About Our Team

Part of what makes IA great is the amazing staff that help you each step of the way. From our Intake Coordinators to the Directors, each member plays an important role to making sure you get the service you need.

“I do not know that my daughter would still be with us today had Innovative Alternatives not stepped up and helped. I am so grateful for everyone who helped. These people truly have a passion to make a difference and change lives.”

Christina, Mother & Innovative Alternative Client

Executive Staff

Sharon Bayus

President/CEO

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Ryan Corn

Director of Operations

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Debbie Corn

Director of Finance

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Eunice Contreras

Director of Clinical Services

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Jacquelyn Poteet

Director of Santa Fe

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Counseling Staff

Shelly Anugeetika

LPC-Associate

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Connie Austin

MA, LPC-S, LPA, Mediator

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Susan Battle

LCSW

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Lisa Cambiano

MS, LMFT, LPC-S

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Gee Carey

MA, LPC-S, CMC

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Lee Cox

Ph.D, LPC-S

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Anthony Gress

Training Coordinator

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Kelly King

Mediator & Trainer

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Jesus Montelongo

MA, LPC, Mediator

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Jennifer Kuhl

MA, LPC, RPT

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Harriet McCune

MS, LPC

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Meghan Stang

MS, LPC, LCDC, NCC, EMDR trained, Mediator

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Jamee Wilson

MA, LPC, Mediator

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Angela Martinez

MA, LPC-Associate

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Brent Rucker

LPC, Mediator

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Hope Otto

LPC-Associate

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Dina Abdelrahman

LPC-Associate, MA

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Cesilia Mejia

Clinical Intern

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Lakisha Hayes

Clinical Intern

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Gloria Ntela

Clinical Intern

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Jacqueline Holt

Clinical Intern

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Administrative Staff

Silkia Carmona

Data Analyst

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Jose Gonzalez

Office Manager

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Marlene Guzman

Intake Coordinator

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Naarai Sanchez

Intake Coordinator

Shelia Martinez

Intake Coordinator

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Vanessa Morales

Finance Assistant

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Elizabeth Trejo Robertson

Victim Advocate

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Karen Sorto

Intake Coordinator

Cindy Moreno

Intake Coordinator

Recent Blog Posts

Learn about what we have been talking about and what’s coming up soon at Innovative Alternatives, Inc.

2019 Visionary Leader’s Award Winner

2019 Visionary Leader’s Award Winner

Innovative Alternatives is proud to honor Jennifer Hohman at its upcoming Legacy of Leadership 30th Anniversary Gala on February 22, 2019, in the Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom at the prestigious University of Houston. Jennifer Hohman is a wife, mom and native...

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If you are interested in more information, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

Sharon Bayus

Sharon is the founder, President and CEO of Innovative Alternatives, Inc., a nonprofit agency that serves our community through mediation and counseling programs.

Ryan Corn

In 2010, Ryan started volunteering with Innovative Alternatives helping in the finance department.

In 2011, Ryan was approached by leadership about a job opening. He accepted a position as Billing and Credentialing Coordinator.

In 2013, Ryan was promoted to Office Manager and IT Liaison while still representing the agency as Billing and Credentialing Coordinator.

In 2019, Ryan was promoted to Director of Operations.

Ryan has over 10 years of managerial and administrative experience. He performs daily accounting and insurance-related activities to meet the facility’s billing demands, maintains office services by organizing office operations and procedures, collects and processes significant amounts of verification and accreditation information, and thus must constantly maintain and update accurate databases for both practitioners and facilities, and more.

He sees internal and external customers not as people to satisfy but simply as people. He doesn’t see customers as numbers. They're real people who have real needs. And he gains a real sense of fulfillment and purpose from taking care of those needs.

Debbie Corn

When I came to IA in 2008 I was lost and in need of a miracle. It seemed everywhere I looked there was sadness and hurt. God knew exactly what I needed. I needed to see and experience miracles first hand. A young person came to IA and I remember thinking to myself, this child will never survive this kind of hurt and I was so fearful I would hear they had taken their life. After a few months of counseling at IA this broken child walked into the waiting room one day with the biggest smile on their face and head raised high. I had my miracle and this child is only one of many that IA has helped become survivors. This is the reason I love IA and will always be a part of this place where miracles do happen and hope is a phone call away no matter what time it is.

