We are only able to serve our community with the dedicated work of our MHAMT Staff!

Tom Starling, Ed.D., CEO

Tom Starling, Ed.D., has served as the CEO of MHAMT since 2009.  Tom holds degrees in psychology, theology, ethics, and educational administration, and he has been a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Mediator since 2007.  He has previously served as CEO of the Middle TN Alzheimer’s Assn, as CEO of United Way of Rutherford County, and as  a university administrator and hospital chaplain for institutions in Texas and Tennessee.  Under his leadership, MHAMT has been recognized as a Health Care Hero, Best in Business, finalist in Collaboration College, and finalist for the Marvin Runyon Award.  Tom currently serves on numerous state and national boards and committees to promote mental health and wellness.

Kristina Calvin, Special Projects Coordinator

Kristina graduated magna cum laude from Volunteer State with an Associates of Science in Elementary Education. Kristina has over 10 years experience in finance and the non-profit world. She currently coordinated our professional continuing education seminars and manages our donation processing. Kristina is most proud of being a wife and mother of four beautiful children.

Jackie Cavnar, Chief Operations Officer


Vladimir Enlow, MTS, TSPN Executive Assistant

Vladimir Enlow has served as TSPN’s Executive Assistant since 2004. He is responsible for rendering assistance to the Executive Director as needed and facilitating communications between the Executive Director, the Advisory Council, TSPN members, state officials, and contacts within leading suicide prevention and mental health agencies. Vladimir holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he graduated magna cum laude with honors from the South Carolina Honors College.

Amy Burgess, Statewide Education Coordinator, Erasing the Stigma

Amy has joined MHAMT as the statewide education coordinator for the Erasing the Stigma program. Amy graduated from the U.T. College of Social Work May of 2016 with her masters of science in social work, concentrating on management, leadership, and community development.  Prior to graduating Amy worked closely with Mental Health America through her internship with Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. Amy also interned with Prevent Child Abuse TN, which heightened her skills in working with youth population and giving her a greater understanding of child and adolescent development.

Amy Dolinky, BA, East Tennessee Regional Coordinator
Prior to working with TSPN, Amy worked with Support Coordinator with Quality Support Coordination in Metairie, Louisiana, and with Easter Seals Louisiana in Thibodaux. In both positions she helped develop care plans for clients with developmental disabilities and their families, connecting them with necessary medical, physical, and psychological support.

She has also volunteered with the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children in Jefferson, Louisiana and Loyola University New Orleans, as a volunteer and advocate for victims of sexual assault. Additionally, she completed an internship with the New Orleans Family Justice Center, participating in various projects related to its domestic violence services. She has also gained considerable experience working with people with substance abuse issues. She also received extensive training in suicide prevention through her work with these groups.

Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Loyola University New Orleans, where she was a member of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society and the Loyola Society for Civic Engagement.

Misty Leitsch, BSW, BBA, Zero Suicide Coordinator

Misty Leitsch is in charge of overseeing statewide implementation of the Zero Suicide Initiative by TSPN and community partners. Before joining TSPN’s staff, she served for five years on the TSPN Advisory Council, having been appointed to this post by the Office of the Governor of Tennessee. As chair of TSPN’s Mid-Cumberland Region, Misty organized the region’s first Annual Memorial Walk and conducted numerous suicide prevention training sessions for crisis centers, behavioral health facilities, schools, businesses, and civic groups.

These duties were carried out strictly on a volunteer basis, outside of her professional involvement in the mental health field. This included her work as the Statewide Education Coordinator at the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee (now Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee), where she coordinated depression screenings and mental health education sessions for people across Middle Tennessee, including K-12 school staff. She also created and produced several public outreach workshops and curricula while in this position. Misty has also worked with other TSPN partners and allies, including New Transitions, Inc., Rolling Hills Hospital, and the Mental Health Cooperative.

Misty double-majored in Social Work and Business Administration while working on her bachelor’s degree at Belmont University in Nashville, graduating in 2007.

