Thad Cardine, MA

Executive Director

Thad Cardine moved his family from Virginia to Texas four years ago when he felt compelled to return to the non-profit/ ministerial sector of work. He joined Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries in August 2015. Thad has been active in a variety of non-profits and religious ministries throughout his young and adult life. He spent years traveling throughout the United States volunteering and working with the Baptist Home Mission Board. He worked in domestic violence shelters, inner-city homeless missions, with Cambodian refugees, and he was involved in the cleanup of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska. After receiving his undergraduate degree in English and Russian Linguistics he lived and worked in Moscow, Russia for a year before realizing he left his heart in Arkansas. He returned and married his sweetheart, Jamie, in 1999. 

After receiving his graduate degree in education and curriculum design, he began a career in education and taught English in both private and public schools for twelve years. He has been active in church ministries, teaching C.C.E., and the Knights of Columbus. He became a Master Catechist through the Arlington Diocese of Virginia in 2009.

While he enjoyed the intrinsic benefits of being an educator, Thad continued to seek an opportunity to merge his love of his faith and non-profit work. He feels exceedingly blessed to join the Shield Bearer family and participate in the front line battle to restore marriages, heal hearts, and help build and strengthen the communities throughout the greater Houston area.

Thad and Jamie homeschool their five children: Francesca, Lucian, Jacinta, Elena, and our bonafide Texan, Imelda.

Melissa Rotholz, MS

Associate Director

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Texas State University and a Master of Science in Organizational and Human Resource Development from Abilene Christian University. She has over fifteen years of experience leading organizational and human resource development teams dedicated to supporting and elevating individual and organization performance. Melissa enjoys program creation and facilitation, process design and improvement, strategic planning, consulting, and marketing. She loves meeting new people and finding ways to build lasting and impactful partnerships. She feels incredibly passionate about serving people in our community through mentoring, board and committee participation, and volunteering at her church, children’s schools, and many area ministries.

Melissa has been married since 1994 and has two teenage children that keep her busy with activities. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with friends, writing, dancing, and traveling.

Allie Scott, MA, LPC

Clinical Coordinator

Allie holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University.  She specializes in treatment of depression, anxiety, adjustment to trauma and difficult life situations, codependency, grief, parenting issues.  Additionally, Allie has had experience and success working with adult victims of childhood sexual abuse.  She has participated in many of Shield Bearer’s Marriage Intensives, and has extensive experience working with couples in distress.  Allie is skilled at providing practical and applicable counseling to help her clients navigate the difficulties of life.

Allie has been married to her husband Elliott since 1992. They have five children.  In her spare time she enjoys exercising, singing in her praise team, reading, doing cross-word puzzles, cooking, and camping with her family.

Michelle Kohl

Office Manager

Michelle comes to us with over 20 years of business services, human resources, payroll and data entry experience from a broad range of industries.  She was born in Ohio but was raised in Tomball and is a proud Texan by choice.  Those who interviewed or met her have expressed how warm and unflappable her personality is. She enjoys spending time with family, reading a good book in the sunshine and Zumba in her spare time. She believes her role is one of support and service to those of you on the front lines in meeting the mission of the organization.

Paula Olsen, BBA

Community Engagement Coordinator

Paula is a wife, mom to three wonderful kids and loves Jesus. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration In Human Resources Management from Baylor University and has worked in that field as well as being a stay at home mom for many years.  She and her family worship at West Houston Church of Christ. Shield Bearer has been a blessing in her life and she is thrilled to be part of the team.

Laura Baker

Client Relations Specialist

Laura is the mother of two beautiful daughters and grandmother of four amazing grandchildren, ages 4 to 16. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and watching movies. Laura loves the Lord and loves serving Him. She is passionate about seeing hearts healed and people set free, and enjoys being a part of how the Lord uses Shield Bearer to bring healing and restoration to individuals and families.