Eunice Contreras

Eunice is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Anger Resolution Therapist, Employee Assistance Specialist – Clinical and a board approved MA, LPC-S.

Jacquelyn Poteet

Jacquelyn has acquired over 10 years experience working in various settings including outpatient clinics, residential treatment centers, and schools. She specializes in addressing blended families, trauma, abuse, self-harm, and parenting issues.

Shelly Anugeetika

Our mental health defines our happiness and success in more ways than we can imagine. Disruptions often occur if we have failed to care for our mental well-being which most often than not lead to bigger life crisis.

Fit individuals make healthy and sound life decisions which makes our society piece by piece and individual by individual a strong and well system. To err is human but to return stronger from any hurt sometimes require help of others. As a therapist I provide my clients with real observations and believe that they are whole beings with great capabilities.

I have worked with a range of population with issues including anxiety, adjustment problems, substance use, depression and psychosis.

Connie Austin

Connie has provided counseling and assessment services to individuals and families for over 20 years. She specializes in trauma, adult survivors or sexual and physical abuse, and domestic violence.

Susan Battle

Susan works with adult survivors of trauma, including dissociation, which is usually accompanied by substance abuse or process addictions such as sex, food, or repeated toxic relationships. Survivors often feel as if their situation is hopeless, and Susan is happy to inform them that it is treatable; childhood or adult abuse/trauma doesn’t have to define their lives. Susan loves watching the progress of new clients who believe their lives will be forever limited by their trauma, and Susan is  honored to accompany them on their journey to recovery.

Susan has 28 years of very diverse experience, from working with active-duty service members and veterans from all four branches of the military, addicts, sex offenders, non-military trauma survivors, and Susan worked as clinical director of an inpatient substance abuse rehab for male felony drug offenders. Susan was trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) by the Army in 2009 and have used this extraordinary therapy for the past 11 years. And Susan has extensive knowledge of 12-step support groups.

Specialties:

  • PTSD/trauma treatment
  • Addictions
  • Military trauma (combat-related, childhood abuse and MST: military sexual trauma)

Treatment orientation:

  • EMDR therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Rational-Emotive therapy

Fun Facts, etc.
Susan’s specialty training was in EMDR and in treating Complex PTSD with and without dissociation is my superpower, and Susan will be certified in EMDR in 2021. What many people don’t know about Susan is that Susan is an animal lover/fanatic; Susan has volunteered for many years at animal shelters, rescue groups and a ranch. Susan would have loved to train both her Great Pyrenees and Mini Dachshund as therapy dogs, but they didn’t share her enthusiasm. Susan is interested in animal-assisted therapy; dogs and horses have wonderful healing abilities. Susan has worked with a program in San Antonio which trained shelter dogs as service animals and paired them with service members with PTSD, and Susan has seen many miracles happen.

Lisa Cambiano

Lisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 10 years of experience in providing individual, group and family therapy.  She has worked in various settings including schools, residential treatment centers and outpatient clinics.  Lisa specializes in anxiety, depression, anger management, adjustment disorders, parenting and relationship issues.  She enjoys working with children and teenagers.  Lisa is a board approved Licensed Proffesional Counselor Supervisor.

Gee Carey

Gee has been working within the behavioral and physical health industry for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, TX state licensed and board approved LPC- Supervisor, with certifications in clinical case management, mediation and as a paralegal. She serves age groups  pre-teen to seniors, specializing in a client centered, multiple disciplinary approach, working with clients and families who have both physical and/or behavioral health issues.  Gee’s clinical focus is on clients and families who need assistance coping with; emotional and physical health life adjustments, terminal and/or chronic illness, trauma, end of life and palliative care and adjustment to life altering physical health diagnosis. She works closely with the client, their families, caregivers, medical providers, insurance companies and other community resources to ensure the client has a coordinated care plan.

Lee Cox

Lee currently teaches the Masters of Science counseling program at UHCL and provides counseling to families and children in learning and school related issues. Her specialties include grief and loss, depression and relationship issues.