Mayra Frias, Multicultural Outreach Service Coordinator

Mayra Frias, is a MTSU graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She aspires to return to school to obtain her Master’s degree. She has worked three years in the mental health field and is totally fluent in both English and Spanish. She views the work of the Multicultural Outreach Program as informative, educational and supportive to persons of different cultures and backgrounds.

Sundra Harris, Erasing the Stigma Coordinator – West TN

Sundra Harris is an educator for the Erasing the Stigma program in the West TN area. Sundra has worked for this program almost 2 years. She works with elementary to high school students with social skill topics such as bullying, suicide prevention, and anger management. Her belief is: It is easier to build a child than to repair an adult.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Memphis and is the mother of two beautiful children.

Shawndell Miller, Director of Finance and Administration

Shawndell Miller has served as the Director of Finance and Administration for MHAMT since January 2011. At MHAMT she manages all finances, benefits, administration and the Back Office Support Services (B.O.S.S.) program where she manages the back office administration and finances for several local non profits. Shawndell graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2010 with a Bachelors in Management and Human Relations. Previous to coming to work with MHAMT Shawndell worked with non-profits and finance for over 12 years. She worked at the Nashville Children’s Alliance for over 9 years as the Office Manager and at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film as the Business Office Manager. Shawndell is a member of the National Human Resource Society.

Joshua Lester, MA, Director of Grants and Programming

Joshua Lester is the Director of Grants and Programming for Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee. Joshua is a Middle Tennessee State University Graduate, who has worked in non-profit Mental Health for over 5 years. In addition, Joshua has worked closely with the S.O.A.R program within Tennessee. More specifically, he has focused his work throughout Middle and East Tennessee with veterans suffering from Mental Illness and homelessness who need disability benefits. Joshua is an advocate for those who suffer from Mental Illness, with special interest in those who suffer from Mental Illness and are also involved within the criminal justice system.

Nadine Oglesby, Development Coordinator

Nadine Oglesby joined Mental Health America in 2005 and oversees all of the agency’s fundraising activities including our signature events, Jammin’ to Beat the Blues and the Jack C. Massey Leadership Award Dinner.  She coordinates donor communications, marketing, donor research, and resource development.  Nadine has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Joanne Perley, MPH, West Tennessee Regional Coordinator

A Tennessee native, the suicide death of Perley’s father in 2011 motivated her involvement with suicide prevention. She is an alumna of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she obtained a Master’s in Public Health with a primary focus on the public health approach to suicide prevention. While at UA-Birmingham, she was a graduate student volunteer with the Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Center (ASPARC), which is funded by the Garrett Lee Smith grant through the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). She is a certified QPR instructor and facilitated several training sessions on ASPARC’s behalf. She also interned with ADPH, where she worked closely with the Department, ASPARC, and UA-Birmingham to coordinate the implementation of her state’s Garrett Lee Smith grant, and was responsible for reporting and evaluating outcomes. As part of this internship, she both organized and spoke at ASPARC’s annual conference.

Additionally, Perley’s studies at UA-Birmingham included coursework on suicide prevention and injury prevention strategy, as well as a term as President of the School of Public Health Student Association.


Nancy Pertl, BSW, Aging Services Coordinator

As the Aging Service Coordinator for the Mental Health America of Mental Tennessee for the last 10 years, Nancy directs the Alzheimer’s/dementia education programs, provides information and referrals for the aging population and leads a support group for caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Nancy has 30 plus years working with families and holds a BS degree in Social Work from Bemidji University in MN.  Prior to accepting this position Nancy was Social Service Director at Head Start in Hannibal, MO.

Scott Ridgway, MS, TSPN Executive Director

Scott Ridgway has served as Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network’s Executive Director since 2001. He works closely with TSPN’s gubernatorially appointed Advisory Council to implement suicide prevention strategies within the state of Tennessee. He also serves on the Steering Committee for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Scott has been involved numerous community agencies and organizations over the past several years. A dedicated volunteer, he frequently advocates for others through the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Foster Care Review Board, the Nashville Citizen’s Police Alumni Association, Leadership Donelson-Hermitage group and by serving as a surrogate parent for Metro Nashville Public Schools. Scott holds a Master’s of Science in Public Service Management from Cumberland University and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.