Tanya Parker, MBA

Client Relations Specialist

Tanya received her BA and MBA in Communications from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. After many years of working in music marketing, she decided she wanted to be more hands on and make a difference in her community. She became a member of Real Life Ministries of Texas and may often be found volunteering with KidsLife. She enjoys spending her free time exploring all that the city has to offer with her family, including her dog Astrid. She is proud and honored to be a part of the Shield Bearer team in service to you.


Pam Cosart, MA, LPC-S, CART

Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor

Pam holds a Business degree from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Liberty University. She is a veteran facilitator of women’s bible study groups and oversees the Soul Care Counseling Ministry at Cy-Fair Christian Church. Pam specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, grief and loss; she provides individual, adolescent, children, couple and family counseling, including pre-marital and marriages in distress. She journeys with women who are navigating through transitions of life. Additionally, she is a certified anger resolution therapist. Her theoretical orientation includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and existentialism from a biblical perspective. Pam is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors, and the American Counseling Association.

Pam married her husband Al in 1975. They have three adult children: Audra, Jordan and Alex. In her spare time, she likes to read and walk/jog for fitness. She enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with their grandchildren.

Joyce Finch, Ed.D. MA, LPC, CSC


Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of Houston, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling at Sam Houston State University, a Doctorate in Counselor Education at Texas Southern University. She was a school counselor for 23 years – 10 as an intermediate and 13 as a high school counselor. Joyce is an assistant professor at Texas Southern University and teaches school and agency counseling. She specializes in the treatment of grief and loss, depression, and anxiety and provides Christian, adolescent, and individual counseling. Joyce is a member of the Texas Counseling Association and Chi Sigma Iota (International Honor Society for Counseling Majors on the Graduate Level). She married her husband Robert (Bob) in 1969, and they have two adult daughters and six grandchildren. In her spare time she plays tennis, exercises at the gym, walks, and swims. Joyce enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with their grandchildren.

Renee Jafari, MA, LPC


Renee Jafari was interested in Counseling and psychology long before she made the decision to get her degree in Counseling. She loved reading about human behavior, thoughts, feelings and underlying motives. As she studied at a Biblical College she added a theological perspective to her understanding of human condition. As the opportunity to receive a formal education in Counseling arose her interest in psychology made a full circle and resulted in the Master’s degree in Counseling through the Houston Graduate School of Theology. Upon completing her practicum at a grief support center Renee counseled clients with dual diagnosis such as mood disorders and substance dependence. This work was followed by counseling clients with serious/severe mental illnesses and mood disorders. Renee is passionate about helping clients work through their traumatic experiences, anxieties, difficulties in relationships and life change related adjustment, grief/loss and other conditions drawing on Existential, Cognitive-Behavioral, Emotion-focused and other relevant therapeutic modalities.

Patsy Koenig, MA, LPC


Patsy holds a Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Houston Graduate School of Theology and is a member of the American Counseling Association. She has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and a Masters of Arts in Education from Southwest Texas State University. Patsy works with individuals and couples, and she facilitates Shield Bearer’s anger management classes. Patsy has a heart for restoring and strengthening relationships. She cares deeply that her clients find healing for their wounds and a path through the challenges of their life. Patsy has a gift for encouragement, and a goal of helping her clients recognize hope. When the client so chooses, she values integrating faith into the counseling experience. Patsy has been married to Randy since 1981. They have five children and recently gained a son-in-law. Patsy’s favorite pastime is spending time with family and friends.

Tammy Cover, MS, LPC, EMDR Trained


Tammy holds a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She has training in the treatment of trauma including sexual trauma and adult survivors of child abuse. Having gone through a divorce, she has a heart for women who have gone through or are going through divorce, as well as those in difficult marriages. Helping people recognize their own value as an Image Bearer of the Creator and their special purpose in His plan is her passion. Tammy works with children and adolescents, couples, and adult women. In her free time, Tammy enjoys concerts, theater, and time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren.

