Health Alliance, Inc. which  provides peer-based behavioral health services.

Peer Support Specialist-

Laurie Pope, Missoula



Laurie Pope is new to the WSAA and has jump in feet first to become one of the newest members to serve on the Board.  Laurie is a person with lived experience in mental health, addiction, homelessness, criminal justice system, and most importantly, RECOVERY!  Laurie is a CBHPSS working within the field for over 6 years who also serves on various committees and boards across the state.

 Contact for information on applying to serve on the board.