Anthony Gress

I am a graduate intern from the University of Houston- Clear Lake’s Clinical Psychology Program. I have worked with clients from ages 7 to 60 years old. I work with clients on various issues such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral parent training

Kelly King

As a mediator and trainer with IA, Kelly’s passion is peacemaking & communication. ’Winning’ by going to court hurts businesses, families and children as they move into the future and puts a significant strain on finances for all. Her goal as a Mediator at IA is to facilitate a neutral and structured process. Alowing those in conflict to reach a fair & equitable solution that can meet the needs of all parties involved and reach a long term agreement that resolves conflict.

A native of the Texas Gulf Coast, Kelly’s degree is in psychology. She is the mother of two.

Advanced Mediation Training:

Jesus Montelongo

Jesus has worked with clients of ages ranging from 4-60 years old. He works with diverse ethnic backgrounds and various issues such as anxiety, anger management, PTSD and relationship issues. He is also fluent in English and Spanish.

Jennifer Kuhl

Jennifer is a member of the American Counseling Association and provides individual, group and family therapy. She specializes in depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, wellness, grief and abuse issues. She is also a play therapy specialist.

Harriet McCune

Harriet has been conducting anger management groups in high schools for the last 9 years. She provides individual, marriage and family counseling at IA and her clinical interests include abuse, trauma, depression anxiety, substance abuse and relationship issues.

Meghan Stang

I have been with Innovative Alternatives since June 2018. I am a Nationally Certified Counselor. I specialize in trauma counseling, as well as, addiction counseling. I am also trained in the modality, EMDR. As a psychotherapist, I have the opportunity to collaborate with clients throughout the therapeutic process. I value the therapeutic relationship as it is the foundation on which change can occur. I work with clients to recognize the potential they possess to implement the necessary changes in their lives. I have experience in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults who experience a wide range of life struggles such as: substance use, trauma, career exploration, educational issues, social difficulties, and communication skills. No matter what you are facing, no matter your reason for seeking counseling, it is my honor and privilege to come alongside you and work with you and to cheer you on throughout the treatment process.

Jamee Wilson

Jamee has been with the agency since 2007 and is a full-time staff therapist. Her clinical experience includes working with survivors of crime, sexual abuse, domestic violence, as well as, those experiencing anxiety, depression and grief.

I believe that one can find healing through support, compassion, and empathy. I love working with all ages and different stages of life. I am also bilingual (Spanish-speaking). My goal is to work together with you to overcome obstacles, find inner peace and healing. You will never walk alone.

I recently completed my master's in clinical mental health in counseling at Houston Baptist University. I am currently working on obtaining my licensure.

Specialties:
Child/Adolescent
Individuals

Treatment Orientation:
Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Cognitive Therapy
Play Therapy
Creatives/Expressive Art Techniques

I enjoyed watching movies, nature, and hiking. I love hanging out with friends, going to museums, and trying new restaurants ( I am a big foodie!)

Brent Rucker

Brent is the Ministry Assistance Program Coordinator, a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern and a Mediator at Innovative Alternatives. He has Masters Degrees in Theology and Biblical Counseling and works with people to wrestle with life’s challenges and overcome them. He uses his life experience living overseas, serving in the military, and working as a chaplain to connect with diverse groups of people and to provide the necessary support and help. He enjoys playing with his kids, reading, and making up new sports that can be played in the house.

Hope Otto

I believe you are the make or your own destiny and through life’s experiences, we learn, grow and develop. Sometimes we need help sorting through our feelings and emotions so that we will be able to reach our full potential. Through guidance and empathy, I help young children, adolescents, teens and adults move toward their goals.

I want to help children and adults learn how to develop the skills they need to overcome the obstacles that may be preventing them from moving forward in an emotionally healthy way.

My 22 years of experience in education as both a teacher and counselor in conjunction with my professional counseling experience has helped me to treat many clients in many age groups.

I am a Nationally Certified Counselor as well as a Licensed School Counselor and LPC-intern.