Roy Garcia, MDiv, MA, LPC


Roy is a caring counselor who has helped many individuals and couples, adults and adolescents, overcome communication issues, anxiety, depression, marriage and relationship problems. Roy earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the Houston Graduate School of Theology graduating Magna Cum Laude. Previously Roy earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri and a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Roy previously owned a successful construction company in Corpus Christi and pastored a church in Austin. Roy and his wife enjoy their son and daughter and their six grandchildren. Roy and his wife are members of Lakewood Church, where they are involved in various ministries. Roy is fluent in Spanish.

Carmen Dennistoun, MA, LPC


Carmen graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She provides individual, adolescent, couple and family counseling and has worked in various settings including Christian counseling center, private clinic, women and children’s homeless shelter, residential home for children, domestic violence center and psychiatric/substance abuse hospital. Her special interests are working with clients dealing with substance abuse, addiction, depression, bipolar, anxiety and stress, life transitions, marriage and family conflict and survivors of abuse. Carmen also facilitates Shield Bearer’s Depression and Bipolar Support group.

Carmen has been married since 1993 and has two teenage children.  She enjoys spending time with family, extended family and close friends. Her hobbies are playing the piano, skiing the blues, jogging a little, great movies and watching anyone else cook as long as it isn’t her.

Carrie L. Martinez, MS, LPC


Carrie is a Licensed Professional Counselor that holds a Master of Science Degree in Human Services/Clinical Counseling from Bellevue University.  Carrie also has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University. Carrie was a graduate intern at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Eating Disorders Clinic.  Carrie also holds a National Mental Health Award from Rosalyn Carter, Solution Focused Consultation Certification, SAMA, PMAB, Adoption Certification for Children with Special Needs, and Psychotropic Medication Certification.

Carrie has worked in the mental health field for many years, and her caring and compassionate demeanor allows her to establish quick rapport with all age groups. Carrie is passionate about helping people by giving them the tools to help overcome life’s challenges that may be standing in the way of their personal happiness.

Carrie has been married since 2005 and has two young daughters.  In her free time Carrie enjoys spending time with her family, reading, swimming, and attending church.

LaVaughn Mosley, MA, LPC


LaVaughn  holds a Bachelor of Science in Music and a Masters in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University.  He offers expertise in mental health rehabilitation and cognitive behavioral therapeutic interventions. His specialty is Trauma Focused CBT and DBT and he works with all disorders including bipolar, anxiety, depression, addictions, impulsive behaviors, etc. He sees children 5-17, couples, male/female adults, same sex couples.

LaVaughn has 2 children and 5 grandchildren.  He is an avid runner who enjoys reading in his spare time.


Rebecca Snyder, MA, LPC


Rebecca graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2004 with a Master of Arts in Counseling and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. She provides individual child, adolescent, adult and family counseling and has worked in various settings including child welfare where she worked with foster and adopted children, an agency servicing people of all ages with disabilities, a Christian counseling center, a residential home for children and adolescents, and an outpatient hospital for adults. Her special interests are working with clients dealing with depression, anxiety and stress, life transitions, trauma and blended families.

Rebecca has been married to Mike since 1998 and has one teenage child and two adult stepchildren.  She enjoys spending time with family, enjoying her dogs, cat, and horses. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and reading.


Lillie Terry, MA, LPC


Lillie holds a Master of Art in Professional Counseling from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston.  She specializes in encouraging hope in individuals, families and couples by improving thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Her focus is working with adult clients that are dealing with complex trauma, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, grief, phrase of life issues, chronic pain and relationship conflict. Lillie is proficient at building therapeutic relationships and providing unconditional positive regard to her clients.  Additionally, she provides a safe, compassionate, nonjudgmental environment that is conducive to growth and healing.

Lillie has been married to her husband Robert since 1993.  They have three adult children and two grandchildren.  In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, listening to music and relaxing.  She also enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends.

