Our Staff

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Our dedicated team of professionals is known for its talent and experience and is well-equipped to help members deal with a variety of issues. They respond appropriately to a clientele of all ages, races, educational backgrounds and income levels and focus on treating everybody with the utmost courtesy, dignity and respect.

Stacey Winter

Stacey Winter, LCMFT | CEO

Stacey Winter received her Master of Science in Family Therapy from Friends University in 1996. With over 20 years of clinical experience, Stacey spent much of her career in the child welfare system. As a clinician and as CEO of EMPAC, Stacey assists individuals, couples, families and groups through counseling, training, coaching, and consulting. Throughout her work, Stacey has focused on organizational health, building and maintaining effective teams and the impact of trauma.

Dabria VanGieson

Dabria VanGieson, LCMFT, RPT | Clinical Manager

Dabria VanGieson received her Master of Science in Family Therapy from Friends University in 2012.  Dabria is also a Registered Play Therapist who incorporates hands-on activities to help clients fully process their struggles, with special emphasis in grief, anxiety, blended family issues and trauma. She specializes in working with children, teenagers, and families. Dabria also enjoys working with first responders and is skilled in providing crisis debriefings.

Lea Aunins

Lea Aunins, LMSW | Account Manager

Lea Aunins received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Kansas State University in 1992 before earning her Master of Social Work from Wichita State University in 2013. Lea has over 25 years of experience assisting children and families in crisis, with respect for trauma informed care. She also has been focused on helping people live a balanced life through personal and financial health education. Lea has a passion for helping individuals through the aging process, including dignified end-of-life planning.

Heather Weaver

Heather Weaver | Business Development Manager

Heather Weaver received her Bachelor of Social Work from Wichita State University in 2007, her MBA from Friends University in 2017 and in 2021, became a Certified Coach Practitioner. Heather served children and families in the child welfare system for 18 years, then transitioned into Human Resources for 4 years. Heather joined the EMPAC team in September of 2020 with a clear mission of empowering leaders to increase their effectiveness and assist businesses in creating happy and healthy work cultures. 

Bridgette Miller, MS, LCMFT, LBSW

Bridgette Miller, MS, LCMFT, LBSW

Bridgette Miller received her Master of Science in Family Therapy from Friends University in 2012 and her Bachelor of Social Work from Kansas State University in 2009. Bridgette works with different client systems, including first responders, families, adults and adolescents. She is passionate about helping clients navigate potential road blocks as they learn from the past, live in the present and prepare for a more hopeful future. 

Desiree Hoetmer

Desiree Hoetmer, LMSW

Desiree Hoetmer received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2017 and her Masters of Social Work in 2020. Desiree enjoys working with a variety of different individuals from different age groups and backgrounds. With a passion for music, Desiree would eventually like to incorporate it into her practice. She uses an integrated approach of therapeutic techniques to meet the needs of her clients. 

Jabulani Sentwali

Jabulani Sentwali, LMSW

Jabulani Sentwali received his Bachelor of Social Work from Bethel College in 2005 and his Master of Social Work from Newman University in 2008. He has been trained and worked extensively with individuals, families and children coping with the effects of trauma. For more than ten years, Jabulani has served children and families within the adoption and foster care systems, specifically guiding parents with special needs youth. He is skilled in counseling teenagers and young adults.

Dung Kimble

Dung Kimble, LMSW

Dung Kimble received her Masters of Social Work in 2005 and  has over 20 years in the field. Dung's passion lies in building relationships and understanding how the neurobiology of the brain and trauma can affect our everyday lives. Dung is versed in Motivational Interviewing, has Play Therapy certification and is EMDR trained. 

Jessica Muret

Jessica Muret, LSCSW

Jessica Muret received her Master of Science in Art Therapy from Emporia State University in 2004, and her Master of Social Work in 2011. She has over fifteen years of experience working with non-profits and is versed in Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, and Restorative Practices.  Jessie has a passion for building resiliency, hope and creative healing with those she works with. She prides herself in being an advocate for at-risk populations including individuals who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, abuse and neglect.    

