OUR TEAM

We believe in the restorative and transformative work of the Holy Spirit in individuals for holistic health.  Our teams reflect that. Our ministry team is made up of clinical counselors, pastoral counselors, social workers, and trained ministry lay leaders that have a heart and knowledge of integration of faith and psychological principles, and the interaction of spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Our ministry team also includes licensed movement instructors.

 

Every member of our ministry team has completed our extensive Free to Be Integrative Prayer and Counsel training that applies our unique approach. Each ministry team member is under the supervision of licensed counselors. 

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Leigh-Ann Brisbin

Executive Director, Co-Founder  

Licensed Clinical Counselor, Ministry Team

Fairlawn Office

Leigh-Ann is a Licensed Clinical Counselor and the Executive Director of Free to Be Ministries. She is the author of My True Reflection; Freedom from Eating Disorders. In 2011 Leigh-Ann graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and has worked in both clinical and ministerial settings, counseling, teaching, leading and training others. She is passionate about the work of the Holy Spirit in holistic health and believes in the  impact of integrating faith and counseling for healing. Through our Free to Lead programs, Leigh-Ann also speaks, writes, and trains church leaders and counselors, in spiritual formation and the integration of faith and counseling.

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Amanda Hooley

Ministry Team, Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Art Therapist

Fairlawn Office

Amanda earned her Masters in Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline College in 2018 where she gained experience working with children in low socioeconomic settings, behavioral health and detox floors in hospitals, older adults living with dementia and assisting families with end-of-life issues. Amanda became a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Dementia Practitioner in 2018. She worked in long term care providing activities and support for people living with dementia as well as helped families grieve the loss of their loved one through the disease process and at end-of- life. Amanda has been on the board for a non-profit organization called Dementia Friendly Life since 2019. In 2021, Amanda became a Board Certified, Registered Art Therapist. Currently, Amanda works part time in private practice serving primarily children and adolescents. Amanda is passionate about the healing aspects of art and how transformative it is for the mind, body, and spirit. 

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Todd Brisbin

Ministry Team, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Addiction Specialist

Fairlawn Office

In 2011 Todd graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling. He completed his internships with EMERGE Counseling Services and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Center and then worked at EMERGE Counseling Services in private practice, and Edwin Shaw and Laurelwood Hospitals PHP and IOP programs. He is currently the Director of Outpatient Services at Laurelwood and works part time at Free To Be Ministries. He has also attended Christian Fellowship Church Encounter Conferences for training in prayer that offers opportunities for healing and spiritual growth.

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Carlee Clawson

Ministry Team, Kids and Teens

Fairlawn Office

Carlee has completed coursework in psychology, child and family development, and religion. In 2019 she completed integrative prayer training with Free To Be Ministries. She has a special interest in trauma informed care for teens and adolescence. Carlee interned at the Chapel in Akron's Urban Ministries Department for 7 years, working with children in their afterschool and summer camp programming. There, she specifically served children with emotional, mental, and behavioral needs. She has many years of experience serving in youth ministries, discipling/mentoring adolescent girls. She has served clients in an administrative role at EMERGE Counseling Services. Currently, along with working with children and adolescence at Free To Be, she also works part time for RAHAB Ministries serving women who have been victims of human trafficking or at high risk of being trafficked.

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Joy Trachsel

Ministry Team, Certified Mental Health Coach, Certified Premarital Prepare/Enrich Program Facilitator

Fairlawn Office

Joy graduated from Mary Baldwin College with a degree in Business Administration.  She has also done graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical School of Divinity.  Joy has served over 10 years in the non-profit arena focusing on women in poverty and crisis.  She has been speaking to women for over 15 years both nationally and internationally at women's events and can be heard on Moody Radio – Cleveland (WCRF) as part of the Pause For Prayer Team.  She is also the author of The Great Cover-Up, a book that inspires women to say YES to God.  

 

Joy is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and a Certified Mental Health Coach.  She is also a certified Prepare/Enrich program facilitator for enagaged couples seeking premaritial counseling. She has a passion for working with women that are feeling trapped by anxiety and depression and watching them be set free in Jesus.

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Adrean Stulak

Ministry Team

Fairlawn Office 

Adrean graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Special Education.  She worked at Brunswick City Schools as an Intervention Specialist.  While teaching, Adrean completed coursework in Counseling Education at Cleveland State University. She has worked in ministry leadership, overseeing and developing groups for women of all ages, especially young mothers navigating difficult life transitions for many years.  Adrean currently serves in Children’s Ministry teaching, discipling, and serving young hearts in Christ. She is a student at Ashland Theological Seminary's clinical pastoral counseling program. She completed the Integrative Prayer and Counsel training with Free To Be Ministries in 2020.  Adrean has a heart for spiritual formation and holistic approaches to wellness for women in all ages and stages of life. 