Specialties:

  • Children Behavioral Issues
  • Autism and ADHD
  • Family Conflict
  • Depression and Anxiety Issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • Crisis Intervention
  • School Related Issues
Treatment Orientation:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) practitioner
  • Children and Adolescent Mindfulness
  • Adult Mindfulness
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy

As a Christian, Hope looks to the word for guidance and empathy to help others. She has a heart that wants to help others heal from their hurts and struggles. Hope has been trained by FEMA in crisis situations. During her spare time she holds support groups for children, teens and adults to deal with our new quarantine normal.

Dina Abdelrahman

I believe that forming healthy therapeutic relationships is the foundation for progress in therapy. I am genuinely interested in alleviating people’s psychological pain and suffering and I use all what I learned to try to reach this goal alongside my clients. I work with adults and children.

My main motivation for choosing this career is to be a reason for relief for people from the psychological burdens that can bog them down and decrease the quality of their lives.

My experience as an active community member, and having the privilege of counseling at MD Anderson and UHCL has placed me at a good place to start with IA. Besides, my strong medical background helps me detect when referring to a psychiatrist is warranted and helpful. Most of all, I feel that my personal life experiences and having to deal with my own struggles have prepared me the most for this career.

Howdy! I strongly believe that our daily interactions with others have the power to shape our emotions and thoughts. I hope to help others break out of cycles that have held them back from personal development by using compassion and collaborative goal setting. I enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults. My specialties include working with mood disorders and behavioral issues with children and adolescents. I’m fluent in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Behavioral Parent Training (BPT).

I’m currently working on completing my master’s in clinical psychology at the University of Houston- Clear Lake. My studies have solidified my desire to help others cope with life stressors (often related to the experience of being HUMAN).

My experience as an ABA therapist, paired with my clinical practicum experience at UHCL’s community clinic help me to better serve diverse communities in improving overall life outcomes. Additionally, my personal life experiences as a female Person of Color and daughter of immigrants will help me to better help underserved populations (Spanish-speaking, LGBTQ+, immigrants, individual with learning and developmental disabilities).

I love watching movies (comedies, horror, ANYTHING) & will often be found watching Netflix. I also enjoy a daily Yoga practice. These self-care practices (among others) allow me to “fill my cup” and continue my work in improving people’s lives.

Lakisha Hayes

I believe the foundation of all relationships is love, acceptance, and communication. I work with all ages and backgrounds to help individuals and groups of people to achieve mental health. It is my goal to help families, couples, children, teens, and adolescents to overcome any obstacles that may prevent them from achieving their full potential. My experience as a certified teacher for the past 8 years helps me to understand and be empathetic to the various circumstances that families face through various stages of life. As a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Houston Baptist University, I see the importance of creating a positive and loving environment, and I look forward to helping you to become the best possible version of yourself!

Specialties:

- Child or Adolescent
- Family Conflict
- Individuals and Couples

Treatment Orientation:

- Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
- Play Therapy
- Family Systems Therapy
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

In addition, she has traveled the world and met a variety of cultures on mission trips, so she values the acceptance of all As a Christian, she focuses on the peace of Christ and how to spread His unconditional love and acceptance. She is in the process of completing her LPC licensure, and her superpower is the ability to actively listen and help individuals to work through their struggles and darkest moments in life. In her spare time, she is always finding ways to learn and better herself.

As a society, we have become accustomed to internally dealing with our problems and experiencing subsequent burn-out, all while putting on a façade for others. Because we often find ourselves neglecting our wellbeing due to the hustle and bustle of everyday tasks, it is important to slow down and take time to check-in with ourselves, as our physical health is just as important as our mental health. I feel that common issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, and trauma should be normalized experiences to not only talk openly about, but to seek treatment for. Acknowledging these issues and actively working through them is the first step for personal growth, which will lead to positive life outcomes and stronger mental wellness.

I am graduate intern from the University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Clinical Psychology Master’s Program.

I entered this field in hopes of becoming a mental health resource for minority and underserved communities. Because of cultural stigmas that often prevent individuals from these particular communities from seeking therapeutic services, my work is to increase mental health awareness in a way that still aligns with cultural values.

Because I believe childhood and adolescence is such a pivotal period for growth, I have specifically worked with adolescent clients who present with various issues, such as depression, anxiety, and adjustment issues, as well as behavioral and relational problems. Meeting with clients has allowed me to practice different therapeutic interventions, particularly Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I have served clients from diverse backgrounds, and I strive to implement multicultural approaches in treatment. My personal experiences as a woman of color and an immigrant will allow me to better serve these communities.

