Meet the Team

Hope Squad Team

Dr. Greg Hudnall

Founder / CEO

Dr. Hudnall is a former high school principal, student service director, and associate superintendent with the Provo City School District. In 1999 he created the Hope Community Task Force, focusing on community wide suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. In 2004, Dr. Hudnall and his team created the K-12 school based “peer-to-peer” suicide prevention program now known as Hope Squad. Learn more about Dr. Hudnall at: GregHudnall.com.

Greg Hudnall, Jr.

Chief Operating Officer

As a leader with a mission-based mindset, Greg is passionate about building teams that allow each member to use their natural strengths to support our cause. Building upon past experiences at Johnson & Johnson and The Kroger Co, he works to lead a collaborative team that puts people first and keeps the mission of preventing suicide at the forefront of everything they do.

Ashley Taeckens

Director of Research

Ashley is a social science researcher passionate about shifting attitudes around public issues like mental health stigma. Ashley has eight years of academic and nonprofit research experience, in which she helped establish a start-up research program and has assisted institutes in expanding their portfolios by intentionally incorporating older adult populations. She earned an MSW from the University of Denver and holds two bachelor’s degrees in gerontology and psychology from Missouri State University.

Erin McNair

Director of Program Quality & Innovation

Bringing over 15 years of program management experience, Erin is a dedicated advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. Specializing in crafting effective multi-modal programs, she addresses unmet needs and enhances the efficiency of teams and programs. Erin's work has focused on human-made trauma, offering education and peer-to-peer programs. Outside of work, Erin passionately supports disability rights. Based in NC, Erin finds solace in her garden or at the seashore with her daughter.

Grace Babula

Director of Marketing & Communications

Grace brings cross-functional experience from research and development, consulting, and marketing roles within the health and wellness space. As a volunteer with Crisis Text Line, she is passionate about the role of connection in mental health and is excited to advance Hope Squad’s mission. Grace has a BA in chemistry from Williams College and a dual-degree MBA and MS in Design Innovation from Northwestern University.

Amber Seddon

Finance Controller

Amber studied accounting at Utah Valley University and played violin in the College Orchestra and Utah Valley Symphony. She volunteers with youth groups and addiction programs and, having lost family members and friends to suicide, she is happy to support Hope Squad’s mission. In her free time, Amber enjoys traveling and going on adventures with her family. She is proud to be part of a rodeo family, with two bull riders and a daughter who rides steers.

Allyson Nysted

HR Generalist & Executive Assistant

Allyson is passionate about raising awareness for suicide prevention, and she brings a wealth of HR knowledge and experience from her previous roles working in higher education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in HR Management from Upper Iowa University. Beyond her professional life, Allyson enjoys exploring different parts of the world and has traveled to destinations such as Bali, the Philippines, and the UK.

Erin Forbes

Regional Engagement Manager

Erin is a former junior high principal, high school administrator, and art teacher with education experience in the Greater Houston area. With more than 9 years of experience in educational leadership and 17 years of experience in public education, Erin loves connecting with other educators. As a high school student, she lost a very close friend to death by suicide which has resulted in a relentless focus on helping young people feel connected, seen, and valued. Erin lives in Texas with her husband and two girls. She is also the proud mom to a rescue dog and a cockatoo.

Julia Bush

Advisor Success Coordinator

Julia Bush is a native of Ohio and graduate of Youngstown State University. She and her husband, Tim, have been educators in Ohio, Arizona, and Nevada. Julia has retired after 33 years, the last 28 as a school counselor and was named the 2019 Nevada School Counselor of the Year. Julia believes strongly in Hope Squad and started squads for Burkholder Middle School and Foothill High School in Henderson, Nevada. Julia and Tim will be relocating to Illinois to play with their grandchildren, Owen and Ella.

Evelin Gonzalez

Advisor Retention Associate

While completing a Bachelor of Social Work practicum, Evelin implemented and advised a Hope Squad, facilitating instruction and acting as a liaison to connect students and households with school and community resources. She promoted the mental health of all students by planning and organizing school-wide Hope Squad activities. As an advocate for social and emotional well-being, Evelin is passionate about the Hope Squad mission. Evelin supports schools with program implementation across the nation.

Dr. Jennifer Roberts

Director of Training

Dr. Jennifer Roberts brings over 25 years of experience across corporate, education, and mental health settings. She is a licensed clinician who has served as a school counselor and Director of Student Services. She was recognized by the American School Counseling Association’s Texas affiliate, named 2023’s School Counselor Supervisor of the year in Texas, and named to the HB 906 School Mental Health Task Force. She teaches graduate-level clinical mental health courses and shares her expertise as a sought-out speaker.

Nikki Holmes

Training Support Specialist

Cassidy St. Clair

Regional Engagement Manager

Cassidy has 10+ years of experience working in education as a school counselor and teacher. She has worked in a variety of areas including Bellevue, WA, Southern Pines, NC and most recently Park City, UT. Cassidy's favorite part of working with educators, students, and families is the meaningful relationships that are built. As a school counselor Cassidy worked closely with Hope Squad and has seen the unique and meaningful benefits of the program. Cassidy lives in Midway, Utah with her husband, daughter, and rescue pups. Her family can often be found adventuring in the surrounding mountains.