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Audrey Pace

Ministry Team, Licensed Social Worker, Certified Yoga Instructor

Virtual Appointments Only

Ms. Audrey Pace hails from Cleveland, Ohio.   She graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology. Audrey is a Certified Yoga Instructor, as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist.  In 2008 she received her Master of Social Work degree from Cleveland State University. She has completed integrative prayer training through Free To Be Ministries. Working for the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Audrey served in the Freedom Center where she greatly enjoyed working with the OEF/OIF veterans as a Case Manager! She has worked as a Licensed Social Worker and Outpatient Mental Health Therapist for six years at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. 

 

Her focus is working with women that may be struggling with addiction, mental heath, recovering from trauma, and those who may be healing after abortion. She is passionate about helping others find healing from wounds and the opportunity to walk alongside them in their spiritual and emotional journey.

                                                                     

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Erica Howard

Ministry Team

Fairlawn Office

Erica Howard graduated from the University of Akron with a BA in social work. She is a current graduate student of Florida State University’s MSW program. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.  She began working with survivors of trafficking in 2013 when she felt a call to "go get God's daughters".  She has worked with RAHAB ministries in the safe house, drop in center, and retreats, leading both groups and individuals into deeper relationships with Christ. She currently works as an advocate for survivors of trafficking with Empower Her Network. She has been part of leadership with Akron Women on Purpose, sharing her story authentically and leading women into redemptive work of Christ. Erica’s education, experience and training are of trauma informed care and breaking down strongholds. She has experience working with women in addiction, adult children of addicts, post abortive, sexual trauma, and childhood wounds. Erica has a heart for speaking to all of God’s daughters, with an emphasis on diversity. She believes everyone has a story that only their voice can tell.  She is passionate about women knowing their identity in Christ and His redemption in their story.

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Tina Fairst

Ministry Team, Certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor

Fairlawn Office

Tina graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1994. In 2017, she was certified in trauma informed yoga. In 2019-2021 she received a certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care from the Allender Center in Seattle Washington. In 2021, Tina became a Spiritual Director through Sustainable Faith. She is currently receiving training for year three in Narrative Focused Trauma Care and an Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate. Tina has worked with RAHAB ministry for the past four years bringing movement and prayer to survivors of human trafficking. Tina completed the Free to Be Integrative Prayer and Counsel training in 2021.

She delights in working with women to help them integrate mind, body and spirit through movement, breath, prayer, or mindfulness practices. She sees herself as a spiritual midwife holding space for women to witness their bodies, spirits and souls and allow for the Spirit to move in all three.

Laura Brenner

Somatic Ministry Team, Bowen Technique 

Fairlawn Office

Laura is a women's ministry leader, National Certified Bowen Practitioner, and a trained staff member of Free to Be. Laura graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and started her career teaching elementary school. She later went on to receive a Master of Arts in Ministerial Studies with Women’s Leadership Concentration from Grace Seminary in 2020. She now works at Grace Church as a leader in women’s spiritual leadership support. She has completed the Free to Be Ministries Integrative training as well.

 

"Through my own life experiences and journey, the Lord has fostered in me a desire to help other women find hope and healing through holistic means. I believe in God’s power to restore and redeem all aspects of our lives in this broken and fallen world. By focusing on all areas of our health – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual – I believe we can become all we were created to be in Jesus. I find joy and purpose in encouraging and helping others become and remain healthy."

OPERATIONAL TEAM

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Emily Brisbin

Brand Management & Creative

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Mary Scherer

Operational Finances 

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Susan Mook

Intake Coordinator & Event Hospitality

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Sarah Mihalik

President of the Board 

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Erica Howard

Ministry Team

Fairlawn Office

Erica Howard graduated from the University of Akron with a BA in social work. She is a current graduate student of Florida State University’s MSW program. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.  She began working with survivors of trafficking in 2013 when she felt a call to "go get God's daughters".  She has worked with RAHAB ministries in the safe house, drop in center, and retreats, leading both groups and individuals into deeper relationships with Christ. She currently works as an advocate for survivors of trafficking with Empower Her Network. She has been part of leadership with Akron Women on Purpose, sharing her story authentically and leading women into redemptive work of Christ. Erica’s education, experience and training are of trauma informed care and breaking down strongholds. She has experience working with women in addiction, adult children of addicts, post abortive, sexual trauma, and childhood wounds. Erica has a heart for speaking to all of God’s daughters, with an emphasis on diversity. She believes everyone has a story that only their voice can tell.  She is passionate about women knowing their identity in Christ and His redemption in their story.