Board of Directors / Advisory Council
Mandy grew up in a divorced home in a small Indiana town. She survived many bad teenage decisions, landed at Indiana University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Criminal Justice, minor in Psychology. Mandy has been happily married to her best friend, Matt, for 21 years and they’re raising two teens in Texas. Mandy worked in the legal field for 15 years and for the past 10 years, also volunteered in various positions at her home church with a focus on serving families (an emphasis on parent/child relationship) and leadership development.
This whole nextTalk adventure started when Mandy’s oldest child asked a highly sexualized question in 2013. This was a lightbulb moment and set Mandy on a new, unexpected path. She created a mom’s group in her church that grew from 20 to 200 within three short semesters. At the same time, her online mom’s group exploded to thousands of moms from all over the world (no marketing, just word of mouth). Mandy was asked to speak on TV and radio.
As Mandy continued on this journey, it became apparent to her there was a paradigm shift in parenting we must recognize to safely raise our kids in this digital world. Cyberparenting isn’t about rules and restrictions, but about relationship. She discovered the key is a simple solution – open communication – but the process of achieving it is complicated and time-consuming. It needs to start early, even before the tween years. Mandy often continues to mess up as a parent, but is finding valuable lessons in those mistakes. She’s awake and alert now, ready to face the issues our children face today caused by early online exposure. Mandy explores all these issues (with a topics list where she addresses transgender, sexuality, sex, social media, etc.) and shares personal stories and conversation starters in her book, TALK: A Practical Approach to Cyberparenting and Open Communication, which released in Feb 2017. In Jan 2019, Mandy’s book was awarded first place in family/parenting category by the 2019 Illumination Awards (alongside best-selling authors Bob Goff, Anne Graham Lotz, Kathie Lee Gifford, Pope Francis and Lysa TerKeurst).
Mandy’s most recent book, Keeping Kids Safe in a Digital World: A Solution That Works, released in Sept 2020 and has already been recognized by the 2021 Illumination Awards. Mandy takes the complex issue of raising kids in a digital culture and breaks it down into three simple chapters: the new problem parents face, a solution that works and ten practical ideas for implementing the solution in our homes.
Partner at Slattery Perkins Ramirez, Michael’s primary areas of focus include counseling owners and executives of closely held businesses and other high net worth individuals on their personal financial issues, including estate planning, wealth transfer, and income tax planning techniques. He also plays the role of a virtual CFO for many of his clients. His favorite thing about S|P is the people. He considers his team his extended family, and that makes all his hard work so much easier.
In his pre-partner days, Michael worked in the tax consulting group at Ernst & Young after earning his BBA and MPA (Masters in Professional Accounting) at the UT Austin Red McCombs School of Business. While in school, Michael received two endowed scholarships, received the Federation of Schools of Accountancy Award in recognition of superior academic achievement, leadership, and professionalism in post-baccalaureate accounting education, and was consistently on the Dean’s List. He also earned the “Top Ten Award” from the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for scoring one of the top ten cumulative scores in the State of Texas on the CPA exam.
Kim graduated from the University of Hawaii with a dual degree in broadcast journalism and family resources with the intent of using media as a way of bringing information and resources to families. She spent 15 years in radio production, with 10 as a morning-show host on The Fish, 95.5 FM. She was the promotions director for various radio stations and worked in sales and marketing for Salem Communications in San Antonio, Texas. Kim was the marketing director and tour guide for a travel agency that took her around the world. She also acted as a sales and counseling trainer for Jenny Craig. She has been in ministry leadership at her home church for more than 10 years, and she has volunteered her time to create marketing campaigns for various organizations including the American Heart Association.
Kim and her husband, Charles, of 19 years were part of a pre-marital counseling team that created and led marriage conferences for New Hope, Oahu (one of the largest churches in America). She is passionate about teaching practical tools for a healthy marriage based on open communication and reducing the stigma of counseling.
Kim spends her time moving the train behind the scenes all while parenting her three children (ages 11, 9 and 6). She enjoys the challenges and rewards of homeschooling. Kim is a self-proclaimed foodie and dance-party mama; she is comfortable with the fact that coffee is her non-Jesus-life-force.