Mental Health Advisors

Dr. Douglas D. Gray, MD

Child Psychologist, University of Utah

As a suicidologist, Dr. Gray studies suicide completers in an attempt to better understand suicide risk factors and to help develop future suicide prevention programs across the age span. He uses psychological autopsies, genetics, and toxicology methods to make inroads to get a better understanding of suicide risk factors. His clinical focus is primarily outpatient and consult-liaison for bipolar disorders.

Elizabeth Feil, LCSW

Therapist Supervisor, Wasatch Mental Health

Elizabeth Feil, LCSW, is the Therapist Supervisor at the Provo Family Clinic She has been working as a therapist at Wasatch Mental Health since 2002. She is trained in EMDR, Trust-Based Relational Intervention, Crisis Intervention, Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-focused CBT, and the Strengthening Families Program. Elizabeth is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner. Elizabeth works primarily with youth ages 11-17 and their families but also has a lot of experience with elementary school aged children, PLUS she speaks Spanish. Elizabeth was very involved in implementing a grant-funded interdisciplinary approach involving Provo School District, Intermountain Health Clinics, and Wasatch Mental Health.

Dr. Juergen Korbanka, PhD

CEO, Wasatch Mental Health

Dr. Korbanka is a Licensed Psychologist who is an Approved Clinical Supervisor, National Certified Counselor, Designated Examiner, and is a member of the Utah State Crisis Team. He enjoys working with adults with a range of issues, such as depression and mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and more severe psychopathologies. He has worked with domestic violence perpetrators and individuals with personality disorders. His research interests include evidence-based and outcome oriented, time-limited treatment programs, program effectiveness, and treatment efficiency. He has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences.

National Educational Advisory Board

Dr. Holly Ferguson

Prosper ISD, Texas

Dr. Holly Ferguson began her teaching career with Prosper ISD in 1998 as an elementary school teacher. She has since served in a number of administrative roles.  After receiving a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s in educational administration from the University of North Texas, Ferguson completed her doctorate in educational leadership at Texas A&M Commerce. Dr. Ferguson serves proudly on the Hope Squad National Educational Advisory Board.  

Jonathan Cooper

Mason City School District, Ohio

Jonathan Cooper is the superintendent of Mason City School district, known as a high-performing, high-profile school in Ohio. Before being named superintendent, Mr. Cooper was the Chief Innovation Officer, where he led the development of the Mason Experiential Learning Program. His journey to improve students’ mental wellness began after listening to students ask school leaders to do more to prevent suicides. Since then, the district has made mental health a priority, and started a Hope Squad at its middle school and high school.

Marcus Chambers

Okaloosa County Schools, Florida

Mr. Marcus Chambers, Superintendent of Schools, Okaloosa County (FL) Schools, has passionately served students, parents, his community, and fellow public educators for more than 21 years. Before assuming the role of Superintendent, Mr. Chambers served in multiple school-based leadership positions in Okaloosa County, as Okaloosa County’s Safe School’s Specialist, Assistant Principal at Niceville High School, Principal at Longwood Elementary School, and Principal at Niceville High School, as well as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

Dr. Tanya Fredrich

Elmbrook Schools, Wisconsin

Dr. Fredrich is an Assistant Superintendent in Wisconsin. She is a graduate of UW Madison School of Education and holds a Masters degrees in Special Education and Administrative Leadership and a Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service. Dr. Fredrich has worked as a special educator with expertise in Emotional/ Behavioral Disorders and Educational Autism as well as a building principal prior to her current director role. She is the creator of iSummitWisco, an annual conference of over 600 educators, that features national experts in inclusive practices to create systems change in communities across the nation.  She is an adjunct professor at Carroll University, Cardinal Stritch University and University of Wisconsin Eau Claire to promote the next generation of leaders in education.  Dr. Fredrich lives in Oconomowoc, WI with her husband Tom and two children, Zachary (18)  and William (15).

Tobin Novasio

Lockwood School District, Montana

Tobin Novasio serves as the Superintendent of Lockwood Schools. He is the Montana Rural Education Association Vice-President, sits on the AASA Executive Committee, and is the former Montana Association of School Superintendents President. He has been honored by his peers as the Montana Superintendent of the Year in 2016 and as the School Administrators of Montana 2020 G.V. Erickson Award recipient; the most honored award a school administrator in Montana can receive. Mr. Novasio represents Montana’s K-12 schools on the Montana Early Childhood Advisory Council. Mr. Novasio is supported in his endeavors by his wife Tandi and their children Kane, Kyson, and Addi.

Hope Squad National Council

The Hope Squad National Council consists of Juniors and Seniors throughout the country who have served on their local Hope Squads at least one year. They continue to serve on their local squad while also serving as Hope Squad National Council members.

Sara

National Advisor

Madilyn

Assistant Advisor

Student Council Members

Abigail

Florida

Adelle

Utah

Alexander

Ohio

Alison

Utah

Anisha

California

Baden

Utah

Bella

Oklahoma

Christopher

Texas

Devin

Ohio

Drew

Texas

Emily

Utah

Esme

Utah

Hope

Nebraska

Iva

Texas

James

Utah

Julia

Florida

Kaylee

Utah

Kaylee

Wisconsin

Krisha

California

Lael

Illinois

Luca

Nevada

Madeline

Utah

Madelyn

Wisconsin

Madison

Ohio

Madison

Oklahoma

Maia

Texas

Maile

Nevada

Manvi

Texas

Mia

California

Micah

Ohio

Militza

Michigan

Nick

Texas

Reese

Texas

Samuel

Illinois

Savannah

Texas

Sydney

Ohio

Vanessa

Idaho