Michaela Lazzo

Michaela Lazzo, LPC

Michaela Lazzo received her Master of Science in Clinical Counseling from Emporia State University in 2019. Michaela has extensive training in Art Therapy and utilizes both verbal and creative means of therapeutic expression. She has been trained to work with clients of all ages, as well as families undergoing difficulties. Michaela has passion for helping clients communicate their strengths and find unique problem-solving techniques. 

Rita Buffington

Rita Buffington, LCMFT

Rita Buffington received her Master of Science in Family Therapy from Friends University in 2010. Integrating positive psychology with a strengths-based brief therapy approach, she enjoys working with individuals interested in developing mindfulness, greater self-awareness and emotion regulation. Rita counsels both adults and couples with issues such as depression, grief, life stage transitions, and marriage and relationship issues.

Jodi Brown

Jodi Brown | MSW Practicum Student

Jodi Brown received her Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and Sociology from Pittsburg State University in 1999. She is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at the University of Kansas and will graduate in July 2021. Jodi has over 20 years of experience working with children and families using a variety of techniques and skills, including trauma-informed care, restorative justice, and integrative therapeutic modalities. Jodi takes pride in helping people help themselves by providing caring, supportive guidance with a strength-based and client-driven approach. 

Renee Weissler

Renee Weissler, LMSW

Renee received her Master of Social Work from Wichita State University in 2013 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University Missouri, St. Louis. Renee's early career included corporate human resources working with all levels of personnel, and since obtaining her social work license in 2013, Renee has devoted her career to helping children, families, adults and couples recognize their own strengths and capacity to be self-aware, mindful, and part of their own solutions. Renee's favorite quote is "The greatest good you can do for others is not just to share your riches but to reveal to them their own"-Benjamin Disraeli. 

Shirelle Hysell

Shirelle Hysell | Program Services Coordinator

Prior to working at EMPAC, Shirelle worked in a number of fields such as customer services, aircraft manufacturing, drug and alcohol treatment, and prevention. Her work in these diverse organizations provided Shirelle with an understanding of various stressors employees at each level may incur along with the ability to identify and understand problems in order to resolve them. At EMPAC she manages multiple job functions to provide support to staff, companies, providers, and the clients we serve. She is passionate about family and helping those we serve understand and utilize their EAP benefits to the full extent. 

Kim Lake

Kim Lake | Administrative Assistant

Kim has been married for 25 years and has two adult sons, and a very busy pup named Zoey! Kim is passionate about all kinds of health; physical, spiritual, emotional, and social. Kim truly loves talking to and helping anyone and everyone. When she is not answering phones and caring for clients of EMPAC, you can find her walking, enjoying the outdoors, cooking for her family or just hanging out with a good book. 

Sierra Copeland

Sierra Copeland | Administrative Staff

Sierra received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Alabama in 2017. Sierra is pursuing her Master of Social Work degree through the University of Oklahoma and is expected to graduate in the fall of 2023. Her early career has included a variety of positions ranging from environmental educator to regulatory compliance analyst, but she has found her true passion lies in mental health. Sierra hopes to empower others to live bravely and authentically. 

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Ken Brown-Pratt Regional Medical Center-2021 EMPAC Board President

Greg Baker-Sedgwick County-2021 EMPAC Board Vice President

Jennifer Jones-2021 EMPAC Board Secretary

Mike Fogg-Starkey

Bryan Herwig-Vortex

Diana Little-Meritrust Federal Credit Union

Jennifer Murray-INTRUST Bank

Jenny Noone-Oxford Senior Living

Kelly Rundell-Hite Fanning & Honeyman

Carol Skaff Streckfus-Cohlmia Marketing

Nikki Vancuren-Greater Wichita YMCA

More About EMPAC

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