About Us

Jim Clarkson, MA, LADAC, is the co-founder and Principal at Transformativa.  He experienced sexual abuse by priests and dedicated his life to holding the Roman Catholic Church accountable and helping others who have been hurt by those in authority.  Jim has a master's degree in Culture with an emphasis in Psychology from Holy Names University in Oakland, California where he focused on the cultural practices of healing mental health and addiction challenges across cultures and across centuries, particularly the roles of healers in traditional cultures.  He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, received his counseling training at the University of Houston and was the first to complete the ValueOptions Corporate Executive Leadership Program and where he served on the National Cultural Competency Committee and Division of Emerging Markets.  Jim has helped lead national insurers respond to business best practices and cultural competency requirements in their Medicaid and other business proposals and has managed multi-market mental health and substance use disorder delivery systems across the country in public and private sectors.      

   

In addition to his role as a managed care executive, Jim has worked and consulted with programs across the country focusing on the connection between spirituality and wellness, mental health, addiction recovery, and financial and business literacy.  He has worked with both behavioral health providers and national organizations to support their financial wellness and revenue growth.  He managed the Healing Circle at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has worked with pueblos and tribes around the country.  Jim has served as President of the New Mexico Recovery Professionals Alliance, was a Key Supervisor for the Matrix Institute, is a Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer and for 30 years has helped Fortune 500 companies and public healthcare systems create environments for recovery, sustainability, and positive therapeutic outcomes.   

Tommy Valdez, is co-founder of Via Positiva and Managing Director, Western United States at Transformativa.  Tommy brings over 25 years of corporate business development experience and has served as a leader and administrator in behavioral health for the past decade.  His creative, kind and inspirational efforts have led to profound systems change and transformation at the national level in behavioral health, peer support and person-centered approaches, creating environments for humane, supportive engagement and retention, and positive therapeutic outcomes.

Senior Advisors:

John Tadich, MBA, is the former CEO of United Health Care and President, Public Sector at ValueOptions.  John is a noted national leader, mentor and innovator in behavioral health.  He is the past Chairman of the Ihope Network and serves on many boards and advisory boards across the country within behavioral health.

Clarence Jordan, MBA, is Vice President of Wellness & Recovery at Beacon HealthOptions (Anthem) responsible for Beacon’s national development and implementation of the use of peers in treatment and recovery.   He received the 2014 Peer Specialist of the Year Award from the National Council for Behavioral Health. This prestigious award recognizes a person with a lived experience of mental illness who uses his or her strengths to help peers on their road to recovery.  Jordan’s passion to help those struggling with the challenges of mental illness arose from his own experiences. As a man of color, a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, and a person in recovery since 1998, Jordan has dealt with the obstacles these populations face in accessing appropriate treatment. Foremost are the dual challenges of ignorance and cultural stigma: “When I served in the Navy, my ‘image’ of a person with mental illness was certainly not me. I believe I share this experience with thousands of military service members who could benefit from VA services but may not be getting them. The same holds true for communities of color, where social isolation and discrimination are no strangers.”

Michael Klaybor, Ph.D., is former national board member of the National Employee Assistance Professional Association and has been providing professional counseling and consulting services to individuals, families and organizations for more than 30 years. He has wide and deep roots and relationships in the energy, medical and industrial sectors.  Specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy, his approach is dynamic in addressing and resolving problems of anxiety, depression and marital problems. 

Dawn Nickel, Ph.D., is the Founder of She Recovers Foundation, a worldwide network and movement of women’s recovery and wellness and an international subject matter expert in gender specific services for women.

Trudy Soole, LMHC, is President of Soole Solutions, Member, Santee Sioux Nation, therapist, and those of us who have known and worked with Trudy for many years know her to be a gifted traditional healer.

Christopher Botten, is an Associate at the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, a very popular leader and trainer on the business and finance of behavioral health.

Rev. Brendalyn Batchelor, M.A., LPC, is a therapist, ordained Unity minister, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Spiritual Director, HeartMath Coach and Lead Unified Mindfulness Coach.

Sylvia Barela, MBA, is the National Managing Partner of Via Positiva and the former CEO of Santa Fe Recovery Center, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She is a statewide leader in the cultures and behavioral health services in New Mexico and subject matter expert in substance use disorder in the Public Sector.