Advisory Council: Celeste Inman, MEd, LPC-S, RPT-S
Celeste has a passion and joy working with young children, which led to her earning her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies from the University of North Texas (UNT) in 2000. While there, she learned about their well-known Play Therapy program, so stayed to continue and received her Master’s degree in Counseling in 2004. Celeste is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and is a Clinical Member of the Association for Play Therapy. She is an LPC clinical supervisor for Master’s Level interns who are accruing their practice hours for Licensure. Celeste also co-owns, alongside with best friend and business partner Annie Viers, The Vine Wellness Group, a collaborative mental health and wellness practice in San Antonio. She was born and raised in San Antonio, is married and has two children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, being outdoors and attempting to do something crafty! Not only does she specialize in working with children as young as 2, but also enjoys working with adolescents, parents and other adults.
Advisory Council: Jaime Mershon, MA, LPC
Jamie is a born and raised Iowa dairy farm girl. After graduating college with a teaching degree, she took an elementary teaching job in the Northside Independent School District of San Antonio, TX. It was in the classroom that God took hold of her heart and gave her the “why” to pursuing counseling! Jamie’s passion is meeting people in their brokenness and providing hope, healing and freedom through practical tools, scripture, and her 15 years of working with families! She works with a holistic approach & practice from the lens of mind, body & spirit. She practices Cognitive Behavior therapy, which is effective in treating both anxiety & depression. Additionally, she is trauma-informed. Jamie is a mom to three little gals and wife to her gentle giant husband, Michael (he’s 6’8)! When she’s not at home loving on her littles, you can find her in the counseling chair as a licensed professional counselor with coffee in hand.
Advisory Council: Charles Elerick, Assistant Principal
Charles graduated from the University of Hawaii with a BA in accounting, obtained his teaching certificate and then earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler. Charles has taught and coached middle and high school students for 19 years and currently serves as a vice principal in a public middle school. Charles has volunteered with nextTalk for the last five years and uses his parenting experience and expertise working directly with students to speak in schools for nextTalk. In March 2021 nextTalkDAD was launched with Charles and Matt Majors as the hosts. Charles has been happily married to Kim for 19 years, and they’re raising three young kids in San Antonio, TX.
Advisory Council: Annie Viers, MA, LMFT-S, LPC-S
Annie Viers is a native Texan who in 2008 joined forces with a childhood friend, Celeste Inman, to create The Vine Wellness Group, a collaborative mental health and wellness private practice that focuses on the holistic treatment of individuals and familes. In 1998, Annie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Baylor University (Sicem’ Bears!) and continued with earning her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, which she received from St. Mary’s University in 2001. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is an LPC clinical supervisor for Master’s Level Interns who are accruing their practice hours for Texas licensure, as well as an LMFT supervisor for LMFT Associates. Along with her colleagues, Annie enjoys spending time outside the office speaking on a variety of mental health and wellness topics to the community and other professionals. In her free time, we enjoys traveling with her family and sharing a meal with her life long friends!
Advisory Council: Dr. Robin L. Womack, MD
Robin is a board-certified Ob-Gyn physician in private practice in San Antonio. She received her B.S. degree from Texas &&M University and her M.D. from The University of Texas Houston Medical School. She completed her residency at The University of New Mexico where she was the Junior Fellow Chair of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New Mexico Chapter. This is where she met her husband, fellow physician, James Womack.
Robin and James have been happily and busily married for 16 years and have 2 children ages 11 and 9. When she is not driving kids all over creation, Robin enjoys wake surfing, triathlons, and painting with the kids.
Robin is passionate about educating and motivating the young women and mothers she sees in practice at Northeast Ob-Gyn Associates. In her medical residency, she was awarded the Teaching Award each year of her training, as her passion to teach others shone. She discovered nextTalk when her children showed a growing interest in the internet. She saw the need to teach herself and her fellow mothers a pathway to navigate the changing landscape of child protection and empowerment.