Advisory Board Members

CATHY BURNS

City Manager

City of Huntington

Dedicating a career to public service, Cathy has been pleased to work in Economic, Community and Workforce Development via city government, President and CEO of The Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, Recruiter Robert C. Byrd Manufacturing Institute, and Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky Workforce Development Director. 

As City Manager of the City of Huntington, Cathy serves as the Chief Executive Officer responsible for all divisions with direct supervision of Finance, IT, and Human Resources. 

She is looking forward to working with first responders in building a tested model of compassion, self-care, training and policy for improved wellness among our employees, partnering agencies, residents and visitors to our city. 

Kim Bailey

Director of Purchasing/ Grants Manager

City of Huntington

Kim has 35 years’ experience in purchasing and contract administration.  Previously, she worked as the Administrative Operations Officer at the Rahall Transportation Institute at Marshall University for 17 years, where she managed grants and contracts related to transportation research and community development.  Her previous position included working with federal, state and local funding agencies. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado- Denver.  In 2008 she received her lifetime accreditation as a Certified Purchasing Manager from the National Association of Purchasing Management.

Kim is currently managing several grants for the City of Huntington that are aimed at combating the opioid epidemic and facilitating treatment for those suffering with substance abuse.

She is a vital team member of the Compass project by managing the budget and keeping the Advisory Team on track.

AMY BERNER

Program Manager/Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

City of Huntington

Amy is a graduate of Concord University with a BA in Communication Arts and Marshall University with a MA in Communication Studies. She has over 20 years of experience in the communication field, with expertise in public speaking, advocacy, event planning, grant management, and building and maintaining relationships in the nonprofit, health and education fields.  She has enjoyed her previous work experiences as Communications Director for the American Cancer Society, Grant Manager for West Virginia University, Instructor of Public Speaking for Southern WV Community & Technical College, and coordinator of the state Summer Feeding Program for the WV Department of Education.

As Program Manager for the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge in Huntington, Amy is responsible for grant execution and evaluation, policy research and development, and the management and execution of grant training, activities and events. She has a passion for helping first responders in the community, and enjoys working with the Compass Advisory Team. Amy has been married to her husband Craig for 18 years and they have two children, Brett & Leah. She loves her puppy JimBo, spending time with her family, reading, and traveling.

Amy looks forward to seeing the work of the Compass project come to fruition. She believes that creating a replicable model of wellness and self-care for first responders can help not only the members of the Huntington community, but a variety of communities facing similar situations like Huntington’s opioid crisis.

AMY JEFFERSON

Wellness Coach

Amy Jefferson graduated from Morehead State University in 2011. Prior to obtaining her BSW, Amy worked at Kings Daughters Medical Center as a Patient Representative and Family Liaison, linking those in need to a wide range of community resources.  Most recently, she has spent the last 4 years as a Case Manager for children in the foster care system. Amy has years of insight into the effects of trauma, and in counseling individuals through a wide range of life situations. It is because she understands the cumulative effects of life stressors, that she is a passionate advocate for self-care, and for de-stigmatizing use of Mental Health resources. Amy is excited about her role as the Wellness Coach for the Compass Program, and is grateful to be able to provide support to our First Responders.

LYN O’CONNELL

PhD IMFT

Dr. Lyn O’Connell is originally from Reston, VA. She received her undergraduate degree from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA before pursing her Masters at the University of Connecticut and a doctorate from Virginia Tech in Human Development & Family Science with a focus on Marriage & Family Therapy. She moved the Huntington area in 2014 with her now husband. She has worked clinically in five states and also worked on evaluation and improvement for the Department of Defense’s family based reintegration programs. Most recently she was the clinical coordinator for Marshall University’s Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant.

Dr. O’Connell now serves as the associate director of addiction sciences in the Department of Family and Community Health at Marshall Health and is an assistant faculty member in the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. She helps oversee the implementation of Marshall Health’s response to the effects of substance use disorders on the individual, family, and community. She also serves as the chair of the Prevention Empowerment Partnership, the co-chair of the Healthy Connections coalition, and is on the steering committee for Faith Community United.

No one could be expected to handle the increased stress and fatigue associated with the opioid crisis in our region without added supports.  First responders are no different. By listening to and learning from first responders, Compass will help promote resiliency and wellness to develop positive coping skills for any crisis.

PHIL WATKINS

Lieutenant

Huntington Police Department

Phil has been a Huntington Police Officer for twenty years.  He’s worked Patrol, Investigations, Administration, and Professional Standards, as well as serving on HPD’s Maritime Patrol Unit and S.W.A.T. Team.  Phil has been fortunate to have worked in so many different capacities during his career.

Phil is currently a lieutenant assigned to the Administrative Bureau where he is responsible for items such as purchasing, training, and recruiting.  He is also serving as HPD’s liaison to the Compass Program, which is one of his more exciting roles.  In addition to his duties at the Police Department, Phil is the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Gold Star Lodge #65.

Participating in the development of a wellness program for the City’s first responders has been very rewarding for Phil.  One of the current movements in law enforcement is the development of programs, resources, and training designed to strengthen officers’ mental wellness along with physical wellness.  Phil recognizes the fact that the generous grant awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies to Huntington exponentially increases the ability to create a program which will put Huntington among the Nation’s leading communities in providing for its first responders.”

STEVE MCCORMICK

Lieutenant
Huntington Fire Department

Steve was born October 29, 1978 in Parkersburg, WV. He grew up with two amazing sets of parents who always worked together in taking care of his every need. As a pastor’s step-son, Steve moved often as a child but was able to settle in Huntington, WV when he was 14. There, Steve graduated from Huntington High School in 1997 and went on to take classes at Marshall University. Steve was hired on as a Firefighter with the City of Huntington on January 12, 2004.

Currently, Steve is a Lieutenant on the Huntington Fire Department. He also serves as the Vice President of IAFF Local 289. Every year, Steve attends the legislative sessions and advocates for law and regulation change to help better the firefighting profession.  Steve has also been able to become certified as a Peer Support Counselor in order to help his fellow firefighters cope with stressful, job-related situations.

As seen in his ongoing involvement in the betterment of the Fire Department, Steve is passionate about being involved in positive change to help his fellow Firefighters remain safe and healthy in their job duties. Through participation on the Compass project, Steve ensures the voice of the Firemen are heard and that positive interventions are put into place to assist them towards physical, mental, and social wellness. He hopes that these changes are not only helpful for current firefighters but will help firefighters for generations to come.

SHARON PELL

Business Services Advocate
City of Huntington

Before becoming the Business Services Advocate for Huntington in 2013, Sharon worked for a local rape crisis center as a Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator working with police, prosecutors, nurses, and advocates creating a better system for victims of sexual violence and stalking. She is a graduate of Marshall University with an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies: Organizational Communication and a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies.

In her current position, Sharon helps business owners navigate through the zoning, permitting, and licensing requirements at City Hall.  She continues to work on streamlining processes to ensure a positive experience when opening a business in Huntington. In addition to helping business owners, Sharon also teaches Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication classes at Mountwest Community and Technical College.

Sharon has been a part of the Compass project since April 2018. Her husband is a retired Huntington police officer and she values being able to contribute to those protecting the community.