Tiffany Annamalai, MS, LCSW


Tiffany earned her undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Social Work at Illinois State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Master’s degree in Social Work from St. Ambrose University. Tiffany spent several months in various international and national locations throughout her academic career, including Spain, the Dominican Republic and New Mexico State University. Following graduation, Tiffany worked as an elementary school counselor in Davenport, Iowa for two years before moving to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Tiffany worked with migrant families in Harlingen, TX before moving to McAllen to spearhead an outreach organization for adolescents, college students, and young professionals for 5 years. She then started a mentoring, education, and life skills program for teen parents and families, incorporating community members, churches, businesses, and local leaders’ participation. Tiffany has experience working with eating disorders and is a member of Houston Eating Disorder Specialists.

Tiffany has three young children and enjoys relaxing with her family and traveling internationally.

Heather Powers, MA, LPC


Heather graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston-Downtown. She provides individual, adolescent, couple, and family counseling. Her special interests are working with clients dealing anxiety and stress, life transitions, marriage and family conflict, and survivors of abuse.

Heather has been married since 2012. She enjoys doing puzzles, watching movies, and spending time with family, extended family and close friends. She and her husband love to help out at their church in various areas. Her hobbies are playing board games, and resale and thrift store shopping.

Urissa Hunter, MS, LMFT


Urissa Hunter graduated with a B.S. from Prairie View A & M University and Master of Science in Human Services with a specialization in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling/Therapy from Capella University. Currently, her work includes being a business teacher and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her experience in secular and Christian education has expanded over 20 years.

She has been married over 30 years to Terrence Hunter and has three sons, two daughters-in-law, 6 grandsons and one granddaughter.

Whitcomb Terpening, MS, LCSW


Whitcomb holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work and a Philosophy degree from the University of Houston. Her clinical work is focused on adolescents and young adults, specializing in suicidality, self-harm, trauma, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, and self-confidence. She is an active member of the American Association of Suicidology. Whitcomb believes that the healing potential of therapy lies in the relationship between the client and the therapist, and that therapy is primarily a conversation with a skilled, trusted, and empathetic professional who helps individuals to understand themselves and their lives better, decide what should and can be changed, and how to go about making those changes.

Whitcomb lives for family game nights, conversations with her son about life and growing up, and family dinners every evening. She also enjoys writing, road trips, spending rainy days in coffee shops, touring MLB stadiums, and snowboarding.

Luz Dary Alanis, MS, LPC


Luz Dary holds an undergraduate and masters degree from Prairie View A&M University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She views counseling not as her job, but as her passion. She has worked closely with victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. Work with this population has allowed her to grow mentally, spiritually and professionally. She works well with men, women and children who are victims of abuse.  Luz sees people and their needs and finds pleasure in empowering victims to become independent. Having lived in different parts of the world, she has acquired a global view. Her travels as well as her work has led her to be what she calls an “eclectic” therapist, meaning she doesn’t follow a single theory/program for an issue. She believes that everyone is an individual and deserves to be treated as such, therefore, each individual must get his/her own treatment plan according to his/her needs.  Luz enjoys family time and traveling.


Graduate Student Interns

Shield-Bearer is proud to be an internship/practicum site for new professionals who desire to help us meet our mission of high quality services without regard to ability to pay. Very few applicants are selected to become a part of the Shield-Bearer family. Graduate students selected have typically been those who have life and field experience in addition to their formal education and who fit well with our values and mission. Being counseled by a graduate student provides the most current evidence-based approaches with weekly (sometimes daily) supervision by credentialed onsite and graduate school supervisors. We are proud to have been a part of facilitating the ongoing training of new counselors in conjunction with the following graduate programs:

• Baylor University, Graduate School of Social Work

• Houston Graduate School of Theology, Counseling Department

• Houston Baptist University, Christian Counseling Department

• Liberty University, Counseling Department

• Sam Houston State University, Education and Counseling Departments

• University of Houston, Psychology, Education and Social Work Departments

• Texas Women’s University, Family Therapy Doctoral Program

• Ashland Theological Seminary, Pastoral Counseling Department

• Dallas Theological Seminary, Christian Counseling Department