Specialties:
· Behavioral Issues
· Adolescents
· Individuals

Treatment Orientation:
· Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
· Acceptance and Commitment (ACT)
· Behavioral Parent Training
· Dialectical Behavior Therapy
· Problem Solving Therapy
· Exposure Therapy
· Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy
· Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

When I'm not focusing on school or work-related tasks, you can find me in a dance studio. I have trained in hip-hop for six years and have even competed at the regional World of Dance competition a few times! I also enjoy engaging in self-care activities in order to practice what I preach.

Jacqueline is a graduate intern who attends Walden University. She is working to complete her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with specialties is marriage/couples/family counseling and forensic counseling. She entered the counseling field to create positive social change and help others heal, live their best lives, and improve their sense of support.

Her theoretical orientation, or style/approach in counseling draws from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), feminist theory, humanistic theories (person-centered, existential, experiential), and systemic theory.

She has worked with individuals in all developmental stages (infancy, toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood) in a variety of contexts. Her prior work experience involved case management, social work, and advocacy.

Special issues she has helped clients with include:
-healthy relationship education
-child abuse/neglect
-intimate partner abuse
-sexual assault
-trauma
-stress management
-PTSD
-anxiety
-depression
-mood disorders
-self-harm & suicidality
-developmental/intellectual/physical disabilities
-behavior modification
-gay/lesbian/bisexuality/pansexuality issues
-career development
-safety planning.

Jacqueline has a passion for lifelong learning and growth. She tries to gain experience helping diverse populations with a variety of issues so that she can effectively and holistically assist as many people as possible. She loves animals, music (hip hop/r&b/rock/punk/classical/jazz/lo-fi/pop), documentaries, stand-up comedy, psychological thrillers, memes, drawing/painting/crafting, writing/journaling/poetry, museums, nature walks, and food. She has three cats (Lucille - 21, Tibbs -13, and Jynx - 10), a bearded dragon (Nico - 6), and two tortoises (Reptar - 8 and Banana - 18).

Silkia Carmona

Silkia currently serves IA as our Data Analyst. Although her role encompasses providing technical expertise regarding our data models and reporting, Silkia prides herself in supporting others. She is passionate about supporting the team and being a part of a team that can change lives.

Jose Gonzalez

Jose works in the Front Office, helping our clients have the best experience possible while visiting us. He takes pride in knowing his work contributes to an overall healthier community. His experience with this Agency over the past year has helped him provide better customer service to current and new clients.

Marlene Guzman

Marlene currently works as an Intake Coordinator performing a variety of duties both clinical and clerical. She is also responsible for the admission and registration of incoming patients, and she is the first employee a patient encounters.

Shelia Martinez

Sheila is studying to become a midwife and received her associates in life science at San Jacinto College. She has worked in a variety of health occupations and is glad to add mental health to that list. She also has an extensive background in customer service and is excited to be apart of the Innovative Alternatives team.

Vanessa Morales

Vanessa Morales is a student at the UHCL pursuing her degree in Business Finance.

Elizabeth Trejo Robertson

WHAT I DO:  I am the Victim Advocate for IA.  I want to help others find hope when they feel hopeless, and to have faith in the system that is here to help victims and their families.

WHY I DO IT:  I was always searching for a purpose in my life and I believe I found it when I found this job here with IA. Being able to help others is a true blessing.  I believe we are all put on earth to help one another, and that is where you find true happiness.

WHAT EXPERIENCE HELPS ME TO HELP YOU:  Empathy and desire to help you, our client, to find the help you need to continue your search for a positive change in your life.  To help our client remember “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” Carl Jung

FUN FACTS:  In addition, I love to make people laugh, enjoy laughing myself, volunteering with KSBJ and local food drives.  I enjoy listening to all kinds of music Contemporary Christian, Country, Tejano, Cumbia, Heavy Metal, Rap, everything.  My superpower is I am a people person. I make people feel welcomed, like we’ve known each other a lifetime at any local supermarket or convenient store. (LOL)